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How to Advance Through Our Adversity

Romans 8:18, 26-28
What would happen if we approached a fork in the road and found two signs, one reading “Road of Comfort” and the other, “Road of Adversity”? We would veer onto the Road of Comfort with a sigh of relief, wouldn’t we? None of us wants to experience even one single unnecessary moment of pain, disappointment, or loss. Yet God’s Word tells us affliction is inevitable. (John 16:33) The good news, however, is that for the believer, there is always purpose in it. (Romans 8:28)
Purpose #1 Adversity reveals our view of God. If we feel like victims in the trial, then our belief in His sovereignty is not solid. If we become fixed on our negative circumstances, then our faith in His good purposes is shown to be shaky. The more clearly we understand who God is, the deeper and stronger our faith will be. Strong faith will keep us steady.
Purpose #2 Adversity teaches us the truth about ourselves. Many of these truths could not be learned any other way. For example, through financial…
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Filled with All Peace and Joy

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13(KJV)

I went through a particularly difficult time several years ago when there was absolutely no joy or peace in my life. Every time I made a mistake, I was quick to condemn myself, angry that I couldn’t be the “perfect Christian.”

Then one day, I came across Romans 15:13: May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing… That was it. I got it!

I realized that I had plunged into doubt and unbelief, allowing the devil to torment me with negativity, anger, and impatience. In the process, I had forgotten that believing in God and trusting His Word brings peace and hope and overcomes my weakness.

God’s Word gave me the answer. Jesus loved me so much that He not only forgave all my sins from the past but also looked ahead and forgave me for those moments of weakness when I’d fail in the future. I don’t have to allow Satan to sne…

Renewal or Relapse

1 John 1:5-9
Whether we have recently become believers or have followed Christ for years, our enemy the Devil seeks to attack our faith and cause us to relapse into disobedient ways. We are warned to be alert because our enemy is like a roaring lion seeking to harm us. (1 Peter 5:8)
His intentions are to enslave us to sin. When we succumb to temptation, Satan presses in to trap us so that we will feel estranged from God. Our enemy tries to convince us we cannot return to God in our current state. Some of us become so miserable that we buy the lie and embrace the world’s ways.
Since our heavenly Father knows the Devil’s tactics and our weaknesses, He has planned an escape for us. It is called “confession.” Genuine confession means telling God what we have done and agreeing it is wrong – we express sorrow over it, acknowledge we cannot rescue ourselves, and declare our heartfelt desire to turn from our sin and live for Him again. God promises to forgive us and cleanse us so that we might…

What Is Faith?

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4(KJV)

Faith is a word that we use a lot, but sometimes we can make it too complicated. Faith simply means ‘belief or absolute trust’; the word also implies loyalty and commitment.

Faith isn’t a huge, complicated concept that we have to stress over. Genuine faith in God simply acknowledges that the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection is absolutely true. It happens when we say, “Not only does it make sense to me, but I’m willing to stake my life on it.”

The Bible says that the uncompromisingly righteous shall live by faith and faithfulness. One way to think of the uncompromisingly righteous is to think of those who are made right by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Through faith we are made right, and God treats us as His own beloved children.

Today, I encourage you to get back to the basics of faith. Know that when you put your faith in Him, you are made right. Live by yo…

Renewal or Relapse

Romans 12:1-2
We all falter occasionally in our Christian walk, but some believers go back into their old lifestyle and stay there, almost as if they had never been saved. It could be a few weeks after salvation or years later that they turn away from God. What causes a person to go from pursuing Christ to following the ways of the world?
We know that when we are saved by grace, we have a new birth experience. (2 Corinthians 5:17) God creates something original within us – a brand new nature – and it is so wonderful we look forward to telling others about it. Then we return to our old environment, where people who know us have not changed. Over time, they will use enticements to get us to interact as we once did – to laugh at their jokes, to read worldly books and magazines, and even to agree with commonly held opinions. We are often frustrated at their response to our faith and our lifestyle, but because God wants us to lead others to Christ, He leaves us in our old surroundings.
What…

How to Handle Difficult Circumstances

Philippians 1:12-20
Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi was written during his Roman imprisonment. Chained continuously to a guard while awaiting trial, he wrote encouraging the Philippians not to worry over him, because he was learning some valuable lessons. “For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am,” he told them. (Philippians 4:11) Notice the verse does not say that he was always happy; happiness depends upon circumstances. Contentment, on the other hand, indicates we are so anchored in God that we can thank Him in the midst of pain. Paul was sitting in one of the worst places in the world, but he scarcely mentioned his surroundings. Instead, his focus never wavered from God. (Philippians 1:20; 3:10)
Paul did not see himself as a victim. He believed himself to be under the sovereign hand of the Living Lord – in God’s place at God’s time for God’s purpose. All around him, Paul saw the good result of his time in prison. The entire Praetorian Guard, the elite…

Thankful in the Midst of Suffering

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18(KJV)

The Bible encourages us to always be thankful. That’s easy when God answers prayer and delivers us from problems. But it isn’t always easy when things go wrong. So how can we remain thankful in the midst of suffering?

