How Compatible are We? Ready for Intimacy? Commitment? The Marriage Bed? In-laws or Out-laws?
How Do I Love Thee:Food For Thought Before You Say “I DO” is a mini-premarital guide to be used by couples, counselors, and clergy. It addresses many of the major subjects couples should discuss prior to marriage. Included are interactive lessons and assignments for the couple. The lessons are designed to motivate serious thought about love, compatibility, commitment, finances, accountability, responsibility, dealing with the in-laws, the marriage bed, and more.
A Kindle Countdown promotion will run on Amazon from 1/2/2016 – 1/9/2016. During this period you can get a limited-time discount on this premarital book.
Starting 1/2/2016 you can download a copy of the book starting at $ .99. Click on the book to visit Amazon and pick up your copy. The sooner you purchase, the larger the discount.
Do you need STRESS RELIEF?
Are you stressed? Is there something weighing on your mind? Is there some inner conflict? Is there something happening in your life and you don’t know how things will work out? You are not alone! At some point in time everyone experiences a certain degree of stress. Feelings actually lets you know that you are still here! A small amount of stress is actually healthy. It keeps you on your toes and motivates you to shift. Do you need stress relief?
Life today can be quite complex at times. There are many pressures on varying diverse levels, more so at times for some. You can actually worry yourself sick. To name a few stress affects your happiness, brings on acne, hair loss, weight gain, weight loss, high blood pressure, panic attacks, anxiety, impacts your sex drive as well as hampers your infertility. If you are experiencing a significant amount of stress don’t wait until you are completely over whelmed to find some relief. Conflict and stress are a normal part of life. If your patience is getting close to nil know; you are reaching your limit. Don’t wait until you explode and get really angry to express yourself. This will only further complicate the situation. While angry and out of control you say and do things that can be destructive. Begin to shift.
Stress is defined as; “Forces from the outside world impinging on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life that can help us learn and grow. Conversely, stress can cause us significant problems.
Stress releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones that prepare us for action (to fight or flee). If we don’t take action, the stress response can lead to health problems. Prolonged, uninterrupted, unexpected, and unmanageable stresses are the most damaging types of stress.” medicine net.com
When you are stressed it becomes difficult to respond properly. Many often become verbally or emotionally abusive. For some they respond physically , in an inappropriate manner when they lack proper coping skills. When stressed you can become tense, it may be harder to concentrate, you may even get a headache or your heart begins to race. This is a clear indication that YOU NEED to shift. Here is something that will help you. Imagine a cup of ice cubes being slowly yet gently poured over your head. Allow yourself to feel the coolness of the ice gently melting over you. Begin to Allow your anger to subside. Please! Think before you respond!
When the pressures of life begin to get to you it is important that you get a grip on your emotions. No, I am not saying go into denial! How you feel is important. Your feelings need to be validated. Depression will result if you don’t. Depression is anger turned inside! When it gets to this point you may need professional help! Seek out resources for anger management if you have “out of control behavior.” Quite often you have learned some unhealthy dynamics that need to be changed. It may be hard for you to just say how you are feeling without being so angry. Your anger is a clear indication that you are also hurting. This will often result in something or someone triggering your anger and setting you “off.” If this is the case know that you are being controlled by remote. Learn how to stay “on” track!
Here are a few ways to relieve stress.
If you are stressed? It is important to begin to spend some quiet time to unwind. Writing a letter to anyone who has hurt you is good. Express exactly how you feel. This is for your eyes only. Then tear it up and throw it away! You can also get an empty chair; imagine that the person is sitting there, and say to whomever has hurt you how you feel. Take control and release any anger, hurt, shame or disapointment! You are now beginning to take out the trash that has begun to weigh you down. Listen to some relaxing music, exercising, or just taking a walk helps. You now have decided to no longer let what has happened to sit on the shelf of your mind and ferment! You are now beginning to move towards letting it go. This also heps you move towards wholeness.
If your family is stressed? Set aside some quiet time aside from the television or any outside distractions and have a family “pow wow.” Allow those concerned to briefly talk about how they are feeling. Then have them talk about how things can be improved. It is helpful to have one of the children to moderate you will be surprised. Your objective is to create a healthy, loving , open, nurturing, safe environment.
Is your marriage stressed? You need to set aside some quiet time where the two of you can calmly discuss what are the issues at hand. Rekindle that love that brought the two of you together! Restore the JOY of just being together. When two together row a boat it gets to the desired destination faster. Having a weekly date night is great as well! Remember you cannot change what has happened. But you can decide to go forward. Yes, you will probably have to revisit where you have been. But this is to remind you of where you do not want to stay or continue to go.
Is your job stressing you out? You need to make an appointment to talk to your supervisor, boss, employees or co workers and let them know how you are feeling. Make sure you are not angry when you do this. Find a neutral spot if possible. Writing down what you want to say will help you stay focused. If you feel that you may lose your thoughts or say something inappropriate reschedule. Graciously delay it until you are ready. The point is you want to take control not loose it. If they are not willing; it make be better to begin looking for employment somewhere else. If you don’t at some point your health will become affected working continuously under such poor conditions.
Incorporating prayer and meditating on the scriptures will yield much peace in your life. Actively implementing the principles are key to resolving inner conflict and stress. The scriptures were meant to point us to a better way of life. To develop a personal relationship with God our Creator. God has provided a wonderful plan of salvation for all who are willing to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Jesus is able to save you from the power of sin reigning in your life! Jesus came to show us that better Way! To help you discover your true purpose in life!
Stress again is a normal part of life. Taking the time to communicate your feelings in a healthy manner means you care. Redemptively confronting what ever the problem is or however you are feeling is always much better for you and those around you. Everyone has a not so good day from time to time. Don’t major in the minors! Just make sure that stress has not become the theme for your everyday lifestyle. Life is too short and precious to spend the majority of your time stressed! It is important to begin to work towards having a healthier balance in life. Begin moving towards creating a warm, more peaceful, safe and loving environment! Learning coping skills and ways to manage stress will also result in a healthier outlook as well as becoming healthier spiritually, physically and emotionally.
WHAT’S EATING YOU?
Is there something that is bothering you? Something that you can’t talk about? Has someone hurt you that you can’t forgive? Have someone said something to you that you can’t shake loose? Has someone taken something away from you; or wronged you in some way? Do you crave acceptance? Do you feel rejected? Are you, impatient, frustrated, fed up, and just plain angry? Does the slightest little thing set you off? What’s eating you? Whatever the case don’t let it continue to hold you a prisoner. If you don’t do something about it, you will only allow the seed of bitterness to become rooted and develop deep within. Slowly but surely it will cultivate and grow! Think for a moment the chances are great that whoever has wronged you has probably moved on and not even given the matter a second thought. However you are stuck.
