Archive for heart

Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ Recycling My Pain

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

This is the last of the “Life Hurts ~ God Heals Recovery Series.” I am sorry it has taken me so long to get the last one out to you. I do pray you have been blessed and helped by what you have read.

recycle pain

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

“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 fruit 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).

No matter how we behave, God WANTS to heal us. He wants to use our experiences to help heal other people. He will use your pain to help others too.

Part One ~ “R” Realize we are not God…

Part Two ~ “E” Earnestly believe that God exists…

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.

Part Five ~ “V“ Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in our lives and humbly ask Him to remove our character defect.

Part Six ~ “E” Evaluate all my relationships and offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others except when to do so would harm them or others.

Part Seven ~ “R“ Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for your life and gain the power to do it.

Part Eight ~ “YYield myself to God to be used to bring the Good News to others by both my example and my words.

WHY GOD ALLOWED MY PAIN IN THE FIRST PLACE …

1) He gives us a free will ~ We all either help or hurt others. “Behold, I set before you today a blessings and a curse; the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I commanded you today, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but then turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known” (Deut. 11:26-28)

2) To get our attention ~ God uses it to wake us up. Pain should be an alarm in our life.  “Blows that hurt cleanse evil away, as do stripes the inner depths of the heart” (Proverbs 20:30).  “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance” (2 Cor. 7:9).

3) To teach me to depend on Him ~ “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Psalm 119:71). “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us, in whom we trust that He will still deliver us…” (1 Cor. 1:9-10).

4) To give us a ministry to others ~ “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (1 Cor. 1:4).

God NEVER wastes a hurt. Being someone He can use is NOT being perfect! In our weakness, He is strong.

HOW TO USE MY PAIN TO HELP OTHERS…

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…” (1 Peter 3:15).

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).

Openly and honestly share your testimony with others just like someone has shared theirs with you during tribulation.

We cannot get out of our pain without the help of others.

No high points are possible without the low points. Share one high point and one low point.

We are all in need of recovery one way or another. God wants to recycle our pain.

Are you willing to share and help others?

Just be humble, be honest, be real and don’t lecture, just be a witness.

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Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ Repair Relationships

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2013 by greatvictories

forgive

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

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Part One ~ “R” Realize we are not God…

Part Two ~ “E” Earnestly believe that God exists…

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.

Part Five ~ “V“ Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in our lives and humbly ask Him to remove our character defect. Allow God’s Spirit to guide, direct, mold and make us into the image of Christ.

Part Six ~ “EEvaluate all my relationships and offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others except when to do so would harm them or others.

Trying to right a wrong doesn’t always go the way we would like it to go, but we need to offer forgiveness and also ask for forgiveness. We are imperfect people, asking other imperfect people’s forgiveness.

You never have to forgive others more than God has forgiven you.

WHY FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE HURT ME?

1) Because God has forgive us ~ “…bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ has forgiven you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:13).  “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). We must remember how much God has forgiven us.

2) Because resentment doesn’t work ~ “For wrath kills a foolish man, and envy slays a simple on” (Job 5:2) ~ “You are only hurting yourself with your anger” (Job 18:4a) It only hurts us if we don’t forgive others. It hurts us emotionally, physically and mentally.

HOW DO I FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE HURT ME?

1) Reveal our hurt. Get real with ourselves. Own up to what they did. Start with disclosure. Make a list of those who have harmed you and what they did.

2) We need to release our offender. Quit holding on to the hurt. Let it go! Write a letter to those who have hurt you, even if you don’t give or send it to them (Matthew 18:21-22).

3) Replace our hurt with God’s peace. Let God settle the score. He is going to make everything just. He can put the pieces back together again (Colossians 3:15).

WHY MAKE AMENDS WITH THOSE WHO HAVE HURT ME?

We have to do life God’s way, not our way!

“…looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled…” (Hebrews 12:15).

HOW DO I MAKE AMENDS WITH THOSE WHO HAVE HURT ME?

1) Make a list of those we have harmed and what we did. Do you have a debt? Have you broken a promise? Are you over controlling? Hypercritical? Lying? Abusive verbally? Emotionally? Physically? Forgetting? Unfaithful?

2) Think how we would like others to make amends with us. “Do to others as you would like them to do to you” (Luke 6:31).

There is a right time. “Because for ever matter there is a time and judgment, though the misery of man increases greatly” (Ecc. 8).

You have to have the right attitude.  Don’t try to justify it, just resume responsibility. “…but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head ~ Christ~” (Ephesians 4:15).

Never underestimate a sincere apology.

Is going to that person appropriate? The right thing to do? Ask God to help you! “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (Proverbs 12:18).

3) We can refocus our life on God and His will for our life. “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).

God wants to help us replace our hurts with His peace regardless of our actions. recognize the peace and freedom God wants to bring into your life. Open your heart and life to Him.

Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ Making Changes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2013 by greatvictories

making change Jim Rohn

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

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2)

Part One ~ “R” Realize we are not God…

Part Two ~ “E” Earnestly believe that God exists…

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.

Part Five ~ “V” Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in our lives and humbly ask Him to remove our character defect. Allow God’s Spirit to guide, direct, mold and make us into the image of Christ.

We all have hurts we will never forget, we all have hang ups we can’t really get rid of, we all have habits that are messing up our lives. This is why we must be “transformed” ~ change our minds. The only way we can be transformed is by changing our minds.

