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Saint or Simply An Old Sinner, Saved By Grace?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Many times we overlook the introduction to the books of the Bible as the writer introduces to whom he is writing. We have a tendency to think that it is not important to us because it was written to a people in a different time period and place. But there is a lot of valuable information in the introduction of the book that will give us a better understanding of how we should view ourselves in relation to our status as children of God.

The Bible is God's love letter to His people, so all of it, even the “Greeting” is written, not only to the ones that it was addressing in that day and age, but also to us. Paul starts a lot of his writings “to the saints” in the church. He doesn't remind the people that they were once sinners, but he addresses them as who they are in Christ Jesus, because they “were” sinners, but they are now “saints”. Do you see yourself as an old sinner saved by grace, or a saint who occasionally sins? Well, you were a sinner and if you've invited Jesus into your heart you are now a saint, but God is not in the business of reminding people of how bad they were in the past. He encourages people to be who they are in Christ Jesus and to see themselves as that “saint” that they have now become. Here are some of the New Testament “Greetings”:

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

2 Corinthians 1:1 PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia:

Ephesians 1:1 PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 1:1 PAUL and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Colossians 1:1, 2 PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse:

Romans 1:7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:

Paul even identifies himself as what God has made him to be, an apostle, not what he used to be as a persecutor of the church of Jesus Christ. He knew that he was a new creation in Christ Jesus, and as such, he identified himself as what he was as that new person, not what he had been. It is important for us to see ourselves as the person that God has made us and not the sinner that we used to be. If we constantly see ourselves as an old sinner saved by grace we will live with a defeatist attitude.

If you have been born again through the blood of Jesus and received Him as your Savior and Lord, then you are beloved of God, called to be saints just as much as the Romans were, or the people of Philippi or Colosse or Ephesus or Corinth! We all have to go through the blood of Jesus to become a saint of God! It is true that we have not been perfected, but God has begun a good work in each of us and He will bring it to completion at the day of Christ's return. (Philippians 1:6)

Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Have you ever thought about the fact that God chose you before the foundation of the world to be His and that through the shed blood of His Son you have been placed and accepted into the Beloved; His family? Do you understand that you are a child of the King; a royal priesthood, a holy people? And that He has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places through your relationship with Christ Jesus? You are a VIP, very important person!

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

You are God's own special person! He has a plan for your life, to proclaim His praises! He has delivered you out of darkness and into His marvelous light and you are now a part of His family; His own people. He has given you mercy when you didn't have it before. He has a good plan for your life!

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

God has a plan for your life that is full of hope, peace and goodness! It is as we see ourselves the way that God sees us that we will live up to the standards that He has placed before us. We strive to be what is expected of us. If you have a child that is constantly belittled and criticized he will grow up with a negative attitude thinking he can't do anything right. But if you constantly praise and encourage that same child he will grow up with a positive attitude thinking he can conquer the world! We are the same way in our spiritual journeys. We live up to what we are told about ourselves. Our spirits need spiritual truth to flourish and grow. Our emotions and actions will follow what comes out of our spirits. It is important to feed your spirit man daily on the word of God to assure proper spiritual nourishment for growth.

In my younger years I suffered from low self-esteem that stemmed from an emotionally abusive past. As a part of my deliverance God had me create a list of positive confessions from His word that I used to counter the negative thoughts that would come against me. They are powerful confessions for practical living. I would like to share them with you because I feel there are others that may be suffering from that same “spiritual illness”. Please feel free to take them as you would any prescription medication; with regularity! It will help if you read them out loud to yourself so your eyes see the words and your hears hear them. That multiplies the effectiveness of the confessions.

Father, I thank You for Your word that brings life into my spirit! I ask You, Father, to open the eyes of the blind and those who are oppressed to see the freedom that they have in Christ Jesus! Father, bring them out of darkness, whatever it might be. Deliver them from the evil one and set their spirits aflame with Your love and desire. Father, I ask You to deliver them from the oppression of low self-esteem and show them who they are in Christ Jesus! Bring them out of darkness into the light of Your word! Increase their desire to be free and give them the ability and courage to speak Your word over their lives every day until their spirit man is built up and nourished! Thank You, Father, for setting them free! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


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

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYYVAUGHN 8/14/2012 4:56AM

    Thanks for all the reassurances that you gave us today. You are a gifted teacher.

