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Daily Devo- New Year, New Beginnings

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

The new year has finally arrived and many of us are hoping for a better year then 2020. The new year seems to be the time people choose to make an effort to change something in their life. New year resolutions for things like weight loss, to stop smoking, eating healthier, to exercise and so on.

However most of these new years resolutions do not make it passed a week or so. This is likely because people are trying to make these changes within their own will power; which rarely ever works. The Bible tells us that without God we can do nothing, but with God we will bear much fruit. With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

John 15:5-7 NKJV

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

This year I want to encourage each of you to make changes that will last. Make changes that will bear great fruit and lead you to a deeper connection with God.

The Bible tells us that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior that we become new creations in Him. The old passes away and all things are made new. In God we get a fresh start, a blank slate, and new beginnings.

Are you ready for a new year– new you?

God is waiting for you. Change is inevitable; the changes could be bad or good. However, even the bad changes have purpose in our life; they help us to grow and mold us into who we are.

Change is meant to polish you to make you shine brighter

When we make the ultimate, radical change and choose life over death, committing our lives to God and His kingdom we are made new in His image. His word tells us to forget the old things and focus on what God is doing in our life currently. Explaining that He can make ways when there seems to be no way.

Isaiah 43: 18-19 NKJV

18 “Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

Change can be scary and uncomfortable when we are going through it, however God reminds us that His plans are for us are good and prosperous; they are meant to give us hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Often times when we choose to hand our life over to God; to renew our minds and save ourselves from our own sinful destruction; we will notice we will lose things from our former self. Things such as friends, family members, habits, and more, but God promises that He will replace these things with something far better.

The story of Job is a perfect example of this. He lost his health, his wealth, and all of his children died, but he kept his faith in God. Guess what?!? When the trial was over God blessed Job with far more than he had before.

Job 42:12 NKJV

12 Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.

This year make the ultimate change and commit your life to God. If you seek Him above all else, He will guide your path and bless your life.

Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

Matthew 6:33 NKJV

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for Your safety and protection throughout last year. Lord, although 2020 was full of uncertainties there is still a lot to be thankful for and I am truly blessed by Your mighty hand.

Lord a new year is upon us which means new obstacles, new trials, and many many new blessings. I pray that as we kick off the new year that as a nation we would dedicate our lives and future to You. That we would relay solely on Your guidance, direction, and protection. I pray as we walk through each day we would live a bold and courageous life for You.

I pray those that are lost would seek You and commit their lives to You; accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I pray that You would remind us that change is not always easy but it is necessary to live a fulfilling and prosperous life. I pray that Your will be done in each of our lives in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Your TRUE Identity

The result of living in a broken world is broken people. We have all faced struggles in life that have left us questioning ourselves. Our self-worth, self-esteem, and our identity should not be based on our life experience and the mistakes we have made. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, but for that reason God sent Jesus to be our Savior and through Him- there is no condemnation.

God does NOT consult our pasts to determine our future. We are made new through Jesus–all sins are washed away and we are adopted into God’s family. He is a good and loving father– a promise keeper– and He cannot lie. When we accept Jesus into our hearts– confess He is our Savior, the Bible tells us that His spirit is within us. (2 Corinthians 1:20-22)

As Christians we have to actively combat the attacks on our identity and declare the truth of who we are in Christ.

Your True Identity in Christ

Because I, (enter your name) am in Christ, I am secure

  • I am a child of God (John 1:12)
  • I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
  • I am assured that in all things God will work for my good (Romans 8:28-29)
  • I am free from any condemning charges against me (Romans 8:33)
  • I cannot be separated from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35)
  • I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
  • I have been given the Holy Spirit as a pledge guaranteeing my inheritance to come (Ephesians 1:13-14)
  • I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
  • I have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13)
  • I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
  • I have not been given a spirit of timidity(fear), but of power, love, and a sound mind 2 (Timothy 1:7)
  • I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)

Because I, (enter your name) am in Christ, I am significant

  • I am the salt of the Earth (Matthew 5:13)
  • I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)
  • I am God’s child (John 1:12)
  • I have been chosen to bear fruit that will last (John 15:16)
  • I am Christs personal witness (Acts 1:8)
  • I am God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16)
  • I am a part of Christs body (1 Corinthians 12:27)
  • I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Corinthians 5:18)
  • I am God’s fellow worker (2 Corinthians 6:1)
  • I am a saint (Ephesians 1:1)
  • I have been raised up and am now seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)
  • I am a citizen of Heaven (Philippians 3:20)

