Redeemer

Psalm 111:9 “He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever – holy and awesome is his name.”

I know that God is a redeemer which means that he redeems.  Here was my problem, I was not exatuly sure what that meant, so when I looked up redeem is said to compensate for something.  That was as clear as mud.  To compensate for something means to make up for using the opposite force.  That makes sense because for God to be my redeemer he takes away the sin in my life and replaces the negative.  He compensates for my short comings.  There is no doubt in my mind that without Jesus as my Lord and Savior I would not be the strong person that I am today.  I know that I fall short and that God is still working on my because I am human and with that comes a sinful nature.

Father, thank you for being my redeemer and my healer. I know that when I call on your name you are there to hold me with your righteous right hand.  No matter what I have done you are ready to make me whole again.  No valley is to deep nor a mountain too high that you cannot find me and restore me.  Father, draw me ever closer to you.  In Jesus Name, Amen

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Fighting Strongholds

2 Corinthians 10: 5-6 (MSG) ” We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barrierss erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose through and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Chirst. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.”

Do you fight fair?  We all face different battles in our day to day life but, do you fight fair?  When your feelings get hurt or are faced with feelings of pride, frustration, or anger what do you do?  Do you lash out and fight the way the world fights or do you pray for God to fight for you?  To be honest, I do both but, I am learning to rely on God to fight for me.  There are times when I get so upset that I lash out at the ones I love or I think thoughts that are not pure or helpful.

Everyday we are faced with battles, some big and some small.  No matter the size of the battle we are told to pray. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against demons in the spiritual realm.  Each of us has personal strongholds, areas in our life where Satan tries to defeat us by telling us we are not good enough, we are unworthy, we are a disappointment, or we are weak.  God tells us to demolish these areas by seeking Him and to hold all our thoughts captive.  In other words, we are to seek clarity from God in all our thoughts.  God does not tells us negative things He is loving and gives us spirits of faith, hope, love and strength not anger, fear or anxiety.  The next time you feel “less than” recognize it for what it is, Satan trying to pull you away form your loving God.

Father, I am tired of fighting battles the way the world does, I want to use the weapons you have given me to demolish arguments and pretension that go against You.  Help me to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.  Thank you for the many blessings you have given to me.  I know that my strength comes form you and you alone. As I walk this earth help me to live like Jesus lives and to be a light to those around me, especially those who I often take for granted.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Seasons

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:”

Do you ever just feel overwhelmed with life?  You look around and there is always something to do.  No matter your season of life we all have things that weight us down, challenges we have to overcome.  Some of you might be in the midst of a challenging time right now; while others of you are on the other side of challenging times.  We will spend the rest of our lives living in seasons, but no matter the season you are walking through you have a God who is walking with you through it all.

Father, thank you for being with me in everything I do.  I know that no matter what is going on in my life I can count on you to be there and walk with me.  I praise you in the good and the bad, because I know that everything will come together to fulfill your perfect plan.  Cover my loved ones today with a love that can only come from you.  In Jesus Name, Amen

God wants me

Ephesians 1:7 “No matter what my past, I am forgiven of my sins because of the lavishness of His grace upon me.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “I will not be afraid because I know the spirit of fear is not from Him.  He has given me a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.”

Have you ever thought, “God does not need me?”  Well, you are right.  God does not need any of us but, He wants us.  God is not demanding He is gentle in spirit and wants us to want Him.  God can do anything He chooses to do.  He chooses to use us.  He is not pushy or demanding He is loving and gentle.

We all have a choice to believe in Him and follow Him every moment of every day.  No matter what your past looks like you have a choice.  It is hard for us to understand how God can forgive the most heinous of sins.  It is not for us to understand or to judge, it is up to us to live for Christ and to do so with a joyful heart.

I don’t know about you but I do not always have a joyful heart.  There are days when my heart is hurting and frustrated.  When I feel neglected, abandoned, or even misunderstood.  It is in those moments that we have a choice, to wallow or to change.  Some days it is easy to change our thinking and other days it is more difficult but, God is ready and waiting to change our hearts and minds we just need to ask.

