3 Results When We Live By Faith!

Date August 22, 2017

Faith Receives After Faith Obeys

They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in.” (Genesis 7:15–16, ESV)

So many of us are waiting for God to act! We look high and low, day after day, seeking some sign or indication that He is on the move. However, a cursory read of the Bible shows us that faith doesn’t work that way. Take a good look at Noah, for example.

Before the animals came onto the ark, there had a BE an ark! Noah had to obey God and respond to His BIG ask – to build something no one had ever heard or conceived of before – and then God would bring to pass His supernatural plan.

And that’s the way it always works. We respond to God’s BIG ask and THEN we receive the blessings of obedience to Him.

And what did Noah receive?

  • Noah enjoyed a supernatural response to his labors – the animals came into the boat he built in response to God’s BIG ask!

Throughout our lives, God wants to demonstrate His power in miraculous ways. Obedience by faith unlocks the revealing of His might and ability in our daily lives.

  • Noah enjoyed witnessing the supernatural power of God’s Word – the animals went into the ark as a result of God’s command!

Faith is enlivened when the impossible becomes possible. God longs to show us great and mighty things that we could never imagine! When it happens, our faith takes on greater courage and hope!

  • Noah enjoyed the personal and supernatural protection of God – God, Himself, shut the huge door of the ark making it seaworthy!

In everything God does, our best is at His consideration. His great love seeks to protect and surround us, no matter the storms we enter.

What are we waiting for from God? Have we chosen to fulfill His BIG ask in our lives? Before we can see the harvest, we will have to do the huge thing He has asked of us! Are you willing to take the next step?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and what “next steps” you are taking as a result of God’s “BIG ask” in your life! Please, share below!

 

  • Art credit: https://knoxannarbor.org/faith-obeys/

Hope For Today – God Wants to Show You Amazing Things!

Date August 20, 2017

 

There are times when we feel like we are at the end of our rope! Nothing seems to be working and everything seems to be going wrong. Do you know what I mean? Maybe you are there right now.

This is Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and, if that’s your situation right now, I want to share some Hope For Today about the fact that God wants to show you amazing things!

In (Jeremiah 33.3, MEV) the LORD Himself gives us Hope For Today when HE says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you know not.

When God’s man, Jerry, heard those words, he was hated and despised, and incarcerated for having done nothing wrong except sharing God’s heart and His hope.

Maybe you have been following God for some time now and … as a result … nothing is going right. I mean, you thought that Jesus was supposed to conquer every enemy and give victory over every obstacle. And yet, here you are … broken, bruised and beaten.

Don’t give up! Your God says to you today … Get alone, get vocal and Call to Me, and I will answer you!” Trust God today as you draw near to Him … He will draw near to you; He WILL answer you! And that answer will be amazing! Remarkable things come from God when we cry out in faith to Him! Do it today! Do it now! And watch God respond!

 

Hope For Today is a part of the ministry of Eagles In Leadership. If you would like to know more about the hope God gives and His abundant life through Jesus Christ, I would invite you to check out Eagles In Leadership.org; that’s Eagles In Leadership.org.

2 Different Directions That Reveal Our Faith, Or the Lack Of It!

Date August 17, 2017

Faith Doesn’t Use Age As An Excuse

After Noah was 500 years old, Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” (Genesis 5:32, ESV)

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.” (Genesis 7:11, ESV)

All too often we seem to think that faith is the stuff of youth.

  • Follow the Lord when you are young!
  • Go on a mission trip!
  • Accept the offer in far away, it’s the Lord’s leading!

Yet, as we grow older, we seem to get locked into our home, our address, and our community. We even try to keep our family close to us. Then, our words make a subtle change …

  • Why not go to school here?
  • How about taking the job in town?
  • You know the church is looking for someone to serve on campus?

How does our faith shrink from exploring the world and serving without fear to doing what is comfortable?

Noah reminds us that God often makes the BIG ask when we grow older, though many not hear it or, if they do, they choose to deny or ignore it.

And what about you?

  • Has God been asking you to take the step of faith into the unknown?

 

  • Are you tuned in to the heart of God through His Word on a daily basis?

 

  • Would you be ready to go if God called you today?

