Monthly Archives: April 2015

Did The Devil Really Make Me Do It?

Don’t turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:27

Temptation really has not changed since the Garden of Eden days. Like that juicy apple, temptation still entices us with delicious sin. We still engage in power struggles with God, we still flirt with the devil, and when we get caught, we still try to shift the blame to someone else. “I couldn’t help myself. The devil made me do it,”.

We can always count on temptation to be convenient. One thing lead to another. Every minute of every day, the battle with temptation is lost in someone’s life, and sin’s destruction scars a soul. Eve was one of the most amazing creations of God. Eve was unique, created pure and holy. She lived with Adam in the Garden of Eden, a perfect place of pure beauty. Everything they needed or wanted was there. Adam and Eve loved their work and did it with ease. They also enjoyed perfect intimacy with each other and with God – an intimacy that was unhindered by sin of any kind. Then came temptation – and everything changed.

Eve chose to give in to temptation. Eve did not sin when she began her conversation with Satan … or when she questioned God’s instructions. Eve sinned when she mentally agreed with the lies of the enemy because that mental choice led to an action of disobedience. Satan is still wreaking havoc in the lives of people today as he wields his weapon of temptation. Oh, yes! Satan is alive and well and the reigning master of lies and temptation.

The good news is that God has already given us every weapon we need to win the war with temptation that Eve lost. We just have to make the choice to pick up those weapons and fight! In order to win the war with temptation, we must understand that temptation is a trap of Satan – a trap baited with seductive snares in every size, shape and appeal. Temptation is not sin.  It is an invitation to sin. When we accept the invitation and then attend the party – we sin. Life would be so much easier if Satan was obvious. Instead, he is subtle and clever as he mixes lies with truth. He never shouts, he whispers. Make no mistake – his goal is the total destruction of your life, and his opening act is temptation. 

Father, do not let me ever forget the price You paid for my sin. Thank You for the forgiveness and freedom You purchased with Your death on the cross. Bring swift awareness and conviction when I sin. Give me the strength and power to deal with and turn from the sin in my life for Your glory.

Set aside time each day to pray and study His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of every sin that stands between you and God. Confess that sin. Choose against it and walk on in His power and forgiveness.

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Get A Move On

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) John 10:10 Amp

What do you do when your walk becomes a crawl?  When spiritual chronic fatigue leaves you wondering if it’s all worth it? When you feel stuck between the Red Sea and the Promised Land—saved from slavery, but never quite making it to the land of milk and honey?

Sometimes the gap between the faith we long for and the faith we experience seems vast beyond bridging. We think where we are and where we want to be is impossible, implausible, or unrealistic, so we pull up a lawn chair in the land in-between and settle in. Content, but not really. Longing, but not quite enough.

If we were honest, I’d venture to say that most believers don’t really want to move out of the land of in-between. Given the choice, they wouldn’t go back to the Egypt of their life before Christ, at the same time, they don’t really want to get their shoes messy and venture into the unknown unabridged faith. They aren’t particularly motivated to move beyond weekend visits with God like a kid with shared custody. They’re satisfied circling the wilderness; after all, it certainly is better than Egypt. They’re satisfied with a bit of manna and a splash of water every now and then. There is heaven to come. Yes, at least there is that.

How do we stop circling in the wilderness of unbelief and make our way into the Promised Land of peace, purpose, and passionate faith? How do we consistently access the power of God’s promises and boldly believe the truth? It starts with believing and obeying what you already know. Is there something God has already told you to do and you haven’t done it? Is there a truth that He has already revealed that you’ve not truly believed? If you want to go into your Promised Land, it’s time to stop sitting and soaking, and start taking those steps of faith and get moving.

Dear Lord, I am ready for the great adventure. I’m folding up my lawn chair and am on my feet. I am making a decision to believe what I already know, and act on what I already believe. I’m ready to get moving. Lead the way! In Jesus’ Name Amen.

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Hope When You Feel Broken

“But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.” Genesis 39:20-21

The process of being squeezed and uncomfortable can break us down, making us feel helpless, alone and sometimes even good for nothing. We can question, God, where are You? Or, Let’s hurry this discomfort along, OK? Or even wonder, God, I thought You loved me. What did I do wrong?

