The purpose of this lesson is to make us aware of how demons work in our lives and in the world so that we can avoid giving them a foothold.
Two errors about the Devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.
The Paranormal is attractive and has become normal in our society
The Paranormal teaches of faults gospel, makes promises you cannot keep and will always bring people into bondage and confusion.
Satan masquerades as an angel of Light
Only Jesus Christ can set us free. Only in Jesus can we know the purpose for our lives. Only in Jesus can we experience lasting peace. And only in Jesus can we truly know the truth
Occult divination claims to predict the future
Spiritualism seeks to communicate with the Dead (Believers are warned not to tolerate mediums and spiritualists. God condemn Saul for Consulting a witch. God speaks of the foolishness of Consulting mediums and the dead when we serve a living God.)
Satanism glorifies evil. Satanists worship Satan as their lord and live their lives openly opposed to Christianity
Scripture tells us demons can cause illness, Agony, loss of the ability to speak, and pain.
As Spiritual Beings demons are intelligent, vicious, unclean, with power to afflict men with physical hurt, and moral and spiritual contamination.
New Testament writers continually affirmed both that demons exist and that they are active in the world James 2:19, Luke 9:42, Matthew 25:41.
Daniel 10:13 and 10:20, demonic intervention delayed an answer for Daniel
Paul is not interested in every aspect of the Demonic organizational chart, rather, he wants Believers in Christ to know the power and organization of the enemy so that "we are not ignorant of his designs" 2 Corinthians 2:11
Spiritual warfare - Paul mentions these weapons to help you battle:
A spiritual stronghold is an idea, a thought process, a habit, or an addiction through which Satan his influence in your life. Declare war on the stronghold by substituting physical biblical truth, claiming the mind of Christ, using spiritual weapons, praying for the holy spirit's power and guidance, requesting others prayers and support, boldly making God's truth clear, and claiming the victory by faith
We can trust in God to save us from Satan's power because Jesus defeated Satan with the resurrection, Bible prophecy, and the Holy Spirit
Scriptures shows us that demonic activity will increase as we approach Christ Second Coming. We see the evidence in the world today with massive tragedies shootings and terrorist attacks. 2 Timothy 3:13
In the last days, as evil and deception become more and more commonplace, christ-followers must rely even more on God's word. It is the only way to tell the true from the false
Unknowingly, many people who are not followers of Jesus are under the control and influence of demons. They're not popular to admit in a sophisticated Society such as the United States, it is certainly true that the enemy is at work albeit covertly.
1 John 4:1-3 we can test the spirits so that we are not influenced by faults teaching or other evil: (1) they should acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, was crucified and resurrected (2) do they teach that Jesus is fully God and fully man?
Jesus came to destroy Satan's work and, ultimately, Satan and his demons themselves. All those Satan is still the ruler of this world (see John 14:30 1 John 5:19) , he is already defeated because of Jesus' sacrifice. The Apostle John describe the eventual fate of Satan (and his demons with him) in Revelation 20:10. Satan's Doom is sealed
Psychological Warfare: The Battle for the Believer's Mind
Capture their minds, and their hearts and souls will follow.
We must recover a resurrection-Centric faith Acts 17:6, Romans 1:4
There is historical evidence
1 Corinthians 15:3-8
Eyewitness testimony, all report the same thing
For nearly four hundred years it was illegal to be a Christian
In the first century world, women were not viewed as trustworthy, so they would have been considered unreliable first Witnesses of such a Monumental event.
The gospel writers did not make up the story out of thin air. If they had, they would not have used women as the most credible first witnesses to the empty tomb.
Evidence for Jesus' resurrection:
Story of the empty tomb found in all four Gospels
Women were the first Witnesses
Something incredible must have taken place on that Sunday to cause Jewish Believers to begin worshiping on the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath.
Nothing short of the miracle of Resurrection can explain the transformation in the disciples. After previously Running Scared they were willing to suffer persecution and martyrdom, in order to preach Jesus is the resurrected Lord.
