Bah…Humpday!

Pray4

TODAY’S DAILY PRAYER

two yellow leavesVery truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24, NIV

Lord our God, we thank you for giving us Jesus Christ, whose words remain living to this very day. You will make his words continually alive so that in the name of Jesus Christ joyful praises are sung to you, Almighty God and Father in heaven. Remember us all. Remember the particular needs of each one of us. Come to the world through the words of Jesus Christ. May his words come as your strong angels to the hearts of many to comfort and restore, to help and do miracles for those in need. May your name be praised through the great and mighty Word, Jesus Christ! Amen.

Daily Dig

Caffeine for your conscience

TODAY’S DAILY DIG

yellow pillar candleWhat are we trying to do? We are trying to get to heaven, all of us. We are trying to lead a good life. We are trying to talk about, and write about, the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, and the social principles of the church. It is most astounding – the things that happen when you start trying to live this way.

 

 

Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Romans 14:8

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

We are the Lord’s. He bought us out of bondage to sin and death. We have voluntarily placed our lives in his hands. No matter what we do or where we go, his grace goes with us. He has promised to never leave us. He has assured us that nothing can separate us from his love. So let’s live with a sense of excited anticipation, looking to see where the Lord will lead us. Let us face difficulty, and even death, with the assurance that we will not face tough times alone. Even in the shadow of death, we don’t have to fear what the evil can do. We are the Lord’s.

My Prayer…

Father, thank you for sending your Son to redeem me. Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to earth, paying the price for my sin, and sending the Holy Spirit to be your presence in me. Take my life and use it to your glory. May my faith not fail in the face of life’s worst challenges. I pray that whether I live or I die that you be glorified in me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

BIBLE STUDY BUDDY

Read Mark 2:1-12…

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ”Son, your sins are forgiven.”

6. Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7. ”Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

8. Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, ”Why are you thinking these things? 9. Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10. But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11. ”I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12. He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, ”We have never seen anything like this!”

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
Mark 2:12

v1-12 It was this man’s misery that he needed to be so carried, and shows the suffering state of human life; it was kind of those who so carried him, and teaches the compassion that should be in men, toward their fellow-creatures in distress. True faith and strong faith may work in various ways; but it shall be accepted and approved by Jesus Christ. Sin is the cause of all our pains and sicknesses. The way to remove the effect, is to take away the cause. Pardon of sin strikes at the root of all diseases. Christ proved his power to forgive sin, by showing his power to cure the man sick of the palsy. And his curing diseases was a figure of his pardoning sin, for sin is the disease of the soul; when it is pardoned, it is healed. When we see what Christ does in healing souls, we must own that we never saw the like. Most men think themselves whole; they feel no need of a physician, therefore despise or neglect Christ and his gospel. But the convinced, humbled sinner, who despairs of all help, excepting from the Saviour, will show his faith by applying to him without delay.

The Cure…

A man with a nagging cough tried all the over-the-counter remedies he could find, but none worked. Finally he went to a doctor, who quickly discovered that he was suffering from pneumonia. The man was trying to ease the symptoms when what he needed was a cure. The doctor treated the deeper, more serious problem and in a short time the cough was gone.

When Jesus was in Capernaum, a large crowd came to the home where He was staying (Mk. 2:1-2). As He was teaching, some men made an opening in the roof and lowered a paralyzed man on a mat. Jesus initially responded not by healing the man but by saying, ”Son, your sins are forgiven” (v.5). The deepest need of the man was not physical but spiritual. Then, to show His authority to forgive, Jesus healed the man and sent him on his way- not only with legs that moved but with a heart that was forgiven (v.12).

The world is full of pain and problems. It’s tempting to spend a lot of time and resources to treat the surface symptoms and feel that we have done our part. Like Jesus, however, we need to deal with the heart issues. We need to tell people that their sins can be forgiven through faith in Christ. The gospel holds the cure for our deepest need.

