“The Best Proof” 1/18/2017 Posted by Alister Begg for www.truthforlife.org

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

                            MightyToSave_Title_800x600

Posted by Alister Begg   for   www.truthforlife.org

Original site  @  http://info.truthforlife.org/devo-jan14-2017?ecid=ACsprvvONB7EtaSL90aRTCnOsdjD2hjQWfhFyMseSvslhWAit4M8wW77hu2KZkJ0Asaw22ihdRHd&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=40607197&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–P-aJ-71obGD5X4oXUkg3iO_AQgJzETmxypek8AjtrR2OFfY031lKLFzixmIXLRc3nhTUy2TgVRnvt6qnSdS7An28ulXLcR0Tfeyzyb1fYizPYqIw&_hsmi=40607197

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL JANUARY 14, 2017

The Best Proof

Mighty to save.
Isaiah 63:1

By the words “to save” we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are multum in parvo [much in little]: indeed, here is all mercy in a word. Christ is not only “mighty to save” those who repent, but He is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but He is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of His name to bend the knee before Him. And this is not all the meaning, for the divine power is equally seen in the after-work. The life of a believer is a series of miracles wrought by the Mighty God. The bush burns but is not consumed. He is mighty to keep His people holy after He has made them so, and to preserve them in His fear and love until He consummates their spiritual existence in heaven.

Christ’s power does not lie in making a believer and then leaving him to fend for himself; but He who begins the good work carries it on; He who imparts the first germ of life in the dead soul prolongs the divine existence and strengthens it until it breaks every bond of sin, and the soul leaps from earth, perfected in glory. Believer, here is encouragement. Are you praying for some beloved one? Oh, do not give up praying, for Christ is “mighty to save.” You are powerless to reclaim the rebel, but your Lord is Almighty. Lay hold on that mighty arm and rouse it to put forth its strength.

Does your own case trouble you? Fear not, for His strength is sufficient for you. Whether to begin with others or to carry on the work in you, Jesus is “mighty to save,” the best proof of which lies in the fact that He has saved you. What a thousand mercies that you have not found Him mighty to destroy!

Family Bible Reading Plan

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.

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P.S.(from bruce)  You say you are not saved ??   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.goodnewsunlimited.com/mighty-save/

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“Prepare the Ground” 1/17/2017 Written by Patrick Hawthorne

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

Written by Patrick Hawthorne  @    http://servinggrace.com

Original post @  https://servinggrace.com/2017/01/13/prepare-the-ground/

 

Prepare the Ground

                    By Patrick Hawthorne

church2

I had not intended to do a series on Revival.  Yet, my thoughts are on little else.  As I ponder and question, read and pray, I am convinced that Almighty God is as anxious to move as I am anxious for Him to move.  The more I search and inquire, the more I have come to the realization that past revivals were not the result of God’s coming and going for special seasons in the Church.  No, the revivals were Him casting water upon the heads of a sleeping Church who refused to wake from its slumber.

Let me ask you this question.  When was the last time, if ever, have you seen a person, lost to their sins, so convicted that they burst through the doors of the church building crying, “What must I do to be saved?”  I would not imagine that you have.  Nor have I.  Why is this?  Is it because we, the Body, have become so lax in our desire to see the lost saved that we have failed to prepare the ground?

I would assert that we, the Church, the Body of Jesus Christ, have become lazy farmers.  Instead of first preparing the soil through prayer and supplication, we run out into our fields, carelessly casting salvation seed to the ground hoping that something will take root.  Is it any wonder there is no conviction of sin?  Is it any wonder many of our so-called conversions are here today and gone tomorrow?  Consider the words of Pastor Oswald J. Smith.

“…Men are urged to be saved before they know they are lost, to believe without being convicted of their need.  The fruit is picked before it is ripe, and of course the work is bound to come undone.  If we are to get Holy Spirit Fruit, God must prepare the ground, the Holy Spirit must convict of sin before men can truly believe.  It is right to tell people to believe when God has done His work in their hearts, but first they must feel their need.” (Oswald J. Smith, The Revival We Need,  1925 bold/underline mine)

What is the answer?  Prepare the soil.  To do this we, the Body of Jesus Christ, must first be willing to rise up from our slumber and to don our work clothes.  We must be willing to get dirty as we first deal with removing the over growth of our own iniquities so that the ground will be clear of any obstacles.  Then, we prepare the soil for planting.  We pray for a mighty pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the hearts of the lost with such conviction that they run to us crying out, “What must I do to be saved?”  Be blessed.

