God Cares About The Little Things Too


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God is awesome. He even cares about the little things in your life. lamps-830347_1280_pixabay

I lost something that was pretty important and prayed to God because only a miracle could have brought it back to me. I didn’t know where I had lost it. Well, turns out that I lost it in a store and the reason I’m aware of that is because the store employees had propped it up on the counter, in case someone came back looking for it. A friend of mine, went into the store and recognized the item as belonging to me. He told the store employees that he was acquainted with me and would return it. (He had to go through hoops and show I.D. and everything.)

Now what were the chances that someone I knew would have gone in the same exact store, days later and found something that belonged to me? That’s God at work.

So no matter how small, always bring your prayers to God. He really cares.

Mending Relationships (God’s Values On The Matter)


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heart-195147_1920 ResizedGod values our relationships so much so that He wants us to fix them before worshiping at His altar.  Have you offended or been offended by someone close to you?  Do you have a relationship that needs fixing?  Will you follow God’s word or remain stiff necked and proud?

Are you more interested in your will or the will of God regarding relationships?  Running from relationships is not the answer.  Pretending problems don’t exist is not the answer.  Here is the answer:

Matthew 5:23 (MSG) 23-24 “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.

Wow!  That’s amazing.  The God of this universe would rather have you go repair your relationships with your friends than honor Him with an offering.  Actually, the way you honor God is to do His will.  His will is for you to mend your relationships.  That’s awesome.

Do you have the love of God?  Are you willing to go the distance for your friendships?  John 15:13 (NKJV)  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  If you say you have the love of God and yet won’t even swallow your pride and talk out your problems, you are deceiving yourself. 

God wants us to be at peace,.  How can we have peace when the people we care about are suffering because of something we did to offend them? If your heart or your friends heart is not at peace, fix it now.  Don’t let stubborn pride keep you in bondage.  Don’t let bad advice (even if it’s from family members) keep you from mending fences.  God does not honor that.

 

Victory Over Fear


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Note: These are my notes from Dr. Stanley’s sermon on “Victory Over Fear.”  To see the video, please visit In Touch Ministrieshttp://www.intouch.org

