Archive for grace

Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ The First Steps to Freedom.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2012 by greatvictories

We live in a fallen and broken world and God wants to heal us.

“I have seen his ways, and will heal him, I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him, and to his mourners. I created the fu=ruit of the lips, Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near, says the Lord, and I will heal him” (Isaiah 57:18-19).

God, help us one step at a time.

What do you need to recover from? Overworking, grief, divorce, insecurity, gambling, overspending, hurtful relationships, overeating, guilt, abuse, perfectionism, lying, fear, anxiety, alcohol, drugs, sexual addictions, hyprchondria, procrastination, codependency, the need to control?

The first steps to R.E.C.O.V.E.R.Y:

Realize you am 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).

The cause of our problem: Our sin nature.

How we “play” God:

By denying our humanity and by trying to control everything for selfish reasons.

1) Our image…we don’t want others to know who we really are. We wear a mask and it takes a lot of work to keep up.

2) Other people…Husband, wife, parents, children. we want people to do what we want them to do.

3) Our problems…We say, “I’m okay, I don’t have a problem, really, I’m fine.” Denying we are afraid or that our problems really exist.

4) Our pain…We try to avoid, escape, postpone our pain. We become depressed or angry with others.

STOP denying!! We need God’s help to heal!

The Consequences:

1) Fear ~ If people really knew, would they like me?  So he (Adam) said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10).

2) Frustration ~  Trying to control everything. Don’t be someone God never intended you to be or control what only God can control (Romans 7:14-25).

3) Fatigue ~ Don’t run and try to hide pain by keeping busy. What pain are you running from trying to “play” God? “For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me, my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressinon to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:4-5).

4) Failure ~ Be honest with yourself and with God, He knows all about them anyway! Quit playing God! “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). God wants to heal us. There must be places and atmospheres where the sick can go for healing.

The Cure: Admit your powerlessness. Admitting our weaknesses gives us strength.

Admitting that you are not God means you know you are:

* Powerless to change: your past. You don’t have to allow your past to control your future.

* Powerless to control: other people.

* Powerless to cope: with your harmful habits.

Allow God to give you healing power. “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

GRACE IS: the power to change. God wants to lead you and help you change. He is God, you are not!

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

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

Stay tuned, this is part one of many 🙂

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The Better Life ~ Wisdom From God’s Word

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2012 by greatvictories

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)

Everybody has their own spiritual journey through God’s wisdom, no matter where you are in life. Be open to everyone’s own personal wisdom journey ~ God’s Word continues to teach each one of us personally (Proverbs 4).

The world considers the good life ~ Fast cars, bigger houses, wine, women and song, head knowledge, the more, the bigger, the merrier.

What do you consider the good life? Family, fishing, no worries, peace,  no pain,  financial security,  opportunities to learn,  info commercials (we’ll throw in two for the price of one), sunshine, Jesus in your life?

Do you experience God’s wisdom and power? Is God’s power evident in your life?

For the Lord gives wisdom, from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding (Proverbs 3:13). Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding (Proverbs 4:7).

So, how do you go from the good life to the better life?

Strengthen your faith. Read God’s Word and get to know Him personally. His purpose is to build you up. “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).

Gain God’s wisdom, it will help…

Guide your decisions. “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Gaining God’s wisdom is to benefit us and guide our decisions, to light our path. When we walk in darkness, we hurt ourselves and others.

Enhance your life. “He also taught me, and said to me; Let your heart retain My words, keep My commands and live…Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go, keep her, for she is your life” (Proverbs 4: 4-13). God’s wisdom is the key to our lives.

We should reflect upon God’s Word in a thoughtful way, appropriating its truths personally and applying them to life (Joshua 1:8).

Be rich in your relationship with Him, not in material things that will one day be no more.

God’s wisdom will…

Change your heart. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper that any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:13). God’s Word and wisdom is available and will set you free.

Let God cut away excess baggage. Its not easy, it will be miserable and hurt at first (like going through surgery, they have to cut you to get you better), but it will be worth it.

Some things that can keep you from understanding God’s Word: Difficulty~ There are many different translations are out there available that can help you understand. Familiarity ~ Familiarity breeds contentment. We don’t approach it with God’s wisdom and power. Priority ~ Read a Proverbs a day. DON’T let God’s Word lose its power in your life or breed contentment.

Prioritize God’s Word in your life.

Approach it with enthusiasm. “As new born babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,” (1 Peter 2:2). What is it you desire (crave) in life ~ coffee, chocolate, popcorn, vacationing? We must feed on the Word of God.

Experience it with consistency. “Bereans were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). It is not a matter of a period of time, it is being consistent. The devotional “The Daily Bread” is a great place to start, or reading a Proverbs a day. Keep it simple, yet DO IT everyday and your appetite and enthusiasm will grow. Just engage His Word consistently.

