Faye Bryant

Prove by the way you live

“Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” Jesus admonished the religious of His day.

We love to hear how God is merciful, offering us grace when we least deserve it, loving us in our messes, and while that is true, it is not complete.

Too often
we forget
to mention
the TURNING.

Salvation requires we agree with God about our heart condition (confess) and turn from our wicked ways (repent) and live for Him.

‘But that’s hard stuff to admit that we’re living lives that are utterly anti-God. Then you want me to do a complete about-face and live differently? Let’s go back to the grace and love part. I like that part.’

Wouldn’t that be great? To accept the grace and love and not have to make any other changes?

Trouble is, if we make no changes, we’re still living anti-God lives and we’re still choosing wickedness over holiness. We’re choosing us over God.

When we choose to repent and turn toward God, choosing Him above all else, we can be identified as His. People will notice a difference when we start living lives surrendered to God.

What do you say, Believer? Is your faith hidden in remaining culturally relevant or is it noticeable by the way you live that you’ve left behind the things that are displeasing to God and you are now choosing Him and His ways above all else?

Today’s a great day to make the choice and start living for Him.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Faith = Righteousness

The Amplified Version of the Bible expands the English when the Hebrew and Greek express more than one English word can. Genesis 15:6 is a good example:

“And he [Abram] believed in
(trusted in, relied on, remained
steadfast to) the Lord, and He
counted it to him as righteousness
(right standing with God).”

Not at all different from the others, yet provokes great thought; don’t you think?

Do you believe in the Lord?
Do you believe the Lord?
Do you trust in Him?
Do you trust Him?
Do you rely on Him?
Do you remain steadfast to Him?

This was said of Abram long before His descendant, Jesus, died for his sins, transferring His perfect righteousness to those who choose to believe and follow Him.

We live with that amazing gift now, but does that negate the need for this kind of faith? I think not. I think this kind of faith is what’s required for us to truly be saved.

Too often we think of our faith as simple and easy. It can be simple and uncomplicated, but it’s never truly easy.

We can make our choice to believe in and follow Jesus, but there are tests every day to determine who we will actually rely on and trust in, not to mention those opportunities to choose how steadfast we will be towards Him. In a perfect world, we would pass all those with flying colors, but in reality, when we let our guard down, when our mind isn’t settled ahead of time, we flounder in our choices and we fail in our faith.

Praise Almighty God for His grace that picks us up from that mess we’ve made and brushes us off then sets us back on His firm foundation clean and ready to live out the faith He has placed in us.

Is your heart aching because your faith wavered or failed? Did you choose to rely on a person to be your rescue when that’s something only God can be? Did you place your trust in people instead of God? Did you turn from a chance to show your steadfast faith for God?

Oh, dear one! You are not alone! You’re not the first and you won’t be the last! Turn to Him now. Tell Him what you did. Get it clear in your mind as you confess that to our Lord. Then settle your mind on faith, choosing ahead of time to rely on Him, believe Him, trust in Him, and to remain steadfast to Him. Be prepared for that next test or trial, knowing that He is with you, giving you the strength you need, ready for you to accept it and live in it.

Walk in the righteousness of Christ and walk in real faith that can be counted as righteousness.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Whoever controls your anger controls you.

“And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry”

Paul wrote these words to the believers at Ephesus. These people in Asia Minor had not known God, but goddesses and self. In this chapter of Ephesians, Paul writes to correct their behavior: stop lying, stop stealing, don’t let anger control you…

Some folks read this verse as “never get angry,” but it doesn’t say that. We’re made in God’s image and He got plenty angry at sin and its destruction, at people who chose to lead others away from Him, at those who mistreated His people and others.

No. It’s not a sin to get angry.

Where the sin comes in is what we let that anger do in and through us.

Read those words again, “and don’t sin by letting anger control you.”

As believers we are to be controlled by only One: the Spirit of God given us upon our salvation. When we let anger or booze or drugs or lust or children or happiness or sadness or anything else control us, we have replaced God in our life with that controller.

We have the capability to stop that.

Yes, we do.
Read the words again, “And don’t sin by letting anger control you.”

If God is telling us to not do something, it’s something we can control.

Oooooh. Ummmm. Well.

But Faye! That person knows all my buttons! They make me so angry!!!

Yeah, that’s not a pass, either. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

No one can make you angry.

Yes, people can do things that are hurtful and offensive and ugly, but anger is YOUR choice of response to THEIR actions.

Whoever controls
your anger
controls you.

Like Joshua said, choose this day who you will serve, God or self.

Don’t get me wrong, anger serves its purpose. It drives us to right wrongs, to bring justice to the oppressed, to make changes in ourselves and lead others to do the same.

We just have to be careful to not allow the emotion to take over the brain and thus our actions.

Today, when we feel anger rise up in us, let’s put our brains in gear and figure out why we feel angry. What’s fueling it? Is it the actual situation or is it an experience from years ago that we’re reliving? Is it a real offense or injustice or is it imagined? Don’t stop examining it until you have an answer.

