Porcupine People

Funny Porcupines_4

We’ve all been around them – porcupine people; in fact, we’ve all been one to someone else at some point in our lives. We are imperfect people living in a world filled with imperfect people!

 

The quills of a porcupine are used as a defense mechanism to detour predators from getting too close to them. They are laid flat on the body until something comes near and they feel threatened and then the quills are raised to scare the other animal or person away.

 

Many times in our own lives we form relationships with people and all seems to be going well until something is said or done that threatens the security of the other person. The quills are raised and if we aren’t careful we will get too close and experience the pain of a stick!

 

All of us have past hurts that we carry through life. The quills or barbs of pain that we experience can be revisited by something that is said or done to invoke that same feeling of fear, pain or sense of insecurity. So, how can we avoid the sting of a porcupine person? And how can we live our lives lovingly without being a porcupine person?

 

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

 

Walk in love towards other people. Remember that just as you have sensitive areas in your life so they have in theirs as well. Love covers people with a blanket of security. It says to another that we understand their pain and respect their feelings. Love makes allowances for those times when people are vulnerable and subject to weaknesses.

One porcupine person to another

Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

 

There are times when I’ve wished I could go back and pull out the quills of pain that I, as a porcupine person myself, have inflicted upon another, but often the pain is too great for that person to receive an apology or to forgive an offense. I pray that when I have done that that God will help me to not only forgive those who have hurt me but also to restore the relationships that I have had with those I have hurt. Sometimes that is not possible, but as the Word says, “if it is possible”, as much as it depends on me that I am to live in peace with all men.

 

Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it 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 on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

 

Go the extra mile; love them, even if it is from a distance; bless them; do good to them and pray for them. It’s hard to continue to hold a grudge against someone you are loving, blessing, being good to and praying for. Boundaries may have to be set up to guard your own heart and keep the distance so you are not placed in harm’s way, but love can still be shown from a distance in how you speak about that person, how you smile at them when encountering them, and in how you pray for them.

 

Matthew 6:14, 15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

 

Removing the barbs of hurtful encounters is done through forgiveness. It releases us from the pain and guilt of painful encounters with porcupine people and sets us free from the wounds that have been inflicted by people who are hurting within themselves. Porcupine people are often just reacting to hurts in their own lives that they are dealing with at that particular time. When the quills come up it is an indication that there is something in their heart that God wants to deal with. He is just bringing it to their attention. When that particular issue is not dealt with it will come up again and again until it has been resolved. We can’t change things that have been done to us but we do have control over our reaction to those things. Forgiveness allows us the freedom to move on without being tied to an offense. According to Matthew 6:15 it also clears our path for forgiveness with our heavenly Father. We need to forgive others so He will forgive us!

Dog with porcupine quills

Pray that God will heal the hurts in both of your hearts! Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. Wounds from the quills of a porcupine person can leave lasting effects, but God is the Healer. He heals the pain involved with the barbs of words that have been spoken that can’t be taken back. Emotional wounds can sometimes be more painful than physical wounds. They have a tendency to heal more slowly and leave scars and wounds that can be re-opened if not completely healed. But God is able to remove even the remembrance of those wounds. He heals completely and brings lasting peace into our hearts.

Peace is not the absence of conflict

Father, I thank You that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. I pray today for those who have been hurt by words that have been spoken through times of misunderstandings and seasons of adversity in all of our lives. I pray that You will touch those who have been hurt through relationships that have gone sour and offenses that have been harbored in the hearts of those who have been injured. I ask You to set the captives free from the lasting effects of those offenses. And may we all be people of love living in peace with each other. May we consider the interests of the other person before our own and exercise forgiveness and understanding for their weaknesses. I pray that we will not be porcupine people but that we will cover the sins of hurtful words with our love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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WHY?

Why

Habakkuk 1:2 NKJV O LORD, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save.

 

Habakkuk was distressed over the condition of his country. He had questions that seemed to go unanswered; prayers that seemed to be ignored by God and he was perplexed by what he saw going on around him.

