Showing posts with label Growing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Growing. Show all posts

Friday, January 27, 2023

Happy Friday: God's Sin-Covering Love

It is with God's love only that we can love our enemies because it is his love that covers a multitude of sins. When we try to love with our own, fleshly love, we can't, especially when we have been offended, disappointed or hurt. God's love, however, triumphs over all of that. It is through God's love in us flowing out towards the unlovable, that we are able to make Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the Cross valid. 

If we can't come to love those whom we insist that it is impossible to love, then Our Savior's sacrifice has no power in our lives. If we are working with God to love ourselves then we can, through the help of his Holy Spirit, come to truly love those who have offended us.

Ask God to fill your heart with love and expand it within you so that you can love the unlovable in the way that pleases him.

HAPPY FRIDAY!


Sunday, January 22, 2023

A Way Out Or A Way Through?

The Lord promised in his Word, Psalm 23, that he would prepare a place before us in the presence of our enemies. This scripture was illuminated to me by the Holy Spirit and I discerned that it is not saying, necessarily, that God will remove the enemies from our lives. Maybe he will. Maybe he won't. Maybe he will at the time he has appointed. When we read this scripture however, we want immediate deliverance from our enemies' attacks.

We want so badly (especially those of us who have been suffering attacks for so long) for that passage to mean that God is going to wave his divine hand and say POOF! and the enemies and their attacks will be gone. Psalm 23 is revealing that the enemies are present to see our advancement, deliverance, success and favor in the midst of their evil. Thou shalt prepare a table in the presence of my enemies.

These people under the influence of rulers of the darkness of this world may or may not care. Seeing God's favor on us may make an immediate difference in their lives but it mostly likely will not. People who are bent on following the influence of principalities and powers are not quick to see their wrong.

We were there at one time, living reprobate lives, subject to any wicked thing against others, no matter how good we thought we were. We hurt people overtly and covertly, purposely and unconsciously. We know that it takes the timing of the Holy Spirit to bring us into His marvelous light of truth and set us on the path of transformation. It's up to God when and how our enemies are blocked from their access to us. 

We are quick to embrace a way out but is that best at this time? Is it God's good, acceptable and perfect will for us to have a way out on this stretch of our journey? When it is not the appointed time, a way out keeps us weak. A way through, alternatively, builds our faith and spiritual strength. 

After the way through comes the way out. I want increased faith to walk in the freedom of Christ and more power to destroy the works of the devil, don't you? That's the ultimate goal, the building up of our most holy faith and the reception of power from on high, no matter what our enemies are doing. 



Sunday, January 15, 2023

Mistakes Now Serve A Purpose

Was listening to R. C. Blakes, Jr. recently at Youtube and he made a profound statement which blessed me. His message was about how difficult it often is for us to forgive ourselves. His message encourages us to allow the shackles of guilt and shame to be broken off of us. He ministers to help us to step into that place of the forgiveness of the Father towards us and the forgiveness of ourselves from within.

At a point about 3/4 of the way he said, We are not defined by our mistakes. We are refined by our mistakes. That statement caught more of my attention. As I pondered it, it seemed to be saying that the things for which I am sorry for in my recent and distant past are helping to mold and shape me into someone who is useable by God. My mistakes are not the end. They don't have the last say-so.

You can listen to his message here:

FORGIVE YOURSELF AND MOVE FORWARD WITH YOUR LIFE by RC BLAKES

His statement reminded me of another one from the website Homeword.com about grace.  

HomeWord shares this about their mission: 

HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches to build God-honoring families from generation to generation. At HomeWord, we believe in STRONG MARRIAGES, CONFIDENT PARENTS, EMPOWERED KIDS and HEALTHY LEADERS. We exist to strengthen and equip parents, couples, families and leaders. 

God already loves us. He loved us from the beginning. He commended his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). When we did not know God and did not care about his only, precious Son, he sent him to suffer and die so that we can be whole and have our souls redeemed.  Since God did that for us when we could not have cared less, we know that he is always willing to take our blunders, errors and slip-ups and turn them into good. He works our sorrows out for good to bless us and glorify his name.

We should work to forgive ourselves. We should not worship God with shallow and ineffective babblings which make Jesus' precious blood to none affect in our lives (Galatians 2:21, 5:4, I Corinthians 17). Accept God's forgiveness and grace today. We are worthy, because of Jesus Christ.






Sunday, January 8, 2023

How Can You Forgive The Unforgivable?

