“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” — Matt6:33
In the first of the Ten Commandments, God commanded the Israelites to serve Him exclusively because He was worthy of their trust, as He had proved by delivering them from Egypt. Later, just before Moses died and the Israelites entered the promised land, God inspired Moses to remind the people of their single-minded calling.
God’s people needed to submit fully to his authority and believe he could provide all they needed. It’s this kind of trust that Jesus calls us to demonstrate as his disciples.
Unfortunately, Jesus’ disciple Peter had a bit more trouble retaining his single-minded focus when he was met with distraction. Peter’s experience is a good reminder of how we are to think about Jesus, and keep our eyes on him, even when our thoughts get sidetracked or we feel frightened. (See Matthew 14:22-36).

Peter uses the symbolism of fire as a way to refine or purify our faith as he writes in 1 Peter 1:6-7 “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
The language of the Bible is rich with metaphor. The biblical writers used familiar, everyday objects to symbolize spiritual truth.
Naturally, faith is not something that can pass through the fire but the symbolism with which Peter writes means that our trials refine our faith and burn everything away that is not genuine faith. So that all which remains is our faith that will result in the praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ returns.

God does everything for a reason, because He is a God of purpose. His actions are not arbitrary. “The LORD Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand'” (Isaiah 14:24). God is a God of purpose, and everything He has created in this world, including men and women, has been created to fulfill His purposes.
Hence, the purpose of prayer is not to bend God to our will, but to align ourselves to His will as we pray.
By abiding in Christ, and letting His word to abide in us, we will learn to pray according to his will not ours (John 15:7)
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.—Proverbs 16:9
Let us pray:
Whatever it takes, Lord, align my desires with yours, so that my dreams align with your purposes. Let your will be done through me.

Sometimes you feel weak spiritually. And when you do, you probably feel like you’re the only one. However, you’re not alone. Every Christian experiences times of weakness.
What does weak faith feel like? Sometimes it manifests itself in: wondering if God is in control. Doubting God’s forgiveness.
Worrying about the future.
Weakness doesn’t have to be the new normal! God has the power to strengthen you. Luke 17:5 the apostles came to Jesus asking Him, “Increase our faith!” Also, a man cries to Jesus in Mark9:24, “I believe; help my unbelief!” For the God who created the Universe – who delivered the Israelites – who raised His Son – can (and wants to) strengthen your faith.
How?….faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
Hence, let us spend some time in His Word.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Sin is pervasive and deadly. Sin mars all the relationships people are involved in: with other people, with themselves, and, most significantly, with God. Sin causes suffering, disease, and death in the physical realm and also causes spiritual death—eternal separation from God in Hell. Because sin is so deadly, we need to carefully define it, so we can understand and avoid it. First John 3:4 sums up the essence of sin when it says, “Sin is lawlessness.” Sin is refusing to obey God’s law; it is rejecting God’s standards; it is, in fact, living as if God did not exist. In 1 John 5:17, the apostle John describes it as “unrighteousness.” James defines sin as failing to do what is good (James 4:17). Paul defines it as lack of faith (Rom. 14:23). Sin is the ultimate act of ingratitude toward the God “who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). Sin pollutes the sinner, Paul refers to it as that “defilement of flesh and spirit” (2 Cor. 7:1) from which sinners are in desperate need of cleansing. No amount of human effort, however, can cleanse a person of sin. Such self-effort is as futile as attempting to change the color of one’s skin (Jer. 13:23). Only through the death of Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice for sin (Heb. 10:12), is forgiveness and cleansing available (1 John 1:7).

Sin is the only thing that God hates (cf. Jer. 44:4), and so must believers (Ps. 97:10; Amos 5:15). Renew your commitment today to grow in your relationship with the Lord by hating evil (Prov. 8:13).

Let us pray for each other that we would not be deceived by the subtleness of sin (Heb. 3:13).

“…so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7)

One of the Bible’s most astonishing image of Christ’s second coming is in Luke 12:35–37, which pictures the return of a master from a marriage feast.