 

How many of us have experienced similar feelings? We look around us and see turmoil, chaos, destruction and heartache and it seems that our prayers are lost out there in space somewhere. It’s easy to get caught up in the hopelessness of what we see happening in our world today, but as Habakkuk soon found out, God had not forgotten His people, nor had He ignored their prayers.

 

Chapter one is devoted to Habakkuk’s questions and God’s response, but in chapter two we see Habakkuk humbling himself before his God ready to listen and be corrected by God’s response.

 

Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.

 

Habakkuk determined in his heart that he would position himself to hear from God and that with his eyes of faith he would watch for God’s movement in his world around him. He knew his perspective of God was incorrect because he stated that he would wait and listen and answer God when he was corrected. Habakkuk knew that God was bigger than any turmoil he could see going on around him and surely there was something that he was missing in what God was doing. He needed an attitude adjustment!

 

There are times in our lives, as well, when we just don’t seem to “get it”; we don’t understand what God is doing when there is so much pain going on in our lives and the lives of those around us. We simply take what rolls down the pike and believe that that is God’s will for us when He really want’s us to connect with Him and understand His ways and walk by our faith in Him. So, Habakkuk listened and God replied.

Habakkuk 2 2-4

Habakkuk 2:2, 3 Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.

 

God said, Habakkuk, be sure you write down what I am saying to you and showing you about what is taking place in your world today. Because if you, as a prophet of God, have these questions about who I am and what I am doing, then the general population have them too. You are my spokesperson to give hope and encouragement to your people. When you see My hand at work and write it down so others can take it an run with it as well.

 

Proverbs 29:18 says that where there is no vision the people perish. The New King James Version says that where there is no revelation, or prophetic vision, the people cast off restraint. When people have no direction and feel that there is no hope they flounder around with no direction, simply trying to make it through each day as best as they can. But God has a better plan for our lives. He doesn’t want us to be overcome by the heartache of what is happening in our lives, because as He tells us in Habakkuk 2:2-4 things will change.

Habakkuk 2 4

Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in Him; But the just shall live by his faith.”

 

A prideful person cannot walk in God’s ways. 1 Peter 5:5 says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humility before God acknowledges His lordship over life. Those who are “just” have humbled themselves to receive God’s salvation through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. We are made right or “just” by our faith in Him as Savior and Lord. Just as it takes faith to trust God for salvation through receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord so it takes faith to live every day walking with Him. Many times the things that happen in our world are a result of prideful ways of living. People choose to live by their own standards and not God’s.

 

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

 

In God’s economy, it takes faith in Him, trust in His ways, and acknowledging Him as first place in our lives to live uprightly before Him. Even though God shares with Habakkuk that things will change and not always be the same, there is a responsibility that the people of God have in seeing change come into their lives. It takes faith to please God and those who believe that He is and is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him will see the good plan of God unfold in their lives. The heartache and pain will not endure forever. There is a new day coming!

 

When you look at that phrase “shall live” it is the Hebrew word chayah and is defined as to live, to stay alive, be preserved; to flourish, to enjoy life; to live in happiness; to breathe, be alive, be animated, recover health, live continuously. The fundamental idea is “to live and breath”, breathing being the evidence of life in the Hebrew concept. This present reference to the just living by faith is one of the giant pillars of faith and is referred to several times in the New Testament. It literally reads, “The righteous person in or by his faithfulness (firmness, consistency, belief, faith, steadfastness) shall live!”

 

In essence you could read the last half of verse 4 as “the just shall live, stay alive, be preserved, flourish, enjoy life, live in happiness, breath, be alive, be animated, recover health and live continuously by their faith.” It takes faith to live; it takes faith to breathe; it takes faith to recover your health; it takes faith to live continuously. There is no way that a person can successfully live by faith when their focus is on the waves of what is happening around them.

 

Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.”

