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Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ Coming Clean

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by greatvictories

Coming Clean-man

R.E.C.O.V.E.R.Y.

How to get your person put together so your world looks fine.

“I have seen his ways, and will heal him, I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips, Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord, and I will heal him” (Isaiah 57:18-19).

Part One ~ “R” – Realize we are not God: We admit we are powerless to control our tendency to do the wrong thing and our life is unmanageable. Naturally we do evil…In Christ we’re delivered from this body of death. That which we do we allow not. What we want to do is right but what we do is sin that dwells in us (Romans 7:15-17).

Part Two ~ “E” – Earnestly believe that God exists, that we matter to Him, and that He has the power to help us recover.

Part Three ~ “C” – Consciously choose to commit all our life and will to Christ’s care and control.

Part Four ~ “O” – Openly examine and confess our faults to ourselves, to God, and to someone we trust.

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (Psalm 32:1-2).

Reasons for this step of, Openly examine and confess our faults to ourselves, to God, and to someone we trust:

“He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whosoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

1) Guilt destroys my confidence. “What if people really found out. What would they think of me?”

2) Guilt damages my relationships. “Causes me to react with impatience, anger, spoil or indulge people.”

3) Guilt keeps me stuck in the past. “Look out the windshield, not the review mirror.”

Guilt can’t change the past and worry can’t change the future.

How to take this step to house cleaning spiritual discipline:

1) Take personal moral inventory. “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord” (Lamentations 3:40).

Get alone with paper and pen, ask God to help you uncover them, confess them to God. Take your time and be honest with yourself and with God.

Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me, and know my thoughts, and if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

2) Accept responsibility for it. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

We are good at fooling ourselves and allowing “stuff” to rule over our lives. Wherever we go, there we are. We cannot run  from it (sin). Don’t minimize it or blame others. Admit we messed up.

3) Ask forgiveness from God. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Take your list to God, confess your sins. Don’t beg God to forgive you. Don’t bargin or bribe Him. Just ask and believe that He is going to forgive you. Be humble.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

4) Admit your faults to another person. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray for another, that you may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).

Who? Someone you can trust. “This is who I am.”

What do you say? Take your list and be honest.

When? As soon as possible.

5) Accept God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24).

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

STOP packing those burdens of guilt! Christ died so we can be FREE!!

God wants to heal us of our guilt.

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Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ Where to Get Help When You Hurt

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2013 by greatvictories

Life hurts-God heals band aids

How many suffer in silence from pain of the past? Being hurt by someone? What problem in life have you been denying or controlling?

Part One we looked at the first steps to R.E.C.O.V.E.R.Y. Realize we are not God: We admit we are powerless to control our tendency to do the wrong thing and our life is unmanageable. Naturally we do evil…In Christ we’re delivered from this body of death. That which we do we allow not. What we want to do is right but what we do is sin that dwells in us (Romans 7:15-17).

Now we will look at step two. “E” ~ Earnestly believe that God exists, that we matter to Him, and that He has the power to help us recover.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Where there is a design, there is a designer. Where there is a creation, there is a Creator.

1) Acknowledge God’s existence. Believe He DOES exist.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20)

“Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

2) Understand God’s character. Not just believing He is out there. So many of us make God in our image instead of letting Him make us in His image.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15).

* God KNOWS all about our situations. The good, the bad and the ugly. He knows every fear, tragedy, inadequacy, hurt,  and joy.

“You number my wanderings, put my tears into Your bottle, Are they not in Your Book?” (Psalm 56:8). God has an interest in every pain, every tear.

“Oh God, You know my foolishness, and my sins are not hidden from You’ (Psalm 69:5).

* God CARES about our situations. He wants to be the father you may not have had.

“As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. for He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust” (psalm 103:13-14).

“But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

* God can CHANGE us and our situation. Sometimes through crisis, confrontation or catastrophe.

“…which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at the right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:20).

Don’t focus on the past all the time! God gave us power to change us and the situation! NOTHING is impossible! (Luke 18:27).

3) Accept God’s OFFER to help you. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Things work best when they are plugged in 🙂

How to plug into God’s power…BELIEVE, and RECEIVE His help! Humble yourself to ask and receive help. It takes risk, pain and humility to experience TRUE life. (Isaiah 43:2)

Where are you hurting today? Plug into God’s power. Don’t deny your pain. Diligently seek God (Hebrews 11:6) each and every day.

Step down and let God heal you without judgment but with much grace and mercy.