Each time you dwell on whatever it is without letting go, it grows. The longer you hold on to it, it will slowly but surely begin to eat you from the inside out. Unattended it will cause you to become depressed, physically ill , have much anxiety, panic attacks or migraine headaches! The end of possibilities goes on… When you allow whatever it is that is bothering you to grow, fester and internally aggravate you, it will eventually make you bitter. It will continue to impact you, your marriage, your friendships as well as your working relationships. What’s eating you? Although you have tucked it away for no one to see. Pushed it to the back of your mind only to silently gnaw away at your joy. As each year passes it is still there. The bitterness surfacing from time to time like a virus. The slightest little thing will trigger it. Someone will be able to push your button like pushing a remote control and set you off! You in turn loose control and react.
Did you know how the worm gets into the apple? Did you think it gets in from the outside in? Well it doesn’t! It has scientifically been proven. What happens is an insect actually lays an egg on the apple’s blossom. At some point the egg then hatches within the apple. As it grows, it eat eats away the apple and burrows its way to the outside! When you allow bitterness to nest, it like the worm begins to grow and erode the fiber of your being; it will eat away your happiness and inside it will grow and tunnel its way out and manifest itself as sin!
How do you stop what’s eating you from eating away at the core of your being? Periodically take a personal inventory. First keep in mind you cannot undo what has been done! Allow whatever has been sitting in the warehouse of your mind, to come to the forefront. As anything resurfaces hold it up to the Light of God’s Word! Meditate on the Word of God it is a Library of Wisdom! By the way you can read all day long but if you don’t implement it, then its just mere words. Ask the Lord to help you and open up your understanding! Begin to acknowledge any ill will or bad feelings you are having. Move towards letting go of the pain by; forgiving the offense, the offender, and forgiving the deed. By the way forgiving does not mean forgetting unless you have amnesia. It does mean that you give up the resentment. Resentment means to feel the pain of the action over and over again. When you hold on to the resentment it too turns to bitterness, that only continues to further hurt you! You must surrender your right to get even. Allowing any anger to slowly come to the surface helps you gain self control, you can then rise above it.
By letting go of what’s eating you, you begin to strengthen and discipline yourself from continuing to let it hurt you, now you are beginning to move towards healing. Confess and Admit it! Your feelings need to be validated! Accept responsibility for whatever it is by acknowledging it for whatever it is. Check yourself! Police yourself! When you find yourself going in the wrong direction or acting out in a way that is not right, don’t allow pride keep you in bondage. God does have a purpose and a path for your life! Now allow yourself to be put on the potter’s wheel to mold you and shape you into a usable “vessel of honor” for His Glory! God really does have a better way! The Word of God is so powerful! You can be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Once you admit that life is difficult it becomes easier! Sin is pervasive and has taken root in this world we live. So many things have become greatly impacted. This only further nurtures any bitterness you are harboring! Don’t be deceived! Yes! Anything goes! Acceptance often becoming an Enabler; Tolerance often has been labeled Unconditional Love. TRUTH more and more has been pushed to the background! The LOVE of GOD misconstrued! Lord Help Us! Sin is anything that separates you from God! Like the worm in the apple sin begins to grow and works its way out! Jesus said that this would happen. But don’t be alarmed. Praise God, this only further proves His Word is TRUE! You can not really transform your mind apart from the Lord! Remember if you give credit where it is due. Then you know He made the mind! “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” God’s Word can renew and wash your mind when you sincerely embrace His principles and hold them dear to your heart!
What’s eating You? Do you want to experience the transforming power of His Word? Believing, knowing and implementing His Word is key. Bitterness, will not be able to stay rooted or if it has it will have to go! Ask the Lord to “Create in you a clean heart and renew the right Spirit within you.” As the Holy Spirit within you is activated it will cleanse you from the inside out! Each day as you invite His infilling PRESENCE within you to fill you, you can become transformed from the inside out! The Fruit of His Spirit then begins to take root instead. “But the Fruit of HIS SPIRIT is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control!” Your actions, words, thoughts and emotions can be transformed! This transformation process is lifelong. But with Jesus Christ as your personal Savior & Lord you have all the time you need! God is everywhere that we are! You can call upon Him at any time in any and every situation!
In this day and age it is becoming increasingly difficult to find reliable people. This is an interesting, fascinating 21st century indeed! Commitment to promises have become vague or they either are thrown into the sea of temporary amnesia. Did I say that? But I thought that you were supposed to… You have heard the saying *“When the going gets rough, the tough gets going.” These no doubt(s) are some difficult times. But God knew way back when from the very beginning what would be happening now! This is why GOD is so AWESOME! In spite of what is going on if we just continue to look to Him, He will and can see you through whatever comes your way. For sure one thing remains the same; GOD STILL is, was and always WILL be RELIABLE!
Remember,* “When the going gets rough, the tough gets going.”
Those who you thought were reliable, quite often; you have now found out that was only in the moment. In order to keep your head above water you have to stay focused. It is so easy to agree to something when you are on the receiving end. But when the rubber meets the road and things are not turning out the way they thought. Be prepared. When a person has not really invested themselves into something it is easy for them to just walk away. You know and they know that you have put yourself out for them. You have invested time and money in them and they did not do their part. But things just have not worked out like they thought …. So what do you do? How about having a pity party? Do you bury your head in the sand like an ostrich?
No, instead you must look inward and upward. God really does know all and sees all! You realize that they are much more concerned about how things appear rather than how they really are. Commitment has become a fleeting virtue. Nowadays people commit and say “I DO” until death us to do part. But they “don’t.” Actually they initially mean “I DO”; but it’s really until we do not feel the same way about one another anymore! Then it’s time to move on… In order to survive in these tuff times you are going to have to develop some tough skin to guard your heart! Remember *”when the going gets rough, the tough gets going”… So now is the time to really get to going…
A good strong committed marriage is possible! But you must allow GOD HIS place! GOD is LOVE and HE wants HIS LOVE to continue to flourish within your marriage!
One must become resilient! This will help you to “bounce back” from, protect and cushion you from any future unforeseen bruises, bumps, disappointments and burns ahead. Some days may be harder than others but regardless of what is going on it is important to know; God still has everything under His control! Life is a test; with God there is no failure. This is why it is so very important to seek Him above any and everything else. Nourish your inner self with the delightful Fruit of HIS SPIRIT! His Fruit is always ripe for the picking. Self control, love and patience are a part of His viable life sustaining Fruit. These are dependable quality attributes to nurture in oneself. They also are reliable traits that will help you weather any unforeseen pandemonium that’s ahead!
Life has a way of presenting challenges. When this happens many readily abandon Godly principles, selfishly regress and result to doing what is best for them. They lay aside what God has to say and do “what is right in their own eyes.” This has been true from the very beginning. There has been an ever increasing shift away from God’s principles for life and living. Now, high blood pressure, panic attacks, depression, anxiety, and or impatience rules instead, they begin to operate in a survival mode.