 

Faith has a focus and it is not on the bad things that are happening to you or around you. Faith’s focus is on God. He doesn’t ask us to understand everything; He just expects us to have faith in Him.

 

Faith – Greek word pistis means conviction, confidence, trust, belief, reliance, trustworthiness, and persuasion. In the New Testament setting, pistis is the divinely implanted principle of inward confidence, assurance, trust, and reliability in God and all that He says.

 

Looking at this meaning of faith, the just would then live by their conviction about God, their confidence in God’s ability to change their lives, their trust in God’s goodness, their belief in His willingness to do for them what His word promises, their reliance on Him in all things, their understanding of His trustworthiness, and their persuasion that God will perform what He says in His word for His word is His will.

 

Faith’s focus can be thwarted when the person looks at the waves of life’s storms raging around him. Faith’s focus then turns to fear. Fear is faith in the devil’s ability to harm you where faith is trust in God’s ability to save you.

 

When Jesus’ disciples were going through a severe storm on the lake as they were crossing over to the other side, they cried out for Jesus to save them. He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. Then He said to His disciples, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40) It is clearly evident here that faith was needed to calm the stormy sea and bring peace into their lives. They were moved by their fear to cry out to Jesus when He expected them to live by their faith in speaking to the storm and commanding it to be still.

 

Once Habakkuk heard from God his attitude immediately changed and by the end of the book this is his response to those things that were going on around him that caused him so much distress:

 

Habakkuk 3:17-19 Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk in my high hills.

 

All of a sudden the bad things happening around him took on a different light. He saw them through the glory of his God. He was able to say that regardless of the negative destruction that I might see or experience I will rejoice in the Lord! I will joy in the God my salvation because He is my strength. He makes me walk above the storms that are going on around me. He equips me for victory and gives me the agility that I need to maneuver through the potholes of life!

 

Paul said it like this in Acts 20:24 when speaking of the bad things that happened in his life: “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

 

None of these things move me! Paul was focused on what God was doing in and through him more than he was focused on the persecution that he was experiencing as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His faith was firmly secured in the trustworthiness of his God and his focus was on finishing his race, living his life by faith in God, not in fear of what could happen to him along the way.

 

What storm is it in your life that has stolen your faith in God’s ability to change things for you? Has your eye of faith been deterred away from God and onto your problems. God loves you and has a good plan for your life. Will you listen to His words of love and encouragement and turn off the voice of the enemy that speaks of failure and defeat? The just shall live by his faith!

 

Father, I thank You that even though there is turmoil all around us that You have a plan for good for our lives. I pray this morning for those who may have lost their faith and have turned their eyes to the waves of the storm instead of the One who calms the storms. Father, I ask You to show them that You are working in their lives bringing restoration from all that the enemy has stolen from them. I pray that they will be encouraged and their faith renewed as they read of Your faithfulness through your word. I pray that those who may be around them speaking life into their lives will have more effect on them than the experiences of negativity that they are currently under. Father, You have placed Your people as the head and not the tail. You have said that You would make them to be above and not beneath their circumstances. Father, I pray that You will once again show them what they need to do to cooperate with the good plan that You have for their lives. Maybe they need to humble themselves before You and repent of the doubt and unbelief they have had in You. Or Father, could it be that they have grown weary in standing and fighting the good fight of faith? I pray that You will refresh them and give them renewed hope in You. Father, You know what needs to be done in each life. I pray that Your goodness will lead men to repentance as you have stated in Your word. Father, I pray as Habakkuk prayed that You would revive Your work in the midst of our years! Do again in the hearts of people what You have done in years past and bring salvation, deliverance, healing and restoration to them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Father’s Love Letter

The Father heart of God is so loving and tender towards His creation. And yet so many don’t understand or receive His love. This video and letter have been such a blessing to me. We all need to understand the love that our heavenly Father has for us. I pray that you will be blessed through it as well!

