Put on Your Armor!

Tonight I have a big presentation in class. I was feeling nervous about it last night, but then recognized that was the work of the enemy. I had prepared and had no reason to fear, so I began to pray and listen to the song above. I went to sleep with the sounds of this song in my ears and peace in my heart. Then I Woke Up!

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. -John 10:10

When the alarm went off, instead of pressing the snooze button like I normally do, I just turned it off…and rolled over. I began to have a horrible dream until I was suddenly awoken, startled, upset and late. I realized that I had done it again. I had angered the devil. I went to bed praising God and the enemy came like a thief in the night to steal my joy, kill my faith and destroy my relationship. For a brief while, I forgot who I was and let the devil play with my emotions until my sister began to play the very song that I had been listening to the night before as I went to sleep.

19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. Luke 10:19

I snapped out of it and realized what the enemy was trying to do and immediately started to thank God for His mercy and His grace. I was reminded very quickly that God has given me authority over the devil and it was time that I used it! Friends, there are going to be times when the enemy will attack. You have either just gotten out of trouble, you are in trouble now, or your headed for trouble. But believe this, if you are serving God with your life, the enemy will come after you! You must be prepared. Put on your armor! God has given you AUTHORITY! You must not cower in the face of evil and darkness because you have God on your side! Remember that He has made promises and He cannot fail!

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Today I am thankful for the power and authority that God has given me to fight my adversary. No weapon formed against me shall prosper! Exercise your faith friends! Put on your armor! God is with you…God is love!

[NO] Offense

1These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. -John 16:1

Of the people reading this right now, there is probably half of you that are currently dealing with some kind of offense. Someone some where has said something, done something, thought something (or so you thought), to hurt you and now you are offended. Well, you might as well walk to the nearest jail house, stroll right into a cell and tell them to lock the gate behind you. Why? Cause if you are living with offense, you are living in bondage.

Often times when someone says or does something to hurt us, we sit on that offense and let it stew, fester and boil over until a relatively small issue becomes a huge, full-blown problem. Instead of magnifying the Lord, we magnify the offense and now it consumes our every thought. Did you know that offense can hinder the power of God from flowing in your life? This is because offense can turn into unforgiveness and you cannot receive the blessings of God if you harbor unforgiveness in your heart.

 “But I have forgiven them” you say. “I even pray for them!” Have you really? Are you still thinking and talking about that person and how they offended you? Cause if you are, you haven’t truly forgiven. Did you know continuing to think and talk about an offense can negate any prayers you may be praying for that person? True  forgiveness means walking in love. When you walk in love you magnify God, not the offense. Love always believes the best. Love does not speak ill of someone else. Love covers a multitude of sins. When we are walking in love, we are not easily offended.

1 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! -Luke 17:1

Now I don’t mean to suggest that offense will never come. We are human and, as such, are likely to deal with our flesh from time to time. But, we can choose to believe the best of people. It’s pretty hard to become offended by someone when you believe the best of them. Besides, half the time, the things that we are offended over aren’t even about us! Many times offense comes through a lack of communication. Someone said something, but you don’t know what is going on in their head. Or, to bring this into the modern times…someone wrote something on their Facebook status and you think they are talking about you, when really they could be thinking and dealing with something that has nothing to do with you. Now you are all upset and offended and your day (or week, or month or year…its up to you) is ruined. You would save yourself a lot of grief and heart ache if, instead of jumping to conclusions, you simply learned to communicate with people. Recognize, you are not on other people’s minds as much as you think you are.

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” – Matthew 16:23

The Greek word for offense is skandalon. A skandalon is a trap, snare or stumbling block. It is usually the part of the trap that holds the bait. So in essence, when we yield to offense, we are essentially taking the bait from Satan’s trap! Now, the Devil has got you right where it wants you….upset, defeated, living in discord, imprisoned. This is not the will of God. As hard as it may be, we have got to choose not to be offended! We have got to stand up against the enemy and fight for our freedom! Saints if this something that you struggle with, fear not and know that you will get there!

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Father I am thankful that you have given me the freedom to choose not to be offended and I thank you that even when I do, that I recognize it swiftly and begin to walk in love and enjoy the peace and joy that you have for me.

Uniquely and Wonderfully Made

BREAKING NEWS: God made you who you are for a reason!

