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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 ~ 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 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!