Getting to Due Season means going THROUGH this one! #Perseverance

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If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? (Jer 12:5)~ How often we find ourselves complaining about our discomforts and pain; Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me…O my God, my soul is cast down within me (Ps 42:5,6). We pray to God to move us on into the next season as a way of getting us out of these trials and pain. Pain is inevitable but we must not become disoriented by it. Our trials, even in our places of comfort are designed to propel us toward our place of destiny. In order to go TO the next season, you must go THROUGH this one – no one is going to just ‘walk’ into the next season. Like the elements of nature, that change from one season to the next with turbulent and sometimes violent clashes in the weather, we must go THROUGH challenging circumstances and impacts of our perspective as we move from one season in life to the next. What’s more the new season may not necessarily be the ‘due’ season that so many of us expect. Don’t misunderstand in thinking that the new season will not have trials because it’s very possible that the season you go into may be even MORE challenging. Remember, God is preparing you for the next level; but your “destiny” may be a little further off… still. If you think you can’t handle what you’re going through today, what makes you think tomorrow will be ‘easier’? In fact, it may be ‘harder’! But my confidence is in the Creator! Your blessing comes in perseverance. HOPE thou in God: praise Him for the help of His countenance. Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen. For if we HOPE for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance! We can HOPE in God because He has planned for us to have a hope: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a HOPE” (Jer 29:11) . And that promise, we can depend on for God is not a man that He would lie; nor the son of man that He would repent; hath He said, and shall He not do it; or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good? (Num 23:19). So if God promised it, it’s sure to be done because He not only won’t fail; but He won’t turn away from that which He has spoken. But your perseverance is a must, in THIS season; because if you can’t handle the little things of today, how will you handle tomorrow? Trust Him even in the trials of today; God is preparing you. Be faithful over these few things and He will make you a ruler over many!!

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No Matter What Happens, You’ll Make It #GodIsInControl ~

…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!

YOU Are Perfect For What God Needs! #HisPurpose ~

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The Lord will perfect that which concerns me (Ps 138:8)

Do you feel overwhelmed with too many responsibilities and challenges facing you at every turn? Do you feel like you’ve run out of options and you’re doing life on empty? That is likely what the wife of the prophet that died in 2 Kings 4:1-7 felt. With her husband’s death, she was in desperate financial trouble and was in fear of losing everything she had–including her boys–to creditors. She asked Elisha for help. When he asked her what she had to work with she told him that she had nothing at all to work with except a small jar of oil. Maybe you can relate to the widow in that when you don’t think you have enough, you feel desperation and focus solely on your limitations. God sees your problem much differently from the way you do.

All throughout scripture we see examples of how God specializes in doing a lot with a little and this story is another prime example. The world may see this as illogical or ridiculous, but God doesn’t. God took one jar of oil and multiplied it so the widow could pay her debts. He took two fish and five loaves of bread and fed thousands. He takes faith the size of a mustard seed and can move mountains!!! Where in life do you feel overwhelmed and feel like you have nothing left to work with? During those times when you feel overwhelmed and you’ve run out of options, remember that God has made you what you are and given you everything that you need and YOU what all God needs. You are perfect for His purpose. Just Say Yes Lord!

