Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

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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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When Praying for Others Is Hard 

March 9, 2015

Because sometimes, the best way to help others is to pray for them.

Sharing Day 282 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

When Praying for Others is Hard

How do you respond when someone hurts your feelings? Do you let it rob you of joy? Or maybe your emotions run wild.

Luke 6:27-28 tells us what we should do when people hurt us: We must pray for them and bless them.

Can you believe that? We’re to pray something like, “Oh, Lord, I pray that You’d just make them so happy!”

I still don’t get that, but I’m willing to do it in obedience and say, “Lord, I don’t know that I really want them to be happy, but I’ll pray that in faith anyway, because You’re telling me to bless them with Your presence.”

Choosing to pray for them is one of the most difficult things God asks us to do, especially if we believe that whoever hurt us is in the wrong and doesn’t deserve to be forgiven.

But God instructs us to practice forgiveness. And when we choose to follow the path of forgiveness, we will experience the peace and joy that come through obeying God’s Word. When you obey God, He can help you overcome the pain and enjoy life more.

Prayer Starter: God, it’s hard, but I pray for those who have hurt me and ask You to bless them. Help me to release the hurt and forgive them.

Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. (‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭28‬ NLT)

xx

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LOVE YOUR WORST ENEMY

October 27, 2014

Read this on the front page of the October 26, 2014 Ikthus Sunday Guide and just wanted to share.

LOVE YOUR WORST ENEMIES

This perhaps is one of the more difficult commands of our Lord. It is easy to love people we like, but to love the unlovable seems impossible. Can you love the person who bullies you in school? Can you love the neighbor who spreads rumors about you? Can you love the friend who has swindled you?

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” – Matthew 5:44-45

As the verse says, God loves even these “bad people”. God loves both good and bad people. Both enjoy equal amount of sunshine, both freely inhale the air, both good and evil are allotted space in this earth.

God is very specific in His instruction on how we deal with our enemies:

Love them, and pray for them. By God’s grace alone will you be able to do that. Ask the Lord for the strength and for the spirit of forgiveness. When you pray for your enemies, pray that they will know Christ, so they may be transformed towards having Christ-like values. Don’t retaliate to your enemies. God your Father, knows how you feel and in His own time, in His own way, He will give what is due to the other person.

Join 40 days in the Word, Love the Word, Learn the Word, Live the word. https://www.facebook.com/ikthusbacolod?fref=ts

xx

DMV

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You Can’t Add One Inch to Your Height!

October 14, 2014

STOP WORRYING! 😉

Sharing Day 136 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

You Can’t Add One Inch to Your Height!

Worrying does us absolutely no good. It doesn’t change one thing, and we waste time by being upset over stuff we can’t do anything about, things only God can change.

The Bible says we can’t even add one inch to our height by worrying. Yet, we worry, worry, worry, which gets us nowhere.

Every time we get really upset, it takes a lot of emotional energy, tires us out, messes with our health, steals our joy, and still doesn’t change one thing. We need to stop trying to fix things that only God can fix because the only one who’s clapping is the devil, saying, “Ha, ha, ha! Got ’em again!”

Jesus tells us to “calm down” in John 14:27 and”cheer up” in John 16:33. I think it’s a one-two knockout punch to the devil when we do. When you realize you can’t fix everything, that calms you down, and when You know that God can, it cheers you up!

So don’t worry. Instead, calm down, cheer up, and send the devil running!

Prayer Starter: Lord, my worrying really doesn’t accomplish anything, so I leave it behind. I’m so thankful that You can fix what I can’t. You calm me down and cheer me up!

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭27‬ NLT)

xx

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Increase Your Self-Acceptance

September 24, 2014

Sharing Day 116 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Increase Your Self-Acceptance

You may not think highly of yourself, but God wants you to like who you are. Here are 5 practical tips to help increase your self-acceptance and improve your opinion of yourself:

1. Never speak negatively about yourself. The communication of your faith is made effectual by acknowledging every good thing in you through Christ Jesus, not by focusing on the wrong.

2. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Peter encountered this obstacle when he compared himself to another disciple. He said, “Lord, what about this man? Jesus replied, If I want him to stay (survive, live) until I come, what is that to you?…” (John 21:21-22 AMP). We are not called to compare, only to comply.

3. Let God determine your worth. Remember that you have already been accepted by God.

4. Keep your flaws in perspective. It’s ok to see where you want to improve, but make sure you appreciate your progress.

5. Discover the true source of confidence. If you place your confidence in God, you can’t help but have a healthy attitude. Do your best, and leave the results to Him.

Prayer Starter: God, thank You for accepting me even when I have trouble accepting myself. Help me to acknowledge the good qualities You’ve given me and keep my flaws in perspective as I find my confidence in You.

That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (‭Philemon‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬ KJV)

xx

DMV

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Why We Ask ‘Why?’

September 10, 2014

In times of hardships and moments of difficulties, in times of frustration and desperation, in search for a drastic solution, an answer to an ardent prayer, more often than not, we scream out to God and ask Him why shit happen to us.

Yes, I cannot deny, I do this. When I find myself stuck in a despairing situation and I don’t get the answers I am looking for, I ask why this has to happen to “me“.

Sharing Day 102 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Why We Ask ‘Why?’

Do you ever find yourself in a tragic situation and asked God, ‘Why? Why is this happening to me?’

For one moment, let’s imagine that God actually answered that question. Would His explanation change anything? The effects of the tragedy would still be with you, and the pain would be just as severe as it was before. What would you have learned?

When we ask God that question, I think the real questions we’re asking are: ‘God, do You love me? Will You take care of me in my sorrow and pain? You won’t leave me alone, will You?’ Is it possible that, because we’re afraid God doesn’t truly care about us, we ask for explanations?

Instead, we must learn to say: ‘Lord, I believe. I don’t understand, and I’ll probably never grasp all the reasons bad things happen, but I know for certain that You love me and are with me, always.’

I believe it often takes more faith to go through something victoriously than to be delivered from it. Put your faith in God and you’ll come out stronger on the other side.

Prayer Starter: God, I believe in You, even when circumstances try to fill my mind with doubt. Help me to remember Your love for me and to put my faith in You, no matter what happens.

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (‭Mark‬ ‭9‬:‭24‬ KJV)

I guess what we need to do is believe that there is always an end to every (and all) ugly circumstance that we get to face as we move on with our lives. God will never leave as alone. No, we will not fully understand His way of answering our whys but remarkably, when He answers, it is exactly what we are looking for.

xx

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June Bride

June 18, 2014

“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not insist on its own way. Love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13

Marriage is not about the overly sized petticoats or the giant peonies or the Jimmy Choo shoes.

It’s not also about the Lancome finished makeup or dreamland reception with all the drapes and hanging lanterns and cherry blossoms.

No it’s not.

Marriage is a commitment. A promise supposedly made by two people “in-love” to be together in what they believe is called “forever” (despite whatever odds or something like that). For richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.

Marriage starts after your wedding day; when you wake up the day after drunk (or sober) beside your partner with smeared makeup and messy, sticky hair and you find him still looking at you longingly, smiling with an I’m-so-lucky kind of look.

And you move in together into a new house that you will eventually build into a home. That is WHEN you both start living.

Yes, you will discover a lot of things about each other and you will not like some (or all) of them, but you will eventually learn to live with it and settle into a new kind of normal only the two of you understand.

Yes, life afterwards will not be what you’ve expected. You both will have to learn to adjust. You will fight a lot of times over the littlest and most unreasonable things (like shower curtains or squeezing toothpaste or tile colors or who makes breakfast), these are inevitable.

Yes, there will come a time that you find your self asking if you’ve made the right decision, questions like “What the hell am I doing in this relationship?” or if who you are with now is really “the one” are normal. We all have our own shortcomings and no one is perfect in marriage. There will be times when one may fail the other, mess up, or do something hurtful.

