Posts Tagged ‘sin’

He’s Here

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Is The Path You’ve Chosen Killing You?

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It’s not too late to start again. You get to choose the road you take, and you get to choose how long you stay on that path. If you’re finding yourself on the wrong path today, I encourage you to STOP, change direction, and start journeying down the right path. In reading The Word, you will find much encouragement and direction for your journey. You’re not in this alone. There are brighter days ahead!

Take a minute or two and read Psalm 103, I think you will find it very helpful. 🙂

My prayers are with you on this journey to growth!

You are blessed,

Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

A NEW ROUTE
By: Joel Osteen

I know people who feel like they’ve wasted years of their lives because of poor choices. They spent years in a relationship that was toxic, years with an addiction, years at a job where they weren’t fulfilled. But you have to realize, nothing you have been through is ever wasted. Your past experiences, good and bad have deposited something on the inside of you. Those challenges have sharpened you to help make you who you are today.

When the enemy brings hardship into your life, God has a way of taking that experience and turning it around for your advantage. You may think you’ve hit a dead end, but if you’ll stay in faith, you will see God begin to open up a new route. He’ll put the right people in your path, the right opportunities, the right circumstances to move you forward toward your God-given destiny.

Today, don’t focus on what’s happened in your past, focus on what God will do in your future. He wants to restore your soul and revive your dreams. Keep believing, keep expecting, keep hoping because God has a new route for your future!

Prayer:
Father God, I come humbly before You today. I give You my past, present and future knowing that You will redeem my life. I release those who have hurt me, I choose forgiveness so I can be free to move forward in the new route You have for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Scripture:
He forgives your sins—every one. He heals your diseases—every one. He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence. (Psalm 103:3-5 MSG)

Wheat or Tares? Who Could Really Judge..

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Happy Monday, friends! Be blessed today as you make the purposeful decision to show love to those who may not share in the same sin as you.

-Sarah
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Today’s devo selection:

Be Careful of Who You Judge
By Calvary Chapel Boise/Bob Caldwell

Today’s Reading: Matthew 13:24-30, Matthew 13:36-43

Key Verse: “The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.” –Matthew 13:38-40

It is critical for each of us to understand how the Kingdom of God operates in this age of rebellion against God. It is common for believers to try to separate themselves from the “world” in a way that at times can be counter-productive. In this parable of the sower, there is a reference to tares. They look similar to wheat and, in this parable, are growing among the wheat the sower planted. The wheat represents the people who belong to the Kingdom of God and the tares represent those who belong to the Kingdom of Darkness. Jesus warns us not to try to separate the tares, lest the wheat be uprooted as well.

Yet often well-meaning believers do just the opposite. We sometimes try to use our limited ability to judge the true nature of a person and then try to “weed them out” of the Kingdom of God. “Who are the wheat? Who are the tares?” become the questions we want answered. Yet if we pursue this process we often see genuine believers uprooted and deeply hurt. Conversely, we may honor some people who may in fact be “tares.” Humility requires us to defer to Christ as the only true judge. Of course, this doesn’t mean we compromise truth. Obviously some people by their own words and deeds make their status as “wheat” or “tares” very obvious. But often a person’s heart condition—in relationship to truth—may not be as easy to determine as we think.

By God’s grace, His “wheat seeds” are sown throughout the world to bring revelation of the knowledge of Him. As this occurs, Satan will inevitably sow among us “tares.” These are people who try to appear to be believers but in fact are not. Over time it’s impossible for many of these counterfeit believers to hide who they really are. But we must let this process play out without our interference for two very important reasons. First, if we deal graciously with all people, some of these counterfeit Christians will become sincere followers of Christ. Authentic believers who live a genuinely Spirit-filled life of faith may influence them. The contrast between the life of the Spirit and the life of the flesh can often cause hypocrites to repent of their life of self-deception. Secondly, this careful approach protects new believers who are babes in Christ. In certain areas of life, these immature believers may appear to be nonbelievers. If we judge them as “tares,” they can become overwhelmed with discouragement. They may conclude that their baby steps are not enough for them to belong to the family of God.