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ANHELIC 8/13/2012 11:54PM

    Awesome lesson again. I love the way you express yourself. I have saved the Spiritual Vitamins and will put it on my fridge so it's in sight all the day. Sending God's blessings your way.

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GABY1948 8/13/2012 4:03PM

    This is like all your other blogs, AVANELL...PERFECT for me on the day the Lord gives it to you. I have saved your Spiritual Vitamins for myself. I love the extra helpings of the Word I get here daily! Many people struggle with this very thing...and you follow the Lord's direction in spreading His healing messages! Thank you go much, AVANELL! May God Bless You!

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SLIMLEAF 8/13/2012 8:21AM

    Thanks for all your work in preparing this and typing it. This is definitely something I struggle with so I'm printing out all the Bible verses you've listed at the end of your blog posting. I can then remind myself of the Truth until I know it, have memorised it and live more as if I believe it!

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EDITOR 8/13/2012 8:04AM

    An intiguing title. An encouraging blog. I hope people will respond to how God sees them and how they will be introduced in heaven! I loved the spirtual vitamins that can be taken daily before eating, (LOL)

I love your blogs, Avanell, and that even though pressed for time, God delivers!

Thank you for your note and goodie, and thank you for being led by God. It can happen and does happen if we continue to walk in the Spirit Who is Wisdom.

Before the foundation of the world, God knew us and chose us. Catch that readers and know that you are indeed His beloved.

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CMKARLS 8/13/2012 7:46AM

  thanks for sharing

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You Are Special!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

John 3:16-21 NCV God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through Him. People who believe in God's Son are not judged guilty. Those who do not believe have already been judged guilty, because they have not believed in God's one and only Son. They are judged by this fact: The Light has come into the world, but they did not want light. They wanted darkness, because they were doing evil things. All who do evil hate the light and will not come to the light, because it will show all the evil things they do. But those who follow the true way come to the light, and it shows that the things they do were done through God.

God loved people so much that He gave the ultimate gift to mankind; the death of His one and only Son to pay the price for our redemption.

Redemption – Greek word apolutrosis – Strong's 629 A release secured by the payment of a ransom, deliverance, setting free. The word in secular Greek described a conqueror releasing prisoners, a master ransoming a slave, and redemption from an alien yoke. In the New Testament it designates deliverance through Christ from evil and the penalty of sin. The price paid to purchase that liberation was His shed blood.

Jesus bought us back from the kingdom of darkness with His precious blood. He purchased our redemption with His life. The only way to have eternal life is to believe in your heart that God sent Jesus to pay the price for your redemption and then confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior. (Romans 10:9, 10)

Colossians 1:13, 14 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Ephesians 1:7, 8 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

Praise the Lord! Jesus made it possible for us to be washed clean of all our sins. He laid down His life for us that we might experience life through Him. He established peace between us and God.

Ephesians 3:14-18 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

There was a wall that stood between us and God. It separated us from the Father. Jesus broke that wall down when He sacrificed His flesh and blood for our sins. He joined us to the Father through His sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary. Now we belong to the family of God.

I just feel like I need to reiterate to someone this morning that God is not mad at you. He loves you. He gave His all that you might have life. We have an enemy who is the accuser of the brethren. He will accuse you to yourself and make you feel like you are not worthy of God's love and that He is angry with you. That is not true. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He will always try to get you to believe his lies by making you feel bad, like you'll never be worthy of God's love. But God has already demonstrated His love for you by giving Jesus to die for you when you were yet a sinner.

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

If God gave Jesus for you while you were at your worst, a sinner, why would He be angry with you or love you any less after you received Jesus and were forgiven of your sins? There is nothing that you could do that would be any worse than what you were before you were forgiven of your sins and born again. There is nothing that you can do to make Him love you any more or any less than what He did when Jesus died for you on the Cross. The accuser of the brethren has fed you a lie. Do not believe it!

Romans 8:1-4 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. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Condemnation does not come from God; it comes from the devil. He will try to make you feel like you do not deserve God's love. But God's Son, Jesus Christ paid the price for your righteousness. You are now worthy in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

God made Jesus to be sin for us. He traded places with us. He became our sin so that we could become His righteousness. It is a free gift with no strings attached; just believe and receive it.