Father, I thank You for the great love that You have for us. I thank You for proving that love when You gave the very best that heaven had to offer in the crucifixion of Your Son, Jesus, that we might be bought back from the kingdom of darkness that ruled over us in our disobedience. Father, I thank You that even though we were spiritually dead in our sin that You made us alive through the blood of Christ Jesus. Father, there was no way that we could earn our salvation so You paid the price through the sacrifice of Your Son that we might have an opportunity to be Your children through accepting Him personally as our own Savior and Lord. Thank You for giving Jesus for me personally that I might know You and be able to live eternally in Your presence in heaven. I praise You for the work that You did on my behalf on that old rugged cross, Lord Jesus, and I proclaim You as My Savior and My Lord. I pray that as people read this love letter, Father, that they will see the great love that You have for them and if they don’t know You, will place their trust in Jesus as their own personal Savior and Lord as well and come into the family of God. I pray that those who may not understand Your love will draw close to You that You might lavish it on them and that they would see that You are not angry with them, but that You love them so deeply and completely that they could not possibly ever do anything that would shatter the love that You have for them. Thank You, Father! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

You are special

Fruit Or Gifts?

2 Corinthians 5 17

II Corinthians 5:17 AMP Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

 

There’s something special that takes place in a person’s spirit when Jesus comes to be their own personal Savior and Lord. The Bible says they become a new creature; their old previous moral and spiritual condition becomes new and fresh. The heart of that person that was previously spiritually dead now becomes alive. We call that act of rebirth as regeneration.

 

Titus 3:5 AMP He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [th] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

 

It is in that moment of acceptance of what Jesus did on our behalf in payment of the penalty for our sin that we become “born again”; born of the Spirit, and regenerated into a new creation in Christ Jesus. Spiritually we become a new person. We look the same on the outside, but the heart is changed. Our spirits are then indwelt by the Spirit of God; the Holy Spirit who comes to live within that person.

 

Regeneration – Reproduction; the act of producing anew. In theology, new birth by the grace of God; that change by which the will and natural enmity of man to God and his law are subdued, and a principle of supreme love to God and his law, or holy affections, are implanted in the heart. (definition from Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language)

 

When the Holy Spirit comes to live within us He brings His fruit, His character and nature with Him. We are now indwelt by God’s Spirit and so our DNA, so to speak, is changed. We now have the DNA of our Father, God.

 

What is DNA? It is deoxyribonucleic acid, or better known as DNA. We all know that elephants only give birth to little elephants, giraffes to giraffes, dogs to dogs and so on for every type of living creature. But why is this so?

 

The answer lies in a molecule called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which contains the biological instructions that make each species unique. DNA, along with the instructions it contains, is passed from adult organisms to their offspring during reproduction.

According to God’s Word when we become new creations in Christ Jesus our spiritual DNA is changed. We have now been born of God’s Spirit and His DNA flows through our veins as it did in the original creation of man in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 1:27 AMP So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.

When sin entered the heart of man the spiritual nature of man in relation to God changed. The human nature, or the soul, became the driving force in man’s decision making process. He no longer could commune spiritually with His God as he had done before sin entered his heart. Spiritually he was considered dead. But that changes and he becomes alive spiritually when he receives Jesus as Savior and Lord. The channel of communication is once again established and the spirit of man is quickened or made alive. Now he can relate spirit to Spirit through the indwelling of God’s Spirit within him.

So, the Holy Spirit, when He comes to indwell man’s reborn spirit, brings with Him His fruit, or His character and nature, the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22, 23 AMP But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].

Once regeneration takes place the Holy Spirit begins working to change the character and nature of the person that has received Jesus as Savior and Lord. Even though at salvation, or the initial moment that a person is changed spiritually to become a new creation, the process of changing the character and nature of that person is worked out as a process. We are being changed from faith to faith and from glory to glory as the Holy Spirit works on our character development.

2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit works in us to change our character and nature to match the Lord’s when He comes to live within us.

