April 30, 2011

Reset

Sometimes we need a reset. We’re tired, frustrated, and angry. Nothing is seems to be going right. Discouragement sets in and we get in a cycle of dispair, worry, and drowning sadness.

1. Stop what you are doing. When we’re going through difficult situations, one of the things we don’t do is stop. We continue along the same path until something negative happens to us. We need to stop making bad decisions, stop working, and stop thinking. We need to take time to quiet our minds, hearts, and lives to hear the Lord clearly. Maybe we need to go on long walk or drive, sit quietly, or take a longer lunch break. Maybe we just need to be alone.

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: April 2011,Encourage   -  Tags:      

1 Corinthians 9:24-27Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Many of us do not overcome in certain areas because we lack self-discipline. We may gain some ground and get things accomplished, but there seems to be ONE thing (or a few) that keep us from growing. Even as you read these two sentences, that thing (or things) have already come to your mind. That ONE thing stands in your way of greater discipline in the Lord.

1. We have our good days where we’re focused on and point. However, it’s not sustained for a long period of time. We hold up for a day or two, then we slowly slide back into our old habits, traits, and even sins. It is our lack of discipline that keeps us from staying at a consistent level of purpose and focus.

2. The Spirit is always willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). Even as Jesus spoke to Peter before His betrayal concerning the temptation to await him, there are many that await us as well. Our flesh is weak against the onslaught of temptation. It wants to give into every delicacy to please itself. That’s all it wants – to be pleased and satified. The flesh doesn’t care who it hurts or what it has to do to get it – it just wants what it wants.

But isn’t God suppose to help me?!

3. God will help you, but God will not make you. Many people believe that God will make them live right and put the responsibility on Him. It is His desire that none would be lost (2 Peter 3:9), but many will choose to live outside of His will. Holiness is a choice that we must choose to make, and God will help us make that decision if we choose. For example, read the book of Jonah. God told Jonah to go to a Ninevah to speak to the people and Jonah went the opposite direction. God did many things to get Jonah’s attention, but He did not make him go to Nineveh.

4. Where we are weak, we can call out to the Lord to help us. Paul illustrated this in his second letter to the church in Corinth:

2 Corinthians 12:6-10For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

God’s grace is sufficient for us, but many will not want it or call upon Him in the day of temptation/testing. They will give into the temptation as they ‘feel’ or led to believe it is their only course of action, but giving in is not the only choice. We can live for God!

Now, going back to 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul speaks about those that run in a race. The people that run, do so to win the prize that only one of them can receive. In order for them to win the prize, they discipline themselves (and train) so that they have the best opportunity to win. Paul tells the people of Corinth that those people run for an corruptible crown and they should run (their lives of faith) for the incorruptible one.

5. We should not run aimlessly, but keep our bodies under subjection. If we fight aimlessly, we may hit a lot of things, but we will not hit the things we need to with purpose. Our focus is not centered, but scattered, and our chances at winning are lessened. Paul says that he keeps his body under subjection for fear that when he preaches to others, he himself would not be a castaway (from receiving the eternal prize). We must keep our bodies in subjection as well. The flesh does not want to do ‘right,’ and the second you give it an opportunity to stretch, it’s going to run too.

6. Live a disciplined life each day. Many people are not taught to live with discipline. We’re not shown how to live with purpose and on purpose – how to live a disciplined life everyday (or each moment). However, you don’t have to live in the moment with your flesh in charge. Put it back into submission and live in righteousness before God. That ‘thing’ you need to do, you CAN do it!

Make the choice.

Make the decision.

Call on God for help.

Take back your time.

Take back your life.

You only have one to live.

It’s time to work and win the prize. Go get it!

Photo courtesy of CreationSwap/paulcarlson

By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: April 2011,Christian Living   -  Tags:      

April 22, 2011

Active Engagement

One of the reasons we’re unsuccessful against temptation and sin is we don’t take an active stance against it.

1 Peter 5:8-10 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

If you’ve ever watched a nature show with lions, you would witness how they select their prey. The female lions wait in a distance to select the weakest, youngest, animal that has strayed from the pack. They do not select the strongest, fastest, or one among the group. They choose the one they would have the most success in overtaking. Our adversary is the same.

He will wait for moments of weakness in our heart, mind, or lives to attack us and tempt us into sin. Honestly, you may notice that he uses the same tactics/things to get you over and over…and over again. Therefore, it is important that we understand what we must do to combat the attacks of the enemy.

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: April 2011,Sin/Temptation   -  Tags:          

April 19, 2011

The Ratchet

Many people are talking about reaching new levels or being elevated in the Lord. They’re waiting for their season of blessing, joy, peace, overflow, and abundance. Little thought goes into their current season – besides wanting out of it. However, the Lord uses seasons of trials and tribulations to mold us into mature disciples that resemble His Son (Romans 8:29).

Many people will find that when they complete one ‘test’ of life, another is right around the corner. Then, when they finish that one, another one awaits (but maybe not right away). Our lives are filled with various situations and circumstances that challenge the comfortable ground we’re on, want to remain on, and desire to be.

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: April 2011,Patience,Perseverance   -  Tags:    

April 18, 2011

Walk it O-F-F

Psalm 37:8 – Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

There comes a time when you’re so mad that the the scripture above doesn’t come to mind. In fact, the only thing that comes to mind when you’re mad is revenge; giving into temptation/sin; and going O-F-F on someone! Peace, love, calmness are no where near your mind.

