“The Helmet of Salvation” 4/04/2017 Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group”

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                                   Image result for picture of the helmet of salvation Bible

Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group”  @  www.Godsmanforever.com

(revised from 1/19/2011)

“The Helmet of Salvation… Part 2 of God’s Armor” 

   (For the first  2 days writing…type 4/02-03/2017, as separate dates into the search window of   www.Godsmanforever.com)

Ephesians 6:17… And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (NKJV)

I woke up this morning, and before I even had a chance to ask God to guide me through this day, I knew what I was going to write on today… I had been writing about scripture in the Book of Romans, but was sidetracked by the Armor of God, each and every Christian should  be wearing as a complete set…all 6 pieces…(Ephesians 6:10-20)   [ https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=eph6%3A10-20&version=ESV ]

In looking at my own weaknesses as a Christian, I am hopeful that others can find out what pieces they are missing of the “Whole Armor of God”, to be able to make a stand against Satan… To be Spirit filled on a more  consistent basis, I believe it’s necessary to be wearing God’s complete set of spiritual armor…   As Christians, any chinks in God’s armor will allow Satan in, and leave a crack in our fragile clay vessel… Our cup cannot be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, if we have any cracks in it…

The apostle Paul tells us in this, in…Ephesians 6:11… “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (NKJV)

The opening scripture talks about “the helmet of salvation”…   Salvation; or being saved by God’s grace, is all about obeying the Gospel of Christ…   We must understand the gospel, and respond to God’s calling…or we will be left to “die in our sins”, as the Apostle John pens this spoken by Jesus, in…  [See 1. Below for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ]

John 8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”  (NKJV)

But once we are “Born Again” Christians, we must keep “the helmet of salvation” on 24/7…   Each and every day, we must be thankful for the grace God has gifted us with, as we have been accepted by Him into His family as a redeemed child of God…

As ambassadors of Christ, we must always look for opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with the lost and dying world around us…  This, for sure, was one of my major shortcomings for over 7 years, as I have previously confessed…because I allowed the Holy Spirit to take a back seat in my life…keeping me less than Spirit filled…Ephesians 5:18-20

Heavenly Father, being Spirit filled is what every Christian should strive to become on a consistent, but not perfect basis… Help each and every reader understand that Your complete set of spiritual armor is required, to protect us from Satan… It starts with “the helmet of salvation”… Help us Father to be striving to put on Your protective armor piece by piece…

Help us to realize that any chinks in our spiritual body armor will leave us vulnerable to Satan, and his bag full of tricks to deceive us…   Being Spirit filled is an ongoing, daily labor of love for You Lord, as Your obedient children walk in the Spirit…Galatians 5:16…   Help us Father, to keep our fragile clay vessel filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit…  I pray for this fullness of Christ within each and every one of us, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake I pray…Amen…

Blessings in Christ,   bruce

 

References:

 

  1.  Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?q=picture+of+the+helmet+of+salvation+Bible&espv=2&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjSpOXs24rTAhVG0iYKHYAKD10QsAQIGQ&biw=1126&bih=686#imgrc=Hvsl7EgqC555oM:

 

 

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“My House is Full but My Field Is Empty” 7/24/2017 Written by Wally Fry for “Truth in Palmyra”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                                    Image result for picture luke 10:2 bible

 Written by Wally Fry  for “Truth in Palmyra”  @   https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com

 Original post @  https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/my-house-is-full-but-my-field-is-empty-3/

 

My House is Full but My Field Is Empty

This is an older post, but I used to really enjoy writing posts around a favorite song. I am thinking of doing it again.

 

My House Is Full, but My Field is Empty

Luke 10:2

Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.


There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today, 
Lots of food on His table and no one turned away.
There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by,
But a hush calms the singing as the Father sadly cries,

There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today. Indeed, there is much peace and contentment to be found around the Father’s table; he has promised us that. For those who are saved children of God, He gave us the promise that Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.Why do we have so much peace? We can have that because although born sinners, as all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, He loved us enough to provide a way to be restored to Himself,  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Lots of food on His table and no one turned away. What is it we are partaking of at our Father’s table? Jesus told us that; He told us that the sustenance He provides would last forever. Speaking to his disciples, Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. What we enjoy at the Father’s table will never run out, and we will never hunger or thirst again. But, there is more! The invitation to the Father’s table is an open one, and no one will be turned away, who comes to Him in repentance and faith; for whosever calls upon the name of The Lord shall be saved.

