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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- Deceptions Discovered

Deception is deep in the roots of the world today. For years, generations have been slowly moving away from the morals and foundational truths that our world was built upon. Evil is beginning to flourish in our nation and people are basing their self-worth on what they do or do not do and what others think of them.

In a world that the enemy is deceiving us people are destined to drink the cup of lies. Lies so deep they ultimately lead to failure. I have believed this lie for years! As a Christian I noticed my life did not seem any different than those who were non-believers.

I knew I had to be missing something- where was my peace and security in Jesus. I certainly was not feeling it or seeing it!

I began to ‘try harder’ to gain the approval of those around me, ultimately causing me to feel more ‘valuable’. This did not help! Unfortunately, it took me YEARS to discover that I was being deceived to my core and I had NO IDEA! It ultimately led to me feeling alienated, insecure, lonely, and an extreme fear of abandonment.

The definition of deceived is:

  • cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid
  • to give false impression
  • to make someone believe something that is not true

Insecurity comes from being born into a fallen human race and is a common struggle among people. When we struggle with insecurity we need to look within ourselves to find out the underlying reason we feel this way.

Feeling insecure comes from a problem within a persons foundational beliefs. Just as a fever indicates a physical health illness- insecurity indicates a faith ailment and should be addressed accordingly with God’s truth.

Many people seek relief for their emotional, relational, and spiritual insecurities. The intense feelings of insecurity is debilitating and painful.

Life is a constant struggle to gain more and more freedom for this debilitating ‘birth defect’ that we all have. The Bible warns us in many places to be aware of our natural conditions.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

Ephesians 2:1 NKJV

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;

Ephesians 4:17-18 NKJV

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:22 NKJV

We are also warned that our battle with security and significance does not disappear as soon as we accept Jesus. We must be on guard and check everything against the standards of God before accepting something as true.

2 Prime Deceptions

  1. We do not realize that we are plagued by many deceptions of the world. These type of deceptions come in all shapes and sizes- in varying degrees- and from varying sources. No amount of contemplation or reasoning can reveal every person’s core deceptions- only God can reveal the deceptions that hinder our lives individually.
  2. What we think we believe isn’t what we truly believe. Believing something in your mind but lacking full commitment in our heart is called intellectual assent. I am going to use myself for the example- I grew up with a harsh, condemning, and abusive father- so when I heard that God is a loving, forgiving, and patient Father- I believed this in an intellectual assented way.

    I knew in my mind that God was good- His word tells me so- but it took years for me to realize that I wasn’t truly trusting God with all my heart. I would verbally state I believed God is a loving God- but due to my early beliefs of what a father was – being rooted in deception from my earthly father I struggled to trust God. If I am being honest, on occasion, I still catch myself subconsciously not trusting in Him.

Our ‘heart beliefs’ is what controls our understanding and experience of God. When we come into the world as babies- we have no defense against absorbing the deceptions around them. That, combined with our natural minds that are antagonistic (showing dislike or opposition) to the things of God- we tend to entrust our lives into critical beliefs that are false. False heart or critical beliefs influence our lives and beliefs about God and who we are. It also influences our thinking when it comes to our value and worth.

Discovering the Deception in Your Life

We do not usually question our core heart beliefs- especially when those around us hold the same ones. However, if we trace our insecurities back to their roots- we will find it is always due to a deception that we believe about how God responds to our failures, sin, or falling short of His standards.

Every perception of God, every way a person interacts with Him, is built on what they believe is the basis of their relationship with Him.

-Robert McGee

Satan has been quite successful in distorting this aspect of persons relationship with God. These type of heart deceptions are common- even in born again Christians- because we hold a distorted view of grace and God’s unconditional love for us. We intellectually know these things, but our hearts won’t believe what our minds acknowledge and know to be true.

Believer’s and non-believer’s fail consistently because of our sinful nature. If we are not relying completely on the grace of God and His love we will have feelings of abandonment. Feeling as if God has left us or even worse, He is our enemy, or that He is punishing us in some way.

When we experience these feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and insecurity- God desires that we come to Him and ask Him for help- allowing the Holy Spirit to expose to us any deceptions on which we are depending or believing.

