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Go Ahead and Stretch Out

May 26

• It’s not about a building, it is about how people see God. We need to represent Christ.

“Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.

— Isaiah 54:2 NKJV

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

— Matthew 11:28 NLT

• When it comes to God’s will, people are being held back because they haven’t done the last thing God told them to do. It is about the next step.

• When you take the first step, God will meet you and you can easily take the rest.

• If Jesus had to have the Father and the Holy Spirit to know what to do, how much more do we need to hear from God? Jesus said he didn’t do anything unless the Father told him to.

• Jesus told the disciples in the midst of the storm, “Don’t be afraid. Take courage. I am here.

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”  “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.

— Matthew 14:28-29 NLT

• Peter caught a vision for a miracle. Have you caught a vision for a miracle in your life?

• When you start to sink, your reaction is to cry to for help. Peter cried for help. Jesus immediately picked him up. It is not a sin to cry out for help, but it is disobedient to not call on Jesus when we need help.

• If you need help, give your issue to Jesus. He can set you free. Don’t carry offense. When you give it to God, you get free.

• Paul was stretching his faith in the wrong directions. You can be zealous and not be right.

As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

— Acts 9:3-6 NLT

• Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Don’t neglect Him as either. If He is not your savior, He can’t be your lord. If He is your savior but not lord, you will live a miserable life on earth.

• If you know Jesus, you are no longer an orphan — you are a child of God. If you have an orphan’s heart, receive sonship from Jesus. You will feel validated only when you know you are a child of God.

• We live in a world where the truth is stretched to what people want it to be. The Word of God is the standard of truth. Jesus is the way, truth and life.

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

— 1 Timothy 4:12b NLT

• If you have the right heart for people, you can say anything that is based in the Word of God, and people will listen.

• You can be a witness without being offensive. Jesus said “be” a witness, He didn’t necessarily say you had to “do” witnessing. Live your life out loud.

Life Lesson: We have the Word of God; we have a word from God. Let’s go ahead and stretch out and do great things for God!

• God will never tell you to do things He didn’t design you to do. Walking in the call of God is the best place you can be.

May 19

“Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.

— Isaiah 54:2 NKJV

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

— Matthew 11:28 NLT

• Before we can find out what God wants us to do, we need to get in His presence.

• God doesn’t start something and not finish it.

• What God tells you to do doesn’t always look right to man or seem to make sense, but if God told you to do it, he will sustain you through it.

• Moses didn’t feel qualified — he stuttered so he didn’t feel qualified to speak. When you do something that you don’t feel qualified for, when God anoints you to do it, He will carry you through it.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.

— Exodus 14:15-16 NLT

• Moses didn’t use his own strength, God worked through him.

• Noah had to build a huge ship on dry land when it had never rained.

• It’s not about your perfection, it is about God’s. It is about being obedient.

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” But Noah found favor with the Lord.

— Genesis 6:5-8 NLT

• When we do what the Lord commanded us, it could mean someone’s salvation and freedom..

• God will use people, all we need to do is be obedient. Obedience will do more than education, money or position ever will.

As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword.

— 1 Samuel 17:48-50 NLT

• God started stretching David’s faith long before he met Goliath.

• God won’t reveal the entire plan to you, but He will reveal the next step.

• David had experience with God;  he had an anointing and a call. When you connect the anointing on your life with the call on your life, you will move mountains. When we try to do it on our own, we will fail.

• Anointing — you don’t have to understand it, but you do need to walk in it.

• Joseph was favored by God and his earthly father, but he was still thrown into the pit.

• Even though you are favored of God, you will still go through things. But, you will go through.

One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever.

— Genesis 37:5 NLT

• Joseph ran from sin, yet he still wound up in prison.

• What the enemy may be trying to kill you with may be the very thing that God may be using to set you free.

• What is going to be your response when God lifts you up? Your response will determine how quick you get there. God is more concerned about what is happening in you than through you.

• Gideon also felt unqualified, but it is about being called and anointed, not qualified.

The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”

— Judges 6:12 NLT

Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”

— Judges 6:14-15 NLT

• It is not about how much you have, it is about having what God needs for you to have.

• We all have issues, but what you look at determines the outcome.

• The moment we agree with God, that is who we become. If God says you are a champion and you say you are the least, that is where you will stay.

• God can do more in your life that you ever thought possible.

• The enemy will try to convince you that you are the least. Don’t believe it. Believe that you are a child of God and a champion.

Life Lesson: We have God’s word, favor, power and His strength. Nothing is impossible! Go ahead and stretch out!

May 12

• Sometimes when it feels like we are losing, God may have the solution right around the corner.

“Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.