 

 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.- Psalm 139:14

 A couple of weeks ago I discovered a web site called Taaz.com that allows you to do virtual makeovers. It was a lot of fun! I could change my hair color, style, length, makeup…everything. I got a kick out of giving myself longer hair and big eye lashes and laughed hysterically when making over some of my friends.

Before

 

After

Soon though, something started to happen. I started to feel bad about myself. I was looking at the before picture thinking I used to think this was a good picture of myself and yet after I had added lashes, covered up my under eye circles and added blush, I could no longer see the beauty in the before picture…now all I could see was my imperfections.

Men and women of GOD, this is NOT what God wants for you! We are bombarded with this kind of thing everyday. All you have to do is open a magazine to see a man or woman who has been airbrushed beyond recognition and yet some of us are striving everyday to attain the perfection that those in the magazines can’t get without Photoshop.

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:10

Don’t you know that you are uniquely and wonderfully made by the ONE whose beauty can’t even be expressed in words or beheld with the human eye?!  God has made us all in His image!  That means you are perfect just the way He made you! YOU are beautiful in His sight!

This doesn’t just pertain to physical beauty either. God has created you in His image, which means that he has made you with your own set of unique talents and gifts. Some of us think that if our gift doesn’t land us on TV or the cover of a magazine, that we need to help God. Please understand this, God does not make any mistakes. He has equipped you with gifts that no other human being can duplicate or take from you. You have God-given purpose and only you can fulfill the duty that God has given you! God is not going to help you to be anyone other than who He has created you to be.  We have got to stop looking at other people and coveting their lives. Wanting their car, their house, their career. Did it ever occur to you that maybe the reason they have all they do is because they have stepped  into the shoes of the person that God called them to be and God has rewarded them for it? Well?

34Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons – Acts 10:34

 God is no respecter of persons! That means God does not show favoritism or partiality. If He can do it for them, He can do it for you! But, you have to be striving to be the person He meant you to be. Sure, you can try to be someone else, but you probably won’t get very far, and will most likely be completely exhausted and miserable in the process. I don’t know about you, but I would rather be the most underdeveloped version of the person God made me to be  any day than the best imitation of someone else.

There is nothing wrong with taking pride in your appearance. Our bodies are our temples and we should take care of them. BUT if you can’t walk out of your house without a full face of makeup or you are constantly comparing your life to someone else’s, it is time to do a self-check. Start looking at yourself through God’s eyes. The best way to do this is to get into His word and study. Then you will start to see yourself the way God sees you…a beautiful man/woman of God who is uniquely and wonderfully made!

Smile! You are beautiful!!!

 

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Today I am thankful that my father in Heaven thinks I am beautiful even if no one else does. Cause really thats all that matters.

After You’ve Done All You Can, Just STAND!

When problems arise in our lives, its easy to want to try to take matters into our own hands and fix it ourselves. Here is the thing, if we could fix our problems…if we could fix ourselves, we wouldn’t  need God. You may have already tried to fix that situation your in…hows that working for you? Chances are, you’ve just made a bigger mess.

14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. -Psalm 27:14

WAIT. FOR. THE. LORD! Right about now some of you are getting antsy. “Wait? You mean I’m supposed to just wait and let God handle it?” YES! God can do a much better job of handling our situations than we could ever even hope to. He wants you to trust Him. He wants you to lean and rely on Him. I know that problem is looming over your head and you are getting weary…but sometimes your moving forward when God is telling you to just stand. A lot of times we, in our own flawed wisdom, will do anything to go around the problem, when God is trying to take you through it. You see its in the wilderness that we grow the most and fighting it is futile…you’ll just end up taking 40 years to make what should have been an 11 day journey.

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. -Galations 6:9

I know that that mountain you are facing is making you want to move, but if you have prayed about it and God has not directed you to move…or if He has not answered you one way or the other yet…the best thing to do is just stand. It would be better to stand in your situation and endure it with the strength that God has given you, than it would be to move and be operating outside of the will of God.

Understand that God understands what you’re going through and He wants the best for you. He will never give you more than you can handle. You may be in that situation because there is still something you need to learn. Consider this, your situation may not even be about you. God could be using you to help someone else…someone you have never even met. We don’t always understand why God operates the way He does. BUT, we can be assured that all things will work out for our good. God is just saying, wait on me…trust me….I got this!  When God tells you to move…Run! But after you’ve done all you can, just stand.

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Today I am thankful for the comfort in knowing that while I walk through the wilderness, I don’t walk alone. Father I love you and I trust you. Lead me and I will follow cause I know your way is so much better than mine.