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“How can I take control of my thoughts?” 1/16/2017 Posted by www.gotquestions.org

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

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

              Image result for picture Prov 4:23

 Posted by www.gotquestions.org

Original post @  https://www.gotquestions.org/QOTW.htm

 

 

Question: “How can I take control of my thoughts?”


Answer:
Many Christians struggle with this issue, especially in our highly technological world, but taking control of our thoughts is essential. Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The “heart” includes the mind and all that proceeds from it. Someone said that every sin we commit, we commit twice, once in our thoughts and again when we act upon those thoughts. It is easier to rid our lives of sin if we attack it at this fundamental thought level rather than waiting for it to become rooted in our lives by our actions and then try to pull it out.

There is also a difference between being tempted (a thought entering into the mind) and sinning (dwelling upon an evil thought and wallowing in it). It is important to understand that when a thought enters our mind, we examine it based upon God’s Word and determine if we should continue down that path or reject the thought and replace it with another thought. If we have already allowed a habit to form in our thought lives, it becomes more difficult to change the path of our thoughts, even as it is hard to get a car out of a deep rut and onto a new track. Here are some biblical suggestions for taking control of our thoughts and getting rid of wrong thoughts:

1. Be in God’s Word so that when a sinful thought enters our mind (a temptation), we will be able to recognize it for what it is and know what course to take. Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4) responded to each of Satan’s temptations with Scripture that applied to the direction He knew His mind should take instead of beginning down the path of the sinful thought. When tempted to meet His physical need (turn stone into bread), He recited the passage about the importance of relying upon God. When tempted to serve Satan in order to obtain the glory of the world, He brought up the passage that says we are to serve and worship God alone and speak of the glory that belongs to Him and those who are His. When tempted to test God (to see if God was really there and would keep His promises), Jesus responded with passages that stress the importance of believing God without having to see Him demonstrate His presence.

Quoting Scripture in a time of temptation is not a talisman, but rather serves the purpose of getting our minds onto a biblical track, but we need to know the Word of God AHEAD of time in order to accomplish this. Thus, a daily habit of being in the Word in a meaningful way is essential. If we are aware of a certain area of constant temptation (worry, lust, anger, etc.), we need to study and memorize key passages that deal with those issues. Looking for both what we are to avoid (negative) and how we are to properly respond (positive) to tempting thoughts and situations—before they are upon us—will go a long way to giving us victory over them.

2. Live in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, chiefly through seeking His strength through prayer (Matthew 26:41). If we rely upon our own strength, we will fail (Proverbs 28:26;Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 26:33).

3. We are not to feed our minds with that which will promote sinful thoughts. This is the idea of Proverbs 4:23. We are to guard our hearts—what we allow into them and what we allow them to dwell on. Job 31:1 states, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman” (NKJV). Romans 13:14 states, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Thus, we are to avoid periodicals, videos, websites, conversations and situations that will set us up for a fall. We should also avoid spending time with those who would encourage us down these wrong paths.

4. We are to pursue hard after God, substituting godly pursuits and mindsets for sinful thoughts. This is the principle of replacement. When tempted to hate someone, we replace those hateful thoughts with godly actions: we do good to them, speak well of them, and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). Instead of stealing, we should work hard to earn money so we can look for opportunities to give to others in need (Ephesians 4:28). When tempted to lust after a woman, we turn our gaze, praise God for the way He has made us—male and female—and pray for the woman (for example: “Lord, help this young woman to come to know you if she does not, and to know the joy of walking with you”), then think of her as a sister (1 Timothy 5:2). The Bible often speaks of “putting off” wrong actions and thoughts but then “putting on” godly actions and thoughts (Ephesians 4:22-32). Merely seeking to put off sinful thoughts without replacing those thoughts with godly ones leaves an empty field for Satan to come along and sow his weeds (Matthew 12:43-45).

5. We can use fellowship with other Christians the way God intended. Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Fellow Christians who will encourage us in the changes we desire (best if of the same gender), who will pray for and with us, who will ask us in love how we are doing, and who will hold us accountable in avoiding the old ways, are valuable friends indeed.

Last and most important, these methods will be of no value unless we have placed our faith in Christ as Savior from our sin. This is where we absolutely must start! Without this, there can be no victory over sinful thoughts and temptations, and God’s promises for His children are not for us, nor is the Holy Spirit’s power available to us!

