Jesus said: “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20
God wants us to be people of a mighty faith. With Him as our All-Powerful-Father and Chief Gardener, nurtured faith can sprout like a seed. A seed can lay dormant for years, but begin to sprout when planted in good soil and cultivated. Our faith can also lie dormant and remain lifeless, but when nurtured with God’s Word and Christ’s love, our faith-seed comes to life and the Creator’s workmanship emerges. Since a seed multiplies itself in the fruit of the plant, our seeds of faith can also multiply when we trust God and obey what He tells us to do. Even though a mustard seed is very tiny, Jesus wants us to know that IF we even have a small amount of faith, we have the power to overcome mountainous obstacles in our lives.
Father: I ask you to grow my faith stronger and bolder, each and every day. I believe Lord, but help me believe even more! My desire is to serve You with the power and strength found by knowing You as my Savior and Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
SAVORY ROAST CHICKEN
8 pieces of chicken (best with skin on)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil 4 shallots (or 1 small sweet onion), chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Several spring fresh parsley, chopped
Put chicken in a greased baking dish. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Roast at 425 for 30 minutes. Turn chicken and roast 10 more minutes, or until juices no longer pink.
You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. – Matthew 10:22
Modern day persecution of Christians has its origins in the suffering endured by the earliest followers of Christ. Jesus’ disciples were hated, rejected, falsely accused, and insulted because of their belief in Him, and obedience to His teachings. Christ was sensitive to their pain and took time to comfort them. He told His followers to be glad and rejoice that they were suffering in His name (Matthew 5:11-12). He even called them “blessed” when they were hated, insulted, and rejected for His sake (Luke 6:22). Jesus was familiar with persecution because He Himself suffered at the hands of merciless men throughout His ministry. Christians are under attack throughout the world, though not so much here in the US. Many are surprised at the persecution they suffer; however, God’s Word tells us that IF we stand firm in our walk with Christ, we are promised a great heavenly reward (Matthew 5:12).
Forgive me Father for the times I have grown impatient with the world, seeing it as an enemy rather than as the target of your grace. Please give me wisdom, courage, patience, and passion to reach and teach others of your of your redemptive grace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
RITZY CHICKEN CASSEROLE
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 stick butter, melted
1 tube Ritz crackers
Sauté chicken in ½ cup water until done. Cut into bite-sized pieces; place on bottom of baking dish, with any juice left after cooking. Mix soup and sour cream together and spread over chicken. Mash crackers and add to melted butter. Sprinkle over top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. – Matthew 6:14-15
Genuine forgiveness is crucial to anyone desiring to be a Christian and live eternally with our Lord. In fact, forgiveness is such a central element to Christianity that it is an indicator of our salvation (Matthew 6:12). Not that we are saved by any works of our own, but that when we are reconciled to God through Christ our new life will be marked by grace giving and forgiveness. Remember, our sin was exchanged for Jesus’ righteousness, our wrong for His right, and our injustice for His justice (2 Corinthians 5:21). God meets our rebellion and pride with grace in and through the person and work of Jesus. Those to whom grace is extended should also extend grace, and those to whom forgiveness is extended should also extend forgiveness. Forgive as you have been forgiven, not because it’s easy, but because it’s at the core of who we are in Christ.
Holy Father: Thank you for your forgiveness and mercy. Forgive me of all my sin and help me to let go of all bitterness and resentment as I forgive those who have hurt me in some way. May your work of redemption and grace touch their hearts as it has mine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
CREAMY BAKED FISH FILLETS
2 pounds fish fillets (your choice)
4 teaspoons butter, divided
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
Grease a baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter. Arrange fish in baking dish. Blend sour cream, paprika, cheese, Tobasco, and salt together and spread over fish. Top with breadcrumbs and dot with remaining butter. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” – Malachi 3:10-12
Malachi was a man of strict integrity and devotion to God, and was aware of the Jew’s failure to give to God what was due Him (one-tenth of their income). Tithing was set up in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 27:30) many years prior, and the people gave willingly then. Many had become selfish, and God was not pleased. The Lord, through Malachi, told the people that if they repented, turned back to Him, and began to give their tenth to the support of His work, He would bless them abundantly. If they did not give, they would be under a curse, and their covenant with God would be broken. Many of us today feel that we cannot afford to tithe, but the truth is we cannot afford to not tithe. God asks us to test and trust Him to provide for us if we are obedient and give back to Him what is already His. As Christians, God expects and requires us to prove our love for Him by giving our tithes and offerings to further His kingdom. If we do, the Lord of Heaven will pout out His blessings up on.