When we feel the feelings of anxiety, fear, abandonment, and insecurity we don’t have to fear these experiences. God allows us to have these experiences so that He can show His people the deceptions on which we are relying, and then remove them.

God wants to set us free of every deception- every feeling of abandonment, insecurity, and fear. If we seek Him and His truth, discernment, and understanding- He will set us free from our insecurities and deceptions!

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a God of truth and love- For offering us discernment and security through Your word. Lord I pray You break every chain of deception the enemy has over each of us. I pray You would expose the lies we are believing in our hearts and show us the truth to replace them with. God, I ask for forgiveness for falling prey to the enemy in my heart beliefs and for not seeking Your truth. Lord, I pray for each person who reads this message- that You would touch their hearts- open their eyes- and show each of us who we are in You. I declare every insecurity, feeling of abandonment, and feeling of loneliness be shut down and the chains be broken now, in the name of Jesus I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo-Compromising Peace

Are you a people pleaser? Do you often put your own wants, beliefs, and needs to the side to keep peace among friends, family, or co-workers? Maybe you feel your worth comes from what others think, say, or feel about you. Who do you live your life striving to please- God or others?

I am a people pleaser. I know this is not what God has called me to be and I am working hard on learning to stand up for myself and God.

For many years I was living my life under the control of my father. Day after day I willfully gave him all the power over my life. Allowing him to control every decision I made- from when I do yard work to how I raised my child.

It was totally unhealthy!

The worst part was it went on for many years and I didn’t even realize it was happening. I was 30 years old when God showed me CLEARLY what He was doing in my life.

I was going through a period of trials and heartache lasting about four years that finally ended when I became FULLY obedient to God. When crying out to Him about the situations going on at the time God asked me, “Are you going to serve Gary your earthly father, or Me, God THE father? You can’t do both!”

I wept. I knew EXACTLY what God was saying to me.

There were countless times that I did the opposite of what God was telling me to do to please my father and avoid any verbal abuse, physical abuse, or confrontation of any kind.

I longed for my father to be loving, positively involved, and simply proud of who I was- not who he wanted me to be.

The mentioning of God would make his skin crawl. Unfortunately, my father had many demons that he carried throughout his life starting in his own childhood. This made it very difficult when trying to serve God- yet please him.

God wants us to be fully obedient to Him- He doesn’t want sacrifice’s or partial obedience- He wants us ALL IN. I would pray and ask for direction and wisdom- God would show me something and tell me to take action- then I would try to compromise with Him to be obedient yet not upset anyone else.

We can NOT only do a small part of what God tells us to do. When we know He is leading us we have to be bold in Him. Stepping out and standing up in love and not compromising our own morals or relationship with God so others won’t be upset.

Living in a compromised peace is not what God wants for us. We are not to me conformed to this world but TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our mind through Jesus.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2 NKJV

The world is becoming harder and harder to be a Christian in but we need to be sure we are making our own decisions and not allowing others to influence them. The Bible tells us to stand FIRM on His word and put on the whole armor of God. Our only responsibility is do what God wants us to do.

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11 NKJV

When we spend time studying God’s word and seeking Him- He lights a fire within our heart that can not be put out. You should know however, when you are on fire for God, people in the world will reject you- BUT He has overcome the world and we should not fear.

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:12 NKJV

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NKJV

We are not created to blend in with the world. In fact, it is quite the opposite- we are created to standout- to be bold and courageous- and to lean NOT on our own understanding.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 3:5 NKJV

God promises if we stand firm in our faith-seek Him above all else- and love with all our heart, mind, and soul- than we will have a peace that surpasses all understanding.

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7 NKJV

God is with you wherever you go! We do not have to live a life in compromised peace. It is time to stand-up, stand-out, and stand-frim on the truth.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9 NKJV

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.

Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this beautiful day and for offering us peace that surpasses all understanding. Lord, the world can be such a sinful and misleading representation of You and our destiny, help us to have discernment and knowledge. Let us not lean on our own understanding but trust in You with all our hearts. It is election day Lord, and the stress and tension is very tight. I pray each person would be lead by Your Holy Spirit and remember regardless of the outcome, You are still in control.

