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

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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)

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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

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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

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