Because I, (enter your name) am in Christ I am accepted

  • I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
  • I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
  • I am united to the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17)
  • I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 2:27)
  • I have became righteous through Him (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  • I have been adopted as God’s child (Ephesians 1:5)
  • I have direct access to the Father through the spirit (Ephesians 2:18)
  • Since I am Gods (son/daughter) and because God sent the Spirit of His son into my heart, I can call out, “Abba Father” and I am no longer a slave, but God’s child, and since I am His child, God has made me an heir to His kingdom (Galatians 4:6-7)
  • I am invited to approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12)
  • I have been redeemed and am forgiven of all my sins (Colossians 1:14)
  • I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for Your word and for sending Jesus to be our Savior. Lord forgive me for questioning my identity. Help me to remember that in You I am complete, loved, free, accepted, and worthy. I pray that each person who reads this is able to find their true identity in You. Lord, the enemy has been relentlessly attacking so many in our world with lies and schemes to take our eyes off of the truth. I pray you will open each of our hearts, eyes, and ears to Your truth and direction. In Jesus name I pray

Amen

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Daily Devo- Conflict Resolution

Conflict is a a normal part of life. No one can escape the pain of broken relationships– it is part of living life in a broken, fallen world. Although pain may not be able to be avoided– becoming bitter over the pain caused can be.

The Bible presents to us the ‘freedom of forgiveness’. It also shows us that Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals, gives each believer the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Before we can reconcile any differences- we must first diagnose the condition of our own heart. Checking ourselves against the eight potentially problematic areas.

8 Areas to Examine in Our Heart

  1. Pride- Do I focus on how much I have been wronged?
  2. Faultfinding- Do I search and rehearse the faults of others?
  3. Avoidance- Do I avoid being around those I have conflict with?
  4. Silence- Do I shut down and refuse to share what I am feeling in a healthy way?
  5. Isolation- Do I withdraw emotionally?
  6. Unfaithfulness- Do I share unnecessary information about my opposer?
  7. Hopelessness- Do I lack faith that God can work in any situation?
  8. Resentment- Do I hold on to my anger until it turns into bitterness?

Hebrews 12:14-15

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled

The Bible tells us to pursue peace with all people.

How to reconcile

The process of mending relationships and reconciliation of conflict can occur when both parties are willing to listen and communicate without interrupting each other. Both need to show respect and acknowledge there are two sides to every story, two sets of feelings, two hearts that need healing, and two different perceptions of what happened.

6 Do’s of reconciliation

  1. See the situation
  2. Repeat back what you heard
  3. Use words that are encouraging
  4. Be open minded and respectful
  5. Accept you only have the power to change yourself
  6. Be at peace

6 Don’ts of Reconciliation

  1. Don’t forget your opposer is also God’s creation
  2. Don’t hold on to resentment, bitterness, or hatred
  3. Don’t use ‘you’ statements. (You should…You made me…You always..etc)
  4. Don’t get drawn into useless arguing
  5. Don’t expect change immediately
  6. Don’t assume every situation can be reconciled

Apologize and Forgive

The healing of two wounded hearts can’t happen if both parties refuse to ask for forgiveness from the other. We must be careful not to further offend or complicate the situation when we are asking for forgiveness.

5 helpful tips when apologizing

  1. Don’t make excuses
  2. Don’t use the blame game or ‘you’ statements
  3. Accept full responsibility (My attitude was inexcusable)
  4. Accept full blame for your part in the situation (No one can make someone else sin- I acknowledge I sinned against you…)
  5. With a humble heart and attitude explain you have tried to see the situation from their point of view….)

All healing takes time– regardless of the type of wound– physical, mental, or emotional. A wound cannot heal if we don’t leave it alone. Forgiveness works in a similar manner– it can not do its’ job if we don’t give it time. God can use us to help the process by taking these practical steps:

  • Recognize that forgiving someone does not mean they are ‘off the hook’. It means you are no longer carrying the offense and have turned it over to God to handle. It transfers it from your hook to God’s hook.
  • Make the decision that you no longer want to bare the pain from the past.
  • Recognize the unmet needs of the one who hurt you and pray for them.
  • Make a list of each offense you are holding unforgiveness about and release each one to God.

