Attitude of the heart is everything…
Things you regularly say are clear indicators of the attitude of your heart.
Pointing out the faults of everyone else won’t erase your own.
We all are guilty of it sometimes, but if we aren’t careful, it will take over our heart. We are at war with the spirit of this world…gotta stay alert and keep each other encouraged.
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking,be put away from you, with all malice” Ephesians 4:31″Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8
Lord, today I ask that you give me grace to allow your Word to penetrate my heart…and cut away the uncleanness that’s in it. Help me to speak only words of encouragement. Help me to live by example in Jesus name.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11)
Want here indicates need. Learning is a process that takes time.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Philippians 4:12)
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)
When read in context, this scripture isn’t talking about signs and wonders…it’s talking about being content in all situations…and being at peace with God.
TV preachers promise return on blessing which usually somehow winds up equal to materialistic gain.
The greatest blessing we can hope for is absolutely possible to receive while we are hungry and broke!
Paul said that he was fasting & hungry often…..
So what’s the benefit of living for God if He isn’t going to fix all the problems? The benefit is learning that happiness, peace and joy are completely independent from this world.
How else does the world know who the real people of God are?
Two houses…one on a rock and one on the sand. The difference was what happened when the rain came.
Few Christians get to the point that they can be trusted with great trials. We must determine in our hearts that we will learn to trust Him….and refuse to allow fear cause us to just be spectators.
Many days that I have the most pressure…the most strife…the least amount of patience are the days when I didn’t start out by going boldly to the throne of grace.
Grace gives us the strength to SHOUT over the testimony without yet seeing the completed work!
Credit to: Bishop Chester Wright
God intends for his grace to be the only source of my ability to do anything.
The greatest blessing you can pray for someone is to pray for grace & peace from the Father be upon them.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12
The power is God’s GRACE to live!
We notice that there’s a colon at the end of that verse, so we must continue on….
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14
If Jesus is full of grace and truth, what should we also be full of?
And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. John 1:16
The more we yield to the will of God, the more grace He provides. He only uses what we yield to Him. It isn’t God’s will to wrestle with us until we give in to His will. He is seeking those that will just let go.
What have we to fear in letting go? The devil?
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
The devil can’t do anything to me that the Father doesn’t allow (remember Job?). We aren’t vulnerable to the devil. Our God is not frail and weak. He causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). So anything that the devil throws at you is intended to grow you toward God.
God loves us so much that He will allow things to happen just to get rid of the parts of our nature that separate us from Him. Those attacks should be reminding us to humble ourselves, to seek God and to live a repentant lifestyle.
You can’t fear God & the devil at the same time.
Job was doing fine as long as he continued to worship God, but then he began to claim he didn’t deserve what he was going through. Saying, “why me, I don’t deserve this trouble” is a way of blaming God for it.
We blame God when we can’t see past what’s happening to see what God really is doing.
How do I love God during trouble? Grace through faith.
Grace helps us to have the right attitude during the worst storms.
Credit to Bishop Chester Wright. This study can be found on YouTube by searching his name and “grace”
Walking through the street with a flip flop beat.Car broke down; can’t hide
Can’t hide me, cause I don’t have a ride
Car broke down; can’t’ hide,
Can’t hide you, cause I don’t have a ride.
Got my five senses reaching out
and making me want to shout.
They are reaching out in front of me,
feel, taste, touch, smell and see.
There she was again.
All alone without a friend.
A grey wooly blanket covering her body so nothing was bare.
With the sun beaming hot on her matching wooly hair.
I heard a voice telling me to say hello.
So I traveled to her and said very low,
“this is for you,” and I handed her a bill.
She looked up at me and time stood still.
I heard a thank you with a harsh gloomy voice.
My heart trembled that she was there without a choice.
I looked right at her sad eyes,
and her sclera and teeth yellow while her soul dies.
I asked “you come from where?”
She answered “I come from nowhere”
I asked, “you are going where?”
And she answered, “I am going nowhere.
With tears in my eyes
to her I surmise,
“God loves you,
and He is true blue.”