We are created in Christ’s image, image of perfect, blameless and beautiful, but we live in a fallen world ~ full of temptations, tragedies and sufferings that bring deterioration into our lives. God wants to restore that perfection and beauty back into our lives. To remove those chains that bind us, to keep us free to move forward. He wants to remove those hurts, hang-ups and habits.

If we want to change our lives we must change our thoughts. but how?

1) Focus on one defect at a time ~ “Wisdom is in the sight of man who has understanding, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth” (Proverbs 17:24). We get too overwhelmed if we try to change too many all at once. Let God pick one. Ask Him, and be honest, which one does He want you to work on? Trust Him and allow Him to have the reins in your life.

2) Focus on victory one day at a time ~ “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). God gives us enough strength for today, not tomorrow, not next week, not next month or even next year, but TODAY. Don’t be so consumed by tomorrow that you forget about today.

So, how do we conquer life’s problems in our lives? One step at a time. Break it down into pieces we can manage, lean on God’s strength one day at a time. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). Cherish the moments of today, it will never come around again.

We live in an instant type world, instant coffee, instant potatoes, microwaves for instant cooking. Submit to God one day at a time. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Like the saying goes, “Life is hard by the yard, but a cinch by the inch.”

3) Focus on God’s power ~ It is not your power. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil” (Jeremiah 13:23).

Will power isn’t enough. Depending on our own strength blocks our recovery. God says we can’t do it, its hopeless to do it on our own. But…”I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). NOTHING can stand in our way when we rely on God’s power! Give your defect over to God and don’t pick them back up.

4) Focus on what you want (not selfishly) ~ “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, pure, lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). That is not selfish.

Where our focus is, is where we are going to head toward ~ good or bad, past or present. focus on what God wants us to be, where He has us “today.” Whatever has our attention, has us. Whatever we resist, persists. Refocus, change the mental channel. focus on what is good and pure ~ engrain the Word of God in our minds.

God has forgotten the past, we are new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Our identity is no longer a defect. We are believers.

Think of recovery as ~ Everytime we fall down, whether by choice or by life happenings, God picks us up and re-covers us in His clothes, with His robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).

5) Focus on doing good, not feeling good ~ “I say then; Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). We need to have a shift in our thoughts. If we do the right thing, eventually our feelings will catch up. Fake it til’ you make it. We do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Rise up out of obedience and our feelings will follow. Our thoughts determine our actions and our feelings will come along.

6) Focus on people who will help you, not on people who will hinder you ~ “Do not be deceived, evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Cor. 15:33). If we don’t want to get stung, stay away from the bees. be in a relationship with people who will help us, but most importantly with Jesus Christ.

7) Focus on progress, not perfection ~ “…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). It is a race, a decision that is followed by action. God is not going to abandon us. Don’t paint God as an earthly parent ~ they make mistakes. Let God’s Word tell us who He is. A God who is working a good work in us. He will not leave us high and dry. When the tough gets going He is right there to pick us up. He won’t love us any more or any less than He does right now! He is very concerned about our eternal salvation, concerned with this progress as a process in our life. He knows it is a race. He knows it is not going to be instant. He knows it is a journey.

God is ALWAYS with us to help us break the chains that bind us. He is with us through it all. We must turn our will over to Him that He may truly work in our life to make the changes He sees fit.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).

He will draw near to us in whatever challenges we face. With His strength we will persevere and rise again and again!

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.

Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ Letting Go and Letting God

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2013 by greatvictories

Life hurts-God heals1

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

We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world ~ we all need recovery in one way or another. We get stuck in anger, grief, fear, depression, bad habits, bad relationships, guilt, and whatever else.

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.

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

What could keep us from taking this step?

1) Pride ~ We don’t want to admit we need help. Be willing to set pride aside, we are not in control.

“Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility” (Proverbs 18:12). “The wise in heart will receive commands, but a prating fool will fall” (Proverbs 10:8).

2) Guilt ~ We are ashamed to ask God for help. We feel we don’t have a right to keep going to God.

“…for innumerable evils have surrounded me, my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up, They have more than the hairs of my head, therefore my heart fails me” (Psalms 40:12).

God is always waiting, don’t let guilt keep you from going to Him.

3) Fear ~ We’re afraid of what we’ll have to give up.

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

What is your fear? Giving up control? God wants to set us free from whatever controls us. Let go and let God take control of your life. Give up control! He wants to set us free. He wants a relationship with us. Give up everything to Him. He’ll give back one hundred fold. Give Him what you have and don’t be afraid.

4) Worry ~ We confuse the decision phase with the problem-solving phase.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Let God take care of the things you can’t. Pain brings a softening u so that we give up our pride and turn to God for help, allowing Him to control what we can’t.

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

5) Doubt ~ My faith seems so small.

“So Jesus said to them, because of your unbelief, for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).

We don’t have to have all the answers before turning to God. Don’t let doubt stop you! We don’t clean a fish before we catch it. We have little faith, but we have a BIG God!

How do we take this step? What do we do? Be committed, not only involved.

1) Accept God’s Son, Jesus as our Savior. Secure your eternity. “If we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

2) Accept God’s Word as our Standard.  Allow His Word to teach you how to live. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16).

3) Accept God’s will as our Strategy. Not my will but Thine be done Lord. “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8).

4) Accept God’s power as our Strength. We need help but we want to be our own boss. Quit trying to live in your own strength! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).

Open the door and begin a relationship with God. Take a stand. Consciously choose God’s will. Jesus paid it all, all to Him we owe.

We will hit bad spots, switch to God’s help. He is at the door of your heart.

Will you let Him in

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.

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!