No, marriage is not your fairytale come true. BUT marriage is making a fairytale come true with someone you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with.

You see, it is not about you anymore. It is about you AND your partner. It’s a work in progress and a learning process and it requires BOTH of you.

How do you make it work?

You find out along the way.

But keep this in mind:

You both deserve someone who will be there for you, who has your back and takes your side, who takes care of you, looks after you; someone willing to sacrifice for you and fight for you; someone who believes in you, encourages you, pushes you not to stop dreaming and brings out the best in you; someone who doesn’t walk out on you during difficult situations; someone who stays simply because he choose to.

Be that person.

Be honest, brutally honest. Do not keep secrets, do not lie. Understand and compromise. Voice out. LISTEN. Pay attention to details. Involve each other. Be each other’s cheerleader, counselor, critic, nurse, confidante and best friend. Be each other’s priority. Be considerate, always. Be selfless. Watch your words, you will never be able to get them back. Be patient with each other, you do not think alike. Appreciate, even the littlest things, especially the little things.

It doesn’t hurt to say good morning and good night. It’s never too much to tell each other I love you everyday. Enjoy each other’s company. Make each other feel beautiful. Hug, kiss, cuddle.

Be random. Go on trips, travel, discover something new together. Experiment. Surprise each other. Be spontaneous.

Most importantly, have a spiritual life together. Go to church or prayer meetings or subscribe to reading plans. Feed your souls. Be blessed. When God is at the center of your marriage, grace pours in and believe that everything will come easily.

You never know who is that someone you are destined to be with. But trust in fate’s decision in bringing you together. There is always a reason we meet the people we meet eventhough sometimes we may not know why. There are no coincidences. Build on “together moments,” your happy times will be your anchor during the most trying days.

Always remember you deserve to be with someone who loves you. Love deeply and wholly. Set aside the clashing personalities, the twisted principles, the different point of views, if you are truly confident with each other’s love, you two will get along just fine.

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xx

DMV

Marriage: If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by. – F. Burton Howard

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What is Love?

February 9, 2014

What-is-love

Love is …

♥  a single white rose on a rainy day
♥  a movie with Tater’s major barbecue fries
♥  a box of Reese’s
♥  a book collection
♥  a peck on the cheek
♥  a hug from the back
♥  a foot massage
♥  a bowl of cerelac
♥  a slow dance
♥  a lunch date with your sister
♥  a music soundtrack
♥  a rock concert with your bestfriend

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Love is …

♥  the racing heart and the sweat that breaks from a proposing man
♥  the tears that fall from the groom’s eyes when his bride enters the room
♥  the look of awe on a bride’s face when saying her vows
♥  the house they build and make into a home
♥  the waking hour, the afternoon sighs and the last goodnight
♥  the rise and fall of his every breath while watching him sleep
♥  the 9 months a mother carries her son in her womb
♥  the endurance of a torturous 36 hour labor
♥  the patience in looking after a baby who just recently had his shots
♥  the constant cooing of a 3 month old angel
♥  the ridiculous face a brother makes for a smile from the little one
♥  the proud look of a grandfather seeing his grandson score a goal

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Love is…

♥  the bags under a mother’s eyes for staying up late to feed the baby
♥  the scar on her belly to bring out the life from within
♥  the pain a father feels from not seeing his newborn son
♥  the broken heart of a single mother
♥  the dreams she keeps pursuing in hopeless situations
♥  the faith she puts on an unseen God
♥  the silent prayers for a shattered soul
♥  the forgiveness for the hurt, selfishness, lies and betrayal
♥  the appreciation of the little things that matter
♥  the acceptance of a person despite the differences
♥  the sincere thank you during helpless moments
♥  the fingers locked and intertwined, not wanting to let go

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Love is undefined, indescribable, immeasurable…

LOVE are these moments.

what-is-love

xx

DMV

…but the greatest of these is Love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13

Photo courtesy: Google images

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