Let me remind you of something, friend. Being squeezed by outside pressure doesn’t indicate God’s rejection, abandonment or that He made a mistake. Sometimes in His great sovereignty and love, God allows for our character to be refined. God reminded me of this recently when I was studying the life of Joseph. You may remember Joseph and his coat of many colors.

As a teenager, Joseph had big dreams; however, a series of unfortunate events seemed to circumvent those aspirations. He faced difficult and disappointing times — more than once — and was even sold into slavery by his very own brothers. Can you imagine going from favored child to slave? I wouldn’t have had a very good attitude about that. Joseph’s plans went differently than expected, yet he ultimately chose to follow God every step of the way.

Regardless of outside pressures and demands — slavery, slander, abandonment or imprisonment — Joseph chose to be excellent. The Bible tells us he advanced because of his positive attitude, and he experienced God’s kindness and favor in the midst of struggles and disappointments.

In our key verse, Genesis 39:21 tells us, “The LORD was with him; He showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.”Let’s be honest. The refining process isn’t easy or comfortable. Prison was a dark place, a place where Joseph really didn’t want to be … a place where he saw no way out. But throughout Joseph’s story, God reminds us, very diligently, that no matter how awful and appalling the circumstances, He was still with Joseph.

Want to hear some good news? He’s still with us, too. So, friend, if you feel squeezed and broken down, please remember, our God has great purpose in His refining process. He uses whatever He can to form the character He desires for us, His dearly loved children. God adds the fruit of the Spirit to our lives, then encases us in the shell of holiness, purity and sound character, we too will have a longer shelf life … a life that glorifies Him.

Dear Lord, sometimes my days are hard and I feel squeezed in every way. Thank You for the reminder that You will never leave my side, even when it’s uncomfortable. Please help me to experience Your kindness today in a fresh new way.

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God Is Able

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Ephesians 3:20-21

God is able to do far more abundantly beyond all we ask, think or imagine – Above and Beyond all… His Ability is — Incredible, Outrageous, and Extravagant…You Get more than what you expect…God is Faithful.

God is Able…He Exceeds the Expectations – He’s God. There are No Limits to His Love. No Boundaries to His Blessing. No Fences withholding His Faithfulness. No Lines drawn separating us from His Salavation. No Containers holding His Compassion. No Restrictions to Experiencing His Righteousness.

We have all the power we need – but the power is of no we are plugged in and switched on. We have to get plugged in – get connected with God. Get wired in. There is a connection made so the power can flow… Then get turned on! Flip the switch! We say, “YES” to the Lord. “I am ready to receive you and what You have for Me. You are the power. You are my strength. I need You. You are Able – I believe that. I will live that. I will trust that.

Consider: God is able to do far more and abundantly ALL we ask, think or imagine. If God is able to do all that – what can He do with your life? 

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Be Thankful Always

I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.Psalm 9:1

My dearly Beloved how often do we thank those who have helped us during the worst of our times? Almost always. Very few remember the favor they have received from even those who are not even their loved ones. Then where does God fit in? Have you thought about it? If it hadn’t been for Him we would still be languishing in our sins. 

The Bible says, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13:15) Thus says David, a man of God. It is not enough even if we praise Him always and at all times. When we gather together and praise the Lord, the grace, having spread through many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

When the ten lepers came to the Lord and pleaded Him to heal them, He said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they went, they were cleansed. The Lord had such great power. He did not lay His hands on them and pray. He did not ask them to draw closer to Him. They received miraculous healing, on the way. And, only one of them, among the healed, came back and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. Then, Jesus asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” (Luke 17:11-19). This shows how we too when we are blessed by him do not return to give him thanks.

The Lord deserves all the praise and glory for every little thing He has made possible for us to enjoy on this Earth. Let us ascribe our praises to Him all through the day for His goodness. He is worthy of all our adoration. The cross says all of His Love for us which is so profound and unfathomable and beyond comprehension. Lift His name on High for there is none like Him!

Heavenly Father forgive us for being ignorant for all that you have done in our lives. I give thanks to You Lord for being so patient with me and yet loving me in spite of my faults. Father, your love for me sent Your only Son, Jesus to the cross who shed His blood for me and won a victory for me. Thank You for Your saving grace Lord. O how blind have I been, Lord. Thank You for opening the eyes of my heart. Lord, You have been merciful and good to me, today I bow to You and cast away thing of the world in my life. Fill me with Your power and Your Holy Spirit to live in Your perfect will and to live for Your glory.