— Isaiah 54:2 NKJV

• Before God stretches us, we need to rest. Busyness does not equal fruitfulness.

• Sometimes what we think might be a menial task might be monumental in God’s kingdom. What you do for the kingdom is significant when you do it for Jesus.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

— Matthew 11:28 NLT

And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

— Exodus 33:14 NKJV

• In His presence is the fullness of joy. He can give you an idea for something that will take all the pressure off.

• Jesus wants to carry the load. We aren’t qualified or capable of carrying it. It does nothing but cause stress when we try to carry our burdens.

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

— Psalm 23:1-6 NLT

• Happiness is based on happenings. Joy is based on the Lord.

• The enemy wants to create a path for us to think the wrong things. God wants goodness and mercy for your life. He is not out to get you, He wants to love you and get good things to you.

• You can’t win the battle if you don’t think that God wants the best for your life.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

— Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

• The word of God doesn’t just tell you what not to do, it also tells you what to replace it with.

• The definition of worry: to allow your mind to dwell on trouble or difficulties; to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts. The enemy wants to torment you.

• It doesn’t matter what people think about you. It matters what Jesus says about you.

• When we show up in a situation, the anointing and favor of God should make everything better.

• You always have something to be thankful for.

• You might wonder why you should tell God what you need when He already knows what you need. The reason is because he wants to talk to you. He wants to be in fellowship with you. He has already provided everything you need.

• Redemption means that God bought you back to the state of the Garden of Eden.

• Salvation — sozo in the Greek — means nothing broken, nothing lacking, nothing missing.

• Don’t let “happenings” affect how you believe God’s Word.

• Worry will create torment, God’s Word will create peace.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me — everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

— Philippians 4:8-9 NLT

• Serving God is not grievous.

• You can’t hang out with the Prince of Peace and not have peace.

• Eternal life doesn’t start when you see God, it starts when you are born again.

• If you will fix your thoughts on God and His Word, God will fix your thoughts.

Life Lesson: God has told us to rest, and if we stay in His presence and His Word, we will. Go ahead and stretch out!

• If God can turn an atheist into a believer, He can turn a worrier into a faithful, joyous believer.

May 5

May 5 — Go Ahead and Stretch Out

“Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.

— Isaiah 54:2 NKJV

• God wants to expand who you are and what you do.

• God is continually expanding the galaxies, imagine what He wants to do in your life.

• After the stretching period, what you do becomes so much easier.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

— Matthew 11:28 NLT

• If you come to the Lord and give your burden to Him, the stretching process becomes much easier to handle.

On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.

— Genesis 2:2-3 NLT

• Find a day or season of rest. We are anointed to finish a task, but when we are finished the anointing for it leaves. Don’t run yourself ragged after the anointing leaves.

Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”

— Mark 2:27-28 NLT

• Your day of rest does not have to be on Sunday. Every day is holy, live like you have been redeemed because you have.

• Watch people that judge you for working on the Sabbath, they might be working harder than you.

• What we do doesn’t add anything to God. What He tells us to do is for our benefit.

Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.

— Mark 6:31,32 NLT

• You need to stretch out and rest so you can be stretched by God.

• Hard work is good, but the stress we put on top of it is the problem.

God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God.

— Hebrews 4: 1-2 NLT

• If we know God as father, it will take the stress out of life.

For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said, “In my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest,’” even though this rest has been ready since he made the world. We know it is ready because of the place in the Scriptures where it mentions the seventh day: “On the seventh day God rested from all his work.”

— Hebrews 4:3-4 NLT

• If a person is not born again, they will not rest in the Lord. Only those who believe can experience that kind of rest.

• God has always been wanting us to rest. In the Garden of Eden was complete peace and rest.

• We can work hard, and it won’t hurt us. Worrying about it can kill us.

• When you work, work. When you play, play. Hard work will not hurt us, but toil and stress will.

• If God says He has got you and can handle your trouble, not believing that is disobeying Him.

So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”

— Hebrews 4:7 NLT

• The only way to enter God’s rest is to believe Him. He wants you to rest.

• Be quick to let people know how God carried you through times of trouble.

Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come. So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.

— Hebrews 4:8-9 NLT

• If you find what you are called to do, it won’t be hard work, it will be enjoyable.

• You may not be where you are supposed to be, you can still enter into God’s rest.

• If God wants you to do something and you say “I’ve got to do this,” you missed His rest. If you say “I get to do this”, you just entered into His rest.

For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.

— Hebrews 4:10-11 NLT

Life Lesson: God has told us to rest, but it is up to us to do it or not. So go ahead and stretch out!

Help! I need someone

April 28

April 28 — Help, I need someone

• Jesus said that if we are heavy laden, come to Him for rest. He didn’t say we had to work hard to get that rest.