We have two choices to make. The first is to praise God in spite of what’s going on in our lives. Or another way to say that is, in the midst of our troubles and hardships, we can rejoice over the things that are not wrong in our lives.

The second choice is to ask, “God, what can I learn from this? What do You want to teach me through this so that I may be closer to You and rejoice more fully in Your goodness?” Those are not easy questions, and the answers are often hard to hear.

Sometimes we can only grasp the important lessons in our lives when we go through difficult times. Thank God that the hard times will lead you to better things.

In the midst of suffering,…

Your Three Best Weapons

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. 2 Corinthians 10:3(KJV)

Through careful strategy and cunning deceit, Satan attempts to wage war against you and keep you in a mindset of defeat. But God has given you spiritual weapons to use against him. Here are the main three spiritual weapons you can use to fight off the enemy:

1. God’s Word: Receive it through preaching, teaching, reading and private Bible study. Continue in the Word until it becomes revelation given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

2. Praise: This defeats the devil faster and more efficiently than any other battle plan, but it must be genuine heart-praise, not just lip service or a religious ritual.

3. Prayer: Prayer is relationship with the Godhead. It is communication with God, asking Him for help or talking with Him about whatever is on your heart. To have an effective prayer life, we must develop an intimate, personal relationship with the Father. Know that He loves you and that He wants to help y…

What Now?

Matthew 5:13-16
God’s purpose for each of us is to make a lasting impact. We are to have a spiritual influence in the lives of the people we meet. This is not an option; it is a command. And the power of our impact is going to be determined by the character of our life. The Bible uses a very common item to describe what our character should be – we are to be like salt.
Food is flavored by salt. We are to season the lives of the people around us in such as way that they will come to know Jesus Christ. Salt also creates thirst. When we enjoy a big slice of hickory smoked ham for breakfast, we need a glass of water to go with it! When we are at work or among friends, people notice our joy and contentment and desire to have those things for themselves. Their heart thirsts for God.
Salt has unique healing properties. One treatment for a sore throat is to dissolve salt in warm water and gargle with the soothing solution. In the same way, we can be a healing element in the lives of others. Ta…

Stir Yourself Up!

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6(KJV)

God’s love is unconditional and everlasting. I remember how amazed and excited I was when He revealed His love to me. I felt like I was going to burst!

But after awhile, I got used to the fact that God loves me, and I didn’t feel the same passion.

Are you experiencing the same thing? If so, I believe there is something you can do about it.

Paul told Timothy to stir himself up, to fan the flame and rekindle the embers of the fire he once had. Paul’s message to Timothy is God’s message to you today: Stir yourself up! Stop living life being tired of the “same old, same old.”

We need to remember this: Passion is a decision about how we will approach life before it becomes a feeling.

So make a decision today to wake up every morning excited about the relationship you have with your Creator. Stir yourself up and live amazed by Him!

Prayer Starter: God, I want to…

The True Test of Spiritual Maturity

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Galatians 5:6(KJV)

We are to have genuine, pure, fervent love for others above everything else we do. If we can manage only one thing in our lives, it should be to love other people.

Many people think great faith is the number one sign of spiritual maturity. But I believe that walking in love is the true test of spiritual maturity, and I know that it energizes our faith walk.

The Bible teaches that faith works through love. Galatians 5:6 says that what really counts is “faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.” Love is not talk or theory; it’s action.

Trying to walk in faith without love is like having a flashlight with no battery. We must keep our love battery charged at all times, otherwise our faith will not work! I believe Christians can run into problems when we do not diligently pursue walking in love as a vital part of our faith and relation…

What Now?