There is no trespass, debt or transgression that we cannot choose to forgive through the power of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The operative word is choose. When forgiveness is difficult or next to impossible, we have to choose it. 

When we come to understand just a little of what Jesus did for us, we then get the power to forgive anything and everything. It takes a revelation of Christ's sacrifice. We will never understand, in this earthly life, just what He did for us. We can grow into a better understanding of this Perfect Gift. 

Our Holy Spirit-given knowledge of the obedience of The Lamb of God will begin to give us the Heart of God. Why is this important? Because God's love covers a multitude of sins. (I Peter 4:8) His love can't cover our sins and not the sins of those who have hurt and damaged us. His love given to us through the shed Blood and the broken Body of his precious Son covers all sins. 

Now, the Bible speaks of a sin against the Holy Spirit that cannot be forgiven but that is another issue. For our understanding of forgiveness towards others, Jesus paid it all. There is nothing that we cannot forgive because of His total sacrifice.

We can be proud and grateful of our ability to forgive through God's provision of his only Son, Jesus, Our Lord and Savior. Ask God today for a revelation of what Jesus did for you so that you can soon start your new, holy journey of forgiveness.



Monday, December 19, 2022

Father Teach Us About Charity

Dear Father: 

Help us to receive a deeper understanding of the ways that we should allow charity to reign in our lives, for we know that it involves more than our initial thoughts on what love is. Thank you for the knowledge and help us to be more obedient. Amen!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

We Forget To Ask God About The Small Things

Though we pray faithfully, we forget to ask God for many things, big and small, before we step out and try it ourselves. It's easy to go to God with the big things. Sometimes, we go to him for distressing and devastating things when we haven't been giving him the daily time that we should. Our Father, however, does not condemn us and we can always devote more time to building our relationship with him.

What about the small things that we could ask him about? He has time and time again given me favor about something that I was thinking about but never asked him for. I know it was him because after he blessed me he lovingly touched me through His Spirit and let me know. I always feel bad when he shows me this because I know that what I received was what I was thinking. I know that it only came from him and I feel bad because I didn't ask him, that I didn't acknowledge that he was there. 

Instead, I did the old habit of thinking fleetingly about a want or need and quickly shoving it on the back burner to bring it about later by myself. My Father let me know, however, that he was there and heard my thoughts. I did not talk to him about those small things but he chose to respond. He let me know that he wants me to ask him about the small things, because he is there for me, always listening.

Some Christians say it's being obsessive and that we don't have to ask God about every little thing. Well, I say ask God about what they are saying. I know from him communicating with me after he blesses me with simple little things that he is telling me to rely on him more, communicate with him more, love walking with him more. Committing to asking him about small things and for help with small dilemmas will help us to walk better with him. Determining to consult him about small decisions and to ask him for small blessings will help us to draw closer to him.



Sunday, December 11, 2022

To Be Right Or To Be A Light?

The problem is that we want to be right instead of letting our lights shine. Being right means to be drawn into debates and arguments with people who wrongly criticize us. It can lead us to discouragement and neglect on the path that God has us on. When we argue and retaliate with those who subtly and covertly attack us we are basically agreeing with them. 

Letting our lights shine means to overlook the negative criticism and oppression of others and to respond kindly. It means to keep doing what we're doing and to stay in the center of the path that God has us on. We are to keep pressing on and to not look to the right hand or the left. This means to not get involved with defending ourselves and repaying evil for evil by cutting others down in like kind. 

You know what that statement says, The greatest revenge is massive success!"  We shouldn't be focused on revenge at all because that belongs to God. That quote is simply a soothing balm and positive motivation to not waste time and energy debating and retaliating. We need to keep to the mission or business that God has given each of us. Being the light means to respond to attempts to stop us with Godly grace, prompted by the Holy Spirit and to keep moving forward and looking ahead. Who cares about being right when there are so many benefits to being a light?





Sunday, November 27, 2022

God's Way Of Doing Things

God's way of doing things is the very best way. We can only learn what his way is by seeking his face everyday. We have to spend time with him in the ways that are available to us. We need to be consistent and persistent. How do we seek his face and learn his ways? We read his Word, The Holy Bible, everyday and we talk to him everyday.

Before we read the scriptures, we ask Our Father to illuminate his scriptures for us. To give us revelation knowledge through his Word. We ask for the ability to rightly divide the Word of Truth. We thank him for breaking up the stony ground of our hearts so that his Word can enter in, take root and bear much fruit. We thank him for transforming us through his Word and helping us to rightly divide it. We ask him to give us discernment of his Word so that we can apply it to our lives in a practical way. We confess that we want to see circumstances and people in the way that he sees them. Most of all, we thank him for helping us to see our lives and ourselves in the way that he sees us. We make sure that we open the Bible every day and read something, no matter how much or how little.

