Posts Tagged ‘faith’

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Enemies of the Heart | Guilt

April 9, 2019

Subscribed to this devotional recently and I’m just gonna leave Day 2 here. Just in case you stumble across this, read up.

Andy Stanley: Enemies of the Heart 

Devotional Day 2

“Fessing Up”

Scripture: 1 John 1:5-10

The first enemy of the heart is guilt. Guilt is the result of having done something we perceive as wrong. The message from a heart laden with guilt is, “I owe!”

Consider the man who runs off with another woman and abandons his family. Without realizing it at the time, he has stolen something from every member of his family. He has robbed his wife of her future, her financial security, and her reputation as a wife. From his children’s perspective, this man has stolen their Christmas, traditions, emotional and financial security, dinners with the family, and so on.

Now, the man who did all this doesn’t think in terms of what he has taken. Initially, he thinks in terms of what he has gained. But the first time his little girl asks him why he doesn’t love Mommy anymore, his heart is stirred. He now feels guilty. Dad owes.

Nothing less than paying that debt will relieve a guilty heart of its burden of guilt. People try to work it off, serve it off, give it off, and even pray it off. But no amount of good deeds, community service, charitable giving, or Sundays in a pew can relieve the guilt. It’s a debt. And it must be paid or canceled for a guilty heart to experience relief.

How do you get your guilt canceled? The answer comes in one of the first Bible verses I memorized as a child: 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (kjv).

Confession has the power to break the cycle of sin. And like most medicinal remedies, it works when applied properly. Proper application happens when we confess our sins, not just to God, but also to the people we’ve sinned against.

Guilty people are usually repeat offenders. And as long as you’re carrying a secret, as long as you’re trying to ease your conscience by telling God how sorry you are, you’re setting yourself up to repeat the past. However, if you start confessing your sins to the people you’ve sinned against, odds are that you’re not going to go back and commit those sins again.

Confess both to God and others, and you will slay this enemy of your heart.

What are you feeling guilty for? Confess your sin to God and to whomever you have hurt. Do it today.

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:5-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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Answered Prayers

October 9, 2017

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I’ve never been religious, not even sure what that word really means. I’m not saying that I don’t believe in God because I do. In fact, I know I have a great relationship with God, I just don’t really believe in religion or maybe I’m not impressed with religion. Religion for me, limits someone’s understanding of faith as each “religion” has its own unique ideologies and cultures and traditions EVEN IF they claim to worship the same higher being. But despite not compelling to what a religious community (belonging to one) expects me to do, (not that I go around doing mindless stuff, of course I have my values), I know that my God loves me the same as everyone else.

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I’ve lost count on how people would tell me off when I don’t go to church like as if rubbing shoulders with hypocrites really make my Sundays better. I do go to church sometimes, the coffee is always good. (I know I’m gonna irk off a number of people with that statement but at least I’m being honest here and isn’t respect for others’ views taught in church as well?) I am very much aware, growing up in a family with closed religious beliefs, that as a “Christian,” I am obliged to go to Sunday mass or worship service, share in charities and actively participate in small groups. Not sure what sort of validation they get from doing so as I feel like their being good followers of Christ or their idea of how a Christian life is led are pegged on their church attendance (this is based on my experience, not talking generally). I don’t go for certain reasons I’m sure most people (who also call themselves Christians) won’t or refuse to understand. I however, worship my God in my own, intimate way, I don’t really need to let everyone in on how I do it because at the end of it all, it’s gonna boil down to just me and Him. I keep a devotional that I read and reflect on every morning, I converse with my God about random things as I go about my day and I’m a fervent believer of prayer. Yes, I pray a lot and I also teach my children how to pray and be thankful for the life God has graced upon us. How fortunate are we to experience this beautiful world.

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But it wasn’t always like that. To people who knew what I went through more than a decade back, they would somehow understand how I came to a point where I’ve shaken my fists and screamed at God for far too many times demanding that He listen to me and do as I ask because what I say would get me out of the miserable life He’s assigned me with. I’ve questioned Him endlessly as to why so much shit had to happen to me when I know I’m not a bad person and I feel like I’m being a good Christian — fulfilling my spiritual obligations, going to church every Sunday, tithing, being respectful and trying so much to be patient with everybody even when most of the time I can’t be. It’s so easy to put fault on someone when things turn sour and don’t go the way we expect it to be and in my exhaustion, I did just that. I blamed and cursed God for all the ugly that was happening to my life and even tried to convince myself that I don’t believe in Him anymore.

