It All Matters, Part 1 by Larry W. Peebles

DSC_0519Don’t think for a moment it does not count for something.

For fifteen years, my wife and I visited teenagers in trouble in the Juvenile Justice System of Hillsborough County (Tampa), Florida. We entered the heavy locked doors at two of the Juvenile Justice maximum security facilities a total of three times a month. After we cleared security, we heard the doors slam shut behind us. We were there for the voluntary evening program, which involved leading praise and worship with the young people, delivering a message from God’s word pertinent to their lives and situation, and praying with them individually. We had to start on time, because that was when the doors opened. We had to end on time, usually an hour and fifteen minutes later, because that was when the teens showered and went to bed. These young people were minors, so we did not know names, and had no way to follow up with them. We had no way to know if our efforts made a difference, or if they even counted at all. Simply, we had to trust Jesus to take over after we told about His love for them, and His great plan for their lives, which did not include a life behind bars. We rarely saw the same person twice, as they were quickly processed through the court system for a release (for a first time minor offense), or were sent into a juvenile program at another facility. Occasionally, depending on age, past record, and severity of the offense, they were sent to jail. Some were there waiting to see the judge, and some had already seen the judge and were waiting to get out or ship out, depending on the disposition of their case. Some nights we would see all girls, some nights all boys. We preferred they not be mixed, as those meetings were harder to be effective. We would see as many as 40 youth on some nights, or as few as 5 on other nights. A good average attendance might be 15-20 per night.

We had gone through a period where we were getting more nights with 5 in attendance, and admittedly, I was probably focused on the numbers and not on the importance of what God wanted us to do. We were attending a mega church at the time, where the pastor was traveling all over the country, drawing 5,000 to 10,000 or more for his crusade meetings. Feeling perhaps a bit unappreciated, I casually said to the Lord one night “Lord, our pastor has a meeting, and 5,000 come. We have a meeting, and only 5 come. What’s up with that?” He instantly replied in an unforgettable response. “You have a meeting for 5, and your pastor has a meeting for 5,000. Both meetings are important to Me.”

Our pastor had a calling for the crusade meetings with 5000 in attendance. God had equipped him with a certain charisma and anointing to do that work. With all the time and effort required to plan, organize and execute a meeting such as that, his calendar was full. God had equipped my wife and me for the small groups, where we could be more effective in the one-on-one interaction with the young people, and in individual prayer. God made it very clear that He was interested in both types of meetings, large and small, and that both were important.

God created it all. It is no surprise that He considers it all important.

In addition to the story of creation in the Book of Genesis, chapters 1 and 2, examine what these New Testament scriptures say about creation:

  1. John 1:1-3- “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” [Emphasis added.] New International Version.
  2. Hebrews 3:4- “For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.” New International Version.
  3. Colossians 1:16, 17- “For by Him [Jesus] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” [Emphasis added.] New King James Version.

“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” New International Version.

“For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him (by His service, intervention) and in and for Him. And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).” Amplified Version.

These scriptures affirm that Jesus has been present from the eternal past. He was therefore present at creation. He was not just present at creation, He is in creation. He is not just in creation, but creation is for Him. From the time of creation until the present, He holds all creation together. Whether using the Hubble telescope to see as far as possible into the heavens, or using an electron microscope to see the structure of an atom, scientists today are finding the signature of God in all creation. He put His name on it; that is why all things big and small matter to God.

Seconds and minutes are important to God, but so are centuries. Atoms are important to God, but so are oceans and mountains. The vast heavens are important to God, but so are the tiniest creatures at the bottom of the deepest seas. Life and death are important to God. Everything said or done matters, as does everything left unsaid or undone. I am important to God, but so is every person who has ever lived or is still living. Every smile, every encouraging word, every act of help, and every cup of water to the thirsty is important to God.

Teens locked away out of sight in a maximum security prison matter to God. Every opportunity to tell one person about Jesus, or to tell 10,000 people about Jesus is important to the Lord. No matter how large or small, it all matters to Him. Jesus holds all creation together, and He takes great interest in all of it. His creation is not static, it is dynamic, and it takes great interest and involvement to hold it all together. He does not hold it together from a remote location; He holds it together from the front line, hands- on.

A contemporary message that is out there today is “Black Lives Matter.” This is true, they do matter. But it is also true that white lives matter, as do brown and yellow and every tribe and tongue of every nation. They all matter to God.