John 1:12, 13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Satan will not stop trying to deceive you into believing that you are not worthy of God's love until you put your foot down on his neck and stop him from lying to you. You must resist him. He will not go until you tell him to leave.

James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

When you begin to take a stand on what you believe about God's word, the devil will become less able to deceive you. If you will submit yourself to God first, then resist the devil, he will have to leave you alone. Take your rightful place in Christ Jesus and stand up to the enemy and command him to leave you!

Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Jesus has given you authority over the power of the enemy! He cannot harm you when you realize who you are in Christ Jesus and take your rightful place as a child of God standing against the enemy! The only ground that Satan can have is the ground that we relinquish to him. Jesus calls him the thief in John 10:10 because he comes to steal, kill and destroy. He uses illegal means to steal from people, kill their dreams and their lives if possible, and tries to destroy them.

1 Peter 5:8, 9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

The Word says we are to be on the alert for the devil because he tries to paralyze his prey by roaring at them. He tells them lies; he tries to get them to think things are worse than what they are. He constantly looks for the weak ones on the outer edges of the sheepfold that are easy prey for him to grab. But when you resist him in the faith, standing strong on God's word, his lies are subjected to the light and no longer have any power over you.

As I was praying this morning, I felt the Lord wanting to share something with me so I got out my pen and paper and began to write. I feel He has a message for someone this day, so here it is:

“My Child, I have loved you with an everlasting love. When you go through the fire of life I will be with you. The floods shall not overtake you for I am there to lift you above them. Look to Me for I am there. I will carry you through the difficult times. Do not feel as if you are forsaken, just look to Me and live. I will not fail you. I love you. You are Mine. I have called you by your name. I know everything about you. You are My 'lovely one' for I love you.”

Friends, God is not like people. He doesn't hold grudges or get mad and not speak to you.

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?

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”

God loves you with an everlasting love. He has shown it to you this morning through His word and by His Spirit. He delights in you.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Can you see the great love that He has for you. Don't let the enemy tell you that God is mad at you or that He doesn't love you because of what you may have done. God loves you! Receive His love and forgiveness and go on and have a blessed life!

Father, I thank You for Your great love for us. You don't think like we do and you don't stay angry with us. Thank You for forgiving our sins and for blessing us with good lives. Father, I pray for my friends this morning who may be struggling with guilt and condemnation. I pray, Father, that You will reveal to them that You are not condemning them for what they have done, but forgiveness from You is freely given when they confess their sin to You and turn to walk with You according to Your ways. Give them peace in their hearts today, Lord, and fill them with a new sense of Your presence with them. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GABY1948 8/12/2012 5:50PM

    Another beautiful and timely message, Avanell! Beautifully put and so thorough. It is yet another that cannot be repeated too many times. God's Word is so magnificent and yet, He tells us to "renew your mind"! And we do have to to keep the enemy at bay! Avanell, as always you have covered it all very well! I appreciate you so much! You help us with the renewal of our minds too! We still have to stay in the Word for our selves but you give us the a dessert to go with it! Thank you for always following the Holy Spirit's leading and bringing us what is JUST right! God Bless you, Avanell!

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BABY_GIRL69 8/12/2012 4:28PM

    I am a sinner redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. How many times can I ask for forgiveness? Praise God your way is not our way Father!! We would lost forever.

God bless & thank you for this blog!


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ANHELIC 8/12/2012 2:52PM

    I am so grateful that God loved us so much that he gave His son to die for us so we would have everlasting life. We now a life with Jesus and Holy Spirit lead us in the way that God wants us. We sometimes don't love ourselves for reasons, but God does. Praise His Holy Name.

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MARYJOANNA 8/12/2012 2:20PM

  We can be assured that we are loved just because He wants to; not because we are talented, or educated. He loves us completely and always!

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EDITOR 8/12/2012 1:25PM

    Everyone seems to know John 3:16. Has this penetratesd hearts? That Jesus did indeed tear down the veil seperating us from Him? Praise God, yes, we are special and always will be.

Thanks for your faithfulness, goodie and notes. You are indeed one special lady.

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SLIMLEAF 8/12/2012 11:00AM

    God loves me as I am, but I don't.