Each person has to accept that there is a chance that the end result could be a negative outcome. Sometimes, the relationship just may not work out between two people. The responsibility cannot fall solely on one of them. Effective and freeing reconciliation comes when both parties handle the process in a Godly manner.

Romans 12:18

18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for your forgiveness and guidance on reconciling our differences. We know that conflict is going to happen and we ask that you help us handle it in a Godly manner. Forgive me for not always seeking Your counsel before handling situations in the past. God I hand each offense I carry today over to you. Lord help expose to me my own heart and show me where I need improvement. Guide me in the process of reconciliation and help me to remember the do’s and don’ts. I pray that you would help me to live peaceably with all men and forgive just as you have forgiven me. It is in Jesus name I pray

Amen

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Daily Devo- Imagination

Imagination is define as the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. There are three classifications of imagination– things we should not imagine– things we can not imagine– and things we should imagine.

Luke 1:51 NKJV
He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Things we SHOULD NOT imagine:

  • Things evil in nature
  • Worrisome thoughts
  • Fearful thoughts
  • Lustful or perverted thoughts

Did you know?

Worry is a misuse of our imagination and it also activates fear.

Somethings we CANNOT imagine:

  • Heaven
  • Plans God has in store for us
  • Blessings
  • Miracles

Did you know?

Some people do not believe in Heaven, because they can not imagine it.

Things we SHOULD imagine:

To possess and exercise a healthy imagination makes the impossible things–possible.

Imagination is essential to living by faith. Hebrews 11:1 tell us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Great lives are built around great imagination God’s dreams are bigger than my dreams. Ephesians 3:20

Don’t plan your life and set goals around what you see or your circumstances. Let the size of your God, determine the size of your goals. Remember, God can make the impossible- possible. Let God’s spirit and His word guide you and fuel your imagination.

Satan comes to put doubt in our mind.

Mark 9:23-24 NKJV
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”


Doubt is meant to be doubted and beliefs are meant to be believed.

– Pastor Phil Willingham Sermon 2017

As believers we have a helper in life– someone who is trustworthy and loyal– someone the world does not have because they do now know Him, and cannot imagine His existence.

John 14:16-17 NKJV
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

The key to a stronger and healthier imagination is spending daily quiet time with God. Read His word– listen for His voice– study in your areas of weakness– and trust in His promises.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being our helping hand and guiding as through Your word. Lord, forgive us for our times of doubt and for our misuse of our imagination. Open our eyes so that we can see the wonderful ways of Your law. Help us to understand so that we can meditate on Your works. I pray that you will stir up our spirits so that we will want to seek You more. I pray You will help us as we seek to have a stronger and healthier imagination. Guide our quiet time in Jesus name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- An Overcoming Attitude

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

1 John 5:2-4 NKJV

How you feel and how you handle those feelings are two very different things. The world we live in is very emotionally driven. As Christians we should be aware and on guard with what we are allowing to drive our decisions and actions.

To develop an overcoming attitude we have to first get rid of the stinking thinkin. You know what I am talking about– the I stink, you stink, life stinks– attitude. Negative thinking is toxic and our emotions can cause us to make decisions we normally would not make. Heightened emotions and negative thinking can get the best of us and leave us in a vulnerable state.

One of the most important things you need to remember when life knocks you down is that there is no rut to big or to deep for God to pull you out of. When the pressure is on and we feel like we are sinking– we need hope.

24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

Lamentations 3:24 NKJV

Never doubt in the dark times what you know God has promised in the light!

Sometimes in life we have to argue with ourselves about what the truth is and what the emotionally driven reaction is. Stories and life events become inflamed when we are pondering on them with the wrong attitude. They can overtake us and shift the focus from the truth to emotionally driven reactions.

An overcoming attitude comes with knowing how to handle criticism. If it is untrue– ignore it– if it is unfair– do not let it bother you– if it is ignorant– smile through it– and if it is true-learn from it.

It is important that we listen to those who know us, love us, and rejoice with us. Remember not everyone is truly your friend– some are rooting for you to fail behind your back– ignore them and follow what you know to be truth according to God’s word.

