Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Battle In The Mind

©Art.com 2011
     Depression is easy in which to succumb. It starts with a small, "insignificant" thought that soon blasts its way into your heart and leads to much larger, depressing thoughts. Of course, for me as a Christian, Satan especially enjoys tormenting my mind with those kinds of wicked thoughts.
     I know that Satan is being allowed to do what he does by God. I also know that those times of Satanic attack are opportunities for me to submit to God, being victorious through Christ, James 4:7. So often, though, I find myself trying to defend myself, or succumbing to the temptation(s) of sin, rather than submitting to God.
     When those times come, which they always will until I am out of this body, I am finding that slowly I am paying more attention. This discernment is something for which I have prayed, and only by the grace of God I am receiving. I am noticing the battlefield(s), (which typically starts with my mind), and I have fully realized my complete uselessness outside of Christ's power. It is a true blessing to know that Christ is my defender, but so often I simply react according to the flesh rather than submitting to God that it takes me a while to "snap out of it." By the time I do get back into "reality" I'm needing to ask God's forgiveness, and for His help.
     I am hoping that before He puts me in my new body I would have started submitting to Him before giving into all those temptations; many times, they are the same ones, which a little different packaging at times. I want to please my Heavenly Father.
     Well, as you can probably notice, today has been one of those days. In fact, it seems like this "day" has been going on for a long time. It only seems that way because Satan keeps attacking with the same thing, subtly, and I keep falling for it every time. Most times I do not even see it coming!
     After I prayed to the Lord, He got me into His Word. I was reminded of which direction I needed to be going, who I needed to be following, then He refreshed my soul. I would like to share the refreshment with you as well!

PSALM 90



A prayer of Moses the man of God.






LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.



Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.



Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.



For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.



Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.



In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.



For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.



Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.



For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.



The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.



Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.



So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.



Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.



O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.



Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.



Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.



And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.






I know that this prayer/psalm was written in the light of the fact of Israel, not the church. However, I took great comfort in seeing the humility that Moses had (from God), and his desire for God's glory to be their blessing. It truly was refreshing to get a better perspective of God and myself.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Free Book!




     So, I saw some info on a blog I read regarding a new e-book that's out called "31 Days to Clean--Having a Martha House the Mary Way."  I watched the short video clip at Like A Warm Cup of Coffe's site. Let me just say, I am REALLY excited about reading it!
     All of us keepers at home get overwhelmed by cleaning, being a good hostess, etc. Well, this book sounds like it is going to address all those issues, especially the issues of the heart. Very encouraging!
     You can get a chance to read it, too! Check out her website that I have just linked, and there you will find out the information needed in order to get a free copy of it! God bless!

Here's the link: www.31daystoclean.com


Friday, April 22, 2011

Acceptance & Approval

ACCEPTANCE


--noun

1. the act of taking or receiving something offered.

2. favorable reception; approval; favor

3. the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory.

4. the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable.

5. acceptation (def. 1)

6. Commerce

a. an engagement to pay an order, draft, or bill of exchange when it becomes due, as by the person on whom it is drawn.

b. an order, draft, etc., that a person or bank has accepted as calling for payment and has thus promised to pay.


APPROVAL


--noun


1. the act of approving; approbation.

2. formal permission or sanction.

3. Philately. one of a group of selected stamps sent by a dealer to a prospective customer for examination and either purchase or return.



Though similar, they are different. It is important to remember. Though you might accept something in your home, you may not approve of its use. Interesting thought, is it not?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Is Happiness Fleeting?



     I have noticed, with myself and others, a common theme: fleeting happiness. No one is immune. Yet, being born again through the shed blood of Jesus Christ brings great joy! Nothing and no one can take that joy away!
     When I seek happiness from making others happy, having relationships, things, emotions, experiences, etc., I WILL ALWAYS BE DISAPPOINTED. People ALWAYS FAIL. Things, emotions, experiences, etc. ALWAYS FADE AWAY and CHANGE. NOTHING outside of GOD lasts forever!
     So, what am I to do? Do I keep seeking to please people and make them like me? Do I keep accumulating items to fulfill my heart's desires? Do I seek relationships, realizing that they WILL end someday? Do I do, do, do, to feel good about myself? What do I do?
     Well, Jesus talked about this very subject. He prayed for His disciples' joy. The only way I will have happiness is in KNOWING CHRIST, KNOWING GOD. NO OTHER WAY.
     I CAN please God. I CAN know lasting, never-ending LOVE. I CAN live a good life. I CAN experience JOY! But, the ONLY way is through JESUS CHRIST.

"But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee." Psalm 5:11

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16:11

"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:11

"And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22

**These are only a FEW of the verses that one can look up regarding joy. You can research rejoicing, love, etc. GOD ALONE HAS THE ANSWER! All you have to do is read the Bible, asking God to help you understand it. HE will tell you the truth, about everything. Never will He confuse you. Trust Him, ask Him, and He will answer!**

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Needing To Be Like Mary



LUKE 10:38-42


"38Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."