Jesus predicted his death and Resurrection
The Importance of Predictions:
Jesus predicted his death and resurrection
Jesus' death and Resurrection defeated the ultimate enemies of all humans: sin and death
Jesus' death and Resurrection were a consummation of God's saving work, his redeeming work for all Humanity
The Risen Jesus told His disciples to go out and make disciples of the nations. Of all people. Not just Israel Acts 1:8
There were many post-resurrection appearances by Jesus
To guide someone to the truth you must be a great listener. You want to build the foundation of a trusting relationship through which you can show compassion and share biblical truth when the person is ready to hear it.
Unanswered. Lasting Truth for Trending Questions. By Jeremiah Johnston.
God on Mute
From the video:
God's silence is real, Biblical, personal, common, and not always bad.
When the silence is real, I should saturate myself in the Psalms.
Silence should always lead me to the stones of remembrance.
The Silence of God can lead us from transformation to Triumph.
God grows you in silence.
Pray that you can be thoughtful ambassadors for Jesus in your lives.
Abraham and Sarai's story, and that of Joseph, both illustrate God's silence.
God had much bigger and better plans for and through them than they could even "conceive."
We must have faith even during silence. God wants us to trust Him. To trust His way as well as His timing.
Sometimes God is silent as he prepares to bring you to a deeper understanding of himself. Sometimes His silence is designed to bring me into a state of absolute dependence on and trust in God.
God uses this time of waiting to prepare us to receive the plans and tasks He has for us. He is refining our character and forging stronger reliance on, and faith in Him so that we will be prepared for what He wants us to do.
When God is silent get away from the noise and spend some time alone with God, listening to Him through the word and prayer.
Acts 20 has 12 principles for continuing to live for God and serve him while undergoing trials or waiting for him to speak or act in our lives.
Be an example. Our commitment to Christ is an example to others when we wait or suffer for him.
Serve with Passion. Until people since the love of God in us, they will never respond to the love of God we describe.
Be committed to the truth. Are we committed in whole, not in part, to the truth of God's word? We cannot pick and choose what we like about God's message and what we do not.
Do not compromise. Our goal as the church is to make people true disciples who spiritual maturity is evident.
Persevere. If we are going to be faithful to God even during His silence, we must learn how to persevere. Trials will come. Perseverance will energize us to transcend those trials.
Be courageous in the face of adversity.
Have the right attitude.
Commit to finish strong. There are too many shooting star Christians. We must pray for greater resolve and long-term faithfulness to wait on the Lord and follow through with what He wants you to do.
Be responsible; protect the Sheep under your care.
Do not quit.
Pray and love. This is the kind of love that needs to characterize our families and churches. Our pastors and our people should sense this kind of love. 17 times the New Testament instructs us to 'love one another" or "love each other."
Here are five important principles for engaging in a conversation about tough questions of faith.
Just going to church doesn't make us a Christian. We're saved by grace through faith because of Jesus' life, death, and Resurrection. So, a believer will not lose his or her salvation if they don't go to church.
However scriptures teach us that the Christian life should be lived within the family of God and not in isolation. Ephesians 3: 4-15 Acts 2: 42-47. Hebrews 10: 24-25 and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another... When you become a Christian, you were called into a relationship with God 1 Corinthians: 1-9, but, 1 John:1-3 makes it clear that we enter a fellowship that goes two ways: with God and with other Christians.
Acts 20:7 reveals the practice of the early church the first day of the week the disciples came together to break bread and Paul preached to them. For Christians in every location regular Gathering was a part of life.
Unity of the body of Christ- now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it 1 Corinthians 12:27. It's not logical to say that you are just a part of the worldwide church yet refused to gather with the part of that church that exists in your area. Dr. John Bechtle says, "it would be like claiming you have a car, when the right fender is in Phoenix, the engine is in Tucson, and the wheels are in Paradise Valley! You don't have a car; you have the beginning of the inventory for a junkyard. It just won't function until all the pieces are put together." There are many irreplaceable pieces of a Christian that cannot exist when she/he lives in isolation from the church.