There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by. Hours? Try eternity, for we will be at our Father’s table forever! David, the Psalmist noted the following: 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil;my cup overflows.Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

But we don’t have to wait for our passing from this life and eternity to enjoy the many blessings of God do we? All saved children of the Father know our blessings start the moment God’s Holy Spirit moves inside of us and we are saved and born again. That’s really when we first come to the table. So, what is the problem? Our chorus tells us what the problem is.

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields.

That’s right, we all love the blessings God bestows on us as saved children of His. But God needs workers. The fields are ripe for the harvest, as The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: 

Who will go and work for Me today? In the prophet Isaiah’s vision, we hear the Lord ask Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? In that occasion, the prophet promptly replied to the Lord Here am I; send me. Is that our answer when God calls us to reach out to a lost and dying world? Or are we a Moses, who resisted at first until God grew angry; or a Gideon, who required proof after proof; or a Jonah, who complied but even then remained angry at God’s decision to reach out to Nineveh?

So, then, what does does God want from us besides us sitting around enjoying His great blessings? Does He want us to just stay in his house, filling our bellies with His bounty? NO!

Push away from the table.
Look out through the windowpane,
Just beyond the house of plenty
Lies a field of golden grain.
And it’s ripe unto harvest,
But the reapers, where are they?
In the house,
Oh, can’t the children hear
the Father sadly say,

We have our orders, and our instructions are clear. Push away from the table. Look out through the windowpane, After he had spent 40 days showing himself to the world and his disciples after His resurrection, Jesus had these famous words to say to them jut prior to leaving this Earth and returning to heaven:  Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Go, Go Go. That is what Jesus said. Go! At some point after that, just before he ascended to be with His Heavenly Father, Jesus reinforced the point when he further told the disciples that ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. As if to further reinforce the point, after Jesus disappeared into the clouds two angels appeared to the disciples and asked them, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?

Who was this instruction for? Was it just for the disciples assembled there? Well, obviously not! How would 12 men reach the uttermost part of the Earth? This command is for all people, of all times, in all places. It’s not just for preachers, or evangelists, either; again, this instruction is for us all.

The instruction is for NOW. Of course, Jesus did tell the disciples to return to Jerusalem and wait for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, which did occur on the Day of Pentecost. We no longer have to wait for that, because as saved believers we are already indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and have all the tools we need at our disposal! The time is now, because the harvest of souls is ready and waiting, see again Jesus teaching His disciples, Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. This command is not for the future; it is for now, and it is for us all.

So, why are we in the Father’s House, gathered around the table, and enjoying His sustenance? Well, of course it is because He loves us and wants to bless us. But perhaps there is more, and the narrator in the video on this post may have captured it perfectly. Why do we eat and rest in the first place? We do it to keep our bodies nourished and to recover from previous efforts, right? We do it so that we can go back to our endeavors at a later time.  Maybe that is why God blesses us in His house, not so much for simply our enjoyment, but to get back out there and resume our endeavors.

So, let’s enjoy our Father’s house and His table. Let’s thank him for and enjoy the many blessings He gives us. Let’s remember however, that those of us who are saved believers will enjoy that bounty for all eternity. There are, however those, who will not, unless they are reached, because  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

So, then, beloved, let us fill our bellies and get our rest. Then, let’s not sit around and do nothing. Let’s push back from the table, look out that window, and more importantly walk out that door into a lost and dying world and share Jesus Christ with them!

There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today, 
Lots of food on His table and no one turned away.
There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by,
But a hush calms the singing as the Father sadly cries,

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields.

Push away from the table.
Look out through the windowpane,
Just beyond the house of plenty
Lies a field of golden grain.
And it’s ripe unto harvest,
But the reapers, where are they?
In the house,
Oh, can’t the children hear
the Father sadly say,

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields….