Therefore, let us not pretend to be God. We’re not Him! Only God knows the true heart condition of each of us. God will in His own time separate the wheat and the tares, at the Second Coming of Christ.

I Don’t Love Your Smacking, But I Love You

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Would it be ok if we all just set our gavels down and decided to love people for who they are? Would it be ok if we quit demanding perfection in others? Would it be ok if we shifted our vision..from seeing faults in others to instead seeing the potential in others?

The truth us, we are all imperfect. So let’s just decide right now to quit pretending we are perfect. We aren’t, we never will be. And that’s ok!

Jesus loves me in spite of my shortcomings so I’m going to love myself, and you, too!

Have a beautiful day!

Blessings,

Sarah

**As I was typing this, my amazingly wonderful husband, was sitting next to me, talking with his mouth full. Satan is using that to see if I really mean what I’m saying in this post. Well let’s just say..life is a growing opportunity. And I’m growing.

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Today’s devo selection:

How many white hairs have you been given?
by George Whitten

Matthew 7:2-5 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you use, it shall be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me pull out the speck out of your eye; and, look, a plank is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first remove the plank out of your own eye; and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of thy brother’s eye.

A dear friend recently sent us this funny story and we couldn’t help but share it with you.

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast upon her brunette head. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Mom, why are some of your hairs white?”

“Well”, her mother replied, “every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.”

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, “Momma, how come all of Grandma’s hairs are white?”

A funny story, yes — but isn’t it true that we’re always looking for someone to blame for our imperfections? The Lord warned us about the danger of pointing out the faults of others. He said that people with planks in their eyes should not attempt to remove specks out of other people’s eyes. Somehow, we lose sight of this so quickly! We are all still growing. None of us has arrived! We need to be aware of how the enemy tries to ensnare us in this way.

I don’t know about you but I tend to agree with the person who said “The only person I want removing splinters out of my eyes is someone with a clear vision and a gentle touch!”

Let’s ask the Lord to help us to see the ways we’ve been judgmental and become people with clear vision and a gentle touch! We should be building up one another and encouraging each other so that the work of the Lord may go forward and we may rejoice together in the blessing!

Growth Under Attack

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Some attacks are easier to forgive than others, but regardless, all must be forgiven. Why? Because we have been forgiven. Even when it’s hardest to forgive, we must. It’s love that will change the world..”Love one another as I have loved you.” In order to truly love, we must forgive.

It’s easier said than done, but we can do it.

Blessings and love to you all,

Sarah

Today’s devo selection
From: http://www.findthepower.com/dailydevotions

About keeping the faith in the face of Satan’s attack…

Acts 7:59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (NIV)

Stephen knew he was dying. Yet even in his last moment of life, with his last breath, Stephen asked for the forgiveness of those who were killing him. You have the same mighty spiritual power within you Stephen had. Your witness in life or even in your last breath can change lives like Stephen’s witness has done for two thousand years. You might not be a famous person. You might consider yourself a “nobody.” However, in God’s eyes you are precious. Until you take your last breath, it is God’s will the evil in your world should be defeated with His love and with His consuming grace. As Christ’s witness, show the world how evil can be defeated with the same love and forgiving grace you keep within your heart.

Pleasing Him, not Jim

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As we start another week, let us all determine to challenge ourselves even more! Starting today with our motivation for doing things. Because, if we aren’t doing things as unto The Lord, then we need not bother doing things at all.

As we focus on pleasing Him, His joy fills us, and overflows out to the world. That joy is like a blanket of Light beaming out from us, eliminating the darkness that once was.