The hairs on your head matter, as does the common sparrow. Matthew 10: 29-31 says “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Your thoughts and actions each day should be guided by the fact that what you do and say matters to God. The big and important things you do and say, as well as the small and perhaps unspoken things not considered important are observed by Him. It all matters.

Rocked by Kay Keith Peebles

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I was awakened from a deep sleep feeling terrified! It was not because of a bad dream. I was startled awake, and I felt the cold, clammy, heart-racing feeling of fear. It surrounded me. It was the kind of fear that made the hairs on the back of one’s neck stand up. I saw nothing, and heard nothing. It was simply an overwhelming feeling of impending doom.

The Lord had been healing me from traumatic abuse which occurred in my early childhood. Although healing and breakthrough had begun, this was a long journey of faith and forgiveness. I was beginning to experience victory over certain fears. In the process, however, the enemy kept challenging me to see if I believed I had the authority in Christ Jesus to not only obtain my full freedom, but to maintain it over time. One of my greatest battles involved my having been victimized, which caused me to grow up feeling fearful and insecure.

I arose out of bed, walked into the family room, and immediately began praying. I felt fear and oppression surrounding me, and I knew I had to break through this spiritual attack. The Bible teaches that fear is a spirit. My mind was reeling from being suddenly awakened and disoriented. I knew what I was feeling, but I was not aware if I was battling a specific kind of fear. Confusion is not of God, therefore, I began to pray for wisdom and direction for my victory over this cruel and unseen enemy.

The words of an old hymn quickly came to mind. It was one that I had sung for many years growing up. I still remembered the verses and chorus. “My Hope Is Built” by William Bradbury and Edward Mote was written during the mid- 1800’s. I ran to my library and pulled out a hymnal from the shelves. Trembling, I began to sing its powerful verses…

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

“When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace; in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

“His oath, his covenant, his blood support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.

“When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found! Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne!

“On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” (Chorus)

I laid prostrate on the floor, placing my cheek on the cold, hard tile. The firm tile glued to its cement foundation represented the solid rock upon which I was trusting. I pictured myself supported by the Lord, Who is my Rock and my Redeemer.   As I repeated the words of the chorus over and over again, I began to feel the peace of God break through the storm which had overtaken me. I felt secure and stable. It was enough to bring me the peace I needed that night.

William Bradbury, who penned those powerful words, had experienced a night like I was having. His poem was his anointed testimony of deliverance. When I identified with his resolve of faith, God began delivering me from the spiritual attack. I owe Mr. Bradbury a debt I cannot pay, because we were born over a century apart, but I pray I meet him in heaven one day.

King David had nights like the one I experienced. He wrote many Psalms that encourage and strengthen, which reflect the challenges he faced. “Hear my cry, God; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth, with fainting heart, I call out to you. Set me down on a rock far above where I am now. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength in the face of the foe. I will live in your tent forever and find refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah. For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.” Psalm 61:1-5. (Complete Jewish Bible).

David had learned to trust the Lord as he guarded his father’s sheep, before he became the king of Israel. He turned lonely days and nights in the pasture into a tabernacle of worship, which developed his faith in God. His heart was full of faith in God’s power, love, mercy, and faithfulness. By trusting God, David was able to overcome a lion, bear, and the giant Goliath, all at a young age.

Once living in the palace of king Saul, David had to flee for his life because of Saul’s jealousy of David’s strength and wisdom. For 11 years, David hid in caves often among Israel’s enemies, while trying to avoid Saul’s wrath. God protected David by warning him before Saul and his men discovered his hiding place.

In 2 Samuel 22:2-4 David sang to the Lord, “The Lord is my Rock [of escape from Saul] and my Fortress [in the wilderness] and my Deliverer; My God, my Rock, in Him will I take refuge; my Shield and the Horn of my salvation; my Stronghold and my Refuge, my Savior—You save me from violence. I call on the Lord, Who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” (Amplified Version).

In the 2 Samuel passage, David called the Lord the Horn of his salvation.   The “Horn”, according to the Hebrew definition, was a symbol of strength. Moose, elk, mountain goats, and other horned animals would battle by locking horns with their challengers.   The term “Horn” also represented status, position, or prominence.   The strongest adversary in a contest gained the right to dominate and reproduce the herd.   David was declaring the Lord was strong enough to deliver him from any foe, and had the status or prominence to enforce his salvation. The meaning of “Salvation” (Hebrew/Old Testament) included deliverance and protection; often implying that victory was at hand. (The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible).

