Friday, June 08, 2012
Years ago I struggled with low self-esteem. Many sincere Christians deal with this issue on a daily basis. I found the only way to combat this was to get into God's word and find out how He felt about me in order to overcome the negative thoughts and feelings I was experiencing. So I prayed often, read my Bible faithfully and highlighted verses that especially spoke to me about His love for me. I also read lots of books by Christian authors who offered hope and encouragement. Then the Lord had me prepare a list of what I've named as my “Spiritual Vitamins” to speak over myself every day. Jesus said in Matthew 12:34 that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. If you want to change what is coming out of your mouth you must change what is in your heart.
Jesus also said this in Matthew 15:18: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.”
We sometimes focus on our outer appearance and leave the inner man to suffer dis-repair. We need to strengthen our inner man as well as taking care of our physical bodies. So, for any of you who might like them, here is a list of those “spiritual vitamins”, with their scriptural reference, for your use.
I am a new creation in Christ, old things have passed away and all things have become new. 2 Cor. 5:17
God made Jesus to be sin for me that I might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. 5:21
I am working out my own salvation with fear and trembling because it is God who works in me both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Phil. 2:12, 13
I am confident of this very thing, that God has begun a good work in me and He will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6
I have the mind of Christ and He has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 1 Cor. 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:7
I have an anointing from the Holy One and I know all things. And the anointing which I have received from Him abides in me, and teaches me all things that are true and not a lie. 1 John 2:20, 27
The Holy Spirit is my teacher and He guides me into all truth; He does not speak on His own authority but whatever He hears He speaks to me and tells me things to come. John 16:13
Jesus is the good shepherd and I am His sheep. he speaks and I hear His voice and the voice of another I will not follow. John 10:6, 14, 27
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want or lack for any good thing. Ps. 23:1
The Word of God is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Ps. 119:105
God's Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against Him. Ps. 119:11
I delight myself in the Lord and He gives me the desires of my heart. Ps. 37:4
My steps are ordered of God because I am a good woman and the Lord delights in my way. Though I may fall, I shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds me with His hand. Ps. 37:23, 24
The Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. It pierces my heart and divides between my soul and my spirit. It judges my thoughts and intentions and brings change into my life. Heb. 4:12
I can take authority over the thoughts that come into my mind because my weapons are not carnal but mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds and God has given me authority over all the power of the enemy and He cannot harm me. 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Luke 10:19
God has delivered me from the power of darkness and conveyed me into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Col. 1:13
I can submit myself to God and resist the Devil and he must flee from me. Jas. 4:7
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13
I thank God because He always leads me to triumph in Christ. 2 Cor. 2:14
I am the healed of the Lord because by His stripes I was healed. 1 Pet. 2:24
My God is my healer. He has sent His word and healed me and delivered me from all my destruction. Ex. 15:26; Ps. 107:20
I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. Ps. 118:17
No weapon formed against me shall prosper and every tongue that raises up against me in judgment I shall condemn for this is my heritage as a servant of the LORD and He is my righteousness and vindication! Is. 54:17
All my children shall be taught of the LORD and great shall be their peace [their undisturbed composure]. Is. 54:13
My afflictions may be many, but the Lord delivers me out of them all. Ps. 34:19
Because I dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty, I can say of the LORD, "you are my refuge and my fortress. You are my God and it's in You that I trust. Ps. 91:1,2
Because I have made the LORD my refuge and my dwelling place, no evil shall befall me and no plague shall come near my dwelling. And He gives His angels charge over me to keep me in all my ways. They hold me in their hands so I won't stumble and fall on the rocks of life. Ps. 91:9-12
Because I have set my love upon God, He will deliver me. He sets me on high because I have known His name; I know Him personally and understand His character and nature. I call upon Him and He answers me. He is with me in trouble. He delivers me and honors me and satisfies me with long life. And He shows me His salvation. Ps. 91:14-16