Tricky, isn't it?

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SWIMLOVER 8/12/2012 7:55AM

  Thank You for this emoticon blog!


We are Special in GOD'S EYES!

Comment edited on: 8/12/2012 7:56:27 AM

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The Good Shepherd

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Psalm 23:1-6 AMP

THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name's sake. Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over. Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.

I love the way the Amplified Bible expounds on the verses of Psalm 23. It clarifies so well the role of the shepherd to the sheep. Jesus said in John 10:11: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep.

John 10:14: I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize me--

The Shepherd leads, guides, feeds and shields the sheep. He watches over them all the time to make sure that every need that they have is taken care of. He leads them to areas of nourishment where they will flourish and find peace.

As the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, restores our souls. Through His very own life that He laid down for us, He made provision for every need that we have. He continues to watch over and provide for us. We have no lack in Him. There are times when we walk through dark times, but He is always there to lead us out into the light. His very presence assures us of His love and provision. Fear has no place in us when we realize and rely on His presence. It is only as we feel that we are in this alone that fear can take up residence within us.

The Shepherd's rod was there to drive off the wild animals that would try to attack the sheep. His staff was used to pull a wayward sheep back into the fold. The anointing oil was applied to the sheep's head so the flies couldn't lite on their heads and get up in their nose and ears to lay eggs. If the flies laid eggs in a sheep's head when the eggs hatched they would crawl up into the brain and literally eat the sheep's brain. The sheep would go crazy butting it's head on the rocks trying to get the pain to stop. The Shepherd protected the sheep however it was needed.

One of the names for Satan is Beelzebub, which means “lord of the flies”. Satan throws thoughts at people like darts that, when they have pierced the mind, bring turmoil and torment to the mental realm. It is as we are anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit that our minds are soothed and calmed. We are responsible for renewing our mind to the Word of God so we can identify the lies of the enemy and cast those thoughts down before they have time to sink in and do their damage. The mind truly is the battlefield, but if we will allow Jesus, our Good Shepherd to give us His salvation the Holy Spirit then can anoint us and help us protect our minds.

1 John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

The Holy Spirit helps us understand the Word; He is our teacher and through the illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit we grow in spiritual understanding. It protects our minds from deception as we learn to listen and rely on the Holy Spirit and His anointing.

2 Corinthians 1:21,22: Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd now sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, but He sent His Spirit to live within each believer. As we receive Him the Holy Spirit fills the empty places within us and seals us in Him. His anointing is like the anointing oil that the Shepherd uses to ward off the flies; it protects our minds as we yield to Him. Our Good Shepherd has made provision for our whole person; spirit, soul and body. We are His; evidenced by the Holy Spirit within.

Father, I thank you for Jesus, our Good Shepherd. I thank You for sending Him to die for us; to give us new life as we give our hearts to Him. And Father, I thank You for Your Spirit that has come to live in us as we yield our lives to You. Father, fill us to overflowing today with Your Spirit that we might experience Your presence, Your power and Your anointing. I pray for my friends this morning, Father, that You would visit them in the power of Your Spirit, lifting them to new places in You, Lord. Give them revelation knowledge of Who You are and want to be in them. Show them, Father, that it is only in You that they experience life and that more abundantly. Help them to overcome by yielding to Your love, faith, hope and peace. Give them joy unspeakable and full of glory as they pray and yield to You. Thank You, Father, for touching the sick with Your healing hand, for providing for those who are experiencing lack and for visiting the lonely with Your love and presence. They need You, Lord, for only in You can we find provision for our needs. Thank You, Father. I pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARLENEK04 8/11/2012 10:55PM

  Good blog, and I love the picture..


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SLIMLEAF 8/11/2012 6:57PM


What a great prayer.

I used to gloss over this Psalm because it was so well known, but in recent years I have come to appreciate the wonderful riches it offers, such comfort and security and goodness - it has helped me through many dark times. I am glad, grateful and blessed to know the Lord as my Shepherd.

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GABY1948 8/11/2012 4:22PM

    Thank you so much for your blogs! This is probably the first verse I, and I am sure others, come to know as children. Your anointing again brings it to life for me! God Bless you, Avanell!