 

November 8
Principles of Morality and Marriage
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do 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.
Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:
It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His merczy has made trustworthy. I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress-that it is good for a man to remain as he is: Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.
But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.
But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord-how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world-how he may please his wife. There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world-how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.
A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment-and I think I also have the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 6:12-7:16, 25-35, 39-40
WORSHIP
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.
Depart from me, you evildoers,
For I will keep the commandments of my God!
Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live;
And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
Psalm 119:114-116
WISDOM
The rich and the poor have this in common,
The LORD is the maker of them all.
Proverbs 22:2

Quote of the Day

When I first began examining the evidences for Christianity, I discovered that belief in the Resurrection does not constitute a blind leap into a dark chasm but rather a step into the light.”
~Hank Hanegraaff (from “Is the Resurrection a Myth?“)

Today’s Answer

Too Busy for the Great Commission?
Chuck Swindoll

If you were to do a little fun research to discover the sheer quantity of activities that happen each day in America, you’d be amazed. Consider, for example, the number of cups of coffee consumed, the number of babies born, the number of people who take a taxi, bury a pet, get divorced, go to the hospital, watch prime-time television, ride on an airplane, and go to school.

So what? That’s trivia, right? When you multiply all those things by 365, you get the general idea that there’s a fair amount of energy, money, activity, and trauma going on in a year’s time. And that’s just in America – representing only a portion of the world’s population. We may not be big, but we’re busy. In fact, we are so busy it’s easy to get selfishly swept up in the whirlwind of our own little playground sandwiched between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans . . . blessed beyond measure and rich beyond comparison.

Every so often it’s helpful to stop the annual merry-go-round, get off, look objectively, and think clearly. It’s not only helpful, it’s essential for the Christian. In this circus-like American lifestyle of ours, we tend to be deafened by the blare of our own band and blinded by the lights of our own spots, shining – always shining – on the ring of our own choice.

That needs to change. We need to hear the voice of the Ringmaster as He raises His hand to stop the band:

“We interrupt this program to bring all of you a reminder that the world in which you live is not the whole world . . . but only a very small part of the world for which I died.”

The Great Commission is still “the Great Commission,” not “The Limited Agreement for My Corner of America.” He still looks out across a wide world and weeps over men and women and children who do not know – have never heard – His healing, life-giving Name.

Taken from “The Big Picture” by Insight for Liviing Ministries (used by permission).

 

LOVE IS THE ANSWER

He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.  Psalm 72:14

When a bomb ripped through a church in Alexandria, Egypt on New Year’s Day, 2011, Christians across the western world reeled with shock. Twenty-one believers were killed in the attack and many others were wounded. While Christians in the west watched the news reports with disbelief, local believers say the attack came as no surprise.

Responses to the vicious attack were varied. While some cried for revenge, others have responded differently trusting God to redeem these lives.

One explanatory story from Egypt is this:

Devil: “I just killed 21 of your family.”

Jesus: “You didn’t kill 21 of my family. You just sent them on ahead to me, and you mobilized the church to pray.”

Brother Andrew writes:

What is your first thought when someone offends you? Anger? Indignation? Perhaps, if we’re honest, our hearts even want to see some kind of retaliation or revenge. But you know, Jesus is clear: revenge is not the answer. Love is. Especially when it comes to the Muslim world.

That’s why, instead of retaliating when we read of a bomb attack against our fellow believers, I suggest our response should be repentance! Repentance that we have not prayed, have not cared, have not gone to the Muslim world to proclaim the true life and freedom we have in Jesus!

Let’s keep asking God to truly change our hearts—that we might love, serve and pray more fervently…for the advancement of His kingdom and the glory of His name in the Muslim world and beyond!

RESPONSE: Today I will seek to keep my eyes on Jesus and try to understand things from His perspective.

PRAYERLord, change my heart so I am filled with Your compassion and thus love, serve and pray more fervently.

 

November 8

Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God.–HEB. x. 9.

Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God.–PS. cxliii. 10.

Lo! I come with joy to do
The Father’s blessed will;
Him in outward works pursue,
And serve His pleasure still.
Faithful to my Lord’s commands,
I still would choose the better part;
Serve with careful Martha’s hands,
And loving Mary’s heart.
C. WESLEY.

A soul cannot be regarded as truly subdued and consecrated in its will, and as having passed into union with the Divine will, until it has a disposition to do promptly and faithfully all that God requires, as well as to endure patiently and thankfully all that He imposes.
T. C. UPHAM.

When we have learned to offer up every duty connected with our situation in life as a sacrifice to God, a settled employment becomes just a settled habit of prayer.
THOMAS ERSKINE.

