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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 5

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!

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Credit to: Bishop Chester Wright

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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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You cannot Hide from God

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.

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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.

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Grace (study) pt 3

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 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

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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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Overcoming Shame (study) pt 9

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Revelations 3:18 – I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Adam & Eve were in the garden and Genesis 2:25 says “ And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

After they ate of the forbidden tree, they hid from God. If you’ll notice, God went looking for them.

GOD DOES NOT HIDE FROM PEOPLE WITH SIN & SHAME.

PEOPLE WITH SIN & SHAME HIDE FROM GOD.

God asked them, “Who told you that you were naked?” —He wanted to know who they’d been talking to. (they’d been talking to the accuser)

Lifestyle of shame (attitude)
Shame promotes a lifestyle of extremes.

When people with shame are up, they fear making mistakes.
When people with shame are down, they are full of mistakes; they have surrendered to shame because they failed to hide it. (fall back into same old self destructive patterns).

When people with shame are up, they avoid talking about their problems; they are hiding flaws to avoid rejection.  (Have you ever been to a church where no one ever seems to have any major problems in life…and there isn’t much weeping and crying out to God?)

When people with shame are down, they talk about their problems with everybody.

When people with shame are up, they lack trust & are suspicious of the motives of others.

When people with shame are down, they distrust themselves more than anyone or anything.

People with an attitude of shame presume rejection and act in a way that produces it. The thinking (subconscious) is this:

“If I reject me, I assume you will reject me also, so I will subconsciously act In a way that forces you to do what I already believe you will do.”

“Psychology” means “the study of the soul.” (Google the etymology of the word)

Psychologists can’t fix this. They can only teach you to cope.

GOD DOESN’T WANT YOU TO COPE, HE WANTS YOU TO CHANGE & BE HEALED.

“but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” ~Romans 12:2

(credit to Bishop Charles Wright & Tabernacle of Joy..you can look this study up on YouTube if you’d like to jump ahead.)

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Overcoming Shame (study) pt 7

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I don’t need Jesus to explain why something happened to me in order to be healed & to be made whole.

Jesus is able to take the broken places in my life and use them for a blessing to me. He wants to use my broken places for my benefit.

When a broken bone heals, it becomes stronger at the place of fracture. The broken places only make you weak until you allow the Lord to heal you. Those broken places will then become the strongest places in your life.

Unforgiveness is the most damaging sin because:

•    It is the only sin that removes the Blood of Jesus form previously forgiven sin, opening the door for me to struggle again with old sins.

Matthew 18 tells the story of a man who owed a debt that he could not repay. He begged forgiveness and was granted relief. But when he went on his way, he refused to forgive the debts that people owed to him.

Verses 32- 35 say “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

If he had already been forgiven, what did he owe? His lack of forgiveness took back God’s forgiveness to him.

The moral of the story is that I can’t ask God to do something for me that I’m not willing to do for you. This is true even if I have a grudge against myself.

•    Prevents God from hearing & answering my prayers

Mark 11:25 “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Am I willing for God to shut down my prayer life in order to hold a grudge? Is what they did to me that important?

•    Turns my life over to tormenters – no joy, peace, contentment, etc

People try to justify unforgiveness in their heart…..”That person doesn’t deserve my forgiveness! Look what they did to me!” or….”How can I ever forgive myself for that? I would be heartless.”

The price of holding a grudge is the highest price you’ll ever pay for anything.

•    Unforgiveness gives Satan the advantage over us.

2 Corinthians 2: 9-12 “For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

•    Warps my perception of myself, other people & my feelings about myself and what I think other people feel about me…thus preventing me from seeing things clearly. This makes my decisions unreliable.

Acts 24:16 “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offense toward God, and toward men.”

Conscience – co perception, knowledge or sense of right & wrong with an urge to do right, leads to guilt if right is not done.

If your conscience isn’t working properly, you don’t see right & wrong clearly and don’t have motivation to do what’s right. When you do wrong, you don’t FEEL like you’ve done anything wrong. (easily justified)

Void of offense – in the Greek = to put your sword away, quit fighting

God works with my spirit to help me know right from wrong. If my conscience is damaged, I lose God’s help. Then all my perceptions are strictly of human origin and none can be trusted.

When you’ve got an offense (against others, God or yourself), the one person you can’t trust at all is yourself.

This is why Jesus tells us to “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

(credit to Bishop Charles Wright & Tabernacle of Joy..you can look this study up on YouTube if you’d like to jump ahead.)

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Overcoming Shame (study) pt 6

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“The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” Proverbs 18:14

We must allow God to enable us to love Him.
We must allow God to love others through us.
We must allow God to help us love ourselves.