We #PRAY ‘Thy Will Be Done’ – But We PLAY ‘My Will Be Done’! –

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..Thy will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven (Matt 6:10)~ We all know where the statement comes from. We pray it as part of one of the most common prayers known to any believer in Christ. But throughout the history of man, we have rebelled against God’s will over and over and over again, only to be left to our own destruction at our own hands. We want to say “Thy will be done” but we want it to be done ‘our way’. Our self-sufficiency and pride in our own ways only leads to the death of us. People get to a point of not wanting to acknowledge God’s will (until their own has failed) – And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient (Rom 1:28). As far back as the deception in the Garden, man has rebelled against the knowledge of God in favor of his own and even created his own laws and interpretations to serve his own purpose; looking up to those Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator (Rom 1:25). We sadly today have greater respect as a people FOR “the people” and the things OF “the people” – Christmas automatically makes one think of gifts and Santa while we have to fight for the right to remind people about the birth of Jesus! Easter we remember the death and burial and celebrate the resurrection of God’s greatest gift to us in His son Jesus, but the Easter bunny and a good dinner get more attention. We work extra long hours around the days that bring our attention to Christ for but a minute, but we will take a day off in remembrance of a president or to honor man’s independence! There is a reason that we are told to “lean not to our own understanding but trust in Him to direct our paths” (Prov 3:5-6): For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isa 55:8-9). As much as we THINK we know what’s better for us, we eventually find out that God only knows! Next time you get upset because things aren’t going YOUR way.. keep in mind that it could very well be going GOD’S way! When we follow HIS way, we expect that we will not come to a position of regretting our own will before we acknowledge His…saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but THINE be done (Luke 22:42).

Choose Your Words Carefully – #FightingWords –

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A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh (Luke 6:45)~ Just like The tree is known by its fruits; what the mouth “commonly” speaks, generally agrees with what is most in the heart. If you ever want to really know a person, listen to them when they “really” speak. We are so full of unruly evil in our tongues that we have to script ourselves and write down our conversations to make sure we say what sounds good for the situation. But the truth will be revealed when we are just “being ourselves” and the words that come out will be spoken from the heart. That which is in the heart is sometimes so strong, even our own minds can’t control that which heads toward our mouths! The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell (James 3:6). Words we speak are one of the most powerful but also the most dangerous weapons we have. Remember, with words God created the universe but with words He also destroyed the earth by flood. The courses of life and death were spoken of Him and we who are in His image have the same power in our tongues. But unlike God, we aren’t perfect and shouldn’t even pretend to be. We are human just like the next person. We make mistakes, exhibit attitudes, let our pride get in the way and sometimes act like children, just like other humans. So our lesson here is that we have to give each other the benefit of these imperfections and be willing to take ownership of what we bring with our mouths that causes our relationships destruction and do the opposite. Rather than purposely destroy each other with the sharpness of our tongues, let us make that effort to intentionally uplift each other and make peace. Words have so much power – they can bring a person in the best of spirits to the point of depression – and they can bring a suicidal person down off the ledge and and have THEM motivating others to love life! So like grandmother used to say – if you don’t have anything nice to say…then… DON’T SAY ANYTHING! May the “Word” of Christ be so grafted in our hearts, that we may be fruitful in every good work…and life-giving in – Every – Word!

Why Do We Talk To Each Other So Bad?? #WatchYourMouth #NoH8 –

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Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Eph 4:29)~~ Mean, Angry, Bitter, Hateful, Hurtful, Rude – – People have always been shown these qualities, some will tell you that’s just human nature. But this ugliness has gone to a whole new level especially since the advent of social media! What people seemed ashamed to say to someone’s face can now be easily and anonymously posted on social media, or tweeted, or typed anonymously on a blog or web forum.

Why are people so nasty to each other today? Maybe we have watched too many reality TV slugfests; listened to too many politically charged sparring sessions on talk radio; found entertainment on all of the gossip shows on television or read too many hateful comments online. It certainly seems that all this toxic dialogue has desensitized us, and we just don’t care about or just don’t know how to bite our lips and say (or post) anything kind. And while I’d love to say that Christians are immune to this epidemic of harsh conversation, that’s just not the case. Sometimes we are just as mean as everyone else, even if we don’t drop F-bombs as often.

Many of us used to hear from parents and grandparents the old adage “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all!”. Yes, there used to be rules for arguing, but today— the gloves are off, all verbal, written, texted, tweeted posted, snap-chatted and IM’ed weapons are allowed and there are no referees. It’s an all-out free-for-all!

What we need is a restoration of the qualities of the great commandments of our Savior – “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (Matt 22:37,39); What we need is a revival of genuine love.