Who will go and work in my fields

*****************************************************************************

P.S. (from bruce) Need help in sharing the gospel of Christ ??  Here is a link you might learn from (or forward), for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…    http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

 

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?q=picture+luke+10:2+bible&rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjhgZCmuZrVAhVEMj4KHcouCNoQsAQIJw&biw=1181&bih=880#imgrc=wFZVjaeZSgd5RM

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“PRAYING FOR OTHERS” 7/23/2017 Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare” @   http://atimetoshare.me

Original post @  https://atimetoshare.me/2017/07/21/praying-for-others/

 

PRAYING FOR OTHERS

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“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”    Matthew 6:5

As our world continues to grow and the sense of community is  lost to the busyness of every day, it’s easy for us to forget to pray for others.  Many times we don’t even know that our friends or family need our prayers.  There are a number of reasons for that.

We might be afraid to open up our lives to others.  We may feel ashamed or embarrassed by the things that we’re concerned about.  We may not want people to know we’re suffering with an illness or loss, because we think it’s a sign of weakness.  We may think we don’t need the prayers of others, because our relationship with God is a private thing between us and God.  We may want to handle things ourselves.

When Jesus taught His followers how to pray in His Sermon on the Mount, He made it clear what our prayers should include.  Our words should be from the heart – not just words that outwardly make a show of our piety.  Our prayers should be done in private – with the doors closed – in a closet, no less.

In the words of His very own prayer, He tells us to honor and praise God, the Father –  to forgive others – ask for our own forgiveness – to have all our daily needs provided for – to be kept safe from temptation.

He also wants us to have those words spill onto all those around us.  We really need to get back to a community of people who care about each other.  This is part of the reason people go to church – to be encouraged by the Word, to praise God, to give thanks to Him and to be in fellowship with other Christians.

Don’t be afraid to share your prayer requests with others.  God loves it when we pray together with sincere hearts.  Jesus also said that where two or three are gathered in His name, He will be there with them.

Pray for others today!

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“Know What You Believe; Believe What You Know: Does it Matter?” 7/22/2017 Written by Beth Andrews of “Deeper Roots”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Beth Andrews of “Deeper Roots” @  https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com

Original post @   https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/know-what-you-believe-believe-what-you-know-does-it-matter/

 

Know What You Believe; Believe What You Know: Does it Matter?

 

“Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse,”   Romans 1:20

“It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere.”

Can that really be true? Does it matter what you and I believe? And what are we supposed to believe? How do we sort out all the different beliefs that come at us from the world? How do we determine which ones to grab hold of and which ones to let go? Those are a lot of heavy questions, and it’s really hard to understand why all this matters when we are working, raising families, doing chores, going to church, being involved in community activities, being responsible citizens. I don’t know about you, but at the end of a long day I’m too tired to think that hard.

But it does matter. It matters a great deal. Because what you believe translates into who you are and how you live. It determines your thoughts and affects every choice you make. It matters today and tomorrow. What you believe has eternal consequences. So I pose to you two questions: Do you know what you believe? And do you believe what you know? That sounds like double-speak, but I assure you these are the most important questions you’ll ever consider. In the coming weeks at Deeper Roots, we’re going to look into our core beliefs—what is known as our “worldview.”

A worldview is the basis from which we determine all things related to God, the universe, life and man. It is an overarching theme that sets our beliefs in some semblance of order. It answers important questions about the creation of the universe, the origins of all life, morality, individuality, the future of humanity and what follows after this life.

Worldviews often shift from generation to generation and culture to culture. The changes in the world because of advances in education, science, medicine, and a variety of other aspects, while beneficial in so many ways, have also caused modern man to turn away from a worldview that embraces God, creation, salvation and morality. Even the modern church has backed away from many of the foundational beliefs of her ancestors. They don’t ask these important questions and they no longer teach these core issues. This is why the unbelieving world judges the Bible as archaic and Christians as “out of touch” and even “dangerous.”  But a worldview that is founded on the timeless truths and principles of the Bible is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago for two very important reasons.