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BUZZITYBUZZ 8/11/2012 3:52PM

    Thank You so much for your words of encouragement and above all I thank God for bringing you my way. I could feel the mercy and assurance of God's presence as I read your blog on the meaning of Psalm 23. It was enlightening. Truly the word of God is never old, it is new every time you read it. Our Lord Jesus Christ is Awesome. Permit me to write you sometimes privately. Perhaps you can help me in my spiritual journey, if its ok with you. Remain Blessed.

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ANHELIC 8/11/2012 1:48PM

    I am glad the good Shepherd is leading me, not Satan. I see too many things happening and in a song I just heard this morning, it said God will remove your mountain, even if it's just one stone at a time. This was a great lesson and I look forward to them. Sending you God's richest blessings.

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EDITOR 8/11/2012 12:35PM

    I love the Good Shepherd and this lesson of His fierceness with the enemy and His gentleness with us.
Thank you so much, and thank you for the goodie and note yesterday.

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The Power Of God!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Romans 1:16, 17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ! Why? It is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. Please notice that in order to receive God's salvation you must believe! Faith is the vehicle that brings God's salvation into your life.

This is such a power-packed couple of verses! Let's look at a few of the Greek words in this scripture to get a good understanding of what the Word is saying:

Ashamed – Epaischunomai – the feeling of shame arising from something that has been done.

Gospel – Euangelion – “good news” of salvation; not only the promise of salvation, but it's fulfillment by the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.

Power – Dunamis – energy, power, might, great force, great ability, strength. Dynamic; dynamite.

Salvation – Soteria – deliverance, preservation, soundness, prosperity, happiness, rescue, general well-being. The word is used both in a material, temporal sense and in a spiritual, eternal sense.

Believes – Pisteuo – to trust in, have faith in, be fully convinced of, acknowledge, rely on. It expresses reliance upon and a personal trust that produces obedience. It includes submission and a positive confession of the Lordship of Jesus.

Righteousness – Dikaiosune – the character or quality of being right or just; right actions. It is used to tell of that gracious gift of God to men whereby all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are brought into right relationship with God. It is unattainable by obedience to any law, or by any merit of man's own, or any other condition than that of faith in Christ.

Okay, so now let's think about what Paul is really saying in these two verses. He is not feeling any shame towards the good news of Christ, for it is the might, strength and great force of God resulting in deliverance, preservation, soundness, prosperity, happiness, rescue and general well-being of everyone who places their trust in Him and is fully convinced that He will do what He has promised. It results in acting out that trust and speaking positively of the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their life. The picture that we see here is of a person understanding that salvation is all-inclusive of whatever he needs for the well-being of his person; spirit, soul and body. It is placing trust in Christ Jesus as Lord knowing that He has purchased the salvation that you may need and you are willing to obey Him whatever the cost in order to receive what He died to give you.

Jesus, when He began His ministry, gave it's description in Luke 4:18,19:

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

He preached the gospel, the good news, then He demonstrated by healing those who were oppressed of the devil with sickness and disease and demonic possession.

The good news of salvation to the person who needs to be spiritually re-born would be forgiveness of sin. It means that in order for the person to receive that salvation he must place His trust in Jesus, confess Him as Lord and receive His forgiveness.

Romans 10:9, 10: that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

The good news of salvation for someone who is sick would be that God heals and Jesus purchased that healing for him through the stripes that He took on His back in the crucifixion.

Matthew 8:16, 17: When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”

The good news for salvation for someone in poverty and lack would be that Jesus became poor that he might become rich.

2 Corinthians 8:9: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

There is a promise in God's Word for every need that we have. It has been purchased for us through the covenant that Jesus sealed with His very own blood. It's a matter of getting into God's Word, finding what applies to your life and believing it in your heart, confessing it with your mouth and acting on the promise to receive it. Sometimes we must “war” to receive it. If a sick person stands on God's word for healing he will have to fight in faith to stay firm until the manifestation of the healing appears. It is a real battle against fear, symptoms of illness, pain, others who may not support you in believing and a negative doctor's report. But Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12 that he should “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life”. A good fight is one that you win and it is a fight of faith to “lay hold” on eternal life. It is a faith fight that gives us the victory!