The second way to seek God's face is to meet with him and talk with him everyday. There are 3 types of prayer that will help us to understand God's way of doing things, formal prayer to God, conversation with God and listening to God in quiet time. Formal prayer is when we have a format in which we pray. It is a rotating combination of words, phrases, scriptures and favorite statements that we give to God at a specific time of day. This is the prayer that we pray each day, such as in the morning when we commit our way to him before we face the world. 

 

Though it consists of our favorite format, it shouldn't be repetitive, traditional or ritualistic. The word tells us that our traditions and rituals make his word of no effect. (Mark 7:13)  The most important use of the formatted prayer is in committing our path to God at the beginning of each day. Our formatted prayers are not enough to learn God's way of doing things because they consist mostly of us talking. While commitment and statements of confession are very important to our growth, there is a more important way of seeking God's face.

We need to have conversations with God throughout the day. This is when we talk to him candidly and openly. We revere him as Our Heavenly Father but we talk to him as a friend. If you want to pray and talk to Jesus, that is ok because Jesus is God also. For me, I find that praying and talking to God works better. I also talk to Jesus and thank him for many things. Because God is the one who sent Jesus to shed his blood and have his body broken for us and who raised Jesus from the dead, who cares for me and has numbered the hairs of my head, and is my only Heavenly Father, spending time with him and committing all to him works best for me. 

Jesus is Heir To The Throne and I am joint heirs with him. I will rule and reign with him and without him I can do nothing, so my relationship with The Lamb of God is just as important, but different. It is God's Holy Spirit that bore upon me so that I could accept Jesus as my Savior and it is God The Father who holds the time of Jesus' return. The most important things about my existence and origin I can attribute to God but not to Jesus. It is through Jesus' obedient sacrifice that I am able to seek God's face but God sent Jesus so that I could be restored to fellowship with him, God The Father. (I Peter 1:21)

When we have conversations with God throughout the day we should simply tell him our feelings, our hopes, our confusions our angers. Yes, he knows our thoughts, our hearts, but building a relationship means that we need to tell him about our lives. Our father wants to commune with us, laugh with us, cry with us, share with us. Many of us don't know how it is to have a real father, so we have to learn, to practice having a true, pure, holy relationship with God. 

We've seen TV programs and movies where fathers were loving and kind. We can take cues from them on how to cultivate a loving, sharing relationship with Our Father. It's just a matter of pretending that he's there, imagining him listening, seeing in our minds' eye him nodding his head, choosing to believe that he's answering and conversing. As we reach out he will help us and make it real to us. Before long, we'll look forward to sharing with him day and night. 

The third type of prayer is to be quiet and just listen for the still, small voice of God's Spirit to talk to us. For me, this is the hardest. It's difficult to quiet the mind talk. To not be distracted. I try to sit somewhere quiet, where I can look at the sky if I can. I have chosen to sit 15 minutes each day and just listen for God's voice. Very few people would hear him in the beginning of the process. It takes time, patience and commitment. It takes time to be able to truly quiet our minds. Don't worry if you don't hear anything for a long time. The most important thing is to have this quiet time before God as often as you can and to stick with it. The reward will come. Our Father is faithful!

Seeking God's face to learn his ways makes all the difference in appropriating and manifesting his promises that we find in The Bible. It's one thing to be saved. It's another to live in the fullness of God. Getting closer to him and sharing with him is a peaceful place, not only to learn his personality, but for restoration. We begin to recognize his ways of doing things in our lives and can work with him, not against him. We enjoy going to a place where we can bare all, be exactly who we are and know that we are loved deeply, no matter what. 



Sunday, October 16, 2022

From Emotional To Equipped

Sincere Christians learn not to build their faith on passion, enthusiasm, excitement, dancing and shouting. Why? Because these emotions are not lasting. They are of the flesh, which does not become converted when we are born again. These emotions will let us down every time and cannot stand against the onslaught of demonic assault. 

Emotional displays have no lasting value, neither do they store up riches in heaven. So, once we shout, once we feel some passion, once we experience a touch of euphoria, we have our reward. It's in the flesh and it's fleeting. It's based on how we feel and emotional excitement. While an intense, outward display of worship, praise and appreciation is sometimes needed, there is no foundation in it.