Arlene, my spiritual mother and dear friend, taught me to magnify the Lord instead of magnifying my problems. That is exactly what David did when he had trouble. When devastation came, David encouraged himself in the Lord by meditating on His greatness, His goodness, and His willingness to deliver His children from danger.

Isaiah knew this truth also. “So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].” Isaiah 59:19.

The Lord has taught me to prepare for the storms that will come by daily Bible reading/study, worship, and prayer. Through that discipline, I am regularly reminded of who God is, how powerful He is, and how willing He is to intervene in my life. Memorizing scripture has locked His word in my heart, just as “My Hope Is Built” was hidden inside from years of singing its powerful declarations.

The book of Hebrews teaches us our faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The more we read and study the Word of God the greater our faith becomes, because the Word of God is alive and active. The Lord intervenes on our behalf when we pray the Word of God in faith. The Book of Psalms is filled with David’s testimonies of God’s faithfulness to His people. “Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust in and boast of chariots and some of horses, but we will trust in and boast of the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:6-7.

Jesus is the Rock. We will be transformed and raised up by the Rock of our Salvation, or unbelief will make Him our stumbling stone. “And He shall be a sanctuary [a sacred and indestructible asylum to those who reverently fear and trust in Him]; but He shall be a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” Isaiah 8:14.

The Lord has given me a new victorious acronym for FEAR: Failure of the Enemy to Affect my Resolve (in Christ Jesus)! When we put our faith in the Rock of our Salvation, we will not be disappointed. When we cry out to the Lord for deliverance from the enemy’s oppression, we will see the Lord rush to our defense. When we trust in the nature and character of God, we will live in peace. When we are able to rest in what He has already done, we will abide in joy.

Jesus Rocked my world. I pray you will allow Him to Rock yours!

Little By Little by Larry W. Peebles

DSC_0520When praying to God, I have noticed there are two questions that often go unanswered—“How?” and “When?”

Based on the promises I read in His word, and on actual experience, I have found this to be true.  When we pray, God will provide wisdom, direction and answers. He knows and sees everything, and His strategies are beyond compare. James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

What does one do, however,  while waiting for the answer to come? How should we wait while the plan unfolds? In my own case, I find myself asking the Lord “How are you going to do this?” and “When will this be resolved?” The answers and approach ultimately come. Looking back I can see my two questions were eventually addressed, but I cannot recall ever receiving an upfront answer to those two questions when they were asked.

There is wisdom and strategy in God’s response to our request for direction and answers. In the Book of Exodus is the beautiful story of how God delivered the children of Israel out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt, and brought them into the land He promised their forefather Abraham. He used Moses and many mighty miracles to convince Pharaoh to set them free. He rescued them from the pursuing Egyptian army at the Red Sea, and provided food and water in the desert. He changed 400 years of slave mentality in the people, and parted the water at the Jericho River to allow millions of people to walk into the Promised Land. (See the Book of Joshua).

God’s wisdom and strategy in doing all that is perhaps best outlined in Exodus 23:20-30. These verses also give us an insight into how He works with us to answer prayer and keep His word. His strategy to complete the 40 year journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, and to fulfill His promise made hundreds of years prior to Abraham, is set out for Moses as follows:

  1. V.20- God would send an angel ahead of the Israelites to lead them to the Promised Land.
  2. V.22- If they followed the angel, and did what God said, God would be an enemy to their enemies, and oppose those who opposed them.
  3. V.24, 25- They must worship God only, not bow down to other gods, and God would bless their food and water, give them a full life, and take away sickness.
  4. V.27- God would send His terror ahead of them to confuse every nation they would encounter, and make their enemies turn their backs and run.
  5. V. 29, 30- God would not drive out the enemies in possession of the land in a single year, because the land would become desolate, and the wild animals would become numerous. He would drive them out “little by little”  to allow the Israelites to increase enough to take full possession of the land. Driving out the enemy would leave a void in the land He did not want filled with weeds, vines, and wild beasts. He wanted the Israelites ready and capable of filling that void.

“Little by little” may answer the questions of “how” and “when”. The concept and wisdom of “little by little” is not one often appreciated. Today’s society is focused on high-speed internet, drive through fast food, microwave ovens, instant recognition, next day delivery, and overnight success. The world’s information is instantly available at our fingertips through computers, smart phones, and other electronic devices. With the proper information on hand, we want to make a quick decision and move ahead. Personally, I have a hard time blending the concept of “little by little” with my own impatience. If God wants to bless or increase a person in a certain area, He wants to be sure they can hold that new ground. Wisdom and life lessons do not come instantly; they come over time. Deep and abiding trust, love and friendships are also built over time; they are not created overnight.