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Despite the thoughtless condemnation, my God’s love was steadfast and unwavering. He never failed to surprise me. What He gave me was always way better than what I asked for and up until know, I continue to be amazed. During those times when my heart was filled with hate and so much anger, I went on to ignore my God for years, failing to notice the colorful blessings He’s slowly painted my life with. In my doubt, the Lord tenderly showed me how to just let go and trust and when I finally decided to open my eyes, I broke down and reached out and it was through prayer that I developed a real relationship with Him. As my days unfold and more of my prayers are answered, I think I have an idea, maybe a clearer fragment on how He wants my life to play out. Yes, I will never fully understand how and I will always be impatient why it doesn’t ever happen overnight (after all, I am only human) but I am assured that God’s timing is perfect.

In between the weight of the world, we tend to forget that there is a God ready to receive our cry with a huge embrace, without judgement and full of mercy. You don’t really need to be religious to learn how to pray or worship or build a connection with God. Religion is a stereotype believers of Christ, of a God, of a higher being, could really do without. What this world needs is to commune and impart and share mutual beliefs that bank upon faith and kindness and compassion and not traditions. I long stopped decrying God’s decisions on my life and instead pray for discernment and the patience to wait because I now know He knows best and I will always be grateful and find comfort in the fact that I do not walk this life alone.

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xx

DMV

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Don’t Give in to Self-Pity 

November 1, 2016

Sharing what my bestfriend sent to me first thing this morning. Very comforting especially to those who’s feeling down and “under the weather.” This is from one of the devotionals available at the YouVersion Bible App 

Don’t Give in to Self-Pity 

Self-pity is a destructive and negative emotion. It blinds us to our blessings and the possibilities before us and it steals our hope for both today and tomorrow. People who pity themselves think, “Why should I try to do anything? I’ll just fail.”

Self-pity is actually idolatry because it is self-focus carried to the extreme. When we allow ourselves to fall into self-pity, we are essentially rejecting God’s love and His ability to change things.

I encourage you not to waste one more day of your life in self-pity. When you lose hope and begin to feel sorry for yourself, stop and say: ‘I refuse to feel sorry for myself. I may be in a difficult season of life right now, but I will not stop hoping for better things!’

God has thoughts and plans for your good, to give you hope for your future. If you will hold on to your hope and fight for it when the enemy tries to take it away, you will see amazing things take place in your life.

Prayer Starter: God, I refuse to feel sorry for myself. Even if things are difficult right now, I know that You are bigger than my problems and that You have a good future planned for me. I want Your plans to come to pass in my life, and I trust in You to change my circumstances according to Your will.

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Thank you for Sunday.

June 24, 2015

I wanted to write about you. About how I’m starting to resent you. About how I feel like you aren’t true to your word. About how I’ve been asking because you said to ask and I’ll be getting what I’ve asked for, but I haven’t. About how I’ve been searching what you said will be found, but I stare in blank spaces instead. About how I’ve been knocking because you said you open doors, but even the windows are shut. I keep asking myself why you let these things happen; why you are silent, unanswering, unavailable. I feel unheard, abandoned. I feel like you are not on my side. It seems like you have a sick sense of humor and the joke’s on me. You’ve left me anxious and frustrated and bitter. I believed, I believe, I keep on believing, I even keep on assuring myself that I believe and that there is a reason behind all these, that there is a purpose these has to happen.

After more than a month of ignoring you, I finally went to see you last Sunday. You welcomed me despite that. You had me sit and offered me really good coffee. You smiled upon me last Sunday and we talked. You asked how I was and you even sang to me. You then asked me if I’ve set goals for my life. I told you about mine, the goals I’ve been setting for so long, the goals I’ve been immensely praying you help me with. You asked me if these goals are anchored on love. By love you mean by sharing to others, goals with selfless acts, goals that honor and respect. You then started talking about faith and encouragement and character. I was holding back tears as I listened and stared at you. My goals were anchored on myself and I felt so ashamed.