• If you need help, Jesus has the answer for you.

• Sometimes our biggest help is when we stop and hear God’s voice.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

— Isaiah 41:10 NLT

• It is crucial to know He is, but even more crucial to know He will.

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

— Psalm 46:1 NLT

• God is always ready, willing and able to help. Are we willing to receive His help?

• No matter what you are going through, God is able to help.

• Instead of asking God for help, just receive His help.

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

— Psalm 121:2 NLT

• He is an ever-present help in our time of need.

• When that unction comes to speak a positive word to someone, you need to do it.

All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

— 1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT

• With our body, nothing happens unless the brain tells it to. Jesus is the head of the church. He said He doesn’t do anything unless He sees the Father doing it.

For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.

— Matthew 25:35 NLT

• This verse is speaking about physical and spiritual feeding. How do you feed people? You live your life in front of them. Represent God, encourage people, share scriptures, etc.

• You can be in prison but never see the door slam before you. People can be a prisoner of their own mind. Clothe yourself in the armor of God.

• He is God, no one else. His word says He will. Receive it and thank Him for it.

• Be a witness. Whatever we are is more important that what we do.

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?

— Matthew 25:37-38 NLT

When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

— Matthew 25:39-40 NLT

Life Lesson: When someone says “Help, I need someone”, always point the way to Jesus. He is a very present help in time of trouble.

April 21

Resurrection Sunday

He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.

— Matthew 28:6 NLT

• We don’t need to look for life among dead things. We serve a risen Savior.

Life Lesson: If we are going to attain anything God has for us, we need to be passionate about it.

The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors  took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!”

— John 12:12-13 NLT

— Passion Week —

  • Monday — Mark 11:13-24

• If you speak to that mountain and don’t doubt in your heart, you shall have what you say. Jesus called the fig tree a mountain. A mountain is anything in your life that is standing in the way.

  • Tuesday — Matthew – 23:13-33

• When we stop trying to please man, you will automatically please God. You can’t please both. Man will not always agree with you.

  • Wednesday — Mark 14:10-11 NKJV

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him. The people that paid Judas money to betray Jesus were the same people who wouldn’t accept the money back because it was blood money. That is what man-made religion can do to a person.

  • Maundy Thursday — John 13:1-38

• The way you handle betrayal and offense from people is that you let them go and let them do their own thing. Let it go.

• Jesus taught us how to serve by washing feet. Anything you put your hands to that helps people is serving them. What do they need? How can you help?

• Christ alone is all we need. Not Christ plus anything else.

• Jesus knows what we are going through and how to get us through it. He was touched by the feelings of our infirmities.

  • Friday — Luke 23:42-43 NLT

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

• If you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess with your mouth that He is Lord and Savior, you will be saved. All that call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

• The story of two thieves on crosses beside Jesus is a beautiful illustration that shows how some will believe Jesus and some won’t. One thief acknowledged that Jesus was Lord and to remember Him when he entered his kingdom; the other thief didn’t.

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

— John 19:30 NKJV

• When you lay down your life for Christ, He picks you up and carries you.

• The stuff you lay down for Christ may be the stuff that is killing you.

• “It is finished,” coupled with “I believe I receive,” can resurrect your life and turn it around. “It is finished” refers to everything that He offered you. You have to believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that He gave everything to you.

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

— Psalm 27:13,14 NLT

• God wants to resurrect whatever it is you have lost or are lacking.

  • Sunday morning — John 20:1-2 NLT

Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

• Mary Magdalene had seven devils cast out of her. God doesn’t consult your past to determine your future.

• We need Jesus because He got up and he can help us get up. Don’t look for God in the world or in the news.

Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb.

— John 20:3 NLT

• John referred himself as “the disciple that Jesus loved.” Christ wasn’t different with John, John was different with Christ. Don’t covet what others have, covet what God has for you.

He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.

— Matthew 28:6 NLT

• He is not the “man upstairs,” he is the Christ within.

Life Lesson: Jesus fulfilled His passion, and he taught us how to fulfill ours.

April 14


April 7


Get Over It!

March 31


March 24


March 17


March 10


March 3


Who is the Father?

Feb. 24


Feb. 17


Feb. 10


Feb. 3


Who Do You Think You Are?

Jan. 27


Jan. 20


Jan. 13


Jan. 6


How To Walk in the Blessing

Dec. 30


Dec. 23


Dec. 16


Dec. 2


A Maturity in Your Walk

Nov. 25


Nov. 18


Nov. 11


Nov. 4


The Direction of the Lord

Oct. 28


Oct. 21


Oct. 14


Oct. 7

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