When I am afraid, I trust in my God; I praise His word and trust in Him. I will not fear because my God is for me. When I cry out to Him my enemies turn back. Ps. 56:9
My soul trusts in my God and I hide in the shadow of His wings until the storm passes by. Ps. 57:1
Because my God will never leave me or forsake me, I can boldly say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear." Heb. 13:5,6
If my God is for me, who could possibly be against me? My God gave up His only Son for me and with Him He freely gives me all things. Rom. 8:31, 32
There is nothing that can separate me from God's love. And He has made me more than a conqueror through Him who loves me. Rom. 8:35, 37
My God is greater than anything the devil or the world can throw at me. He has overcome the world and He is the greater One living in me. Because I am in Him and He is in me I have overcome the world and have the victory through my faith in Him. 1 John 4:4; 5:4
Thank You, Father, for Your Word! Lord, thank You for showing me what I needed to do to build up my spirit man and change the course of my life through changing what was in abundance in my heart. Your Word, Lord, brings life to sick bodies and changes the course of our lives! Thank You, Lord, for helping me to change what was wrong in my life. Father, I pray that my friends this morning will soak in Your Presence and saturate their hearts with Your Word. Open their eyes of understanding to see how You feel about them. Help them to walk away from their feelings and embrace the truth about who they are in Christ Jesus. Thank You, Father. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Thursday, June 07, 2012
Sometimes I wake up in the morning and the Lord has already been speaking to me about a subject during my sleep. The Word tells us in Acts 2:17-21 that God will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh in the last days and one of the evidences of that is that He will speak to us through dreams and visions. I have often experienced that. This morning as I awakened the Lord was speaking to me about His faithfulness to His Word.
Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
God never goes against His Word! What He says He will do. When you find a promise in God's Word that applies to your situation and the Holy Spirit gives it to you as a Rhema (spoken) word for what you are going through right now, you can be assured that if you will act on that Word God will bring it to pass in your life. So many times I've been going through some trial and have had to stop myself from thinking about how awful it was by saying, “now, wait a minute, what does God's Word say about my situation?”. I've had to stop and get the proper perspective on it before I could stand in faith believing what God wanted me to believe instead of the lies that the enemy wanted me to believe.
A case in point comes back to my mind this morning of when my daughter was a very young woman, married and recently a new mother. She and her husband were young and inexperienced in life and made some poor choices which led this mother to worry a lot. But the Lord taught me some things through those experiences about His faithfulness to His Word. One night I was awakened in the night with fear about where my daughter and her family were. At that time I had no idea where they were or if they had what they needed to live or if my little granddaughter was being cared for properly. I got up and hit my knees in prayer. That was my only place of refuge where I could find relief from the torment that I was experiencing. I asked the Lord to give me a scripture to stand on that would carry me through this battle and give me peace. He took me to Psalm 91 and I began to proclaim that psalm for my daughter's well-being. He had me insert her name in the verses to personalize it for my own situation. It wasn't long until I felt His peace encompass my heart and I was able to go back to bed and sleep peacefully. I knew that God was taking care of them.
Isaiah 26:3,4 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.
Peace comes as we focus our minds on the Lord, not on our fearful situations. We must trust in the Lord in order to find the peace and strength we need to stand strong through the battles that come our way. God is bigger than anything the world or the devil can throw at us. He is able to change our situations with just one word! When we magnify Him instead of what we are going through, He is exalted and our problems become smaller in our sight. All of a sudden we have a different perspective and see our problems as simply an opportunity for God to show Himself strong on our behalf.
2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whole heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
God is looking for those whose hearts are loyal to Him just so He can come to their rescue and take care of their problems in times of battle. Don't be like these who were foolish in relying on their own abilities to win the war. Rely on the Lord to deliver you from the enemy! He is looking for your loyal heart towards Him so He can take care of these things for you. He will not fail those who rely on Him!