So many of us need to let go of unforgiveness. The main reason people have anger seething under the surface of their hearts is they have not forgiven people who hurt them. Holding resentment in your heart is not only unhealthy for you (it can cause stress and lead to different forms of disease); it is also toxic for those around you, because they are subjected to your bitter venom when you speak. Forgive people quickly and allow the sweetness of God’s love to neutralize the poison. People today need to get healing from past abuse in order to stop the abuse they dish out. Many people are verbal abusers because they were abused, bullied, rejected or judged in the past. If that was your story, you can break the cycle through the power of Christ. Let Him teach you how to love people, even if you or no one in your past knew how. Also, seek the wise counsel of a mature mentor who can model Christian love to you, and take the risk of building healthy friendships.

My friend, ask God to renew your heart – “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps 51:10). God wants to put His very heart inside you, but He can’t until you make room by getting rid of every hateful attitude. Open your heart wide, and let His love invade the places you have closed. His fervent love can change a bitter, angry, cynical critic into a kind, gentle, affectionate lover of people. Finally, go on a fast from negativity!! Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2); Take every thought captive (2 Cor 10:5) – choose to love. Many Christians fast at the beginning of each year to ask God for personal revival. But you can fast from anything you want and still be spiritually unchanged if you are complaining, grumbling, criticizing or spewing hateful words from your mouth every day. Ask God to set a guard over your mouth to instantly convict you of unkind words and actions that quench the Holy Spirit – Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips (Ps 141:3)!

Heart, Mind and Mouth – Be Happy – Be Blessed – Be a Blessing!

#Forgiveness is Costly – Are You On A Payment Plan? –>

Forgiveness. It’s a basic concept for every Christian. This is the message of the “Good News”: through Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, God offers us forgiveness. Christ took on our sins so we could be reconciled with God, now and eternally. Our sins will no longer be held against us, and we are free from condemnation! Although forgiveness is offered to us as a free gift, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t cost us something. How could something free cost us something? Although God’s forgiveness is free, we may choose to not accept it because of the costs. The debt of our sin is paid, but accepting the Lord’s forgiveness costs us some things we may not be willing to abandon. 

It costs us our dignity to admit our sin — that we are helpless before God without Christ’s redemption. We would do anything to save face rather than stand before God and confess our sins and accept His forgiveness. We like to believe we can pay our own way to redemption. It is humbling to come before God, desperate for His grace. 

Forgiveness also costs us our unbelief. Jesus often told men and women who came to Him, “Your faith has made you well.” There are so many of us who believe in the concept of forgiveness but can’t accept it for ourselves. There is something—an abortion, sexual sin, a mistake with a child, divorce — (insert your sin here), where we allow ourselves to believe it’s beyond God’s desire and ability to forgive. God’s forgiveness just doesn’t make sense to our logical minds. Intuitively, we know that when we have sinned, we deserve consequences. Without realizing it, we often “sentence ourselves” to periods of depression and guilt to compensate for what we have done. We may sabotage relationships and gifts that could bring us pleasure because we know we don’t deserve such good things. This is why it requires faith to walk in this truth: “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).

Forgiveness costs us our sense of justice. If God promises to forgive me, then His redemption is also available to people who have done horrible things. That means forgiveness is possible for murderers, child abusers, and others who we believe deserve the hottest places in hell. On a more personal level, it means extending forgiveness to people who have hurt us deeply. Forgiveness fights against every desire we have for justice. Embracing forgiveness doesn’t mean ignoring our cry for justice. Instead, we put our faith in a righteousness that is beyond our understanding. 

God asks us, not as a condition for our own forgiveness, but in turn, to forgive others just as we have been forgiven. While walking in forgiveness is costly, refusing to accept or extend it has a much higher price tag. It is really hard to forgive, whether it is forgiving yourself or others. We all could use some help learning to do it better. Learning to forgive is good for both our mental and physical health. When we are better at forgiveness, we experience lower stress, tension, levels of depression anxiety, and, perhaps most important, anger. When we have trouble being able to forgive, we hold in anger, resentment, and bitterness that can harm us in multiple ways and at multiple levels. Although it may seem to cost too much to embrace it, true forgiveness is the only gateway to freedom — freedom to love deeply and to live authentically. Forgiveness is Costly! But we all need to be on a payment plan! It’s worth it!!!