Keeping our attitudes in check can be difficult, especially if we have deep roots in negativity and are notorious stinkin thinkers. God promises to renew our minds in Him. There is no failure or sin too bad for Christ to restore us.

Our futures are not based on our past. We are new beings in Christ and He never consults our past to determine our future. The process to developing an overcoming attitude does not happen over night– it takes time. We need to remain patient and ready to listen.

God does not fail– Do not give up– you are an overcomer.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NKJV

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Jesus for Your truth and power. Thank you for renewing our minds through Your word and being our hope during the storms of life. Forgive me Lord for having stinkin thinking when I should be relying on You. I pray that You help me to develop an overcoming attitude and expose any toxic thinking I may have to myself. I pray that you will expose Your truth to each person who reads this post. Lord guide us all in every step we take. I claim in the name of Jesus we are all overcomers and Your Holy Spirit will remind us of His promises in times of struggle. In Jesus name I pray

Amen

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Daily Devo- Eyes of Fear or Eyes of Faith

The gospel teaches us how to get right with God. It starts with faith and ends with faith. Those that study God’s word and seek to be right in His eyes- live their life by trusting in Him and His ways.

Romans 1:17 NKJV

17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Those who do not have a relationship with Jesus- live their life by making decisions based off their circumstances and feelings. Which tends to lead to more issues. We can not please God without having faith.

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Faith is seeing the world through God’s point of view. Faith has nothing to do with feelings and is believing in what you can not see. Faith gives us confidence and assurance in what we know will happen because God’s word tells us what to expect and He promises good for those who love Him.

How do you live your life? Do you see with eyes of fear or eyes of faith?

What happens when we see with eyes of fear?

Read Numbers 13-14

  • We can miss what God has planned for our life
  • We exaggerate our difficulties- negative attitudes are contagious
  • We underestimate our own abilities- when we live in fear we project our fears on to those around us.
  • We become discouraged.
  • We start to gripe and complain about all of our lives.
  • We eventually give up and ultimately blame God

Highly critical people are usually insecure within themselves. Each person we come in contact with through-out life will either increase us or decrease us. We must be careful who we allow to influence our life- some people want us to crawl when God created us to soar.

What happens when we see with eyes of faith?

  • Faith shrinks our problems (Genesis 18:14)
  • Faith opens the door for a miracle. (Mark 11:22-24)
    The law of faith- trumps the law of nature. We do not have miracles because we do not believe they can happen. This is because our lack of faith.
  • Faith moves God to act on our behalf. God is not moved by us complaining and seeking to accomplish something in our own power and will. The Bible is clear that God is moved by our faith. (Matthew 9:29)
  • Faith unlocks all the promises of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
  • Faith turns our God given dreams into a reality. (Ephesians 3:20)
  • Faith gives us the power and strength to hold on during tough times.
    – Faith does not always remove the problem but the Bible promises that faith will help us through it. Just like faith does not take away the pain you experience in life but it does give you the ability to handle the pain.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for your goodness and faithfulness to those who love and seek You. I confess that I often catch myself seeing through the eyes of fear. I pray that you would help me to keep my focus on you. Help me to set my eyes on You and live by faith in Your promises. I trust in You Lord and pray that Your will be done in my life. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Take A Stand

Always stand up for what is right and good, even if you feel like you stand alone! Now is the time for people all around the world to be taking a stand. Too many people live their life ‘on the fence’ so to speak. Trying to float through life in a neutral- uncontroversial way- being easily swayed back and forth between two opinion’s: truth and deception.

On one side of the fence: the world- on the other- God’s kingdom.

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

1 John 5:19 NKJV

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

1 John 2:15-16 NKJV

God’s kingdom representing truth, love, patience, faithfulness, meekness, kindness, self-control, etc. The world’s side represents the skewed views of truth and morality- confusing what is right and wrong and misleading people down a destructive path. It is full of deceit, violence, hatred, strife, pride, greed, anger, etc.

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:12-17 NKJV

During a time where emotions are high and our nation is divided more than ever- we need to be the light in an otherwise dark world.

The biggest problem non-believers have with Christians is they say we are hypocrites.