Abba Father, thank you for the many gifts you have lavished upon me.  You have blessed me with so much that I often take for granted.  Father, forgive me for walking with my eyes closed  and help me to fix my eyes upon you.  Give me a joyful heart Lord.  You have given me to the strength and courage. I know that I will continue to face challenges as I live on this earth but, I know that no matter what I face you are my covering.  I will no longer walk in fear because I know the spirit of fear is not from You.  You have given me a spirit of power, love, and sound mind.  It is on this promise that I will focus.  In Jesus Name, Amen

God is Enough

Jeremiah 29:33 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Do you ever feel stuck in a rut?  No matter what you do or say it does not seem to change your circumstances or your feelings?  Ever think that your feelings can betray you?

Although Satan cannot read our minds, he is a master manipulator.  He has studies humans and been able to persuade them to do things that are so out of character.  In James 4:7 we are told to “submit to God”. Before we are told to “resist the devil”.  God tells us this because He knows how weak humans are, we cannot fight Satan without Jesus.  We need to be fighting in prayer not with words or actions.

With God on our side we can accomplish great things.  God is my strength in times of trouble and he is my rock on which I stand.  Feelings are faulty trust God who is righteous and just.

Father, forgive me for relying on feelings that can be controlled  and manipulated.  You alone know what I need and are my protection in times of trouble as well as a light unto my feet.  Father, I trust you and love you.  Thank you for always being there for me to lean on and giving me strength, courage, and wisdom.  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.  Help me to hold every though captive to you Lord.  Remind me that all thoughts that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) come from you, all other thoughts are there to cause harm and destroy the plans You have for me.   In Jesus Name, Amen

Straining toward the future

Philippians 3: 13-14 “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…”

Do you dwell on the past?  Are there things that have happened in your past that you have a hard time letting go of?  Do you hold any unforgiveness?  Do you struggle with self-esteem?

We all have a past.  Things that have been done to us, things that we have done, or choices that were made where regret moves in.  God tells us that we don’t have to live in the past. Throughout scripture, God tells us that we are renewed in Christ.  We are a new creation.  We are born again.  I want to encourage you today to clothe yourself with Christ.  Your past does not define you it gives you character, compassion, love, and it lead you to Christ.

No matter what you have been through God is waiting for you to release it to Him and to free you from the pain that binds you.  Don’t live your life bound in chains.  Live your life free in Christ.  God promises to redeem what has been stolen from you.  Live your life redeemed and free because when you fall Christ will catch you and hold you in His strong and mighty arms.

Father, thank you for loving me and giving me strength when I don’t have any.  Help me to be a witness to those around me and to show the love of Christ even when I am struggling and living in my flesh.  Clothe me with the love and kindness that can only come from a relationship with you.  Father, this world is full of broken people, me included, bring healing to our hearts and minds.  Lord, bring healing to the broken hearted, hurting, and the lost.  In Jesus Name, Amen

 

Emotionally Drained

2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

We all have seasons in our life when things just don’t seem to go right.  When no matter what we do it does not seem to be enough or appreciated.  We feel beaten down and weak.  It is in these times when Christ gives us the strength to endure.

Web we use scripture to speak to God our perspective changes.  When I read this verse this morning I read it like this: “__________(my name), my grace is sufficient, lean on me, my power is perfect, trust that I know what I am doing in your life.”

It is not always easy to see God at work or understand what role I play in His work.  I just know that we are called to trust Him and know that His word is true and righteous.  Christ suffered as we suffer and one day we too will be free from all the pain and heartache that is found in this world.  Satan seems to win some of the battles but, my God has won the war.  We will one day live free from pain, heartache, frustration, anxiety, and hurt.  I can endure this life because God has a place for me in heaven and because of this promise I can rely on His strength to get throug the challenging times.

Father, thank you for being my strength.  Thank you for walking with me through this life and encouraging me to look to you.  I know that no matter what comes my way I can trust You.  “For when I am weak, then I am strong, because of you.”  Give me strength today and guard my heart, mind, body, and soul.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Frustration

Galatians 6:79-10(MSG) “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued dong good.  At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit,.  Right now, therefore every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.”