Anger is a dangerous emotion. Anger desires a response. It doesn’t consider the consequences. It only considers itself – at all costs. It’s a highway to other emotions and actions:

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Job issues. Money problems. Bad situations with family and friends. Kids. Car Problems. Home at risk.

There’s so many things going on in our lives each day that seem to pull us in several directions at once. At times we just want a little peace and quiet to get away from the day, but we’re welcomed with another issue. Then, on top of all this, we have to live right before God…then temptation shows up. Many times temptation seems like the straw that breaks our back and we want to give up and give in. It may seem that giving into our desires and temptations is an easy road out and will give us temporary relief from our problems (a bit of a distraction) – one less thing to fight off. But giving in and giving up never solves our problems, it only make things worse:

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: April 2011,Sin/Temptation   -  Tags:  

Matthew 5:14-16 – Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

When the time for glorifying God comes, some redirect the attention away from God unto themselves. Now, they don’t intentially take away His glory in that manner (some do), but in themselves, they want to be acknowledged for the hard work they accomplish; God using them to bless someone; and to please their own pride/ego.

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: April 2011,Pride/Humility   -  Tags:          

In church leadership, pastors, ministers, musicians, and others that come before the church are often respected, appreciated, and supported. Their presence, anointing from God, and character/charisma can be an awe-inspiring representation of the things many hope to see in themselves and especially others (i.e. spouse). However, what begins as appreciation and thankfulness from afar can become much more within – and this is from the leader.

If the leader is not careful, they can misinterpret the person’s true intent and believe they have an ‘agenda’ to establish an intimate relationship. Some leaders would also use intimacy as a way of expressing their appreciation. They may assume there is an attraction and may even act on that assumption, not realizing that the person did not like them in that manner.

This is for both single and married leaders.

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: April 2011,Sex and Relationships   -  Tags:      

Many churches around the world receive new visitors. It is important that we emphasize, support, and acknowledge visitors on each visit. We should go out of our way to allow them to feel comfortable, loved, and prepared to worship the Lord. Sadly however, many churches (and members) give very little attention to visitors or seek to use them as commodities. Most visitors on their first (or second) visit experience the following:

  • Offers to work immediately in a ministry.
  • Compelled to give (financially) beyond what is in their heart.
  • Largely ignored by over half the congregation.
  • Criticized for their dress, status, or behavior (or their children’s behavior).

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: April 2011,Church,Ministry/Service   -  Tags:

For many young men and women accepting the Lord’s calling to preach, a wonderful purpose in God awaits. Their hearts and minds are filled with anticipating of preaching and teaching across a pulpit to share God’s truths to His people. And week after week and year after year, many eagerly wait for their chance to preach. Some will have opportunities at Sunday evening service, Saturday service, or maybe Sunday school, but nothing would compare to Sunday morning service. However, there is more to being a minister of the Lord than speaking on Sunday.

Long before you preach a sermon across the Lord’s pulpit, you speak and interact with people. The life of a minister (on any scale) is:

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: April 2011,Ministry/Service   -  Tags:      

Scriptures

Genesis

2   3   4   9   10   12   13   15   25   28   41


Exodus

2   3   17   18   22   23   31   32


Leviticus

24


Numbers

14   15   16   19   20   21


Deuteronomy

1   6   7   17   24   27   32


Joshua

1  9  22


Judges

3


1 Samuel

1   16


2 Chronicles

20


Ezra

8


Nehemiah

9


Job

1  2  16


Psalms

1  5  9  11  15  16  18  90  19  33  34  37  39  46  51  55  63  68  78  90  91  94  101  104  103  119  121  122  139  145  146  147


Proverbs

3  4  5  6  8  9  10  11  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  21  22  23  24  25  27  29  30


Ecclesiastes

3  4  5  7  11


Isaiah

1  14  25  26  43  55  59  64


Jeremiah

1


Ezekiel

2  28


Daniel

3  10


Jonah

1  2  3  4


Habakkuk

2


Zechariah

7


Malachi

2


Matthew

4  5  6  7  8  9  10  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  24  25  26  28


Mark

2  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  16


Luke

4  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  16  17  18  19  24


John

1  2  3  4  6  7  8  9  10  12  13  14  15  16  17


Acts

1  2  4  8  9  6  10  13  17


Romans

1  3  4  5  6  7  8  10  12  13  14  15  16


1 Corinthians

2  3  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  15


2 Corinthians

4  5  8  9  10  11  12


Galatians

3  5  6


Ephesians

2  4  5  6


Philippians

1  2  4


Colossians

1  2  3


1 Thessalonians

4  5


2 Thessalonians

2


1 Timothy

2  3  4  5  6


2 Timothy

2  3  4


Titus

1  2  3


Hebrews

1  2  3  4  5  6  8  9  10  11  12


James

1  3  4  5


1 Peter

1  2  3  4  5


2 Peter

1  2  3


1 John

1  2  3


2 John

1


3 John

1


Jude

1


Revelation

1  2  3  12  14  20  21  22

Dates

2019

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12

2018

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2017

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2016

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2015

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2014

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2013

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2012

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2011

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2010

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2009

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2008

 1  2  3  4  4  5  6  8  9  10  11  12


2007

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2006

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2005

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2003

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2002

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2001

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12

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