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Victory Over Fear

(Charles Stanley)
There is good fear and there is bad fear.
TO FEAR THE LORD means to reverence Him, to acknowledge Him for who He is and to respect God as God … Holy , Righteous God.  To fear Him doesn’t mean to be afraid of Him.
Fear is a part of all of our emotions
FEELINGS LINKED WITH FEAR:
  • Greed: Fear that we will not have enough
  • Rejection: Fear that we won’t be accepted
  • Guilt: Fear that you may be found out. (Something may be revealed).
  • Lack of Confidence: Fear of failure
  • Anger: Fear that I won’t get my way
  • Jealousy: Fear of losing control. (Somebody else might get what you want).
  • Indecision: Fear that you might make the wrong decision.
All of these emotions are expressed by fear in our life.  Fear is a major issue when it comes to our emotional being.
God has made us emotional beings so we could love, have concern and kindness, love righteousness, love one another but also, so we could hate evil.
Our emotional being isn’t just something that’s in our head.  Our whole emotional make up, covers our whole body.  There’s no way for you to be off base emotionally and your physical being be alright.
What we think effects our actions and also effects our bodies.  It starts in your thinking.   Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”
Emotions are God’s gift to us to enjoy life and to be able to accomplish His purpose, plan, & will for our life and His Kingdom.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge… (This is a fear we should enjoy and experience in our life).
OUR FEAR IS NOT FROM GOD
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
CAUSES OF FEAR (If you can’t identify your fear, more than likely, you won’t be able to handle it).
  • Learned Attitudes (Eg: Mother tells you not to go near the water because you may drown.  That’s fixed in your mind…).  Some things become ingrained in us and cause fear.  It becomes a part of your thinking.
  • Imagination (One of God’s greatest gifts)  If you put your imagination to use for good things, that’s good, but people can put their imaginations to evil use as well.  Sometimes our fears come from our imaginations.  Your nervous systems cannot distinguish between what is real and not real.  If it looks real and you believe it’s real you tense up.  Imagination is like shadow fears.  (Eg: your imagination controls you and won’t let you do certain things because of what you think).
  • Sin causes fear (That’s a good thing).  If you’re living in sin, it’s time for you to become afraid because you will pay for your sins.
  • Ignorance (Eg: If you believe that when you die you have to pay for your sins before you go to heaven, you are suffering from fear of something that’s not going to happen.  If you’ve trusted Christ as your savior, that settles where you’re going to spend eternity…).  When people are taught error, it can cause terrible fear in their life.
  • Doubt (If you live your life doubting God, how can you have any liberty, peace…in your life).  God doesn’t want you to be afraid of Him, but to reverence Him.
  • Poor Self-Image If you think people won’t like you that keeps you from relationships.  (It creates fear that you don’t measure up, won’t be accepted.  Fear of rejection means you’re shut out, you’re worthless, you don’t count, you don’t belong).
  • A wrong view of who God is (Eg: God is a judge more than anything else).
WE NEED TO FEEL:
  • A sense of belonging
  • That we are worthy (I’m worth something…I count)
  • A sense of competence (I can do what I’m supposed to do)
Take any one of these out and a person’s emotional being and he isn’t going to be what he’s supposed to be.
God intends for us to be whole.  (A whole person is spiritually, physically and emotionally whole.) 
CONSEQUENCES OF FEAR:
  • Divides our mind: You can’t concentrate well on something if beneath the surface of your emotions you are thinking something contrary, some continuing fear (Eg: I love my husband but I’m afraid he’s going to leave me).
  • Stifles our ability to think and act as we should: You don’t think clearly.
  • Causes Indecision: You feel paralyzed in making decisions.  (Eg: Procrastinator does not act for fear of not doing it perfectly or not doing it adequate to suite them.)
  • Undermines our self-confidence: All of us have a degree of self- confidence.  Our confidence should be in our God-given skills, talents & abilities.  We should give God the credit for it.
  • Can result in panic: You’re out of control for fear.  When you suffer panic you may do something you would never do if you were in your right mind. (Eg: Fear of airplanes … you try to get off of a plane that’s already in flight.)
  • Enslaves us with a feeling of uncertainty: To be afraid of something that’s ongoing, continuous. (Eg: Doctor gave you a certain diagnosis)
  • Destroys Relationships: (Eg: Afraid of marriage, because of what you’ve experienced in the past.)
  • Steals our joy, peace, happiness and contentment: (You can’t be a fearful person and have joy, peace…)
  • Blocks our spiritual growth: Afraid to step out (Eg: Fear of speaking in front of people).  When other people put their measurements on our life, that’s when we get lack of confidence.  But we need to ask God what He wants us to do…measure ourselves by how God sees us.
  • Hinders us from becoming the person God wants us to be: As long as we’re afraid, we’re not going to do what God wants us to do.
  • Affects our physical health: Our emotional being effects our whole body.  You can’t separate the spirit, soul & body.  They all work together.
The way to deal with fear is not to numb your feelings (Eg: with drugs for your nerves).
 HOW TO DEAL WITH FEARS / VICTORY OVER FEAR:
  • Acknowledge its presence: Whatever the fear is in your life.
  • Identify its cause: Why are you afraid of it?  What’s the real source of it.
  • Change our Focus: Get it off the fear and focus on God.
  • Focus on the Word of God: Turn your focus to the most powerful weapon you can have in the face of fear.
Whatever storm you are facing when it comes to fear, this is your anchor:
Isaiah 41:10 (NASB) ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
  • I am with you: The Sovereign God is telling you not to fear because He is with you.
  • Do not anxiously look about you: He wants to get your focus on Himself.  As long as you’re focusing on what you’re afraid of it gets larger and larger and more important and more detrimental.
  • For I am your God: He’s not just your friend.  He is your personal God.
  •  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you: You can rest assured of this because I am who I am.  Because I love you.
  • Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand:  It doesn’t matter what you face in life.  You’re in God’s hands.  (You don’t have anything that can out maneuver God).  (Note: He didn’t say, He would take away.  He said, he’s uphold you).
God does not change.  If He made this promise thousands of years ago, it still applies today.
Take God at His word, set your focus on Him, lay the fear down on the basis of who God is and what He said.
Do you believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do?  If so, you need not carry that fear any longer.
It is a faith battle.  (Your doubt doesn’t affect God or anything He said.  If it doesn’t affect God do you have any reason to hold onto your fear when God has said you don’t have to?
God is going to hold you and bring you through it, no matter what.  God knows everything about you.  He can handle it.  He keeps His Promise…He keeps His word.  Give Him your problems.
If there’s something in your life that you can’t change, you’ve got an anchor who is not going to move.  He will hold you.  (Suppose your husband does leave, suppose you do get sick…Whose got you?  If God’s got you, there’s no way you can lose.)
However, if you reject God and don’t accept Jesus as your savior, this doesn’t work for you because you have rejected Him, therefore you have rejected life.  If you are willing to ask God to forgive you for your sins and trust Him as your savior, all the above can apply to you.