There are three (primary) kinds of love in the Greek language:

Eros
Philia
Agape

Eros – “physical” passionate love, with sensual desire and longing

Philia – “mental” love. It means affectionate regard or friendship in both ancient and modern Greek. This type of love has give and take.

Agape – This love is selfless; it gives and expects nothing in return.

ex: If you give an offering to GET something in return (prosperity), that is not agape love. You aren’t loving God with that offering—it’s philia. An agape offering is given because you love not because of what you hope/expect to get back.

John 3:16 —For God so AGAPE the world….Jesus died for everyone knowing he’d never get a return on that offer of love from many people.

Matthew 5:45 “…He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

The earth is beautiful for all of us…whether we deserve that beauty or not. God’s love gives that to us regardless of whether we give back to Him at all.

If we don’t deal with shame now, we will deal with it someday or we will never make it.

When people have shame, they either say “What’s the use?” & live horribly or they try to be good in order to prove that they are not bad….the problem is that no matter how good they act, they still don’t FEEL good.

Feelings don’t have to be true to be real and you act out what you feel regardless of facts.

I may do things to try to make others feel good about me but what I’m really doing is trying to make MYSELF feel good about me.

I may know that I have a problem…but don’t know what’s messed up….I may pray harder, try harder….but it doesn’t seem to work…..

Confronting the source of shame is scary.

Burying something doesn’t keep it from affecting you. Pushing it from your conscious into your subconscious….into your spirit…guarantees it will have more effect than if you think about it every day. When it’s buried, you will think, act and react certain ways and won’t even understand why you’re doing it.

Shame can lie to you to the point that you believe shame rather than the Word of God. We say things to ourselves that we would never allow anyone else say to us… The love of God would not allow me to talk to myself like that. Only shame does that.

The adversary is the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10). When I’m talking bad about myself, I’m listening to what the adversary is saying to me & I’m repeating it.

NEGATIVE SELF TALK IS NOT OF GOD.

If we haven’t confronted the source of shame yet, we must do so immediately and then pray against the spirit of shame…forgive others, forgive God and forgive ourselves.

Speaking it aloud is releasing it…..giving it to God.

REPEAT AFTER ME:
“Lord, by Your help and grace, I forgive and release myself for _______ and I claim healing for my mind body and soul in Jesus name!”

Take dominion over the spirit of shame in the name of JESUS!!

(credit to Charles Wright & Tabernacle of Joy..you can look this study up on YouTube if you’d like to jump ahead.)

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Overcoming Shame (study) pt 5

God does not love me more than he loves anybody else.  

(let that sink in)

God does not love me more than he loves a drug addict, a prostitute, a murderer, etc.

We tend to have a hard time with that concept.

Isn’t it a little self righteous to think that God loves me more than he loves someone else just because I don’t sin the way that person does?

God loves us all the same and died for us all equally.  The difference between a born again, Jesus name believer and the prostitute is not how much God loves one or the other. The difference is how much a born again Jesus name believer lets God love them.

God loves us all equally. A lost person just isn’t accepting that love. We aren’t better people than they are. God doesn’t favor us over them. The difference is that He has given me grace to believe that He loves me…..and they don’t believe that they’re loved.

We act out the amount of love we believe we have.

If I believe I’m loved, I will act like it.
If I believe I’m rejected, I will act like one who is rejected.

Mark 12:31 “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

*You aren’t going to let God use you unless you love this world.
*You cannot love this world until you believe that God loves you

A person that goes to church, sits on the pew, doesn’t get involved with reaching the lost, doesn’t care for the lost….just attends service…..that person isn’t telling you that they don’t care & are selfish…they are telling you that they don’t believe God loves them.

Because if they truly believe God loves them & they know how they got that love (freely, unconditionally w/out merit on their part), they can’t help but want to give it away.

If a person isn’t interested in giving love away, they don’t have it to give.

It is absolutely impossible to have been in the presence of God (who IS love) without experiencing His love. It is absolutely impossible to have experienced His love and not be convinced that He loves you. You can’t keep that locked up!

Until the church lets the Lord deliver them from shame & heal wounds that cause the shame so they can believe they are loved, they will not have love to give back to God or others.

Revival won’t come as long as we are wrapped up in our own lives (hurts, resentments, sin).

When I don’t let God love me, then the only one who I can let try to love me is myself. I will fail….Self centered love, self worth doesn’t fulfill….it empties. The only way to real fullness is NOT putting myself first, but to realize that God has already put me first (in His death, burial, resurrection)…..I don’t have to put myself first…because I’m satisfied in Him.

We received love from Him first. (1 John 4:19)

Shame doesn’t want you to receive His love. But when we truly receive it, we let it flow THROUGH us to others….& we will be full in the GIVING, not in the taking.

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(credit to Charles Wright & Tabernacle of Joy..you can look this study up on YouTube if you’d like to jump ahead.)