HAPPY Resurrection Day!!!

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:35-39

Isn’t it wonderful for us to know that because of the love that God has for us and the sacrifice that God made for us, that NOTHING can separate us from His love?! No matter what we do or what happens to us, God loves us unconditionally just as he loved His son Jesus Christ. He loved us so much in fact that He sacrificed His son that we might be saved. That’s how much God loves you! Never doubt His love for you!

14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 3:14

On this Easter Day, no matter what pressures you may be facing, no matter what hardships you may be going through, no matter what storm is raining on your parade, remember that GOD LOVES YOU…and press on. If you have to go above it, around it, under it or through it, NEVER give up…just keep PRESSING!

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Today I am eternally grateful that my Father in Heaven loved me so much that he gave His only begotten son that I may have life and have it more abundantly. I can never repay the debt…but I will press on!

Where Else Can I Go?


3 Do not put your faith in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. – Psalm 146-3

Tonight I had a break down. That’s ok, because sometimes we have to have a breakdown in order to have a break through. God put it on my heart that I don’t seek him first. He asked me, “why do you depend on flesh man to comfort you, to love you, to talk to you? I am NOT  a last resort!” I know I am not the only one. Too often we depend on a fleshly person to make us happy, to heal us, to entertain us…and most of the time we just end up disappointed. Yet still when anything happens in our lives we are quick to run to best friend, to husband/wife, to boyfriend/girlfriend. Meanwhile, God is asking. “What about me?”

5 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.” – Jeremiah 17:5
We are to put our faith, trust, our everything in God. Relying on the flesh will disappoint every time. I believe most people mean well. I believe most people try their best to help, but they can not do what only our Father can do. Most of us waste a lot of time letting our friends and loved ones take a stab at fixing our problems before we turn to God. God is telling you to cut out the middle man. Why go around the forest when the quickest and least painful way is to go straight through it?

Make no mistake, flesh will disappoint you. Your friends will disappoint you, your family will disappoint you, your pastor will disappoint you…and guess what? You will disappoint them too! We are all flawed, we all fall short of the Glory of God. We don’t need to live in condemnation…but we do need to put our trust in the ONE who will never disappoint.

Should you still talk to your friends about whats on your heart? YES! Should you trust that your family loves you and wants the best for you and will try their  best to help you? YES! But, GOD should be our number 1 resource. Stop talking to your friends/family/loved ones before you talk to God!

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

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Today I am thankful that I can call on one who will never disappoint. Trusting my Father in Heaven.

Be the Light

Have you ever been walking in the mall and saw a beautiful woman and had the urge to tell her so or wanted to congratulate a co-worker on a job well done, but you didn’t do it? What stopped you? Why is it  that we as a people are quick to hurl insults, but we are stingy with our compliments? Why is it that its easy to tear people down, but we suddenly get shy when it comes to paying someone a compliment? Have you ever been the person who has received a compliment from a stranger? How did it make you feel? Probably pretty good! Especially if you had been having a rough day.

12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. – Matthew 7:12

God commands us to treat others as we want to be treated. Now I am not suggesting that we go around giving compliments to people with the sole purpose of getting one in return…be genuine. But I am suggesting that we stop thinking that we are going out of our way to be kind to someone. You certainly don’t go out of your way to be mean or disrespectful…why should it be any harder to show someone kindness? In fact, it should be easy to pay someone a compliment. I think people need to stop censoring themselves when it comes to praising others and just do what comes naturally.

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

As Christians, we are called to be an example. We are called to be the light. Do you know that the smile you gave to the store clerk as she was ringing up your groceries, may be the only time a person smiles at her all day? Do you know that the compliment you paid to the gentlemen on his voice as you heard him quietly singing to himself in that department store may have given him the confidence he needed to pursue singing. Do you know that the silent prayer you sent up for the homeless person on the corner as you were driving home may be the only prayer made on his behalf? Do you know that any small act of kindness has the power to completely turn someones day or even life around? Do you know that you possess that power through the love that God has shown you? It is your duty as a Christian to be a vessel. People who don’t know God should be able to look at you and get a glimpse of the goodness of the Lord. You may be the only encounter with God that a person experiences. It would behoove you to make a good impression.

God is LOVE! Stop fighting it! Surrender to His love and show that love to others. Be the light in a world of darkness.

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Today I am thankful that I have innumerable opportunities throughout my day to show kindness…to be the light.

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