That might mean you have to step away from the situation. Not run away. Step away. Give yourself space away from that situation in that moment so you can discern what is really being said, what has really happened, what is really driving the emotions.

That’s a great time to ask the Spirit God living in you to give you clear sight and wise discernment about what is actually going on.

Once your face has returned to its normal color, your breathing has returned to normal, and your thinking is no longer controlled by the anger, you’re ready to deal with the issue. And now it won’t be with wounding words or hurtful actions.

Oh, and don’t miss that last sentence. This matter evoking these strong emotions can’t be slept on, can’t be tabled until the next meeting. It must be dealt with swiftly. Otherwise you’re inviting the enemy to come in and start building his plans in your heart and life. Don’t do it!

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

While you’re awake…

In the Jewish culture in which King David lived, each day began at sunset and ended at the next sunset. So different from ours – we start in the middle of the night!

For the vast majority of those who David wrote to, their awake hours began at sunrise and neared their end at sunset. That means that in his words here, the king was telling people to praise God while they’re awake.

With that understanding, it takes away our flippant excuse that since we’re not up in the daytime we don’t have to go by this.

Almighty God is always worthy of our praise. That sun that’s rising and setting? He SPOKE it and all its operation into existence without aid.

What can you speak into existence without assistance?

Too often we put ourselves ahead of God in the praise department, not to mention in the obedience department.

It’s a simple difficult thing to do, this choice to praise God all the time.

I just got a raise. Praise God.
The car broke down. Praise God.
We had dinner with all our family. Praise God.
The traffic is horrible. Praise God.
We just closed on our new house. Praise God.
My child is sick. Praise God.
Our prodigal child has returned. Praise God.
My loved one died. Praise God.
My physical pain is gone. Praise God.
My life is a mess. Praise God.
We’re on vacation. Praise God.
The world is in chaos. Praise God.

When you read that, it looks like you’re praising God FOR all those things, including the bad and uncomfortable. In a way you are, because we know that no matter what God allows into our life, He will work it out for our good and His glory.  Still, it rankles to praise God for sickness or death that breaks our heart.

So, praise Him IN that circumstance.

You just heard the diagnosis. God hasn’t changed, but your circumstance has. Praise Him for being God and for walking through every step of this circumstance with you.

You’re standing at the casket of your dearest. God hasn’t changed. Praise Him in that place for being Sovereign and even though you don’t understand, you know He does.

We PRAISE God for who He is.
We THANK God for what He does.

When we confuse those, we can begin to see Him as this eternal vending machine, doling out blessings if we pour in the right amount of change consisting of gratitude and praise.

Today is the perfect day to check our hearts:

Am I praising God from the time I wake until I doze off for the night?
In what areas am I refusing to praise God because I don’t like the circumstances?
How will I correct that mindset?

The sun is up, y’all, let’s get to praising the One True and Living God!

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Soar! Run! Walk!

Isaiah wrote, “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

I don’t know about you, but I have clung to this promise before. When sinking in the despair of divorce, petrified by a diagnosis of Stage III Melanoma, failing under the weight of depression, I have held on to these words with what I thought was the last ounce of my being.

Our God is so faithful! He met me where I was, never minding the pit. He filled me with hope and lifted me out of the despair, fear, and depression and sent me soaring. How I thank Him for keeping His promises!

Sadly, though, I’ve seen people misconstrue this verse. They hold it up like a talisman that will ward off every evil. It’s not. It won’t.

Life is going on anyway. Good stuff happens to us and so does bad. Sickness will visit, accidents will happen, people will be people. All those are external.

This strength that Isaiah wrote about is all INTERNAL.

We’re not going to physically lift up and soar on air currents thousands of feet in the air, but we will experience new strength inside that will make us feel like we could. Our heavy hearts will be lifted from utter pain, shame, and despair to new heights of love, joy, and peace.

Oh, friend, have you been wishing you had just a little more energy to get through the crisis you’re facing today? Place your trust in the Lord – the One who made you.

Are you longing to feel whole again? Trust in the Lord.

No, now, don’t hear me wrongly. I said this isn’t a talisman, neither is it a magic spell that by saying, “I trust You, Lord” all the bad stuff disappears.

As with everything concerning us and God, it’s all about our heart position. Where are you seeking answers?
Who are you asking for help?
Who are you depending on?

Please hear me: I’m not saying to not see a doctor for your ailments. God has healed me of cancer twice through amazing physicians! I’m serious, it’s our heart position. I went to the doctors, believing they were tools through which God would take care of me. I don’t see the medical folks as my savior or healer, simply resources in the Master’s hand.

It’s time to evaluate ourselves. Where does our trust really lie? Are we depending on our bank accounts or God? Are we expecting relief through people or God? Where are we seeking happiness and hope?

Today, let us determine that our faith is fully in the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Then, when situations arise that make our heart skip a beat, let’s remind ourselves that our trust for that situation is in the Lord, and only Him. In that moment, ask HIM what your next step should be.

Decide today who you will trust in every situation – good and bad. Then, in every situation, do that.