2 Chronicles 7:11-14
Scripture is true and reliable. When we read about how the Lord related to His people in Bible times, we should look for application to our own lives. Too often, Christians allow themselves to think divine judgment could never happen today. But what does the record show?
Today’s passage reveals that judgment could, in fact, befall those God loves. These verses concern “My people” – not some pagan nation – and turning away from the heavenly Father would result in pestilence and drought. But verse 14 also reveals God’s plan to rescue a nation under judgment. We believers are to:
Humble ourselves. We must acknowledge God’s right to rule over us.
Pray. This describes heartfelt crying out to the Lord (Psalm 34:17) rather than simply a bringing of requests before Him. We are to pray out of a sense of desperation and helplessness.
Seek His face. We are to have a longing in our hearts to know God’s will for ourselves as well as for our nation.
Turn from our wicked ways. Wi…

Learning To Live With Life’s Loads

2 Corinthians12:1-10

We don’t know the nature of Paul’s affliction, but it wasn’t a pleasant one. Perhaps it was physical. Perhaps it was emotional. But we do know it was painful. Three times Paul went before the Lord, begging Him to take away this burden. And three times, Paul was denied.
Are there burdens and afflictions in your life? Do you wonder why you must experience them? Rest assured that if God allowed a trial in your life, you will be able to withstand it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
When we ask God to take these burdens and trials away, we must analyze our requests. Are they because we just don’t want them around? Can we not go on anymore? Are our burdens simply uncomfortable?
No matter how heavy the load seems, God is there with you. He will use the burden or trial to transform you, to change you, to use you.
The answer Paul received as to why his burden wouldn’t disappear was this: “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I…

Be a True Worshiper

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4:23(KJV)

Worship is so much more than just singing songs. It is a condition of the heart and a state of mind. We can even worship God passionately without singing a single note. Our worship for God is born in our hearts, it fills our thoughts, and it is expressed through our mouths and through our bodies.

The world often thinks of worship as “religion,” which could not be further from the biblical concept of worship. It’s about a personal relationship, spiritual intimacy and passionate expressions of devotion from people who love God with all their hearts. This is true worship.

The Bible says that God is seeking those who worship Him ‘in spirit and in truth.”

I find it interesting that He does not want just anybody to worship Him. He wants true and genuine people. He does not want to be worshiped out of fear, obligation or religion.

T…

The Troublemaker Within Us

Galatians 5:19-25

When we set our minds on things of the flesh – those sinful attitudes, ideas, and habits in our life – we are decreeing death to the things of God. What makes such desires hard to resist is that they are natural and involve common worldly aspirations like money, sex, prominence, and power. But Scripture says the natural man does not receive the things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:14) Just because something is natural or “only human” does not mean it is right.
Notice that there’s nothing wrong with eating, but the Bible considers gluttony sinful. (Proverbs 23:20-21) Nor is there anything immoral about sex when it is practiced within the boundaries God gave us. As long as appetites and desires are subdued and brought under the subjection of the Holy Spirit, our fellowship with God can continue harmoniously. When yearnings are unrestrained, however, our closeness and communication with the Lord is hindered.
To give control of our life over to the Holy Spirit, we must be per…

You Must Develop Patience

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:4(KJV)

When you and I say to God, “Change me,” we better know what we’re saying because we are not just going to wake up different the next morning. Instead, what God is going to do is give us an opportunity, through opposition, to grow as we change.

James 1 tells us how important it is to have patience when we’re changing and facing opposition. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit that only develops and grows under trial, and it’s something we need. Scripture tells us that when we have it, we’re perfect and entire, lacking nothing. However, there’s just no way to get it without going through something to receive it.

If we really want to be victorious Christians who serve God and make a difference in the world, then we are going to have to go through some challenging things. The devil will try to scare you off, but God can see you through any challenge.

So today, choose to let God work through…

Making Him Known

Acts 17:16-33
There are three questions that everyone needs to be able to answer correctly: Who is the one true God? What is He like? And is it possible to have a personal relationship with Him? Throughout the history of mankind, countless people of all nations have been haunted by these questions.
When the apostle Paul was in Athens, he provided answers for the people there by preaching about Jesus. Today, Christians continue to share about Jesus because it is God’s will that every single person have the correct answer to those three questions. (1 Timothy 2:3-4). Think about all the religions of the world and how many people are involved in those myriad faiths. Most live in fear, uncertainty, and darkness.
Imagine we are walking into church Sunday morning and sitting before a giant statue of bronze or gold. We might sing a few songs, then take up an offering and lay it on the foot of the statue. After singing several additional melodies, we return to our houses. What would we carry ho…

You’re No Surprise to God

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Jeremiah 1:5(KJV)

Do you ever feel like God is disappointed with you? I used to feel this way until one day He said, “You know, Joyce, you’re no surprise to Me. I knew what I was getting when I got you.”

Think about it! God knows the end from the beginning, and all the days of our life are written in His book. Every decision we’re ever going to make, good or bad, God already knew them before we ever showed up on planet earth. He already knows today every word in our mouth that is still unuttered, even what we’re going to say a year from now.

