Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of HIS might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph 6:10-11)~ no matter how wise, how skillful, how strong or quick, no matter how prepared we are in our own ability, we all have that vulnerability that alludes to our weakness. We may persevere many things under what we attribute to our own strength, but fear, doubt and sin expose the cracks in “our” armor which will ultimately lead to our defeat. We have to deal with a devil who has a thousand ways of deceiving unstable souls. The enemy assaults us in the things that belong to our souls, and labors to deface the heavenly image in our hearts. The devil is the wicked one. Violent temptations, by which the soul is set on fire of hell, are darts Satan shoots at us. Our physical or mental abilities are no match for the wiles of the devil and in fact these very attributes may be turned against us in our efforts.
Our battle is not physical, but spiritual. Therefore, spiritual strength and courage are needed for our spiritual warfare and suffering. Those who would prove themselves to have true grace, must aim at all grace; and put on the whole armour of God, which HE prepares and bestows. We must resolve by God’s grace; leaning not to our own understanding but by every word that comes of out of the mouth of God. We must be at our best watch, not to yield to Satan but resist him, and he will flee. If we give way through fear, doubt and sin, he will get ground. If we distrust either God, or our cause, or our armor, we give the devil an advantage. Faith, as relying on unseen things, receiving Christ and the benefits of redemption, and so deriving grace from Him, is like a shield, a defense every way. Faith in applying the word of God and the grace of Christ, quenches the darts of temptation and that Word is our sword of the Spirit, which subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise in our own persons; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from the world about us. A good hope of salvation, and a Scriptural expectation of victory, will purify the soul, and keep it from being defiled by Satan. Our enemy is mighty, and in ourselves we are without strength, but Christ, our Redeemer is ALMIGHTY (That’s ALL MIGHTY!!!), and with faith in the power of HIS might we will overcome.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee (Ps 91:5-7)~ How great is our God? How much will He look after us? He that by faith chooses God for his protector, shall find ALL in Him that he needs or can desire. The spiritual life is protected by Divine grace from the temptations of Satan, which are traps to lure us into the contagion of sin, which is a spiritually deadly state. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Ps 23:4)… Yes, great security is promised to believers in the midst of danger. We will experience God’s grace while witnessing others that succumb; but wisdom should keep us from being afraid without cause, and faith should keep us from being unduly afraid. Whatever is done, our heavenly Father’s will is done; and we have no reason to fear but every reason to trust in Him, our protector. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust (Ps 91:2), For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock. (Ps 27:5).
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; (Ps 46) – No matter what happens, when ALL ELSE happens – God is in Control
God calls you His masterpiece! You have seeds of greatness inside of you. You may be able to easily spot the greatness in others, but YOU NEED TO SEE the greatness God has put in you. (Eph 2:10). You were created and fashioned by God- the Master. He made you just the way you are, and He has a SPECIFIC and amazing plan for YOU; a destiny for YOUR life. (Jer 29:11). That destiny is yours and yours alone. It’s there waiting for you. It’s always been there. The Bible says that He planned it for you long ago. (Jer 1:5). It’s easy to hear these things, but it can be a lot harder to actually receive them as yours. You can believe it for somebody else. You believe God’s best for your friends and the loved ones in your life. You encourage and support them as they pursue their destiny, but you struggle to receive it in your own heart. The world sees what you did yesterday as a way to define you and your potential according to its standards. God doesn’t operate in yesterday. He sees your tomorrow, and calls you to it. Today is a new day! Yesterday is gone! And today, God is saying it’s time! It is time for YOU to start seeing yourself the way He sees you. God doesn’t see you as a “maybe” or a “what if.” He doesn’t see wasted potential. When He looks at you, God simply says, “You are destined, you are My masterpiece.” No matter what God has called you to be or do, you are a masterpiece. You are filled with His greatness! Let this truth really sink in and let it change the way you think, and ultimately the way you live. (Rom 12:2). Don’t just read and like this-hear this message…receive it as God’s promise to you! You read this far down for a reason! Believe that He wanted you to see this as much as I believe He wanted me to share it! God Bless YOU!
