Pick Your #Battle ~ Your Arms Too Short to Box With God! ~

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But if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it — lest you even be found to fight against God (Acts 5:39)~~ There are those who would retaliate and lash out against the people of God. The father of evil intends that the Divine message be obstructed and ultimately prevented and those who subscribe to the things that rise up in opposition to the Lord are used, much to their own deception and destruction, as pawns in the wiles of the enemy. But God says, “Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.” (1 Chr 16:22; Ps 105:15); and to this He will impart His vengeance! His Word is to accomplish what He intends and while many naysayers take pleasure in the scorn of the believer, God’s Word is spoken and His will WILL be done. Be careful of the objections you may project at those who would do God’s will, for to do so is to declare war with the Lord! That’s a fight none of us wants!

#Repent – Come Home and Be Refreshed! ~

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Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19 )~ 

No matter where we may be on our journey of finding our way back to God, we all have stuff in our lives that we are still holding on to. For some, it’s a secret activity or habit that nobody else knows about. For others, it’s pretty obvious what we’re still chasing. We all have that one thing we need to let go of.

God rarely puts something new in your life until you let go of something old and broken.  That’s not exactly easy though, and fortunately for us, God knows this and He’s compassionate toward us regarding it! That’s why the next step beyond awakening to regret is awakening to help. This awakening moves us a giant step closer to God because WE realize we can’t do it alone. We have God and we have each other. So what happens next? We make a call for help. We have that conversation…. We pray on it first! Matthew 6:33 says seek HIM first! Whether we find ourselves sliding into the back row at church or into a quiet place to fall on our knees and cry out, “God, if you’re real . . . !”  Take it to HIM above all things! Then, as James 5:16 guides us, if need be, we walk into a support group. We phone a good friend or family member. We get someone that can be a non-judgmental voice of wisdom, love, support and accountability.

Turning away from destructive choices and seeking help is a part of repentance. To repent is to go home, returning to where you came from and where you belong. Going home is about being forgiven and receiving assurance of life after this life, but it’s also about finding new meaning and direction for life that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s about having a relationship with God. It’s about redirecting your life and returning to where you’ve come from and where you belong. When you repent, God changes you. You are different. The Bible says that God’s Spirit comes to live inside you, and that results in a recognizable and ongoing transformation.

Keep in mind that repentance doesn’t mean feeling bad and wallowing in your guilt! As a matter of fact, true repentance leads to “times of refreshing” from the Lord. Repentance is about starting over and admitting, “I need help.” This call to repent, to turn away from our sin and return home to God, is for everyone. And when you do it, have faith in the salvation God has promised you!

This could be the day you go home. Get up from where you are and come home to where you belong. It does not matter what poor decisions you have made in the past. God is saying to you, “Whatever you have done, whatever you have become, it doesn’t matter. Just come home.”

Are you ready to go home? Make the turn, be refreshed and be blessed! 

#LatterDays Will Be Better Days!

The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:9) ~ ever wish for things to go back to the way they used to be? I’m done with that wish! Here’s why:

Have you ever heard the phrase, “leave it better than you found it?” Growing up my sister, my brothers and I took a fancy to all kinds of horseplay, dancing matches, and frequent chases around the house. As unflattering (although now humorous) as it is to share with the world, we left a major mess, including dings in the walls, broken items, and random stain spots around the house. My poor mother! We heard never ending stories of how hard it was for her to work and provide this house that we tore up and cared nothing about – yeah, we were pretty bad sometimes.

As we got a little older (and more mature, learning to appreciate what she was doing for us), my mother would go to work while we were at home during the summer, my sister, brothers and I concocted a brilliant plan to really clean the house and try to make it look brand new so that when she came home she wouldn’t see the mess we had made every day, but a house she would be happy to come home to. We cleaned everything we could touch. When the four of us got done, what once looked worn and old and messy now looked fresh and new, it was almost unrecognizable!

That’s what Jesus does with our lives. He takes a tattered, broken, marked person and makes them better than ever before. When Jesus gets to work on us we become unrecognizable to the people who knew us before. This is only because of God’s handiwork and grace!

God’s definition of restoration doesn’t just mean putting us back together the way we used to be, but it means to go above and beyond in making us better than before. We’re always in far better shape after Jesus has gone to work on us than before. It doesn’t mean we won’t suffer or feel the growing pains because we will. 1 Peter 5 shares that we will suffer a bit but that God will restore us. That’s not a “maybe” or “if He feels like it.” It’s a promise that God will restore His people to a better place. Remember, the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning (Job 42:12).

You might feel like your past has left you too broken, dirty or messy to be of any use. You might feel so used and ashamed and think that God could never use someone like you. You’re not the only one because I’ve felt that and often still do. But these are lies the enemy wants us to believe to keep us down so that we won’t fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. Rebuke these thoughts and remind yourself of the love of God and what a clean up job He does on us! You are His Masterpiece! Fearfully and wonderfully made! He won’t leave you in that mess… in fact God will clean up your mess and you’ll be better than you were when you started out!!! Stop wishing for things to be the way they used to be! When God gets done with you things will be better than they used to be! God promises that! Be Blessed!!!