Many have resorted to simply compartmentalizing their spiritual life to a weekend pastime. During the week they proceed living life and engulfing themselves in a secular worldly lifestyle where just about anything goes. Laying aside “thus says the Lord” and embracing whatever feels right in the moment. Operating in a survival mode embraces, anesthetizing and indulging in any type of self satisfying pleasure, fantasy or recreation that suits their fancy. Come Sunday they “go to Church” not really realizing that we the people are the Church…
The world has lost the lid and “Pandora’s box” is wide open. Denial has clouded and shrouded discretion and deceived many. Caught up in a seductive whirlwind of curiosity, many have found their place dipping and dabbling in all its self gratifying pleasures. Many of which are quite often addicting pleasures. Reliability and valor abandoned. Have you ever heard the term “Pandora’s Box has lost its lid”? Greek Mythology has taken on somewhat of a reality in this 21st century. Ponder this for a moment, according to Wikipedia;
“After Prometheus theft of the secret of fire Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create the woman Pandora as part of the punishment for mankind. Pandora was given many seductive gifts from Aphrodite, Hermes, Hera, Charites, and Horae (according to Works and Days). For fear of additional reprisals, Prometheus warned his brother Epimetheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus, but Epimetheus did not listen, and married Pandora. Pandora had been given a large jar and instruction by Zeus to keep it closed, but she had also been given the gift of curiosity, and ultimately opened it. When she opened it, all of the evils, ills, diseases, and burdensome labor that mankind had not known previously, escaped from the jar, but it is said, that at the very bottom of her box, there lay hope.”
There is no reason to think Pandora acted out of malice in opening the jar, for she was exercising her curiosity, and when she saw what was let out of it, she quickly closed it.
God never meant that life as “His child” to become drudgery. Nor did He intend for us to be unhappy dissatisfied or wanting. He did mean for us to be responsible and reliable and keep our commitments. As Hid children we should “forever becoming.” Meaning continuously growing spiritually, emotionally, responsibly and… Jesus came to point us to a better Way. He came to clear the path to the “Narrow path” that leads to Him. Although life takes its turns with Jesus Christ as your personal Savior you have an ever present Guide and Comforter. His promise to “never leave or forsake you/us” is TRUE!
Due to the lingering aftermath from the global recession many are still impacted directly or indirectly on many levels. The rich, middle class, poor and in between… The secure reliable future “nest egg” that was stored and supposedly safely tucked away in many cases was drastically dwindled. That cash reserved for emergencies that has helped to offset the climbing monthly budget, or taxes is gone. The cost of gas, food, clothing and living expenses have skyrocketed. Although the price for gas has begun to decrease; it will never be as cheap as it once was! Have you noticed how the portions or content sizes as well as the amount of ingredients have changed in a lot of items? We get less for more. Bargains are fewer. Who would have ever thought? It is very important to put or begin putting your TRUST in GOD. In HIM is where true security and significance lies. For sure, one thing that remains the same GOD Still is, was and always WILL be RELIABLE! Draw closer to the HIM! Know that ultimately GOD has everything & everyone under HIS CONTROL!
* It was Joseph P. Kennedy (1888-1969), the father of (U.S.) President John F. Kennedy who said it originally. It was however popularized by Billy Ocean’s song
Did you know that many universities and colleges employ a strength and conditioning coach to train their athletes? Their responsibilities include program design, teaching exercises, performance testing, teaching proper weight lifting techniques among various other duties. They rigorously train and strive to abet an environment that is conducive to helping them reach their optimum functioning capacity. There is much thought time and preparation exerted in order to prepare their athletes. They support and recognize the need for effective training. A proper nutritious diet is encouraged as well. When properly grasped the acquired skills are useful to strengthen and enhance one’s day to day life when implemented, as well as their overall playing ability.
Did you know that the Bible refers to life as a race? But this race is not about speed, it is about endurance! Conditioning is an integral aspect of training for a professional athlete. Stretching and toning exercises are employed to strengthen the body in addition to physical exercises and weight lifting. Flexibility, strength and endurance are all apparent components when one subscribes to a disciplined exercise program. In addition a partner is used for resistance in order to further enhance one’s ability to become agile.
The importance of implementing a daily proper nutrition program is essential. Balance is the key. Knowing when, how much, how little and where to apply the acquired skills are crucial. But the main concept and principles should never be abandoned in order to reach your desired goal.
One must always keep in mind that the main purpose is first and foremost. The purpose is to develop a healthy strong body constitution. This will ultimately factor greatly in one’s overall success and endurance ability. The long term goal is that it all eventually in due course becomes a natural process incorporated into one’s daily life. In this respect their goal is not at all different from what God wants for us. Developing a strong body constitution is just what He wants. Perhaps if we kept uppermost in mind who the Body really belongs to we would handle things quite differently? Perhaps the long term goal would be embraced rather than the temporary “quick fix” method? We must remember that endurance and embracing Truth is the key!
The Bible is adamant on its position that the “Church” is the “Body of Christ”. It is crystal clear telling us how important it is to be mindful of the things we say or do. How we live day to day, regardless of where we work, live, play or attend worship service. Daily personal Bible study and its application are important for spiritual conditioning. When Bible study at church is used to further strengthen one’s spiritual life it is most effective. However, all too often it is used to condition one to think the way of the one teaching. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate Teacher. The Word of God vociferously tells us the importance of embracing and implementing God’s principles to our daily life. Life is a race to be lived that has already been won by Jesus Christ! Did you know it actually tells us to do whatever it is that we do as we “do it unto the Lord?”
The wonderful thing about God is that He is Omnipotent; meaning He only is all power! It is through Jesus Christ who is the Word of God that He spoke every thing into existence. There is no power, authority nor principalities on earth or in heaven that are greater. Now that is heavy! Yet, God still gives us the freedom to choose. He has given us countless examples and statistics of possible choices inclusive of results and consequences. The Bible is concise and the Holy Spirit illuminates brilliantly the pitfalls and possible detours when one chooses to operate in their own strength. Proper spiritual conditioning is key for endurance.
How you choose to embrace, daily adopt or overlook God’s principles will determine your overall spiritual strength and endurance. The employments of the Fruit of His Spirit are the nutrients necessary to digest the “Spiritual Food” that is necessary for this life journey. Discipline is key! Proverbs 25:18 tell us that “like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” If you want a conditioning coach that is readily available 24/7 I highly recommend Jesus!
I recommend that you really get to know Him through His Word and begin implementing the principles therein. Galatians tell us that the Fruit of the Spirit are; “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.” It goes on to say if you belong to Jesus Christ you have “crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” If you read further it tells us not to give up! You have as much time as you need to do the things that God has prepared for you to do. It really is not about how things appear. Endurance is the key! Knowing God intimately is the key! Knowing that there is freedom in Christ is key. Jesus died to set us free. Sin brings bondage. He does not want you burdened by a yoke of slavery. “His yoke is easy and His burdens are light.” Not obeying the Truth will side track your ability to run gracefully? It will impede your progress.
God has given gifts to the Body of Christ to facilitate and augment its growth. It is His desire for us to grow and mature. Spiritual conditioning is key! He does not want you “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” Scheme they will. Just know that this in no way impresses God. Know that in His time He will right every wrong. So I say, “Hallelujah anyhow!”