The gifts of the Spirit are totally different. They have nothing to do with a person’s character and nature; they are endowments for service. The Holy Spirit gives gifts as He wills to do the work of ministry and are given to build up or edify the church. They are described in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. Love as discussed in 1 Corinthians 13 is what makes the gifts of God’s Spirit work. I like to think of the love chapter and it’s description in 1 Corinthians 13 as the mortar that holds the bricks of God’s gifts together. Without love, which is a “fruit”, or character and nature of God’s Spirit, we cannot function properly in displaying the “gifts”, or endowments of the Spirit even though He may give us with one. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given as they are needed for the work of ministry in ministering to people in need.

1 Corinthians 12 1

1 Corinthians 12:1; 4 AMP NOW ABOUT the spiritual gifts (the special endowments of supernatural energy), brethren, I do not want you to be misinformed. Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same.

Gifts – Greek word charisma. Strong’s #5486. Related to other words derived from the root char. Char is joy, cheerfulness, delight. Charis is grace, goodwill, undeserved favor. Charisma is a gift of grace, a free gift, divine gratuity, spiritual endowment, miraculous faculty. It is especially used to designate the gifts of the Spirit.

The “gifts” of the Spirit and the “fruit” of the Spirit are two totally different things. The “fruit” speaks of our character and nature development and the “gifts” speak of special endowments for service that the Holy Spirit gives during times of need in people’s lives.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10 describes the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We will not go into them today, but verse 11 tells us how they are distributed.

1 Corinthians 12:11 AMP All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses.

The gifts of the Spirit are given to a person as He chooses, not as we choose. They are His special endowments and He knows who needs to manifest that particular gift at that particular time. He gives them as He sees the need. The fruit of the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is resident within the believer and is developed through time and experiences. We are molded into the character and nature of Jesus as we live day by day under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our character and nature is changed as we yield to the work that He does within us. The gifts that He gives for service are given at special times when needed to manifest His power to supernaturally change a person according to their need at that moment.

The “fruit” and the “gifts” are often viewed as one in the same, but they are different. Growth is a process and God’s Spirit works in each one of us to develop and change us into the image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. We are changed over a period of time. The gifts of His Spirit come upon a person for supernatural use. One, then we see as happening over a period of time and one instantaneously through the manifestation of His Spirit. It is important that we know the difference because we sometimes become disappointed that people who accept Jesus into their hearts do not immediately exhibit the change that has taken place in their spirits. We expect them to immediately be totally different. They are changed spiritually immediately but the manifestation of that regeneration within them takes time as the Holy Spirit develops His character and nature within them.

Philippians 1:6 AMP And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

The Holy Spirit is always at work in each one of us working to develop us into the image of Jesus. Don’t become disappointed when you do not see a complete change immediately as it is a work in progress. He’s still working on you and me!

Father, I thank You for the process of change that You work in each one of us as we yield to Your Spirit within us. I pray that we each will cooperate with His power to change us into the image of Jesus. Father, I pray, also, that we will yield to Your Spirit as He desires to endow us with His gifts for the work of ministry. I pray that we will be ready to receive that gift when He sees the need for its use. Only You, Lord, know what needs to be given for the needs of the people around us. Father, I thank You that You are ever changing us and working through the situations around us to perfect Your work in each one of us, to Your honor and glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

A Child Of The King

A Daughter Of The King

I’m so thankful that my heavenly Father loves me and cherishes me as His daughter.

 

God wants to be intimately involved with our lives and He loves us with a perfect Father’s love. There is no fear in His love because fear involves torment and causes us to run from His presence. How can we say we love Him when we are afraid to come before Him for one reason or another. We see that in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned. One of the first things they did was to hide from their heavenly Father. Instead of running into His arms of love and giving Him the opportunity to wipe away their fears, they ran away from Him.

 

For years I have always spent a special time with the Lord first thing in the morning, and I still do. However, some days I’m not as alert as others and some days it takes me a little longer to get moving. It’s in those times that I feel less connected to my heavenly Father. These times affect my ability to enjoy my fellowship with my Father.