Lord I pray that each of us would have the courage to stand strong on Your word and stand up for what is right and true in You. Lord, help us to remember that we are all children of God and You want the world to choose love over hate- peace over strife, and truth over deceit.

Guide our steps and show us the way as we move forward through the election process. I pray Your will be done and the hearts of people all over the world would be open to see You.

Lord I pray for both candidates that each would hold themselves with grace and dignity. That you would protect each of them and their families. Lord I pray people would find love in their hearts and choose to support and uplift regardless of the outcome. I pray for the safety of America, guidance moving forward, and that love would fill the hearts of Your people all across the world. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo: Peace Over Strife

It’s no secret that the world is full of hatred, strife, and down right ugliness. Friends are turning against one another- families are being torn apart- and the country has never been more divided than it is today.

It is nearly impossible to turn on the television, log in to social media, or read the news without seeing story after story about the hatred, violence, and anger that is sweeping our nation.

This is a heart problem above all else. People are lashing out toward one another due to the hatred, pride, and self-serving attitudes within their hearts.

What happened to the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, than don’t say anything at all.”

It seems as if that is an outdated or moot teaching point with the new generations. Today’s culture is over sensitive, entitled, and hateful towards those who do not believe or live the same way they do.

It’s very much a MY WAY or NO WAY type of society.

God and the Bible have slowly been being phased out of schools and communities for years. This leaves one to wonder where the moral basis of life, love, and liberty are coming from.

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?

James 4:1 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=james+4%3A1&version=NKJV

The Bible tell us in James 4:1 where our fighting and troubles come from. They come from within ourselves- our desires for pleasure can quickly run our life, especially if we aren’t on guard and seeking God’s guidance above all else.

Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.

Proverbs 10:12 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+10%3A12&version=NKJV

Hatred and pride are roots causes of strife.

Currently we are seeing hatred for our president that is so strong it has divided our nation to the core. People are attacking each other because they think different- vote different- believe different- and live or look differently than themselves.

It is heartbreaking to see- I can’t imagine how our Father in Heaven feels!

God tells us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER- that love covers all sins.

Behind strife is pride- behind peace is humility.

By pride comes nothing but strife,
But with the well-advised is wisdom.

Proverbs 13:10 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+13%3A9-10&version=NKJV

Pride leads to strife- strife leads to destruction

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+16%3A18&version=NKJV

Nothing good comes from holding on to hatred- we need to humble ourselves before God. Begin to look within ourselves and get our own hearts right.

We are to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Just as we want God to forgive us when we fall short- we are to forgive others in the same way.

Humility comes from a place of self-reflection and self-growth. Learning to accept people’s differences and still show love knowing we ourselves are not perfect. God knew there would be trouble in the world due to our sinful nature and provided us with His Word (the Bible) as instruction on how to have a fulfilling life of peace, joy, and salvation.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+16%3A33&version=NKJV

There is power in peace.

To gain peace we must humble our selves in the Word of God. Accept our own short-comings and seek God above all else. When we learn to be at peace with ourselves, accept our own faults, and live only to please God- we unlock a power that can’t be reckoned with.

Living in peace is giving God all your worries, fears, troubles, and your whole heart. Trusting in Him to provide all your needs and to guide your paths. Knowing no matter your circumstances God is with you and He works on your behalf.

The Lord wants to help us and be our guiding light but when we are living in strife our focus is quickly shifted from Him resulting in a downward spiral that robs our peace and joy.

The Bible tells us we are to do all we can to be at peace with everyone.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Hebrew 12:14 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+12%3A14&version=NKJV

not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 

10 For “He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3:9-11 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+3%3A9-11&version=NKJV

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

Romans 12:18 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12%3A18&version=NKJV

We are not designed to live in such a high stress, violent, and hateful world. The Lord wants us to live a peaceful and prosperous life in Him. Like anything else in life- change starts with ourselves.

