A Change of Perspective

A Change of Perspective

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“…I make your enemies your footstool.” Luke 20:43

How is it some can look a cloudy sky and see only the dark clouds? While others can look at the same sky and see the blue sky surrounding those very same clouds? We can do the same with the activity of our lives. We can see our trials and tribulations as problems as we struggle through them, or we can wait on the Lord for He has proclaimed He will make “our enemies as our footstool.” (Luke 20:43, I Cor. 15:25, Ps. 110:1, Eph.1: 22-23) The difference is our perspective.

As a member of the church, which is the body of believers, you were given dominion over the world. The Lord God promises to make your enemies as your footstool.

Today I was reprimanded as Jesus spoke to me through my morning devotion. He said to me, “You are not under attack, the attack is under you.” For it was not long ago I made the statement—“We are under attack.” We were undergoing a series of mishaps. There is a whole list of things that broke or malfunctioned which had to be taken care of immediately. These things were distracting us from our daily prayer, study, and reading of God’s Word, and anything else that we were called to do for our Lord. My perspective was out-of- wack.

As a faithful believer, I have been given authority over any attacks that the Enemy may decide to throw at me—as are you when you make your vow to follow Jesus.

As Paul writes to the believers in Rome, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:12) Therefore, there is nothing ole-sloo-foot can do that has the power to overtake you when you believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ our Lord. So, from now on, let you and me change our perspective and view of the glass as half full instead of half empty. For there is no doubt in my mind that when I put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20) God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit will be victorious over anything the Enemy may want to do to us who believe. I pray that you and I will, from this moment on, change our perspective, for God has made the Enemy our footstool.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

Luke 20:42, 43   Ephesians 2:6   Romans 14:11   Acts 2:34/Ps 110:1   Ephesians 1:22, 23   I Corinthians 15:25

God’s Phone Number

God’s Phone Number

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“Call on me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you.” Psalm 50:15

I think I could say with surety that if I asked you the phone number of a best friend or member of your family, you could tell me. Those who are close to our hearts occupy a special place in our memories. Do you know God’s phone number? Do you know how to get in touch with him? Perhaps, you haven’t called upon him lately. Well, if that be the case, there is no better time than the present.

God’s phone number is 537-3333 AKA Jere 33:3 which says, “Call upon me and I will answer,” not only that but, “and will tell great and hidden things that you have not known.”  Positive assurance from God is that if we will ask him, he will tells us remarkable secrets which we have not known. He will prepare you for whatever is to come. Those who come to Him shall be saved.

Recently, a tornado hit a small town in Alabama. The residents were given only a few minutes warning before the deadly winds struck. It wiped out the whole town, some lives were lost, but many were saved. There are many disasters that strike our lives, but we can survive if we call upon God for his protection. He and He alone knows the future. Joel writes, “…everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved…” (2:22)

Just as many were saved when the destructive tornado hit, so too, you who have heard God’s call and answered him. Matthew writes, “Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” (7:7) Even so, we must “wait upon the Lord (Psalm 27:14), be strong and let your heart take courage; “wait for the Lord.”

It seems that the United States, indeed the world, is in crisis. There is a rising crescendo of violence and war. It is written that something good comes out of all things. In this case, it will be that many will cry out to the Lord—He will answer—and they will be saved. Maybe it’s time that you dialed God’s phone number. Or, maybe it is your daily practice, if so, do not give up for everyone who calls upon God through Jesus, will be saved. There is a battle going on—a spiritual battle between good and evil. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14)

Dear Lord, blessed are you. Thank you for answering when I call upon you. I shall not forget your mercy. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Jeremiah 33:3   Genesis 18:17   Deut. 4:7, 29   Psalm 50:15   Isaiah 55:6, 7

Three Little Words

Three Little Words

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“Once you were alienated…But now he has reconciled you…If you continue in your faith…”Colossians 1:21-23

Amazing Grace—once I was lost and now I am found. There was a time when I didn’t know, but I didn’t know that I didn’t know. Then at the right time I met Jesus. He told me that He had forgiven all my sin and now I was white as new fallen snow.

I was once a slave to sin, but my Savior set me free and I could start anew. I was free to walk in the Way, the truth, and the light of Christ. I will continue to stay close to Him by reading His Holy Word, by prayer, and being ready to witness for Him in word and deed.

Three little words are found in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. They are:–once…but…if.

“ONCE you were alienated” (Col 1:21) I willfully cut myself off from a relationship with the Lord by my sin. Even if I had prayed at this time (which I did not) but even if, God would not have heard my prayers—they would’ve gone unanswered.