 

The Man In A Pit


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How will you get out of your pit?
(I heard this story on Joyce Meyer’s “Enjoying Everyday Life.”  I’m not sure what book she was reading it from.)
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There was a man who fell in a pit.
A subjective person came along and said, “I feel for you down there in that pit.”
An objective person came along and said, ” well, it’s logical that someone would fall down in that pit.”
A Pharisee said, “only bad people fall into pits.”
A mathematician calculated how the individual fell into the pit.
A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on the person in the pit.
A Fundamentalist said, “you deserve that pit.”
A Calvinist said, “If you would have been saved, you would never have fallen in that pit.
A Charismatic said, “just confess that you’re not in that pit.”
A realist came along and said, “now brother, that’s a pit.”
A geologist suggested that he appreciate the rock strata in the pit.
An IRS worker wanted to know if he had paid taxes on his pit.
The County Inspector asked if he had a permit to be in the pit.
A self-pitying person said,  “you haven’t seen anything ’til you see my pit.”
The optimist said, “things could be worse.”
The pessimist said, “things will get worse.”
Jesus however, seeing the man, simply reached down in it and got him out of the pit.
Sometimes we find ourselves in the pits of life, but instead of taking the way out, we listen to everyone advising us or giving us their interpretation as to why we are in the pit. 
This reminded me of my book, First Peter, because Peter finds himself in a kind of pit and he won’t let God help him out.  Instead he finds comfort in his gang, hanging out on the streets, and doing anything that is as far away from God as he can get.
Read the 1st chapter of First Peter at the below link:
http://www.amazon.com/First-Peter-ebook/dp/B00F7P6R82/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1379772685&sr=1-1&keywords=First+Peter

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If you’re looking for religion, there is a plethora to choose from.

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If you’re looking for salvation, there is only one by whom you can be saved:

 

 

 

  • Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NKJV)
  • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 (NKJV)
  • 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, (1Timothy 2:5-6)
  • Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 1 John 2:23 (NKJV)
  • For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (NKJV)
  • 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”  26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:25-26)

 

 

Justice For The Trayvon Martin’s


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Psalm 82:2-4 (NIV) 2 “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?  3 Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.  4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
The above scripture calls for those in power to provide justice for those in need.  This is the only way that we will get justice for the Trayvon Martin’s of the world.
We have a duty to make sure that justice prevails.  If we are going to take on the role of judge and jury, it is our responsibility to use not only our minds, but our hearts.   Without compassion, one cannot be a good judge.  Zechariah 7:9-10(NIV) 9 “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’
eye-catcher-74182_1280_ResizedWasn’t Trayvon a foreigner to the neighborhood in the eyes of his pursuer?  Shouldn’t he have been shown mercy?  We need to have good judgment before we even get into the courtroom.    We should not be judging because of what a person looks like, or their status in life.  Instead look at them as people, who should be treated with respect … All life is precious in God’s eyes.
Why should a black man wearing a hoodie raise suspicion?  Why can’t he just be a person walking in the neighborhood, like anyone else?  Why not give him the benefit of the doubt?  Walking around, looking around is not’ just cause’ to follow.  Was he peering in windows or trying to pry doors open? What is the probable cause that would make someone follow a person, just because he looks different?  That’s not compassion, that’s fear.
Maybe if compassion had been the motivating force instead of fear, a young man might still be alive.  Let’s all wake up and start treating each other the way we would like to be treated.
With all that said, yes we should stand up for our rights and we should look for justice.  But in the end, we need to use peaceful methods to obtain it.  And we need to leave vengeance to God.
Romans 12:19 (NIV) Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.

Are You Preparing Your Child For Eternity?


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Your child is graduating from High School. Whoo Hoo! The time is finally here. You’ve prepared them to go off into the world and to college. They’ll be on their own for the first time in 18 years. They’re ready for this because you’ve drummed it into them to be responsible individuals who care for others, take learning seriously and follow the golden rule.
 
They are prepared to go into the world because you’ve taught them how to handle finances, get along with others, how to be tolerant of different beliefs and attitudes. You’ve given them a respect for their country and yet a respect for world views.
 
You can’t wait for them to get out into the world and prove themselves. They can’t wait to have a little freedom and make their marks in the world. Everything is going according to plan and you’re all so proud, you could bust.
 
Only one thing is wrong and you’re not aware of it. Your child is not prepared for eternity. Because although you have trained them in the things of this world, you neglected to feed their spirits with the word of God. Sure, you’re a church goer … occasionally … and you’ve taught them about the Ten Commandments. You’re born again, and you get together every Easter and Christmas to enjoy family time.
 