It is time for the country to stand together in peace and prayer. Each of us making the decision to change our focus and attitude- to diligently seek Him above all else- and learn to LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a forgiving and patient God. A God who is slow to anger and quick to forgive. Lord the world is full of hatred and strife and it is very difficult not to be sucked in. The negativity, lies, and personal attacks on one another are at an all time high. Lord I ask that you help me search deep within myself- expose to me the condition of my own heart. Help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to forgive. I pray that each person would open their hearts to You- so that you may expose Your truth to them. I pray that each person who comes to You and truly seeks You with all their heart will find You and Your peace that surpasses all understanding. Father, I pray for our broken world- I pray that each would repent from their sins, so that you may heal the land. I pray Your guidance, protection, and mercy over our nation and world as a whole. Let us all shift our focus to You and strive to live peaceably above all men. I declare no weapon formed against our nation shall prosper- God You are in Control- Let Your Will be done in Jesus might name I pray

Amen

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Daily Devo- Road to Salvation

Today’s devotional is about sharing the road to salvation. A recent study I completed through the Christian University Online referred to it as the “Romans Road to Salvation”. This is probably due to the fact that it consists of 8 different scriptures all found in the book of Romans in the Bible.

Follow me as we take a trip down the “Romans Road to Salvation” and dig into scripture to see what the Bible says about salvation and its importance in our life.

Recognize that no one is free of sin- no one is perfect.

Romans 3:23 NKJV- 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Recognize the consequences of sin without Jesus

Romans 6:23 NKJV- 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Acknowledge the sacrifice and love from God

Romans 5:8 NKJV- But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Accept and confess- you are a sinner and need Jesus to save you

Romans 10:9 NKJV- that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Call upon Him-Invite Him into your life- You are saved

Romans 10:13 NKJV- 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Gift of Salvation

Romans 5:1 NKJV- Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

You are free!

Romans 8:1 NKJV- There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the gift of salvation. For loving me so much to send your son to die for my sins. Lord I recognize that I am a sinner and fall short of your glory each day. Forgive me Lord for the sins I have committed. Lord help to give me discernment, strength through temptation, and ability to withstand the deceit from Satan. I am so thankful you are a forgiving and gracious God, regardless of my many short comings. It’s in Jesus’ mighty name I pray.

Amen

Blog, Life, Family, Encouragement

Learning to rest in the Lord

Learning to pick and choose our battles wisely is not an easy task to do- but it is possible! Every household runs differently and our home lives vary greatly. Some households are constantly on the move, have high stress levels, and often consist of bickering- resulting in total exhaustion daily. While other households look very different- peaceful through the times of high stress, making a priority of time for family, and not bickering over the “little things” in life. Accepting the unknown and living in peace while waiting for God to fulfill His purpose.

As humans we are often high strung, stressed out, and always “busy” with what is happening in life- often times- neglecting the things that matter most- God, Family, and Peace. These things should be the ultimate priorities- the ones at the top of our list- to ensure we our living a joyful and prosperous life.

Have you ever heard the saying you need to stop and smell the flowers? This is often said to someone you are trying to tell to “slow down” and enjoy the little things in life. The smallest things can be the most beautiful experiences and memories. Things we will cherish for years to come.

So how do we do this? To find peace you need to know the author of peace- God.

Then you need to build your relationship with Jesus and learn what the word of God (the Bible) says about each area in your life that you struggle with.

Resting in the Lord begins with learning to trust in the Lord. True peace and rest comes when you seek God above all else. Looking to Him for guidance and direction. Accepting His peace, that surpasses all understanding- knowing that we are not in control-He is. If we trust in the Lord with all our heart and all our might- He will always bring us through, be our strength and our refuge in the storm.

In order for someone to enter in to true rest with God they have to know He is trustworthy and reliable. God is on our side- He has a plan to help us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future.

Once trust is established and one accepts and acknowledges Christ as their Savior- He begins to renew us and strengthen us through Him. This enables one to not fret or grow weary in doing good and waiting on the Lord’s will to be fulfilled.

God’s will is ALWAYS GOOD. Once we put our trust into Him- resting in His promises begins to come easier as we seek Him. Knowing and trusting that in His perfect timing we will reap what He has promised us.

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6

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.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Psalm 62:8

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.

Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.


Do you want more on Learning to Trust God?

Check out the Motivational Monday Video on Trusting God

Blog, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit- Learn to walk in the Spirit

What does the “fruit of the spirit” mean?

