Monday, October 15, 2012
Isn't life interesting? As many of you know I have been on a weight loss journey for about eight months now. I had two goals in mind when I started my journey: one was to be able to fit into and wear the suit that I wore when my husband and I were married four years ago this past October 11. I reached that goal and was happy to wear that suit to church yesterday morning. The other goal was to reach a certain weight and I still have a few pounds to go to reach that goal. But yesterday morning I was reading a blog and the writer mentioned a website that you could go to that would tell you what your “happy weight” is. Well, let me tell you that intrigued me! I had never thought about my weight loss goal in that manner. So I thought I better check this out because I certainly want to have a “happy weight”! After I answered a few statistical questions about myself it revealed what weight I should be “happy” with. I was surprised to see that it actually is the same goal weight I had in mind when I started my journey to healthy living back in February. But in researching my “happy weight” I had to face these questions: “Can a person ever arrive at a 'happy' weight?” What does it mean to have a “happy weight”? Are people ever satisfied or contented with their own stature or status in life? It seems that we are always searching to change something in our lives, either personally or where we are in life's journey.
Happy – Definition according to Dictionary.com:
1. delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: to be happy to see a person.
2. characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy: a happy mood; a happy frame of mind.
3. favored by fortune; fortunate or lucky: a happy, fruitful land.
I began to think about happiness and what causes a person to be happy. Happiness is based on exterior circumstances. It is caused by something that happens to us rather than what is within us. But as a believer in Christ Jesus I have joy and contentment in who I am in Christ Jesus. My happiness comes from my relationship with Him, not from an exterior set of circumstances or happenings in my life that controls my moods. I am contented in Christ Jesus regardless of what I weigh because I am a person of value based on who He says I am rather than the number that reads on the scale. And yet I strive to reach my goals based on my desire to live a long, healthy life and to be all that God created me to be. My inner contentment comes from who I am in Christ Jesus. He loves me regardless of my size, shape, or performance. He loves me because He is love and He created me in His image and likeness! My desire to be a certain weight or portray a certain image is based on vain imaginings unless I submit it to God's will for my life and then I am able to obtain a balanced approach to weight loss and healthy living.
Are you pleased with who you are in Christ Jesus? He created you just the way you are. What we do with God's creation is our part of the equation. He created us with certain characteristics, to be a certain height and size, but we often, through unhealthy food choices, lack of exercise and improper stress management, force our bodies into an unbalanced state of health. Eating then becomes an event rather than fuel to sustain our bodies. We live to eat instead of eating to live. Our emotional state of being sometimes encourages us to eat for comfort instead of turning to the comfort of the Holy Spirit within us. We become dependent upon food as a friend instead of relying on the friendship of God.
Genesis 1:26-18 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
God created us in His likeness and image and then He blessed us! He was pleased with His creation. Will we choose to be pleased with the way He has created us or will we always be striving to be something or someone that we aren't. Will we ever be happy?
Father, I thank You for creating me in Your image and likeness. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and You knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank You for blessing me! I pray this morning that as a believer in Christ Jesus I will more fully understand what You have placed within me; the power and ability of Your Spirit to lead me to make healthy choices for my life so I might honor Your creation in me. Thank You, Lord, for giving me healthy emotions and an understanding of contentment in You, not dependent upon a relationship with food but totally dependent upon my relationship with You. Thank You for giving me joy unspeakable and fully of glory! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Psalm 34:1-3 I WILL bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.
I was grumbling and complaining to the Lord in prayer one day some years ago and I asked the Lord what He thought about my situation and immediately Psalm 34:1 “I WILL bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” came into my mind. That stopped my grumbling and complaining very quickly when I realized that God wanted me to bless and praise Him instead of grumbling and complaining. Did you know that the whole generation of Israelites that grumbled and complained against the Lord in the wilderness died there because they complained against Him?
Numbers 14:26-30 And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. “Say to them, 'As I live,' says the LORD, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 'The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 'Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in.'”
Wow, I guess God takes grumbling and complaining very seriously. Not only does He want me to praise and bless Him because of His greatness and ability to change my situations in life, but it also silences the enemy's thoughts that try to convince me that the harm that He wants to bring into my life will happen instead of the good that God wants to do. Satan's thoughts cannot penetrate my mind when my mind is focused on the greatness of my God! When I am thinking and speaking of the goodness of God I can't begin to think that He would not take care of my problems. My God is bigger than anything that would come against me! He is greater than any mountain that I might have to climb. He is my God and there is none above Him or beside Him!
So, it all boils down to whether I will choose to praise and bless the Lord or not. The choice is mine because God has given me a free will to decide what I will or will not do in the life plan that He has for me. But once I make the choice to praise Him even when I'm going through a dark valley, He then helps me to lift up those praises and blessings that magnify Him in the face of my difficulty. He doesn't leave me to do it by myself or force me to stand alone in a dark place acting as if everything is A-okay in my life. He helps me!
Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
“BY HIM”, or another translation says, “Through Him”, meaning that through His strength and ability we offer up a sacrifice of praise continually to Him thanking Him because of who He is to us and what He is doing in our lives. We aren't asked to do it on our own, but through His great inner strength we gain the ability to praise and worship Him even in the midst of the storms of life.
Philippians 4:13 AMP I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].
The inner strength that comes from my relationship with Jesus Christ builds me up on the inside and causes my faith to rise to the occasion that I am facing. If I'm trying to praise the Lord through a storm I will receive the strength from the Holy Spirit within me to praise even though I might not feel like it. When I make the choice and step out in faith to praise Him the strength and ability to do it is there for me to use. My praise of Him then takes my faith to new heights and lifts my spirits above the storm. You see, God is not a harsh taskmaster who commands us to do unreasonable things just to exalt Him, but He knows that when we praise Him in the midst of the storm it increases our joy and the word tells us in Nehemiah 8:10 that “the joy of the LORD is your strength”. We need the joy of the Lord to face the extreme trials and testings that we go through. God is really giving us a key to success in praising Him at all times.
Your attitude will determine your altitude in life. If you want to soar above the problems then praise the Lord in the midst of them. The only two Israelites that were allowed to enter into the Promised Land from that whole generation of people ages 20 and above was Joshua and Caleb. It is recorded in God's word that the reason they were allowed to enter the Promised Land was because they had a different spirit within them in that they wholly followed the Lord their God.
Numbers 14:24 “But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.”
Numbers 32:11, 12 'Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they have not wholly followed Me, 'except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed Me.”
I want to be counted among those who had a different spirit, that wholly followed the Lord. How about you?
Father, I thank You and praise You today because You are my God. I know that I can trust You to bring me through any difficulty and problem when I offer up the sacrifice of praise unto Your name. You are glorious and magnificent, high above the earth and King over all. Thank You, Father, for Your mighty delivering power that brings me out of the muck and mire of this world and sets me high above the problems that I might experience. Thank You for giving me the inner strength that I need to always praise You through my problems. Thank You for saving me and giving me a home in heaven with You when this life is over. Father, I know that wherever I go You are already there waiting to walk with me through life. Thank You for the overcoming power of Your Spirit within me. Holy Spirit I invite you into my life today to lead me and guide me in the way that I should go. Father, I praise You for this day and for the good things that You have in store for me in the future. Lord Jesus, Your name is above all other names. You are the King of kings and Lord of lords and I praise You today for laying down Your life for me. Thank You for taking my sin and nailing it to the cross. Thank You for Your greatness in my life. You are mighty and magnificent and I praise You today! In Jesus' name. Amen.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
1 John 4:9, 10 NLT God showed how much He loved us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Father, I thank You for sending Jesus into the world to be the sacrifice for my sins. I thank You, Lord Jesus, for laying down Your life for me that I might have eternal life. And I thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to live within me to show me the way to live righteously according to Your principles. Thank You for being my God, my Savior, my Helper and Friend. When I am weak, You are strong in me. When I am faithless, You are faithful. When I fall down, You pick me up. When I am afraid, You are there to speak words of comfort and faith to me. When I am lonely, You come beside me to be my friend. When I am tired, You are there to strengthen me. When I am sick, You give me healing. When I am lost, You show me the way. You are my Everything! Thank You for loving me when I am unlovely. Thank You for never giving up on me. Thank You for giving me the power to be Your witness. Thank You for turning my messes into messages. Thank You for working through me to effect change in the hearts and lives of people around me. You are AWESOME, Lord God! To You be honor and glory and power and praise! Thank You for preparing a home for me in heaven where I can spend eternity in Your presence! Thank You for giving me the victory over sin, hell, death and the grave through my relationship with You. I am in Christ Jesus and He is in me! And I praise You, Lord!
Friday, October 12, 2012
I don't know about you, but some days I just need something to laugh about. After two days of special occasion eating, dragging all this stuff out for a garage sale, and feeling like I've just consumed the I got up with not one spiritual thought on my mind!
Please forgive me for not having a devotional this morning. Instead, please join me for a little humor!
I read a blog this morning about the binge monster . It seems that he has been visiting all over the world the last day or so. He came calling on me yesterday!
So, today will be a day of lots of water, no special treats, and .
And by the way,
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Psalm 37:3, 4 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
God is so faithful! He always keeps His word. No matter how dark my life has been at times, I have always seen the faithfulness of God in watching Him turn the bad into good. I can truly say that when I have delighted myself in Him, He has given me the desires of my heart.
Today my husband and I will celebrate our fourth anniversary. Many of you know my testimony of how God turned my life around after having lost my previous husband to a massive stroke after only 7 ½ weeks of marriage. It was a devastating time in my life as I had stood in faith believing God for a godly mate and then when I lost him I felt that my life was over and I would have to be resigned to living life as a single lady for the rest of my life. But when God places a desire within your heart it is His way of saying to you to believe Him for what He promises and wait for Him to fulfill that promise. It was the promise of having a godly mate and a marriage that would glorify God that I was asked to exercise my faith to receive. God wanted me to believe that He would give me the desires of my heart. So the journey began.
