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


“So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.” Ruth 1:22

Sometimes it appears too late for God to do something in the natural scheme of things. Circumstances have been set in motion. A new beginning seems impossible. Yet, God is powerful. When a situation is at its worst, that’s when God can show up with his best answer.

There was a famine in Bethlehem. So, Naomi, her husband, and her two sons left Bethlehem for Moab to find a better life. A life where they could have more than enough. Who doesn’t want that for their family?

When Naomi and her family left Bethlehem, the other families stayed behind. They faced the famine — perhaps because they trusted in God.

Can this be Naomi?” the people from Naomi’s town asked on her return to Bethlehem as a widow. Accompanied by only Ruth, a foreign daughter-in-law now also widowed, Naomi’s situation would have looked even worse. While Ruth appeared to be out of place, Naomi almost didn’t have a choice in the matter since Ruth had insisted that she’d follow her everywhere she would go.

While the presence of Ruth would not permit Naomi to forget her deceased sons, that very same Ruth became a catalyst to her mother-in-law’s new beginning. They both get another chance to be happy again by participating in the harvest. Naomi put aside her past as she helped Ruth find a new husband and bear a son.

God can turn things around for the good. We only need to look forward to his blessings and use them to help others instead of looking back on our past.

Father God, I ask you to help me seize the opportunity granted to me to help someone else so they can have a better life. Help me be aware that you can turn any circumstance into a blessing if we only trust in you. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”  Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)

God asked Noah to build a large boat to save his family, a boat he had seen no one else build in the past. Noah needed divine direction to know the size of the boat and other details. So, Noah embraced God’s desires and plan, working by faith. He had to trust God step by step until he completed that boat.

As Noah built, he followed God’s vision for his life as well as the boat. If Noah hadn’t followed the divine instructions, although he built a boat, he could have displeased God. God’s heart desires became more important. Noah’s faith ended up growing as large as that boat! Noah became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith (Hebrews 11:7) when he did the works of faith.

Likewise, you and I can please God if we activate our faith to make things happen. Faith means more than working towards what you want. Focus instead on pleasing God.

Take action when God tells you to do something. Have faith in the desired result as God gives you step by step directions. If you don’t live by faith, you cannot please God. To get things done God’s way, you must activate your faith. How can you show your faith to others if you do not do the works of faith?

If we all had the faith of Noah, how much could we touch God’s heart? Think about the result in our communities if we worked in faith to please him?

Dear God, help me follow your plan for my life so I can please you. Let me walk by faith so I can see mighty things happen in my life as others see my faith in action. In Jesus’ name I ask, amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”  Romans 8:6 (NLT)

Do you live at peace or is your mind wild and full of worries? What if I tell you the answer depends more on you and your decisions than on anything that happens to you?

We all face circumstances in our lives we’d rather not deal with. Worrying starts when we let the “flesh” take over. We become controlled by our appetites and guided by our feelings and senses. But when our mind is guided by the Spirit, it bring us peace.

The question is which one will you obey? The mind of the flesh leading to worries and sin? Or the mind of the Spirit which brings a quiet, peaceful mind? Trying to get what you want from God can lead to frustration. Embracing God’s will rather than your own and relying on the Spirit closes the door on your worries.

Refuse to worry. Pursue peace. Follow the mind of the Spirit.

Keep your mind “on things above” rather than on the flesh (Colossians 3:2). Let the Spirit lead your thoughts so that they become pure and peaceful. Your perspective will shift from hand-wringing to expecting God’s good and perfect will to be done. As you get into the habit of doing this — living by faith and trusting in God — peace will flood your heart. Isn’t that what you really want?

Heavenly Father, I place my burden at your feet. Help me to follow the Spirit instead of my own mind so I can have peace. In Jesus’ name, I pray this. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:3-4

People make promises but sometimes they don’t or can’t deliver. This teaches us not to trust others. Unkept promises can happen because of unforeseen circumstances or a weakness in character.

God makes promises, too. Except that with him, his words accomplish what he sets out to do. Let us then trust in the power and safety of his words. His words are true; they stand forever. Believe in his honesty.

We can’t buy God’s faithfulness with good deeds. We are already good by grace — not because of our efforts but because of our right standing with God through his Son. Yet, we can cultivate a relationship with him and get closer to him. As we get closer to God, we feel his presence in our lives more. We also become satisfied in God for who he is. As we get to know him, we develop a deep trust in him. That motivates us to do good things in His name.

In him, we live, move, and have our being (Acts 17:28). When we depend on God and his Word, it pleases him. We need to trust God with the desires of our hearts. When that aligns with his will, which is the best thing, he will deliver, just like his Word promises. God cares about pure desires. Even if we are not unfaithful, God stays faithful because he is unchangeable.

So, trust and rely on him. Take your eyes off your circumstances and instead focus on God himself.

