Category: <span>thoughts by Fab Batsakis</span>


Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:12-14   

Have you ever been taken out of a task?

I have.

It’s happened to most people, even to high achievers and kids. It hurts, and it feels like your effort is wasted, right? It can even make you feel like giving up. Don’t!

It’s not always a human dealing with you. It depends on what you’re facing. Sometimes, it’s yourself doing it to you. Other times, there may be a spiritual enemy on the scene.

However, it’s good for both you and I to remind ourselves that we don’t have one task to do, we have many — small or big ones. The question is, how does the task you’re doing fit in with the big picture?

Here, Paul shows us how he works diligently towards his goal. He doesn’t clearly explain what that goal is. But Paul felt he had not yet arrived and still needed to press on till the end.

Whether you reached your goals or you didn’t last year, you have a new opportunity today. Let go of what happened in your past, good or bad. Did you hear that? Leave it behind.

“I’m pressing forward,” is the motto.

No matter what worked out well or didn’t, don’t permit that past to hold you back. God has not limited his purpose for your life to one task, one workplace, or one group of people.

Grab hold of the opportunity that is ahead of you.

Dear God, help me to leave the past behind whether it’s success or failure. Give me eyes to see what you’ve planned to do in my life and in others through me. Help me be who you’ve called me to be and to impact others positively by your grace.

By Fab Batsakis
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How You can Pray With Confidence:
•  You Can Change the Lives of Men and Nations
•  Tapping the Source of Power

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For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”  1 Timothy 4:8.

We all have freedom. It’s God-given. But to what extent are we free?

Sometimes, freedom is used for godlessness. It can take only one godless person to ruin many things. Where there is wickedness, someone is unwilling to give honor to whom honor is due.

One mischievous person may cost people their lives or their livelihood. I can’t even stress what it can do to a family and a community. Godlessness hurts oneself and others, whereas godliness can be a great gain to many people.

Be around someone godly and you will feel God’s awesome presence.

No matter how much physical training you and I do to look and feel well, it’s impressive to some extent only. In light of eternity, it’s the way we live that matters the most.

No one can say they never sin, but the godly person desires to become more and more like Jesus in the Spirit’s strength.

Do you admire people who display qualities that are a delight? Even if God allows suffering in their lives to make them beautiful from the inside out, they will continue to trust him. By doing so, they will look attractive to others and to their community as they reflect Christ more and more.

Surely, you and I don’t welcome suffering, but it makes us better people if we continue to trust God. While we may not feel better, we become better.

And God will reward us with the blessings attached to godliness.

Father God, enable me through your Spirit to live in a way that is right in your sight. Thank you for forgiving all my wrongdoings. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Invite the Holy Spirit to direct your thoughts and actions so that Christ’s beauty is reflected through you.

By Fab Batsakis
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“I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.”  1 Corinthians 3:6 (NLT)

How much faith do you need to plant a seed and to make it grow?

Planting feels like a lot of work without seeing much results on the spot. Actually, if you’ve experienced planting any seed in your backyard, your front yard, your vegetable garden, even a pot in the windowsill, you know that all you’re doing is burying the seed.

However, all it takes is enough faith to prepare the soil and bury that seed in the soil and cover it. So, the job is done for the person who plants. The question is when we plant, do we plant with a desire to harvest? Harvesting may not be our job in bringing people to salvation. Ours may be just to plant the seed.

Planting is the foundation of sharing seeds.  Once you and I scatter seeds, there’s a need for watering. Sometimes the people who plant are the same as those who water. Yet, in this passage, we have a perfect example of two people looking after the planting and nurturing process—Paul and Apollos.

So, if you believe God has called you to plant, please do. Keep planting. While plants need water, God may use someone else to water those plants. Other times, he can send rain. That’s why it’s important not to worry about the growth of the plant, but to trust God.

God may ask us to water or plant.

Either way, He is the one who makes everything become fruitful. He takes our efforts then works behind the scenes to bring the harvest.

Heavenly Father, please give me enough faith to plant seeds if that is what you have called me to do. Help me to do what needs to be done and to trust you with the rest. In Jesus’ name, I ask. Amen.

Please  read 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 (see below) or read the whole chapter to understand the passage further. Where can you plant a seed of the gospel today? Just do it. The result will follow.

By Fab Batsakis
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Watering, Working, Warning

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.


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“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”   Matthew 6:25 ESV

Do not be anxious? Seriously?

Hearing someone say not to worry may sound unreasonable when you are in need. Maybe you feel the need to know everything so you won’t worry. You want to know God will do it, but he’s not showing you how. All he is telling you is that life is greater than your needs. However, you know as long as you’re alive, you need this and that, right? How will he provide?