Have you ever had one of those days where every thing seems to bother you?  People smile at you and you want to ask them, “What are you smiling at?”  We all have days or even moments but, we also have a choice to stay in that place or to find joy, peace, and freedom.

Jesus wants us to live free and fully loved.  When those days or moments come what can we do to release that feeling of irritation or frustration?  God tells us to turn to Him and remember that the challenges we face are allowed to grow us into the person, wife, father, mother, daughter, son, etc. we are meant to be.  So, when those moments and days come, recognize them for what they are, God growing you into an amazing child of God.  Remember that we are continually under attack by spiritual forces that are not seen.  Satan loves to see us hurting, fighting, and frustrated.  God loves to see us come to him so that we can find rest.  God is ready and waiting to help you out of your funk to find the peace and joy that surpasses all understanding.

Father, thank you for loving me and protecting me. Guide me today as I face the challenges of living in this broken world. Help me to remember that you are in control. When I face challenges help me to look to you and know that you are my Shepard, guiding me to safe pastures to walk with you.  In Jesus Name, Amenn

Inane discussions

2 Timothy 2:23(msg) “Refuse to get involved in inane (stupid) discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey.”

There are days when I read a scripture and I feel convinced.  Today is one of those days.

There are so many things I could say about this scripture and my mind in going all over the place.  How many times in a day do we get involved in stupid discussions and we walk away fuming?  It is interesting that when those things happen if we would just be a listener and refuse to argue the fight would not exist.  You can tell someone you refuse to argue with them and keep your cool or you can engage and argue.

When I think about arguments they often are based on hurt feelings.  I can honestly say that when I think about the arguments I have been involve in they are over my feelings being hurt by words or actions.  Those words or actions are schemes of the devil.  He wants us to engage in arguing because it brings hurt and pain.  When we are in the midst of life it is hard to stop and remain calm, but that is exactly what God is asking us to do.  God asks us to be kind, gentle in spirit, and do things that build others up not tear them down.  Remember that our battles are not against flesh and blood, things we can touch, but against dark forces that we cannot see. These dark forces work in others and in us.  This is why God tells us to stand firm and be on the lookout.  Hurt words and actions are flaming arrows being thrown at you.

Father, as your servant I need your help to stay clear from quarreling.  I want to be kind to everyone, teach them.  If I hold resentment within reveal it to me.  Walk with me today as I face the challenges that lay ahead.  I know that I will face challenges within myself that may cause me to fall.  Strengthen me and open my eyes to areas where Satan is trying to pull me away from you.  I lift those areas to you and ask for your protection.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Unveiled

2 Corinthians 3:16 “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”

When I think of a veil I imagine a bride walking down the isle with her face covered as she approaches her soon to be husband.  This veil symbolizes the separation of the two individuals as they are about to become one.  The veil blurs the women’s face making it unclear and hard to see emotion or facial features.

As the the vows are said to become husband and wife the pastor, priest, justice of the peace, etc. announces that the two have become one, the man lifts the veil revealing the face of his wife.  Once the veil is removed the face is no longer blurred.  All of the features become clear and all can see the beauty that was once unclear.

When we turn to Christ and give our hurts, fears, concerns, anxieties, worries, etc. to Him we can see clearly that He is our guide and He loves us more that we can imagine.  Remove the veil that separates you.  Release any hurt, fear, anxieties, unforgivenss, all of it to your Heavenly Father.  He promises to make your path straight.  God does not break His promises.

Father, you know that living in this broken world is hard.  It is full of pain and heartache.  I want to see you clearly, if something is separating me from you open my eyes to it so that The veil can be removed and I can see You clearly.  Take away the veil that covers my eyes and cover me with Your veil of protection, love, and grace. Father, thank you for all of your pormisses and love for without You I know that I would be lost to a life of heartache and pain.  Knowing that You are my guide brings me peace and courage.  Be with me today and always, be the light that directs my path.  In Jesus Name, Amen