God will bless those who seek to honor Him with what matters most to Him: who we are inside and not just what we appear to be to others. May God make Jesus’ description of Nathanael true also of us—a man [or woman] in whom there is no guile (John 1:47).

Recommended Resource: The Mind of Christ by T.W. Hunt


What’s new on GotQuestions.org?

Why did Moses have to wear a veil?

What does it mean that Jesus rose “again”?

What is the purpose of the Bible?

Are any of the various worship styles unbiblical?

What was the Avignon Papacy / Babylonian Captivity of the Church?

Should Bible translations use gender-inclusive language?

Can angels die? Can angels be hurt?

Is the Catholic Church a separate religion or a division of Christianity?

Who was Damaris in the Bible?

Are there beheadings recorded in the Bible?

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“Depression: What it is and How to Fight Back” 1/15/2017 Written by Elihu Anderson

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

Written by Elihu Anderson  @   http://elihuscorner.com/

Original post @  https://elihuscorner.com/2017/01/13/depression-what-it-is-and-how-to-fight-back/

 

Depression: What it is and How to Fight Back

This is part 4 of the series “Invisible Illnesses.” To read the previous post, click here

       depression post

The problem of depression and the Christian is complex. As with PTSD, we need to educate ourselves before rushing to errant judgement.

Depression can be split into two categories (although they frequently often overlap): there is depression caused by physical/chemical triggers and there is depression as a state of the mind. It may seem like splitting hairs, but it’s an important distinction.

#1: Physical Causes of Depression.

Depression is categorized as a mental illness along with PTSD, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

Mental processes are impalpable. Because we don’t see our mind working, there is a tendency to forget that a great deal of this intangible process comes from the tangible part of our body called “the brain” and is heavily influenced by our hormones. Our brain is a functioning organ like our heart, and as such is prone to malfunction. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are dysfunctions in the brain and afflict many elderly Christians. Are they no longer right with God because their brain is malfunctioning?

Over four years ago, a very dear friend of mine introduced me to the Weston A Price Foundation. Dr. Price was a dentist in the 1920s that was curious as to why so many of his patients had dental deformities. Fortunately for us, the man asked solid questions and did considerable hands-on research. He found isolated societies from different places in the world—Switzerland, Alaska, Africa, the Outer Hebrides etc.—whose inhabitants did not eat modern foods (i.e. white sugar, white flour, canned goods). Instead, they ate the foods available to them. Organ meats, fermented foods, fresh raw milk from grass-fed cows, fresh seasonal vegetables, fish oil, fat, and grains that were sprouted or fermented. They did not suffer from tuberculosis (the disease of the day), their babies were round and happy, they had broad faces, and—in spite of having no dentists—they often had perfectly straight teeth and little to no dental decay. They possessed a high level of optimism and had generally cheerful dispositions.

As soon as roads were built that connected these societies to the modern world and the displacing foods were brought into those communities, the following generation of children were born with narrower facial structure, manifested dental deformities, contracted tuberculosis, and—here’s the kicker—often suffered from depression.

Without getting overly technical, my understanding is that a narrower facial structure can affect the formation of the brain, which in turn affects the hypothalamus and the lymphatic system, impacting hormone production and immune system function.

In effect, the way our parents ate when we were in the womb, affected our development in utero; the way we ate as babies and developing children affected our facial structure, which in turn impacted our brain development. In essence, one reason depression rates are so much higher today than 50 or 60 years ago may be the result of poor nutrition! Check out the comparative pictures in the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price.

As I’ve said in previous posts, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The way the mind and body affect one another is a fascinating study and not at all predictable. The medical community remains baffled by depression, just as they are with PTSD. Insurance coverage for counseling is limited, Doctors are still experimenting with drugs, and people are still tragically committing suicide.

Depression, in the clinical sense, is far more than a “state of mind” or “attitude.” The causal, unrecognized factors could be physical, hormonal, chemical, and/or genetic.

#2: The “Woe-is-Me” mentality.

Get ready to split some hairs.

There are definite physical and chemical causes to depression, but there is also an attitude of depression. Some have trained themselves (often unwittingly) to have a depressed outlook on life.

The clinically depressed often have greater trouble with mindset—this is where physical and attitude can run together—because they are already grappling with the physical issues mentioned earlier. They have to fight harder than the average bear to fix their mind firmly on good things.

This is the critical point: They Must Fight.