The fruits of the spirit are 9 specific behaviors that are a result from the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. The Greek word καρπός that we translate to “fruit” usually means fruit in the sense of edible fruits and vegetables- however can also be translated as offspring, deed, action, result, or profit. In an agrarian society, fruit is a good thing; it is the result of hard work and careful tending.

In the world we live today, we may use it in a phrase like the “fruit of our labor” in this case the “fruit” you receive from your hard work may not be apples, oranges, or corn. In fact- it’s more likely to look like a paycheck-a reached goal-a finished project- a triumph over hurt(s) or obstacle(s) in your life- perhaps for some, it’s starting a new family. The Lord blesses each person differently according to their needs and most importantly His will.

Understanding the different meanings of the word “fruit” will help you apply the scripture more appropriately and easily to your life. Helping you to understand the root meaning and recognize the fruits you are producing in your own life.

Life is all about choices– our choices produce the fruit in our life!

Read Galatians 5:16-26 – NKJV (emphasis added below)

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

The Bible clearly shows us in Galatians 5 that the result of the Holy Spirit working in a believers life results in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

It also shows us that in contrast to walking in the Holy Spirit— is to be walking in the flesh. In other words– doing things our way without seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit. It also goes on to tell us what the results will look like in our life if we are choosing to walk in the flesh. It specifically states the following:

  • adultery
  • fornication
  • uncleanness
  • lewdness  
  • idolatry
  • sorcery
  • hatred
  • contentions
  • jealousies
  • outbursts of wrath
  • selfish ambitions
  • dissensions
  • heresies
  • envy
  • murders
  • drunkenness
  • revelries
  • not to become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another

After having studied the above scripture in Galatians 5– I think it is fair to say, we have two choices in life– we can walk in the Holy Spirit or we can walk in the flesh.

Matthew 7:15-20 says You Will Know Them by Their Fruits

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Let’s take a minute to be truly honest with ourselves and God. Let’s say a prayer to ask God to expose to us our own hearts and open our minds and self to clarity in Him.

Heavenly Father,

I am thankful for Your Holy Spirit and the redemption I have in You. Lord help me to see my heart through your eyes. Expose to me the things I may not even know is happening within my mind and my heart. God I pray you give me clarity through Your word and help me to transform my heart, my mind, my entire self- to be more like You. God, I know I am far from perfect and I make mistakes daily, forgive me Lord, guide my path, restore my faith, and show me what You want me to learn in my time spent with You. Lord if I am believing something that is not true, help me to see the truth in You. Thank you God for Your promises, that never fail and Your blessings that I know you are already working on for me. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

God is good! Let’s take a closer look at the 9 fruits of the spirit.

Love

There is more than one type of love.

  • Storge – empathy bond
    • Storge (storgē, Greek: στοργή) is liking someone through the fondness of familiarity, family members or people who relate in familiar ways that have otherwise found themselves bonded by chance. An example is the natural love and affection of a parent for their child.
  • Philios – friend bond
    • Philios (philíos, Greek: φιλία) is the love between friends as close as siblings in strength and duration. The friendship is the strong bond existing between people who share common values, interests or activities.
  • Eros – romantic love
    • Eros (erōs, Greek: ἔρως) was love in the sense of “being in love” or “loving” someone.
  • Agape – unconditional “God” love
    • Charity (agápē, Greek: ἀγάπη) is the love that exists regardless of changing circumstances.

      To read more from the source on the types of love click here.
      NOTE: THE WEBSITE LINKED IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH FAITHANCHORED.COM

In Galatians 5 the type of love it is referring to is Agape love-God’s unconditional love. A love not earned but freely given to those who have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. Agape love isn’t about what we do or do not do– it’s what has already been done for us, through Jesus Christ. This love is never changing, never failing, and covers all sin.

Jesus said in John 15:9-11

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

I am sure there are others–like myself– who struggle with this- because let’s be honest– loving everyone– including those who hurt, offend, or disagree with u– is downright hard!

But with God’s help– you can love someone with an unconditional, agape, love regardless of what they may have or have not done. This is because we only have agape love through the Giver (Jesus)– so because we possess His perfect love–from walking in the Holy Spirit– we can give that love to others.