 

One morning recently I experienced one of these times when I just didn’t feel as aware of His presence as I usually do. In praying about this situation the Lord spoke ever so gently to me and ask me how I would treat one of my children if they got up not feeling well and was having a difficult time of interacting with me. And I responded that I would take my little one in my arms and rock her/him speaking tender words of love and affection for her/him while she/he took their time in waking up, stretching and acclimating to their day. It was then that He brought to my memory these verses in Psalm 103:

 

Psalm 103:13, 14 NKJV 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.

 

Then He spoke this to my heart:

 

“You are free to be yourself, Child. I have set you free to live as I direct you. You are free to come into My presence any time you want. I am always here waiting to meet with you. It’s okay for you to take your time to prepare yourself to meet with Me. I am not a harsh taskmaster who demands your attention before you do anything else. Relax in My love and enjoy being with Me. Let your hair down, so to speak, and relax. Envision your child coming to you. You don’t demand their every moment or expect them to give up all other life activities for you. And neither do I, My Child. I created you and placed you in the world in which you live. I created your body to function. Every season of your life is different from the last. Don’t feel that you must go through life the same way every day. I am not into formulas; I want a living relationship with you. I understand your moods, your ups and downs and your physical needs and limitations. Relax and enjoy Me as I enjoy you. You are the apple of My eye. I delight in you. Don’t allow condemnation from the enemy to push you away from Me. Come to Me and I will refresh you.”

 

In reflecting on His tender words of love I am reminded of some scriptures that describe who we are as His children.

 

John 1:12, 13 NKJV But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

Those who are born again, or who have received Jesus Christ as their own personal Lord and Savior have become children of God. The scripture says that He gave them the “right” to become His children.

 

Right – Greek word exousia – one of four words defining “power” in God’s word. This definition means the authority or right to act, ability, privilege, capacity, delegated authority.

 

As children of God we have been given the authority and right to act as His children. Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:14 that we are named after our Father because we are in His family.

 

Ephesians 3:14 NKJV For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

 

My children, when growing up, carried the name of their Father; my son still does. They were known by their family name and I love them because they are my children. They are not perfect, but they are mine. As a mother I look past their faults and love them because they are my children. God loves us because we are His children. We carry His name: Christians, Christ followers. Just as I am delighted in my children, so He is delighted in those who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ and have become His children. We have been given the right to act as His children because we ARE His children!

 

Psalm 139:17, 18 NKJV How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

 

If you are having a difficult time understanding God’s love for you I pray that you will take the time to talk with Him about it. Get to know your heavenly Father as a loving Father, not a God who is far way.

 

Galatians 4:6, 7 NLT And because you Gentiles have become His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are His child, everything He has belongs to you.

 

Father, I thank You for Your great love that has brought me into Your family. I thank You for Jesus laying down His life that I might have life through Him. I thank You that I am Yours and You know me intimately. You know my going out and my coming in and even the words on my tongue before I speak them. You are intimately acquainted with me because I am Yours. Thank You for loving me unconditionally. Father, I pray for those this morning who may be living “less loved” than what You would like for them to live. I pray that You will open their eyes of understanding to see how much You love them and how pleased You are with them. May they experience the love of God that passes all understanding and live in the freedom that You have given us as Your children. Thank You, Father, for being patient and kind with us when we fail You. Thank You for forgiving us when we sin and fall short of Your glory. Thank You, Father, for giving us the right to be Your children. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

Fear Verses Faith

Matthew 8 26

Fear and faith cannot both be in operation at the same time!  If fear is present faith isn’t.

II Timothy 1:7  NKJV  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

When fear is present the mind is clouded and foggy.  But God says that He didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but one of the things that He did give us was a sound mind.

Sound mind – Greek word sophronismos – A combination of good judgment, disciplined though patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions.  It includes the qualities of self-control and self-discipline.