Sometimes we go around thinking that God is so disappointed with us all the time. It’s true that we make mistakes. And we’re not supposed to be lighthearted about them, we need to take them seriously. But in spite of our mistakes, God has hope for us and knows that He can change us if we’ll sta…

Pursue a Life of Holiness

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. 1 Peter 1:15(KJV)

I think we need to be a little more careful than we are with how we live. Not that we have to be so careful that we live in fear, but careful in a godly way, not a legalistic way.

Because if we’re not careful about who our friends are, what television programs and movies we watch, what kind of books we read, what kind of music we listen to, how we spend our money, and what we do with our time, we could end up living wasted lives.

As Christians, we must pursue holiness and realize that we are sanctified, which means we are set apart for God’s use. In fact, the minute we accept Christ as our Savior, we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit and set apart for a God-given purpose. And if we’re not fulfilling our purpose or if we’re not pursuing our purpose, we’re going to feel empty and frustrated.

I urge you today to pursue your purpose of holiness. When faced with tricky decisions, ask God wha…

The Blessings of Our Inadequacy (2)

2 Corinthians 3:1-6
Many people would scoff at the idea of inadequacy as any kind of blessing. Too many of us have been tormented by such feelings rather than blessed by them. At the same time, Christians can use them as stepping stones to blessing:
1. Our inadequacy forces us to do our work in the power of the Holy Spirit. Anything that puts us on our knees and drives us to God has to be good.
2. An awareness of our limitation can relieve us of the burden of trying to do God’s will in our own strength. Without the Holy Spirit, we will be crushed by weights we cannot carry.
3. Another blessing is that such awareness “frees” God to use us to the maximum of our potential. When we are lowly enough to feel our need, then God will raise us to great heights.
4. Acknowledging our shortcomings allows God to get all the glory for His work. Spiritually minded people can tell when something is of God and when it’s not. If you are in the Spirit, the glory will rightfully go to the Lord.
5. Inadequ…

God Knows We Can’t Be Perfect

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12(KJV)

There are many people who are so afraid of making a mistake that they don’t do anything. Instead, they sit around saying, “What if I’m wrong? What if I miss God?”

Do you know what God told me one time? He said, “If you miss me, I’ll find you.”

If we are wandering off somewhere and not sure where we are, we can just lift up our hands and say, “Jesus, come and get me! I’m confused. I think I made a wrong decision.”

God knows we cannot be perfect, so He sent His son as a perfect sacrifice for us. Now we’re pressing toward the mark of perfection. In Philippians 3, the apostle talks about pressing forward to what lies ahead and forgetting about the past.

God is calling you to press forward today. Stop living in fear of making mistakes, because everyone makes mistakes, period. God is not asking you to not make m…

The Blessings of Our Inadequacy

2 Corinthians 2:15-17
Most of us assume that feelings of inadequacy are enemies to be subdued rather than friends to be employed. In some cases, however, these feelings can prepare us for our greatest accomplishments. That is what Paul found when he set out to preach the Gospel to all creation. In spite of his great learning and varied gifts, the apostle acknowledged that he was not sufficient of himself to minister for the Lord. By taking that attitude, he was able to step out beyond his own personal limits and tap into supernatural power.
Many times we fail to take this extra step because we too easily surrender to our inadequacies. We may use our limitations as an excuse for not taking on difficult assignments. We say, “I can’t do this,” or “I don’t want that responsibility” when faced with God’s call to serve. Know that the Lord will not accept such excuses because He has given the Holy Spirit to empower us for any task He assigns. If we fail to claim this power, then we run the r…

You Can Come Over Anytime

In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Ephesians 3:12(KJV)

God has given us permission to fearlessly, confidently, and bodly draw near to His throne of grace. In fact, we are encouraged in Ephesians 3:12 to approach Him freely.

This means we can go into the presence of God anytime we feel like it. We can go 200 times a day if we want to go, with an “in and out” type of privilege. God doesn’t even tell us we have to knock on the door or wait for someone to say, “Come in.”

Suppose you have a friend who says, “You know what? You can come over anytime you want to come. You don’t even have to knock because you are welcome anytime, day or night. Just come on in!”