Why not stop and talk to Jesus about His call in your life right now?

And then, feel free to share your thoughts below!

When Our Stubbornness Requires a Price!

Date August 10, 2017

Being independent is an American attribute. However, when God calls us to depend upon Him, many of us move into “refusal mode.”  We think we have a better plan, a better idea, a better way.  And that is where things take a supernatural turn … listen to Asaph explain:

“But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel did not obey me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own plans.” (Psalm 81:11–12, CSB)

We all have an area right now where God has been speaking to us (If you don’t, you should consider your connection to Christ.) God is constantly moving us into the image of His Son (Ephesians 4).

When we choose to listen to His voice (which is found through the Holy Spirit’s work through the Word of God), God works for us. We call that favor.

When we choose to ignore God’s Word and the promptings of His Holy Spirit, God’s supernatural power isn’t stopped. According to Asaph (who has several writings in the Scriptures), God acts – He gives us over to our “stubborn hearts” with a specific goal in mind … so we can follow our own plans! Yikes!

That American independence is not such a great thing when it’s formed against or without the counsel and leading of God! Repeatedly in this psalm, Asaph reminds Israel that He is THEIR God – personal, present, passionate about them. He loves them and longs for them to follow Him so He can bless and provide the abundant life He wants all His children to enjoy.

Today, I wonder. Is there something you are planning on your own, without God’s help or input? If so, what should you do right now to remedy that account before you receive the harvest that comes from planting a crop of self-centered seeds?

3 Big Faith Questions To Ask When God Commands!

Date August 8, 2017

Faith Does What God Commands, Even When It Sounds Impossible

Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9, ESV)

And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits.” (Genesis 6:13–15, ESV)

And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.” (Genesis 6:19, ESV)

Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22, ESV)

You’re going to do what? Build a what? How big? Where’s my work crew coming from? How do I chase down all those animals? These are all questions Noah did not ask!

When it comes to faith, faith acts. If God commands, faith understands it is possible. If God directs, God will be with us. If God leads, He will be there to provide.

Today, I’m asking myself three questions by faith …

  • What is the BIG thing God want me to do?

 

  • Am I complaining about THAT thing right now?

 

  • Have I forgotten that God is WITH me and will provide everything I need to accomplish His will?

What about you? How do you respond to God’s BIG “asks” in your life? I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Hope For Today – Settling Our Disagreements!

Date July 9, 2017

When we snap at other people, we break relationships. And that just makes our lives worse … robbing us of peace!

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today about settling our disagreements!

So, what are we to do to restore peace in our lives and jettison the angst we’re experiencing?

The Bible tells us that God changes our present when we …

  • Settle our disagreements.

Most of the time, however, I want to say things like,

  • “It’s no big deal!”
  • “Why are they so touchy?”
  • “They shouldn’t have reacted like that!”

In Philippi, two ladies who were great, godly women and had even served with Paul in ministry had wandered in the faith and gotten grumpy with one another and weren’t speaking …

This was SUCH a big deal, that Paul had heard about it some 815 miles away while in prison in Rome for his bold faithful witnessing (and this was long before cell phones and Facebook!. He writes to the Philippi church,

I urge Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up. God doesn’t want his children holding grudges.” (Philippians 4:2, The Message)

Ouch! Why do I say, “Ouch!”? Because these letters that Paul wrote were read aloud to the whole church when they gathered for worship!

How embarrassing! But you can see how we, too, need to change our thinking if we want the peace of God to slather our lives, don’t you?

God doesn’t want his children holding grudges. (Philippians 4:2, The Message)

It might be that today you realize its time to follow Jesus and enjoy a life of peace and blessing. God gives that life to those who trust Jesus – to do what’s right through the power God readily gives to those who ask. You can get that new life by saying these words to Jesus Christ …

“Forgive me for my for not following You and applying Your words to my life and purpose. Forgive me for living my own life. Free me from the slavery of my sin. I am choosing to be totally committed to following You. Lead me as I listen to You.”

If you said those words and meant them, Jesus has forgiven you. Now comes the proof of what you said … following Him! Just like you would never want your loved one to abandon you, so Jesus never wants you to abandon him. So, get in a good, Bible-teaching church this week. Open your Bible and explore God’s thoughts and directions for your life. And check out our resources found on our website to help you grow in your faith!