Accountability- God designed the church as a place where spiritual leaders could watch out for our welfare. 1 Peter 5:1-4, Hebrews 13:17. A Christian who answers only to himself can easily rationalize sinful attitudes or actions; regular contact with other Christians can keep us Sharp.
Use of spiritual gifts- 1 Corinthians 12 makes it clear that God has given spiritual gifts to every Christian. Verse seven states that these abilities are not provided just to make us feel good they are abilities to minister that should be used for the common good. 1 Peter 4:10 commands us to use the spiritual gifts to help each other. We will discover a sense of accomplishment and contentedness when we begin to carry out our purpose in the body of Christ. We are the ones who miss out on all the blessings of God and the gifts of our "family members" if we choose not to be a part of Christ's body. We meet with other Christians so they can use their gifts to strengthen us. God's Gift of a minister is wasted if no one comes to hear them speak.
Mutual Ministry- God intends each of us to meet the needs of other believers, using our strengths to help and their areas of weakness. Dr. John Bechtle relates, that
"The New Testament is full of 'one another' commands. We are to comfort one another (1Thessalonians 4:18), build up one another (1Thessalonians 5:11), confess our sins to one another snd pray for one another (James 5:16) and many more. How can we obey these directives if we stay away from the Gathering of believers?"
Developing the character of Christ- Ephesians 4:2 be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. How else will we grow spiritually unless we interact with other believers? We learn humility, patience, and gentleness as we interact with one another in the body of Christ.
Spiritual Protection- 1 Peter 5: 1-4
Our leaders in the body of Christ keep watch over us for our own protection and blessing. There will be difficult moments as part of a church family but there are also blessings that we will never experience unless we become connected to the body of Christ.
Do you ever find yourself praying for random people you see in a store? Today I saw this adorable little girl just laughing and giggling with her mom it gave me the biggest smile, so I said a prayer: God bless that little girl and her Momma.. I also saw a lady who was a dwarf with a very severe limp and I watched her as she struggled to push the cart full of her purchases and thought she's struggling with something that I take for granted so I said a prayer for her asking God to find blessings for her and more ways for her to find him in her life. I feel God smiling at me and I feel his warm embrace when I pray for a random stranger. I feel his Delight and the connectedness that we feel as members of the human race.
First of all, then, I urge that
supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for
1 Timothy 2:1
Herefore, confess your sins to one
another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer
of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Did you think I deserted the blog? I am happy to announce that I have been pain free this past week! I am now a fan of dry needling, and am grateful to my orthopedic surgeon for diagnosing my back and thigh pain. I can now sit at the computer for short periods of time, so here I am.
The most beautiful things in life truly are free: a child's laughter, the blaze of color in a sunset, the love of family and friends. God has supplied us with so many amazing things!
As I was walking this morning I concentrated on nature as I usually do on walks. However this time something was different, a bit sweeter. I haven't been able to walk for several weeks and I guess I missed it. I found myself so full of joy at being able to walk and play with the dogs. Joy at the beautiful blue sky. Blue is my favorite color and I often point out the specific shade of medium blue in portions of the sky to God, because that is my all time most favorite shade of blue. This morning, I saw a couple of blue birds too, which I don't see too often. I took in deep breaths of the clean country air, thoroughly enjoying the smell. I wondered at all the flowers my husband has planted in the yard and around the front pasture. I praised God for the lush green grass that we're able to enjoy, the birds singing, the dogs and the neighbor's horses playing the fields across the road. Nature is truly a marvelous blessing. No offense to city dwellers, but I'm so glad that I live in the country, for me, it is perfect. The wonderful clean taste of well water after our walk just added to my joy for all that God has created in nature. You know, he really is the consummate artist. I can not fathom how anyone can spend time on our planet, and think this was all created in any way other than by intelligent design. I see God's hand everywhere in nature.
My prayer is for you to take some time this week to "smell the roses" and enjoy God's magnificent creation. When I came back inside from my walk, I looked for scripture relating to nature to share with you all.