“Do the duty which lies nearest thee,” which thou knowest to be a duty. hy second duty will already have become clearer.
T. CARLYLE.

 

TODAY‘S

Christian Quote

Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love.

– Oswald Chambers
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A Prayer for Fiercehearted Women
By Holley Gerth

“Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24 (CSB)

I didn’t know loving people would be so hard.

I silently say this to God in a coffee shop on an ordinary Tuesday morning. I’m sitting at a table with a scratched wood surface and above me folk music comes through the speakers. My latte is half-cold and my mood is threatening to become lukewarm, too.

Haven’t we all been there?

I think back to another moment in a coffee shop when I was around 30 years old, wide-eyed and naïve, full of dreams. This is the age where I was both tender and ambitious. I thought I could save the world and conveniently forgot someone already had.

I’m looking 40 in the face now, and I have a few more wrinkles around my eyes. A few more scars on my heart. I also have a wound still healing from recent words that cut like a sword all the way down to the bone.

For a long time I didn’t understand that broken people have sharp edges. And if we dare to love, to make a difference, to put ourselves out there, then inevitably we will sometimes end up startled and bleeding.

I wish someone had whispered this in my ear years ago, leaned right in and said, “Oh, yes, a lifetime with Jesus is going to be a wonderful adventure. There’s going to be joy and hope and beautiful relationships. But, listen, there’s something else you need to know: You’re not going on holiday, you’re going into battle.”

I imagine I wouldn’t have liked or understood this at the time.

I probably wouldn’t even have believed it, or I might have told the person they needed to be more positive.

But later when the arrows started flying, I would have suddenly thought, “Oh, yes, I’m glad someone warned me.”

Perhaps that’s why today I’m writing all this down … to remind myself and, in case you haven’t heard yet, to gently tell you, too: We need to know we’re in a battle, because otherwise we’ll become disillusioned and discouraged.

We’ll think we must be doing something wrong or even that God has tricked us. We’ll retreat when it’s time to advance. We’ll hide when it’s time to charge. We’ll be caught off-guard instead of guarding our hearts. We’ll even misunderstand who we’re fighting. It’s not ever other humans; it’s always the darkness itself.

I recently saw the movie Wonder Woman and in one scene, she crosses a space called “No Man’s Land.” She walks with her head held high. She deflects the gunfire on behalf of others. She does what no one else has been able to so far.

As I watched, tears came to my eyes because I know what this is like, how it feels. There is beauty in the battle. There is strength. There is victory. “Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD” (Psalm 31:24).

But it’s okay if sometimes we still need to whisper to Jesus, “This is harder than I thought it would be.” If that’s you today, then know you’re not alone. Also know feeling this way isn’t failure; it’s confirmation you are a warrior, mightier than you know, stronger than you’ve yet to see.

Love is a soft word in our culture. But in the Kingdom it’s a war cry.

And so we fight on — we serve and encourage and work and pray and change diapers and change the world. Because we are women of God, and this is what we do; this is who we are. We are a beautiful, fiercehearted force. We cannot be defeated.

Lord, You know how hard it is to live and love in this world sometimes, because You’ve been here, too. Thank You for Your compassion toward us and Your promise to bring us through whatever we may face. Through You, we have strength, grace and victory. I pray You will empower me to keep fighting today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Why Christians Can Be Both Humble and Certain

Michael J. Kruger

One of the most common objections made to the absolute claims of Christianity is that Christians are arrogant. Christians are arrogant to claim that they are right; arrogant to claim others are wrong; arrogant to claim that truth can be known. Unfortunately, in the midst of such accusations, no one bothers to ask which definition of humility is being used. Over the years, the definition of humility has undergone a gradual but nonetheless profound change. Especially in the intellectual community. In the modern day, humility has basically become synonymous with another word: uncertainty. To be uncertain is to be humble. To be certain is to be arrogant. Thus, the cardinal sin in the intellectual world is to claim to know anything for sure.