Now just think…God is saying that to you, unreservedly, which means you don’t have to be careful or hesitate or wonder if you’ve worn out your welcome. It means even if you make some mistakes or do things you shouldn’t do, you can repent of your sins, be cleansed in the blood of Jesus, and go boldly in…

Building Bridges to the Kingdom

Matthew 25:31-34
Sometimes Christians limit their spiritual responsibility to God and their local church. But the Bible says that every single believer around the world is related to us as an arm is connected to a body. We are all part of the body of Christ. If our vision for service stops at the local church, our effectiveness for the kingdom will be diminished.
God’s kingdom is the realm where He rules in the hearts of men and exercises His authority. We who have been saved by the grace of God are a part of the kingdom, which is set up in the hearts and lives of believers. One of these days, that realm will also be a physical reality with a new heaven and new earth. Until then, we are all at work to build the kingdom by sharing the message of Jesus Christ with the world. That is the task of the church – the same mission given to the 11 disciples when Jesus ascended to heaven.
Our responsibility is to construct the bridge of understanding about God’s grace. The Holy Spirit ultimately …

The Victory We Have in Jesus

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Hebrews 2:9(KJV)

The Bible says that Jesus experienced death for us. So you and I do not have to experience eternal death because He has paid the penalty for our sin and given us the gift of eternal life. Now that is something to rejoice about!

Because of Christ’s resurrection and victory over death, what happens when you wake up in the morning? I believe that when Christians put their feet on the floor in the morning, hell ought to shake. Demons should tremble when they realize we’re up!

That’s exactly what will happen when we realize who we are in Christ and understand the authority we have in Him. We are soldiers in the army of God. We have authority in Him!

Jesus has defeated sin and death. Now we need to consistently walk in the authority and victory that He provides for us. Then you will be extremely da…

Our Dual Citizenship

Philippians 3:14-21
Sometimes we hear people say, “I don’t believe in mixing religion and politics.” But for a follower of Jesus Christ, it is impossible to exclude God from any area of life. This holds true even for “politics,” which in Greek refers to the behavior of citizens of a country.
Paul realized his rights and privileges as a citizen of heaven extended to earth, and we, as God’s children, likewise have dual citizenship. Being part of God’s kingdom means countless privileges: we are related to the Father, we have Jesus s our personal Savior, and we know the forgiveness He offers. What’s more, we have access to all the promises of Scripture as well as to the very throne room of God. There are also responsibilities: obedience, worship, evangelism, and support for the work of the church. In addition, we are obligated as Christ – followers to be good citizens of our earthly country. That means we must become involved in the life of our nation-praying for its leaders, educating our…

The Key to Possessing Your Promised Land

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10(KJV)

God wants to lead you into your promised land…after all, you have been recreated in Christ, born anew, that you might live the good life that God prearranged for you. But to follow God into that life, He will have to prepare you first, and that means some things will need to change.

Now, don’t be afraid of the word change; it just means that you stop doing some things you’ve been doing and start doing some things you haven’t been doing. For example, stop thinking negative thoughts and start thinking positively, stop settling in your comfort zone and step out of the boat, stop procrastinating and start taking the opportunities that arise.

It’s not enough to just read about and talk about the Promised Land. Decide that you are going to possess your promised land. God is good; He will lead you there. Just be willing to follow and accept the pos…

How To Save A Nation

2 Chronicles 7:14
To our flesh, changing the direction of a nation seems somewhat impossible. With all the other objects or ideals people worship outside of God, it’s no wonder that the thought of seeing an entire nation turn to God seems unlikely, especially when it appears godless men and women are running the country.
However, we must remember that whoever is in authority over us is placed there by God.
“It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding” (Daniel 2:21). Kings, mayors, governors, senators – they’re all placed in their positions of authority by God. And they can be removed by God just as easily.
And through our prayers – contrite and humble – God can turn a nation of rebels into a nation of disciples. “If . . . My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear them from heaven, will forgiv…

What Are You Hoping for?

Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee. Zechariah 9:12(KJV)

I have a question for you: What are you hoping for? What are you expecting in life? Are you looking for something good to happen or are you expecting to be disappointed?

So many people are feeling hopeless these days. However, Jesus did not die for us to be hopeless. He died so that we could be full of hope.

The devil wants to steal your hope and he will lie to you. He’ll tell you that nothing good can happen in your life or that the things you care about won’t last. If you’re struggling with a difficult situation, he’ll tell you it will never end. But you have to stay full of hope and remember that the devil is a liar. God can change everything!

Our Father is good, and He has good plans for your life. If you will maintain your hope, especially in the midst of troubled and uncertain times, He has promised you “double for your trouble”. So refuse to give up h…

The Troublemaker Within Us

Galatians 5:17-18
I used to wonder if the Christian life truly worked. Even after I had been a pastor for a while, I wondered. I would look at the Scriptures and then at my life, and they did not always match. Most people have the idea that the Christian life does not work out the way the Bible says it does, but I could not be content with doubting God’s Word. So I fasted and prayed, confessing everything I could think to acknowledge. Still, I believed I was missing something.
I discovered the real reason my Christian life was not working according to Scripture: I had been overlooking one very important truth, a truth that would ultimately transform my life of faith from a burden to a buoyancy. The problem was coming from within me. That is, our greatest troublemaker is our flesh. The main cause of defeat for the believer is the propensity to sin.
We have a new nature when we are saved. But Scripture reveals that, because of the way our thinking has been “programmed,” we retain certain…

Follow the Ark

And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. Joshua 3:3(KJV)

Are you facing any new opportunities right now? Whatever those opportunities may be, it’s always important to “follow the ark.”