That is why studies of lottery winners show that very little of the instant wealth gained is retained by the winner. Most of the winnings are spent and wasted. Often the winner winds up in worse shape financially. There is no instant preparation for instant wealth.

Similarly, a person does not learn to drive a car in a few minutes, hours or days. A safe driver is one that has years of experience driving safely. A safe driver has had a few close calls over the years, and has learned what to watch for in terms of the conditions, situations and traffic around him.

Any army that moves too rapidly deep into enemy territory is subject to

1.Being cut off from its line of supply;

2.Depleting the number of troops on the front line as troops are required to hold the ground taken;

3.Allowing the enemy to fall back and regroup along the sides and rear of the attack, making the army vulnerable from every direction.

Any victory that is not sustainable is not a victory. Better to grow and advance little by little so that training and preparation can secure a lasting victory. Sometimes God answers prayer instantly. He does not wait long to rescue the drowning person. More often, it seems the answers come little by little. Like peeling an onion, layer by layer He moves people and pieces into place, but also prepares the one asking for help. The “how” is up to Him; the “when” is often dependent upon the preparedness of the one praying.

The Israelites had been exposed to this concept when God began to feed them with manna. According to Exodus 16:18, as the people gathered the manna (bread), those who gathered little did not have too little, and those who gathered too much did not have too much, because any extra would spoil. The provision of manna was not for the purpose of feeding the people a little or a lot; it was to teach the people to seek the Lord (the Bread of Life) daily or “little by little”.

Proverbs 13:11 says “…he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” When our two children were born, my wife and I began saving $25 per month for their college education. We increased that amount over the years as our income increased, but remained committed to saving each month. By investing the savings, the total amount increased over time, little by little. When they both graduated from college, all their bills were paid, and there were no student loans to be repaid.

We must learn that God is dealing with us in His love and mercy when He allows things to come to us “little by little”. We are often asking “how” even while His master strategy is unfolding behind the scenes, and we are asking “when” while He is busy preparing us for what lies ahead, which only He knows.

Little by little is not God’s strategy to delay, stall, or ration out limited resources. It is not an indication that God is operating at or near full capacity. It is not the result of a bureaucracy back-logged in paperwork. The Ancient One will act on our behalf as only He can, but only when He knows we are ready to receive the full benefit of His best for us, and only with our long-term best interest in mind.

Like a cup of instant coffee, a quick answer or strategy from God may not be what is really needed.

An Amazing Gift by Kay Keith Peebles

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I could not believe my eyes! Most little girls dream of getting a special doll, and I had been hoping for one for several years. My family and I lived in a small two bedroom home in a town of 25,000 population in central Texas, surrounded by cotton fields. Dad was a traveling salesman and at that time we had one car which was a necessity for his job. He was responsible to service the area of surrounding cities and towns. His job required that he carry many samples of his products to show his customers. He had to spend a night or two on the road each week because several of his clients were too far from our home to get back the same day. One week a month he was gone for three nights. We walked to school or wherever we needed to go. Sometimes we rode with friends when he was out of town. We were blessed to have our needs met but there were not a lot of extras. We were content and never felt we were missing anything.

It was Christmas Day and we were huddled around the Christmas tree in anticipation of opening our gifts. Mom, dad, my brother Rusty and I always loved Christmas. My dad was a salesman for a large paper company. He would bring home retired samples of wrapping paper and ribbon and we would use them to fashion the most beautiful packages. My mother was very creative at designing and dad would teach us the latest techniques for making beautiful bows and decorations out of ribbon. Some of our packages were very ornate while others were cute and inventive.

I remember one gift that Christmas which was a dress mom had made for me. She was an accomplished seamstress. Earlier that month she had made silhouettes of my brother and me and framed them as pictures on the wall. She had wrapped that beautiful dress in a box and placed my silhouette on it. We used boxes with lids which enabled us to wrap and decorate the lid separate from the bottom of the box. We re-used the special boxes year after year. We kept that box for almost 50 years. Wrapping packages was as much fun as opening them. We worked for hours on our creations and Christmas Day had finally come!

