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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 12:02pm
Topic: A Prayer for Direction
Today's Prayer
Heavenly Father, Please show me the right paths you would have me follow. Sometimes, I'm not sure of the direction I should go. I stumble and run into roadblocks. I don't understand why things are not going the way I think they should. Help me to see how these roadblocks and detours are being used to redirect my life. I love you and want to follow you. Thank you for your promise that "all things work together for good to those who love the Lord." Amen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 12:05pm
Receiving Bad News
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
09-18-2008

"Also our enemies said, 'Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work'" (Neh 4:11).

I opened the letter from the attorney and began to read the contents. The more I read, the sicker my stomach felt. I could not believe the words I was reading. I literally felt sick with fear. Perhaps you've had a similar experience. Maybe you got news that you've got cancer. Or someone has had an accident. Or you are being sued.

Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem. The going was tough. As if things were not tough enough, he got a letter from another corrupt government official threatening to kill anyone involved in rebuilding the wall.

"But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem's walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat (Neh 4:7-9 emphasis mine).

There is but one response we should have to bad news. Pray to our God and take the necessary steps to defend ourselves against the threat. This was Nehemiah's response.

Once you begin to take these actions avoid projecting what might happen to you in the future. This is a sure-fire first step toward depression. Ask God's grace for one day at a time only.

"Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" (Luke 12:24-26).

Turn your bad news over to the Lord. He specializes in turning crises into opportunities.

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*I just want to give a quick testimony; I have received many bad news in the past months and it is true what it says above that you should pray to God. I started to visualize things turning worse, and of course the prayer seemed to be in vain because I "cancelled" its work when I started to think bad things. But when I prayed and just let it go and let God handle it, and really trusted that everything would be ok, everything turned out ok. God can help you but you have to trust and you have to believe.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 12:11pm
Peace: Our Weapon Against Fear
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
07-25-2008

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline" (2 Tim. 1:7).

Fear is the enemy of faith. Fear is bondage. Satan wants us to live in bondage to the past and even the future, but God wants us to live in the freedom of His love and power in the present. As Paul wrote, "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father'" (Rom. 8:15).

In order to be the leaders God calls us to be, we must conquer our fear and put it to death. This is a spiritual battle, and it can only be won with spiritual weapons. We must replace our fear with the peace that surpasses understanding. As Jesus told His followers, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

As the apostle Paul told the persecuted Christians in Rome, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (Rom. 16:20). The God of peace is our conquering King; the peace of God is our weapon against fear and Satan. Before going to the cross, Jesus told His disciples, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).

Fear is a natural response to obstacles, adversity and failure, but peace is the supernatural response that God gives us by His grace. Just as Jesus had authority over the wind and waves, He has authority over the storms in our lives. He has authority over our doubts, fears and shame.

Doubts, fear and shame are the weapons of Satan, but Jesus stands against Satan's fury and says with authority, "Peace, be still." The peace of God shatters the weapons of Satan and sends our enemy fleeing.

Appropriate the peace God has already provided for you today.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 12:14pm
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You Were Made to Fly
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
07-23-2008

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised" (Job 1:21).

Can a caterpillar fly? If you said, "No," you would be partially correct. Actually, a caterpillar can fly, but it must have a transformation first.

The butterfly begins life as a caterpillar, a wormlike larva that spins a cocoon for itself. For weeks, the larva remains hidden within the cocoon as it undergoes metamorphosis. When it's time for the butterfly to emerge, it must struggle and fight its way out of the cocoon. We might be tempted to help this process by tearing open the cocoon - but that's the worst thing we could do. The struggle makes it strong and enables it to fly. Butterflies need adversity to become what God intended them to be. So do we.

The Book of Job is the story of a wealthy and successful community leader named Job. He was a successful and righteous businessman with huge holdings of livestock and real estate. One day Satan came before God and asked him, "Where have you come from?" Satan replied, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."

