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Daily Devo- World Hatred in the Last Days

It is 2020 and the world seems to have lost its’ mind. From a global pandemic that caused a shortage of toilet paper– to riots, looting, and pure hatred for our president as well as accusations of a stolen election.

Hatred is at an all time high in America– we are slowly going from the United States of America to the Divided States of America.

There are many in our country who are pushing to turn things of evil into things that are acceptable and good. This comes from a place of pride, selfishness, and lack of knowledge of the truth in God’s Word.

Those who claim to be Christian are under great scrutiny right now. The world is watching every step we take and using our imperfect if we actions to draw conclusions about our perfect and loving Savior- Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us that the world will hate us– just as they hated Jesus. Jesus faced many attacks during His time here and warns us that we are ‘no better than our master’. Meaning we should acknowledge that they hate us because we are not of the world– we are of Christ– who the world also hated. If we were of the world- they would love us.

If we are faithful servants and believer’s of Jesus Christ the questions is not if the hate and attacks will come, but when.

John 15 goes on to tell us that we are not alone– they hated Jesus without a cause– and they will do the same to us.

John 15:18-25 NKJV

The World’s Hatred

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

We need to be prepared with the knowledge of truth in the gospel, so that when the attacks come– we can defeat each one in the name of Jesus. The Bible warns us in 2 Timothy 3 that in the last days perilous (full of danger or risk, exposed to imminent risk of disaster or ruin) times will come.

2 Timothy 3:1-15 NKJV

Perilous Times and Perilous Men

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

The Man of God and the Word of God

10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Are you prepared with the gospel of truth, and ready to take a stand for Jesus?

We are living in the last days and the hatred for the truth in God’s Word is growing. Many are putting their personal feelings as priorities over the truth- removing God from many areas of our life.

I have been told we must keep the separation of church and state as the reason as to why their feelings or ways are being discriminated against. I can agree there should be a separation of church and state but NOT a separation of Jesus and state– these are two completely different things.

One is a building with religious practices and rules; where as the other is a relationship and foundational base of our country. All moral principles and laws were made based on the truth in the Bible. (stealing is illegal, lying is wrong, cheating/adulatory is wrong, we are to respect our elders, and forgive those who have hurt us– the list could go on)

The Bible is our foundational truth– the truth that people should be using as their source to ‘fact check’ anything. Without the compass of truth and morals– there would be no laws to follow.

I encourage you today to start preparing yourself for the day Jesus returns. Prepare yourself for the battles that lie ahead and equip yourself with the truth of God’s Word.

If the world hates you because of your relationship with Jesus- you are not alone- pick up your cross and keep pushing forward. Fight for what is good and right according to the word of God.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for sending Jesus to be by my side and to go before me in each battle I face. Thank you for Your guidance through Your Word on the hatred in the world and the last days we are living in. I confess that I have allowed the hatred of others to affect my relationship and walk with You- forgive me Lord- and expose to me any hatred I am holding in my heart. Bring every thought and action in accordance with Your will for my life. I pray You would be my strength when I am weak and that in You I will run and not grow weary when standing against the hatred in the world. It is in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Love Defined

What is love?

An age old question that people have been seeking the answer to for years- some find it- some never do. In a world full of so much hate and misrepresentation it is easy to get lost in what the world says love is. I say this because I was lost– for many years– due to false beliefs of what it meant to love or feel loved– in my case, this had a lot to do with my life experiences and lack of positive reinforcement to set healthy boundaries and concepts of love itself.

So in the spirit of the upcoming “holiday”- Valentine’s Day- I decided to dig deep into the origins of love-where it came from- what it’s suppose to really mean– and how healthy love is shown and received. The month of February will be designated to articles pertaining to love. I write this in hopes it helps someone fill the missing void and redefine their thoughts on the true meaning of Love.

Dictionary.com defines love in the following ways

  • passionate affection for another person
  • a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection
  • sexual passion or desire
  • Then notes Christianity: Gods benevolent attitude toward man–mans attitude of reverent devotion towards God.

Wikipedia defines love like this:

Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure.