Of course, this shift presents a real problem for Christianity. Christians believe that God has revealed himself clearly in his Word. Thus, when it comes to key historical questions (Who was Jesus? What did he say? What did he do?) or key theological questions (Who is God? What is Heaven? How does one get there?), Christians believe they have a basis on which they can claim certainty: God’s revelation. Indeed, to claim we don’t know the truth about such matters would be to deny God, and to deny his Word. (This doesn’t mean, of course, that Christians are certain about everything; but there can be certainty about these basic Christian truths).

Thus, for Christians, humility and uncertainty are not synonymous. One can be certain and humble at the same time. How? For this simple reason: Christians believe that they understand truth only because God has revealed it to them (1 Corinthians 1:26-30).  In other words, Christians are humble because their understanding of truth is not based on their own intelligence, their own research, their own acumen. Rather, it is 100% dependent on the grace of God. Christian knowledge is a dependent knowledge. And that leads to humility (1 Corinthians 1:31). This obviously doesn’t mean all Christians are personally humble. But, it does mean they should be, and have adequate grounds to be.

Although Christians have a basis on which they can be humble and certain at the same time, that is not necessarily the case with other worldviews. Take the atheist for instance. He is quite certain of a great many things (contrary to his claim that one cannot be certain of anything). He is certain either that God does not exist (hard atheism), or certain that one cannot know whether God exists (soft atheism). And, in his critique of Christianity, he is quite certain that Christians are mistaken in their claims to be certain. In essence, the atheist is claiming, “I know enough about the world to know that a person cannot possibly have a basis for certainty.” That in itself is a pretty dogmatic claim.

But, on what is the atheist basing these far reaching claims about the universe? His own finite, fallen, human mind. He has access only to his own limited, knowledge. So, now we should ask the question again: Who is being arrogant? The Christian or the atheist? Both claim certainty on a great many transcendental issues. But one does so while claiming to be dependent on the one who would know such things (God), and the other does so dependent on only themselves. If either position is a posture of arrogance, it would not be the Christian one.

No doubt, the atheist would object to this line of reasoning on the grounds that he rejects the Bible as divine revelation. But, this misses the point entirely. The issue is not whether he is convinced of the Bible’s truth, but rather the question is which worldview, the Christian’s or the atheist’s, has a rational basis for claiming certainty about transcendental matters. Only the Christian has such a basis. And since his knowledge of such things is dependent on divine grace, he can be humble and certain at the same time.

 

Devotionals Daily: A Year with Jesus

Good Morning, Lord
By Sheila Walsh

Today I will choose to be open with a trusted fellow believer about one of my failures or weaknesses and let God minister to me through that person.

What comes to mind when you hear the word righteous? Maybe you think of Jesus himself, the Righteous One. But maybe you think of folks trying to be superhero believers. Do you realize, though, that we become righteous by admitting our weaknesses to one another, not by covering up our sins and weaknesses? Do you know that we gain healing and strength when we allow our brothers and sisters to know us and pray for us?

When we try to become superheroes, we hide our failures, we say noth­ing about our doubts, we don’t confess our sins to one another, and we don’t receive prayer from fellow believers. The result of such feigned perfection is loneliness, and we set ourselves up as an easy target for the enemy. Instead, we who name Jesus as our Savior and Lord must be willing to admit our needs, but so often we feel obliged to grin like Cheshire cats so we will be “good witnesses.” This pretense results in isolation from God and one another, not Christian community; stagnation, not spiritual growth; staying stuck, not experiencing freedom in Christ.

© 2010 by Sheila Walsh

 

The “Nubbies”

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 5:1

A psychologist friend recently told me about Cliff–a client he described as “a believer after God’s own heart.”

After years of service to The Lord, Cliff’s wife developed aggressive cancer.  Many people joined Cliff in prayer for his wife, but she declined rapidly and died.  Through it all, Cliff didn’t break his determined gaze upon Christ.  Instead of allowing the tragedy to shake his faith, he allowed his experience of pain, suffering, confusion, and grief to push him deeper into the arms of the living God.

Cliff knew two things, and held to them tenaciously. The first was that God was good.  He didn’t understand the circumstances surrounding his wife’s sickness, or why she had to suffer and die.  But he knew a reason resided with God, and that he would come to understand in the light of eternity.  The second thing Cliff held to was his certainty that God loved him–in spite of everything, no matter what, and through it all.