1) God has not changed. His character, His truth, His promises and His Word stand just true as they did in the days of Adam, Moses, David, Jesus, Paul and on through the ages.

2) Human nature has not changed. We are still creatures steeped in a sin nature and in desperate need of redemption. We are still self-centered and rebellious and foolish and we still demand to be our own authority.

The Christian worldview of Paul’s day remains the true Christian worldview of our day, because the foundation – Jesus Christ – “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). In a world of shifting ideologies and ever-changing “truth” it is more important than ever to Know What You Believe and Believe What you Know.

I encourage you – no I challenge you to join me in the coming weeks as we ask some very important questions and search for answers that are true and timeless. Share these posts with your family and friends – let’s start a conversation about what really matters in this life.

Mighty God – we want to fill our minds with something more substantial than the latest celebrity gossip and the thoughts of men. We want truth. We want to build our lives on what is solid and eternal. Open our eyes and ears to the deeper things of life. Open our minds to receive and believe Your eternal wisdom and truth

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“Are You Pleasing God ??” 7/21/2017 Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                                               Image result for picture phil 2:12-13 Bible

Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group” @  www.Godsmanforever.com

Philippians 2:12-13…  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.  (ESV)

I don’t have the statistics…but I know there is a large group of people, calling themselves Christians, who are not followers of the Lord Jesus Christ…  Many spend their lives going to church every week…completing the long list of requirements their church doctrine tells them they have to complete, to be deemed righteous in God’s eyes…

Are you trying to live a life, doing what you believe is pleasing to God, doing all these good works in the name of the Lord that your church teaches must be accomplished, in order to have that room in God’s mansion when you die…John 14:2-4 ??  My friends, this justification by good works, is not what Jesus clearly teaches us with His warning to us, as recorded in…

Matthew 7:21-23   “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’  (ESV)

Here is another piece of scripture confirming that it is not good works that will save a sinner…

Ephesians 2:8-9…  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  (ESV)

God’s gift of grace, is a result of God giving us the will to understand that we cannot earn our own way into heaven…  We become Christians in God’s eyes, by hearing the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 10:17)…and then responding to God’s call by obeying the gospel of Christ…  We do this by confessing our lifetime of sins to the Lord with godly sorrow, and a contrite heart, repenting of these sins…as we seek Jesus Christ with saving faith alone, to become our personal Lord and Savior… [see 1. Below for a presentation of the gospel of Christ]

At the same time God graces the new believer with salvation, He indwells them with the Holy Spirit to guide and direct their lives in the will of God…  We see in the opening scripture, written by the apostle Paul, that it is God (via the Holy Spirit), that works in us “both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

 

If you are a born again Christian, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ (not by good works)…you are called to do good works in the name of the Lord, as proof you are a redeemed child of God…not in order to be saved to begin with…  After the apostle Paul pens Ephesians 2:8-9 above, he goes on to tell us this, in…

Ephesians 2:10   For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  (ESV)

For us Christians, here is where the proverbial “rubber meets the road”…  God’s redeemed children were created to do good works, where the opening scripture (Philippians 2:12-13) tells you that you are to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Are you living for Christ…doing your absolute best to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit, every time He gives you guidance and godly direction that will surely be in God’s will for your life ??  Are you doing your own thing Sunday morning, neglecting to become part of a Bible believing and teaching church, where you are called to be using your spiritual gift (given to every believer by God), to be part of a well functioning church body… God’s Word is clear on attending and using your spiritual gift in a church…Ephesians 4:15-16… [see 2. Below for a great article on using your spiritual gift in a church body]

Hebrews 10:24-25…  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  (ESV)

Are you reading your Bible (the Word – hopefully every day)…where God’s Word feeds you spiritually, just like you need food to physically keep your body functioning properly ??    Jesus defeated Satan’s temptations by using God’s Word (Matthew 4:1-11)…where Jesus tells us this, in…

Matthew 4:4…   But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  (ESV)    [see 3. Below for a link to add an app to your smart phone, to now be able to listen daily to the Bible in a year, with audio commentary – no more excuses for not being in the Word EVERY day !! ]

Are you sharing your testimony and/or the gospel of Christ with EVERY person the Holy Spirit places in your path in need of God’s saving grace ??  Sharing the “good new” gospel message of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18 ), was a command given by Jesus in His last spoken words to His disciples (and us), before ascending into heaven…  I have to believe Christ felt this was of utmost importance for us to do…  Are you falling short in sharing your faith ??