In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Psalm 95: 4-5
Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God's wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge? Job 37: 14-16
The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1
How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number - living things both large and small. Psalm 104:24-25
The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my chosen. Isaiah 43:20
Answering prayers is something all
Christians spend time pondering. It's something we need to understand
and be able to explain to those who are struggling in some way. Luke
11:9 says, "So
I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will
find; knock and the door will be opened to you." If
you look carefully at this scripture, Jesus said seek and you will
find, knock and the door will be opened to you. He did not say that
God will give you everything you ask for exactly as you asked and
when you want it. God loves us and he is not going to give us
something that He knows is not going to be good for us. He also may
have something better in mind.
Charles Stanley offers an example of a
woman praying for a husband and family. Perhaps God has found
someone special for her, but he is 500 miles away. Time is needed to
meet someone who is that distance away. Perhaps she or the young man
need a little time to grow or change in some way so that the
relationship will work out best.
Prayer should be motivated by a desire
to fellowship with the Lord and not simply because we want something
from Him. As our relationship with god grows stronger through
conversing with Him we can face hardship or difficulty. Prayer is our way having fellowship with God. When we are quiet and praying/talking to Him, he lays His thoughts on our hearts.
We must learn to persevere in our prayers. God is working on us or
the circumstances. The more we get to know Him, the fewer things we will ask for. The more tHe will
give us. He just wants us to
fellowship with Him.
In Ephesians chapter 6, Paul did not
ask the church to pray that he be released from prison, but that he
would continue to speak fearlessly for Christ in spite of his
I can NOT emphasize how much these to sermons impacted me. Dr. Stanley puts his biblical teaching into such a practical way. I really found great answers to the question, "why doesn't God seem to answer all prayers. He DOES and Dr. Stanley does a great job of illustrating the answer.
Watchman Nee is a name I have seen in
Christian literature for many years. After reading several of his
quotes, I decided it was time I learned more about him. After all,
everything I've read that was attributed to him, is amazingly
accurate and insightful. I knew he was a church leader and Christian
teacher who worked in China during the 20th century. I learned that
during his lifetime he published many books and established churches
throughout China and held many conferences to train Bible students
and church workers. Following the Communist Revolution, Nee was
persecuted and imprisoned for his faith. He spent the last twenty
years of his life in prison - until his death in 1972.
When I read of the "Religious
Affairs Bureau," I was curious about the title of such a
government agency in a Communist country, and did a bit of research
on it. This agency was charged with keeping religion under state
control. After the rise of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949
Christians came under great persecution. There were intensive
propaganda campaigns with threats of prison where Christians were
influenced to accuse one another. In 1956, there was a nationwide
effort to target church members. Some died in labor camps, and others
faced long prison sentences. The Religious Affairs Bureau began
twelve days of accusation meetings at a church Ne was sentenced to
prison on several false claims, and his co-workers were arrested and
forced to denounce Nee. Many mass accusation meetings were held
across the country to condemn the "anti-revolutionary sect of
The lengths that Communist China
underwent to quash Christianity is profoundly sad and frightening. It
sure makes one appreciate living in the United States where we are
allowed to practice freedom of religion doesn't it?
church in Ephesus was composted of different ethnic groups. Some were
former Jews who tended to e critical, stodgy, and legalistic. Others
left pagan Artemis worship to join the church. Their former lives
smacked of occult worship, sexual promiscuity, and superstition.
These two groups looked at life from totally different perspectives.
But if they could not find a way to love one another and work
together, the church at Ephesus could not stand. Paul writes
encouraging works to help them, knowing that unity only comes through
God's enabling power."
three years before Paul wrote this letter, he was arrested in
Jerusalem on the charge that he had taken an Ephesian Gentile named
Trophimus into the restricted temple area."
literal stone wall divided the temple in Jerusalem. It marked where
Gentiles could not go, under penalty of death. The Jewish converts in
the Ephesian church had continued to exclude Gentile converts out of
habit, but God would not stand for it."
Paul says Christ 'set aside' or 'abolished' the law, he doesn't mean
that the Old Testament is no longer the Word of god or a moral guide.