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations (Jer 1:5)~ imagine this…better yet, KNOW this: YOU are part of God’s excellent plan. After God created the universe and populated it with life, He focused all His creative power on His final masterpiece. In an instant of time, He created man in His image so that you bear the likeness of God. Realize this! God embedded excellence into the core of your being. From the top of your head to the tip of you miraculous big toe, you are excellent through and through. God has a plan for you life custom designed for just you, and that plan has excellence stamped all over it. You matter to Him that much! You are that important! You are fearfully and wonderfully made. A part of His wonderful works. Great is His mercy towards you, precious and vast are His thoughts toward you!
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men (1 Ths 5:15); Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isa5:20); Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house (Prov17:13)~ When people are mean to you, disrespect you or attempt to hurt you with their words or actions, never REACT to the energy that is presented to you. The moment you react to the negativity of that spirit is the moment you become something you are not. To respond to negativity with negativity nurtures the evil spirit and creates a new one called drama. When you create drama, the ironic part is that it turns and consumes you! Now you are all caught up because you had to prove something to somebody! When you are exposed to negative energies let the negativity fuel your energy to instead continue in a spirit of God and the light. This the true meaning of turn your cheek. In fact, completely turn your back on the evil! This act is not an act of a coward, but rather the spirit of one who rises above what they see. This is a victorious person because when negativity is presented; and there is no response to it, the evil spirit becomes sapped of its power and it’s gone! This person defeats evil every time! Resist the devil and he will flee from you!Stop being a magnet for things that are not of God. The Lord said “Vengeance is Mine”, HE’s GOT This…therefore stop thinking you have to defend some code of honor by fighting back or getting revenge! Stop impregnating that negative spirit to birth drama!!! We can’t fight God’s battles with man’s weapons! Arise above it all and watch those spirits dissipate. The only way to do this is to take control of your thoughts and reactions, when you master this you become master of the moment!
Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips (Ps 141:3)~ Ever read a story, blog or post and notice all of the ill-advised commentary that follows? People hide behind free speech these days and abuse it like it is a license to attack others verbally! There used to be a sign you would see out there when I was growing up that said it’s better to keep quiet and look ignorant rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt! If we would only know the evil of tongue sins. When evil is provoking, we are in danger of speaking unadvisedly… You don’t HAVE to be heard. Your opinion is not required and many times may not be requested nor necessary. Don’t think you always HAVE to share, comment or impose your thoughts! Everything that comes to mind is not meant to be spoken (or written, texted, tweeted or posted), but rather every thought held captive to the obedience of Christ. Even if you’re not pleased with a thing, don’t understand a thing, or disagree with a thing, it still doesn’t mean you have to say ANYTHING! Whether the enemy’s minions, your haters or your basic offenders; even your loved ones sometimes; not everything deserves a response. The amount of wisdom you have is not always in how much you speak, but knowing when to keep quiet. Silence can be golden and in many cases says more than speaking. Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools speak because they have to say something! Grandma used to say, if you don’t have anything decent to say… then keep your mouth shut! Now THAT’s wisdom!!! We should all memorize this verse as there is much need for this simple prayer! – Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips!
- Be Not Weary in Well Doing; For In Due Season, You Shall Reap if You Faint Not (Gal 6:9)
- And So After He Patiently Endured; He Obtained the Promise (Heb 6:15)
- Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.—(Heb 10:36)
We must never give up; never buckle under. Despite mounting criticism, intense opposition, and overwhelming obstacles, we must persevere with determined resolve. We must refuse to throw in the towel. Often, the easiest thing would be to quit; just give up. Forget about one’s dream and return to the comfort and convenience of mediocrity. Give in to the words of the critics, give up to the opposition, and give way to the obstacles. Simply tuck tail and run away. Great power is embodied in patience, perseverance and persistence. The race is not always won by the fastest, nor the game by the strongest, but rather by the one who keeps on keeping on, who refuses to give up. Consider the postage stamp. Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. Race car driver Rick Mears said, “To finish first you must first finish.” It is always too soon to quit. One of the most powerful and destructive tools that Satan has in his arsenal is discouragement, the subtle but dangerous compulsion to give up, to quit, saying, “What’s the use?” When you are tempted to quit: resist. We must endure in the battle until the evil day is over. We must press on in the face of the temptation to quit. Until the war is over, we must fight to the end. Until the race is finished, we must keep running. Until the wall is built, we must keep stacking bricks. Never give up. Never. The promises of God are always at the end!