Matthew 28:19-20…  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (ESV)

Spending time in God’s Word to grow spiritually…finding the right church [see 4. Below] and then using your spiritual gift to help the church body grow…and sharing the gospel of Christ at every opportunity, are the big three things that I believe will put a smile on God’s face !!  And let’s not forget spending time each and every day in prayer to our Lord…

Are you pleasing God ??

Heavenly Father, I am ever so thankful for the grace that you have bestowed upon me…  I am thankful for the Holy Spirit You have given me, that helps me stay on the path You have laid out for me… I pray Father, that all of Your redeemed children will find Your God given peace beyond understanding (Philippians 4:6-7)…Your joy that will fill their heart (John 15:11)…and Your perfect love that will cast out all fear (1 John 4:18)…  I pray for this fullness of Christ for all of us, in Jesus’ most precious name, and for His Sake…Amen…

Blessings in Christ,  bruce

Related links:

  1. Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

  2. Article on using your spiritual gift in a church…  http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/use-your-spiritual-gifts-to-help-your-church-grow-1339549.html

  3. Bible in a year, now entirely audible, if you choose…  https://www.bibleinoneyear.org/

  4. Finding the right church…  https://godsmanforever.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/the-right-church-1052017-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

 

 

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?q=picture+phil+2:12-13+Bible&rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi81L7N7JjVAhXBeT4KHQVFCHAQsAQIUw&biw=1181&bih=880#imgrc=V3DC6UesZMK39M:

 

 

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If your life isn’t ‘Pinterest-perfect’ 7/20/2017 Written by Elihu Anderson for “Courage”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org 

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                                     Image result for picture vanity   Bible

Written by Elihu Anderson  for “Courage” @   http://www.thecourage.com

Original post @  http://www.thecourage.com/if-your-life-isnt-pinterest-perfect/

 

If your life isn’t ‘Pinterest-perfect’

Share it. Like it. Post it. Pin it.

“Wow! Look at that her newly-remodeled kitchen!”

“Dude! Check out Jay’s awesome rig!”

“Tim and Tammy are on vacation again! I wish I could go to Hawaii!”

“I can’t believe he lost so much weight! How did he do that?”

The moment we look up from these posts of perfection, we see our worn out carpet, our scuffed up truck, our six-pack-flabs, and sink under the weight of our imperfect reality. Just when we think we’ll shiplap our house into Magnolia-magnificence, our bank balance brings us to a full stop. Our titanic aspirations just hit an iceberg.

Our life, unlike theirs, is anything but Pinterest-perfect.

All in a moment, we’ve bought into the lie of the highlight reel. The reality is far more blemished than those pixels would have us believe. What you do not see in that cropped living room is the state of the kitchen. Behind those laughing faces may lie a shattered heart. While that family may look perfect on the outside, it could be eroding on the inside. Social media only allows us to see what a person wants us to see—a perfect piece of an often messy picture.

A few thousand years ago, King Solomon of Israel wrote this:

“Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind…Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.”   Ecclesiastes 4: 4, 6

Solomon was on to something. Most of the time, our intense efforts are driven by a desire to keep up with the Joneses. We invert our priorities, make ourselves sick, succumb to depression, and forfeit our peace in frantic attempts to measure up to what the world calls “success.”

People have been grasping for what they considered “better things” since the beginning of time.

Cain envied God’s approval of Abel’s sacrifice.

Sarah resented Hagar’s fertility.

Israel imitated other kingdoms by installing an earthly king.

David lusted for Uriah’s wife.

The Pharisees craved preeminence.

In each case, their covetousness brought catastrophe.

Cain murdered Abel.

Sarah abused Hagar.

