Posts Tagged ‘God’

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Enemies of the Heart | Anger

April 10, 2019

Following a daily devotional to appease a lot of chaotic thoughts.

This one is for me and I’m just going to leave it here as a reminder that there is so much more to life than living with all this nonsense.

Andy Stanley: Enemies of the Heart 

Devotional Day 3

“Letting Go of Hurt and Anger”

Scripture: Ephesians 4:25-32

The second enemy of the heart is anger. We get angry when we don’t get what we want.

Show me an angry person and I’ll show you a hurt person. And I guarantee you that person is hurt because something has been taken. Somebody owes them something.

We all know people whose anger could be verbalized in one of the following ways: “You took my reputation.” “You stole my family.” “You took the best years of my life.” “You stole my first marriage.” “You robbed me of my teenage years.” “You robbed me of my purity.” “You owe me a raise.” “You owe me an opportunity to try.” “You owe me a second chance.” “You owe me affection.”

The root of anger is the perception that something has been taken. Something is owed you. And now a debt-to-debtor relationship has been established.

How about you? What debt is causing the anger you feel?

How long are you going to allow the people who have hurt you to control your life? Another month? Another year? Another season of your life? How long?

I’d like to propose that today should be the day when you quit holding on to the hurt!

While it’s true that you can’t undo what’s been done, it’s equally true that you don’t have to let the past control your future. In Ephesians 4, we’re commanded to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger.” We do that by “forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

The remedy for anger is forgiveness. If we hold out waiting to be paid back for the wrongs done to us, we will be the ones who pay. If, on the other hand, we cancel the debts owed to us, we will be set free.

Of the four monstrous forces we’re discussing in these devotionals, I believe this one—unresolved anger from intentional and unintentional hurt—is the most devastating. Yet in some ways it’s the easiest to overcome. You simply make up your mind to cancel the debt. You decide and declare, “You don’t owe me anymore.”

Follow this four-step process today:

(1) Identify who you’re angry with.

(2) Determine what they owe you.

(3) Cancel the debt by forgiving them.

(4) Don’t let the anger build up again.

“So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:25-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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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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God and Religious Stereotypes

July 20, 2018

I think I’ve kept quiet long enough. Too long even. I’ve kept quiet most of my life. Maybe I was scared. Maybe out of respect for the people who took (and still takes) care of me and taught me early on all that is viable in life. Or maybe because I know my opinions would be judged and unacceptable to some (or most). Or maybe because I know I will be looked down upon because my faith is rather unconventional. I don’t know.

God and Religion are two totally different things.

God is definitely not religion. Do not confuse yourself.

I am not religious at all, I’m sorry. It’s nothing I’m proud of, just pointing out that I’m not. And I wish to not identify with any religion. But don’t get me wrong, I do believe in God and know for a fact that I have a great relationship with my Creator.

There is this stereotype that people who do not identify with a particular religion must therefore be an atheist. I have nothing against atheists. In fact, I know a lot of atheists, I have friends who are atheists and most of them are really good people. We are all entitled to our own beliefs. Religion or religious beliefs or nonbeliefs do not make a person. Religions are but human institutions that enhances your experience of God but just because you do not identify to one does not mean that you cannot experience God.

I’m not religious because I’m just not impressed with it. I feel like it limits someone’s understanding of faith as each “religion” has its own distinct ideologies and cultures and traditions EVEN IF they claim to worship the same higher being.

And although I am not religious, I know, I KNOW that my God loves me the same as everyone else because my God is omnipotent and unbiased and merciful.

There is this other stereotype that if you don’t identify to a particular religion, your soul won’t be “saved.” I think I’ve lost count of how many people would scold me or tell me off when I don’t go to church, like as if rubbing shoulders with hypocrites really make my Sundays better. They will then proceed to tell me that you are there to worship God and not the people who attend church and I’m like aren’t these worship leaders, these priests, people as well? They are actually one of the reasons why religion turned me off. I do go to church sometimes, the coffee is always good.

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 (and I did for so many years). That is what tradition dictates. Not sure what sort of validation they get from doing so as I feel like their idea of being good followers of Christ or how a Christian life is to be led are pegged on their church attendance or the amount they give for tithes and offerings. I don’t really need to let the whole world know of the good that I do. Publishing it on multimedia and spilling it all over social media does not secure you a spot in heaven.

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 going to 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.

You see, each of us have our own ideals and beliefs and just because we are so passionate with ours, does not give us the right to dictate or force it on someone who does not share the same.

I wish everyone would learn to respect each other’s unique principles instead of being bigots and judgmental human beings.

I love my God and I always try to do whatever it is that will be pleasing to Him. I hope, as believers, you do the same.

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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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Forgiveness: The Path to Real Peace and Joy 

March 2, 2015

If you were wondering why I’ve been posting a lot of devotionals about forgiveness lately, not only do I want to share it with you, but I guess I’m also sharing it to my self, sharing it until it sinks and drills into my head because I find it so hard to forgive. So every time I will encounter a forgiveness devotional, I will share it until I finally figure out how to forgive. I know in time I would learn how.

Sharing Day 273 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Forgiveness: The Path to Real Peace and Joy 

A few years ago someone told me about a person who was doing business with our ministry and making a good deal of money because of their relationship with us. My friend happened to be at the same restaurant, seated in the next booth, and overheard their conversation, which just happened to be about me – and they weren’t saying good things either.

At first I got mad and just wanted to tell him that he was never getting our business again. But in bed that night, the Holy Spirit said to me, “You’re not going to do any of those things.” He said, “No, you’re going to do what you teach. You’re going to go buy him a present, and you’re going to tell him how much you appreciate the services that he’s given you all these years.”

Needless to say, I resisted at first. But eventually, I relented and bought him a gift.

What I remember most about the situation is that as soon as I started taking action to do something good for them, it just got so funny to me. I was laughing out loud in my house, all by myself.

When we can look at people who’ve hurt us with compassion, there’s a party that goes on inside of us.

So who can you forgive and do something nice for today? Practice forgiveness and follow the path it leads to real peace and joy!

Prayer Starter: God, I want to obey Your word, which tells me to be compassionate and good to those who have hurt me. I know that when I do, I will experience peace and joy on the inside.

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. (‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭35‬ NLT)

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What is Happy?

January 19, 2015

Everybody is thirsting to find happiness in life. More often than not, a lot of people aren’t happy unless a certain person behaves a certain way, or unless a certain situation works out just the way they want it to. We are so used to being unhappy because we let our happiness depend on other people and situations; there are just so many ways that we put unrealistic expectations on people and rely on them to keep us happy.

But one of the most important lessons I have learned is that I cannot count on someone else to make me happy. I alone can make me happy. God has given us the ability to take responsibility of our own happiness.

So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. (Ecclesiastes 3:12 NLT)

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(Photo courtesy: Tumblr)

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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)

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