Wikipedia goes on to explain that Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love or platonic love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, empty love, companionate love, consummate love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Scientific research on emotion has increased significantly over the past two decades. The color wheel theory of love defines three primary, three secondary and nine tertiary love styles, describing them in terms of the traditional color wheel. The triangular theory of love suggests “intimacy, passion and commitment” are core components of love. Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

In the Bible love does not refer to an emotion but an attitude or behavior.

If we follow history back far enough it all begins in the same place–In the beginning was God. He created all the Earth, all things that walk the Earth and swim in the sea, every creeping creature, and He created man and woman in His image.

Love is of God. God authored the concept of love. Without the presence or existence of God there is no love.

1 John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

As you may already be able to see our society’s view on love vs what love was designed by God to be are two different things.

Although they have similarities the biggest difference is the love we learn from society is broken– it can and will fail, it’s usually not an unconditional love, society’s version of love is emotionally charged and can change based on circumstances– where God’s purpose and design for love is based on an attitude or behavior. We love because He first loved us.

Let’s explore more of God’s design for love–a love that is fulfilling, peaceful, joyful, and patient among many other things. God describes love in 1 Corinthians 13 as the greatest gift He has given us.

1 Corinthians 13- Love the greatest gift

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Could you imagine a world where we loved ALL people like God tells us to– no matter their background–no matter their sin. I encourage everyone to put love to the test and love like a 1 Corinthians 13 warrior.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for loving us in a perfect and unconditional way. Thank you for giving us the ultimate example of love through Jesus. God this world is so lost and has distorted the meaning of love so badly that it’s overall meaning and design has been nearly erased. God we know that You are love and without You there is no love. I pray that you touch each persons heart that reads this, open their eyes and hearts to the truth in Your Word. Remind us that regardless of what the world says love is, we know in You there is a perfect love that drives out fear and it renews us from the inside out. God, fill us with Your Holy Spirit and embrace us in Your loving arms. I pray that those who do not know You would seek to know You and would feel your love and presence surround them. It is in Jesus name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- A Cry for Help

The world is full of hurt, disappointments, fear, anxiety, depression, and the list goes on. I write this devotional today with a heavy heart from personal experience’s with the mentioned emotions in my own life and those that I love.

The struggle is real, the hurt is deep, and the fears can be paralyzing.

Depression, anxiety, fearful and negative thoughts plague us daily and are growing during this season of the pandemic. We are under attack physically, mentally, and emotionally. Many are feeling more disconnected today than ever before.

These are attacks from our enemy- satan- the author of lies and the father of it. The enemy that only comes to kill, steal, and destroy every aspect of our life and keep us from fulfillment in God’s purpose for our life.

God has already defeated the enemy. We can cry out to Him for help and He WILL rescue us.

We are not alone and do not have to face these difficult times alone– God is near to the brokenhearted!

Psalm 34:18 NIV The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 142:6 NIV Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.

I want to encourage each person that may be facing difficult times and emotions to reach out– Talk with a loved one, a doctor, a friend, or myself (faithanchored@yahoo.com)– just please ask for help. My heart is breaking for all those that are lost and are struggling alone.

YOU MATTER!

YOU ARE LOVED!

YOU HAVE GREAT PURPOSE!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE– GOD IS ALWAYS WITH YOU, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU DO NOT FEEL IT!

It is okay to not be okay. It shows strength and courage to seek help with your struggles especially those that are emotional and mental.

Trying to battle the feelings, thoughts, and attacks alone will only feed into the already difficult circumstances. Our enemy plants lies in our mind when we are aimlessly wandering in our thoughts– these seemingly small seeds can quickly grow into deep rooted beliefs about ourselves and our circumstances. Starting as a single negative thought then quickly spiraling into a playground of negativity and lies in our mind for satan to torture us and attempt to keep us chained by the lies, out of God’s will, and bound by our feelings.

Seeking help and facing our feelings along with the trauma that caused them is not easy, but it is necessary for total healing and freedom. Although learning to navigate through these seemingly never ending cycles of hurt, depression, and downward spirals of negativity is hard; it is possible.