Israel’s kings led the nation into idolatry and captivity.

David committed adultery and murder.

The Pharisees missed out on salvation.

Paul wrote to Timothy: “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”

What is your desire in this life? Is your desire to be rich? Secure? Happy? Famous? Adored? Our pursuits reflect our priorities. Our aim should be to seek God first, and to love others second; all this other stuff should take a back seat. Paul says godliness with contentment is great gain, and he’s right—it’s the greatest gain. Our aims should be to shine the light of Christ, to transform our hearts, to grow closer to God. Everything else is temporary.

Pursue lasting contentment, stemming from a heart overflowing with gratitude.

Contentment is making the most of the gifts we’ve been given, not bemoaning what we’ve been denied. Contentment is the ability to find God’s blessings in any and every circumstance. Contentment is an abundance mentality, enabling us to rejoice in the good fortune of others.

So your life isn’t Pinterest-perfect. So you’ve got six-pack-flabs. So you’re car isn’t a 2018 maserati. So what? All those things will perish and fade, but a heart refined for God’s purpose will gain eternal fulfillment.

Seek godly refinement instead of worldly enrichment. Godliness with contentment is greater than all the lesser things this world has to offer.

Now read this: If you want contentment but can’t seem to find it

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“I AM a Perfectionist” 7/19/2017 Written by Frances Rogers for “God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by  Frances Rogers for “God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory”  @  https://godsgracegodsglory.com

 

Original post @  https://godsgracegodsglory.com/2017/07/14/i-am-a-perfectionist/

 

I AM a Perfectionist

I AM is a Perfectionist. Remember those italicized words in the King James Version, those smaller words that added clarity to the sentence from the Hebrew translation? I speak here as I have learned from the Great I AM.

I AM is a holy God, a perfect Father, Creator and Redeemer. The realm of His kingdom is perfect, nothing lacking, nothing out of order, no frustration, no oppression, no war, no anxiety, no fear, violence, sickness, death, disappointment or tears. In His kingdom there is no criticism, anger, jealousy, envy, dishonesty, or falsehood. He is surrounded by righteousness, humility, peace, harmony, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and temperance.

The LORD has established his throne
in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Psalm 103:19

Through His Son, Jesus Christ, He rules in power, truth, grace, mercy and glory. From His own mind, heart and Spirit He lives and lavishes His own Being throughout His heavens. As a Perfectionist, He created the heavens and the earth, with expectation of having a perfect family bearing His image.

Did He go wrong somewhere? Then He is not a Perfectionist, and He is not able to rule and govern what He created.

Or is all still going according to His plans? Is providence the working out of His holy will?

Human Perfection
If we were perfect, then we would understand His plans and agree that He is perfect.

If we could see the end of all things as He has planned, we would understand His perfection.
We cannot, so we must look to the Perfect One who makes all things perfect.

“The trying of your faith works patience.
But let patience have her perfect work,
that you may be perfect and entire,
wanting nothing.”
James 1:3-4

Special revelation comes by the power of His Spirit in the lives of those who are His children, born of His Spirit through His Word. Within us He enables us to see beyond this world and its imperfections  (the list is too long). We are brought beyond the power of sin to be occupied with God. The heavenly Father, Creator and Redeemer, whose perfect, heavenly love, humbles us, and begins the process of perfecting us by the power of HIs Son and His Holy Spirit, to share His eternal kingdom.

We give up our human perfectionism when we understand that only He can make things perfect, and His plan for perfection was not intended for this earth, but for eternity with Him. The only perfect thing here on this earth is His love. In the end, it will perfect all those who are in Christ, His Son. We are holy and acceptable in Him, now and forever  (Romans 12:1)

Gracious and blessed Father, Perfect in all things, with the plan to perfect the disciples of Christ, your Son: in the power of your Holy Spirit, birth and train us according to your perfect will through your Word. Through us, by transforming our minds and hearts, make known your love to a perishing world . Fill us with your light that pierces the darkness and brings your children to a perfect love, joy and peace, as we wait for our Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Fran

Related article: The Power of God’s Holy Will

Psalm 18:32
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

Psalm 19:7
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: .