Plan to soar, my friend. Soar, run, and walk with hope and joy that your Redeemer is worthy of your trust.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

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How to Prosper and Succeed

Joshua told the people of Israel, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

Now, back then they didn’t have all 66 books like we do, but the implication is clear: learn God and His Law + obey completely = prosper. 

We do so love to skip over that middle part, though, don’t we? Obey everything it says?

We love to go to church and have the Book spoon fed to us, but that’s pre-chewed food: some nutrition, but not nearly enough.

God knew that’s how it would be, so He prompted Joshua to say this and to lead the People to read, study, and learn.

In our culture, there are so many ways to read the Book – an actual book with pages sits idly on a shelf in our homes or a digital, searchable version resides on our favorite device.

The trouble is, we don’t slow down enough to read, much less digest and meditate on what we’ve read.

Then we wonder why our lives seem off-kilter.

We need to change that.

We need to stop thinking that once-a-week pre-chewed meal is all we need. It’s not. It’s just not enough! We have to get through the rest of that day and six others. We need real nourishment from the Father Himself every single day!

Let’s commit to change today. If you’re a believer and not a regular reader of the Bible, pick it up today. Start with the Gospel of John and Proverbs. Read a chapter of each and ask God to show you Himself. Then look! Look into the words. Question why this word or that was used. What does that phrase really mean? And most importantly, how does this apply to me right here, right now?

If you use a Bible app, it likely has reading plans. Use them! The devotions are nice and often helpful, but we need to be reading the Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to explain them and apply them.

Prosperity will become your everyday, but maybe not what you expect. There is a wealth we can’t comprehend in moving nearer to the Lord and walking with Him. Because you’ll be choosing His plans and His ways, you will be successful in all of them.

His Word is waiting! Who’s in?

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

The key to getting what you pray for

Jesus said, “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!”

WOOHOO!!!

I’m asking for a new car and a maid and a nice new house and …

Yeah, uhh, we have to look at this in context, y’all. Jesus isn’t a genie granting our every wish.

Jesus was telling his disciples (including us) about the importance of abiding in Him. He is infinitely more concerned that we abide so closely united with Him that others see little difference than He is about our material desires.

Ouch.

I tend to be the opposite, concerned about my own comfort more than being united with Him.

I’m sorry, Lord.

When we abide in Him, living united with Him, things happen. We become less absorbed in ourselves. Our reactions to situations become different, more like His. WE change.

Our wants, needs, and desires change.

When I’m not remaining united with Jesus, I see all the stuff I’m lacking, and very little actually satisfies me.

When I’m remaining close to Him, seeking His answers, it’s like seeing the same situations, but with corrective lenses. I see truth. I understand His plans a little better.

What He wants for us becomes what we ask Him for and it’s given us.

Let’s work on remaining today. Let’s hold tightly to our Savior and choose to be completely united with Him in every circumstance. He’s not changing or moving, so that’s on us.

Let’s choose to view our circumstances through His corrective lenses today so our thinking is corrected.

Remain.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

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More than we ask for

Jesus was teaching His disciples (followers) about prayer. He told them examples of shameless persistence and instruction to keep asking, seeking, and knocking, that each has its own reward.

Then he talked about parents, how they wouldn’t give the child who asks for something good something harmful. He noted that we’re such fallible, sinful folk and yet we wouldn’t do that.

He was telling them that the way He answers all that asking, seeking, and knocking will always be beneficial to us, never harmful. It may not look like what we thought we were asking for, but it will be exactly what we need.

Then today’s focus verse, “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

That’s kind of confusing, huh? I mean, we weren’t talking about asking for the Holy Spirit, were we? I even went back a couple times and checked!

Then, that precious, amazing Spirit whispered to me, “I AM the answer to every prayer you pray.”

WHAT???????

Every request,

  • healing
  • guidance
  • wisdom
  • discernment
  • provision
  • protection

… anything and everything
is answered
in the
Holy Spirit of Almighty God!

Whoa. Mind blown.

We ask, God gives us Himself.
We seek, God shows us Himself.
We knock, God opens us up to Himself.

In unlimited supply.

No matter how often we ask, seek, and knock, He is unlimited and He graces us with Himself in unlimited supply.

Oh, friend! That we could capture and hold on to this truth! That we could take our eyes off the here-and-now and gaze into the face of our God to see the compassion He gives!

“Lord, we need a new transmission for the truck.”

“I AM here.”

“Father, Dad is sick, please heal him.”

“I AM here.”

“God, please protect my children today.”

“I AM here.”

When God could simply speak all our needs into existence, instead He gives us Himself in infinite measure. In His presence is peace and joy and love – things we didn’t ask, seek, or knock for, but absolutely what we need.

I’m shaking my head with tears in my eyes at the wonder of our amazing God and how He answers our heartfelt prayers.

Let’s bask in His presence today. Let’s revel in the fact that instead of just giving us what we ask for, He comes to us and gives us so much more!

And as of right now, let’s shamelessly persist in seeking Him for every need we have and ask for others, too.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.