God’s word tells us that He can take the impossible and make it possible– through Him ALL things are possible! (Matthew 19:26)

Take a stand for yourself and your future. Step up and step out. Admit that we are weak but He is strong. Hand each emotion, traumatic event, worry, fear, anxiety over to Him and let God do the work in you and for you.

It may seem hard to believe in the midst of the storm but God will help you through deep waters, He will comfort you, He will protect you, and He will save you from your despair. He did it for me and He can do it for you too!

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for Your Word and Your comfort in times of trouble. Thank you for the promises to never leave us nor forsake. For always being near to those of us who are brokenhearted and struggling with life’s storms. Lord God I pray that Your message be heard through these words. I pray You will be a light to so many during this dark season. I pray that those who are battling depression, fear, anxiety, and hurts from this broken world would turn to You. Soften their hearts, open their eyes and ears to Your truth. Lead each of us and protect us from the schemes and lies of the enemy. I declare in the name of Jesus chains be broken, people be truly freed in You, and that you will transform each one of us with the renewal of our minds through Your truth, grace, and love. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Finding Time to Spend with God

Priority is defined as a thing that is regarded as more important than another. Making God and His word a priority should be something we are doing daily to for a healthy and consistent spiritual life. Finding time for God is an important way to respond to His desire to walk with us and be included in every aspect of our life.

For instance a couple in a new relationship doesn’t have to be convinced or coerced into spending quality time together. Even when they are apart they seek ways to reconnect or show one another love, adoration, and appreciation.

We should be prioritizing our relationship with God in the same way we give priority to other relationships in our life. Quiet time with God is to experience His love, comfort, guidance. and overall presence.

Spending quality quiet time with God helps us to grow and change the kind of people we are. The change starts from within and we have to make a conscious effort to be sure we are watering all of the important relationships in our lives.

Establish a time of day that works best for you and keep your “appointment” with God. The time of day you choose doesn’t matter much– the importance is in spending time with God daily.

  • David spent his time with God early in the morning (Psalm 63:1)
  • Ezra spent his time with God midday (Nehemiah 8:3)
  • David spent his time with God at night (Psalm 119:148)

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank You Lord for this message and Your patience with us as we seek to know You more. Lord help us to make our time with You a priority and to be consistent in doing so. Lord I pray You use my quiet time with You to strengthen our relationship– to feel Your presence– and to follow Your guidance. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- The Heart of a Servant

God loves a joyful giver. We are called to be servants of the Lord- but what does this mean? Servants of the Lord are not only diligently seeking to serve Him, but also seeking to serve other’s in His name.

We are called to be the ‘hands and feet’ of the Lord, serving others just as Jesus did when He walked the earth. (Matthew 20:28) The intent of our heart is important to God. We should not be serving others to get recognition or repayment of any kind, but because we want to show other’s the love of Christ.

Philippians 2:3-5

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:7 that we should serve people as if we were serving the Lord and not man.

Serving others does not necessarily have to cost you money- there are plenty of ways to serve others and spread the love of Christ in our daily lives. The easiest way of giving is as simple as showing kindness to others.

  • Smile at a stranger.
  • Hold the door for someone.
  • Offer your seat up to your elders.
  • Volunteer
  • Lend a helping hand when you see it is needed (without being asked)
  • Praying for someone
  • Donate items you no longer need to someone who is in need instead of selling them.
  • Donate your time to listen or talk to someone who needs it.

The key to having a servants heart is actively seeking those in your community who needs encouragement, a helping hand, and to feel the love of Christ– without expecting anything in return!

1 Corinthians 15:58

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Challenge

I challenge you today to pray before you begin your day to day activities. Asking God to put people in your path that you can be a blessing too and to show you who they are. Ask God to help you be the light to others.

Reflect on Scripture

John 13:12-17

12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

The above scripture tells us that we are to look to Jesus as the example of how we should be serving others. He was a servant and we are no greater then Him.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for sending Jesus to be the ultimate example of Your love and mercy. Lord, forgive me for having a selfish mindset and not always seeking to serve others. Lord, I pray that You would touch each person’s heart and help us to be better servants for You. Search my heart God and show me how I can be more obedient to Your call to serve. I pray that others would see Your love through me. I pray that I can be a light in Your name for those in the world facing dark seasons. I pray as we go forward with our day that You would guide our steps, send people to cross our paths so that we can be a blessing to them. Show me how I can help others and bring glory to Your kingdom. In Jesus might name I pray.

