Consumed

Posted: January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Ephesians 4:26-27 says “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” According to God’s word, we have permission to experience the emotion of anger, but we are not allowed to follow our emotions into sin. Left unchecked, anger can become an all consuming fire which will burn every area of your life, destroying all it touches. As the sun dipping below the horizon gives way to darkness, so hearts that allow anger to set in invite dark shadows to enter. At the point that we allow anger to own us, we open the door of our hearts to the devil. Satan’s whispered lies start to sound credible, and as we accept his lies over God’s truth, the light of God’s word gets pushed out, sinking our hearts down deeper and deeper into utter darkness. God commands us to forgive others for our OWN protection. Letting anger control you is a one-way ticket into the dark pit of resentment, bitterness, envy, jealousy and wrath. Forgiveness isn’t a stamp of approval – it’s a release: When you forgive someone, you release them from the responsibility of healing the pain they inflicted by their actions. The person who injured you cannot heal you — that is something only your Heavenly Father can do. Don’t hold onto anger. Let God’s consuming fire devour it before it devours you.

Opposition

Posted: December 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

In Mark 8:27-33, Peter, one the disciples, confesses that Jesus is the Christ (which means “the anointed one of God”), the long-awaited Messiah, or King of the Jews. He has seen Jesus cast out demons, physically heal, and miraculously feed thousands upon thousands of people. But when Jesus plainly tells Peter and the rest of the disciples that he must suffer many things, be rejected by the religious leaders and be killed, and after three days rise again, Peter quickly goes from reverence to reprimand. Peter takes Jesus aside and begins to rebuke him. Then Jesus, after turning around and looking at the other disciples, rebukes Peter, saying “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Peter deeply loves Jesus and has put his faith in him, so why would  Jesus call him him that? Although the harsh criticism came out of Peter’s mouth, Peter is only the conduit — not the source — of the rebuke. Ephesians 6:12 states, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. People (“flesh and blood”) are never the actual source of negative Opposition — instead they are the conduits through which the rulers, authorities, cosmic powers and spiritual forces of evil speak. Just like God speaks through people to encourage, the devil speaks through people to tear down. The devil is your enemy and his only goal is to bring destruction. The next time someone unleashes a verbal attack, look past their face and start digging — Satan, the Destroyer, is always at the root.

Wise Counsel

Posted: December 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

In Daniel, chapter 6, a multitude of men approached King Darius with a plan: anyone caught in the next 30 days praying to any man or god, accept to King Darius, should be thrown into the lion’s den. King Darius liked what he heard and signed the decree. But once the law was activated, Daniel, whom King Darius cherished, was caught praying to God. This caused great distress to the king, and the king tried to revoke his own law.  When his efforts failed, and after he ordered Daniel to be thrown into the lion’s den, King Darius went back to his palace and spent the night fasting, no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. Worldly, unwise counsel will result in anxious thoughts and sleepless nights. So the next time you need direction, find someone who will shine God’s word into your life. Don’t settle for just any counsel – seek Wise Counsel. Talk is cheap, but wisdom is priceless. Wisdom is the GPS system your soul needs to stay on track with God.

Empty Cups

Posted: November 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Electronic devices like iPhones, iPads and iPods keep us continually connected to the Information Superhighway. So the question is: do you ever disconnect? Do you carve time out of your hectic, full-throttle schedule to be still, sitting quietly, reading the Bible, praying and listening for God’s voice? Or do you spend every free moment being entertained by an electronic device? We are Empty Cups that are filled every day by something or someone. We then pour out what was poured into us. Your cup will be filled with whatever you take in, so if you fill up on gossip, lies or bitterness, that’s exactly what you will pour out. What gets poured into your Empty Cup each day? God wants to take away your emptiness, but he can’t unless you give him permission. Talk to God. Give him permission to fill you with his limitless love, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Be willing to sit quietly in his presence, and allow his excellent Holy Spirit to flood every area of your life. Low on wisdom? Ask God for a refill – he will do more than just top you off. Your Cup will overflow.

Battle Ready

Posted: November 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Every day, we are up against the devil and his schemes.  He pounds us with lies, hits us with accusations and wraps us up in condemnation, trying to exhaust us so we’ll just submit to him and tap out. The devil wants you to believe that he is so strong he cannot be defeated.  But that is a lie straight from the pit of hell. James 5:7 says “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  Don’t show up to the fight unarmed. Be Battle Ready. Spend time each day in God’s Word.  Gear up and be prepared for the fight. Don’t let the devil smack you around.  Hit him with the Word of God and watch him tap out every time.

F.E.A.R.

Posted: November 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

The devil never comes at you with facts.  Instead, he comes at you with F.E.A.R., which stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.  As the Father of Lies, he cannot repeat any truth.  In fact, he cannot remain in the presence of truth.  If you find yourself overwhelm with F.E.A.R., fight back. Wield the double-edge sword of the Word of God.  Speak it. Sing it. Proclaim it.  As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have access to the Lord’s power and authority.  The devil wants you to remain in F.E.A.R. and he’ll do everything he can to convince you that you are powerless to resist him. But that isn’t true. You have the power, through the blood of Jesus shed on the cross for your sins, to defeat the devil.  When he comes at you, come against him with the Word of God. He must (and will) flee because he is the one who is powerless to resist.

It’s Your Choice

Posted: November 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

We live in a culture focused on the freedom of Choice.  But there is one that few are willing to talk about — the Choice to Choose God.  Matthew 25:41 tells us that those who reject God will spend eternity in “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”  Hell was prepared for the devil — it was NOT prepared for you. God wants you to spend eternity in heaven, with him.  But God will never force that upon you.  He is the perfect gentleman. Will you accept his offer of spending eternity in heaven with him, or will you reject it? This is the one area that God will give you what you ask for. It’s Your Choice.