She looked at me and nodded her head,
and then turned away without anything else said.
I stood up and walked away
knowing that I completed my day.
I walked away hitting that street with my flip flop beat.
Car broke down; can’t hide
Can’t hide me, cause I don’t have a ride
Car broke down; can’t’ hide,
Can’t hide you, cause I don’t have a ride.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Want to know if you are spiritual? What percentage of your prayer is about eternal things?
The average Christian prays – IF they pray – for God to alter the temporary pain, problems and pressure of their life. Many Christians live in the natural with spiritual things sprinkled in for flavor when God wants us to live in the spiritual with the natural sprinkled in.
Is prayer intended to change things we don’t like or is it intended to get us to the place where we can be at peace with what’s going on in our life?
The reason Jacob wrestled with God was because he didn’t like what was going on in his life. He wrestled until God took his ability to fight away (touched the hip). Jacob didn’t win that match. You can’t out will God!
Now, let us look back at Hebrews 4: 15-16:
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
The words “let us” implies that is it a CHOICE and “boldly” means with confidence.
Crying in brokenness in prayer is fine, but begging God….as in “poor me, God why don’t you feel sorry for me” just isn’t necessary.
In the OT was mercy, but in the New Testament Jesus Christ brought grace. (John 1)
Mercy = God doesn’t give me what I deserve.
Grace = God gives me what I don’t deserve.
Mercy = Deals with my past
Grace = Never considers my past
Mercy does NOT deal with the future or present tense, it is the removal of past transgressions.
You can’t hold on to your past and expect to have a future at the same time. We must first accept God’s mercy and then receive grace (Hebrews 4:16).
To “find grace” means to pursue it until it has been found.
Anyone that claims to have the grace of God at work in their life but has not repented of sin is not walking in biblical grace.
The clearest definition of grace can be found in Philippians 2: 12-13
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
So, what phrase is most misused in Christianity? “saved by grace”
It has become the anthem of unrepentant hearts. “God understands my hang ups. I’m saved by grace anyway.” Or “I don’t have to do all those good deeds. I’m saved by grace.” What about, “Boy, I messed up big time. Oh well, I’m under grace. I’m forgiven.” But not sorry and never repented……Or even someone saying they are so thankful for grace in their life, yet living with a shopping addiction.
Grace does NOT excuse us from obeying God. It is not a salve for our conscience. Grace is actually the means by which we are able to obey and do the works that we previously weren’t able to do.
Lord, I’m thankful for your mercy. It is Your mercy that heals the past so my scars no longer have to be wounds. Today I am casting all the unhealed wounds on You, Jesus…because you promised to comfort all who mourn. Today I accept the unconditional love of God into my life so that I can begin/continue to be made whole. I understand that upon repentance, I find mercy and I then can obtain grace. I know that when I come to the end of my own strength & ability that I can go to the throne of Grace w/ confidence….and repent for trying to do it on my own in the first place…..then Jesus will give me grace to do what needs to be done.
I will seek God FIRST so that I will already have empowerment from God to do what I cannot do myself. By grace I can choose healthy foods, by grace, I can exercise, by grace I can apologize, by grace I can forgive, by grace I can get the job done, by grace I can seek a holy lifestyle-separated form the things of the world, by grace I can succeed!!! Today I receive God’s grace by faith and today is a GOOD day in Jesus name!
Credit: Chester Wright
When the Word of God is revealing to me that my heart isn’t what it ought to be, rather than despair, I can rest assured that God understands.
Hebrews 4: 14-16 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
How presumptuous of us to believe that we wake up, breathe, get dressed, move and work all by ourselves. Do we think that we do this all on our own because we don’t take time to pray about every little thing?
There is NOTHING I can do by myself. I am stealing glory from God if I don’t acknowledge the fact that it is in Him that I have my being.
God is limitless in what He will do through someone He can trust to give Him the glory.
So, how do I know if I am taking God’s glory?
When I wonder what people think about me after I sing, helped in outreach, witnessed, gave testimony, taught a lesson, and preached a sermon…..
