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Happiness comes from the inside out by Walter Moore

Happiness comes from the inside out.

Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be you sorry; for the joy of the Lord is you strength. [Nehemiah 8:10]

The first word of the Sermon on the Mount, “blessed,” is sometimes translated “happy.” It refers not to fortunate circumstances nor momentary exhilaration, but to the inner state of those who are right…at the center of their being. Jesus had a profound joy which gave Him strength to endure the cross. He prayed that we might share it, for joyous Christians are strong Christians. Nehemiah had told his people many years before:  “The joy of the Lord is you strength.”

 

“Blessed God, we have sometimes allowed self-centeredness, worry, and boredom to destroy our joy. Give us a quality of spirit in which such things cannot exist. Amen

 

*Excerpt from Courage and Confidence by Walter L. Moore

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Taking back my JOY in Christ

Hello! For those of you who  might have been wondering where I ran off to..well, I have been doing a lot of soul searching and heart cleaning.

A few weeks ago, I was reading a book that dealt with temperaments, specifically the 4 basic temperaments women are supposed to possess. While I began to read this, I was totally caught up in it, and completely identified with one temperament in particular, melancholy. I saw in myself traits comparable to this type, and basically quit reading. I was stuck. It was as if someone has taken my insides out and displayed my ugly side to everyone. I couldn’t even finish the darn book. Good thing, as i skimmed through it later, and identified with a few other types as well.

As I was talking with a friend on the phone, I came to the realization that I was not “just” melancholy, nor sanguine, or even choleric; I was even MORE than a mixture of all. Like a pie, sliced into pieces, I was a little of this, with a dollop of that, but mostly..mostly..I was a beloved child of GOD!! While my insecure side wants to put ugly labels on myself, HE calls me His daughter.

The Lord intervened, and showed me that for every ugly name I call myself, he has called me something beautiful.

So, the moral of my story is: Don’t get caught up in what you read, even if it is from great Christian writers; the Bible will bring you back to the TRUTH, and the truth is, He loves us. He loves us with all our imperfections. He does not expect the perfection we so often do.

Have JOY in that fact! I am! HE has brought me back my HOPE and JOY!!

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Be Careful

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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

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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”

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Are You a Good Asker?

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So are you? I began to think about this today. As a mom, I have taught my children from the time they were little to now, how to ask for things. It was important for me to teach them how to ask with honor and respect. Gone are the days of, “Give me it!” or  “You have to buy that for me!”  I can proudly say, my children say “May, I please have that or this.” (Well, most of the time.)

Learning to ask is not something I have given much thought to in my own life. Yet, the bible has some very clear guides for asking.

1.   We are told to ask.

Matthew 7:7-12 (GW)

Ask, and you will receive. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive. The one who searches will find, and for the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“If your child asks you for bread, would any of you give him a stone? 10 Or if your child asks for a fish, would you give him a snake? 11 Even though you’re evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children. So how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him?

God already knows what we need without asking (Matt 6:8), yet He expects us to ask to receive.  Why would He want us to do this? It is His plan for us to realize our trust in Him. Asking implies, “I trust you enough to provide.” Asking is a form of putting ourselves at His mercy. Asking puts our hearts on Him as our Source for all our needs.

2.   Not only are we told to ask, but to receive.

Matt 7:8a

Everyone who asks will receive.

That word everyone, means you and me. It means us all. God is not a respecter of persons, He is not going to honor your pastor’s asking more than yours. So I must ask myself, am I expecting an answer? Have I position my heart to receive? Do I really believe that when I ask God that I will receive? Sometimes, yes and sometimes no.

1 John 3:22 (AMP)

22 And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [[a]watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [[b]habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.

This is God’s word. It is His absolute truth for us. His heart is for us to receive. When our hearts are submitted to Him and we habitually are practicing faith, this sets us up to receive from Him whatever we ask because we ask for the things that are in His plan and purpose for us.

3.    Not only are we told to ask, and receive but also to keep on asking.

Luke 11:9-13 (AMP)

So I say to you, Ask and [a]keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and [b]keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and [c]keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks and [d]keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and [e]keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and [f]keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.

11 What father among you, if his son asks for [g]a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent?

12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

13 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts [h]that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and [i]continue to ask Him!

God does not get tired of us asking. He tells us to in His Word.  Now why would God tell us to keep on asking? If we receive from Him whatever we ask why would we need to keep on asking? Because God has so much to give us! We cannot out ask God’s ability to provide. Whether it is the actual thing we are asking for or His best in ways, we sometimes don’t recognize or understand.  God wants to share Himself with us. Asking puts our heart in a position of intimacy with God. It reminds us that we can’t meet our own needs and focuses our vision on the one who can. How great our God is!

