The Life We Live In the After

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The life that we live in the after of coming to Christ and baptism is filled with promise as well as challenges. It is filled with struggle, yes, but it is also filled with hope. It is and can forever be a time of refreshing transformation and positive life change. 

The challenge or the struggle for most comes by way of the releasing of the old – the old life, the old thoughts, the old relationships, the old idols. However, the promise, the hope, and the beauty of the new…oh, how very rich it is with possibilities. It is filled with opportunities to see, to say, to experience, and to be all that the LORD has declared. 

And the what of it all is that we only have to surrender ourselves to our LORD and Savior in every way. All we have to do is release the old (self) and embrace the new (life in Christ). 

If it seems too hard to let go of the old, just remember that none of us have to do things alone anymore if we are in Christ. No. Why? Well, we don’t have to do anything alone anymore because we walk in Him and in His newness. All that He encompasses becomes ours. We become partakers. His strength becomes our strength. His truth becomes our truth. His blessed gift becomes ours.

Morning Meditation: 2 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!”

The Words We Say & the Heart That Drives Them

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Are you mindful of the words you speak? 

Do you say the things that need to be said or the words that you have always wanted to say with the gloves off?

Was the comment that you made in that moment of anger really worth the cost?

Does the Bible say anything about controlling the tongue, listening more intently, and/or the mouth and heart connection? 

Question of the Day: What does the heart have to do with what comes out of the mouth? 

(Picture courtesy of quopic)

In the Down Time (A Statement on My Truth as It Stands)

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2015 – the year of my TRUTH walk – has proven to be quite revealing. I have been hit with unexpected challenges all around. I have faced an extreme health crisis, an epic spiritual war, a painful relationship conflict with a dear friend, and a peculiar ministry shift. Through it all, however, God has remained faithful. He has remained constant and unwavering. He has continued to be loving and gracious. And for that, I praise Him!

In my down time, God has loved up on me and lifted me when I could not speak. He has drawn me close and given me of His Life. He has been more than patient. He has enabled me to yet again see His strength made perfect (2 Cor 12:9). 

As an encouragement, I want to take a moment to share 5 of my down time truths with you. May God bless your life through these.

Truth #1: The truth is that the LORD is Jehovah Rapha/Jehovah Rophe.

Truth #2: The truth is that Psalm 34 is a powerful message in every situation.

Truth #3: The truth is that 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 needs to be recited daily and written on the hearts of all men. 

Truth #4: The truth is that people will see what they want to see, but God alone sees the true heart. 

Truth#5: The truth is that we will all be called to give an account. (BLB)

Spiritual Life Fitness Challenge: Take these truths and explore their depths as far as you can go. You may discover a transforming wisdom lesson in each.

A Family, Faith & Fun Book Recommendation|Noah’s Voyage

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Title: Noah’s Voyage

Author: David Miles

About the Book: “Noah s Voyage tells the story of a brave and faithful hero of the Old Testament. Written in the I Can Read level two standards, with age-appropriate vocabulary and concepts, young readers read about Noah, a simple man with great faith and trust in God. When God asks Noah to follow his directions, build an ark, and put two of every animal on it, Noah and his family do what they are asked, knowing God would not steer them wrong.”

Phone Tree Review: Noah’s Voyage was a super quick read with colorful and bright illustrations. In the simpliest of ways, this book told the story of Noah and his divine assignment. It emphasized his God relationship, as well as his response to God’s calling. It also presented the unique role of Noah’s family in this very familiar Bible story. 

My kids liked this book. Because they were previously exposed to Noah’s story, they were able to freely converse about what they knew and about what the book revealed. 

I love the I Can Read books, and this book was no exception. 

Rating: 4/5

Recommend: Yes

Audience: All

Status: G

A complimentary copy of this title was made available by the publisher in exchange for an honest critique. The words I have expressed are my own. I was neither compensated for my review nor expected to submit a positive review. 

12 Sundays (A 5P Journey Through the Psalms)

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12 Sundays…Weeks 10-12

  

Position: Psalm 78

Pore Over/Paraphrase: There is a truth that must be spoken. It is for all to hear. It is a truth that concerns the LORD. The greatness of God, of His instruction, and of His dealings with His beloved people are to be revealed from generation to generation. 