How do I know if I am giving God the glory?
When what I do changes people’s opinion of God and causes them to want to get to know Him better.
So…that having been established….
This ain’t heaven.
God never promised to make our life pain free or pressure free.
In fact, it seems as if He always leaves an amount of trouble in our life so we will always remember that we need Him.
It doesn’t matter how long we’re here on earth. What matters is whether or not we allow God to complete the work He started [that is intended] to equip us for eternity.
What’s more important…what you can see, or what you can’t see?
2 Corinthians 4:5-7 “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
Notice….”we preach not ourselves.” The reason is, because whoever is supplying the power is getting the glory.
If I’m living my life myself, then I’m not out of the way for Him to manifest His life in me.
I can’t save anybody. I can never come up with a good enough method or program or outreach strategy to do anything.
Acts 9:5 “And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”
An ox goad was a stick with a pointed piece of iron on its tip used to prod the oxen when plowing. The farmer would prick the ox with it to steer it in the right direction. Sometimes the animal would rebel by kicking out at the prick, and this would result in the prick being driven even further into its flesh. In essence, the more an ox rebelled, the more it suffered.
What I have to do is put myself out of the way and depend on Jesus to order my steps through the empowerment of His grace….it takes FAITH to walk that way!
Credit to Bishop Chester Wright
Get liberated from the inability to obey God’s Word.
Living “for” God, working “for” God is not scriptural.
It is tradition.
It is religion.
The bible tells us to STOP living altogether.
Galations 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
If I’m not living any more then I don’t have to do anything “for” Him….He is doing the living FOR ME!
He can’t live through me until I’m first dead to self. How do I die to self? By discerning my thoughts & intents and coming to the end of myself.
Everything God requires of me is impossible – on purpose.
Colossians 3:3 “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
Things God wants me to learn about Him:
- He is gentle – He will never force Himself on me, never violate my will. He gave me a choice and will not take that away.
- He is humble – This doesn’t mean that He thinks low thoughts of Himself. This means that He doesn’t have to keep proving He is God just because someone ignorantly says He is not. He is humble enough to be patient with me even when I shake my fist in His face during a moment of weakness.
- His first desire is to forgive, heal & restore – Judgment is never his first desire. His longsuffering is NOT an excuse to keep the same old attitudes.
Credit to Bishop Chester Wright
Our guilt is not a problem with God, but our shame is.
Guilt is only a problem when we don’t recognize it and repent.
Micah 7:19 – He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Psalm 103:12 – As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Isaiah 38:17 – but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
If you are condemning yourself, you won’t believe that God has forgiven you either.
You cannot move forward if you are still living in your past. If God has so readily forgiven you, why do you feel the need to continually repent for the same thing that He’s already forgiven you for? Shame tells you that you weren’t forgiven when you repented.
This is how it works:
I sin. I go to God and repent. I feel better. The accuser comes & reminds me of what I did. I didn’t repeat the offense, but suddenly I feel unforgiven. This is NOT of God! It is shame. But if I don’t recognize that it’s shame, I will think it’s guilt. I repent again. I don’t feel any better this time. The enemy tells me it’s hopeless. Do you know why God didn’t forgive me the second time?
BECAUSE HE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT! He put it away from Himself the first time I repented!
1 Timothy 3:7 – Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Reproach here means “insulting treatment”
Believing the lies of shame will bring your thoughts into captivity to the enemy.
2 Timothy 2:25 – In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
Oppose themselves….they are against themselves…..A person with shame is their own greatest enemy.
When you are living with the lies of shame, you’re in a state of delusion (lacking reality). The lies may feel true (I always fail, I never accomplish anything, I’m a quitter), but they are LIES.
Recovery from this must be taught. Consider this:
Lazarus, a friend of Jesus, had passed away. Four days later, Jesus came and called him forth out of his grave.
John 11: 44 – And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
Lazarus walked (or probably hopped) out of his grave still bound by his graveclothes. Jesus SPOKE to the people that were there and told them to loose him.