The Better Life of Peace

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by greatvictories

You have heard that is was said, “You shall love your neighbor” and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven, for He makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and send rain on the just and the unjust…Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:43-48).

As a Christian we are called to forgive no matter what. No matter how bad someone has hurt us. No exceptions.

Who would you consider an enemy, a parent, child, teacher, spouse, ex-spouse, friend, ex-friend, pastor? Have you forgiven them?  How do you respond to the enemies/adversaries in your world?

Jesus says to love ~ (an attitude or action, having a humble, self-giving heart, wanting the best for them, seeing them as God sees them).

There is a way to love our enemy ~ Jesus is our model. He doesn’t say they should face justice or that you have to have them over for dinner one night a week. But he does say to love them as a model of Jesus. “The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Benefits of loving our enemies:

There’s a physical benefit. “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). There is scientific evidence that surpressed anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness WILL affect our health. Healing WILL begin when we forgive and work through our pain.

There’s a psychological benefit. “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7a).

There’s a relational benefit. “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9). Love is the only power that can turn an enemy into a friend.

There’s a spiritual benefit. “But if you do not forgive men of their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mathew 6:15). We accept God’s forgiveness, we must accept and forgive others’.

We reap what we sow. If we forgive, we reap forgiveness. If we bless, we reap blessings. “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself” (Proverbs 11:25).

There’s a kingdom benefit. “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brother only, what do you do more than others? Do not even tax collectors do so?” (Matthew 5: 46-48).

Love ~ Do what God has already done for us ~ Do unto others. Help those who hurt you. Return good for evil.

You may ask, “How do I do this?” Through the P-E-A-C-E process. “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:17-18).

P ~ Pray for God to give you the ability and love in your heart to forgive those who have hurt you. Pray also for those who hurt you. You will get personal healing. “…bless those who curse you, pray for those who spitefully use you” (Luke 6:28).

E ~ Empathize ~ Understand what they may be going through. Find out what is really going on under the surface. Hurt people, hurt people. Love the pearl that lies in the mire. “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18).

A ~ Act ~ Do good to those who hate you. Return good for evil. It is a choice you have to make. “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).

C ~ Confess ~ Be willing to admit. Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” Be a man or woman of character, humbling going beyond your pride and confess, turn and receive. Ask God if you might also be part to blame? “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

E ~ Emulate ~ Imitate God! Jesus loved and forgave His enemies. Those who beat Him, those who spit on Him, those who denied Him, those who ridiculed Him and those who hung Him on the cross. What happened in the past ~ forgive. Show Jesus’ love that is working in your life. It’s tough. It’s freeing. It’s commanded. “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, and offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7). Submit to God’s ways. Love. Forgive. Do good to those who hurt you.

When will you initiate  the peace process? Only then can we live the better life, the abundant life!

What It Means To Believe In Jesus

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by greatvictories

Many believe, but many don’t live by the power of God.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Nicodemus went to Jesus by night (may reveal the timidity of his faith), however, his faith was developing (John 3:1-17).

He wanted to find out the truth and what to do. So, he asks Jesus; ” How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

We have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk…actions speak louder than words. “Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

Genuine faith will naturally produce good works, the two complement each other.  Faith itself will demonstrate itself in love for others. “What does it profit , my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” (James 2:14).

Jesus invited people to “Follow Me.”

So, how are we to respond to His invitation to believe and walk by faith?

FFollow His example. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15-17).

Who are you following for your example? Parent? Movie/Sports star? Peer? A program? Are you willing to follow Jesus? He wants to show us how life is meant to be lived. He is worthy of us following Him, NOT a religion. Life is about living relationships. He came to begin a relationship with us. When we follow Him, we get truth. No longer having to walk in the dark.

Be wise, follow Jesus. Listen to His leading by faith.

AAccept His grace. God gives us what we need, not what we deserve. Freedom from guilt and shame. “For if by one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17)

Do you want your life to count? We can either spend, waste, or invest our life. But remember, there are consequences for what we do in life. We will reap what we sow.

Jesus died to declare us not guilty! We must receive His grace.

IInvest your life in Jesus. Live your life in faith. Ask God how to invest your life in Him and things that are important to Him. “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourself to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13).

Everything we have is a gift from God! “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things…for in Him we live and move and have our being”  (Acts 17:24-28).

Do you want success in life or significance?

TTrust His wisdom and strength. We trust Him for our salvation, do we trust Him for everything else? “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6).