God’s people must not forget from whence they came. They must remember where their hope can be found. If they forget that their focus, their strength, their provision, and their deliverance are found in God, then they are in danger of becoming stiff-necked and rebellious. And where there is a maintained presence of stubborn rigidity, arrogance and a rebelliousness, there can only be a heart that is not fully in tune with God.

How do God’s people turn their hearts from Him and rebel? How do they begin the path toward selfishness and arrogance? It begins with a lack of reverence, moves toward a disregard for the holy covenant, and quickly escalates to a sense of entitlement. From there, it travels toward a pure unfaithfulness and a forgetfulness. 

But what should not be forgotten? What should be remembered, reflected upon, and shared from father to son and mother to daughter, from saved to unsaved? What should be passed on regarding truth? This must be shared:

– God has done many marvelous works and wonders.

– The miraculous works and wonders of God were shown to His people and others.

– God separated the sea and allowed His children to pass through it. 

– God was present for His people day and night as they were led from bondage. 

– God provided for the needs of His children every step of the way.

– Although the Most High God did all that He could do for His children, they were never satisfied, and as such, they continuously sinned against Him. 

– The more God provided for the needs of His people, the more His people spoke about a greater want or a greater need.

– An unbelieving, faithless, irreverent people provoked the LORD. 

– But God, so full of grace and love, of mercy and compassion, provided bread from heaven and abundance in blessings. 

– For their sin and unbelief, they were punished, but they sinned even more. 

– Some of God’s children repented and reflected on who and what God was and had always been to them.

– Many of God’s children have lip service only. 

– Many failed to respect God.

– Many did not acknowledge the miracles in Egypt, the journey to freedom, or the divine deliverance that was in play at His hands.

– Many forgot how God dealt with the enemies of His children. 

– The children of God became more concerned with idols rather than with God.

– God was angry because of how His children were acting. He loathed their cheating ways.

– God left His wayward children to their ways until such a time that He saw fit to intervene.

– The LORD chose His God-blessed representative and established a means of salvation which would stand forever. 

Pull Out (the spiritual principles):

– History is of value in the most spiritual sense.

– God should never be forgotten. 

– Nothing good that happens is of self, it is a gift from God. 

– The entire truth of God, in relation to His people, should be shared – the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

– Hope, salvation, deliverance and freedom are all found in the LORD. It can come from no other source.

– Pride, arrogance, selfishness, stubbornness and hard-heartedness have no place in the lives of the faithful. 

– Revere God and keep His holy covenant.

– God is a God of miracles, wonders and works.

– God was, is and will always be the God who is present.

– Disobedience will always come with a consequence. 

– Repentance from a sincere heart is vital. 

– God knows the heart, the mind and the memory (or lack thereof) of His children.

– God loves us in spite of ourselves. 

– God’s love surpasses the love that man expresses toward himself and others. 

– The mouth and the heart are connected. Be careful what comes out of it. 

– It is God alone who administers justice and delivers judgment.

– If you seek to live a life of idolatry and adultery, you may be handed over into it. The way of such is certain death. 

– JESUS is the perfect answer and resolution to all things. He is both Savior and LORD. 

Pose (the questions):

– Have I forgotten God in any way?

– How often do I revisit the history of the ancients?

– Where has God brought me from on my journey toward freedom?

– Are the choices I make about me or about God?

– Who have I told about God and His people or about Jesus and/or His sacrifice?

– Am I hope-filled or hopeless?

– Do I live in bondage or as a free man/woman?

– What keeps me from being faithful to God?

– In what ways am I stubborn?

– Do pride and arrogance exist in my being? 

– What is true reverence to  God about?

– What do I know about holiness and God’s covenant?

– How are miracles, wonders and works of my

God manifested in this present age?

– What does it mean to me to know that God is present? 

– Why is it so much more desirable for men to live in disobedience?

– Do people repent daily? 

-What is the Biblical definition of repentance?

– Why do we try to hide from the God Who Sees?

– What great takeaway should we grasp about God’s love and His heart for His beloved children?

– What Scripture discusses “that which proceeds out of the mouth is in the heart?”

– Do I allow God to be God? 

– Am I guilty of getting in God’s way? 

– Where do idolatry and/or spiritual adultery exist in my life?

– Who is JESUS to me? How do I view Him? 

Plan: 

Spend some time reviewing all of your notes from the 12 Sundays series. Pray to God for greater understanding and godly wisdom. Stay in the Word of God and praise the Most High every day you are given!