Often, they need help like counseling, naturopathy, and/or medication in order to reach that point where they can mentally choose to crush those negative emotions.

For the past 20 years (or more), our society has slipped into this mindset: “I have this problem therefore I can’t help but be this way. It’s my parents’ fault, my hormones’ fault, and my job’s fault—it’s got to be someone else’s fault! Because of all these problems, I can’t do things any differently. Just accept me the way I am because there is no way I can change.”

That is self-destructive, unproductive thinking.

To be abundantly clear: I’m not telling anyone who is depressed to “get over it.” I hate hearing that phrase when it comes to mental illness. What I urge you to do is fight. Fight alongside God, the creator, the One with whom nothing is impossible. Don’t wallow in it, look for a way through it.

Suggested Battle Tactics Against Depression

As I mentioned in the article on PTSD, I am not a doctor. What follows are suggestions and not intended as substitution for professional treatment. If you are so severely depressed you are considering taking your own life, please please please go get professional help immediately.

Tactic #1: Enlist Your Greatest Ally

I alluded to this above. God is the creator of the human body. He knows better than anyone the particular catalysts of your specific depression and He really does care about you. Nobody on earth is a better listener than God. He is a safe harbor, a refuge in your storm.

Pray each and every moment depression washes over you. Reach for Him. Express your grief. Ask for help.

Meditate on His Word. The Psalms are perfect for meditation as the various psalmists often express their feelings of discouragement followed by a recollections of God’s promises and personality. Write down Psalms that eloquently mirror your own sadness or list the loving qualities of God. Memorize them. Post them as the lock screen on your phone, tape them to the bathroom mirror, stick it on the refrigerator door, and write it on a post-it. Keep the reminder of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness before your eyes.

Repeat in your prayers His promises to be with you, comfort you, and uphold you.

Tactic #2: Enlist Your Closest Friends to Pray for You

Many people are unwilling to admit they are struggling with depression for fear of disdain. Seek only those whom you trust completely (1-2 people at most) and ask them to pray for healing and strength. Communicate your desire to kick the depression. Remember, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous person has much power as it is working.” (James 5.16).

Tactic #3: Help Your Body Heal

As I stated above, there are very physical causes of depression. Self-care and proper treatment is vital to decreasing the severity of depressive symptoms. Here is a short list:

  • Reduce (or eliminate) refined sugar and processed foods.

  • Eat whole foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, quality meat, healthy fats (real butter, coconut oil, olive oil, etcetera).

  • Increase your activity level: go for a 20 minute walk each day or find some other form of daily exercise.

  • Get some sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours each night. If you are having trouble sleeping, try sleeping in total darkness and using an essential oil like lavender (studies like this one have shown it’s effectiveness). This article in the Huffington Post has some additional suggestions for getting better quality sleep.

  • Cut back (or cut out) on Social Media as it has been shown to increase depressive symptoms (Read this article for more)

  • Increase your Magnesium intake. Studies are on-going, but there is a growing belief that Magnesium has “mood-improving potential” (source) and help in stress management (source).

What about medication? While I am not an advocate of anti-depressants, I recognize there are cases in which well-monitored medication is necessary. If you go the medication route, make sure you have a seasoned doctor who will vigilantly monitor your progress. Sometimes medications can increase the confidence of the depressed just enough for them to commit suicide. If you choose the medication route, proceed with great caution, and make sure there is someone trustworthy to keep a close eye on you.

Tactic #4: Re-Train The Brain

Seeking out a professional, counselor (particularly a Christian one) can help in this retraining of the mind. A good counselor helps  identify destructive thought patterns and guides their patient into a healthy way of approaching circumstances. Accountability and support are powerful tools, especially when overcoming poor habits.

The Bible has great advice for fighting that battle against despair and depression:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Philippians 4.8, NASB

Write down each thing—true, noble, just, pure, lovely, etc.—and whenever the negative thoughts come down, ask yourself first if what you’re thinking is true and then proceed with the rest of the list. If it violates even one, look for something else to think about.

I also recommend finding a hobby that fully engages your mind. Mine happens to be playing music in a group. Focusing on intonation, sight-reading, listening, and technique engage my attention so completely that I’m able to pull out of my stress for a few hours. It’s a healthy form of relief.