Amen

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Breaking Chains and Healing Trauma

We all experience events in life that are less than ideal. However, some events that people experience the pain and hurt goes much deeper than just the surface. Likely, we have all known someone that has been through a horrible loss or survived a difficult situation. When an event is so terrible that the pain and hurt cuts deep into our souls this is what counselor’s call trauma. Those who have had traumatic events happen in their life need help healing the wounds it caused. When healing is not sought after or completed for those that experienced the trauma– they are likely to grow up and damage others, including their own families.

There are two types of trauma– invasion trauma and abandonment trauma.

Invasion trauma is something that did happen to a person and caused damage.

Abandonment trauma is when something did NOT happen to a person that creates damage. (feeling unloved, not protected, or nurtured)

Both affect the four aspects of people’s lives: emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual.

Invasion Trauma

  • Emotional Invasion- when people feel criticized, shamed, or blamed verbally or nonverbally. It occurs when people are talked out of their feelings–‘Big girls don’t cry’ or ‘Christians don’t feel that way’. It can also occur when an adult authority figure reverses roles leaving the child to be a caregiver instead of receiving.
  • Physical Invasion- when someone is abused physically. This type of invasion can cause permanent physical damage. The emotional affect of this can also be experienced if someone lives in a home in which someone else is being physically abused.
  • Sexual Invasion- is when a person is touched or penetrated in sexual areas outside of a mutual relationship or marriage. This is a broad description as a person having consensual sex outside of God’s Plan can have traumatizing effects as well. This type of invasion can also occur if someone is teased or criticized about their bodies..
  • Spiritual Invasion- when a person is led to believe they are unworthy of God’s love and grace, even if well intended it could result in shame that many people can’t seem to shake.

Abandonment Trauma

  • Emotional abandonment- occurs when love, attention, care, nurture, and affirmation are not given. Resulting in loneliness.
  • Physical abandonment- happens when a person’s needs for food, shelter, and clothing are not met. People who do not receive positive ‘touch’- cuddles and hugs- can form what is called ‘touch deprivation’ Another form can happen when people do not receive the needed information for healthy physical self- care.
  • Sexual abandonment- occurs when parents or other responsible adults do not teach their children about healthy sexuality, not having the correct information can lead to devastating results.
  • Spiritual abandonment- occurs when healthy spiritual teachings are not available to children.

Sometimes in life the above categories can overlap. Damage in one part of a persons life can carry over to other areas, depending on the situation that caused the damage.

Effects of Trauma

Unhealed trauma can lead to symptoms like anxiety, depression, panic disorders, anger, loneliness, attachment disorders, and addictions of all kinds. Panic, anxiety, flashbacks, and anger sometimes are classified as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Trauma survivors can cope in a variety of ways- regardless if the trauma is remembered or not. Some may subconsciously seek to repeat the trauma in their adult lives, in attempt to have a different outcome. Some will create relationships with people who treat them poorly or some go the opposite way, and avoid and person or group of people who trigger their past memories of the trauma.

Healing Trauma

Trauma survivors need a number of things to recover from the trauma experienced

  • to have an education on the nature of the trauma- sometimes denial will need to be faced
  • need to have someone to listen that is comforting, accepting, and non-judgmental- someone that believes them and offers them hope of healing
  • need help in expressing their anger about their trauma- anger with the perpetrator and possibly God too. Education on how a loving God would allow trauma to happen could be helpful.
  • assistance on how to grieve the losses that the trauma has caused in their life
  • to understand that they did not deserve what happened to them and that they certainly did NOT cause it
  • assistance on developing boundaries so that the will not be further harmed in old, new, or existing relationships
  • to see the positive strengths that resulted from the trauma endured and the healing process
  • to find a way to forgive (the ultimate spiritual victory)- forgive the perpetrator, forgive themselves, and ask God to forgive them both

What the Bible says about trauma

Being a Christian does not guarantee you a pain free life. Sometimes our faith exposes us to difficulties and struggles we would not otherwise have been through. Here are a few note worthy things to know about life’s traumas:

  • Suffering is not always a punishment. God does allow people to suffer the consequences for their sinful choices, but that does not mean that every time we suffer it is because we are being punished. God uses suffering to strengthen us– to give us knowledge and life experience so that we can empathize with others– to shake us up when we are stagnant or losing our way– and sometimes God uses suffering to build our trust in Him.