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes.” To be sure, we are called servants — and that no doubt means we are to do exactly as we are told. But the wonder of this picture is that the “master” insists on “serving” even in the age to come when he appears in all his glory “with his mighty angels in flaming fire” (2 Thessalonians 1:7–8). Why? Because the very heart of his glory is the fullness of grace that overflows in kindness to needy people. Therefore, he aims “in the coming ages [to] show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).

What is the greatness of our God? What is his uniqueness in the world? Isaiah answers: “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides thee, who works for those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4, RSV).

“For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Rom 11:36).

Side by side with the immutability and invincibility of God’s decrees, Scripture plainly teaches that man is a responsible creature and answerable for his actions. And if our thoughts are formed from God’s Word the maintenance of the one will not lead to the denial of the other. Real prayer is indited [dictated] by the Spirit, yet it is also  the cry of a human heart. The Scriptures are the inspired Word of God, yet they were written by men who were something more than machines in the hand of the Spirit. Christ is both God and man. He is Omniscient, yet “increased in wisdom” (Luke 2:52). He was Almighty, yet was “crucified through weakness” (II Cor 13:4). He was the Prince of life, yet He died. High mysteries are these, yet faith receives them unquestioningly. To deny the divine decrees would be to predicate a world and all its concerns regulated by UN-designed chance or blind fate. How thankful should we be that everything is determined by infinite wisdom and goodness! What praise and gratitude are due unto God for His divine decrees. It is because of them that “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).

“My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Is. 46:10)
The properties of divine decrees are eternal. The decrees of God are wise. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Rom 11:33). “O LORD, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou made them all” (104:24).

They they are free. “Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being His counselor hath taught Him? With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and shewed to Him the way of understanding?” (Isa 40:13-14). God was alone when He made His decrees, and His determinations were influenced by no external cause. He was free to decree or not to decree, and to decree one thing and not another. This liberty we must ascribe to Him who is Supreme, Independent, and Sovereign in all His doings.

They are absolute and unconditional. The execution of them is not suspended upon any condition which may, or may not be, performed. In every instance where God has decreed an end, He has also decreed every means to that end. “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isa 46:10) but that could not be, if His counsel depended upon a condition which might not be performed. But God “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph 1:11).

“This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge” Acts 2:23 NIV
The decree of God is His purpose or determination with respect to future things. The Scriptures make mention of the decrees of God in many passages, and under a variety of terms. The word “decree” is found in Psalm 2:7. In Ephesians 3:11 we read of His “eternal purpose.” In Acts 2:23 of His “determinate counsel and foreknowledge.” In Ephesians 1:9 of the mystery of His “will.” In Romans 8:29 that He also did “predestinate.” In Ephesians 1:9 of His “good pleasure.”
God’s decrees are called His “counsel” to signify they are consummately wise. They are called God’s “will” to show He was under no control, but acted according to His own pleasure. The decrees of God relate to all future things without exception: whatever is done in time was foreordained before time began. God’s purpose was concerned with everything.
God’s decree is as comprehensive as His government, extending to all creatures and all events. It was concerned about our life and death; about our state in time, and our state in eternity.

“God is Spirit” (John 4:24)

Such a God cannot be found out by searching. He can be known only as He is revealed to the heart by the Holy Spirit through the Word. The so-called argument from design by well-meaning “Apologists” has, we believe, done much more harm than good, for it has attempted to bring down the great God to the level of finite comprehension, and thereby has lost sight of His solitary excellence.

The God of Scripture can only be known by those to whom He makes Himself known . Nor is God known by the intellect. “God is Spirit” (John 4:24), and therefore can only be known spiritually. But fallen man is not spiritual; he is carnal. He is dead to all that is spiritual. Unless he is born again, supernaturally brought from death unto life, miraculously translated out of darkness into light, he cannot even see the things of God (John 3:3), still less apprehend them (I Cor 2:14). The Holy Spirit has to shine in our hearts (not intellects) in order to give us “the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Cor 4:6). And even that spiritual knowledge is but fragmentary. The regenerated soul has to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus (II Peter 3:18).

The principal prayer and aim of Christians should be that we “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:10).