What do I mean by that? Well…sometimes we can hang on to old, stale situations in life, simply because they are familiar to us, and we’re really just afraid of getting into uncharted territory. And then there are times we can sense something new ahead of us and we just want to step right into it, before it’s God’s time for us to do it.

In Joshua 3:3, God talks to Israel about following the ark of the covenant. The ark represents the anointing of God…the presence of God…the will of God. It’s very important for us to learn to follow the will of God and not our own will or the will of others.

God has a plan for you and me, and the only way to see that plan unfol…

Prevailing Peace in a Life of Conflict

John 14:27
Conflict is part of living. A common problem today is that most people don’t know how to deal with conflict – nor do they understand the source of real peace. So we have rapidly become a tranquilized society; whether drugs are acquired over the counter or on the street, the common goal is to escape from conflict.
People tend to define peace as the absence of hostility and anxiety, but the biblical term actually refers to something far broader. Jesus used the Greek word meaning “to bind together.” Scripturally, peace is the sense of wholeness or inner completeness that brings stability to a person’s walk, no matter what is transpiring. Jesus spoke not of peace that comes today and goes tomorrow, but rather of prevailing – that is, undefeatable – peace.
The key to enduring peace is found in a relationship. If you want tranquility that is everlasting, you need to build a relationship with Jesus Christ. We, too, can taste the oneness that He and the Father experienced. When the …

You Can’t Out-Give God

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38(KJV)

Some put money or the world’s system of commerce before God. But the Bible states in Revelation 18 that if we put our trust in money, it’s going to fail. I’ve found that the way to deal with money, instead of struggling with it, is to try and out-give God…because we can’t.

The more we give away, the more we’ll receive. The more we obey Him with our finances, the more He blesses us. The more we do for other people, the more God has other people do for us.

Society tells us to invest everything in the world’s system and work all the time to make more money. But if we do, we’ll really never have anything that matters, especially joy. And we won’t be able to enjoy the money we have because we won’t be using it God’s way.

It may not make sense according to the world…

The Believer’s Struggle (2)

Romans 8:6-9
In the lifelong struggle with temptation and natural desire, believers are told to “put on” the Lord Jesus Christ. This becomes a daily activity by which you decide who is going to live your life for you today. Are you going to live in the flesh, or is Jesus going to have the privilege of living His life through you?
People have different terms for the “flesh,” but simply put, it is the natural part of each person that desires to operate in opposition to God. It usually manifests itself by challenging the restrictions that the Lord set for mankind’s good. We will always have this fleshly nature, but we don’t have to live by it, and we don’t have to succumb to it. Why? Because we have the Holy Spirit living within. Once He indwells us, we possess two mindsets – the mind of the Spirit leading toward God and the mind of the flesh leading away from Him.
Because these two ways of thinking are opposed to each other, conflict and warfare result. We are in a real battle, which req…

You Can Win the Battle Today

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6(KJV)

Right now, you and I are in the middle of a war. As long as we live in this world, we are going to have to resist becoming like it.
It’s a daily battle, and sadly, the church today is full of worldly, carnal, fleshly believers. But if we want to live in a way that can change our world, then we have to stop living in the flesh and start living in the Spirit.

Every one of us needs to continually make adjustments to put our fleshly desires under the Holy Spirit’s control and not let our emotions or mind rule us. Scripture explains that the spirit wars against the flesh and the flesh wars against the spirit, so they are continually antagonistic toward each other.

It’s a war! The devil hates us, and he is constantly working overtime trying to make sure that we give in to the flesh.

Ultimately, you decide who wins in your life. You don’t have to be subject to your flesh. You can live in the Spiri…

The Believer’s Struggle

Galatians 5:13-16
Many people think that life will be clear sailing after they get saved. Instead, they often find that life seems to be filled with more struggles than before. We should not be dismayed, however, because this is the normal Christian life. Before we met the Savior, we were drifting downstream, but upon salvation, we began a journey through rough waters and hellish currents.
In the epistle to the Galatians, Paul warned us not to use our newfound freedom in Christ as an excuse to revert-instead of drifting back downstream, we must take the yoke of Jesus and learn to walk in the Spirit. Paul specifically says “walk” (v. 16) because the Christian life has direction. We are climbing new heights toward a specific goal, and climbing means struggling.
We grapple every day with lust, jealousy, and pride because we live in a world filled with such things. At the same time, we can learn to walk by the Spirit and rise above our temptations and enemies. Yes, it’s tough to be in a p…

He Holds It All Together

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:17(KJV)

Colossians 1:17 is a pretty awesome scripture. It tells us Jesus is holding EVERYTHING together. Wow! Even people who don’t realize this are held together by Him.