    Psalm 46:1-11

46 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge

  • The key is to realize God does NOT leave us when we are suffering.

    Psalm 34:18
    The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
  • God will reward us for the suffering that we endure for His sake

    Matthew 5:10
    Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • God will heal you and bind up your wounds.

    Psalm 147:2-3
    The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
    He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
    He heals the brokenhearted
    And binds up their wounds.

    Psalm 107:20
    20 He sent His word and healed them,
    And delivered them from their destructions.
  • God adopts us into His family- we are never truly alone

    Psalm 27:10
    10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
    Then the Lord will take care of me.
  • God will direct our paths, if we trust in Him and not our own ways.

    Proverbs 3:5-8
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    And lean not on your own understanding;
    In all your ways acknowledge Him,
    And He shall direct your paths.
    Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    Fear the Lord and depart from evil
    It will be health to your flesh,
    And strength to your bones.

True healing and trust in God comes when we can look at our trauma from a different perspective. Learning to ask what can I learn or how can I grow from this instead of asking why me.

God does not always remove us from the traumatic situation but He does always help us through. He is our strength, when we are weak; He is near to the brokenhearted; and He will never leave us nor forsake us. If we trust in Him, He will heal us and deliver us from our shame, our guilt, and all other fleshly feelings that bind us.

Seek His truth and a relationship with Him and He will set you free!

Notes from Mark Laaser on healing the wounds that bind you

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for Your safety and protection throughout all difficulties that we face in life. Lord I pray that each person who reads this and has experienced trauma and it has had a lasting effect on the their life, would find freedom and hope in this message. Forgive me for running from You and blaming You instead of trusting in You and seeking Your guidance. Lord I pray You would work in each of their lives and bring peace through You so that they will glorify Your kingdom. Touch each heart and be their strength to seek healing in You. Lord, I pray that each person would find forgiveness in their hearts for themselves and those who have hurt them. I pray that you would give them discernment in their thoughts and feelings, that they would know who they are in You and not fall prey to the lies of Satan. I pray every chain from the trauma in life that has bound us would be broke in the name of Jesus. Lord, teach us how to trust in You, guide our steps, and help us to not lean on our own understanding, but seek healing and answers through you. It is in Jesus name I pray

Amen

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Daily Devo- World Hatred in the Last Days

It is 2020 and the world seems to have lost its’ mind. From a global pandemic that caused a shortage of toilet paper– to riots, looting, and pure hatred for our president as well as accusations of a stolen election.

Hatred is at an all time high in America– we are slowly going from the United States of America to the Divided States of America.

There are many in our country who are pushing to turn things of evil into things that are acceptable and good. This comes from a place of pride, selfishness, and lack of knowledge of the truth in God’s Word.

Those who claim to be Christian are under great scrutiny right now. The world is watching every step we take and using our imperfect if we actions to draw conclusions about our perfect and loving Savior- Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us that the world will hate us– just as they hated Jesus. Jesus faced many attacks during His time here and warns us that we are ‘no better than our master’. Meaning we should acknowledge that they hate us because we are not of the world– we are of Christ– who the world also hated. If we were of the world- they would love us.

If we are faithful servants and believer’s of Jesus Christ the questions is not if the hate and attacks will come, but when.

John 15 goes on to tell us that we are not alone– they hated Jesus without a cause– and they will do the same to us.

John 15:18-25 NKJV

The World’s Hatred

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

We need to be prepared with the knowledge of truth in the gospel, so that when the attacks come– we can defeat each one in the name of Jesus. The Bible warns us in 2 Timothy 3 that in the last days perilous (full of danger or risk, exposed to imminent risk of disaster or ruin) times will come.