“BUT now he has reconciled you” (vs. 22) Jesus, the Son of God, gave himself up to death upon the cross. He willingly died and in doing so, shed his blood that you and I may be washed in it. Once and for all—past, present, and future—our sins are forgiven—those who ask to be forgiven and repent (turn away from) are no longer held slave to sin.

“IF you continue in the faith” (vs. 23) we have been reconciled to God, and we must not go back to being his enemy—once we were lost, but now we are found. His death has made us holy, so we must not deliberately or willfully give ourselves to a life of ungodliness—to do so would break our relationship with God and result in the loss of our inheritance as children of God. Instead, let us continue to say, and therefore live these words—“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Hear my prayer O Lord—

When I falter, Lord, help me to remember to seek Your face and allow you to lead me in righteousness. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Colossians 1:21-23   Philippians 2:8   Jude 20-21   Jude 22-23

Forgiveness is a Weapon

Forgiveness is a Weapon

“And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deed,”

Hebrews 10:24 NRSV

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To forgive or not to forgive, that is the question. Many, at this very moment, are living in an abusive relationship. Some, however, have been able to escape from an abusive spouse, adult child, or even a workplace. If that is the case you may wonder, “Now what?”

I was one who decided I couldn’t live another moment not knowing whether or not I was going to get punched, slapped, or ridiculed. It took one last frightful night to convince me that I needed to take myself, my children, my dog, and whatever belongings we needed, and “fly the coop!” “But, where do I go from here?” I thought. (You can read this whole story in my book, “Embracing the Call,” the story of an imperfect woman who met her perfect God.)

The truth is I wasn’t able to move forward until I had forgiven him. O, I was living life making accomplishments, but it wasn’t until many years later when I had forgiven him, that I truly began to live. You see, forgiveness is not about condoning someone else’s actions, it is about setting yourself free. The Lord wants to relieve you of this heavy burden that you are carrying. You see, it is not ours to carry—the Lord God has said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay…” (Romans 12:19)

If you are in this kind of relationship, believe me, I know how you are suffering. The Lord calls out to you saying, “Come unto Me and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

As we journey through this life we commit many sins, intentional and unintentional, but God forgives us over and over again. It must be true, otherwise we would not be able to see and enjoy all the many blessings that God has bestowed upon us. “What blessings?” you ask. “All I see is my pain!” Exactly, ask God to open your eyes and your heart that you may be able to see what He is providing for you.

Forgiveness is the greatest weapon we have in our arsenal. The enemy cannot fight against it. He doesn’t know what to do with it—it is not in his program. So, if you want to chase the Enemy away, forgive. You will be doing the same thing as if heaping burning coals upon his head.

Jesus teaches us to forgive as he has forgiven us. Also, “IF you forgive others…your Heavenly Father will forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14) You can do it—God will give you strength, if you ask Him. Jesus is standing at the door of your heart, waiting patiently for you to open it. (Revelation 3:20)

Dear Lord, thank you for forgiving me—help me to forgive others who have hurt me so that I may live in freedom under your yoke. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Matthew 18:22   Matthew 6:14   Ephesians 4: 31-32

Hunger

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“…whoever comes to Me will never be hungry…” John 6:35

 

Many of us are hungry. We hunger for many different things. Some want success; some riches; some love; some just to be appreciated; and some are hungry literally—for food. Sometimes we are hungry for something and do not know what. It just seems like you need something, but it is just beyond your reach.

You think that if you could live over there or change your place of employment, or marry this person or that person it would satisfy your hunger. But, you know what? Even if you made all those changes, you would still be hungry. The fact is, wherever you go you have to take yourself with you. And until you deal with what is lacking within your spirit, you will never be satisfied. Everything will still be wrong. So you continue to search.

Then one night you are watching television and turn on a new show—one you’ve even skipped over before. But, this night it caught your eye and you couldn’t turn it off. It was one of those variety, competition shows. The very last act was the one you were meant to see.

All of a sudden you found yourself truly in worship as you listened to the testimony and singing voice of a woman all dressed in white, looking like an angel. She was praising the Lord and telling the world about how the Lord—no the Holy Spirit—had answered her prayer to be able to sing. And did He ever! God gifted this young woman with an incredible, on pitch voice, and now she is using her gift to bring others into a relationship with the giver of life—Jesus Christ.

My friend, this is what you have been hungry for all this time. This is what the world is hungry for, also. We fight and sneak and steal and blame others for our lostness when all the time our hunger arises from the fact that we have turned away from God. And until you have a relationship with God, you cannot have a successful relationship with another. In fact, until you have peace with God there cannot be true peace within yourself.