 

Hope For Today is a part of the ministry of Eagles In Leadership. If you would like to know more about the hope God gives and His abundant life through Jesus Christ, I would invite you to check out our website: Eagles In Leadership . org; that’s Eagles In Leadership .org.

 

Hope For Today – Enjoying a Life of Peace and Blessing!

Date July 2, 2017

We can turn around any attitude, change any habit, create a totally different character and, in time, enjoy a completely different life – a life of peace and blessing!

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today about how to enjoy a life of peace and blessing!

If we want to enjoy a life of peace and blessing and replace our chaos with God’s calm, we will need to

  • ACT like Jesus

Let’s be honest: much of the difficulty we face in this life is of our own making. I have friends who want to blame the devil for everything bad in their lives. However, if we are honest, the person who stares back at us in the mirror every morning is our biggest enemy.

Paul understood this when He wrote:

Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.” (Philippians 4:1)

We have a tendency to drift … life takes over. Schedules get jammed. We get tired, tense and cranky! Pretty soon our spiritual discipline is non-existent … am I the only one with these problems?

I love Jesus, but I’m not standing firm anymore. I miss reading God’s Word. I eat too much at lunch. I’m too selfish and I snap at someone.

The reality is, I’m called – and so are you – to act like Jesus. We’re to …

“stand firm thus in the Lord …” (Philippians 4:1)

It might be that today you realize its time to follow Jesus and enjoy a life of peace and blessing. God gives that life to those who stand firm in Jesus – to do what’s right through the power God readily gives to those who ask. You can get that new life by saying these words to Jesus Christ …

“Forgive me for my for not following You and applying Your words to my life and purpose. Forgive me for living my own life. Free me from the slavery of my sin. I am choosing to be totally committed to following You. Lead me as I listen to You.”

If you said those words and meant them, Jesus has forgiven you. Now comes the proof of what you said … following Him! Just like you would never want your loved one to abandon you, so Jesus never wants you to abandon him. So, get in a good, Bible-teaching church this week. Open your Bible and explore God’s thoughts and directions for your life. And check out our resources found on our website to help you grow in your faith!

 

Hope For Today is a part of the ministry of Eagles In Leadership. If you would like to know more about the hope God gives and His abundant life through Jesus Christ, I would invite you to check out our website: Eagles In Leadership . org; that’s Eagles In Leadership .org.

Impacted By God’s Word

Date June 13, 2017

Some verses just make a bigger impact in my life than others. How about you? Sure they do!

When this verse comes across my path each year in my Bible reading, it causes me to stop and evaluate some things.

  • Do I believe this?
  • Am I seeing this play out in my daily life?
  • Which aspect of this verse do I see right now?

Questions like this flow through my heart, mind, and soul when I read this verse.

Do I believe this? 

Yes, I do. Not intellectually alone, but experientially. I have watched this truth play out in daily life – mine especially, time and time again. My good friend and the executive vice president of media for Eagles In Leadership, Mike Powers, once said, “I am always interested in the favor of God. How do we get it? How do we experience it? What does God say about it?”

That comment has led me on a multi-year search of God’s Word for clues on the subject of His favor. Here, I see why God gives it and my life experience has confirmed it time and again.

Am I seeing this play out in my daily life?

Again, yes, I am! While my life may not measure up to the fantasies of others, I see on a daily basis how He has placed people in my path to bless me and make my way clear. Recently, one of my new mentors said this about how he lives out His faith that God is good to him personally …

Because God loves me … 

If anything can go right today, it will go right and happen to me at the best time. Nothing will be as difficult as it looks. Nothing will take as long as it seems.

These words reflect the reality of God’s favor in action.

What aspect of this verse do I see right now?

Over the past few weeks, Melodee and I have watched God put people in our path to make life work so much easier. This is a kind of “greasing the wheels” of life. Time and again we have watched things go right when things could have wrecked. Wow! Yes, I am seeing the favor of God play out daily. I guess this is easy to see because I have also watched the opposite … when life is difficult because I have been far away from the Lord.