2 Timothy 3:1-15 NKJV

Perilous Times and Perilous Men

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

The Man of God and the Word of God

10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Are you prepared with the gospel of truth, and ready to take a stand for Jesus?

We are living in the last days and the hatred for the truth in God’s Word is growing. Many are putting their personal feelings as priorities over the truth- removing God from many areas of our life.

I have been told we must keep the separation of church and state as the reason as to why their feelings or ways are being discriminated against. I can agree there should be a separation of church and state but NOT a separation of Jesus and state– these are two completely different things.

One is a building with religious practices and rules; where as the other is a relationship and foundational base of our country. All moral principles and laws were made based on the truth in the Bible. (stealing is illegal, lying is wrong, cheating/adulatory is wrong, we are to respect our elders, and forgive those who have hurt us– the list could go on)

The Bible is our foundational truth– the truth that people should be using as their source to ‘fact check’ anything. Without the compass of truth and morals– there would be no laws to follow.

I encourage you today to start preparing yourself for the day Jesus returns. Prepare yourself for the battles that lie ahead and equip yourself with the truth of God’s Word.

If the world hates you because of your relationship with Jesus- you are not alone- pick up your cross and keep pushing forward. Fight for what is good and right according to the word of God.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for sending Jesus to be by my side and to go before me in each battle I face. Thank you for Your guidance through Your Word on the hatred in the world and the last days we are living in. I confess that I have allowed the hatred of others to affect my relationship and walk with You- forgive me Lord- and expose to me any hatred I am holding in my heart. Bring every thought and action in accordance with Your will for my life. I pray You would be my strength when I am weak and that in You I will run and not grow weary when standing against the hatred in the world. It is in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Build Your Life on the Bible

Carefully read and re-read the below scripture from James 1. Note the instruction it gives us to living life in a relationship with God. What does it look like? What type of behaviors/habits should we have to live a healthy, purposeful, and productive life in Christ?

James 1:19-25 NKJV

Qualities Needed in Trials

19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Doers—Not Hearers Only

21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Hope comes from having a purpose.

As Christians we should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. We should be living our life with an overcoming attitude and an attitude of acceptance.

Faith comes from hearing the message- the message comes from the Word of Christ.

The Word of God is the “seed”- our hearts are the soil. Soil has to be prepared before a seed can be planted and thrive- just as our hearts need to be prepared to be receptive to hear God’s voice.

4 Attitudes for good reception to God’s Word

  1. Quiet
  2. Calm
  3. Humble
  4. Clean (take out the garbage-remove all sin and evil through confession)

An attitude of acceptance- welcomes the Word of God.

You cannot just listen to the Word of God-
You must DO WHAT YOU READ.

We need to evaluate our spiritual walk- are we hearers or doers of God’s Word?

Knowing something is NOT what makes it fruitful in your life. It is the application of what you know that determines the effect it has in and on your life. You can hear the Word of God and know the truth, but if you do not apply it to your life the knowledge is fruitless.

God calls us to be doers of His Word- not hearers.

It is through the hearing and doing of the Word of God that shapes us for the purpose He gives us in life.

I ask you today to look into the mirror- truly gaze at yourself and be honest- are you being a hearer or doer of Gods Word? Do you know what your purpose is in this life? Are you actively stepping in faith towards God’s ultimate plan for your life?

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for giving us Your Word, for guiding us and directing our paths. I am so thankful that you are a patient and forgiving God. Lord forgive me for the times I am acting as a hearer to Your Word instead of being a doer. Lord help each of us to truly look within ourselves and have discernment with what You are reveling to us. Show us how to actively listen and do what You are speaking to us. Give us the courage and strength to be bold in You- seeking first Your kingdom and purpose for our life. It is in Jesus might 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- A Desperate Call in Crisis

Racing thoughts- elevated blood pressure- body sweats- and the sinking feeling in your stomach are common reactions when a crisis strikes in your life. Everything as you know it is about to change- your fearful and overcome with emotion- what am I going to do?

There are two options in this situation- Trust God or Do not trust God. Hand it all over to Him and let Him work it out or frantically start trying to ‘fix’ the situation yourself.

I will give you- a hint one works and one causes a lot more hurt and only further complicates the situation.