You can rest in knowing that God knows what is really going on, and also knows the Truth! Nothing gets by Him! “So, we can say with confidence, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be afraid!” Hebrews 13: 6. Know the Word of God for yourself! God is a God of Light! When you speak the Truth in love there is power! But first you must really know what Love is? Are you patient? Are you kind? Do you not envy? Do you not boast? Are you proud? Are you rude? Do you want your own way? Of course you do not get angry easily? Nor do you keep records of wrongs? Did you know that love rejoices in Truth?
“Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.” It goes on to say if you belong to Jesus Christ you have “crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” If you read further it tells us not to give up! You have as much time as you need to do the things that God has prepared for you to do. It really is not about how things appear. Endurance is the key! Knowing God intimately is the key! Knowing that there is freedom in Christ is key. Jesus died to set us free. Sin brings bondage. He does not want you burdened by a yoke of slavery. “His yoke is easy and His burdens are light.” Not obeying the Truth will side track your ability to run gracefully? It will impede your progress.
God has given gifts to the Body of Christ to facilitate and augment its growth. It is His desire for us to grow and mature. Spiritual conditioning is key!
Think hard and long before you say or use the word LOVE so loosely? God knows because He is TRUTH and He is LOVE! It is what He knows and thinks that is most important. It should be a daily prayer that God fill you with ” The knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of Light.. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Remember that conditioning I talked about earlier? God’s Word is so powerful! Remember God’s Word says that “everything was spoken into existence through Jesus Christ”! God has a predestined plan for each of His children. The race is given to who? Do you really know what LOVE means? Do you know the difference between tolerance and patience? Be honest with yourself! Or just ask someone who really knows you, not someone you are trying to impress or you just see at the Church meeting? Or how about asking that partner that helps to test your resistance? Do you “Yield not to Temptation?” Did you know that God is the ultimate burden bearer?
Did you know that it is through Christ’s birth, SINLESS Life, death and resurrection we can be reconciled and presented Holy in His sight? It cancelled the code that was against us. God is awesome! Jesus really does have a better way. The Body of Christ really does belong to Him. The Church is His Bride! Colossians says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the LORD CHRIST you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.”
“We walk by faith not by sight” To successfully run this spiritual race you must keep the faith! When your hope and trust are in the Lord you are on solid ground. He will level your path and make sure you are on the right path. He will prune away all that is necessary to make your path straight! Watch out for the wide road! Remember, “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it!” Matthew 7:14.
When your spiritual diet consists of the fruit of His Spirit and you daily digest His Word you are on your way. It will keep you balanced. Learn to be patient. When you allow Jesus to be your strength and conditioning coach you can definitely endure! You won’t sweat the small stuff! The Holy Spirit will illuminate your path. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked before us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
God is GOOD! Daily mediate upon His Word! James says “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest in righteousness.” Consider it pure joy brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance……………… Is Jesus your strength and conditioning coach? Then you can definitely endure! In this spiritual race our prize is guaranteed . To God be the Glory!
Your soul is the essence of who you really are.
True beauty comes from within. The WORD of GOD is so very precious! It is bursting with a wealth of wisdom! I understand more each day why the Lord tells us to “hide it in our hearts, so we might not sin against Him… Only God can see into our hearts! “Man looks on the outside. But God looks at the heart.” As believers His Holy Spirit resides within us. He knows us totally! God is LOVE! His Love is not in any way superficial it is imbedded deep into the fabric of who we are.
Life brings about a plethora of varied experiences, some bad, some good some just are simply incredible!
The Scriptures says:
“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep His statues and seek Him with ALL their heart.” Blessed means to be happy and consecrated by God. God did not intend for His Word to just become mere letters on a papyrus (paper). He meant for it to become ALIVE within our soul to feed us and nourish us spiritually and emotionally so we could walk in His precepts. To help us go through whatever life presents to us, Blessed! One can then say Hallelujah Anyhow! Therefore this is why we pray
“Our FATHER, Give us today our daily bread…”
It is often said “What comes from the heart goes to the heart.” This actually is a quote given to Samuel Taylor Coleridge. There is a heartfelt sincerity when one speaks from the wellspring of their heart.
It is through the many experiences we encounter in life we grow one way or the other. It is important that we are not embittered by those experiences. It is important to have the right perspective. We can emerge triumphantly and rise above whatever has happened, is happening or will happen.
Life itself takes on a form of beauty when you access your heart’s wellspring. You perceive things differently. As you grow spiritually your soul is revived as well. You embrace the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD! You do not just go along with the majority in order to accepted You realize the value in self discipline. Spiritual growth comes from spending time with God, knowing His Word and applying it to your life daily. Your soul is the essence of who you really are. It is the heart of you. It is were TRUE BEAUTY lies as you remain connected to the Lord!
God knows who we are and who belongs to HIM! When you are truly HIS you can expect much spiritual warfare on this side of heaven. But “our weapons are not carnal…” This is why it is so important to get to know Jesus as your personal SAVIOR! There is an inner peace that comes from knowing who you are in Christ. “He was born of the Virgin Mary He lived a sinless, life and was crucified, died and was buried, but he AROSE with ALL power.” Yes, He is ALIVE and so is HIS WORD! HIS WORD is our SWORD; it is sharper than any two edge sword. (Two edged swords are used by man.) Whenever a trial comes our way we must learn to STAND on the WORD of GOD.
When necessary GOD WILL FIGHT YOUR BATTLES. His weapons are not carnal. We on the other hand must KNOW HIM and the POWER of JESUS CHRIST through HIS WORD! We never become the power we just gain access. During a battle we want to make sure our inner beauty is not suppressed. It is still possible for it to shine through… This is why we meditate, pray and ask to be filled daily. He has given us the gift of HIS HOLY SPIRIT as our COMFORTER! This is also what helps us to discern. He has promised to “never leave nor forsake us!”
Whatever comes our way in life know that our true beauty comes from deep within. True beauty is not worn it cannot be put on or taken off. It is from this rich place deep inside a wellspring comes forth. Here one discovers and retrieves the veiled beauty that has been pre positioned in one’s soul. It is within the depths of our soul one can encounter this precious internal, eternal fountain! That brings forth and emits a deeper beauty that has been coded into our souls by our Creator. It was knitted into us before we were in our mother’s wound. God has made us tri dimensionally. We are body, mind and soul! We are created in His image!
“For you created my inner most being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. ALL the days for me were ordained…” Psalm 139
Yes, there is also a surface beauty that one can see but sometimes you will find that it does not always go deep. This is the case when it is not embedded into the essence of one’s soul. I Peter says, that in order for our beauty not to fade away it has to come from our “ inner self, the unfading beauty of a quiet gentle spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” This does not mean one has to become silent or passive, rather it is quite proactive! It comes from a deep place that yields discipline! It is when we put our Hope and Trust in the Lord we can discover the True beauty that is deep inside, that beauty that comes from within! Yet, it is reflected in our lives and also on the countenance of our faces! “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers…”
PAINT ON THE CANVAS
God not only knows the very hairs that are on our heads. He determines how long we inhabit the earth. He is the ultimate Master Creator and Designer who weaves everything together in His magnificent canvas of life. When we grow in His grace, truth and knowledge He gives us the ability to spiritually discern. Spiritual discernment lights the foreground of our canvas as we venture out in life.