Blessings,

Sarah
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Today’s devo selection:

Do you please God or man?
by Hariette Petersen

Why do you do what you do? Ever wonder what drives you? To serve those you serve? I have. As a mother, I evaluate the advice I give, the help I offer. As a wife, I consider the respect, honor and faithfulness I give my husband. As a friend, I analyze my trustworthiness, my generosity, my tolerance. As a writer, I constantly scrutinize–edit my words, check my spelling, perfect my grammar. Perhaps you are like me, only in another way. You analyze your every effort. You try to please a boss, a spouse, a child. You look to your neighbor’s newly mowed lawn and think you must get out there and mow yours. You see another planting geraniums and head to the nursery to purchase some roses. You listen to someone teach, or preach and feel you must measure up to that person. You hear someone’s testimony and think less or your own. You see others volunteering and serving and you chasten yourself for not doing more. Why?

“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

Our aim must be higher than comparing ourselves to others. When we take stock in our own lives, we need to do so in light of Who we are trying to please. As servants of Christ, our only desire should be that of loving as He loved–because He first loved us. As we evaluate our work, our activity, our speech, our thoughts need rest only in our Lord’s pleasure. Are we living in holiness, in humility, in peace? Are we faithful to His call? Are we serving to gain notoriety, success, or popularity? Or are we doing what we do as a willing and cheerful sacrifice of praise for the righteousness we have in Christ, our risen Lord? God loved us while we were yet sinners. He gave His life that we might have His life within us. In Christ we have all we need to bring glory to Him. May we lay aside our need to please man, and live only to magnify Him and point others to Him.

Being Rocky Balboa in the Spiritual Realm

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Rocky has always been one of my most beloved film heroes. He just kept fighting. He persevered. I want to be like that in my spiritual life. I often say that Christians are like Weebles, we wobble but we don’t fall down! Lets fight the good fight. Like this devotional selection says, war gets tough. But take heart, we’ve already won the battle by choosing the right army to be part of!

Have a great day. 🙂

Blessings,

Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

Battle Wounds from the Good Fight
By Jennifer E. Jones

“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight? I don’t wanna die without any scars…” – Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club

I was thinking this morning about what it means to be in a fight. As a woman, it’s not quite the rite of passage as it is for a man. However, I fought enough with my brothers as a child that I’m aware of the mechanics of it.

Most people agree that a fight that’s one-sided isn’t really a fight. That’s just a beating. That’s a bully taking advantage of someone weaker than he or she is. A real fight is back and forth; you trade blows.

The keeping of one’s faith is similar. If you want to be a Christian or even remotely God-conscious, this life will fight you for it. It’s going to hit you, and as noted in the last Rocky movie, nobody hits harder than life. The world tries to take your joy and your peace with every unwanted circumstance, every unexpected tragedy, and every unforeseen pitfall.

So what do you do? You can curl up in the fetal position, block your face and just take it. Truthfully, there are times when that’s the only thing you can do. Some hardships are simply tests of endurance.

You can help the enemy by inflicting wounds on yourself. That’s when you just agree with every negative thought that comes in: “I’m not good enough, not smart enough, etc.” Your opponent doesn’t have to do anything then. You will beat yourself up.

Then there’s the third option: you can fight. You fight by remembering God’s promise that no weapon formed against you will succeed at taking you down (Isaiah 54:17). You hide His words in your heart and wear them out on your sleeve. You stand up against the lies that seek to sink your ship.

And it’s going to be rough. You’ll get wounded. You’ll get dazed. The enemy doesn’t fight fair, and he’s very aware of your weak points. Don’t think for a moment that he won’t sucker punch you right where it hurts.

It’s difficult to imagine emerging from any fight without scars. Even Jesus has scars. He showed them to the disciples after His resurrection (Luke 24:39). In fact, His scars were proof that He had died and came back to life. I think our scars bare the same resemblance. They are the evidence that we are overcomers. They qualify us to speak to those in pain and say, “I’ve been there.”

So, keep your head up. You’ll lose a few battles, but remember that you’ve already won the war.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. — I Timothy 6:12 [NIV]

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