1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

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

Father, I thank You for providing for whatever we have need of in our lives. I thank You that the blood of Jesus purchased our redemption, full and free, and provides salvation for the total man; spirit, soul and body. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for dying for us, for shedding Your blood that we might experience life. I pray for my friends this morning, Father, that You would show them the scriptures that apply to their needs, Father, that they might trust You to bring the provision that they have need of. Thank You, Lord, for meeting their every need. In Jesus' name. Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GABY1948 8/11/2012 4:14PM

    Avanell, I missed your blogs those two days I was out of internet. I stay in the Word but your blogs are like a sweet dessert to me after reading! I missed you my sister/friend! Thank you for your faithfulness that I could catch up on! Gaye

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FERGSGIRL2 8/10/2012 10:05PM

    So much heart in your blog(s), and God is more than the world to me! Daily we must surrender all. Thanks for making plain some things that others "run over.' To God be the glory!

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ANHELIC 8/10/2012 8:51PM

    Amen. We really God in our life to be survivors in this world of hatred and sin. emoticon

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DARLENEK04 8/10/2012 3:57PM

  Paul was probably the most devoted and best evangelist ever...


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SLIMLEAF 8/10/2012 11:11AM

    Amen! We really would be lost without Him!

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FISHINGLADY66 8/10/2012 10:08AM

    Amen emoticon for this great blog.

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RSSSLHB 8/10/2012 9:19AM

    Amen emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 8/10/2012 8:41AM

    We don't give thanks enough for all that we are given.
Thanks for one of my daily devotions.

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JUDYAMK 8/10/2012 7:53AM

    Amen!! My family has been praying for years for my 4 brothers to come & accept the Lord.Two of them did this year, I must admit even as a Christian I had doubts because they were very hard. The power of prayer is awesome, I prayed for 34 years for my Dad he came to now the Lord 7 years before he passed away , Because of my doubting ,Christ taught me a valueable lesson I felt ashamed because I was a doubting Thomas." Editor" you said it may cost relationships that is okay because the most important relationship in the world to have is the one with Our Lord

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EDITOR 8/10/2012 7:33AM

    Just want to say, I am a Mike Adkins fan and thank you for this lesson, Avanell.

I confess with my mouth Jesus is Lord, and it may cost relationships.

Thank you for prayers this morning for your friends. May others come to know there is no greater Friend than Christ Jesus. None! He will see you through those dry areas and will lead you to Living Water. Accept Him and accept those who truly care such as today's author.

God bless and keep you underneath His umbrella of Love as you surrender all.

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Welcome To This Broken Vessel

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Mark 14:3-9 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? “For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

According to John 12:3 the woman in this passage of Scripture that anointed Jesus with the costly oil of spikenard was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. After she had broken the flask of oil over His head, she knelt down and wiped His feet with her hair. She worshiped Him with all that she had; her savings and her very being. It is noted in John 12:3 that this was a pound of the fragrant oil that she broke over Jesus' head. It was valued at a year's wages. Mary was described in Luke 10:39 as one who sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. Jesus said she had chosen that good part which would not be taken away from her. Mary was a worshiper! She loved Him and worshiped Him without caring what others thought of her. But notice that even though she was a worshiper there were those in her midst that did not share her worship of Jesus. In fact, her worship brought out their indignation! They sharply criticized her for worshiping Jesus with that valuable a gift. And yet Jesus upheld her for what she did! He chastened them for being critical of her. In fact, He went on to say that wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she had done would be told as a memorial to her! God desires our worship! When the praises go up, the glory comes down!

How do you worship the Lord?

I love to sing praise and worship songs as I worship Him. I have found that praise and worship music helps me to quiet myself before the Lord as I listen for His voice. It draws me into His presence. There was a time when my life was in such a turmoil that I would sit in the dark in my rocking chair and listen to worship music just to calm my soul. I needed the music to still my heart in the midst of the storm.

It is recorded in 1 Samuel 16:23 that when a distressing spirit would come upon Saul he would call for David to come and play his harp and the distressing spirit would leave as David worshiped the Lord. There is something about our worship that draws us to the Lord and away from the evil that tries to distress us.

Psalm 22:3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.

God is enthroned in the praises of His people. When the praises of believers go up to God it builds a throne for Him to sit upon! How precious are our praises to Him! It brings His presence into our midst. He inhabits, or takes up residence, in the praises of His people!