Discuss it with others. “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deut. 7:6-7). Share what you are learning. We all come from different backgrounds and we gain great insight hearing another share.

Act on it with immediacy (immediately). “Be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves…for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was” (James 1:22-24). The only way God’s Word can transform us is by applying it to our lives, to act upon it. What can I do with it today? How can I apply it to my life today?

Engage in God’s Word and see the appetite He gives you for His wisdom.

God’s Word is not information, it is transformation. It is not just to make us smart and wise, but to change us. It has the power and ability to change lives! Let Him and His wisdom show and teach you how to live the better live.

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).

Thyatira ~ A Tolerant Church

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2012 by greatvictories

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

The trade was coming to them and they were becoming prosperous. Partying and immoral lifestyle become their way…Compromise, compromise (Rev. 2:18-29)

What is said about Jesus?

These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire (they are piercing), and His feet like fine brass (His footing is firm) (v.18).

He cares for us in the midst of difficulties. He holds our lives ~ He won’t drop us when we need Him to hold us.

What is said about the church?

He knows your work, love, service,  faith, and your patience, and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nonetheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent (vs. 19-21).

Don’t follow Jezebel’s teaching of adultery, sexual immorality, or idol worship (vs. 22-23). Don’t drop your guard in the midst of your faith journey.

Going through a season of life with all going well may be an expression of God’s patience (grace) and not His blessing.

He is waiting for us to REPENT. This says Jesus is so full of love and grace, He has patience with us. We CANNOT be engaged in “the world” and God’s both.

The challenge of faithful Christian’s? Hold fast what you have till I come (v.25).

Balance the truth and be tolerant ~ because Jesus sure does.  Grace, grace and more grace.

Truth without tolerance equals legalism…So about rules they forget about God’s love. People without joy, hateful, always measuring people, deceptive. Good on the outside, rotten on the inside.

Tolerance without truth equals compromise…tolerant, everythings just fine. So open minded their brains fall out.

Truth with tolerance equals balance…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

So, how do we balance the two?

1. Is this a major or minor issue according to the Bible? Don’t major on the minors.

Principle: In major issues have unity. In minor issues have diversity. In all issues show grace.

2. Do you have a Biblical conviction about the issue? Know what God’s Word says.

Principle: If its doubtful, its dirty. God with what and how God convicts you (Romans 14:5-22).

3. How will your decision impact an immature believer? We are not an island of ourselves.

Principle: I have a responsibility to others.

4. Will this reflect my love for the Lord?

Principle: I must remember whose I am, then consider if an activity or attitude will demonstrate my love for jesus.

5. What would my spiritual role model do? WWJD…What Would Jesus Do?

Principle: Spend time with mature Christians

The incredible reward? I will give them the morning star (v. 28).

Jesus Christ Himself is the morning star. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star (Rev. 22:16).

What role of influence can you play in another person’s life? Ask God to use you and that you will not compromise God’s truth of Jesus.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (v.29).

God’s truth is still the truth no matter what society says or does…

Smyrna – The Suffering Church

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

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

What Jesus says to Smyrna, a suffering church (Rev. 2:8-11)

The name Smyrna means bitter  and is related to the word myrrh. The city remains a functioning community today called Izmir. he assembly at Smyrna was persecuted for the faith, which explains why the Lord  emphasized His death and resurrection as He opened His message. “These things says “the First and the Last, who was dead and came to life…” (Rev. 2:8).

No matter what experiences God’s people may have, the Lord identifies with them.

Jesus says, I know…I know our works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich), and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but a synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2:9).

When your’re suffering remember, Jesus knows what you’re  going through and He understands what you’re going through. He understands what its like to suffer.

Jesus says, do not be afraid…Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer (Rev. 2:10).

He isn’t saying, “Don’t feel anything.” He is saying live a life of faith, trust Him in everything. Don’t allow the “what if’s” to consume you. Do not worry. watch out for being afraid of being afraid. Don’t be afraid to live a life of integrity because you are afraid of persecution.

I lay dow and slept, I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around (Psalm 3:5-6).

Jesus says, I tell you…These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

Where does persecution come from?

The powerful…the government, media, businesses, etc.

The culture…they say: “All roads lead to the same place,” “Truth is relative.”

The jealous…wanting what others have.

The devil…the ultimate source of suffering. DON’T let your guard down!

Jesus says, be faithful…remember Jesus is faithful to you first. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev. 2: 10b).

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one (2 Thess. 3:3).

Jesus says, I will give you the crown of life…Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev. 2: 10b).

Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).

We will suffer the same things Jesus suffered. He says to look up and ahead, trust and obey. The important thing is faithfulness, standing true to Christ no matter what the government or culture might threaten to do.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor. 1:9).

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second coming” (Rev. 2:11).