I’m assuming that if your supply of that need is drying up, you’re seeking God, right? Since God is infinitely abundant and also good, there’s every reason in the world for us to trust him to provide. He will not just supply our food, drinks, and clothing but he has promised to supply all of our needs. So, believe he will do that because he loves you.

What can you do with your energy while waiting on God to provide? Remember the past. When did God last supply your needs? When did you last eat? When did you drink water? When did you wear clothes? Even if you made so much effort with your own hands to get your provision, God is ultimately still the source of that effort and provision.

Remembering God’s past provisions will help you realize he will provide again and again. God’s hands are not too short to reach out to you. I’m not saying waiting is the easiest thing to do but as long as you keep thanking him, it will remind you of his goodness and perfect timing.

Father God, I thank you so much for every time you’ve provided for my needs. And if it is in your will, I ask you for abundant provision so I can have enough to bless others as well and show them that all comes from you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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Hope for the Hopeless

Good News for You

God’s Love for you

Did You Know that You are Someone Special?

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“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”  John 16:24

How do you face the challenges of life without being taken out?

No one can live a life without ever falling short of what is expected of them. Each one of us is weak in a certain area. The sooner you and I know that, the better it will be. Focusing on our weaknesses is not the goal. It leads to depression

That’s why we should fix our eyes on God, who can exceed what you and I think and dream of. We should aim at strengthening our faith walk on this earth so we can live our best life.

When you and I have access to God’s power, there’s joy. Joy is more than happiness. It’s long-lasting, beyond emotion. It’s an inner peace that is calming and sparkling. Experiencing such inner delight strengthens us to pursue God’s will even more. This helps us to live our best life.

You can receive this joy to make life easier. Not that all the challenges of life will be lifted, but there will be a form of ease that brings comfort to the inner soul while the storm is raging outside.

Do you want this kind of joy? Ask God for what you want out of life. If it’s within God’s will, he will grant your request. If not, trust that there is a reason and that he will provide something even better. Simply ask in Jesus’ name and then believe he is working on it. You will then receive the joy, knowing that he is listening, he cares, and he is ready to meet your needs.

Heavenly Father, I ask you to provide all my needs according to your riches. Give me the joy of living the great life you’ve given me so I can overcome anything that I face, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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Be Still, My Daughter – Lessons from Ruth 3:18

How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

A Bible Study on Waiting on God

God’s Plan – A Study on God’s Destiny for Me?

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“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”  2 Thessalonians 3:3

When life’s challenges surprise you, do you ever wonder why God did not protect you?

In this world, there are various forms of wickedness. Evil is unpleasant to talk about, but it’s real. Just because we have faith and expect pleasant things to happen, it doesn’t mean we won’t go through anything bad. Life happens. So, no matter how wonderful someone is, they’ll attract an opponent somewhere along the line.

When you face opposition, whether it’s when you’re trying to share the good news or doing something else, it’s important to have an umbrella. Ask God to protect you in your endeavors. That’s your umbrella—prayer.

Even if you’re hurting, pray for strength so you can overcome the pain. While you may think about your weaknesses, it’s better to focus on God’s faithfulness. The more you fix your eyes on God’s faithfulness, the more you will allow him to strengthen you so you can face the trials of life. Therefore, remember, God will not allow you to go through anything beyond the strength he supplies.

As you keep your faith in him and focus on his faithfulness, he may not remove everything you’re going through, but he will help you handle things with grace. God will defend you in his way and at the right time.

His ways are higher than our ways. So, your help may not come the way you imagine. The result may come in a way that surprises you or even humbles you. But the most important thing is that you can count on God’s faithfulness.

Father God, please protect me from evil and help me to face the world every day and everywhere I go. Strengthen me so I can overcome anything oppositional with grace. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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God’s Sufficiency Exceeds Our Need – by Sylvia Gunter

God Provides for His Own

God is Faithful


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“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

You might have been in the right place at the right time. Then you saw a boulder in the road not previously there. So, what do you do?

The COVID-19 pandemic showed up around the world without announcing its arrival. Such is life. It is stormy. The climate may not seem ideal. Yet, we don’t need to waste this time. You and I could try to trust in ourselves or do something else but self-confidence is not enough in this global climate. Our best is not enough. Don’t worry.

There’s Someone greater than us that we can look up to during times like these. With what’s happened so far and with what’s happening now, let us put our hope in God. As the above verse states, he’ll renew our strength. Let us see this obstacle as an opportunity to use our time positively in a new way. Let us continue to develop our gifts to answer God’s call in our lives. This will give us hope.

Grow your gift any way you can. Or develop a new gift. Use the resources you have access to, no matter how limited. Believe God Almighty can give us another chance to soar as high as an eagle again and grab hold of the opportunity at hand.

Use what you have at this time of life. You may never get this chance again. You may not work on your vision in the same way as before because of the current crisis. Work with what you have. Make the most of it.