If you’re telling yourself you are worthless (a common thought for the depressed), remember that as a Christian, God gave you worth when you were purchased by the blood of Christ. You are His child. You have great value: you are purchased with the most valuable blood, the hairs of your head are numbered, God keeps your tears in a bottle, the King hears your prayers, your prayers have power… Need I go on? Destroy lies with the ultimate voice of truth.


If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, take heart. There is hope.

Do not succumb to societal pressure to ignore the problem. Get the treatment you need and lean on God for support.

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“Peace, love, and happiness?” 1/14/2017 Written by JD Mays

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

                     Image result for picture love joy peace

Written by JD Mays  @  https://shatteredinhim.com/

Original post @  https://shatteredinhim.com/2017/01/06/peace-love-and-happiness/

 

Peace, love, and happiness?

Liz, over at the Daily Warrior challenged many of us to create goals for ourselves for 2017. As a person who generally refrains from New Year’s resolutions, I had to sit and ponder this one for a while. And, then it hit me…

This year, I am letting go of my expectations for ‘happiness’ in exchange for joy and peace.

We live in a fast-paced society that offers us instant gratification on many levels and the opportunity to chase after the proverbial “happiness” that seems to elude so many. We are often led to believe that our happiness depends on external factors, especially when it comes to people and circumstances.

I would be happy if my bank account was huge, I would be happy if I were prettier, I would be happy if he/she would change, I would be happy if I had a big house, I would be happy if I had a better job, I would be happy if I lost weight, I would be happy if I were married to someone else, I would be happy with a fancier car, etc., etc..

I mean, the sentence itself leaves a lot to be desired when we put contingencies on our happiness. I would be happy if…

If what? What would it take to make you happy right now? What floats your boat and melts your butter? And, what if you don’t lose weight, what if people don’t change, what if the bank account doesn’t grow, and what if you wreck that fancy new car?

Happiness itself is an emotion that ebbs and flows like so many of our emotions do. We experience sadness, frustration, jealousy, anger, fear, anticipation, excitement and so on. Emotions in and of themselves are temporary and the state of mind those emotions bring with them are also temporary.

Our emotions do not define us, they are not our identity, and they are not facts. Emotions are, however, part of our human experience and we are tasked with the challenge of being able to manage them appropriately.

Yesterday, what made me happy at 4 o’clock in the afternoon won’t necessarily be the thing that makes me happy tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock.

Our expectation that we can achieve happiness 24/7 by following our ‘hearts’ and doing what ‘feels’ good is not a sound way to live and is the death knell of any relationship or endeavor.

Jeremiah 17:9 gives some insight into the fickle nature of why ‘following our hearts’ and doing what ‘feels good’ is not the wisest way to make our choices:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

There is a toy that my preschooler has a picture of. It came as a fold-out brochure with one of the other toys she got for Christmas. She has been pointing at the picture every single day to let me know how happy that toy would make her. Sure, it would probably make her happy and give her entertainment for an afternoon. But, that toy is not going to be the same desire of her heart a few months from now and it will be especially irrelevant when she is seventeen and has a huge crush on the boy down the street. This is the same child who is convinced that cookies are a suitable breakfast and would make her happy. Yet, as her mother, I know that cookies for breakfast in the long-run is asking for trouble and whatever happiness those cookies could give her today would be so short-lived that the instant gratification of having cookies for breakfast is not worth it. So, I let her throw a fit over not having cookies for breakfast and give her the option of eating what I provide or go hungry. And, I talked to her about chores and good behavior possibly earning her the reward of a new toy, but we will not be getting a new toy just because it will make her happy right now.

Right now, my 10 month-old son would be perfectly happy if I allowed him to roam where he pleased, stick his fingers in electrical outlets, and put everything he comes across into his mouth. He is very unhappy when I thwart his plans for his own safety and protection and he will put on quite a show of lamentations over it, complete with the sad face and crocodile tears.

As a parent, the happiness of my children is not my objective or my end game.

But, how can that be when so many people say all they want is for their children ‘to be happy’?

Sure, I want my children to experience happiness. However, it is more important for them to have a foundation layered in the kind of safety and security that allows peace and contentment to reside long-term, regardless of external factors. My job here isn’t to appease these two small individuals, rather I am to watch out for their best interest, keep them fed, housed, clothed, safe, and teach them. Oh, yes, and to love them mightily.

The things we believe we need to make us happy get so tied into other people, objects, places, or situations that we are inevitably doomed for the big let-down when we depend on these things to ‘make us happy’.