This is because we aren’t deciding where we stand and choosing to take the stand regardless of what others think or feel. We are saying one thing and doing the opposite. When they look at us on the outside and see we are no different than others in the world, we are hurting the image of God.

This doesn’t mean we have to walk through life being over the top religious. God calls us to be who we are- in Him. Remember, it’s about the relationship with God not organized religion. However, we also can’t go through life ‘willy-nilly’ doing whatever we like without any regard of the consequences to our actions.

Often times we are the only example some non-believers ever see of God- we are to be living in God’s kingdom at all times. Once we have made the choice to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior- we are in God and His holy spirit dwells within us. We are new creatures and the world should be able to see there is a difference in us. We are no longer of this world.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

There are many controversial subjects going on around the world today, in which the media and government have tried to skew as acceptable and right. Things that are clearly spelled out in the Bible as wrong, unrighteous, and some even as an abomination to Him.

We need to remember that the truth is in Him. God is truth. We do not follow the beliefs of the government or anyone else for that matter- except God.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6 NKJV

The whole justice and moral measurement system originated from the Bible and what God has laid out as right and wrong. It seems as if the world has forgotten about God and our moral compass. Now the world is running on personal feelings- which is causing the nation to fall deeper into sin and further away from God.

I have found myself treading lightly around some of today’s controversial topics- in order to ensure I didn’t offend anyone. However, I don’t believe this is what God wants from us.

The more I studied and prayed for our nation the more I realized how God had to be feeling when He sees our nation falling into the traps of Satan and quickly self-destructing.

We have to be very careful as to what we grasp on to as truth and allow into our life and to guide our moral compass.

I believe that God is telling us today to PICK A SIDE!

It’s time to get off the fence and take a stand for what is right and good in the eyes of the Lord. In a time like this- we are the voice for God. We can not stand by and allow the world to fall at the hands of deceit.

If we know something is wrong- yet the world is telling us that it’s okay and acceptable-we must remember we are NOT of this world. We are set apart and made new in His image.

This does not mean we have to be rude or make a big scene when in a situation that is clearly against what the Bible says and what God approves of. But we also do not have to participate or entertain the idea(s) that is of a sinful nature.

As Christians we are the example of what God does for a person’s life and how living with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, truly sets us apart from the world. If those around us can’t see a difference in us- we are doing the Holy Spirit a huge injustice.

We stand up for our kids when we feel like the school teacher has done them wrong
We stand up for friends and family when others speak against them
We stand up for the injustice in the wake of police brutality
We stand up against anyone or anything that threatens our well being
But, why do we not stand up for God and His truth?

TODAY IS THE DAY TO STAND UP!

Well what if I offend someone?, you may be thinking. Well, that’s just too bad. As long as you are taking a stand from a place of love, peace, and God’s defense- speaking with respect and gentleness- You have no reason to fear any thing. God is with you.

Besides, do you not think God is offended by our lack of standing up for what’s right- offended by the behavior and actions of those who are misconstruing the truth. I am sure He is- But He is a forgiving and merciful God if we repent from our sinful ways.

I ask you today, is there something that comes to mind that you have been on the fence about? Something you know is wrong- but you have been justifying why you are not taking a stand and picking a side about it?

Are you standing in a lukewarm position- neither hot or cold in your relationship with God?

And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.

1 Kings 18:21 NKJV

He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.

Matthew 12:30 NKJV

15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth

Revelation 3:15-16 NKJV

In the above scriptures you can see we are better off to be hot or cold but not lukewarm. This is why I am urging you all today to take a stand- get off the fence- and defend what we know is proven to be good and right with God.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for being a merciful and forgiving a God. A God that is never changing- always near- and loves abundantly. Lord, we thank you for this message to take a stand. I confess and ask You to forgive me for straddling the fence in particular areas of my life. I pray that you would open the eyes of each person’s heart- let them see You- Your truth- and feel Your presence among them. I pray that You would expose to each of us any area of our life that we are straddling the fence on- give us the wisdom and clarity to take a stand in and for God’s Kingdom. Lord I pray that You would fill each of us with confidence and boldness in the Holy Spirit. Draw near to each one of us- give us discernment to know what is truth and what is deceit from the world. I pray through the help of the Holy Spirit I am able to be a light for You- a beacon of hope and truth in the dark world around us. I pray that we would learn to stand up and step out in faith- knowing we are not of this world in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Blog, Life, Family, Encouragement