God’s gift and his call will not change. So, let us change and adapt to the situations life brings.

By Fab Batsakis
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“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness.”  Luke 11:34 NLT

Have you ever walked into a dark house? As you open the door, you feel fear. Who is there? What is happening in this lifeless space? You want the darkness to disappear. So, the best thing to do is to press the button to light up the room, right?

After you turn on the light you see that only one out of four light bulbs is working. That’s why the room is dim. It’s not a lack of strength in the electricity. Three of the light bulbs are burned out. They need changing.

Likewise, a person may have the Spirit of God living within them and yet not shine brightly for Christ. It’s not a question of how strong the Spirit is. It’s how much fruit of the Spirit will shine when darkness hits. The fruit is our “bulb” — our eyes and our hearts reflect that light of God.

Since light is more effective in darkness, the darker the place, the more light shines. The darker the world becomes, the more the fruit of the Spirit will be apparent. The fruit of the Spirit consists of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These qualities can stir up the heart of a person to see things with purity.

The light coming from within us will not only light up our surroundings; it will also sharpen our vision. We will see things the way God sees them. We’ll be able to make a difference because this genuine light from within shines through our eyes and our lives. When you and I enter a room, it will light up the space.

Dear God, thank you for giving me eyes to see. Strengthen me and keep my eyes healthy so through me, you can fill my space with abundant light. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

By Fab Batsakis
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“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied.  ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’  Acts 9:3-6

Saul got up. He’d lost his sight! Before he became blind, Saul was on his way to imprison people belonging to The Way. But God interrupted and redirected his path. Then, Paul prayed and his sight was restored and he had a new vision for his life.

Paul went in the strength God provided, one step of faith at a time. From mission to mission, he made connections and planted churches. His passion was strengthened.

Paul was stoned and dragged outside the city as if dead. He was put into prison, flogged five times with 39 lashes, beaten with rods three times, shipwrecked three times, and faced dangers from rivers and robbers. Sometimes he was hungry, thirsty, and cold. But trials didn’t stop him. His commitment was unshakable. He pressed forward, focusing on the target — setting people free through the good news of Christ. He fixed his eyes on Jesus, not on his circumstances.

Despite his feelings of inadequacy, he allowed God’s grace to carry him through.

“My grace is sufficient, for my power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 9: 9-10).

He dared to write from prison. A good portion of the New Testament bears his signature.

Paul’s strength did not come from self-confidence but from confidence in God’s power. He stood in Jesus’ righteousness. He focused on the future, not on the past. Eventually, Paul said,

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Dear Father God, I commit my future into your hands in Jesus’ name. Help me to be courageous and to make decisions in the light of eternity and to see the difference. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11

It takes wisdom to lift your head above the deep waters of life. It doesn’t always mean having a head full of knowledge. Knowing what to do when you’re in the deep waters is the key.

The deep waters of life can drown someone. Oh yeah, if you’re not careful, you may drown. However, if you know how to swim, you become like a fish in deep water. The water’s depth may not change, but once you know how to navigate in it, you can swim instead of panic. You can float and rise above that water. That’s wisdom.

When you feel afflicted by something, you need help. The Spirit of God is willing to help you by giving you wisdom. You don’t need to know why you’re in this deep water. What you need to know is how to move about comfortably so you can rise above it. That’s wisdom.

So, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Ask him what you should do and how to proceed. He will guide you. He’s prepared to show you the thoughts of God.

Wisdom takes practice, just like learning to swim. God never promised that we wouldn’t face the deep waters of life. However, if you rely on the Holy Spirit, he’ll be there for you. Applying God’s wisdom to a situation will help you move comfortably. You’ll swim and maybe even explore this new facet of life.

Father God, I ask you to give me wisdom through the Holy Spirit and help me to apply it to my daily life. Help me float in your grace and not drown in the deep waters washing over my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“He replied, ‘You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders.’”  Mark 4:11(NLT)

Why did the best Teacher who ever lived use parables? Some scholars suggest it was easier for listeners of that era to understand because Jesus chose common illustrations from everyday life.

However, you and I both know parables are not always easy to understand. Sometimes they seem too hard to grasp. For years I tried to understand those types of parables on my own.

Jesus makes it clear in this passage that he used parables in public. In private, however, he sometimes explained those secrets of the Kingdom to his followers. I realized then it would take a lot of effort to sit in his presence in order to understand the deeper meanings his parables offered.

Those who are desperate for guidance and are willing to listen carefully will receive in their hearts what the Teacher meant in a particular parable. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the intention behind his words can be clarified.

It is possible for us to see with our inner eyes what Jesus meant but it takes quality time with him to reveal the true meaning of these parables. He enlightens those with undivided hearts and attention. His grace and his Spirit help listeners receive understanding.