Dear God: You are my provider and everything I have is Yours. I’m sorry for the times I withheld what you asked me to give. As I prove my love to you by giving my tithes and offerings to Your work, I trust You to meet my needs. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
1 (2-3-pounds) pork loin roast
1 (12-ounce) jar milk pepperoncinis and juice
Put meat and pepperoncinis in crockpot for 8 hours on low. Shred meat; serve on buns with BBQ sauce
This is what the LORD Almighty says: “If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.” – Zechariah 3:7
All God’s promises are real and true, but they are preceded by a condition. God has a wonderful plan for each of us that unfolded in the life of His Son Jesus. Even though Christ gave His life so that no one would have to pay the consequences of their own sin, each of us has to make the choice to accept God’s plan by inviting Christ to forgive our sins and then live according to the requirements of God’s Word, or reject the offer and instead pay the penalty of an eternal Hell. The prophet Zechariah had a vision from the Lord concerning Joshua, the leader of the Israelite tribes after Moses’ death, and in this verse he speaks the Words of the Lord to him. Just like Johsua, we too have free access to all God has if we walk in His ways and keep His requirements.
Almighty Father: You are the Righteous One who sets the requirements for which we are saved. When I choose Your wonderful plan and abide by Your ways, I am promised a place in Your Kingdom. I choose today to follow after You and keep Your commandments. Help me to be strong as temptation comes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
SMOTHERED CHICKEN (crockpot)
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope onion soup mix
16 ounces sour cream
Mix all ingredients; put in crockpot. Cook on low 8 hours. Serve with potatoes, noodles, or rice.
Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me. –Jeremiah 15:19
Jeremiah had previously questioned God’s faithfulness to him, and now he was seeking Him for mercy and relief against his enemies, persecutors, and slanderers. The people of Judah rejected the Lord and continued to backslide. Though Jeremiah was sensitive and tenderhearted, his message was bold and rather harsh as he continued to try and persuade them to repent and turn back to God. But the people turned deaf ears to his warnings and treated him with contempt. Through Jeremiah the Lord once again gave the people another opportunity to repent and serve Him; but they did not listen. How many times have we been warned, yet do not listen? God is patient with us also, but one day our opportunity to surrender our lives to Him will be over. Only IF we have repented, while there is still yet time, will we have the privilege of being restored as servants of God.
Heavenly Father: You are a God of patience and love; how can this be when we are so contemptible and rebellious? Thank You for being willing to send your only Son to be my Source of Hope. Forgive me for my rebellion and restore my broken life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8-ounce) package Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or your favorite
Mix together all ingredients, except the cheese. Pour into a 9×13-inch greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until set in the middle and golden brown. Sprinkle with cheese; return to oven until cheese melted
Instead, I told them, “If you listen to me and do what I tell you, I will be your God, you will be my people, and all will go well for you.” – Jeremiah 7:23, CEV
The prophet Jeremiah was sent to Judah to try and persuade them to follow the God who loved them. He warned them over and over of the impending doom that would approach them if they didn’t turn from their wickedness with a true repentant heart. Jeremiah was often called the “weeping prophet” because he had a sensitive heart that was broken for those who did not obey God’s commands. Though he was lonely and rejected by many, he continued to proclaim the Word of the Lord. Just like the people of Jeremiah’s day turned deaf ears and hatred toward him for pleading with them to repent and obey, many of us also ignore the message of salvation. We disregard the warning to repent and turn to God, and continue to live a life of rebellion. Jeremiah warns us to obey God and walk in His ways; and if we do, our Heavenly Father will bless our lives.
Dear God: Forgive me for the times I turned a deaf ear toward those proclaiming the message of salvation and obedience to Your Word. My desire is to follow the commands You have set before me and in doing so, I am Yours, and You are mine. Thank you for this promise. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
LOADED CHICKEN TATER TOT CASSEROLE
1 (16-ounce) bag tater tots
1 can cream of chicken soup
¼ cup milk
2 cups cooked and diced chicken (pre-packaged Southwestern style works great)
3 ounces or ½ cup crumbled bacon pieces
2 cups grated Colby, Cheddar, or other favorite cheese
Sour cream, diced green onion and tomatoes (optional)
Grease bottom of 9×13-inch dish. Cover with single layer of tater tots; bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Mix soup, milk, chicken, bacon, and cheese; spread overtop; bake 10 more minutes. Serve with sour cream, green onions, and tomatoes.