When fear comes the mind loses all perspective of what is taking place and goes immediately to the worst case scenario.  The devil plays off of our fears and weaknesses.  He looks for loopholes to get a foothold in our lives.  But faith sends fear away.  If faith is present fear can’t stay.  The mind becomes disciplined and self-controlled, good judgment and optimism of the future comes to the forefront.  Hope takes the place of fear and God becomes bigger than our fears.

Will fear push God to the side in your life this morning?  Or will faith takes its place and exalt the name of Jesus above all others.  Fear is a name and it is under the name of Jesus!

Father, I thank You that I do not have to fear what lies ahead for You go before me into every situation.  I thank You for your power within me is greater than the one who is in the world.  Father, I pray for those this morning who may be afraid of what is happening in their lives.  I ask You to reveal Your greatness to them and give them faith in the place of fear.  Father, I thank You for giving each one of us a measure of faith to meet the obstacles that lie ahead of us.  I pray that we will each one exercise our faith to believe, beginning with the small things and working up to the big things in our lives.  Father, You’ve said that when we speak with our faith that even though its just the size of a mustard seed that it can move trees and pull them up by the roots and plant them in the sea.  Father, may we take that little faith that we might have in what is happening in our lives and use it to effect change!  Thank You for Your Spirit’s power and ability within us that does exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or imagine!  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Three C’s In Life!

Three C's to life
Joshua 1:1-3 AFTER the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.”

 

There are times in our lives when we come to a fork in the road, so to speak, and a decision has to be made to take the road that we feel God is leading us to or the road that leads to our own ways, the ways of the world. Choices come to each one of us and it is up to us to take a chance for change to happen. God directs through our free will as we discern the Spirit of God in His leading us through life.

 

Four and a half years ago, I entered one of those periods where I had a choice to make. It was to stay where I was or join with the man that God had brought into my life to be his life mate. Even though I felt it was God’s plan for me to marry him, I was given the freedom to choose. I chose to go with what I felt was God’s plan and married Gerald and moved with him to where we currently live in Tennessee. My life totally changed! Some of those changes took more adjusting than others. And I am still adjusting to certain ones. But I am so thankful that God brought us together and gave my life new meaning!

 

Every day we encounter choices. One of the things that God instilled within me some years ago is this little statement: “The choices that I make today will affect the quality of my tomorrows”. You see, even though God has a plan for our lives, we have the choice to go with it, pursue Him to find out what purpose He has prepared for us and to discipline ourselves to follow His direction in fulfilling it. I get to choose which road I will take; the one that will lead to a long, healthy life that enables me to fulfill His plan for my life, or the one that satisfies my emotions and flesh.

 

The Israelites were given a choice: to follow God’s leading into the Promised Land or continue to live wandering around in the wilderness. Joshua told the people to prepare themselves for change.

 

Joshua 1:11 NKJV “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.”

 

A successful change doesn’t just happen. We need to ready ourselves for those changes. Esther went through a year’s preparation to become the Queen to King Ahasuerus.

 

Esther 2:12, 13 NKJV Each young woman’s turn cae to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women. Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace.

Success

Success comes as we set a goal to attain the desired results. We get a glimpse of the good that God has set before us and focus our attention on that goal. Proverbs 29:18 says that where there is no revelation, or vision, the people cast off restraint. When we do not have a goal in mind we wander around mindlessly wondering what to do next. There is no restraint or boundaries that we have set to stay within that keeps us focused.

 

Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV “And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.

 

Yes, there are obstacles ahead of us. Even the Israelites knew that there were giants in their promised land. But God told them that He was going before them to destroy them and disarm them so they could go in and conquer the giants. (Deuteronomy 9:1-3) Know that whatever changes are in your future, God has already gone before you into that place of the unknown to prepare a successful entrance for you.

 

Keep your eyes on Jesus! Make sure that you have a positive mental picture of success in your mind. The book of Hebrews, chapter 12, speaks of success in running the race that we have set before us. (Hebrews 12:1, 2) God says that we are to lay aside every weight and sin that ensnares us and keeps us from running the race that is set before us. We do that by keeping Jesus in our mind’s eye. We look unto Him for the strength and ability to reach our goals, to accomplish a safe transition from the choice we have made to the changes that are on the horizon.