When you’re in severe pain or distress, life becomes pretty simple. You’re in survival mode, and you have neither the heart nor the strength to spread your emotional energy around. As Chuck Swindoll might say, “Life gets boiled down to the nubbies.”

When pain or distress boils your life down to the “nubbies,” do what Cliff did. Keep it simple. Grab hold of what you know is true about the living God, and hold on like a pit bull.

“The nearer the dawn the darker the night.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

 

The Daily Word of Hope Devotional


Bible Fun Fact: Amen is the last word in the Bible and means: So be it.

The Database

Then David gave to Solomon his son the plans for the porch of the temple, for its houses, for its treasuries, for its upper rooms, for its inner rooms, for the place of the mercy seat; and the plans of all that he had by the Spirit, 1 Chronicles 28:11 WEB

David gave Solomon all the plans for the new temple that he was to build, but all of those plans were originally given to David by the Holy Spirit. Even though Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived, his great wisdom was given to him by God, and wisdom is still available to God’s people today if we will trust Him.

A long time ago, before there was Google, before cell phones, when the DOS or UNIX command line was the standard computer interface, the Lord began ‘inviting’ me to work on computers for others. To me, it was just a hobby. I was trying to get through seminary and had no plans of working in the computer field. I loved electronics, but I felt that it was beyond my capability because I did not have the education, nor the skills needed for that.

He would cause people to call me and if I would just agree to go, He would always give me the ability to fix the problem. Strangers would somehow get my phone number and call me with ‘Please come! You are our last hope!’ It was always scary because He pushed me into increasingly deeper things, with no one to turn to for advice but Him.

One day an accountant’s office called me to come look at their customer database. One of the computers on the network had crashed with the database open, and it had corrupted some of the tables. I had very little experience with DOS networks, or really any network at that time.

This database was very valuable to them as it contained the tax returns of hundreds of clients over the last few years, and they had no backup. I did not even want to go, but they told me that they had no one else to call, and they did not know what else to do. I wanted to say ‘No’ but I felt the Lord saying ‘Go.’ So I went.

It was around a 40 minute drive for me because they were in Pawley’s Island South Carolina, and I was in Conway. I prayed all the way there: ‘Lord I can’t do this without You.’ When I arrived, they walked me to the server and with butterflies in my stomach, I began to look it over. This was the first database that I had ever worked on before. The office gathered around and began watching me, and then suddenly I knew what to do. After a few commands, I had successfully repaired the database and they were back to work. They were my client for the next fifteen years.

The Lord added clients like that one by one and soon I was taking care of accountants offices, banks, lawyers, insurance companies, doctors offices and more. As long as I would go, He would go with me and make me successful. This continued on until He pushed me into ministry. That was His original plan, but He needed to prepare me first.

You do not have to walk alone today. There is a wisdom beyond the natural that is within your reach. When you are faced with things that you do not know how to do, turn to God, pray, and listen. Many times the answer will come. You are not alone while He is on the throne.

Prayer: Heavenly Father please send me the Comforter that You promised, Your precious Holy Spirit. Walk with me and talk with me today, help me to recognize when You are speaking. I want more of You in my life, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

 

Evie Polsley November 8, 2017
I Feel Like I Can’t Breathe
EVIE POLSLEY

“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NLT)

Do you ever have those days when you can’t find time to breathe?

The other day I was looking at 12 loads of laundry, with no food in the house besides goldfish crackers. It seemed like I could make a man out of the dust that clung to every item in our home, we had at least five different events on the calendar, my husband’s work schedule had doubled and I had a Sunday school lesson to get ready for church and a huge presentation for work the next week.

That night I fell into bed feeling exhausted and frustrated as the list of everything I didn’t accomplish ran through my mind. It felt like my head had hardly hit the pillow when my 9-year-old flew into the bathroom with an upset stomach. That woke-up my 2-year-old, who started asking every 10 minutes, “Mommy, it morning? I get out of bed?” In my exhaustion and stress, let’s just say, it was not my best mom moment.

The next morning, “mom guilt” set in. My normal, laid-back self had turned into a screaming, sleep-deprived, crazy woman. As I cried out my stress — which is what I do — I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a moment to just sit back and breathe.