Think about it. We can’t have a good marriage if Jesus isn’t holding it together. If Jesus isn’t leading and guiding our personal relationships, then we aren’t going to have good ones. Our finances would be a mess without Jesus. Our minds and emotions would be a wreck without Him. Everything would be a mess without Jesus.

If Jesus is not the most important thing in our life, then we need to rearrange our priorities. Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek God and His kingdom first because if we don’t have first things first, then everything else will also be out of order and cause us problems. God’s way of being, doing and seeking His kingdom, is to find out how He wants things done- how to treat people, how to act in situations, how to spend money, what kin…

Never Cast Out

Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)

Is there any instance of our Lord's casting out a coming one? If there be so, we would like to know of it; but there has been none, and there never will be. Among the lost souls in hell there is not one that can say, "I went to Jesus, and He refused me." It is not possible that you or I should be the first to whom Jesus shall break His word. Let us not entertain so dark a suspicion.

Suppose we go to Jesus now about the evils of today. Oh, this we may be sure–He will not refuse us audience or cast us out. Those of us who have often been and those who have never gone before–let us go together, and we shall see that He will not shut the door of His grace in the face of any one of us.

"This man receiveth sinners," but He repulses none. We come to Him in weakness and sin, with trembling faith, and small knowledge, and slender hope; but He does not cast us out. We come by prayer, and that prayer broken; with …

His Service, Face, Name

His servants shall serve him: and they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their forehead. (Revelation 22:3-4)
Three choice blessings will be ours in the gloryland."His servants shall serve him." No other lords shall oppress us, no other service shall distress us. We shall serve Jesus always, perfectly, without weariness, and without error. This is heaven to a saint: in all things to serve the Lord Christ and to be owned by Him as His servant is our soul's high ambition for eternity."And they shall see his face." This makes the service delightful: indeed, it is the present reward of service. We shall know our Lord, for we shall see Him as He is. To see the face of Jesus is the utmost favor that the most faithful servant of the Lord can ask. What more could Moses ask than-"Let me see thy face?""And his name shall be in their foreheads." They gaze upon their Lord till His name is photographed upon their brows. They are acknowledged by …

You're going to a new level

“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17Everything you have experienced in this season of your life has been preparing you for the next level of glory. People will wonder how are you able to do so well where He’s promoting you to, and it will be because of all that the anointing of God has taught you. You prayed for God to take you higher. He has heard you and is taking you deeper in your trust in Him. To get there, you’ll have to go through this. The higher you go, the deeper your trust must be. Your destiny awaits you and He’s preparing you to walk in it!Prayer: Father God, thank you for speaking to me and encouraging my heart. Thank you for everything you’ve brought me through. It has prepared me for the next level of glory. Help me to continue to trust y…

RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD

2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

To rightly the divide the Word of God takes times of reading it, meditating on it, and also studying it.  Each way opens up the truth of the Word.  I look at the Word of God like rock, and I am a miner seeking for gold.  Yes, I might get lucky and find some on the top, but most gold takes a lot of digging and working. 

When we open our Bible and start reading it, sometimes things can jump right off of the page and we go, “Wow! That was good!” and we get all excited.  But there are other times that we read the Word and nothing really hits us.  That is when we need to ponder and chew on it for a while.  Do this during the course of the day.

You might say, “How do I do that?”  Let me show you a couple of different ways.  When you find a verse that speaks to you, write it down or put it on the wallpaper on your phone.  Then throughout the day lo…

GOD KNOWS HIS OWN

2 Timothy 2:19-21 (NKJV) Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

Today I would like to look at verse 19, and then tomorrow we will look at verses 20 and 21.

When a king put a seal on something, like a letter or a package, that item became very valuable.  If you messed around with it, you could be killed.  God has put His seal on us, and that makes us very, very valuable.  This verse states that God knows His special people.  I do not know about you, but I am glad I am one of His special people!