One of us would be chosen to play Santa Clause. He or she would pass out the gifts to each family member. Then we would begin to open them one at a time. A family of four did not take long to open a few packages. Finishing the last one, I soon realized again, the doll I had dreamed about was not among the gifts. Glancing over at the Christmas tree I saw there were no other packages remaining. Feeling disappointed I began to help pick up the special bows and boxes that could be reused. After a few moments had passed my dad exclaimed, “Kay Karen, I believe there’s one more gift here with your name on it.” I turned around to see a large box beautifully wrapped. I ran over to check it and confirm my name was on the tag. Ripping off the paper as quickly as I could and opening the box, I saw my dream doll laying inside. She was more beautiful than I had imagined! I picked her up and hugged her tightly. With tears in my eyes I thanked my parents for such a wonderful surprise.

The doll was the last one I would have as a child. I was growing and would soon be too old to play with dolls. Because she was so special, I took great care as I played with her. I kept that doll and gave it to my daughter to play with when she was young. It was a special Christmas that year and I received a most amazing gift.

When Jesus was preparing His disciples for His death on the cross, He told them about an amazing gift He was going to give them after His death and resurrection. It was imperative He leave them equipped to carry on the ministry of reconciliation to God, and with full understanding of His Kingdom. They had to feel insecure at the thought of Him leaving them. He had only been ministering for three short years and they were still elementary in their knowledge of God and His Kingdom. They were focused on everything He said and did, but without Him, they would have felt helpless and fearful.

In John 14:20-21, 23, 26, Jesus assured His disciples, “At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you. The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]” “Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.” “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.” (Emphasis mine)

What an amazing gift the Lord promised to all His disciples. The Holy Spirit would be sent. He would live inside of them and teach them the wisdom of God. He would give them understanding of what Jesus had spoken and knowledge of His ways and His Kingdom.

We see this special event actually unfold in Acts Chapter 1:12-15. “Then [the disciples] went back to Jerusalem from the hill called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, [only] a Sabbath day’s journey (three-quarters of a mile) away. And when they had entered [the city], they mounted [the stairs] to the upper room where they were [indefinitely] staying—Peter and John and James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas [son] of James. All of these with their minds in full agreement devoted themselves steadfastly to prayer,] waiting together] with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. Now on one of those days Peter arose among the brethren, the whole number of whom gathered together was about a hundred and twenty.”

There were approximately 120 people gathered in the upper room, waiting for the amazing gift the Lord was going to send. Of the 120 there were both men and women. Eleven of them were the apostles. We can safely assume Matthias was among them. He would become the 12th apostle replacing Judas Iscariot. Scripture continues in Acts Chapter 2:2-4 “When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them. And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words].” (Emphasis mine.)

Today many people believe that God exists. They believe that Jesus was a good man and a prophet, but their lives have never been changed by an encounter with the living God. Many go to church but they look and act no differently than the rest of the world. It is impossible to be strong and live righteously without the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction. It was the Holy Spirit Who gave Peter (and other apostles) enough courage to give their lives for Jesus. Through the centuries the Holy Spirit is the One who enabled believers, (men, women and children), to proclaim the name of Jesus in the face of death. Living a righteous and holy life is evidence the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. Filled with His Spirit, believers become a signpost to the world that God is real and that He has a plan and a purpose for every life.

His Holy Spirit is for all who believe in Jesus and His Kingdom, and have surrendered their lives to His direction. Acts 2:38-39 explains, “And Peter answered them. Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself. (See Isaiah 57:19 and Joel 2:32). (Emphasis mine)

How incredible it is to have an indwelling Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby! Because of the gift of the Holy Spirit, the children of God, from the first 120 in the upper room to our generation until the Lord returns, will never have to lack in wisdom and understanding. A Counselor and Advocate will stand beside us bringing Comfort and Peace in our time of need. This means God Himself is willing to live inside of man empowering, equipping, encouraging and enlightening us to successfully navigate our journey in our generation. He enables us to fulfill His plans and purposes for our lives today when we allow Him full authority over our lives.

The Holy Spirit helps us understand the written word of God, and empowers us to hear the rhema (spoken) word of God directly in our hearts. He warns us when we are moving in the wrong direction and comforts us when we hurt. He forgives and encourages us when we have made mistakes, motivating us to believe for more. He assures us of His love for us, which gives us courage when we are afraid. He inspires us to stand, even if we have to stand alone. He bathes us in the Love of God and clothes us in His Righteousness.

His Holy Spirit is for all who believe. What an Amazing Gift, indeed.