Discovering Absolute Truth

One who is sincere in searching for the truth will ask questions either directly or indirectly. Questions that help lead them to the truth, such as: What is truth? Where can I find it? How do I know when I find it?- and so on. On the other hand there are those who lack the sincerity of finding truth and often settle for the mindset- truth is whatever is true for me. The problem with this thinking is many people believe lies, false truths, and even have little to no knowledge of something, then go on to claim facts about a particular subject can not be true. This is a distorted way of thinking and living- robbing the person of the absolute truth which can and will set them free.

The good news is that the truth can be discovered, defined, and experienced. Making the reality- that what a person believes- DOES matter. Truth matters.

What is truth?

Dictionary.com defines truth as that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.

Truth can not be altered and refers to things how they really are- no matter what people may believe. In the world we live in today postmodernism advocates that “something is true, if its true for me.”

Christians deny this definition because we believe in absolute truth, meaning that truth is truth- regardless of a person’s personal experiences. In order for something to be considered “truth” it must be measured, but NOT against what they believe- but against absolute truth.

God is the Absolute truth and is the foundation for all truth because He is truth.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

God loves truth and hates falsehood.

Proverbs 12:22
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.

God can NOT lie!

Titus 1:2
in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

Because God is truth- He holds His people to His standard of truth. Psalm 51:6 tells us we will desire the truth in our inward parts. People of truth exhibit behavior that matches their words. They seek to be accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

How can we be people of truth?

We can ask God to help us. Ask Him to lead you, guide you, and teach you what is true and acceptable to God. (Ps. 25:5) The Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth, will lead us to the truth of God’s word, give us receptive hearts and minds, and submissive will to know the truth, be the truth, and do the truth. When someone is sincere about seeking the spiritual truth, the Holy Spirit, will bear witness in our spirit through God’s word and we will know it is the truth.

In order to be a person of truth you must be genuine and authentic. This includes being honest with yourself in all areas of your life. Truth will not settle for anything less than honesty with yourself and others. When you seek the truth- it has a way of shining the light into the dark areas of our life- so that we can clean it up, dust it off, and move forward in truth.

When we are people of truth and know the absolute truth, we will behave accordingly. Truth will inspire us to live authentic lives and speak authentic truth. Truth will refuse to rename sin in our life or the lives of others. Truth will urge us to speak the truth to people- out of love- as we seek peace with others. Truth will prompt spouses to be faithful to one another. Truth will stimulate parents to live consistent lives before their children. Truth will inspire us to pray that God’s will be done.

How can the truth help me?

Truth will help you be prepared and equipped to do battle against the enemy- Satan- the father of all lies! Satan and his demons will flee from the truth. If you are in truth with God you can withstand and quench every fiery dart from the devil. No weapon formed against you shall prosper. You are protected by the full armor of God. (Eph. 6:12-18) The belt of truth has to be in place before the rest of God’s armor will fit.

Truth plays a large role in helping relationships. We have to be truthful with ourselves and others in order to be able to help them. We also have to require truthfulness from those we are trying to help. We have to be able to speak to hurting people from a place of truth and experience.

The hurting souls around us need to learn truths such as:

  • Their relationship with God is not based on performance, but on His grace and what He has already done for them- Salvation is a gift from God- not to be earned only accepted. (Eph. 2:8-9)
  • In a relationship with Jesus, they are a person of worth and value- perfectly and wonderfully made. (Eph. 1:4-5)
  • They need to accept, they are human with failures and limitations and where they are weak He(God) is strong. (2 Cor. 12:9)
  • Their pain can be used by God to help them grow and mature and then help others. (Rom. 8:28-29)
  • They can experience freedom and joy in their life with Christ. (Gal. 5:1)

The Freedom’s of Truth

Jesus promised us that the truth will set us free.

John 8:32
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

When people know the truth- that is Jesus Christ- it sets them free from the lies and deceptions of Satan. It breaks the bondage that spiritually and emotionally binds us. The truth of Jesus can break chains and generations of sin- deliver us from the pain of our past- and break us out of the imprisonment of our emotions and thought life. The truth will help people rebuild their self-image and worth and see themselves as the unique and powerful child of God that they are.