The thing that identified Lazarus as dead still had him bound, even though he was alive. Jesus raised him, but charged the church to loose him.
It is our job to loose the bound once they have been resurrected from the dead.
1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Sober = to be discreet, clear thinking
Lies & accusation of shame impare the thinking just like drugs or alcohol…shame causes you to think wrong things: (I always fail, I never accomplish anything, I’m a quitter).
Jesus was God manifest in flesh. He was human, but why wasn’t he subject to satan’s lies & accusations?
John 14:30 – Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Nothing in Jesus belonged to satan. It is God’s will for you that there be nothing in you that satan can claim as his own.
We MUST identify & deal with the things in us so that satan cannot stake claim to us. Unhealed (or not dealt with) wounds are open doors for the adversary to come in and make you afraid, cause you to stumble or make you ashamed.
Forgiveness of yourself and others closes that door.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Galations 3:27 – For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Here’s another one to consider:Luke 17: 12-19 – And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. Ten men were healed but only one came back to worship the Lord. Jesus made him whole. Wait a minute….if Jesus had already healed him of leprosy, what did Jesus heal him of the second time?
Being a leper meant that the men were outcasts. They had to stay away from everyone else. If they were walking along and saw someone approaching them along the way, they had to yell out “unclean!” And the person approaching would most likely steer way clear of them.
The first time Jesus healed him of the disease.
The second time, Jesus healed him of the shame of being a leper.
Many of us come and get healed of spiritual leprosy (sin) but never come back to be healed of our shame.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” (Luke 4:18)
It is God’s will for you to be made whole.
(credit to Charles Wright & Tabernacle of Joy..you can look this study up on YouTube)
Emotions relative to shame:
Fear (of failure/rejection/embarrassment)
We all feel a few of these once in a while, but if someone feels a majority of these most of the time, they are bound by shame.
Guilt vs Shame
Guilt is sin that deserves blame or punishment; it rejects the act as wrong; Guilt tells me that what I did was wrong.
Shame rejects the one who committed the act. Shame tells me that I am wrong. It is the result of being accused of not being good enough to keep the Word of God.
Guilt says, “I have done wrong, I have failed.”
Shame says, “I am wrong, I am a failure.”
Guilt (conviction from God) focuses on the act.
Shame focuses on the person.
The blood of Jesus removes guilt at the moment of repentance.
If you genuinely repent but don’t begin to feel better then you aren’t dealing with sin, you are dealing with shame.
Guilt separates us from God in eternity. Shame separates us from God now.
If it was sin that causes God to leave us now, and scripture says that no man can come unto Jesus unless God draws him (John 6:44), then no one would ever get saved, because God left us.
When I sin, it is ME separating myself from God…but He is still pursuing me…because He loves me.
The enemy says that any space you feel between you and God is because God left you. That is a LIE.
Any space you feel between you & God was not put there by God.
Remember…Adam and Eve didn’t hide because they were guilty, they hid because they were ashamed….. God didn’t stop coming to the garden to see them, either.
1 John 4:16-19 – And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.
to know = experience
believed = trust and rely upon
judgment = crisis
We constantly want God to prove His love for us. We are so doubtful of His love that we interpret our circumstances as indicators of God’s love for us.
Things going well, bills getting paid, kids behaving, pounds falling off = “Oh! God must be happy with me! He loves me!”
Things aren’t going well, money is short, kids going nuts, gained pounds back = “Well, God’s not happy with me. I blew it. He doesn’t love me.”
Here’s a question for you……Did God stop loving Job?
If the enemy can get us into fear, he can get us to doubt God’s love for us. Once we have fear, we lose faith.
Faith is confidence in what God can do in my life.
Fear is confidence in what the devil can do in my life.
The devil cannot have authority over you unless God allows it and if God allows it, then He is already in control of it and has a purpose for it AND has a way to bring you through it.
BECAUSE GOD IS FOR YOU & HE LOVES YOU!!
(credit to Bishop Charles Wright & Tabernacle of Joy..you can look this study up on YouTube if you’d like to jump ahead.)