The enemy often comes to us first with fear. He tries to discourage us through causing us to be afraid. Fear is a spirit and we must fight it in the spiritual realm. God's Word tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. God is not the author of fear. It comes from the devil. But God has given us power, love and soundness of mind to offset the fear that comes against us. When we rely on Him He is there to deliver us from the evil one. His power, love and the ability to make right decisions are keys to overcoming the enemy. When we seek the Lord for direction in how to handle each battle He will give us the Word from His Word and by His Spirit to overcome and defeat the enemy.
What are you fearful of this morning? I've heard different preachers say that there are 365 “fear not” scriptures in God's Word. That's one for each day of the year. We do not have to be afraid. God is willing and able to grant us the victory in each fearful situation! Rely on Him and not on your own ability to fight and conquer. Go to Him and get the Word that you need to fight spiritually that which is coming against you.
Father, this morning I am so thankful that You are willing and able to help us fight the battles that we encounter in this life. Thank You for empowering us by Your Spirit and through Your Word to win! I know that You are looking at the loyal hearts of Your people so You can show Yourself strong on their behalf when they are facing battles that the enemy is bringing against them. Thank You for strengthening us and giving us peace in the midst of the storms of life. Father, this morning, I pray for my friends that You will show them the scriptures that they need to stand on to win the battles in their lives. Thank You for standing behind Your Word and bringing to their minds the very scriptures that they need to use in fighting the enemy. Thank You for giving them the victory. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
This is how I feel this morning! A trip back home always creates havoc with my healthy living lifestyle! I have eaten all sorts of things that I shouldn't have and my exercise routine is basically non-existent! Now, to start over again!
Lamentations 3:21-24 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”
I'm so thankful that God gives me another chance when I mess up! He is so kind and gracious to me! The Word says that when we sin we can confess that sin to Him and ask Him to forgive us and He is faithful to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The problem that we usually experience after having sinned is that when we confess it to the Lord He forgives us just as He says, but we usually have trouble forgiving ourselves so we carry the guilt of it around and try to work hard to make up for what we have done. There is no need to feel guilty or think that we have to compensate for the wrong that we have done.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Condemnation comes from the enemy, not from God. When we feel condemned after we have asked God to forgive us of a wrong that we have done, we can know that He has been faithful to do that and now we are experiencing condemnation from the devil to try to make us move out of God's grace into a works program to try to make up for what we have done. Jesus came to set us free; the devil is here to keep us in bondage! He does that through lies and deception.
1 John 2:1,2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
When we sin and confess our sin to the Father, Jesus pleads our case with Him for us. He is our attorney! He paid for our sins and continues to intercede on our behalf.
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
The phrase “make intercession” is the Greek word entunchano and it means to fall in with, meet with in order to converse. From this description of a casual encounter, the word progresses to the idea of pleading with a person on behalf of another.
Jesus pleads with the Father on behalf of those that are His! He is our High Priest!
Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus was tempted to sin in all areas as us, but He didn't sin! That's what made Him acceptable to God to pay the price for our sin! He is the sinless Son of God who came to earth to purchase our redemption from the bondage of sin, sickness and disease and poverty! He paid the price that we couldn't pay that we might receive the salvation that we couldn't earn!
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We deserved death for our sin, but God gave us eternal life! Jesus took our sin upon His own body and nailed it to the cross as payment for our sin. He then gave us the life that He had in place of our sinful life. Oh Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Father, this morning I am so thankful that Jesus came to save me from my sin! Thank You, Lord Jesus for paying the price for my salvation. I thank You for setting me free from the bondage of sin, sickness and poverty! You purchased my total salvation and I'm so thankful that I am Yours. This morning I pray for my friends that You will reveal Yourself to them in a new and fresh way. Show them what You purchased on the cross for them, Father. Help them to see themselves as You see them; free and able to walk every day in the newness of life that You have given them. Father, open the eyes of those who don't know You that they might see the love that You have shown them in giving Your very own Son to die for their salvation. Please bring them to salvation, Father. Today as we go through our daily activities, Father, please help us to get back on track if we've strayed. Show us today what we need to do to cleanse our physical bodies of impurities that we might have taken in during times of weaknesses. And give us the strength to say “no” to our fleshly desires that want to continue eating those things that are unhealthy for us. Thank You, Lord, for strengthening us by Your Spirit that lives within us. May we glorify You in all we say and do today, Lord! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Friday, June 01, 2012
My mom had a couple of sayings that keep coming back to me as I go through life. They are: “if at once you don't succeed, try, try again” and “where there's a will there's a way”. Isn't it funny how statements that others have made stick with us throughout life?!