Heavenly Father, I ask you to help me to trust in you. Thank you for your faithfulness. Teach me how to do what pleases you in your strength. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:5-6 (NLT)

Not everything has turned out the way I expected. In those moments, my first question was usually, “Where did I go wrong?” Or I used to say, “God, why did you let this happen?’”

I believe in God. I know He loves me. I know I can put my trust in him because there is no one greater than he. He is my Creator, the God of this universe. There’s nowhere else to go other than to him.

But I have faced unfair situations. Have you? Most of the time, when I trust God, it works out well. I’ve learned, though, that relying on God hasn’t always prevented wrongdoings from occurring. “But God, it hurts!”

I asked God to protect me. I trusted him. I believed He would do so, with all my heart. Yet, another person, who had their own goals to achieve, wanted something so bad that nothing would stop them in their tracks — regardless if they hurt me or not. When I prayed about it, God reassured me that he would handle this.

Do you ever take matters into your own hands? I have tried this myself, only to fail. Other times, I relied on God to take care of the situation. I went the extra mile and asked him to be merciful towards the wrongdoer. He dealt with the matter for me.

Trust God — even when you can’t understand. He can give you victory even when it seems too late.

Heavenly Father, strengthen me when I go through difficulties or unfair treatment so I can forgive the offender and continue to trust you. In the name of Jesus I ask, Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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The LORD will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land…  Isaiah 14:1

During the time of Exodus, while the Israelites were passing through the wilderness, their provision came from God alone. Each time they had needs, Moses called on God. God heard and provided miracles like manna for their daily bread, quails for meat, and water in the desert. Eventually, they trusted Him, so He let them enter the land He promised.

Then, they became discontent. They worshiped false gods and complained, which displeased God. So He exiled them from the land He had promised them. But Isaiah reminded them that God still loved them and would fulfill His promises.

God’s heart of compassion knew the right time to settle them in their own land again. He is such an awesome and loving Father! He wanted to fulfill His promises made to Jacob, Abraham and Isaac. So, God insisted on being true to His word. Today, God is still at work for the Jews and for us.

God’s plan for our lives as Christ-followers is beyond our expectations. We can read about the Israelites’ mistakes, but will we learn from them? Do we do anything to display a lack of trust in God when we don’t get our way? Do we seek other “gods”?

Our momentary discontent cannot separate us from God’s love. His heart of compassion is stirred towards us, just like it was for the Israelites, though it may mean disciplining us. Even so, God will not withhold His love from us or abandon His plan.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the great plan you have for my life. Strengthen me so I won’t complain but give thanks. Help me to put my trust in you and your love. In Jesus’ name, I ask. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
Matthew 7:25

It’s easy to cut corners when building a house. It can seem cheaper to spend less on the materials initially, but in the long run, it costs a lot less to build a strong house than a flimsy one that will need constant repairs. The builder may be tempted to pay more attention to the beauty of the house than its purpose and strength. Yet, that’s not ideal.

A house can represent a physical building, but it can also be a life, a marriage, a family, a ministry, or a business. It’s fundamental to focus on the reason for building this ”house.” Ask yourself what result you want to see. In addition, think about the people who need that house and the difference it makes to them.

In this passage, Jesus explained why building wisely is vital. Jesus taught his apostles through His own life. They would be the pillars of His house; so He invested in them carefully and lovingly. Jesus prepared them thoroughly for the storm. Even though some failed Him, His house stood firm. He had laid a solid foundation that is still standing today and will stand firm for eternity.

Envision the possibility you see for the house. Lay a foundation that will lead you towards your vision. Set godly and reasonable standards. Build on the Cornerstone, which is on Jesus Himself, and your house, however you define it, will weather any storm.

Heavenly Father, I ask you to give me the wisdom to build the foundation of my house on Jesus, the Cornerstone. Thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 (AMP)

The heart is something beyond a machine that pumps blood. It’s more important than that. The very springs of life pump from it, according to Proverbs. The heart enables us to discern what is right or wrong.

Knowing what is right and wrong is not always easy. It depends on one’s values. What is right, then? Something that’s good? Maybe, but not every seemingly good thing is right. Evil things can be mistaken for good. Many have practiced evil things thinking they were good because they were persuaded that they were good. Look at Eve in the garden! That’s why it’s vital to protect the border of our hearts. What we allow into our hearts guides our choices, little by little, and therefore guides the direction of our lives. To make better decisions, we must feed our heart with what’s good.

So, the question is how do we know what is evil or good? Evil is something below God’s standard. Refuse to allow anything evil to influence you. How?

God has the book of knowledge for you. It’s called the Bible. Read it. Incline your heart to it. Seek His will through His Word, not just the things that seem beneficial to you at the time. He will reveal to you what’s right and wrong.

When you’re exposed to what His Word says is good, drop everything you’re doing, incline your ears, open your eyes wide — receive. Then, your heart will revere God and have the power to choose what’s right and good.

Heavenly Father, help me watch over my heart with diligence. Give me wisdom to know good from evil and right from wrong, according to your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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