In 2 Chronicles 20:20 Jehoshaphat was faced with a serious crisis when he was attacked by enemies on all sides. This was a great moment of desperation for him and he ordered the nation of Israel to worship God and call on Him for deliverance.

Jehoshaphat said, “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established, believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”

He knew that he alone could not win the battle- so he focused the nations attention to the only One who really could deliver them- God.

The scripture goes on to explain that the Lord set ambushes against the people who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.

God does not always take us out of a crisis, but He will always see us through it.

If we put our full trust in Him and cry out for His deliverance- He will protect us and bring good to us through the battle. When we put our trust in the Lord- we can not lose- when God is in control we always win the battle.

A few years ago a crisis struck my life and shook my faith like never before! It was an extremely ugly custody battle over my son. I was being attacked on all sides- the court- my family- attorneys- work- and a toxic home life, I had yet to face.

To say it brought me to my knees would be an under statement. My son is my life. How would I go on if he no longer was with on a daily basis. I felt my world begin to crumble around me.

I began seeking and crying out to God like never before. I was a Christian but I did not know God like I do today. He began to expose many chains that had me bound. He exposed my inner self to me- He exposed the toxicity that I was living with daily from my father- He exposed how little trust I actually had in Him.

I have always said I trust and believe in God. That He is my Savior and watches over me. However, saying these things and truly living them with all your heart is two very different things.

As I began to seek Him for answers to the catastrophe of a life I was living- He answered! It was not the answer I wanted, nor the one I thought I would receive, but in the end it was exactly what I had been praying and begging God for.

He knows the desires of our heart and He hears every prayer- it is our job to listen to Him and trust in His response.

I thought I would share with you the battle prayer I wrote when going through some of the darkest- most difficult- times of my life.

My Battle Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Listen to me cry out for I am in desperate need. (Psalm 142:6) Lord God when they plot against me, they figure out how they can take my life, But I trust in you O Lord I declare “You are my God” you determine my destiny rescue me from the power of my enemies and those who chase me. (Psalm 31:13-15) Remind me you have not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) Indeed Lord God you are my rock and my fortress for the sake of your name lead me and guide me. (Psalm 31:3) Lord Jesus when I am surrounded by trouble you keep me safe you oppose my angry enemies and save me by your power, you will do everything you have promised. (Psalm 138:7) For when I am afraid I will trust in you, I praise God for his word I trust God so I am not afraid. What can human beings do to me?(Psalm 56:3-4) Lord God I pray for the blessing you promised of giving words of wisdom that none of my enemies will be able to prove wrong. (Luke 21:15) Lord you are there and know what I should do when I am ready to give up. (Psalm 142:3) Lord help us to remember the weapons of our warfare is not of the flesh but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. (2 Corinthians 10:4) Lord you said “the captives of warriors will be released and the tyrants will be retrieved for I will fight those who fight you and I will save your children” (Isaiah 49:25) and I pray this to be true over my life and my family. Lord God I pray you remind me of what you said in Isaiah 41 “Fear not, for I am with you, Be not dismayed for I am your God I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you , I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” “For I , the Lord your God will hold your right hand saying to you fear not I will help you” God I thank you for the blessing and power of prayer for Jesus answered and said, “Have faith in God, for assuredly I say to you whoever says to this mountain “Be removed and be cast in the sea” and does NOT doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you whatever things you ask when you pray believe that you receive them and you will have them. (Mark 11:22-24) I pray this to be true over my family and my current troubles Lord God. I pray you use this situation to turn bad into good to glorify your name and your kingdom. When we are feeling overwhelmed by all going on give us encouragement, when we’re running out of strength give us endurance. In spite of everything help us know your peace and joy. (Romans 15:5 14:7)If god is with us, no one can defeat us. But in all things we have full victory through God who showed his love for us. (Romans 8) Lord Jesus I pray you dress me in the armor of God having “girded my waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness and having shod my feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit which is the word of God’ (Ephesians 6:14-17) and stop all evil and allow your will to be done. Lord Jesus thank you for all these promises and all the guidance you provide. I pray this unto you in the name of Jesus.

– Amen