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Reach Out In Faith and Touch Him

Mark 5:27-29 (NIV). When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

Jesus was in a packed crowd, but this woman was desperate. She had spent her living on doctors that had not helped her. She had gone without human contact for years and was physically and emotionally drained. Jesus was her last hope. When the woman thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed”, she was expressing her conviction that Jesus was the Messiah.

Many people were touching Jesus in that crowd, jostling up against Him. Jesus stopped and said that someone had touched Him. He perceived power flow from Him. What was the difference between this woman’s touch and the crowds’ touch? She had faith. Faith grounded her like a lightening rod. Everyone else was insulated by unbelief. The believing touch drew the power that made her whole.

Remember: When you go to Jesus in prayer, reach out in faith and touch Him. Pound your lightening rod of faith deep into the earth, grab hold and with the other hand touch the Saviour. Then, look out! The power will flow.

Fay-Ann Swearing
@fayswearing
fayannswearing.wordpress.com

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God Is Faithful

“Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”God is a faithful God.

Sometimes we say there is nothing God cannot do. And that is absolutely true except that God cannot sin. God cannot go against His own nature. God is Holy therefore God cannot sin. God is just therefore God cannot do anything that is unjust. God is true therefore God cannot tell a lie; God cannot go against a promise. God is Holy and God is just so He cannot be unfair.

There are many, many promises in the Bible to the children of God and God will never break a promise, He has never broken a promise and He never will break a promise because to break a promise would mean that God would be a liar and God will never be a liar. Let every man be a liar but God is true. People will break their promises. God never makes a promise that He cannot keep because He is an almighty and an all-powerful God and every promise God makes He can keep.

Because God has spoken in truth and His word is sure, every generation can count on what He has said. No wonder Jeremiah exclaimed with joy, “Great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:23).

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More Jesus, Greater Character

Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and princes. Because of his great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire. Then the other administrators and princes began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling his affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize. He was faithful and honest and always responsible. Daniel 6:3-4

The quality of our character grows in proportion to the time we spend in God’s presence and in His Word. While Daniel couldn’t wait for his moments alone with God, others spent their time trying to find fault with him. But they couldn’t. Daniel was a man who spent quality time with God. His outward life was a direct reflection of the time he diligently spent in the presence of God. So it is with us.

It is impossible to spend quality time with God and not be changed. Jesus exemplified this for us. He was a man of prayer who continually spent hours alone with God. Whether trudging into the wilderness at dawn or speedily boarding a ship, Jesus knew that apart from His Father He could do nothing. Accordingly, if we desire to live the life Christ has for us then we must do the same.

As we continue to spend time in His Word, we cultivate the very character of Christ. Jesus said it like this, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you…you shall bear much fruit.”My desire is to grow progressively in the likeness of Jesus. His presence and His Word are the only two ingredients that cause us to live as He did. The more influence we allow, the greater our character. Let His presence and His Word be our greatest priority in this life.

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Finished

When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. John 19:30

The cross was the goal of Jesus from the very beginning. His birth was so there would be His death. The incarnation was for our atonement. He was born to die so that we might live. And when He had accomplished the purpose He had come to fulfill, He summed it up with a single word: “finished.”

“Finished.” It is finished. Mission accomplished. It is done. It is made an end of.

So what was finished? Finished and completed were the horrendous sufferings of Christ. Never again would He experience pain at the hand of wicked men. Never again would He have to bear the sins of the world. Never again would He, even for a moment, be forsaken of God. That was completed. That was taken care of.

Also finished was Satan’s stronghold on humanity. Jesus came to deal a decisive blow against the devil and his demons at the cross of Calvary. Hebrews 2:14 says, “Only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.” This means that you no longer have to be under the power of sin. Because of Jesus’ accomplishment at the cross, finished was the stronghold of Satan on humanity.

And lastly, finished was our salvation. It is completed. It is done. All of our sins were transferred to Jesus when He hung on the cross. His righteousness was transferred to our account.

So Jesus cried out the words, “It is finished!” It was God’s deliberate and well-thought-out plan. It is finished—so rejoice!

Consider: Have you experienced the “finished” work of Jesus for you?

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