I’m sorry for being impatient and for being easily swayed away from what you’ve taught me to do. I’m sorry for being selfish and self-centered. I realized that when I try to justify myself, the end result still points back to me. I know you have a better plan than the one I have in mind, you always do. So I will wait. I will wait for whatever it is that you will give me, whatever it is that you want to happen. I will wait. I will extend my patience and wait because I believe it will be better. If tomorrow doesn’t go as I planned, then so be it. I will trust you on this one.

xx

DMV

Let love be your highest goal. – 1 Corinthians 14:1

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The Anchor of Hope 

May 11, 2015

Sharing Day 346 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

The Anchor of Hope 

All of us go through difficult times in our lives, and like a ship in a storm, we need help to remain steady. A ship has an anchor to help it hold steady, and the Bible says that the anchor of our soul is hope.

When you and I base our hope firmly on God and His Word, we may feel the wind and waves, but in the end we will not be moved.

During a storm, hope gives us the ability to look at things as they are and still be confident that something better is coming. That makes hope a very powerful and important quality for you and me to have – especially in times of trouble. In fact, I believe it’s the foundation that our faith must be built on.

No one – not even God – can promise that we will never have to deal with disappointment or trouble. But the important thing is that we never stop hoping. Maintaining a positive attitude and holding on to the hope we have in Christ puts us in a position to see God’s miracle-working power.

Prayer Starter: God, I put my hope in You. My expectation for the great things You’re going to do in my life is my anchor in trying times.

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭19‬ NLT)

xx

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His Mercies Are Always New 

May 7, 2015

Every day is an opportunity to start over. How fortunate of us, we should be grateful.

Sharing Day 339 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

His Mercies Are Always New

Each day is a new opportunity to close the door on the past and experience a brand-new start. Even the fact that God divided the days into twenty-four-hour segments is evidence that we need to start over on a regular basis. There is always a new day, a new month and a new year. But in order for us to make use of these new beginnings, we must make a decision to do so.

Are you battling guilt and condemnation? Do you feel bad about something you did years ago or something that happened yesterday? No matter how much time has gone by, the past is still the past. What is done is done, and only God can take care of it now. Your part is to admit your mistake, repent, receive God’s forgiveness, and go on.

In Lamentations, the prophet Jeremiah encourages us with the news that God’s mercy is new every morning. Every day He gives you a fresh start. I’m so glad that God sends a new batch of mercy daily – we can decide to have a new beginning every day!

Prayer Starter: God, I’m so glad that You’re mercies are new every morning! I can start fresh every day because of Your love, mercy, compassion and faithfulness to me!

The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (‭Lamentations‬ ‭3‬:‭22-23‬ NLT)

 

xx

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God Can Clean Up Any Mess

January 13, 2015

No matter how disastrous your situation is right now, cling to that last string of hope and know that God will clean up your mess no matter how gross and disgusting it is. God loves us that much. All we need to do is reach out to Him.

Sharing Day 227 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

God Can Clean Up Any Mess

I was seriously abused throughout my childhood. My life was horrible! I don’t remember ever being really happy until I was in my twenties. My mind was a mess, my emotions were a mess…everything was a mess!

But it didn’t stay that way. God has dealt with me, changed me and brought me through it all. Now I have a great relationship with God, real peace and joy, good relationships with family and friends, and I’m doing what God has called me to do.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us that God rewards those who diligently seek Him. I’ve discovered that anything I sacrificed to get closer to God and obey Him, I received back from Him many times over what I gave. And what He gave me was always much better.
You may be thinking, “But Joyce, you don’t know what I’m dealing with. It’s so hard!”

I understand, I’ve been through some really hard stuff. But God will reward those who seek Him. Be determined to seek Him in the midst of your hardship. He is more than able to clean up your messes!

Prayer Starter: God, I believe that You can clean up my messes. Instead of staying stuck in my troubles, I earnestly seek You today.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭6‬ NLT)

xx

DMV

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