God’s love for us is so amazing that He knows each of us in a very unique wa…

Persuading With Emotion

By Scott A Gardner The 7 Secrets Of Persuasion by James C. Crimmins, PhD. has it all. Well, almost all. Crimmins steps through all the rules, or "secrets," of persuading your target audience. It turns out the one big overarching secret is to use emotion, not facts. But what he doesn't quite do is step through the process of putting together your very own persuasive marketing message.We're going to put together a marketing message, one almost any business would use. Then we're going to tear it apart, and rebuild it using those 7 secrets.Let's think about our initial message. We want to tell people something positive about our business - our services, our products. Then we want them to reach out and contact us, maybe put themselves on our email list.Now, I'm going to explain it slightly differently. We want to persuade our target audience. First, we want to persuade them to listen to our message. Then, we want to persuade them that we have a solution to th…

How an Outside Event Planner Can Save Your Business Money

By Deany Dormer When it's time to plan a marketing event for your business, which is the more cost-effective option; hiring an outside event manager or using your internal marketing team?Your first instinct might be to choose the internal marketing team. After all, you're already paying their salary so there's no need to hire someone else. But not so fast.Using your internal team can cost you money in the long run. Sure, the up-front cost will be absorbed in payroll, but your ROI is likely to suffer. Here's why.The benefit of focusFirst, let's assume your marketing team is like every other marketing team on the planet. They're busy managing multiple complex projects with competing timelines. If you task them with coordinating an event, they'll be handling the details in between fielding sales team emails, writing a script for the radio ad, and setting up a content calendar for the next three months.Meanwhile, an outside event manager is focused on your eve…

How to Qualify Leads at Your Events

By Deany Dormer A marketing event is an ideal way to interact one-on-one with current and potential customers. In a world saturated by digital, a marketing event creates a valuable personal relationship between your business and your ideal client.Even better, a marketing event can do more than build strong relationships, it can help you generate leads. New leads are the lifeblood of every successful business. They strengthen your portfolio and help the business grow.What is a qualified lead?
Knowing which attendees are qualified leads and which are just along for the ride ensures that your time and money is spent efficiently.Identifying qualified leads lets you tailor your pipeline to those potential clients. Don't turn someone offer by aggressively following up when a lighter touch is needed. And don't lose out on potential customers by failing to follow up with someone who is on the fence.So how do you tell if someone is interested? They ask a lot of questions. They opt-in …

Packing Jewelry for a Vacation: Get the Tips

By Courtney Smith If you have a fun vacation coming up, then you shouldn't leave home without your fashion jewelry. Traveling with costume jewelry is an excellent way of staying chic and ensuring you don't lose your most valuable heirloom jewelry and diamonds. You don't have to bring dozens of outfits with you and you can easily create new outfits or transition the same outfit from day to night with the help of some carefully chosen accessories. Just because you'll be living out of your suitcase for a while doesn't mean that you have to lose your sense of fashion. No matter if you're planning a trip abroad or you're seeking adventure close to home, pack the accessories ahead of time. And check out these tips for packing jewelry for travel.Decide what jewelry to bring
Although it can be tempting to bring your entire jewelry collection with you on vacation, you don't really need all of it. If you have fine pieces of jewelry that cost a fortune, it's …

Fighting the Green Monster In Your Jewelry Box: Caring For Your Costume Jewelry

By Courtney SmithDo you remember the morning you picked out your favorite fashion jewelry accessories and you noticed that it looked dingy and discolored? Yeah, me too. For lovers of costume jewelry, this is sadly a very common occurrence and until you learn how to properly care for costume jewelry, you'll continue to lose your beautiful fashion accessories to the green monster that lives in your jewelry box. So here are a few things you should keep in mind when caring for your favorite costume jewelry.First things first, keep costume jewelry as far away from moisture as possible. In case you haven't noticed, warmth and moisture ruin almost everything. So if you have plans to use your fashion jewelry for a long period of time, you have to make sure that they stay dry at all times. Whenever you have to carry out any activities that may involve water like dishwashing, laundry or even swimming it's best you do these activities without wearing your jewelry. If they come in co…

Can Aspies Learn Self-Defense and Martial Arts?

By Gail Garsia Why learning self-defense is important for aspies
Aspies tend to be bullied often and sometimes suffer from lack of self-confidence. Learning self-defense is an excellent way to teach an aspie self-confidence and ward off bullies.Neurotypicals have other ways to defend themselves. They know when someone wants to hurt them, and they might be able to play mind tricks to avoid bullying or attacks.Why learning Martial arts can be difficult for aspies
There's the problem with sensory issues, such as loud noises and bright fluorescent lights. Some aspies suffer from social phobia, and some have problems understanding instructions. Also, many aspies have poor motor skills.My personal experience as an aspie learning Martial arts
I've wanted to learn self-defense since I was little, but my mother was against it because she thought girls shouldn't learn Martial arts. She told me I wouldn't be able to learn anything and I'd just get hurt. I was afraid I wouldn…

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