Home

Be Careful

298265_201472019924412_166928611_n

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.

❤ percy

Home

Grace (study) pt 4

Grace_wordleI am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
John 15:5

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”

Home

Grace (study) pt 3

url

 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

Home

Grace (study) pt 2

earthen-vessels_eblast

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

Home

Grace (study) pt 1

aeaf9937000702286a920b5e7c229bea

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

Home

Overcoming Shame (study) pt 10

1048615_646381372057876_889860526_o

Emotions relative to shame:
Inferiority
Depression
Hopelessness
Helplessness
Anger
Fear (of failure/rejection/embarrassment)
Embarrassment
Loneliness
Incompleteness

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.)

Home

Good morning all! I hope you enjoyed our (USA) Independence Holiday. I find it ironic that it is a day we celebrate freedom from the British rule, yet many of our citizens are held hostage working the holiday, due to the financial greed of our USA business owners. (Just a thought.) I wanted to refresh our memories with a short review of the previous 5 days of the study. Buckle your seat belts, here we go!

Day 1) The Lying Tongue: The foundation of any relationship must be built on honesty. God is not pleased when we try to maneuver around complete honesty by using deceitfulness, half-truths, or exaggerations.  It is crucial to your walk with Christ to avoid lying in any form. The ends do not justify the means, for in the book of Revelations (Rev 21 v 8, 27)  God warns “All liars shall have their part in the lake of which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (The first death is eternal separation from God.)  (27):  “…no wise enter into it (the great city, the Holy Jerusalem), anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie..” Ref: Proverbs 12 v 22: “Lying lips are abomination  to the LORD: but they that deal truly are His delight.”

Day 2) The Flattering Tongue: Not having strong enough faith to believe the LORD will provide, so we try to get what we want by insincere flattery to gain our way.  There are many instances in the Bible where GOD shows favor to His children, so they will never had to resort to any self-effort to achieve profit or survival. Ref: Psalm 12 v 3: “The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things.”

Day 3) The Manipulating Tongue: The crafty use of words or actions by a self-serving person to gain tangible (wealth) or intangible (favor) advantages. Generally used by Satan to take away the God given right of free will.  When we are in good standing with the LORD, we have no use for manipulation, as God grants us favor.

Day 4) The Hasty Tongue: Words said in haste without the benefit of calling on the LORD or Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance.  Engaging our tongue before engaging our mind. Not taking the time to gird one’s self with the armor of the LORD. Examples of a hasty tongue are: responding without praying, obligating (committing) ourselves before really thinking it out; possibly having to back out of the obligation, and offending by making comments without regarding other’s sensitivities. Words and time once used cannot be reclaimed. Ref: “James 1 v 19: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak..”

Day 5)  The Divisive Tongue: Satan and his minions know the power and effectiveness of 2 or more believers working in harmony for their LORD. The main goal of Satan is to separate, isolate and conquer the followers of God. What better way than to isolate a follower, and then plaque him/her with self-doubt, fear, and feelings of helplessness. When feeling like these bare targeting your thought’s and heart, it is easy to sow discord among the followers of Christ.  The person that is targeted by Satan may not even be aware of their own actions, because their outlook on life is devoid of the light of the LORD, and it is difficult to have a good judgement when surrounded by darkness. Discernment is a powerful trait in the followers of Christ. When we use discernment, the Holy Spirit will bring the truth to light for all to see, bringing peace and resolutions of our problems. Small or large trials that require discernment can be examples of trials won. Strong relationships are born and cultivated when our skills to understand one another and bring peace are employed, refraining the urge  to isolate and divide the children of GOD, because of our own insecurities. Ref:  Proverbs verses 16-19: “These six things doth the LORD hate:…….(19)..and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

As you can see, there are serious and dire consequences for not following the guidance given to us in the Bible. The tongue can cause us to be cut off for eternity from the LORD, burning in the lake of fire and brimstone.

I hope all you reading this will note the seriousness of this study. The tongue can bring us joy, but more importantly, Satan wants to control it, so it would be in our best interest to think before we speak, and pray before committing ourselves.

Now, on to Day 6!