I’m not talking about a spa day or even half an hour. I mean 15 minutes not consumed with something from the never-ending to-do list. One night I even caught myself walking in my sleep into the kitchen to clean.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m very thankful for the life God’s given me. I have an amazing husband, extremely loveable kids and a wonderful job. But even amidst the blessings of life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all there is to do and forget to pause and just breathe.

As I lay on the floor crying, I began to wonder …

When was the last time I focused on just me and God? When had I opened my Bible and just breathed in His words and basked in his goodness? It had been a while.

During lunch at work the next day, I pulled out my phone, plugged in my headphones, and started listening to my audio Bible. I inhaled and exhaled as I meditated on Jesus’ spoken words found in today’s key verse:

“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).

I felt it. As the calming narrator’s voice said those familiar and healing words, that gift of peace washed over me. For a few moments, the to-do lists were gone, and the stress faded away. I was transported to an intimate setting, hearing my Savior promise a Helper to His disciples and realizing His words are for me, too.

“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you” John 14:15-16 (NLT).

I am never abandoned! In my anxiety, in my joy. When I am at my best, when I am at my worst. The Holy Spirit is guiding me and reminding me of Jesus’ teachings.

On those days when I can’t seem to find a moment to take a breath, I need to connect with the life-giving Word of God that is living and breathing. The lists will never fully go away. There will always be another crisis or another responsibility. But there will also always be a peace that can only be found by taking time to breathe in God’s rejuvenating words of life.

Dear God, I’m sorry for the times I forget to connect with You to just spend time together. For when I get my priorities mixed up and put other things above You. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who is my Advocate and who guides me and teaches me — especially through the times when I can’t see straight. I am thankful for Your love and peace that sustains me and for the promise that You’ll never leave me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Click here to listen to: John 14:15-29.

>Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (NLT)

Psalm 29:11, “The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.” (NLT)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Let God’s peace envelop you as you experience an audio Bible that allows you to step out of our time and into the world of the New Testament. The life-giving breath of God will transform you as you listen to His voice through the Breathe Bible Audio New Testament. Get started by listening to the book of John for free at BreatheBible.comor on the Breathe Bible app.

CONNECT:
Enter to WIN a copy of Breathe Bible Audio New Testament. In celebration of this Bible, Tyndale House Publishers will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, December 4, 2017.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What’s God asking you to give over to Him in order to discover His peace? How often are you connecting with God and nurturing your relationship with Him?

Take your to-do list and pray over it, asking God to reveal to you places and times for you to breathe and reconnect with Him even in your busy daily schedule.

(c) 2017 by Evie Polsley. All rights reserved.

 

Today’s Scripture

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.” (Galatians 6:1)

Thoughts for Today

When care-fronting a love one struggling with a life-controlling problem, focus on the facts, not on your personal conclusions.

It’s so easy to see some and assume more, but it is vital to focus on observations and facts instead of what you think or imagine. Make statements about what you have actually seen and heard. Don’t voice conclusions you personally have drawn.

Consider this …

Another element of care-fronting is to focus on descriptions, not on judgments. Your role is not to judge the behaviors as good or bad–the facts speak for themselves. Keep the lines of communication open by never placing a value judgment on the other person’s behavior. By describing rather than judging, you put yourself in a neutral role of reporting on what has been seen rather than judging that behavior as right or wrong.

John 8:3-11 teaches much about care-fronting. A woman was caught in adultery. The self-righteous religious teachers and Pharisees brought her to Jesus. To help her? No. They weren’t loving or caring toward her. They wanted to trap Jesus and in the process cruelly judged and condemned the woman.

Jesus didn’t accuse her. There was no question the woman had sinned. She knew that and so did everyone there. Jesus didn’t condemn her, but neither did he ignore the fact of her sin. He had a kind and respectful attitude. “Go and sin no more.”

Prayer …

Father, help me to stop letting my imagination get carried away and to focus only on what I know about this situation. And when I communicate with my loved one, help me not to judge. Give me a heart to love and help as Jesus did. In his name . . .

 

Charisma Media

Now, nudists are invading local restaurants.
Now, nudists are invading local restaurants. (StockSnap/Pixabay/Public Domain)

The nudist movement has been preaching social nudity for ages and has made headway in beaches, campsites and pools. Now, nudists are invading local restaurants.