What is abolished is the law as a set of regulations that exclude
Gentiles. Other parts of the Old Testament law have been fulfilled by
Christ, including the sacrificial system, which is no longer needed
since Christ is the sacrifice for sins, once and for all."
the plight was estrangement and distance, the solution is nearness
Discovering our Identity and Purpose in Christ.
This is without a doubt one of the best sermons I've heard. It offers practical help in an area in which we all need guidance. Charles Stanley offers such practical help in his sermons. He tells us not just WHAT to do, but offers practical instruction on HOW to do it.
These are the notes I took while watching this video. Perhaps they will be of some help.
There is awesome power in
forgiveness. It is God's solution for bitterness, resentment, and
hostility. You and I need the freedom found only through sincerely
and completely forgiving others.
Forgiveness is giving up
resentment against someone and our right to get even no matter what
has been done to us. It is the surrendering of my right to hurt you
Freedom from the enslavement
of anger and all the feelings that go with it: hostility, bitterness
You can't just say you
forgive, you have to experience it. If you try to justify someone's
wrong to you, you are not forgiving them.
Living in the willful sin is
a condition in which God will not answer our prayer. If he did, he
would be condoning sin. which is out of his character. Perhaps one
reason people are not blessed is because of unforgiveness.
Unforgiveness is detrimental
to our souls. It interferes with your fellowship with God. Not your
relationship with him because once saved you are saved.
Matthew 18:21 Jesus
instructs us to forgive 70 times 7. If you don't forgive others, the
father won't forgive you.
There is no justifiable
reason for not forgiving others.
Ephesians 4:30-32 1 John
Do not grieve the Holy
Spirit. Be kind to one another, forgive.
Don't let anger become deep
down hostility inside you. Forgiveness is the most unselfish act we
can perform. God will enable us to forgive.
Unforgiveness is a chain
around your heart.
you have experienced God's forgiveness
your anger and hostility
down your anger and bitterness
God to forgive you
By an act of my will, I
choose by the power of the Holy Spirit, to lay down this anger.
When you have held an
attitude of resentment towards someone who hurt you, ask for their
forgiveness by saying, "My attitude towards you has not been
If you have forgiven you
will thank God for allowing this to happen Ask God to teach you
about His grace. Remind yourself, God's grace has surrounded me all
When you have forgiveness:
you will not feel the
same way the next time you see them
The following is an excerpt from Sue Edwards' book, Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ. This attitude of including God in all aspects of our lives is what He wants. He wants to spend time with us and have us share our lives with him. He longs for this type of relationship with us, and when we do we experience profound Joy. When we develop this relationship with God, we learn to listen to him speaking to our hearts. The Holy Spirit gives us more guidance the more we include Him in our lives. We learn to listen to Him as we talk to Him about our daily activities and thoughts. In this intimate relationship we find a type of 'best friend' that goes far beyond our earthly best friends.
God asks us to live in a constant attitude of prayer. We include God in the inner conversations of our hearts and minds all day long. We include God as we carry out our daily routines, and we ring God into all our relationships.
These verses from 2 Thessalonians really stuck with me this past week. AS is often the case, once I read these instructions for living, they popped up again in my devotional and on Christian radio.
In the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep
away from very believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live
according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves
know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we
were with you, or did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it.
On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so
that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because
we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer
ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with
you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall
We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not
busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the
Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. And as
for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this
letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel
ashamed.Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them
as you would a fellow believer. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
So, in a nutshell, these are directions
given to the Thessalonian:
Do not be
idle, earn the food you eat. “The one who is unwilling to work
shall not eat.”
but don't be busybodies
associate with anyone who doesn't obey these instructions
regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow
instructions still apply to us. Living in the world is hard. We are
bombarded daily with truths of the secular world. TV, radio, print
media all add to the saturation of ideas that the world claims are
"okay." We must be constantly aware of these lies that
delight Satan. Reading the Bible, praying and having Godly friends
are daily necessities for us as we navigate through this troubling
world. From the book of Ephesians we learn the marvelous hope that
God gives us. He will triumph in the end, this life is temporary and
don't worry about world leaders. He's got it covered, God has our
part about not hanging around people who don't obey these
instructions may be, at times, difficult, but for the most part, the
people who are our friends, who we choose to socialize are believers
who try to live in the Word. However, we do see others in the store,
at work and elsewhere in our daily lives. That's a good thing because
it gives us the opportunity to be one of Christ's shinning lights, to
be an example.