The Lord gives some instructions about tenacity, the ability to stick with a project to completion, in Hebrews 10:35-39:
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
God calls it endurance. He says we need to be able to endure in order to receive His promises! Sometimes you have to stand strong through a lot of “stuff” before you see the manifestation of the promise in your life. When I go fishing with my husband we'll fish in an area for a little while and if we don't catch anything he will do one of two things: he will either change his lure or bait, or he will change his location. I've learned from his patient endurance that if he doesn't succeed using one means of fishing that he will try something else and will stick with it until he finds the fish! He can fish all day long without growing weary by adjusting his efforts to meet the challenge.
So it is with our objectives in life. If something that you are doing right now isn't working to attain the goals that you have set for yourself, then change what you are doing and find what works.
The apostle Paul referred to our walk of faith as a fight! He said in 1 Timothy 6:12: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
He instructs Timothy to fight and lay hold on eternal life! We have to fight for what God has promised us. He promises us if we will not give up or cast away our confidence, our sure reliance on Him and His promises, that we will win. He says we are to “lay hold” on eternal life! My mother used to tell me to watch out for snapping turtles because if they bite you they will not turn loose until it thunders! They “lay hold” on you with “bulldog” tenacity! Do you get the picture here?
It was said of Jesus in Luke 9:51 that when it came time for Him to go to Jerusalem just before He was to be crucified that He “steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem”. He knew that He needed tenacity to fulfill the call that His Father had given Him to secure the salvation of mankind. It was not an easy task for Him to do, but He chose to endure to the end to win the fight for our freedom from sin.
Hebrews 6:11 tells us that it is through “faith and patience” that we inherit the promises of God. Thinking about faith takes us back to the first scripture reference in Hebrews 10:38 where it says that “the just shall live by faith” and patience is what is needed to couple with your faith so that after you've endured you will receive!
Can you see the principles in these scriptures that apply to what you are trying to achieve in your life's goals? The biblical principles will work not only in the spiritual but also the natural. There is a degree of success in the world's application of biblical principles even when they don't know or understand that they are operating according to the design of God for success! They may use “positive speaking” for what we know as “biblical confession”, but they achieve a degree of success in applying that to their lives. Many times the principles that God has laid out in His word for us to use in receiving His promises are being applied to worldly situations and people are succeeding without knowing it's a result of biblical application!
Are you succeeding today in receiving the promises of God in your life? Do you feel like you will never see some things change? Maybe you need to adjust something that you are doing? I couldn't understand why I wasn't losing weight at the desired rate that I wanted until my husband got me a Fitbit. It was then that I was able to see that I needed to not only cut back on my daily calories, but also increase my exercise. I was content with walking for a couple of miles a day and staying within the calorie range that SP had set for me, but for my metabolism it wasn't working like it should have. I needed to make some changes. Now that I've made those changes I have seen some consistent weight loss. If we will seek the Lord He will give us the keys to success! Then when we apply them with tenacity we will eventually inherit the promises! The word of God works in your life as you apply it to your situations.
Father, I thank You for Your word and Your direction for my life. Thank You for giving me the key to success! You are all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful and You are my God. It is in You that I trust to lead me in the way I should go. Thank You for leading me and guiding me into all truth! Father, I pray that You will lead my spark friends to victory. Show them what they need to adjust in their lives to attain the goals that they have set before them. Help them to stay strong through the fight so they can win the battle! May they endure through Your strength and not try to fight this battle on their own. Thank You, Father, for showing them the way to success! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Questions often surround my heart; questions about why this happened or why this person suffered and died at an early age. My heart grows heavy when I see the carnage the devil continues to ravage against God's people. I often cry out to the Lord for victory over the darkness that I see in people's lives and wonder why it has to continue the way it does. There are things I don't understand, but this one thing I know: God is good all the time and the devil is bad all the time! And if I seek Him with my whole heart He will reveal the answers to my questions in His timing.