May the good LORD bless you abundantly for heading his warnings,

Nicolette

Home

Day 4: The Hasty Tongue

I recognize myself in much of this chapter. UGH..I truly cannot wait until I come upon a chapter that I do not see myself in, but I doubt that will happen. But, on the positive side, here I am, once again, walking through the fire to become sanctified. PTL! 🙂

The HASTY tongue:

I am starting by giving the Biblical references first, so they are clearly stated, and easy to locate. When I am referring to a specific verse or verses, I will put the letter in parentheses or after the paragraph. EX: (a). All verses are KJV.

a. Proverbs 18 v 13: “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”

b. Proverbs 29 v 20: “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.”

c. Judges 11 v 30-40: Please read: an awesome story about hasty verbal commitments)

d. Ecclesiastes 5 v 2: “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

e. Ecclesiastes 5 v 4-6: “When thou vowest a VOW unto God, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. (5) Better is it that thou shouldest not VOW, than that thou shouldeth VOW and not pay. (6) Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before an angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?”

f. James 3 v 2: “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.”

**********************************************************

In life, there are many things we can correct by “do over’s.” But, words spoken can never be taken back or “unheard”, and time spent will never be recovered. The Lord has commanded us to use these very precious commodities in a thoughtful way.

Words, we are to use sparingly and with discernment; perhaps this is why our bodies are designed with one mouth and two ears. Listening more and speaking less, or at the very least, speaking AFTER listening benefits us all.
(a,f)

I am a person who engages my mouth prior to engaging my brain. This makes conversations uncomfortable at times. Words or comments I make can be misinterpreted, or I just flat out innocently offend other’s by not knowing their sensitivities to my chosen words. It would be impossible to know each and every persons sensitivity level, depending on his/her past life experiences. Some people may be offended by the most innocent or non-inflammatory observation, or an attempt to interject humor into the conversation (totally me), as I know nothing about a painful experience they may have in their past. Listening, and being guided by the Holy Spirit helps us direct our comments in a way that will not offend those we are talking to.(f)

Many times, my insecurities show when I respond in haste before really listening to the speaker, therefore, I don’t grasp the entirety of the comment/question/statement before answering. An example of this is when I used to interview for a new position as an R.N. I would “think” I knew what the panel was asking me, and answer quickly (out of nervousness, habit, whatever), and then,  seeing the blank stares looking back at me, I would realize I missed the point of the question, and my answer was not the well thought out response it should have been, given my skills/knowledge and years in the field.
It would take 1 or 2 questions before I was calm enough to answer correctly, but like I said, words cannot be taken back, and time cannot be recovered. Also, there is that saying about “First impressions being lasting impressions.” I have been blessed that the Lord has opened the eyes and hearts of the panel in the positions where I was to work, and they gave me a second chance. (a,b)

Another problem I (and many others) have is committing in haste, before prayer, or before really knowing what we were committing to.
I used to promise to pray for someone, and then walk away and promptly forget it when I was saying my prayers that evening. I have found that stopping at that moment when asked, and praying right then and there addressed this problem. God wants us to keep our promises. As Christians, and adults, we want to be dependable. Looking back in Ecclesiastes, God provided us with guidance by scenarios that had serious consequences. We are reminded by Solomon to not forfeit our commitments with excuses by saying our promises were accidental mistakes.(d,e)

Another lesson in Judges cost a young maiden love, her possible future marriage and children. (The author and I have different opinions on the outcome for Jeph’than’s maiden daughter: in KJV, his daughter was doomed to be a virgin for life, and the author contends that “Scripture is not clear to whether he sacrificed her on an altar of fire (contrary to God’s laws) or whether she was doomed to be a virgin the rest of her life.”)  Either way, Jeph’than’s only daughter paid the price for his hasty vow. (c-definitely worth the read!)

In conclusion, I believe the following verse sums it up nicely:

James 1 v 19: “Wherefor, my beloved brethern, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”

Todays Affirmation:

I am swift to hear and slow to speak. The LORD has set a guard over my mouth and He keeps watch over the door of my lips.

God Bless, See you next time!

Nicolette