God’s Not Gonna Ask You About MY Sins #CheckYourself ~

Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die; A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent (Prov 15:10,5)~ Interesting how some of US folk take righteous pride in correcting the faults and pointing out the indiscretions of others, … And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye (Luke 6:41)? But OH don’t let someone call us out! Being corrected when we are wrong has an interesting impact on us. First and foremost, our ego is bruised because the person who reproved us also may cause us a small amount, or large amount of embarrassment. Next, it leaves us with a choice to make: do we heed the instruction to correct ourselves or do we defend our egotistical position and retaliate against the reproof?

There are several variations of what may happen here but a single fact remains: no human being is above reproach; For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). That doesn’t mean we go around looking to fix people; how judgmental that is… and what a measure it gives us to be judged by! But what it does mean is that we all have a responsibility to heed the instruction of “wise” counsel. We are cautioned to take heed whom we converse with. And directed to have in view, in conversation, to make one another wiser and better. Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend (Prov 27:17). That doesn’t mean you’ll always be the one DOING the sharpening! Sometimes you will be on the receiving end and in other times you will be the reprover. But in BOTH cases you must humble yourself in the respect of true righteousness. None of is so good that we will only correct others, and none of us is too good that we can’t be corrected! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye (Luke 6:42).

Tired is Not an Option – #Endurance ~

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isa 40:31); Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord; But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 58,57)~ Sometimes I feel like I’m spinning my wheels on things in life and get nowhere. In fact I get so frustrated from all of the challenges that I even get to the point of throwing my hands up and saying ‘why even try anymore’. Then God answers “My word will not return to me void…” and for some reason, “tired” is not an option! That reassurance is the renewing of strength that I needed! Friend, God promises that your efforts are paying off and that you will reap what you sow! Thank Him for what He’s already done and that in Christ you have the victory. Your efforts are simply the manifestation of His word that will do as He has intended! Stay in the battle.. Don’t quit just because it gets tough! The work you do after it gets tough is the work that will get you across the line to success! Tired is not an option when it comes to the Lord and HE will be your source and strength!

What will BE because of what YOU say? #PowerOfTheTongue ->

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof (Prov 18:21)~ If you want to know where your life is headed; what you will be like in the next few years, listen to what you’re saying now! Are you speaking frustration and failure or are you speaking faith and favor? Be mindful of the words you speak, not just of yourself but to others! When we experience certain words and mindsets long enough, we start to live them. If you believe you are loved and you speak accordingly, you will live as if you are. If you believe and speak as if you are an outcast; a black sheep; an undesirable, you will carry yourself accordingly. So be careful what you pronounce!! – Rejection, disrespect, disassociation, dissolution and depression, fear, drama, confusion, unrealistic expectations…this is what the devil wants. YOUR words form YOUR perception of life. No one gets to decide the words that come out of your mouth except for you. Therefore, your words have the power to set things in motion, good or bad for you. They are little seeds that you plant in life. When your words are filled with faith, hope and promise then you’ll enjoy the fruit of them. But if they’re filled with discouragement, fear and other negative attitudes you won’t enjoy your life. Make your confessions personal and real, and allow God’s strength and power to move; to change things for the better. Instead of saying what you’re not, say what you are: Start saying “I am”: “blessed; able; healed; smart; gifted. I am everything God has called me to be!” Knowing that YOU have the WORDS in you to make life what you want it to be, what do you have to say? Choose your words carefully!

#Stubborn Has You Stuck! ~

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Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matt 23:28)~~ We all talk about changes we need to make but so often we do things… going through motions.. keeping up appearances… even fooling ourselves…while in reality we are the same old us. What’s happening is that we are doing things that would be expected by others that would look like we’ve changed or grown or gotten better but in reality, we resist doing any different, being any different and we sure don’t think any different. We really haven’t changed and don’t desire to. We are stubborn, fearful, worried about our ego and self esteem and self reputation. Some of us are downright selfish and simply refuse to be different because we feel like it’s our right to carry a certain image, even if it is the source of negativity.  We are really, what we are inwardly. Outward motives may keep the outside clean, while the inside is filthy. Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2).  But if the mind, heart and spirit be made new, there will be newness of life; here we must begin with our own way of thinking. If you still think like you did with the junk and drama that you were in and kept up, it doesn’t matter what you do, you will continue to be in … junk and drama! You can’t expect things around you to change for the better while your mind is stubborn and stuck on old ways of thinking. How can a negative minded person ever live happily?? You have to start thinking differently. Seeing things differently. Having a new mindset! Changing what you do is only and action that LOOKS like change…but if you still look at life the way you did, your actions will become a burden to you because you really don’t want to do these things…they just look good on the outside.. all for show to others but so superficial and unreal for you. You will come to resent anyone that is paying attention to your activities of change because they are expecting you to maintain what you really don’t want to do… your mind is comfortable being the same old you. WOW!  By now your head is probably spinning because of all of the drama and craziness from even THINKING about the situation being like this. So again… change only begins for real when you renew your mind! Here is the important part: That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:22-24). If you are real about wanting things to be different, better or new, your true mind and heart must think and drive you differently and you will have to fight that aura about you that resists it. Once again…Real change first happens in changing your mind! Your way of thinking will then change your heart…and the subsequent actions will be genuine. ..not just for show! And as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he! (Prov 23:7). 