You can’t give what you do not possess. We receive His love as a result of walking in the Holy Spirit, and allowing Him to guide us. Reacting in His spirit not our flesh with each step we take.

Joy

Joy in the biblical reference is gladness in realization of God’s favor and mercy. Joy is happiness NOT dependent on your circumstances but solely on the reverential understanding of God–His power–His Will–the truth of who you are and your purpose in Him. When you have joy as a result of walking in the Holy Spirit nothing can bring you down-because you know through God that you are covered.

Nehemiah 8:10 tells us Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials..

Peace

Peace- in the biblical concept– means you are far from fear and worry when it comes to finances, trials, food, clothing, and daily essentials.

God’s word tells us in Romans 8:6 For to be carnally (fleshly) minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Meaning if we walk in the Holy Spirit the result is the fruit of peace. The peace that surpasses all understanding. This type of peace comes from allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our mind and heart. The fruit of peace can be seen when peace comes even when life’s circumstances are far from tranquil.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Longsuffering

Longsuffering is not something we hear often in conversation- a more common word meaning the same would be- patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance, or even slow to anger.

When we walk in the Spirit the result is we bear fruit of patience, endurance, and become long-tempered. Through the Holy Spirit we are able to wait longer- to trust in God’s timing.

Look how Paul explained the patience of Jesus in 1 Timothy 1:16
However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

I know I am not alone when I say I have certainly benefited from Jesus being one of great patience–especially since I haven’t always been one to “learn my lesson” the first time ..or ten! haha.

Seriously though, I am so thankful for Jesus’ patience with me. It’s never too late to make a change!

Another form of evidence that the Holy Spirit is in our life is we become patient- humble-gentle with one another. Just as Ephesians 4:1-2 shows us.

 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love

Kindness

Kindness in the biblical aspect conveys the meaning of moral goodness, integrity, and/or usefulness. In the King James Version this word is translated “gentleness,” which links it to the meaning of a gentleman or a gentlewoman, someone who behaves properly (according to God’s word), with moral integrity and kindness.   

Romans 2 reminds us that it is because of God’s goodness that we are brought to repentance and not judgement. This helps us to remember to not be judgmental and remain humble. Evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a Christian’s life is moral integrity with kindness–not getting stuck in the trap of self-righteous judgment.

Goodness

Goodness in the biblical aspect means uprightness of your heart and life. In other words-your heart is in the right place. It relates to not only being good but doing good things-expecting nothing- including recognition because you have done something “good”. Goodness from walking with the Holy Spirit acts in response of faith in His power– because God is good, it is by His power we are prompted to do good things for others that He calls us to do.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 New Living Translation

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.

Faithfulness

Faithfulness is a character trait based on the combination of dependability and trust in the confidence of God and His eternal promises. Faithfulness is a result of walking in the Holy Spirit– evidence that the Holy Spirit dwells within us and our faith is in Him and Him alone.

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

Faith is evidence of things unseen– It is by faith that we understand

Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Gentleness

Gentleness (could also be translated as meekness) is a personal trait that is a result of a Christian who is walking in the spirit. It is a fruit that comes as evidence of the Holy Spirit working within oneself. It is because of God’s gentleness that we are able to show it through our actions to others.

Jesus describes himself as gentle–meek in Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Wikipedia explains gentleness like this “Gentleness is a personal quality which can be part of one’s character. It consists in kindness, consideration and amiability. Being gentle has a long history in many, but not all cultures. Aristotle used it in a technical sense as the virtue that strikes the mean with regard to anger: being too quick to anger is a vice, but so is being detached in a situation where anger is appropriate; justified and properly focused anger is named mildness or gentleness.”

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

What a great reminder for us to be slow to anger and gentle in our words.

Self-Control

Self -control comes as a result of walking in the spirit and is the ability to control ones body and desires–physically and mentally. It is the opposite of walking in the flesh and indulging in one’s selfish desires.

Galatians 5:16-18 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law

2 Peter 1:5-9 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.


sources used: https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holy-spirit/what-are-the-fruits-of-the-spirit.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Loves, https://www.biblegateway.com

Daily Bible Verses

Daily Bible Verse- January 3, 2020

Psalm 4:8

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V. – July 27 2019

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NKJV

“Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”
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