In absolute truth that is Christ- we can be all that He intended us to be- it gives us the freedom we need to enjoy building an intimate relationship with Him.

Psalm 100:5
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Just as prisoner’s long for their freedom- those bound by sin and engulfed by a negative thought life long to be free of the sins and bondage that is keeping them miserable. Jesus tells us that we can have that freedom by knowing the truth- which is Him.

Truth is not an abstract concept- it’s a reality and absolute truth can not be changed, altered, or skewed. Jesus came into the world to ‘bear witness to the truth’ (John 18:37)- He was truth in the flesh.

Jesus frees us from the consequences of sin, from self-deceptions, and from deception from Satan. The truth in Jesus will set you free! Free from sin’s death penalty and the destructive, corrosive effects of sin and deception in our minds and over our life.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Your truth and for the opportunity to know it and live it. Lord, help me to see Your truth in every area of my life, if there is deceit happening in me or around me- expose it in Your light. God, as I seek You and the truth- guide me, protect me, and surround me with Your love. I want to know You more, know Your truths and live a life of freedom and joy just as Your word promises. Thank you God for being a trustworthy and honest Father. Lead me in Your truth and teach me Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and gird my waist with Your truth so that I can withstand the schemes of the enemy- in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen


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Blog, Life, Family, Encouragement

Faith over Fear

Everything comes by faith. The same faith that saves us; is the faith that carries us in times of trouble. Did you know we have the same power living in us that raised Jesus from the dead. Now that is something to be excited about!!

Faith according to the dictionary is defined as confidence or trust in a person or thing; belief that is not based on proof; belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion..

Every person exercises their faith everyday on things that most people put little to no thought in to. For example: When you flip a light switch you don’t wonder if the light will come on you simply have faith and believe it will.

The faith I am talking about today is the outrageous trust in God.

The dictionary defines fear as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Fear is the wrong use of our imagination and stems from expecting the worse. Fear is a normal human emotion that everyone feels from time to time but we must know where the fear is coming from and choose to move forward in faith despite it.

How do we act in Faith over fear? The Bible tells us a lot about faith and shows us where the fear is coming from. Take a look at 2 Timothy 1:7. The verse shows us that fear is a spirit and NOT from God but He has given us Power to overcome.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind.

The Bible defines faith in Hebrews 11 and provides proof that God is a faithful. It says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It goes on to give examples of outstanding faith from the beginning of time.

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”..

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance…

By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age..

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.

By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe..

33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

These are only some of the examples of victory through faith.

Living a life of faith is not as uncommon as one may think. It requires a measure of spiritual discontent and often means going against the popular opinion– Meaning believing in what others do not. Faith sees what others do not and is always doing, acting, and moving forward.

As mentioned earlier fear is a feeling, but faith is a conscious choice to believe what God has promised. You have to actively choose to apply faith and your feelings will fall into line. Faith is acting even in fear– when faced with doubt and opposition. The world tells us that seeing is believing but the Bible tells us believing is seeing.

2 Corinthians 5:7 we walk by faith, not by sight

Having biblical faith is not have faith in faith, it is having faith in God to fulfill His promises. Faith is belief mixed with fear and uncertainty but acting on the belief part. Faith is when we forward all our worries and troubles to God. If we wait for all circumstances to be just right we will never move.

We must practice faith over fear and not allow the enemy to stop us from what God has called us to do. If we allow the fear to control our faith and not learn to exercise the power given to us from God we could be missing out on promises and blessings from God.


Heavenly Father,
I want to first thank you for Your word, for speaking to me through my studies and giving me the courage to follow Your lead and share what you have taught me with others. Lord God, I pray that Your message is heard and that You give each person reading this article knowledge and clarity on biblical faith. God I pray that they would not just take my word for it but to seek You first hand, to open their hearts and minds and to follow your lead. God, I pray the spirit of fear will flee from every person whom Satan is trying to hold back by his lies. I pray each would have faith and confidence in Your character and promises. I pray we would remember You have NOT given us the spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. I pray You would teach us to walk by faith and not by sight. God I pray your blessings, love, and protection over each person in Jesus mighty name I pray.
~ Amen

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- January 1, 2018

2 Corinthians 5:17- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.