God said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? He is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." Notice that God pointed Job out to Satan! God gave Satan permission to put Job through a trial of adversity. Job's herds were stolen, his servants were murdered, and all of Job's children were killed by a sudden tornado.

Through his trial of adversity, he grows in strength, wisdom and faith. His entire perspective on God is transformed by his suffering. He was even accused of sin by his closest friends.

We must get beyond the immature notion that God is interested only in making us healthy, wealthy and happy. More than anything, He wants us to be like Christ. And the road to becoming like Christ often leads through the wilderness of adversity.

In order for the butterfly to fly, there must be a transformation process that is often developed through adversity.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 12:18pm
A prayer for those who are worried

Today's Prayer

Dear God, You have instructed me to not be anxious, worrisome, overly concerned for any thing...but instead to bring everything to you in prayer and thanksgiving. If I do this, you have promised me that your peace, which passes all understanding, shall keep my heart and mind through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). I come to you now for myself and on behalf of my brothers and sisters in Christ, and  for those who suffer so much due to anxiety and depression. I pray that you will fill us with your peace; that you will touch our minds and remind us that we do not need to worry. You are our God and maker. You will handle it for us. Worrying does no good. May we lean into you, talk with you, spend time in your Word and before the throne of grace. May we fellowship with other Christians, those who will encourage us, even more so as the day approaches. Right now, this day, we give you our concerns and ask that you will work out all to our good and your glory. Thank you, Father, for loving us and carrying our burdens. Thank you, Father, for providing our needs. Thank you, Father, for Jesus Christ our Savior and the hope He has given. For it is in His name I pray, amen.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 12:22pm

Fatal Distractions: Anointed Beyond the Hour!

In John 12:27, Jesus said his soul was troubled as he approached the hour of his greatest pain.  His mind (what he thought), his will (what he did), and his emotions (what he felt) were all distressed with the knowledge of what he must soon go through.  But, what gave him strength to deal with the approaching hour of pain was the fact that this was why he came.  And that ultimately, he would obtain victory.

As Christians, we have been chosen by God.  But, not just for the good hours (times when we feel happiness), but for the hours of pain (the moment when we will have to battle and represent Christ).  And yes, these hours will trouble our souls.  But, like Christ, we will not be defeated during this hour because we have been anointed to get past our hour of pain and to our hour of victory.

Victorious Scripture Text:

John 12:27 (KJV) 27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (KJV) 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 12:32pm

Defining Unforgiveness

By Charles Stanley

READ | Matthew 5:23-24

Now that we've looked at forgiveness, let's think about unforgiveness; the deliberate decision to cling to 1) resentment you feel toward someone else and 2) your right to get even any way you can. It's a mindset that says, "You hurt me. You must pay."

What an ungodly, unscriptural attitude! And yet it is painfully evident in the hearts of far too many Christians. Therefore, we need to uncover the dark truth behind this destructive landmine. Unforgiveness . . .

I. Demonstrates unwillingness to extend to others what the Lord has extended to you (Eph. 4:32). It simply means saying with your attitude that you refuse to show the grace and forgiveness of Christ to anyone else.

II Plants a root of bitterness in your heart.It may start with some simple resentment because of the way someone else acted. Then, that little seed of animosity begins to grow. Before long, a whole crop of anger, malice, and bitterness completely dominates you. If it is not dealt with early, these bitter fruits will spoil every part of your life.

III Prevents your becoming the person God wants you to be. An unforgiving spirit makes it impossible to accomplish what the heavenly Father has in mind for you. How can you expect to grow in Christ while willfully allowing bitterness to erode your heart?

The results of withholding forgiveness are obvious, and yet many believers stumble into this very trap. Don't fall for it. Ask God to help you release any unforgiveness you have, and be reconciled to your brothers and sisters without delay.

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God Leads Us into the Desert
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
10-03-2008

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil" (Matt 4:1).

There is a common teaching going around today that says if you do all the right things in your Christian life, you will be blessed and never experience problems in your life. This teaching is heresy. The Bible says that we will encounter many problems during this lifetime. Just read Peter's epistle.

Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Why would God lead His Son into the desert to be tempted? Why would God lead you and I into the desert?

The desert is a place to learn something about ourselves. It is the place where we determine if we will truly live by every Word of God, not by bread alone. When Satan tempted Jesus in the desert, Jesus responded to every temptation by citing what the Word of God said about that temptation.

This is also the way you and I must respond to the temptations that are brought our way. We must have the Word of God written into our hearts in order to know how to respond to given situations. The Bible says, "the truth shall make you free." It is knowing and doing the will of God that allows us to live free from the temptation of evil.

The desert is often the place of silence. However, it is also a place where the devil will speak loudest because you are in a place of weakness and the comforts of your normal life are not to be found. It is a place where God is often silent but can also be a place where God speaks loudest. The word desert comes from the Hebrew word "dahbaar" which means "to speak."

If God has placed you in the desert, meditate on the Word of God so that you will withstand the temptation that comes in the desert place.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 12:44pm
Deliverance from the Black Hole
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
09-30-2008

"As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Joshua 1:5b).

A black hole is a place of total nothingness. It's a time in our life when God removes the resources and supports that we normally rely on to feel secure - our careers, finances, friends, family, health and so forth. It is a preparation time.

When you find yourself in a black hole experience, don't just sit and brood. Take stock of your life. Take a look at your relationship with God.

First, ask God if there are any sins, habits, or attitudes that He might be judging in your life. It's important to discern whether the trial we face is the result of God's discipline for our sin?or if it is preparing us for a future leadership role.

Second, when you enter a black hole, don't trust your feelings. Trust God. Your feelings will tell you, "God has rejected you. Abandon hope. He has left you utterly alone." Feelings change; God never changes. Feelings come and go; God is always with us.

Third, remember that your black hole experience is not only intended to refine and define you; it's also intended to influence and change the lives of hundreds or even thousands of other people. Our adversity is not just for us, but others in our sphere of influence.

Fourth, don't try to hurry the black hole process along. Remember, when Joseph was in the depths of the pit, there was nothing he could do about it. He couldn't climb out, jump out, levitate out, or talk his way out. All he could do was pray and wait upon the Lord.

Fifth, lean on God. Even when you don't feel like praying, pray. Even when you don't feel like reading His Word, read. Even when you don't feel like singing songs of faith, sing. When you pray, don't just talk; listen. Be silent before Him and listen for His still, quiet voice.

Sixth, be alert to new truths and new perspectives. During a black hole experience, God often leads us to amazing new discoveries. A black hole can be a storehouse of unexpected riches for the soul.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 12:56pm

A Life of Becoming

By Charles Stanley

READ | 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

Probably the greatest obstacle to understanding God's purpose for brokenness is this: Most believers think of Christianity as something we do. We pray. We read the Bible. We go to church. We sing hymns. We give money. We do and do; and assume that's the Christian life. It's not.

Authentic Christianity is about becoming rather than doing. The life of faith that God designed involves receiving Jesus into our hearts and allowing Him to change our habits, mindset, beliefs, interests, and concerns so we become more and more like Him.

Realizing this will change our perspective on the heartache we must endure. You see, when we recognize that the Christian life is about Jesus, persistent work of "re-creation" in our lives, then the role of brokenness makes more sense. It's the process God uses to strip us of things that have become, or may one day become, an obstacle to our growth. The Lord also uses this tool to address issues we may have declared "off limits" to Him, such as unhealthy behaviors or relationships that we rationalize.

God doesn't want to be Lord of most of your life; He wants to be Lord of all of your life! So He zeroes in on areas of self-will and self-sufficiency to remove everything within us that relies on "self." He uses brokenness to remove those inclinations so that we can live moment by moment, day by day, in full dependence on Him.

Open your heart, and ask God to reveal any selfish strongholds. Let Him break unhealthy behavior patterns.

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