What about you? What Bible verse is impacting your life right now? God is trying to tell you something important through that verse. He’s trying to guide us to His next step in the Divine Plan He has for us … and that plan is good because He is good.

Hope For Today – Enjoying a Blessed Life!

Date June 11, 2017

Is your daily life chaotic or calm; are you being beaten up by life, or are you enjoying a blessed life?

These are two of the most important questions you can ask yourself on a daily basis. Our answer to these two questions reflects a lot about how we think! Why? Because the way we think …

  • Builds our beliefs!
  • Establishes our expectations!
  • Amps up our attitudes!
  • Molds our moods!
  • Predicts our performance!
  • Determines our destiny!

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today about how to enjoy a blessed life!

I’ve taught people for years this little saying to help them understand this Biblical truth …

Sow a thought; reap an act.

Sow an act; reap a habit.

Sow a habit; reap a character.

Sow a character; reap a destiny.

The Bible says:

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7, KJV 1900)

What we think determines our destiny. If we want a blessed life, we will have to think the thoughts of the One who blesses us. God has a plan of blessing and life for you. Are you listening to His ideas and directions?

It might be that today you realize it’s time to follow Jesus and enjoy the blessings He gives to those who change the way they think – to seek God’s understanding in your thoughts and life. You can get that new life by saying these words to Jesus Christ …

“Forgive me for my for not following You and applying Your words to my life and purpose. Forgive me for living my own life. Free me from the slavery of my sin. I am choosing to be totally committed to following You. Lead me as I listen to You.”

If you said those words and meant them, Jesus has forgiven you. Now comes the proof of what you said … following Him! Just like you would never want your loved one to betray you, so Jesus never wants you to betray him for another. So, get in a good, Bible-teaching church this week. Open your Bible and explore God’s thoughts and directions for your life. And check out our resources to help you grow found on our website!

 

Hope For Today is a part of the ministry of Eagles In Leadership. If you would like to know more about the hope God gives and His abundant life through Jesus Christ, I would invite you to check out our website: Eagles In Leadership . org; that’s Eagles In Leadership .org.

Hope For Today – Receiving So Many of God’s Blessings!

Date June 4, 2017

Each day, as I open God’s Word, He brings so much CHANGE and BLESSING into my life!

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today about how God gives us SO MANY OF HIS BLESSINGS!

If we want to change our confusion into understanding and our feelings of condemnation into actual blessings from God, then we need to

  • Repeatedly LOOK DEEPLY into God’s Word (3.18)

This is why I encourage you read God’s Word cover-to-cover with me each year! I have experienced SO MANY blessings – financial, emotional, social, spiritual, physical – 53 pounds lost since August 2015, vocational and the list goes on and on!

You can jump in with us tomorrow by downloading the reading schedule today from our website and start reading with people all over the world … why would we read the Bible every day?

Paul says …

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NKJV)

Of course, the image he speaks of here is the Image of our Lord, Jesus Christ! You see, as we pick up our Bible each day, having left the old life where OUR desires were first, God sends us …

  • His mercy – to help in our times of need; He is our rescuer!
  • His light – in the midst of the darkness we find ourselves trapped in; He is our deliverer!
  • His knowledge – of His will and whim for our lives today; He is our guide and companion!

Perhaps today you realize you want to follow Jesus and enjoy the blessings He gives to those who look deeply into His words daily … you can get that freedom by saying these words to Jesus Christ …

“Forgive me for my for not following You and applying Your words to my life and purpose. Forgive me for living my own life. Free me from the slavery of my sin. I am choosing to be totally committed to following You. Lead me as I listen to You.”

If you said those words and meant them, Jesus has forgiven you. Now comes the proof of what you said … following Him! Just like you would never want your loved one to betray you, so Jesus never wants you to betray him for another. So, get in a good, Bible-teaching church this week. And check out our resources to help you grow found on our website!

 

Hope For Today is a part of the ministry of Eagles In Leadership. If you would like to know more about the hope God gives and His abundant life through Jesus Christ, I would invite you to check out our website: Eagles In Leadership . org; that’s Eagles In Leadership .org.

 

Photo credit: http://link2power.org/wordpress/2015/03/the-deuteronomy-28-blessings/

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