 

We embrace the challenge of change. Without change there is no growth. Without growth one becomes stagnant without being able to see a purpose in life. God has created us as winners, not losers. He has placed His children above and not beneath and has made us the head and not the tail. God’s original plan for man was that he would rule and reign over his life and have dominion over every living thing that moved on the earth, outside of other people. We often fail to realize that in our redemption Christ Jesus purchased back for us the authority that God gave Adam in the garden of Eden.

 

Romans 5:17 NKJV For if by the 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.)

 

Jesus, Himself, told His disciples of the authority that He has given each one of us to reign over the enemy’s power that tries to stop us from experiencing the life that He died to give us.

 

Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

 

Change brings challenges, but if we don’t step out in faith to embrace them and look for the areas that God has given us to exercise our authority over our own destinies then we will not ever see the manifestation of all that He died to give us. We must make the choice to take a chance on God in order to see a change in our lives.

 

Stay on track. Peter didn’t start to sink until he took his eyes off of Jesus. Jesus set His face like flint in order to stay on track with the plan that His Father had asked Him to fulfill. (Luke 9:51) There will always be distractions in life. Our emotions get involved, especially when times get rough, and we wonder if we’ve heard God clearly in what He has asked us to do and the changes that we are to embrace.

 

Those around us are watching us make choice to take a chance on what we believe God has asked us to do. Will we show them that we can do it? Or will we wander back into the wilderness where we have the comfort and safety of the same old, same old thing? The Israelites immediately had a river at flood stage to cross before entering into their Promised Land. The Lord went before them and stopped the waters of the river so they could cross over on dry ground. They were challenged to enter the water before He stopped up the river so they could exercise their faith in Him and see the miraculous happen when they trusted in Him to do what He had promised them. The had to believe and act on that belief in order to see the fulfillment of the promise. We have to do that today as well. God responds to our faith.

 

Joshua 3:13-17 NKJV “And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.” So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priest bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zeretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priest who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.

 

It was after they had crossed the Jordan river that the Lord told them to get stones from the middle of the river and set them up as a memorial on the shore so that their children would see them and ask them in later years what they were representative of. It was to be a memorial to their children and their children’s children for generations to come, for forever!

 

Joshua 4:5-7 NKJV and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, “that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ “Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”

 

The stones were to be a memorial for their children of what God had done for them; of the changes that He had made in their lives, so they would know that if He did it for their fathers, there was no obstacle that would stand in their way of God doing the same thing for them. Our faith affects those around us. When we respond to God in faith believing that He will do what He has promised in making the changes in our lives to bring us into a better place He honors that! And others are changed because of the changes they see in our lives.

 

Will you make a choice today to take a chance to follow God into the changes that He wants to make for your future? Fear of the unknown is what usually stops us from following God into our future. I could have feared marrying my husband, moving to a different state, being miles and miles away from my family, having no job and embracing a whole new life but I chose to take a chance on God and embrace the changes that He wanted to make in my life. How about you? God will never leave you to embrace the unknown by yourself.

 

Psalm 139:7-10 NKJV Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.

 

Father, I thank You for going before us into the changes that are taking place in our lives. I thank You for protecting us from the evil one who comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I thank You for opening the eyes of our understanding to see You as You go before us into the unknown. And I thank You for holding our hand as we embrace the changes that You have planned for our lives. You are great and mighty to save! Your arm is not too short that it cannot hold us and save us from disaster. You see all things and know the pitfalls that may lie ahead of us. You, in Your loving kindness, steer us around those boulders that seem to block our way. Thank You for Your righteous right hand that holds us secure in Your grip. I pray that You will show us each the way that You want us to take to walk boldly and confidently with You into our futures. I thank You for giving us courage to embrace the changes ahead of us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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