the part about warning them has me wondering. That could be tricky to
balance with the whole not judging others thing. Maybe it can be a
subtle thing with those closest to us? The politically correct
movement has definitely hampered discussions. It's something worth
pondering. The path Christians are instructed to follow really is very straight and narrow isn't it?
Our dear Sister in Christ, Page shared this with us this week: "We can't make people respond to the Gospel, but we can invite them to hear it, serve them so they can see it, and pray for them to receive it." Taken from a NewSpring devotional titled: Dear God, Save People In This Place
You know there's a lot that goes by the
Don't forget the keys under the mat Childhood stars
shine, always stay humble and kind Go to church 'cause your momma
says to Visit grandpa every chance that you can It won't be a
waste of time Always stay humble and kind
Hold the door say please say thank
you Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie I know you got
moutains to climb but Always stay humble and kind When the
dreams you're dreamin' come to you When the work you put in is
realized Let yourself feel the pride but Always stay humble and
Don't expect a free ride from no
one Don't hold a grudge or a chip and here's why Bitterness
keeps you from flying Always stay humble and kind Know the
difference between sleeping with someone And sleeping with someone
you love I love you ain't no pick up line so Always stay humble
Hold the door say please say thank
you Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie I know you got
moutains to climb but Always stay humble and kind When those
dreams you're dreamin' come to you When the work you put in is
realized Let yourself feel the pride but Always stay humble and
When it's hot, eat a root beer, a
popsickle Shut off the AC and roll the windows down Let that
summer sun shine Always stay humble and kind Don't take for
granted the love this life gives you When you get where you're
goin' Don't forget turn back around Help the next one in
line Always stay humble and kind.
have difficulty overcoming some idol that competes with the time you
spend with God? Or perhaps you are struggling to overcome
procrastination, irresponsibility, bitterness, worry, jealousy etc.
Just this week I have seen this topic come up on a blog and in one of
Charles Stanley's sermons. Both people had the same basic answer for
dealing with sins in your life and it is astonishingly simple. Look
for Scriptures dealing with the sin you are struggling with. One
source suggested writing the Scriptures down on index cards and go
over them 2-3 times a day. Rev. Stanley suggests praying with the
scriptures you find. Here are the scriptures that I'm going to use in my quest for eating healthy and losing weight.
whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of
you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is
in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you
were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in
your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the
flesh. Galatians 5:16
you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving
thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who
lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to
yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God
with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20
you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in
you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
I can do
all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps
me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of
thanksgiving. Psalm 28:7
says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I
will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8
who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but
those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that
please the Spirit. Romans 8:5
trains us to renounce ungodly living and worldly passions so that we
might live sensible, honest, and godly lives in the present age.
fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such
things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing
what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16
I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present
your bodies as a sacrifice–alive, holy, and pleasing to God–which
is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all
things, having a promise of the life that now is and of that which is
to come. 1 Timothy 4
Have you had about enough of politics for quite a while? Me too. Even though the election is over, repercussions from our voting reverberate throughout America. There are always people who are unhappy, no matter what choices voters make. Lately our society is so divsive, angry and just plain mean. So much of what I hear on the news reminds me of the playground antics of the elementary school children I taught. Apparently, many adults never learned the lessons of proper behavior when disagreements arise.
I just read the best article on Crosswalks. In it Veronica Nef points out that “There’s a Difference Between Taking a Stand and ‘Causing Division’. She sure hit the nail on the head with that statement didn't she?
I find that lately I need a refresher, a reminder of the
work the Holy Spirit does within me and that I have the mind of Christ. I found
what I needed in 1 Corinthians 2:6-16.