There can be necessary healing and deliverance in emotional outbursts and praises. I needed them very much after a lifetime of oppression and depression. Often, new Christians and Christians who have not grown need to have those initial releases to move forward. There is a point, however, that as we grow in God we move past the need to be so outwardly explosive in worship. We can still relate to and appreciate others who are at that point of Christian growth, but the majority of our power begins to be built up inside.

This emotional power that turns inward becomes concentrated in the heart, the mind and the spirit. Inwardly is where the true battlegrounds against the devil exist. When we begin to understand this truth, we are no longer compelled to expend precious energy in outward displays. We realize that outward expenditure is based in the flesh and leaves us nothing to rely on when we are in the trenches of spiritual battle. A built up mind, heart and spirit can work with God's mighty weapons of warfare as we become less emotional and more equipped. 

These thoughts came to me after listening to this message by Dr. Dale C. Bronner, pastor of Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral. He is such a good speaker, knowledgeable, quietly powerful, succinct and anointed. I'm sure you'll be blessed by this message.

Dr. Dale C. Bronner is a bishop, church planter, author, conference speaker and leadership trainer. He is the founder and senior pastor of Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral. He was consecrated as Bishop by the International Communion of Charismatic Churches. Bishop Bronner resides in Atlanta, GA, with his wife, Nina, Pastor of Worship and Arts at WOF. He is the father of five and grandfather of eight.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Receiving God's Magnificent Blessings

Many of us were raised in the church, got baptized and/or saved but did not understand entirely what we were doing. In addition to that, adults pressed their personal ideas and hangups on us in an attempt to guide us in the name of Christianity. It caused most of us to reject the Christian life, especially during our teen-aged years when we wanted to be appreciated and accepted by our peers. 

In later years, when we began to seek God again, we learned about him for ourselves through personal Bible reading and consistent prayer. In the Bible, we found out things that we never knew were in there. We learned about the never-ending, unqualified love of God and how it can make a difference in our lives.

What Christ did for us began to personally touch us and we learned, and continue to learn today, how to relate to God. The great value  in growing in Christ is to not only read the Bible but to grow in learning how to practically apply what's in it to our everyday lives.

I'm grateful that through daily transformation and the ongoing renewing of our minds we learn how to receive the healing, deliverance and prosperity that God provides for us through his precious Son's sacrifice. The magnificent blessings for accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior are not only for the coming New Heaven and New Earth, but for our lives today. I thank God that we can learn to receive all that he offers.

How To Be Saved

Say with your mouth that you receive that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only Savior. Believe in your heart that He is alive because God Our Father raised Him from the dead. Now you are saved. 

Romans 10:9–10 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 




Sunday, January 16, 2022

God's Will Is Not Offensive

Whatever God allows is for a reason, no matter what pain it causes in the flesh, in the mind, in the heart, in the feelings, in the emotions, in the life of his children. What God allows is for a reason and it is without offense, if we love him.

In other words, as we grow in devotion and understanding of God, we don't see what he allows in our lives as offensive. That does not mean that we don't struggle with enduring it.

It is hard sometimes to acknowledge and accept God's will. Our Heavenly Father, however, is always there to help us as we endure what he allows.

In the reborn spirit of each of us who loves Jesus Christ, there is no pain, no suffering, no offense, no feelings, no problems. It is in the flesh where all of the troubles start. The flesh is not compatible with God. The flesh cannot be reborn. It cannot understand nor accept what God does. Our flesh, in fact, is always against God.

It is when we are in our reborn spirits, spiritual thinking, that we walk with God and where we do not suffer prolonged mental and emotional hurt nor hate him.



Sunday, January 2, 2022

God's Blessings Through Transitions, Transfers And Changes

I've learned that nothing that God does in our lives is necessarily permanent. Though I thrive on changes, transfers and transitions, some that are unexpected and unwanted are very difficult to cope with.  As Christians, we are often ashamed to accept a change when we shared that God did the thing and blessed us.