Don’t Be a #Slave to What You Were! ~

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Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men (1 Cor 7:23)~~ How do you see yourself when you fail, when you completely blow it? Do you spend time thinking about all the ways you failed and that you are only as good as what you didn’t do right? What does the enemy whisper in your ear when you’ve failed? Reminders of how you will never change, never grow? Reminders of the sins you have committed since you became a Christian? Even if you have repented of it, the enemy loves to whisper in your ear, tempting you to doubt your salvation, your forgiveness, and your freedom? The enemy uses tactics and subjects in the world to define us based on what we did and who we were. People in the world are classic for labeling us based on our past actions…”oh, you’re that (insert your failure here)”. They like to enslave us in what we were and make us pay for it.

But the devil is a LIE!! See, our comfort and happiness can be assured because our true identity is based on what we are to Christ, not what we are or… were in the world. So, the next time the enemy would seek to whisper lies in your ear, remind him that you have been bought with the blood of Christ and are one of God’s workers, a part of His field, and a brick in His building. God isn’t done with us yet…and from time to time, we will slip, and even fail. But in Him, we have the power to get back up again and that is what you must do! To lay there and take what the world says about you is to concede to the enemy….to allow yourself to be a slave to the world’s judgement! Just because you’re a true believer doesn’t mean you’re perfect … Yet! The work of grace will never be perfected till the day of Jesus Christ, the day of His appearance. But we may always be confident God will perform his good work, in every soul wherein he has really begun it by regeneration. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6). Don’t be a slave to the world in what you were! Whom the Son sets free is free indeed and you are free of the world’s judgement!

When your cup runneth over, don’t reach for the saucer #LetItFlow

Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household (2 Kings 7:9)~~ Four leprous men sat at the city gate, dying of starvation. Asking themselves, “Why do we wait here until we die?” they took a great risk and approached the enemy camp of the Arameans, praying for grace. God was more than gracious when he made the footsteps of these four lepers to sound like a mighty approaching army, causing the Aramean’s to flee in fear. The lepers had the camp to themselves! As they enjoyed the feast before them they realized that the city which had been besieged needed to know about this work of the Lord. The city was in such great famine that its citizens were resorting to cannibalism. These four brave lepers decided, “We are not doing right…we are keeping silent”.

God has done an equally great work in our lives! As we were lost without Him, He sent Jesus to redeem us through His perfect life, sinless death, and empowered resurrection. If you have confessed Jesus as your Lord and you believe God has raised Him from the dead, you are saved! In your life, God’s mercies are new every morning (Lam 3:22-23) and His blessings are indeed so abundant in your life it’s no wonder that your ‘cup runneth over’ (Ps 23:5). But too many times, “we are not doing right…we are keeping silent.” We get selfish and try to put a saucer under that cup as it ‘runneth’ over so that we can catch and keep our own overflow. We’d rather keep the glory of God in our lives to ourselves than share the Word He puts in us. Psalm 1:3 describes those of us that find delight in the Lord: And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. That fruit we bear is an abundance to feed others with what God has placed in us…by Him we bear those fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) and those who are hungry for God will partake in those fruits we bear…and when they taste and see that the Lord is Good, they will be so inspired to seek their own ‘planting’ in Him. Friend, don’t try to harvest all of your fruit to your own greed and satisfaction – You will not be at a loss if you share the fruits God has given you. Even today God will give you opportunity to do the right thing and make the Good News known. THAT’s how you get blessed…. TELL SOMEBODY about God in your life…share and share alike. You’re getting yours and God is looking to use you to inspire others to theirs… When God gets other people blessings through you, He continues sending blessings TO you! Be Blessed…Be a Blessing!

God Will #Restore the Life #Reset the Process & #Renew the Joy –

Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord (Ezk 37:11-14)~

No matter how desolate things get, no matter how dead the situation may seem, and even though everything seems like all is hopelessly lost, God specializes in bringing life to that which appears to be dead. He created man and with the breath of life, man began living. Christ walked the earth, waking those that appeared dead as if they were only asleep, calling Lazarus from the grave after days of lifelessness. And with the ultimate calling, God called Jesus from the dead, not only raising Him up, but restoring eternal life to all mankind through His payment against the wages of sin.. after we were even born into the world dead in sin! God specializes in calling things that are not as though they always were! Indeed NOTHING is too hard for Him! What the enemy intends for evil is made good by the Lord (Gen 50:20); He restores that which is depleted, taken or destroyed (Joel 2:25); and the glory of your latter times will be even better than the former (Hag 2:9). Believe and have faith in Him -that which seems to be at the end shall actually be at a new beginning for He makes all things new! Get up from that state of lifelessness and behold your salvation! Praise the Lord!