If ‘happiness’ is our goal or relieving ‘unhappiness’ is our motivation, we are probably not likely to act in our own or anyone else’s best interest.

When I married my husband, I was happy to be sure. I made goo-goo eyes at him, swooned like crazy, and felt dizzy and full of butterflies. Those goo-goo eyes eventually changed, the swooning slowed down, and the dizzy butterflies found other things to do and places to go. The happiness drawn from the excitement and anticipation of saying “I do” and being honeymooners eventually gave way to the day-to-day experience of living with a real, live human being with quirks, faults, and flaws. Suddenly, I wasn’t all that happy about his socks showing up everywhere. Some of the choices he was making became infuriating. And, before I knew it, every sound and move this man made seemed to affect me a little too much. It wasn’t until I removed my expectations for happiness and replaced it with the desire to walk in love no matter what that my attitude began to change.

My husband is not responsible for making me happy. My children are not responsible for making me happy. My circumstances are not responsible for making me happy. My happiness is subject to change at any given moment and, if I expect anyone or anything to appease my happiness, I am going to become one very unhappy individual.

I cannot say I am particularly happy changing diapers all day, getting pooped on by small human beings, wrangling the animals, picking up after a grown man, and worrying about the needs of everyone else on a regular basis. I cannot say I am particularly happy about the way my past has played out or the burdens I have had to carry. Right now, it might make me happy to stay in my pajamas in a quiet house and binge-watch a favorite show on Netflix.

But, what about when the show is over?

Happiness is subjective, truly.

I think we tend to seriously confuse happiness, peace, and joy and we can inadvertently hurt ourselves and those around us when we mistakenly believe that ‘happy’ is what we need to go find.

I am the most content and at peace when I know that my husband, children, and animals are safe, their bellies are full, and their needs are met. Even with all of the quirks, faults, and flaws I love my family so deeply that I will take the inconvenience of poopy bottoms, picking up after a grown man, and tending to the animals over my own personal happiness. And, I do not say that as a martyred wife and mother who is just so ‘put out’. I say that as a woman whose heart truly craves these people. Even if I am not always happy with them or what is going on, I experience so much joy just having them in my life that the daily challenges are worth it.

Even God Himself is not as concerned with my happiness as He is the condition I am in to withstand all the trials that have come and will continue to come my way. Because, yes, this life is full of ups, downs, traumas, trials, adversities, and inconveniences that do not make for a very happy mood. As someone who has walked in chronic post-traumatic stress, wrestled with depression, and struggles with anxiety, let me tell you, there is no greater coping skill than learning how to manage emotions and keeping them appropriately placed.

I have experienced a life of being governed by my emotions and external factors and there is no freedom in that. I once believed I would be happy only if…

My husband is going to let me down, my children are going to frustrate me and disappoint me, and I am not always going to be happy with what is going on around me. But, underneath it all, I can still have the kind of joy and peace that comes from knowing Who my source for all I need is.

We are not guaranteed ‘happy’, we are not promised ‘happy’.

We are, however, promised peace in the midst of it all and I am holding onto that.

In the meantime, I am going to love hard, pray harder, forgive much, and put my hope in the Lord where it belongs.

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“Faith In Action-More Grace” 1/13/2017 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 pic james 4:6 Bible

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

 Original post @  https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/faith-in-action-more-grace/

 

             Faith In Action-More Grace

faith in action

James 4:6

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.


It may be a good idea to step back here and remember where James is at in his conversation, so to speak. He is not just rambling mindlessly about submission to God and God’s grace, he is presenting those things as a solution to a problem. James started this chapter with a discussion concerning conflict in the church, and the conversation is not over yet.

He has described conflict as arising from the emotions driven to the surface by unmet desires on the part of church members. There is conflict because these people are not getting what they want; they are not getting what they want because they are wanting incorrectly. They are asking for things simply for their own desires, with no consideration of what God’s desires in these matters is.

Wanting what WE want is to be friends with the world and things of it, which then severs our fellowship with God, in effect making us enemies of God. He has even compared replacing Him as the center of our affections to an adulterous spouse in a marriage.

But, as usual, James offers a solution to the problem. He offers several as matter of fact. But the first thing he teaches us is that humble submission is a necessary first step in solving the problems previously discussed. If we are proud and resist, God will not provide us what we need, but if we are humble and submit, He will provide us sufficient grace to work through these problems and conflicts.