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Phil 2:3-4)~ Love is always ready to deny itself, to give, sacrifice, just in the measure of its sincerity and intensity. Perfect love is perfect self-forgetfulness. Hence where there is love in a home, unselfishness is the initiative. Each forgets self and lives for others. But where there is selfishness it hinders joy. One selfish soul will destroy the sweetness of life in any home. It is like an ugly bush in the midst of a garden of flowers. It was selfishness that destroyed the first home and spoiled all the loveliness of Paradise; and it has been blighting lovely things in the earth ever since. Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves and we need to guard against this spirit! We must be severe upon our own faults, and quick in observing our own defects, but ready to make favorable allowances for others. We must kindly care for others, but not be always driven to further our own gain. Neither inward nor outward peace can be enjoyed without humility of mind. It’s not always about ‘you’.
…and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’ For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:4-7)~~ Regardless of the setbacks, the hardships and even the tragedies we face in life, God keeps us – we are here because of HIS purpose for us! We can’t be discouraged or blinded by what we see in life – we must remember our faith in Him. We cannot focus on our pain, but remember the possibilities with God. It’s not about our hurts but the hope we have in Him. Rather than being driven by our problems, we must seek His purpose. We can’t just go through life ignoring God’s plan, ‘existing’ in our problems and sorrows; but we must see to doing the work of His purpose. Yes, there will be issues that will shake us to our core but everything that IS belongs to God and God promises to bring peace, even to this world! ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:9). We just need to hold on and do what He calls us to do… seeking first His kingdom and experiencing a much greater outcome if we persevere. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Gal 6:9); And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise (Heb 6:15).
NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS – YOU’LL MAKE IT!
…and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (Matt 6:12); Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy- seven times” (Matt 18:21-22)~~ Though we live wholly on mercy and forgiveness, we are backward to forgive the offenses of our brethren. The debt of sin is so great, that we are not able to pay it… Yet though we all deserve death, our Lord forgives us. But we seem to not remember that when it comes to extending that forgiveness to others. Regardless of what it is, as we expect forgiveness from God, we are responsible to forgive others…period!
Not that we may make light of wronging our neighbor, for that is also a sin against God; but we should not aggravate our neighbor’s wronging us, nor seek revenge, for vengeance is the Lord’s! Let our complaints, both of the wickedness of the wicked; of the afflictions and of the afflicted, be brought to God, and left with Him. We do not forgive our offender properly, if we do not forgive from the heart. Yet this is not enough; we must seek the welfare even of those who offend us. People are quick to say “well, I’ve forgiven them but I’m still upset…I just can’t forget what they did to me!” How justly will we be condemned, who, though we bear the Christian name, persist in unmerciful treatment of our brethren!
How many times have you said you forgive someone but then engage in or maintain negative and even hateful attitude toward them or mean treatment of them. How often do you justify your grudge against someone even though you’ve claimed to forgive them? How can we say we have truly forgiven when our after-conduct looks like we’ve never entered into the spirit, or experienced the sanctifying grace of God ourselves? Remember the forgiveness given to you …every time, as you are faced with having to give the same, every time! Forgiving doesn’t mean you stop remembering what was done against you but it DOES mean than you FORGET it! There is a difference! You pray “and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors”… Jesus took care of HIS part of that agreement…Now it’s YOUR turn! Let that sink in!