Look at this next scripture:

 John 16:23-24 (AMP)

23 And when that time comes, you will ask nothing of Me [you will need to ask Me no questions]. I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that My Father will grant you whatever you ask in My Name [as [a]presenting all that I Am].

24 Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as [b]presenting all that I Am]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.

I feel so excited as I read this. God wants me to ask and keep on asking while at the same time receiving. In every situation that I am asking about He wants me to have full and complete joy. This is so awesome! This does not mean I get the exact thing I am asking for but it does mean whatever I receive, it is because God want me have full and complete joy! God cares about my joy! I am celebrating as I write these words! I have the freedom to ask God for the desires of my heart. I have the hope to believe that God will cause me to receive His best for me in every situation.

4.    If we do not have, it is because we do not ask or we ask wrongly.

James 4:2b-3

You do not have, because you do not ask. [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.

This hit my heart.  As I am studying this, I see God’s heart. I feel Him wanting to give to me and yet how often do I stop to ask? How many blessings have I missed just because I didn’t bother to ask? Lord, I repent.

As I am writing this I see other areas in my life when I have turned to God and asked but my heart desire was my own pleasure. Many times God has given but I have failed to receive.  I repent for asking wrongly. I ask you Lord to show me how to ask and what to ask for. I give this whole area of asking up to you. I let you lead me to be an asker that honors you. Teach me how to ask for those things that are in your heart.

5. God wants us to ask, so He can supply above and beyond all that we can ask or think.

Ephesians 3:20 (AMP)

20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

God wants us to ask, so He can supply. Not just meeting our needs but to overflow us with His goodness. He is just that good!

So are you a good asker? I am learning how to be and delighting in the goodness of the God we serve.

Dear friend,

Ask and you shall receive that your joy may be full!

It is time for a joy fill up!

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Grace (study) pt 2

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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

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Grace (study) pt 1

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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

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Overcoming Shame (study) pt 11 -the end

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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)

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Overcoming Shame (study) pt 8

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The root of bitterness defiles more than just you.

If someone holds an offense and shares it with you….and you listen to the poison, their bitterness will infect you….Some never come back from that infection of bitterness…even if the offended person is dealt with by God, repents and gets over it.

How does God convict someone of a grudge they’re holding when it isn’t even their offense in the first place?

Be careful whose side you take.

A grudge is a grudge even if I’m holding it against myself or God. Those “innocent” feelings of let down because God didn’t answer a prayer are an offense that needs to be forgiven.

If you don’t desire to talk to God, you are not at peace with Him.

Have you ever considered that you may be misreading a person’s attitude?

Perceived rejection = you THINK someone is rejecting you but you have no proof.

Example: pastor walks right past you after church and doesn’t stop to speak or shake hands with you…..You get offended….”high and mighty”…”who does he think he is?”…”He thinks he’s too good for me”….you are feeling rejected….but perhaps that’s not even his intent. Maybe you misread him. What if he has many things going on at once?

Some have shame that isn’t even from real situations, but from situations we perceived incorrectly.

Sources of Shame:
• My own actions – things I wish I hadn’t done.

What is it that you can’t think about without having an emotional reaction? That’s a wound that is unhealed.

•Rejection – by someone important to me.

Subconsciously, a rejected person blames themselves for not being good enough to be accepted.

•Alienation – abandonment

The victim of adultery usually feels shame for not being good enough. They blame him/her with their mouth but blame themselves with their emotions.

Survivors of suicide…..the person may have died once, but the family/friends die every day with “if only”

•Abuse – violation of self (rape, beatings, self inflicted injury)

•Class rejection – rejection as a group

•Shame – shame begets more shame

Cycle of Shame:
•Shame based identity (expecting to be rejected, expecting failure, convinced that I’m flawed)

•Distorted thinking – need something to be happy (alcohol, drugs, sexual sins)

•Acting out feelings – drugs, alcohol, gluttony

•Life Damaging Consequences – must be faced

•Intensification of Shame – leads back to beginning

REPEAT AFTER ME: My problem is not permanent. God can change me. He can heal me and deliver me from bitterness and shame in Jesus name!

Speaking it in faith whether you believe it or not, is enough to keep you steady until you can let God help you.
(credit to Bishop Charles Wright & Tabernacle of Joy..you can look this study up on YouTube if you’d like to jump ahead.)