Psalm 138:8
The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:

Proverbs 4:18
But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Luke 6:40
 but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

2 Corinthians 12:9
 strength is made perfect in weakness.

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,

1 Peter 5:10
But the God of all grace…make you perfect.

1 John 2:5
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.

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“When You Haven’t Got a Prayer – Pray” 7/18/2017 Written by Denise Pass for “Seeing Deep Ministries”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Denise Pass for “Seeing Deep Ministries”  @  http://denisepass.com/home/

Original post @  https://denisepass.com/when-you-havent-got-a-prayer-pray/

 

Haven't Got a Prayer

Hope Discovery of the Day:

When you haven’t got a prayer, pray anyway.

Scripture of the Day:

Colossians 4:2-4

“Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time pray for us too, that God may open a door for the message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may make it known as I should.”

Ephesians 6:18

“With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints.”

“You haven’t got a prayer” is a well-known condemning phrase alerting us that things look hopeless. It has a sort of sarcastic bent to it, mocking any chance of success. But for the Christian, there is always hope. There is always a prayer because our Savior lives and He lives to intercede for us.

The reality is we are in a spiritual battle whether we know it or not. There is a spiritual battle of epic proportions at work in our families, churches, everywhere. All around us, things are happening in the spiritual realm and sometimes we are just too tired to pray. Or lack the discipline to have a consistent prayer life.

Prayer is available at all times and we need to pray, but sometimes our flesh resists this spiritual discipline. Even the disciples could not stay up and pray when their Savior asked them to. There, now that we have that out of the way, (ouch!) there is great encouragement even in our lack. God has us covered when we fall short. More than that, He has called faithful brothers and sisters to cover one another in prayer, too.

True confession: My prayer life has sometimes been fervent, sometimes haphazard. That is, formalized consistent praying through requests is not something I have achieved yet. But God has shown me the value of being in the mentality of constant prayer. I might not have a perfect list hanging on my wall, but my heart is poised to pray as the LORD leads, throughout the day. When I hear of a need, I pray. I cannot put it off for later because later might not ever happen.

It used to bug me that I was not more organized in how I prayed until I realized that our lives themselves can be offered up as prayers to God. In everything I do or say, I can invite God in for counsel and keep the conversation going.

Perhaps when the chips are really down is when we tend to be a little more fervent in prayer for ourselves or others. When we need a miracle from God or we need for God to move in a powerful way, our desperation can lead us to despair or to prayer. God’s faithful promises motivate us to pray, for His promises are certain. When we might feel like praying is not accomplishing much, promises from Scripture encourage us to continue to pray without ceasing. Here are 21 verses about prayer to help us stay the course in our prayer life.

Christian, God hears us when we pray. God. The Creator of the entire universe. Hears us. May we not forget how awesome this privilege is and remember that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. Much more than we could ever think or imagine. One more thing – today’s Scripture tells us to be alert – we need to be on the watch for what prayers we need to offer – and we need to be thankful at all times, even when it seems we have nothing to be thankful for. God is always at work.

John Piper has an excellent free resource on prayer that will fuel your prayer life in amazing ways. Here is a link to the free download. Years ago, I wrote a couple of songs on prayer that will refresh our fervor to bow our knee before our sovereign God. One of them, “Praying for You” was inspired as God placed on my heart to pray for a missionary I did not know. The next morning, a little girl, a daughter of a friend of mine, called me to say she had been praying for me and was led to call and tell me that. What a God. He inspired the song and demonstrated the truth in it that we are each to play a part in intercession alongside Him and He appoints us to pray for others in their time of need, too. Another song I wrote, “Why Should I Pray?” is also an encouragement to pray even when things seem impossible. All things are possible for those who believe in God.

When you haven’t got a prayer, pray anyway. God has already interceded on your behalf. And He already knows the end. He is sovereign over all our days – all our praises, needs and burdens – and He is for us!

Lord, thank You for interceding on our behalf. You are our faithful God and know what we need before we do. Help us to pray to you at all times and to not grow weary in seeking You in all things.

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