God’s word tells us “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) John quotes Jesus as saying, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and who ever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35) And John writes in the book of Revelation, “They will hunger no more and thirst no more…” (7:16)

Listen to His still small voice, He is calling you to accept His love. He wants you to “be still and know that [He] is God.” (Psalm 46:10) Jesus calls your name saying, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and you will never more hunger. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved…” (Acts 16:31)

 

Dear Lord, receive me now into your fold. You are my shepherd and I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1) In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Boot Camp

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“…let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature…”

 James 1:4 NRSV

When men and women make the choice to enter the United States military they must first go to a place known as boot camp. This is a military training camp with strict discipline. There are many different kinds of boot camp among which are fitness boot camp, prison boot camp, computer boot camp and, of course, military boot camp.

The boot camp teaches great discipline and obedience. There is nothing easy about it. Some people complete it and some do not. It is altogether different than what was expected or even what one has experienced previously. But, at the completion the person has become new and ready to meet the demands of life.

What about a spiritual boot camp? The disciples were in one that lasted 3 years. At the end they were expected to carry on the work of the Lord. They all completed the course, save one. Judas Iscariot could not meet the challenge of standing up against the Enemy—he joined him. The remaining 11 were equipped with the armor of God. Nothing could separate them from the work of the Holy Spirit who had breathed life into them. Now they stood as a mighty army against the foe.

Boot camp is hard, but at the end you will feel the strength of the Lord. As you meet the trials and tribulations you will count it all joy (James 1:2) because you know that God is working on your behalf. Through each trial, hardship, and disaster, God is there with you. At the end you will be stronger and the strength of your character will make you mature and complete lacking in nothing.

So, hang in there. It may be a tough go for a while, but the sun will shine again in your life. Graduation day is coming. You will put on the whole armor of God. In your hand will be the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18) Never cease your prayers. You are now a part of God’s army. The Holy Spirit has breathed new life into your once dead soul. Count it all joy, my friends. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) Let joy reign when you are surrounded by many troubles and tests. “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything.” (Philippians 4:6) You are not alone.

Dear Lord, thank you for reminding me that nothing can separate me from your love. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Romans 5:4   I Corinthians 15:33   Hebrews 1:3   Ephesians 6:11

The Image

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“God created humankind in his image…male and female he created them. “ Genesis 1:27

We are bombarded with many images in our day to day existence on this earth. They come at us from all sides—a continuous stream. We see the sky, the clouds, the waterfall; the precious little face of a child, the bird in flight just to name a few. If asked to describe what we see, it seems our words cannot do them justice.

The question is have you seen God? You might answer, “No one can see God!” Well then, have you seen Jesus? Again your answer might be “No. How can I see Jesus?” Well, I want to tell you I have seen Jesus—in the face of a baby reaching out to hold her parents hands and then closing her eyes in prayer.

Many paintings have been made of the face of Jesus. He may or may not look like those paintings. But, I want to tell you it really doesn’t matter, because when you look in the eyes of a believer you have seen Jesus. God created humankind, male and female, in His image, therefore all humankind—you and me–are the image of God.

Our sin distorts and makes it impossible for others to see Jesus in us. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden they became unable to see the beauty of each other from the inside. All they saw was their nakedness. Now, I’m not saying that once you become a believer and obey God’s word you can walk around in the nude! What I am saying is it doesn’t matter what the outside of you looks like, for everything is beautiful in the sight of the Lord. The glow from within will be all someone will be able to see.

We are made white as snow by the washing of the blood of Jesus. He sacrificed his humanity because of the love God has for us. God made us in His own image. God suggested that “we make humankind in our own image.” (Genesis1:26) The words “we” and “our” suggest that someone else was with Him. That someone else was Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God spoke to Moses and the Prophets. Jesus was born and lived, died, and rose again. The Holy Spirit continues God’s work in us for Jesus and he would not leave us comfortless, but would send the Comforter known otherwise as the Holy Spirit. The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all part of the Godhead that lives and reigns in you and me and comes to life when we turn from our wicked ways, asking forgiveness of our sin, and obey God’s word. Then the image of God can be seen through your words and actions.

Think about the times you have seen God. Then commit yourself to live the life in which others may see the image of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in you.

When we all get to heaven we will see Jesus, meanwhile we can see his image in each other here on earth.

 

Dear Lord, make me the person you created me to be. May I live that others may see Your image in me. In Jesus’s name I pray. AMEN

Genesis 1:26, 27   Ephesians 4:24   Colossians 3:10   Mark 10:6

 Matthew 19:4