How much grace? Well, the following Hymn tells us exactly how much. This is “He Giveth More Grace” by Annie Johnson Flint

 

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;

He sendeth more grace when the labors increase;

To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,

To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,

When our strength has failed ere the day is half done;

When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,

Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,

His power has not boundary known unto men;

For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

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“How does one get spiritually cleansed of their lifetime of sins ??” 1/12/2017 Written by bruce r. mills

“Our Daily Bread”      http://odb.org

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

                             Image result for pic 1 john 1:9

“How does one get spiritually cleansed of their lifetime of sins ??”

 

Written by bruce r. mills @ www.Godsmanforever.com

Have you found the truth that will set you free from the chains Satan has bound you with ??

1 John 1:8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (NKJV)

Every living, breathing human being sins… God’s redeemed children, as well as those who don’t yet know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior…(one who has been graced with salvation by God Himself)…

Being a child of God is not about what religion you profess and/or practice… It is about your relationship with God, that results in your lifetime of sins being washed clean, by the shed blood of Jesus Christ at the cross…  (More about this message of the cross later)

We see this spiritual cleansing of our lifetime of sins, very clearly in…1 John 1:7But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (NKJV)

God looks at His new redeemed child, filled with the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), and indwelt with Holy Spirit, as being pure…from that first moment of receiving salvation by God’s grace alone…and for the rest of their lives…  This purity comes about because of our positional righteousness of Christ in us, that God sees…instead of our sins of unrighteousness…

Here is a good link, with 8 verses about Christ living in us, after we are graced by God with salvation…   http://biblesforamerica.org/8-verses-showing-jesus-lives/

So what about the sins that are committed by the Christian, after God graces us with salvation ??  Since we will never stop sinning, until we are called home to be with the Lord…how do these sins effect our spiritual walk with the Lord ??

The apostle Paul pens this, in…Galatians 5:16…   I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  (NKJV)

We as Christians, cannot be harboring unconfessed sins (our practical unrighteousness), and remain Walking in the Spirit…  The Holy Spirit won’t allow us to harbor sins in our heart…without urging us (if we are paying attention to His guidance), to get right with the Lord…  The apostle John pens this, to help us get back in good standing before the Lord, in…

1 John 1:9…  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (NKJV)

I asked a question at the beginning… “Have you found the truth that will set you free from the chains Satan has bound you with ??”

The apostle John pens this about being set free, in…John 8:31-32…  Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (NKJV)

Abiding in God’s Word, boils down to reading, understanding, digesting, and then applying God’s Word to your life…  See 2) below for a great app to read the Bible in a year, that also has audio scripture reading available (though not my preference), for those too busy to spend a half hour or so reading and studying the Bible on a daily basis…  The daily reading also comes in Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, and Simplified Chinese…with a 10 minute commentary by teacher/preacher Nicky Gumbel…

I also spoke at the beginning, of our need to establish a personal one on One relationship with God, before He graces us with eternal life in heaven, when we pass on from this life…  Being religious by going to church every week, won’t earn you a room in God’s mansion (John 4:2-3), when you die…  No one can ever be good enough by their good works done in the name of the Lord…to be saved from their lifetime of sins…  (See Matthew 7:21-23, for Jesus’ warning about our not being able to earn our own way into heaven, here – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat7%3A21-23&version=NKJV  )

The apostle Paul pens this, in…Ephesians 2:8-9   For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  (NKJV)

God uses the “good news” message of the cross, where the gospel of Christ is presented to the unbeliever… The start of establishing our personal relationship with God begins, after we understand that we are sinners in need of God’s saving grace…  We must seek the Lord Jesus Christ to become our personal Lord and Savior, with godly sorrow and a truly repentant heart…  This is accomplished by our understanding and obeying the gospel of Christ…

If you haven’t established a personal relationship with God, where you know for absolute certainty that God has graced you with salvation…or you aren’t sure if you have obeyed the gospel of Christ…you can see a presentation of the gospel of Christ, in 2) below…

As God’s Word tells us…seek the Lord while He may still be found…Isaiah 55:6

Blessings in Christ,  bruce

References:

  1. Here is a link for reading (or daily listening to) the Bible in a year (available in Spanish, Hindi and Arabic, and Simplified Chinese)…with a 10 minute commentary by teacher preacher Nicky Gumbel…  https://godsmanforever.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/audio-bible-in-a-year-with-10-minute-audio-commentary-by-teacherpreacher-nicky-gumbel-12312016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

  2. 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/

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