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Do you believe this or do you worry? When we worry, we are not putting our complete faith and trust in Jesus.

HHold on to His promises. They are like an insurance policy. They help us overcome whatever tragedy. “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things , in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Heb. 6:17-18).

We have to know what’s in the insurance policy, God’s Word, His promises. Do you know what is in your insurance policy?

Live on His promises. It is a life of faith. Living in His amazing love.

Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11: 25-26)

Do you believe that Jesus will do for you what He promises?

Faith in Jesus is not a passive belief, it’s an active adventure for those who put their faith in Jesus!

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

Even in the night, Jesus tells us the truth and he will show us how He wants to change us from the inside out like He did Nicodemus.

Are you willing to: Follow, Accept, Invest, Trust and Hold On?

Seeing Yourself As God Sees You

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2012 by greatvictories

Seeing through God’s eyes ~ Part 1

Oh, to see myself as my Savior sees me. I am learning to see myself the way God sees me. How about you? How do you see yourself? Who is your mirror? Your parents? Family members? Peers? Friends? Ex-spouse? Kids on the playground?

Seeing yourself through God’s eyes ~ “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light” (Matthew 6:22)

Grasp how God sees you and it will change your life forever!

The most important perspective is how God sees you because of His grace…”that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).  See yourself from God’s point of view. He declares you good. He chose you. We don’t have to work for God’s acceptance.

If being chosen by man makes you feel good, how MUCH MORE since God choose you? “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…”  (1 Peter 2:9).

1) God sees you as acceptable in His sight. “When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me” (Psalm 27:10).

Rejection is the number one hurt. We’ll do almost anything to gain approval of others. To be accepted, we’ll buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t even know.  We can never live up to some people, so we work and work to gain their approval. Hurt people hurt people. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7)

2) God sees you as valuable. “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn, and God feeds them. Of how MUCH MORE value are you than the birds” (Luke 12:24)? “You were bought at a price, do not become slaves of men” (1 Cor. 7:23).

What is your value in life? How much do you think you are worth? Who owns you? Don’t confuse your net-worth with your self-worth.

The Cross of Jesus is your net-worth. You are that valuable to Him! Jesus paid it all! You are His son, His daughter. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

3) God sees you as lovable. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

God’s love is consistent. Human love is not. God’s love is unconditional. Not based on your performance but on God’s character, who He is.

“For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has mercy on you” (Isaiah 54:10).

Don’t doubt God’s love for you. Don’t seek approval. God has already given His approval. Believe what God alone says!

4) God sees you as forgivable. “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).

Get to KNOW God and have a personal relationship with Him. No matter what others have said to you or about you, you are forgivable! “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…” (Ephesians 1:4).

5) God sees you as capable. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3:5-6).

Pride is the number one in man. Low self-esteem is an epidemic in our nation. Don’t live according to old messages of the past from people, start filling it with God’s word! “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it MORE ABUNDANTLY” (John 10:10).

God  has a plan and a purpose. He is able and He is sufficient. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Jesus should be the most important person in your life. You’ll never regret it. See how God sees you…Acceptable, Valuable, Lovable, Forgivable, and Capable.

You CAN be what He wants you to be. “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).

Ephesus ~ The Loveless Church

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2012 by greatvictories

You’ve Got Mail…What Jesus says to the churches

Revelation 2 and 3 are about the seven churches of the Apocalypse. They were congregations in Asia Minor in John’s day. These seven assemblies are examples of the kind of churches that exist throughout history. This means that all seven letters are warnings to every church in every age.

Let’s take a look at Ephesus, “The Loveless Church” in chapter 2:1-7.

Jesus recognizes their accomplishments, their activity…work hard, patient endurance, opposed evil, stand for truth, endure hardships, didn’t give up. “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil” (2:2).

What does it profit, my brethern, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you don’t give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? In the same way, faith by itself, if it does not have works , is dead (James 2:14-17).

Jesus reprimands, you’ve lost your first love. your passion is fading, you’re shifting priorities. “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (2:4).

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow ll my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing (1 Cor. 13:1-3).

Jesus’ remedy, Remember therefore from where you have fallen, repent, and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place ~ unless you repent” (2:5)

Yet indeed I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish (Phil. 3:8).

Jesus’ reward, eternal paradise. “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his works.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (2:7)

We are the church folks. Don’t settle for less when the best is in your grasp.

Have you lost your first love?

Change priorities. Spend time with Jesus.