Paris just opened its first-ever naked restaurant. Named O’nature. The restaurant is publicly open to the publicly nude. The rule is to drop your clothes at the door before you’re seated in one of the 40 chairs.

This news didn’t surprise me, but what did was my subsequent research on Christian nudists. Yes, they exist. In fact, there is a Christian nudist movement called Naturist Christians. I won’t link to the website due to its graphic nature.

“When seeking to educate and promote our values, we have found that sometimes seeing examples means more than anything else. Here we present photos of people living their lives naturally, without clothes, without shame, and as God created it,” the site reads.

Christian nudists theologies are another perversion of God’s Word. God may have created man naked, but He Himself created clothes of animal skin for mankind after the fall (Gen. 3).

After that moment, nakedness largely carried a shameful connotation. When Noah got drunk and lay uncovered in his tent, for example, his sons Shem and Japheth walked into the tent backwards to cover him rather than looking upon his nudity (Gen. 9). Ham, by contrast, looked upon his father’s nakedness and did nothing. That resulted in Noah cursing him.

Nakedness is also mentioned in a negative context in Exodus 20:26, Isaiah 47:3, Ezekiel 16:35-36, Luke 8:27, Revelation 3:17, Revelation 16:15 and several other Scriptures. The pattern is clear: Nudity outside the marriage bed is a disgrace.

Indeed, there’s a demonic influence to the nudist movement, and it’s especially troubling to see Christians embracing it. Luke 8:27-31 makes the connection to an unclean spirit evident:

When He stepped out on land, a man from the city who had demons for a long time met Him. He wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I plead with You, do not torment me.”  For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. It often had seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles. But he broke the shackles and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.

 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

He said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him not to command them to go out into the abyss.

How did Jesus address this nudist? By casting the devil out of him!

This is all part of the tsunami of perversion I wrote about in 2015. Let’s pray that those who are walking in deception will break free, and those who are free now will not fall into deception.

Jennifer LeClaire is senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at info@jenniferleclaire.org.

 

Hindrances to Christ’s Rule
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
November 08, 2017

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4

The Bible says when Christ comes to live in your heart, old things are passed away, all things become new (see 2 Cor. 5:17). The Lord has put a new Spirit in us. Previously, I could not understand why so many of us who proclaimed Christ had such little impact on the kingdom of darkness. It seemed to me that our culture should be impacted much more if His children walked in the light as Jesus did. Jesus impacted His culture like no other man.

I saw many workplace believers, who proclaimed Christ, living no differently than a person who had not claimed Him as Lord. These men and women had a form of religion, but little power that reflected Christ’s rule in their lives. Then one day God took me through a time of testing that led to a discovery of generational influences that impacted the way I viewed people and circumstances on a subconscious basis. I discovered this was a stronghold that had been implanted many generations earlier. Because the stronghold operated on a subconscious level, it was not easily recognizable. Strongholds keep us from being free to reflect Christ in and through our lives because they require allegiance until they are dealt with. Strongholds can often be so hidden that we would not even identify them as evil. A stronghold of fear, control, rebellion, insecurity, idolatry, pride, or bitterness may be hidden until it is revealed through circumstances.

All strongholds are built in our lives as a result of seeking to meet one or more of seven basic needs God has created in us. Once we believe a lie that God cannot meet a need without our effort, we open our spirit to a stronghold. The more lies we believe, the more we invite these strongholds to take root in our lives. Are you ineffective in your Christian experience? Are there besetting sins that seem to recur in your life? You may find that satan has built a fortress in your heart that has been there many generations. You must ask God’s forgiveness for entertaining this stronghold, and you must renounce it. Then as Christ renews your mind and heart, you will see Christ’s power released in your life like never before.

 

Passion for Praise: ‘Sing it Out!’

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tell the world [all the wonderful things God has done to save and bless you] — sing it out!

LifeLessons4
life_lessons_13
I have been knocked down, AGAIN…….
Life-leassons-learn-quotes1
You are MY Rock, O Lord!!
HarshLessons1
Lessons, and more lessons…….I learn them well this time, I pray!
Forgive1
Am I stronger then?
Amazing1
Faith I have, plenty of…….
Lastly……….one for us “old” folks….
25-Life-lessons-best-of
God bless you all!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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