Quite often many adapt to the world and employ its principles for traveling through this valley of the shadow of death. However, it is GOD’S wisdom that ultimately grooms our being. As children of Light our life’s canvas commences to reflect the light of His presence whenever we embrace HIS principles within our daily lives. Personality traits that are in general socially acceptable tend to make us conform in order to be accepted. God has created each of us as individuals with varying temperaments & personality traits. Personality is used in typical dictionary definition to distinguish behavioral, emotional and attitudinal tendencies, character traits and habits. It is by these traits that one is uniquely recognized. We as people are fundamentally a complex integration of physical and non-physical dimensions and attributes.
The spiritual facet of us should reflect the God like qualities within our nature. Interpersonal dynamics and environmental influences are primary, but not exclusive to developmental determinants of our personalities. As human beings we are living, learning and growing organisms. When parents have properly nourished us by providing sufficient freedom and are generous in positive reinforcement, children will achieve a sense of personal autonomy. On the other hand if parents have modeled much faulty behavior themselves, were too overprotective, demanding, too permissive or critical, children will learn to have doubts about themselves. They will become harnessed with feelings of shame. In God’s eyes we are all ageless children. His Holy Spirit’s presence in one’s life is able to override any inappropriate learning experiences which we all have to a certain degree. God who is the ultimate Sovereign Creator can paint new life onto our life’s canvas. There is miraculous cleansing & healing POWER in the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST! HIS Holy Spirit HIS Comforter works within believers to give us a new nature.
When I studied “Art Appreciation” in school I acquired a respect for the various art forms. When I saw an original Picasso Abstract, my first reaction was “I don’t like it. After studying Picasso’s work I learned he was able to paint with a childlike simplicity. He was able to go inside, vicariously share and interpret on canvas the depth of his feelings. From an exterior posture for one to understand his work, a surface summation would not properly render what he was trying to relay. Despite the possibility of no one understanding he did not allow that to hinder His work. Whether he was aware of it or not He was given a God-given talent. It was largely after his death that the world really began to appreciate and understand his unique gift.
Our life can be quite like an abstract painting. Especially by those who really don’t know us. People usually fear what they don’t understand, or tend to label it negatively. Webster defines Abstract as; difficult to understand. Insufficiently factual. Expressing a quality considered apart from an object. Impersonal having only a generalized form with little or no attempt at precise representation. Quite often as Christians we too must risk being misunderstood. We must learn to tenaciously pursue our God given talent(s) with a steadfast devotion.
Each day that passes what we say and do and how we respond paints an array of events on our personal canvas of life. Much of our life’s paint is applied erroneously when we wander aimlessly about. When we stray from the narrow path that God has designed. God’s world is awesomely vast. A marvelous abstract spiritual venture awaits those who are obedient. Faith and Trust in Him are required companions that confidently paint the unseen path before us! It is easy to deter from our course because God allows us so much freedom. He has given us the power to choose. Other wise each individual canvas would yield a duplicate reproduction!
But once we really discover that life has purpose the strokes on our life’s canvas should be guided by our Creator. There is nothing in our life that has transpired that we can unpaint. When we find ourselves somewhere we don’t want to be or saying or doing something we don’t want to do what do we do? Do we continue to allow pride to lead us anyway? No, it will only lead us somewhere we don’t really want to go.
The hues of pride darken the spiritual path. It keeps the light of our direction deep in the background. So do we just waste precious time and continue to stumble around? Do we employ passages of scriptures to justify our sometimes wrong position? Do we erroneously mislead and gather others to support us in our wrong position? Ask yourself, do you hear a faint unspoken voice beckoning you to change your direction? Although painful, it is far better to move towards the Light. God knows your true motives. Do you know it is more important what God knows rather than what people think!
God our Creator knows all of our faults, shortcomings, misunderstandings and insecurities. His arms are wide open. But too often, pride, guilt and shame keeps us at His arm distance. It keeps us in the dark away from His marvelous Light! Too often we just don’t want to admit that we are possibly wrong or were wrong to ourselves especially not someone else! We are so reluctant to tint our canvas with the magnificent brilliance of humility! We would rather allow pride to paint our canvas and take us to a place that we will eventually dread!
If you are at a point in your life you don’t want to be, or if your life seems to be headed in a direction of uncertainty; If you have done something or said something you should not have (and we do from time to time) seek God’s direction. Really dedicate some time to being still and sincerely do some deep soul searching. Have your self a Gethsemane experience. Get quiet enough so you can actually hear what God is saying. Now that you have gotten His attention. Sincerely render to Him what is on your mind and in your heart. Remember He knows anyway. Once you have lightened your load. Ask Him for direction. Admit and repent (not repeat) of anything that is hindering your spiritual path.
Allow God’s yoke to be spiritually connected to lighten your burdens. I assure you He will direct you! Just know it may not be in a direction you want to go. You may just have to apply some humility to your life’s canvas. Humility can harness anger and impulsive rage will have to flee! Instead each painful step in His direction will be accompanied by His unexplainable peace! Did you know that when we are at our weakest point it gives God the opportunity to create a great work in us? Proceed cautiously knowing that anger and pride wants to darken disobedience. They only want to suppress and cover up the Light that wants to shine on your life’s canvas!
Once we humbly admit to God we are wrong, a flood of Light appears. It opens the door for the cleansing power of His Word to wash us thoroughly. God in His infinite wisdom is totally aware of the minutest speck of sin on each of our individual canvases. “All of us have sinned and fallen short of His glory”. But this does not give us the right to continue in sin. Christ did not die for us to be slaves to any sin in our lives. He even told us except we become as children we will not enter into His kingdom! He is the only Sovereign Master Designer! He can make each stroke of circumstances whatever they may be; mold and shape us into a vessel of beauty and honor in His sight. Commence to allow His Holy Spirit to guide you as you paint your personal canvas. Our life truly is “A work of art in progress.”
PORNography is Growing Within The Christian Community
Pornography is one of the most prevalent social problems we are facing today. There is a great concern in regards to the rate pornography is growing within the Christian Community. It is happening from the pulpit to the pew. The number of individuals and families that have been directly or indirectly impacted is rapidly growing. The issue continues to snowball because to some degree, on many levels it is initially accepted. In some instances it is considered to be a passing fad or on the other hand it is simply ignored. Pornography is dangerous and erodes the moral fiber of one’s character. If you know someone who is involved in pornography please don’t wait, encourage them to get help now! Since it is so readily accessible it can overtake and often consume the life of those who partake in it. Pornography is really quite selfish. It can impair and shatter the life and self esteem of the addict’s spouse and robs the relationship of trust, significance and security. It also can cause a carnal spirit to hover over the household which invites much spiritual warfare.
The internet has a plethora of pornographic sites that are launched every day. The images seduce the captive audience of one or more into an underground world of self-indulgent decadence. Seeking fulfillment in strip clubs, compulsive eating and or cyberspace clubs. There is much research available to substantiate that it is a growing addiction phenomenon for many. Pornography has various levels from soft to hard porn to… At what point is it harmful? Here are some questions to ask or think about. If you can answer yes to any of these you need to really get help.
Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those important to you? Do you lead a double life?
Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?
Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?
Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?
Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality?
Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?
Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?
Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless?
Are you unable to properly relate to your spouse and there is a physical void in the relationship?
Recently in the news it was announced that we have many teens who are now starting to do what is called “sextexting.” For too long the subjects of adultery, fornication, immorality, infidelity, incest, same sex relationships , sex outside of marriage….. have merely slid under the Christian radar. This is getting to be a little frightening. This should send us all a clear warning! The porn addict spends endless hours absorbing images of an unrealistic unattainable idealistic fantasy via the internet or videos. It is a billion dollar industry. Unknowingly these images have become their little god. Which really is a form of idolatry. It impacts not only the addict but the family as well just like any other addiction.
There are many deeper unresolved issues here. Quite often something that happened in childhood has resurfaced in the addicts mind. The emotional pain has fermented and pornography becomes a destructive outlet. Dealing with someone who has an addictive personality can be overwhelming and or quite devastating. You are really often dealing with an out of control child encased in an adult body. They want what they want, when they want it. It is difficult for them to delay self gratification. They will do whatever it takes to satisfy their insatiable desire. It is often difficult for them to see that they are so unreasonably demanding and controlling. An intervention is constructive, warranted and often necessary in order to begin the path to recovery.
Talking about sexual issues openly and honestly will help dispel a lot of the rumors, myths and inappropriate behavior that has gone on and on… Education is key. No one really often wants to really come out and discuss or say; what God has to say, for fear of being perceived as too religious or judgmental. If you are a believer, one surely knows that absolutely nothing happens anywhere or at anytime that God is not aware of. For example let’s look at I Samuel 1. Eli who was a priest had two sons Hophni & Phinehas whose behaviors were simply outright outrageous. They were disobedient, humiliated and slept with the women who came to the Tabernacle for help. The Bible says they were wicked, “corrupt sons who did not know the Lord.” They were warned as to what would happen. They twisted their privileges in order to satisfy their flesh. Eli did not discipline his sons properly. When he tried to correct them they totally disrespected him. They displayed that same disrespect towards God …. They had established a pattern of sexual abuse that needed to be broken. But look, on the other hand Hannah had dedicated her first born son Samuel to the Lord. Samuel came up in the very same household along with Eli’s sons. Hannah had brought him to Eli. Samuel at a very young age ministered before the Lord and grew spiritually. Despite what was going on about Samuel, the Lord intervened and he grew in “stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (For more details of this narrative read I Samuel 1-3) What a contrast.
If you want to break a cycle of abuse, dysfunction or addiction, you have to do something differently than what you are already doing. If your “helping is not helping then you are not helping.” Addiction needs to be replaced with a healthy productive activity. It is important that we help subsequent generations not to fall prey to these destructive behaviors. DON’T continue to sweep things under the rug. The enemy always tries to subvert and corrupt what God intends. Absolutely nothing gets by God! Sexual sin is not a new problem. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Let’s really begin to ask and seek the Lord’s direction “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” All of God’s Word is true!
Less seminars, workshops, programs and more practical application of God’s Word implemented within our daily lives. All too often when issues arise God’s way for resolve is totally disregarded. Less excuses such as “Nobody’s perfect.” Yes, this is a truism; but God tells us to continue to strive for His perfection! Perfection according to Webster means: 1: the quality or state of being perfect: as a: freedom from fault or defect : flawlessness b: maturity c: the quality or state of being saintly 2 a: an exemplification of supreme excellence b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence3: the act or process of perfecting. God’s perfection brings wholeness. God would not tell us to do something if it were not possible. To be a Christian means to commit to live in the WAY that pleases God!
God really is able! Marriage and the family were created by God from the very beginning. It was originally designed so that He would be the central theme of our existence. Since He created us He really does know what is best. He gave us healthy boundaries so we could learn discipline. So remember what He says in Jude: “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit…
God intended that your physical sexual needs were to be met within the confines of the “undefiled marriage bed.” Otherwise it is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” God loves you so much that He allows you the freedom to choose. It is evident that many choose to do “their own thing.” But, are the consequences really worth it? Think about it! Everywhere you are He is, everything you do or have done, He knows! There is a very significant security available to you when you choose to make His will and WAY your primary concern! Repentance is possible but first one must recognize that there is sin. Sin is missing the mark. Take some time to get refocused. A conscious that is sensitive to God is precious. You can be set free from any addiction. God has called us to live differently. He has given us healthy boundaries in order to properly satisfy any personal needs which can be experienced within the sanctity of marriage. He can fill that void.
God always has a better way but too often the ways of the world have taken His place. Healing and restoration are possible. Take some time for a spiritual cleansing. Seeking Him through His Word one really can find rest and peace for the wearied soul. God has left us a marvelous wealth of knowledge and examples within His Word to help us to avoid the pitfalls and consequences of partaking in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Read the writings of the Song of Solomon its beauty and honesty shows a balanced contrast to the sexual perversions of this age.
Begin being consistently accountable to someone for your actions and developing self control which is part of the Fruit of His Spirit. Someone who has healthy boundaries and knows the importance of not walking in the flesh but walking in the Spirit. Prayer and fasting are valuable tools. You can rededicate your life to sexual purity. You really can experience a growing healthy self esteem as a result of walking closer to the Lord.
I realize that this subject will not win a popularity contest. It may even cause a few jaws to drop. But at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is much more important “what Gods knows rather than what people think.” Especially when you know that He knows there is “no secret agenda.” My intentions are to shed Light where the darkness continues to keep the people of God and those in the world trapped in its snare. Christ lived a sinless life to overcome sin in the flesh for us! He died a painful death on the cross for us so we could live differently. Too many are more concerned about protocol rather than who to call. Help Me Lift His Holy Name! To God Be The Glory!
Anorexia and Bulimia are very serious eating disorders that occur when one does not properly relate to food. Eating disorders are serious. They can and do result in physical and emotional turmoil. There are a lot of control issues related to eating disorders. An unbalanced spiritual diet will result in a spiritual eating disorder. If you go without spiritual food; you will lack the proper skills to navigate through the spiritual maze of life. Jesus came to this world to redeem us from the penalty of sin. He overcame sin in the flesh for us. He came so that the world would not be condemned but saved. It is through His love we have obtained grace.
To find out more about your purpose and the plan God has for your life it is important that you explore God’s Word. The Word of God is food for the soul. Have you ever thought about the side effects of a Spiritual eating disorder? When you do not have a consistent healthy spiritual diet it is difficult to comprehend spiritual things. Did you know that you can actually forever be in a learning mode and still not comprehend the spiritual things of God? In fact you will have a tendency to be misled. It is vitally important that you regularly read, study, digest and apply God’s Word in your daily life. You do not want to develop a spiritual eating disorder. It will result in serious spiritual consequences.