What a privilege to get to sit in his presence. You and I get to hear his words as we read Scripture, discern what he means, and apply them to our lives. This will help us to do his will and live in joy.

Father God, help me to understand your written parables. Give me the grace, through your Holy Spirit, to be a doer of your Word. In Jesus’ name, thank you for providing understanding. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?”  Ezekiel 14:3

Is there anything fighting to claim first place in your heart instead of God?

When God wins your heart, you have no room for idols. Idolatry can take many forms such as a relationship that you value, a loving family, your work, success, or the material possessions you have. Those things are not bad. However, if the desires of your heart for these things are stronger than your desire for God, you need to repent.

Anytime you notice your heart beating stronger for something else other than God, stop and think about it. God doesn’t like it because it can steer you down the wrong path. So, your heart should belong to God above all else.

However, when it happens, there’s a way out of trouble. God sent Jesus to live as one of us so he could identify with our human weaknesses. Jesus died on the cross and was raised from death, not only to redeem us but to cleanse our conscience from all sinful actions, so we can serve the living God with our whole heart. He promises that. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).

This new covenant with God has made a provision to redeem you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness, provided you repent. If you’ve noticed that you sinned, be quick ask God for forgiveness. When you do something wrong or your heart’s desires steer you away, always run back to God, who can forgive you and help you move forward.

Father God, forgive me, purify my heart, and cleanse my conscience, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we think. Maybe the doctor gave you a negative report, or it appears you’re past the age of having the family you’ve longed to have. Or you’re still waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right. Maybe you had it all, and you lost it all. And now you don’t appear as youthful as you used to and you’re back to ground zero.

Maybe it’s a family situation where the happy bells don’t ring all the time and things are not as they used to be. It’s dysfunctional. For the bell to ring, you need to pull on the right string. That’s when it can feel hard to accomplish. In time, it can even become overwhelming. I know.

Who said life is meant to be easy? You can certainly live without the things you want, provided that’s the place you want to be. If not, it hurts. It’s not easy.

Where is God when all this happens to you? When it feels like it’s too late for his promises to still work in your life? What can you stand on then?

Believe that God is at work. Trust him and have faith. Be still. Take a breather. Feel the peace.

God is with you in the midst of everything. He sees you just the way you are. God cares and has a great plan for your life. He loves you deeply. Scripture says in this world you will have trouble John 16:33. But you can have hope because God has given you Jesus – his best gift ever!

Dear God, please strengthen my heart and fill me with peace while you work on my circumstances. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:8-9

Blamelessness sounds difficult to achieve. You’re correct if that’s what you’re thinking. That’s because no one is flawless. Yet, there is a solution God has made available to us.

This verse shows God will keep us strong and blameless because he knows it’s something we can’t achieve on our own unless he helps us. Once we accept Jesus and confess our sins, he forgives us. We are then acquitted and become clean. All we do is confess, believe, and receive. Then we become a new creature in Christ so we can be right when we stand before God.

Don’t take our righteousness in Christ lightly, though. It’s not because we deserve this. It’s all about what Christ did to make us acceptable before God. By God’s grace, through our faith, we stand before God innocent as if we never sinned because we believe Jesus gave his life for us.

What’s even better is that we have a promise that God will keep us strong in faith until the end. So, stay connected with God.

However, this is not a reason for pride but humility. It cost Christ his life to impart righteousness to you and me. It doesn’t depend on what you do and not do, but his grace should not be taken for granted. Rejoice, but also repent when you fall short.

So, follow and trust him until the very end. He will keep your spirit strong.

Father God, I am so grateful that I can stand before you as righteous because of what Jesus did for me. Thank you for keeping me strong till the very end of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.” Mark 6:5-6

I have believed in God for big and small things and I have seen them both come to pass. I know those acts are not a coincidence but guided by God’s mighty hand. However, I know he can do even greater things as long as I don’t limit him.

The Scripture says that Jesus could not do any miracles in his hometown except for laying hands on a few sick people to be healed. That’s all he could do? Jesus was powerful and still is. He wanted to do much more for these people, yet they could not believe. This shows how the extent of our faith can limit what he has for us.

Sometimes something might not be in the will of God for our lives and no amount of faith will do the trick. Yet, our responsibility is to keep believing in his ability and trust in his will. There might be an area of our lives he would like to touch and perform wonders. Believe he can and he will, even if it is in a different way than we expect. It doesn’t mean we believed in the wrong things as long we trusted the outcome, whatever it was, would be right in his eyes.

Is there an area of your life where you’ve been limiting God? We all have at times. If yes, open your eyes to the way he wants you to see your circumstances. Humble yourself and ask him to help you to believe in his timing and will.

Dear God, forgive me for any unbelief. Help me to believe in you so you can do mighty things in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Fab Batsakis
Used by Permission

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