     How often do I find myself cumbered about with much ado, rather than sitting at the feet of Jesus. How often do I find myself caring more about what I am doing as a Christian, rather than the person who made me a Christian in the first place. Today, I found myself humbled at His feet.
     Jesus had to show me how I was idolizing servitude. I put my "service for God" above God. That thought was not exactly the best feeling in the world. It also hurt to know that I hurt God, hurt my spouse, and hurt brothers and sisters in Christ because of it.
     I saw that the idolatry bred pride. Pride bred bitterness. Bitterness bred more pride. On and on the gross circle went.
     Finally, I sat down with my husband to have a sort of "spiritual" review. I needed someone outside of my own head and heart to speak to me what I could not see. Thankfully, he was very gracious, but direct. He was able to empathize with me, since he himself has struggled and knows he will still be tempted with these sins.
     Having these sins brought before me clearly are such a relief. I am not happy that I partook of them, but I am glad that I see them and was able to get things right with those necessary; first and foremost, God. I am also thankful that He will give me what I need to avoid those sins.
     I thank my Lord Jesus Christ that He loves me. I thank Him that He has not given up on me, and never will. I thank Him that He chose to die for me. I thank Him that He is with me, right now, and helps me along my way. I just need to pay attention to Him.
     I am praying, and will continue to pray, that I will walk circumspectly. I am praying that God will keep me with a meek and quiet spirit. I am praying that God will keep my heart loving Him first, above all others, passionately more than I have been. I am praying that God will still use me, in spite of my sins. I am praying that I will be a blessing to Him and to others along this lifetime. I am praying that I will have a "Mary attitude" rather than a "Martha attitude." Please pray with me on these issues, if you would be so kind. Thank you in advance.

ROMANS 7:14-25


"14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Very Comforting News



     Remembering that Christ died for ALL my sins is comforting.  As a friend put it, "He left nothing out." Whew.
     It is especially comforting when I find myself sinning against Christ. Now, I know that I am always sinning, but it never brings me comfort knowing that I am a sinner. No, what gives me comfort is knowing that Christ died for all those sins.
     Knowing that He died for my sins, that He rose from the grave 3 days later, and that He currently resides in Heaven, interceding for me, is very comforting. That He has compassion towards me, is very comforting. That Christ forgives, has forgiven, and will always forgive, is comforting.
     Knowing that He is the one and only God, who is holy and just, yet loves me, is very comforting. Knowing that He has given me access to His grace to have victory in my life over sin, is very comforting.
     Oh, how I pray that I would listen to Him always, and avoid those sins He has clearly marked out for me. How I pray that I would submit myself to His leadership, His lordship, in my life. How I pray that He would shine through me.
     It is a marvelous thing to know the living God. It is incomprehensible His salvation. It is fearful His might. It is awesome His creation. He is more than words can describe.


"Oh, how I love Jesus. Oh, how I love Jesus. Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me."


"1Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. 2And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, 3And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. 4Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. 5Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! 6When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. 7The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 8When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; 9And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. 10Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. 12And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. 13When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 16Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. 17And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: 18Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. 19And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. 21Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. 22Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. 23Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. 25Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. 28After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 31The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. 38And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. 39And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 42There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand."
John 19 

"By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
Hebrews 10:10

Friday, April 1, 2011

True Friendship Marker

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful...Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."
Proverbs 27:6, 17

     Having true, loyal, and loving friends are hard to come by. We pray together, play together, cry together, laugh together, forgive one another, and just live life together. I can only think of a few people that I can say have been true friends.
     There have been a few friends in my life that I have wronged, and miraculously they wholeheartedly forgive me and love me (it seems) even more than previously. Maybe it is just my perception, because I am the forgiven one, but nonetheless the love given to me from them is sweeter to me.
     Those friends will never know the impact they have made in my life by being so forgiving. It changes my life. It shows Christ's love, and the love He's given them for me, amazingly. I love that God moves in their heart so freely.
     Part of it, I know, is that they remember that God forgave them, when it was undeserved. I know there are expectations on Christians to live holy lives, for God indeed does call us to live holy lives. Yet, God even recognizes that we will not live perfectly while in these sinful bodies.
     When I do sin, and then repent, it is sweet when the one I've sinned against freely and immediately forgives me. I always know that God will forgive me, but when a person forgives me, that is such a blessing. It is nice to see God's work in their lives toward me. One of the sweetest gifts in my life is forgiveness from one I have wronged.
     It makes me appreciate my salvation in Jesus Christ even more. I would not be able to experience forgiveness the way I do, nor forgive like I can, without Him. Life becomes more bearable because of Him.
     Thank you to my friends and family for the forgiveness they have given me throughout these years. You have endured my sins. You have experienced the years I backslid and was not living for the Lord. You have experienced the times I did not listen to God, and unfortunately it affected you and Him. Thank you for your love, your forgiveness, your relationship. Without God, none of it would be possible. Praise God for forgiveness!

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
I John 1:7-10

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
I John 4:11

"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:"
I Peter 3:8

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
John 13:34
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