We think because God did it that it is engraved in stone and can never change. God gave it and we have it, for good! When the blessing circumstances begin to change, we are apt to and often encouraged by less-enlightened Christians, to believe that we made a mistake. Maybe God did not do it after all, because things are now changing. If God did it, it would not change, right? As we grow in Christ, we learn that this is not true.
God gives and takes away, shifts and turns things in our lives, opens a door for a season and then closes it and opens another door. He even brings people into our lives temporarily to bless us in various ways.  He then moves them out because they were not meant to stay. We are confused and wonder why these relationships are not retained. We lament and look back, when we need to learn to let go and move forward.
We should anticipate the new things that God will do. It helps to remind ourselves that everything in this fallen world is temporary. It all seems so solid to us because we endure time while we are here. Time seems to make permanent things but that permanence is all temporary. God shifts all according to his will and we are not to hold on to what he allows to change.
Transfers and transitions are more often experienced in the lives of some rather than others. Despite this, we all can grow through God's big and small changes as we listen to and obey His Spirit each day. If you have proof within yourself that you made a mistake and God did not do it after all, admit it and move on. Growth is good and God knows where you're at.
When things begin to change, however, regarding a blessing that you know came from God, don't degrade your relationship with Your Heavenly Father by choosing to believe that he never blessed you. Don't allow others to convince you to demean your spiritual growth and your commitment to God. Know that God does not change, but he changes things.
Our Father does not intend for the changes to hurt us. Because of the condition of this damaged and swiftly-deteriorating world, hurts and pains must come. God allows his planned and ordained changes to bring about his purposes. His end result is not for us to suffer for no reason. He plans and allows changes in his blessings to benefit us now and in the New Heaven and the New Earth, in ways that we cannot imagine. We just need to stand firm in what we know and accept what Our Heavenly Father changes, as we grow in our understanding of how He does things.


Sunday, November 21, 2021

Closer Than Ever To God

Sometimes, I have heavy burdens and feel alone just like you do. I'm learning and growing through these times. The Word is a lamp and a light and we just have to keep at it, keep praying and keep choosing to believe. Though not always easy, it's as simple as that. Putting His Holy Word daily into our minds gives us the stored-up strength that we need to beneficially endure these intense journeys.

God often gives us relief, at the last minute, from our severe struggles. When we feel we can't take anymore, we cry out and push forward against all odds, determined to believe that he cares. We refuse to be defeated by the world, the flesh and the devil. At those times, we remember that we have the power of God living within and we hang on by a thread of heartfelt determination. It is then that relief comes and our spiritual branches painfully grow a little more. (John 15:5-11)

After that, God mercifully gives us mental and emotional rest for a time. We can then catch our breaths, square our shoulders and see clearly that we are doing better, that we are closer than ever to God.


 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Being Proactive About God's Word


Life comes from the spirit. Healing starts in the spirit. Hope grows with a spirit that is fed every day.


 

We feed our reborn spirits by reading God's Word every day, meditating on it, remembering it and choosing to believe it. We grow the most when we are proactive about God's Word.


 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Evaluating Our Relationships

It is critical to our growth in the Lord that we associate ourselves with people who uplift us. At the end of a conversation with someone, if we exit feeling down, disturbed and not quite right, we should be wary and watch closely. If this happens consistently, something is wrong.

It doesn't matter if we are praying for that person, always lifting them up and trying to be a Godly example and inspiration to him or her. If we don't feel elevated and at peace at the end of any encounter with them, our growth in God will be hindered. We hear the following statement often and we should take it more to heart. Some people we will need to love and pray for from afar.

How often do we ignore this truth in the name of being good Christians? We are good Christians when we attend to our own advancement in the Lord first, at all costs. We are good Christians when we guard our hearts with all diligence. Our Father does want us to come to him with broken spirits and broken and contrite hearts but not through being ignorant about our detrimental relationships with others.

There is no doubt about it; we need to discuss with God if we should be closely associated with these types of persons. The ones whom we need to love and pray for from afar are the very persons who drain our spirits, depress us and prey upon us, whether purposely or unintentionally. It is difficult to deny these people access to our lives when they continually burden us with the same conversations, the same complaints and the same attitudes.

When we realize, however, that they never take our Godly advice and that they never do what we suggest to resolve their own issues, it becomes clear that our relationships with God are being eroded through our relationships with them. They are toxic relationships, a form of being unequally yoked. If we persist in the belief that we are slowly influencing them and that we are long-suffering for good, then we need to think long and hard and often about the wisdom of that train of thought. 

Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits. (I Corinthians 15:33)

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? (I Corinthians 5:6)

We have to also be sure that WE are uplifting to others. If we are critical of them, unfairly judgemental, always oppressive, non-receptive to learning from them, bearers of bad reports, complainers, holier-than-thou, etc., then maybe we should be removed from their lives through their own recognition of the truth. It works both ways. 

If we ask, God will give us seeing eyes and hearing ears to honestly evaluate our relationships so that we can walk in the light. The purity of our close associations is paramount to maintaining and strengthening our connection to God. Healthy relationships inspire and motivate us to higher heights in Christ Jesus.

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)