In order to grow properly one must consume a nutritious balanced daily diet. It is often said “we are what we eat.” Eating is a natural normal everyday occurrence. Without a proper daily diet one can become malnourished. It is a well known fact that in many third world countries thousands literally starve to death daily due to a lack of a proper balanced diet. It is difficult to reach your full potential when your body does not have its proper nutrients. Food for your body is what gas is to a car. Think about it? How far will your car go without gas? How can you make the journey? Food is fuel for the body.
God created a marvelous thing when He created man. We are created in His image. We are body, mind and soul. God has also provided the necessary resources for us to live healthy lives. In order to grow physically we need food. In order to grow intellectually we need to study and stimulate our brain cells. When we study we assist the building of dendrites. Okay what are dendrites? They are nerve cells that send impulses to the body. Intellectual growth without spiritual development is futile. You will never fully understand life and its true meaning without knowing God. Remember He created us with a soul. Our soul also has needs. We need to spiritually feed our mind and soul with the Word of God. The Word of God is spiritual “bread from heaven”. It is essential to our spiritual growth and development.Did you know that the Scriptures are considered “The bread of life?” They are essential for the proper growth and spiritual development for the believer. Just as food is necessary for the body; so is God’s Word for our soul. A proper spiritual diet is required if you truly desire to grow spiritually. A constant diet of religious junk food is unhealthy. Yes, it is possible to grow without God’s Word. But, you will not grow spiritually. You will grow carnally. It is even possible to grow religiously. This will cause you to be misled as well. You will be tossed to and fro by the various doctrines of man. Please know growing religiously is not the same thing as growing spiritually. Many people talk right and walk left. Remember Jim Jones and his followers? If one does not regularly participate in studying and applying the principles of God’s Word to life’s circumstances it is also possible to become stagnated. The Bible clearly tells us that God is a Spirit of Truth. When you know the Truth the Truth will set you free. This type of freedom leads you to be free to become who God wants you to be. It will give you a new lease on life.
Tasting the indescribable fruits of God’s Word is like putting on 3 D glasses. Meaning you will see things on a deeper level. God really is awesome! Spiritual warfare is at hand. Despite everything that goes on there is nothing that happens He is not aware of. Just think about that for a moment. That is really deep. Look around you and see all the things that are going on. The further we move away from God’s principles the worst things get. Many choose to live a life of misery and despair. Life presents many challenges.
God intended for His Church to carry on His Son’s mission. He Loved, trained, developed, nurtured and became a living example to His disciples. He even died and rose from the grave so they would see the scriptures being fulfilled. This was the ultimate demonstration of love. Did you know that He and His disciples were persecuted, misunderstood, lied on and mistreated by those He came to help? They even plotted secretly to discredit Jesus in spite of all the good He had done. The Bible tells us there were places He went that due to unbelief His power was not manifested. These are a few of the important facts you will discover when you study the scriptures.
Today we have the Word of God in Book form. His Word is our source ol food. Did you know that there is nothing written in the Bible that is less than 1800 years old? That fact is awesome in itself. The Bible’s Truth will forever be alive. It will and has stood the test of time. In Jesus’ time they did not have the Bible like we do. It had not been compiled into the Biblia 66 books as we have today. God really does supply all our needs. He did not leave us Comfortless. He left us His precious Holy Spirit as our internal Guide that we receive on the profession of our faith. We must daily ask for His infilling presence. We need His Holy Spirit to help us understand His Word. God does not want us to be spiritual anorexics. He wants you to know Him through His Word. How is your spiritual diet? How much time do you spend acknowledging God in your daily life? Do you ask Him to give you your daily bread?
This column is for you if you are reading this. Just take a personal inventory and see if you are really ingesting a balanced spiritual diet. You know and God knows. You should feed yourself spiritually in addition to being fed physically. When you attend a worship service it is the time for you to become spiritually nourished and energized as well. To praise God from whom all blessing flow!
God has given many gifts to HIS Church. The gifts were given to spiritually mature the body of Christ. (See Ephesians.) When junk food is served in lieu of the Word of God; many become spiritually codependent. This often makes it difficult for them to deal with life’s everyday challenges. When you attend service the pastor, preacher, evangelist, teacher, minister or appointee, are all charged to deliver a message from the Word of God. When one truly lays aside their own agenda this is possible. It is also very good when the messenger let’s the listeners know when they are using illustrations to make a point. This is helpful for those who are not as familiar with scriptures. This time should be consecrated; instead of used to personally say something to someone you do not have enough courage to confront. Only after praying and sincerely meditating on God’s Word this is possible. Some even see this as an opportunity to get someone else to say, what they can not say themselves to someone. What happens when you eat junk food? The proper delivery of a spiritual message will feed your soul. It will enlighten, convict as well as encourage you to grow spiritually. The Word is like a two edged sword it cuts both ways. There is something for the messenger or deliverer as well as the recipient. God has left no stone unturned to see that His children receive proper spiritual nourishment.
It is an arduous task to deliver God’s Word. But how will you know if something is from God? Good question. This is why you need to study. You need to be like the Bereans in the book of Acts, they knew the Word of God for themselves. This is why it is important that we too develop our personal relationship with Him. A healthy Spiritual diet is one of the most important assets you can acquire. As a Christian it should be a necessary priority. How important did I say spiritual food was? Life can be difficult. A proper balanced spiritual diet will help you weather the tempestuous storms of life. It will give you keen insight. When everyone is saying it’s alright when you know its all wrong, let His Word guide you. God never tells us to support something that is not right. A proper spiritual diet will help you to stand for what’s right when the majority falls for what’s wrong. A proper spiritual diet will allow the Fruit of God’s Spirit to flourish in your life when spiritual warfare is about you.
GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES!
He said He will never leave you nor forsake you. I can bear witness to this He won’t! He said He will supply all of our needs? He will! (This does not mean just getting or having what you want) He said He will be peace in the midst of a storm. He will! His Word tells us that “God is Love” He truly is! Love is a wonderful thing. Having someone to love and knowing others truly love you is a wonderful thing. Many really do not know what Love really is. Love really is a beautiful ever unfolding gift from God. In the midst of trials, tests and wickedness God’s love will be an anchor. But you must always remember that spiritual nourishment is essential. His Word tells us that, “God is Love.”
When you read, study, deliver or share God’s Word please be prayerful. There are so many that have gone shipwrecked. So many casualties due to an unbalanced spiritual diet. Much too much junk food and not enough substance. If I tell you to come to my house for dinner you are expecting a balanced nutritious meal, right? What if I give you a plate of raw carrots? That’s okay if you are a rabbit. You might even think its funny, but, when you get home how do you think you would feel? My point is. As human beings we need more that just carrots. Some foods are a little hard to digest. We need both balanced spiritual and rich nutritious diets for our spiritual and physical growth. God wants us to continuously grow spiritually. “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” What does that mean? We must learn to embrace the Truth of God’s Word. God wants to be in every area of our everyday lives. He wants us to have a rich full spiritual diet, healthy marriages and sincere loving families.
