Accepting Wise Counsel

accepting wise counsel

“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Proverbs 19:20 NIV

I have found that doubt and unbelief contribute to me being slow to act in obedience to God’s Word. It keeps me from moving forward. The more often doubt and unbelief weigh into my decisions, the more delays keep me from receiving my heart’s desires. It can be a vicious circle.  The more delays, the more doubt and unbelief. It may start as a little thing.  It can continue to grow and rob me of more and more of what God has for me. Sometimes others see it before I do.  Their wisdom and counsel are a breath of fresh air. They give me new perspective to take back to the Lord in prayer.

Father, I repent. Help me be sure-footed and know that You are always with me.  I am never alone! Keep me firmly rooted in Your Word as a discipline to my heart.  Give me faith to move forward and believe for the best! Keep my heart humble and accepting of wise counsel.

Proverbs 2:1-9, 8:34-35

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Keep It Simple

keep it simple

16” Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good,22 reject every kind of evil.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NIV

Rejoice always: Our joy is full in God

Pray continuously: The more we pray, the more we are able to rejoice!

Give thanks in all circumstances: If we pray without ceasing, there will not be a shortage of thanksgiving

Do not quench the Spirit: Be mindful. Carnal lusts and affections and earthly things extinguish the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Do not treat prophecies with contempt: We are to value the preaching, interpretation and application of God’s Word in our lives.

Test them all: We must not believe everything.  We must be settled in God’s Word and hold fast to it.

Reject every kind of evil: Others will see the Truth in us if we maintain integrity and a pure heart.

Father God, search my heart. I repent for my hesitancy to step out in faith. Thank you for every perfect thing that You place in my path. Thank you for Your faithfulness. Thank you for Your grace and Your mercy. Thank you for Your patience with me as I learn to let go of more and more.  Thank you for stretching me and preparing me, Father. Thank you for trusting me. Holy Spirit, be my guide. Be my love. Be my bright light in the darkness.

Psalm 26:2-3, Proverbs 2:11, Proverbs 4:23, Philippians 2:15, Philippians 4:8

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Personal Prayer Garden

personal prayer garden

“Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:38 NIV

I have the sense that prayer creates forward motion…on many planes: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Active prayer engages with hope and anticipation.  It means we lean INTO it.  We lean FORWARD in prayer. I liken it to a suspenseful movie or conversation that makes you lean so far forward that you are on the edge of your seat.  It feels like if you move one millimeter closer, you are going to fall right out of your chair. Plop! Right onto the floor.

I believe that it is that supernatural tension that keeps us suspended in mid-air.  It keeps us from falling out of our spiritual chair, so to speak.

I have never prayed so hard that I sweat drops of blood like Jesus.  However as I have prayed during particularly hard times, I have felt the sensation that God was carrying me.  That I was staying afloat by supernatural means.  I believe the only way that occurred is through a prayer full of surrender and total reliance on God.  I still struggle.  I still mess up.  I start picking up old patterns of self-reliance.  Ugh. I know it will get better!  I am so thankful that God never gives up on me.  Sometimes I have to walk through painful reminders to get back to that place of full surrender all over again.

I remain thankful.  I know God never leaves me or forsakes me.  Even when my hard head gets in the way!

Father, thank you for Your love and Your grace and Your mercy.  Teach me to pray.  Teach me to pray like Jesus. Teach me to rely on You.  Teach me Your ways.

Matthew 26:36-45, Luke 22:39-46, Deuteronomy 31:6

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Be Content

Be Content

“Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it. For we know that “God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 The Voice

It all starts at the heart. Everything grows and springs forth out of our heart.  Our words. Our motives. Our plans. Our intentions.

How can we learn to be content with what we have?

  • View material goods as given by God to be used wisely
  • Work hard to earn and save money
  • Give to the Lord’s work and those in need
  • Remember to be thankful and to enjoy what God gives

Lord, tend to my heart. Teach me how to be a good steward with every blessing that You give.  Help me to use all things with a kingdom mindset.

Matthew 25:14-30, Proverbs 6:6-11, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Proverbs 19:17, 1 Timothy 6:17

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A Healthy Diet

healthy diet

”Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 1 Peter 2:1NIV

Malice: settled overgrown anger, retained until it inflames a man to design mischief; to do mischief or delight in any mischief that befalls another.

Deceit: flattery, falsehood and delusion which is a craftiness imposing upon another’s ignorance or weakness to his damage.

Hypocrisy: counterfeit piety; counterfeit friendship – those who give high complements that they do not believe, make promises which they never intend to perform or pretend friendship when mischief lies in their hearts.

Envy: grieving at the good and welfare of another, at their abilities, prosperity, fame, or successful labors.

Slander: detraction; speaking against another or defaming him.

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 1 Peter 2:2NIV

Salvation: the word of God, rightly used, does not leave a man as it finds him, but improves and makes him better.

now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:3 NIV

Taste the Lord: grace is discovered by an experimental taste; there must be an immediate consumption of it. We cannot taste at a distance.

In order to taste grace we have to be united in Christ by faith.  Through faith we taste God’s goodness in all our provision, our circumstances, our spiritual concerns, our fears and temptations.  We do this by being in His Word and worshiping Him daily. When we “feed” on God’s Word we taste and experience His grace to the fullest.

Lord, help me to feed upon Your Word daily and put aside foolish things – malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. Help me to grow up in Your salvation.

Psalm 121:7-8

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Check The Instruction Manual

check the instruction manual

“The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:20 NIV

The Bible is a great book of instruction and life examples.  It contains just about every storyline you can imagine: murder, intrigue, love, sibling rivalry and more. You name it. It has it.  Every story serves a purpose.  A real life purpose for today.

As I was reading in Revelation, I began to recognize pieces that relate to this moment in time. As John was talking about the seven churches, I realized they all had their issues.  And they all had characteristics that He loved. When I think of God, I think of perfection.  These churches were far from perfect!

These churches hold lessons for churches today. They are roadmaps for setting things in order for the return of Jesus Christ. They represent the struggles of the churches of today and the corrections that need to be made.

When Jesus died on the cross for us, we were not perfect. We were made perfect in Him. Churches need to be operating in His Spirit in order to function and perform the work that needs to be accomplished.

Lord, perfect our faith.

Revelation chapters 1-3

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Heart To Heart

heart to heart

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 NIV

Our God is all about relationship.  He wants to walk with us.  He’s always there for us but sometimes we prefer to walk by ourselves.  Have you ever taken a walk with someone and they always try to walk ahead or lag way behind?  It’s really hard to communicate if they are not walking WITH you.  In order to walk with God, He asks that out of love for Him we respect His ways.  His ways are good ways and they certainly save us a lot of heartache.  But most of all, if our heart is turned toward God, we will have intimacy with Him.

The deeper that intimacy grows, the more the desire to please Him grows.  The desires of His heart become the desires of our heart.

Father, I pray that my heart will be so surrendered to You so that Your ways become mine.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13, 2 Peter 1:5-8, Ephesians 4:32, James 4:6-10

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