In verse 16, Paul makes a statement concerning all
believers: “We have the mind of Christ.” Having the mind of Christ means
sharing the plan, purpose, and perspective of Christ, and it is something that
all believers possess. What a comfort it is to know that God is sharing part of
himself with me, that his indwelling allows me this look into his mind.
Verses 10-12, tell us that the mind of Christ is given to all believers through
the Holy Spirit. “These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a
person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one
knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is
not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may
understand what God has freely given us.” Having the mind of Christ means we
understand God’s plan in the world. It means we identify with Christ’s purpose and
that we share Jesus’ perspective of humility and obedience compassion, and
prayerful dependence on God. This is what we are to go about doing in our daily
lives. We do it not to be saved or to earn better esteem from God, we do it
because we have the mind of Christ, because of our great love for Him.
Verses 5-6 tell us that our faith must not rest on human
wisdom, but on God’s power. That gives me great relief, because I sure don’t
want to rely on my measly wisdom!
Verses 14-15 tell us that the mind of Christ cannot be
understood by those without the Spirit and that it gives believers discernment
in spiritual matters. Even in the midst of troubles I have this discernment, I
just need to remember to call upon it, to ask for guidance and be patient with
God as he works to give me answers.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of
God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God,
which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what
is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
As believers we have a responsibility to follow to the
Spirit’s leading and to allow the Spirit to transform and renew our minds. So
having the mind of Christ is not a once and down type of thing. He doesn’t just
pour it on us the moment we accept Christ. We continually develop the mind of
Christ, and work to gain more understanding and wisdom.
When I need refreshing, a reminder, of the Holy Spirit’s
work within me, I will remind myself that the Holy Spirit indwells and
enlightens believers, infusing them with wisdom—the mind of Christ.
“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But
we have the mind of Christ."
Everyone likes to be around optimistic people. Several studies have shown that optimistic people are more healthy too. According to Harvard Health, "Optimism helps people cope with disease and recover from surgery. Even
more impressive is the impact of a positive outlook on overall health
and longevity." Scripture reinforces optimisim, being optimistic is part of the faith and trust we have in God. On the contrary,
negative attitudes are contagious, and they spread like wildfire. Negativity
it's just one of the many things that keep us from the straight and narrow
Biblical Optimism is the result of faith in the character of
God. The Bible class this "hope."
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as
you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy
When we hope in God, we put our trust in his plan above what
our life circumstances tell us. What ever happens in our life, we know that God
cares and he will wipe away our tears when we are with him forever.
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be
no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has
This blind faith, or confidence in God's promises should
give us an optimistic attitude. If we have Biblical Optimism, we don't place so
much emphasis on earthly events and material possessions. This optimism enables
us to accept difficult circumstances because:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of
those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This spiritual hope looks beyond what we can understand, to
trust God's view of life from His perspective even when our limited
capabilities won't allow us to understand it. God designed us with hope.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within
me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my
Biblical Optimism is a choice when we choose to trust God
for everything and know that he will take care of us in the way He knows best.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the
riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard
your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I choose to be optimistic, I pray to be filled with Biblical Optimism each day.
Our society is totally obsessed with being physically beautiful! Our society places a high degree of importance on physical appearance, and it is apparent on television, movies, magazines and billboards as they all display attractive people. Men and women rush to plastic surgeons to have a myriad of procedures done simply to enhance their appearance. Sadly, so many women are caught up in our society’s obsession with physical beauty.
Should beauty really be that important for a woman? Is physical beauty something that a Christian woman should strive for? Jesus taught us that there is more to beauty than what meets the eye.. As we age and our physical appearance deteriorates, we tend to worry about it. Satan is very happy about this. He is surely involved in and revels in the importance our society places on physical beauty, because it is not Godly.
There are several passages of scripture that address inner and outer beauty. Here are a couple that point us in the right direction:
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.” 1 Peter 3:3–5
“Adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” 1 Timothy 2: 9–10
The world focuses on what people look like on the outside. God focuses on what people look like on the inside. Do you put more time and effort into being pretty on the outside or the inside?