There were two primary scriptures that God brought to me as a Rhema word that He would do what He had promised. The Bible gives two different definitions for the Word of God: Logos, which is the whole word as a message from God to His people and Rhema, which is the spoken word of God as the Holy Spirit uses it to speak a verse that particularly applies to your situation at that very moment. So we have the Logos, the Bible in its entirety and the Rhema, a verse that the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart to apply to what you are experiencing at that moment. God gave me two Rhema scriptures to encourage me to stand in faith believing for a godly mate.
Isaiah 34:16 NKJV “Search from the book of the LORD, and read: Not one of these shall fail; Not one shall lack her mate. For My mouth has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them.
Ruth 1:9 NKJV “The LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” So she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.
These two scriptures gave me hope that God would do what He had promised. It was as I continually meditated on and prayed these scriptures that I was able to believe that God would give me the desires of my heart, which was to have a godly mate that would love me and share my life with me. And it was through standing on His word and believing that He was faithful to fulfill His promises that I met my husband, Gerald.
Jeremiah 1:12 AMP Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.
God holds His word in such high regard that when He speaks forth a promise to us He watches over that word to make sure that it does what He has sent it out to do.
Isaiah 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Friends, when God speaks a promise to you from His word, if you will be faithful to believe it, you can know that He will be faithful to fulfill it!
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
God's promises to you are “Yes” and “Amen”, or “so be it” and when He brings them to fulfillment in your life it brings glory to Himself through you. He is bound to His word to fulfill what He has promised. God doesn't speak anything haphazardly or half-halfheartedly. He speaks what He means and He means what He says! When He gives you a promise from His word you can trust Him to fulfill it if you will stand in faith believing Him for it.
What is it that God has promised you today that you have not seen Him fulfill? Are you standing in faith believing or are you wavering from hope to doubt? You have an enemy that doesn't want to see God's promises fulfilled in your life and will constantly plant doubts in your heart to sway you off of the the promise. You must push the doubts aside and continue to believe! God will do what He has promised!
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God wants you to win! He is the God of hope and He will fill you with hope so that you can believe for His promises. He does that through the power of His Holy Spirit within you. There were times when I thought the promise of a godly mate was simply wishful thinking in my heart, but God proved to me that when I continued to believe Him that He, through His Spirit within me, would fill me with Biblical hope so I could continue to stand in faith. Biblical hope is different from the worldly kind of hope. The worldly kind of hope is simply wishful thinking. But Biblical hope is based on a confident expectation of God doing what He has said He would do. The definition of the Greek word for “hope” is this:
Hope – Greek word elpis – Strong's #1680 Hope, not in the sense of an optimistic outlook or wishful thinking without any foundation, but in the sense of confident expectation based on solid certainty. Biblical hope rests on God's promises. Hope is never inferior to faith, but is an extension of faith. Faith is the present possession of grace; hope is confidence in grace's future accomplishment.
Everything that we receive from God comes from His grace, but is manifested in our lives through our faith. Biblical hope rests on the confident expectation that God will provide from His grace that which He has promised when we exercise our faith to receive it. Jesus instructed His disciples to stand in faith in this manner in Mark 11:22-24:
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Receiving God's promises begins with having faith in Him. Or another translation of the word “in” would be “of”, meaning have the faith of God. Base your faith in Him and act out your faith in the way He did. When God looked out over the universe in Genesis chapter 1, He didn't say, “oh my, look how dark it is”. No, He said, “Let there be light”, and there was light! He spoke what He was believing for. When we activate our faith to believe for God's promises we speak the promise and not the problem. When we speak the promise we are releasing our faith to believe that what He has said He will do. When I was believing God to provide a godly mate for my life I spoke what He had promised, that I would not lack my mate and that by His Spirit He would gather us together. I prayed positively for the manifestation of my new husband and that I would have rest or security in the marriage that He would provide. My prayers were focused on His promises not the lack that I was currently experiencing. Jesus said the time to believe is not when you see it, but when you pray it!
Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
My friend, God is watching over His word to perform it in your life. What has He promised that you have not yet seen happen? Will you believe Him before you see it in manifestation? The key to receiving is in your believing!
Father, I thank You for Your faithfulness to Your word. When You give us a promise, Father, You watch over Your word to perform it in our lives. Thank You, Father, for being true to Your word and for encouraging us to continue to stand in faith believing until we see it happen. Thank You, Lord, for my husband. He is truly a gift from You, Father, and I thank You for him! Father, I pray for my friends this morning who may be struggling with believing to receive what you have promised. I pray that You will give them additional scriptures that will encourage them and give them hope. Father, I ask You, by Your Spirit to fill them with joy and peace as they stand in faith to believe that You will do what You have promised. I pray that You will place people around them to encourage them and help them in their faith walk. Father, I know that You are no respecter of persons and what You have done for one You will do for another. I thank You for fulfilling Your promises in my life and I ask You now to do the work in them as well. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer for I believe that I receive when I pray! In Jesus' name. Amen.
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