I want to encourage you to make it a priority to spend some time with God. Really digest His Word. I assure you whatever is going on in your life He already knows. God wants you to live out the promises of His Word. God can and will make a way out of no way. He heals and He delivers according to His Will. Did you know Jesus also used very unconventional methods? The religious establishment was quite often opposed to His methods.
What are you saying? God will supply the road, direction, vehicle, people and resources when and if necessary for you to accomplish whatever He wants you to do. All you must do is step out on faith! Do not be surprised when someone does not understand you. Always keep in mind that what matters is that God knows and sees everything. Nothing can come our way unless He allows it. This is why He tells us to do whatever we do as you do it for Him. Remember His Church is supposed to be the pillar of Truth. The enemy is the father of lies. God is awesome. God is a “rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” He is truly worthy of our praise. Remember it is more important what God knows rather than what others think. Why do you think Jesus spent so much time getting away and spending time with His Father? Jesus remained constantly spiritual nourished. Did you ever think about the fact Jesus could have just said everyone be healed. He could have completely done away with poverty and famines. He had the power to do so. But that was not the plan. He was faithfully obedient. It is important to know that Jesus was terribly misunderstood, called evil and blacklisted too.
God also has a remedy for any case. God tells us to be happy when persecuted for righteousness. God really does have everything under His control. Knowing His Word is vitally important for your well being. Jesus really is coming back for His true Church. Some things will just not be understood on this side of Heaven. God will never lead you to do anything that goes against His principles. Really get to know God for yourself. You do intend to spend eternity with Him? This will prevent you from developing a spiritual eating disorder. Allow His Word to be “bread from heaven.” Let Him truly be your Shepherd. His Word has a bountiful table of blessings prepared for our spiritual nourishment. God will move or take you over any mountains or through the rough terrains of life when and if necessary. Begin to feast on the delicacies of His Blessed Word. This will result in you experiencing the fruit of His Spirit. Just remember you need a balanced spiritual diet to make the journey!
Be BLESSED & ENCOURAGED knowing that our LORD is ALWAYS near, HE is just a prayer away!
“Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. Faith is so important that it is mentioned over three hundred times in the BIBLE. Faith means to have a firm persuasion. Having Faith means much more than just to say you believe. It goes much deeper! Faith is developed through Prayer, Devotion, and Bible Study and the actual application of God’s Word to your daily life. Faith is also part of the Lord’s spiritual armor. It is “By Faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.” Hebrews 11:3. Faith is NOW not after the fact has materialized! “For we walk by Faith not by sight.” II Corinthians 5:7
When you truly trust God your Faith will see you through any and all circumstances or situations. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,Joseph, Moses and Rahab, are just a few examples of the many that trusted and had Faith in God. Deborah, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets beheld many miracles, faced jeers, were stoned, saw walls fall, led many in victories, were persecuted, misunderstood, and mistreated. Yet they all accomplished their life purpose by trusting the Lord. Notice how they all sincerely aspired to live in the presence of the Lord. They had a personal and deep intimate personal relationship with Him. Hebrews commends them all for their Faith; “yet none of them received what had been promised.” It is by Faith we are strengthened inwardly! Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts through Faith.
FAITH is NOW!
Hebrew defines Faith as something you cannot see. “Faith without works is dead.” When your Faith is truly in GOD you trust that in His time He will fulfill whatever it is that He has said or promised. Take a moment to take an open and honest personal inventory of everything that is happening in your life. Guess what God already knows as well! Despite your circumstances; good, bad, or indifferent you can rest assured that your Faith makes all the difference in the world as to how you will now proceed. In order to successfully run the race of life we must keep our focus on the Lord. Laying aside any weight or sin helps us to run with endurance. When life hurdles appear God will impart to you His patience and direction. You can not change anything that has happened “it is what it is” As you fix your eyes on “Jesus, the Author and perfector of our Faith” He will help you arise to the challenges as well as the celebrations of life. Your daily trust and reliance on God is where your true security and significance should reside. This will give you sure footing and strong solid rock foundational spiritual roots to help you withstand the storms of life. Your Joy in the Lord is where you will find strength when you keep your eyes on Him. The joy of the Lord is not contingent on your circumstance. FAITH is NOW!
The key to being a Christian is the Faith we have in Jesus Christ. Do you know the importance of His sacrificial death on the cross that atoned for our sins? It was so we could live life to please Him! Did you know our lives, our homes, our marriages, families and our worship should reflect we are His children? How do we do this? Titus tells us that “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self controlled, and sound in Faith, love and in endurance. To teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good…” The natural man or woman does not accept, value, nor understand the things of God. This is why the Word says to “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” In order to understand the things of God it is crucial that you lay aside your way and your will and let His Word be a “lamp unto your feet and a Light to your path.”
Having the proper perspective will teach you how very important it is to live life to its fullest and study His Word for His approval and not the approval of man. This is why we are told to “Trust in the Lord will all of our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our path.” Proverbs 3: 5&6. Too often God is an after thought or optional choice when dealing with life. This compromise often has favorable results with man; yet results in moving you away from God. Learn to wait on God and patiently seek His way.
God’s way will give you peace and contentment that surpasses the understanding of man! God wants to be the Primary Force in your life. Being a Christian is really a chosen lifestyle. God does not force His way upon you. Faith produces commitment and faithfulness. It means to sincerely and earnestly attempt to live life to please God. Commence to truly Live, Sing, Worship and Praise Him. It really makes all the difference in the world! “LET the WORD of Christ dwell richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving THANKS to God the Father through Him” Colossians 3: 16&17.
God always has a better way. According to Ephesians He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. As His child we have been sealed and promised the gift of His Holy Spirit. God truly is faithful you can always count on Him! Now you must trust Him and step out on Faith. Remember Faith is not something that you can see. Always remember, you must exercise patience and your Faith and trust must rely in Him. He tells us if our Faith is “as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17: 20. The key to this is you must desire His will to be done. It is with God we can do the impossible. This way He receives the credit. To GOD be the GLORY! God keeps His promises. You can fully trust God to work everything out for your good.
Always keep in mind that absolutely nothing gets by God. He knows all that is past, current and will be. Be encouraged knowing “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” It is by Faith and patience we inherit His promises. We can patiently endure whatever is necessary because we know that God in His time will work everything out for our good. It is by Faith we accept His precious gift of eternal life. One of the most important elements in life is having Faith in GOD. “Without Faith it is impossible to please Him, for he, who comes to GOD, must believe, that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Romans 1:16& 17.
GOD IS FAITHFUL in His time you will reap the promises and He will give back, restore, refuel and replenish you in His time. God knows when you are sincere. We are living in interesting times. Just keep your eyes fixed on the Author and finisher of your Faith. God is able to “keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great Joy!” You can say Hallelujah anyhow! God is awesome! As I mentioned before Hebrews records in its “Hall of Faith” many Old Testament heroes who trusted in God and displayed their Faith in unique ways. Lay aside every weight and anything that hinders you from going forth in the Lord! Many seek the approval and acceptance of others. God’s approval is what matters most! When you truly believe; it will be a priority to daily live your life to please GOD! Faith results in faithfulness. Who or what are you faithful to? “Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” FAITH IS NOW!