As I look into these two verses in Proverbs I see some steps that I can take in knowing how to live my life successfully under God's direction. The first thing I must do is trust Him with my whole heart. Trust and faith go hand in hand. You can't exercise faith without trust and you can't trust without walking by faith. The Amplified Bible speaks of this verse as “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.” Trust is to lean on and be confident in the Lord in both your heart and your mind. Your heart is where the Spirit of God lives; it is your innermost being, that part of you that has been “born again” or “regenerated”, brought to new life in the Lord. It is that part of you that wants to lead you under the Spirit's direction. Your mind, as well as your will and your emotions, is a part of your soul. Once sin entered man's life the spirit, under the Holy Spirit's directions, no longer led man to walk in the ways of the Lord, but the soul took over and became man's primary driving force. The mind, will, and emotions became what man depended on to direct him in the way he should go. But this scripture says not to depend on your soul for direction, but to trust in the Lord with all your heart and mind. It is through total dependence on the Lord that we find the answers to life's questions. It begins with trusting in Him.
The second thing I see in these two verses that shows me the key to successful living is found in verse 6 and is the word “ways”. The word “ways” in the Hebrew language is “derek” and it means “a road, a course, or a mode of action.” It is as if this passage is suggesting that in all our “days”, or our road through life, we should acknowledge God, and in so doing He will direct our paths. Of equal importance is the word “acknowledge”, the Hebrew word “yada”, with one of the meanings being “direct, intimate contact”. “Yada” means to know by observation, investigation, reflection, or firsthand experience. It's highest meaning gives the connotation of having an intimate walk with the Lord that leads to becoming one with Him through direct, intimate contact. It is by having direct, intimate contact with the Lord in all our days that we attain the understanding of how to walk through our lives. It is then that we can know that our own insight and understanding is futile, and needs to be laid aside so God can take the driver's seat in our lives. He will show us the way to go when we lay our lives before Him and come to Him through a living and vital relationship. The questions that lie so deep within our hearts can be answered through direct, intimate contact with the Lord.
My paraphrase of Proverbs 3:5, 6 might be this:
Lean on and be confident in the Lord with all your heart, spirit and mind; In all your days or the road you take through life, have direct, intimate contact with the Lord and as you observe Him and experience that intimacy with Him, He will show you the way to take through life.
Isaiah 55:6;8,9 Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God thinks differently than us. He operates on a different level than us. But He says that if we seek Him we can know His ways and thoughts. It is through “yada”, direct, intimate contact with Him on a daily basis that we can understand His ways and thoughts. It is as we yield ourselves to the movement of His Spirit within us that we have spiritual direction and our souls no longer are in the driver's seat of our lives.
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you....
Are you drawing near to God this morning? Do you have direct, intimate contact with Him to where He is the one directing your life? We can have that kind of a relationship with Him if we will make it a priority in our lives. We can know the heart of God through direct, intimate contact.
Father, I thank You for opening the way for me to know You through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I thank You that I now have access to the very throne room of God because Jesus gave His life that I might have life and a restored relationship with You. I pray that I might always have the direct, intimate contact with You that gives understanding to this life that I am living. Show me Your ways, O Lord that I might walk closely with You. Give me understanding, Father, to the mysteries of life. Grant me to know You in all Your fullness that I might show others the way to You and the life You have for them. I pray for my friends, this morning, Father, that You might draw them close to You. For those that are hurting, Father, wrap Your loving arms around them and carry them through the difficult days. Deliver them from the grasp of the evil one who is tormenting them. Give them peace in the midst of the storms, Father. I thank You, Lord, for hearing my prayer, this morning for I believe that I receive when I pray. In Jesus name. Amen.
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