But, you’ve never really given them any inkling that they need their own personal relationship with Christ. You think they will be fine because, they can ride your coat tails to heaven.
 
Wrong! It doesn’t work that way. Each person must have their own relationship with Christ.
 
Think about it for a minute. If your adult child dies without knowing Christ, will you rejoice because you have prepared them to go to heaven or will you have regrets for neglecting their spiritual eternity?
 
We were born into sin and the only way to find salvation is to accept Jesus as your personal savior. It doesn’t matter that you’re a good person. Your acts of goodness will not save you.
 
Romans 3:23 (NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
 
Sin came into the earth by one man … Adam:
 
Romans 5:12 (NKJV) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned — 
 
The price for sin must be paid, but Jesus has paid it for us:
 
Romans 6:23 (NKJV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
Romans 5:8 (NKJV) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
 
You want your child to be prepared, so make sure they have the truth about salvation:
 
Jesus became the sacrifice so that we wouldn’t be judged for our sins, but we have to accept Jesus as Lord of our lives.
 
John 3:3 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
 
John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
 
Romans 10:9 (NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
 
Romans 10:13 (NKJV) For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
 
Prepare your children, so that they may be ready to enter the greatest phase of their lives … eternity.
 

Closer Than A Brother


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When you count on your friends and they fail you, it can seem like nobody loves you … nobody cares.  We have to remember though that they are only human and just like yourself, can be unreliable at times.  After all, none of us is perfect.
figures-89834_1920_ResizedBut there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother … Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Remember when you fought tooth and nail with your brother … you wanted to be an only child just to get rid of him and you didn’t speak to him for days?  Well, after a few days, you were friends again and you didn’t even know what you argued about.  Or how about if you were angry with your brother, but someone else said a bad word about him?   You defended him almost to the death.  That’s what the human brotherly relationship is like.
Now you have a friend who sticks even closer than that, only there is no fighting amongst you.  This friend is someone who you can totally rely on.  He has no ulterior motives, he just wants to love you and has your best interests at heart.  Who wouldn’t want a friend like that?
Jesus is that friend who sticks closer than a brother.
For the believer … the one who loves and obeys … Jesus is in you.
John 14:23 (NIV) Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
He will never leave you or forsake you.  You can put your trust in him.

You’re Wanted No Matter What You Did


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cross-77999_1920_ResizedPerhaps you are or were on drugs, or are an alcoholic.  Maybe you abused your spouse or children or even mugged or attacked someone.  You might have a sexual addiction.  You may even be guilty of someone’s death.  If so, you probably think that you’re beyond hope and there’s no way that salvation is for you, but you’re wrong.
Jesus came because of you.  He came to take the punishment for your sins, no matter how small or great you may think they are. 
One of the greatest disciples of Christ started out by hunting down and having Christians killed.  His name at the time was Saul … you may know him as Paul.
 Acts 9:1-9 (NKJV) Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”  Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”  6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”  Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 
After that Saul was converted and started preaching the Gospel.
Acts 9:17-22(NKJV)  17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.  19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.  20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.  21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”  22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
If Saul could be saved, there’s nothing that you could do that could keep you from being saved.  The reason is because God loves you.
John 3:16 (NKJV) 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
 The above scripture says, whoever.  You are whoever.  All you need to do is ask forgiveness,  believe in Jesus Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, that he rose from the dead and accept him as you Lord and savior.
 So don’t wait … don’t feel that you are a special case that Jesus doesn’t want.  He wants us all.
 2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
 Repent and be saved.
 Blessings.

Walking In Your Own Power Instead Of Gods’


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In the below scripture, God promises Abraham (then called Abram) a child of his own.
Genesis 15:2-6 (NKJV) 2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”  4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
Abram did believe God, however the promise was years in coming (way past beyond child bearing years), so Abram & Sarai tried to fulfill God’s promise under their own power qualification-76737_1920_Resize w effects
Sarai told Abram to go into her servant that she might bear him a child. Abram did just that, but since he went under his own power, the child that Sarai’s maid servant bore him was not the son that God promised him would be a great nation. In fact, Ishmael had to be sent away and would become a thorn in the side of the nation of Israel. To this day there is war between the Arab nation (Ishmael’s descendants) and Israel (Isaac’s descendants).
Genesis 16:11-12 (NKJV) 11 And the Angel of the Lord said to her: “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the Lord has heard your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”
When we deal outside of God’s authority, we may get what we want, but in the long run, it could be a problem.
Wait on the Lord for as long as it takes, because even though it might seem like a lifetime to you, God does everything in the right time and your reward will be great.