Last weekend I was honored to help with some revival services in North Carolina. As we worshiped the Lord there was a point in time when it seemed as if the air became charged with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The atmosphere was heavy with the presence of the Lord. You could sense Him right there in our midst. He came and inhabited our praises! I listened as people's hearts were broken before Him as they worshiped Him.

Jesus said in John 4:23, 24: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The word for “truth” here is the Greek word aletheia, which according to Strong's Concordance #225, means veracity, reality, sincerity, accuracy, integrity, truthfulness, dependability, and propriety. It is the opposite of fictitious, feigned or false.

To worship in spirit and in truth is to abandon yourself to God without pretense, worshiping Him without worrying about what others think of you or how you are perceived by those around you. Isn't that what Mary did when she broke that costly flask of oil over Jesus' head? Don't you think she somehow knew that she would be criticized for her worship of Him in that manner? And yet, she worshiped with her whole heart and expressed it through her finances. She gave all to Jesus! We sing that old song, “All to Jesus, I surrender; all to Him I freely give.” And yet, do we really give Him our all?

Yesterday a dear sister in Christ brought back to my remembrance an old worship song that we used to sing back in the early 1990's.

“Welcome into this place, welcome into this broken vessel. You desire to abide in the praises of Your people. So we lift our hands, and we lift our hearts, as we offer up this praise unto Your name.”


It brought back so many memories of my worship of Him at that time. I love to simply throw my head back and raise my hands in total abandonment as I worship Him.

He is worthy of our worship!

Lord, I worship You today! You are so worthy, Lord; and I lift my hands and my heart up to You as I offer up this praise unto Your name! Thank You, for abiding in my praises, Lord! Thank You for Your presence that drives out the darkness and distress! Thank You for receiving my worship today, Father! I know that You will never turn me away. You are always ready to receive me when I come before You in adoration and worship. You are great and greatly to be praised! All glory be unto You, Lord Jesus! Worthy is the Lamb Who was sacrificed before the foundation of the world for the sin of mankind! You are glorious and worthy to be adored! I worship You, Lord, and welcome You into my life today! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMLEAF 8/11/2012 7:03PM

    It's often struck me that this anointing of Jesus took place not long before his crucifixion.

You can imagine how much he must have smelled of the perfume that Mary had poured on him. I reckon he would have carried that fragrance with him right to the cross.

And I wonder if, when we talk about the fragrance of Jesus filling a place, it's the same scent that Mary poured over him that day.

Just a thought...

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ANHELIC 8/9/2012 8:46PM

    Thank you Avanell for your awesome message. It was really touching. I felt you are truly blessed by God with your messages. God bless you.

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DARLENEK04 8/9/2012 5:35PM


Have you ever heard Adoration? by Mike Adkins?

It came out about the same time as Rise Again by Dallas Holm.

Those are two of my favorite contemporary songs.

I wish more use of the old hymns would be made in church, perhaps an even

Hugs and thanks for you .... your blog is always inspirational...

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BABY_GIRL69 8/9/2012 4:48PM

    Thank you for this blog! My hubs used to hate when the singing portion of worship service would begin. Now he loves it almost as much as I do. We would always listen to gospel music whenever it was playing but especially on Sunday before worship service. It shifts the atmosphere making it very conducive to worship Him in spirit & in truth.

God bless you!


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BEAGLEMAMA2 8/9/2012 10:33AM

    Thank you for sharing. This truly touched my heart!

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GABY1948 8/9/2012 8:43AM

    Wonderful blog on Worship, Avanell! I know just what you are talking about...when in certain services or even listening to really anointed recordings it is an awesome feeling to just have the tears flowing and feel that thick, charged air! Your whole blog just "took me away!" Thank you as always...and God Bless you, Avanell!

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RSSSLHB 8/9/2012 7:33AM

    emoticonfor posting emoticon

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EDITOR 8/9/2012 7:31AM

    I have nothing left to offer Him but my hands and heart and tears.

Beautiful devotional, as always, to the surrended soul.

Christ will never throw us away for that means He would deny Himself. We were bought and paid with the precious Blood of Christ.

Thank you, Avanell, for being the head and not the tail as you post each day, exposed to the scrutiny of others.

Thanks for the goodie too, but most of all, teaching and preaching what sold out to Jesus means.

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