Category Archives: truth

Change Your Default Setting

cloudscolossians3 2-2709662_1920S – “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2

O – Paul is giving instructions to believers to live a godly life and please God. Here he tells us to keep our minds set on what is above.

A – “Set your minds” – What you think about – this implies that we have a choice. We can choose what we think about, what we set our minds on. As hard as it might seem and it isn’t easy, we do have a choice. We should think about “things that are above.” What is above? Jesus, our Father, heaven, eternity, all who have gone before us, all those who will join us there, God’s will, eternal rewards, all the promises of God, His Word which will last forever. Not on things of the earth: what is temporal, material things, sin, pain, sorrow, temporary pleasures, money, earthly gain and power, problems and worries, physical limitations, pride, selfish gain. Is it possible to never think about those things? Of course not. But to “set” my mind says to me that which I think about the most. The channel I set my radio to. My default setting. What I always go back to. I need to make things that are above my default setting for my mind. Yes, I will think about earthly things and I need to at times but my goal is to always bring my mind back to what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

P – Please help me, Lord. Help me to set my mind on you, on your truth, on eternity. Help me to train my mind to always come back to truth. Thank you that because of your Holy Spirit, that is possible. I love you Jesus.

SOAP Bible Study Method

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Jesus

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I love you Jesus!

You are everything to me.

You are my breath, my life and my hope.

Everything I have is a gift from you.

Everything I am is because of your grace.

You chose me before the foundation of the world and you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

You go before and behind me.

Your hand is always on me.

In every high or low of my life you have been there and will be there holding me.

You created me.

You saved me from sin.

You empower me.

Your grace covers my life.

Nothing can take me away from you.

No one can separate me from your love.

I am yours for eternity.

I will offer to you eternal praise.

Knowing you fills my heart with joy.

Every joy, every heartache, every victory, every defeat,

Everything good or bad in my life you connect to use for my good and your glory.

Nothing is wasted.

You are Almighty God and

Wonderful Savior!

You are my friend and my Lord.

You are my life and my hope.

Please glorify your name in my life.

livingbygracepic

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Fantastic Book for Young Women (and the rest of us too)

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I loved this book! (I bought it for my Kindle) I could not put it down.

Even though it was written for teen girls and young women while I am 62 years old!

Jessica Fralin is a gifted author and communicator. Her message here is timely and vital for young women in particular but all women would benefit from her messages. Women need this message of where to look for validation and truth. Social media has changed our world and it’s not going anywhere.

We need to be faced with the truth of how it can be used for harm and how to avoid that.

Jessica not only points out the pitfalls and dangers of social media but how to keep it in its proper place and even use it in a positive way. She weaves the truth of the Bible throughout without being too “preachy” and always in a real way. She has also given many extra facts that make the book interesting and discussion questions that make it easy to read and discuss the book with young women who are in your life.

Jessica gets real with many of our motivations for what we post on social media and causes us to look deeper at what we are really looking for. She points to the truth and the only place where we can find the acceptance and love we are looking for and that is from God. I think this book is a must read for teen girls, young women and their parents. The best would be to read and discuss it together.

Jessica helped me to look at my own behaviors with social media and I have some things I plan to work on. It is amazing that a young woman would have such wisdom but that comes from the time she has spent in God’s Word. I wish I could buy this book for every young woman I know.

It is timely, practical, inspirational, encouraging, well written (written on a level to speak to young people) and filled with truth.

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Bad News

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Within a short time I’ve heard news of:

  • A friend’s daughter who had a diagnosis of breast cancer
  • A friend who is in ICU because of a bike accident
  • Another friend’s son who is in critical condition
  • A friend who one day was in great shape and in just a few weeks found himself to be an amputee having lost his right leg from the knee down and half of his left foot

I could go on. Depression, addictions, death, loss…

The lesson? We never know what a day will bring.

This life is fragile and fleeting.

At best, we are aging day by day and gradually losing our physical abilities (as much as we would like to deny that). We are all dying. Whatever abilities we have today are not promised for tomorrow. I’m not being negative, its reality.

Does this reality have to rob us of joy and peace?

No! It’s because of that reality that Jesus came to live and die for us and then rose to live forever. He is our rescuer and our Savior!

Our Father is always with us.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 (NIV)

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)

Does that mean we won’t experience pain or loss? No, but it means we are not alone. It means when we rely on Christ, He gives us the grace we need for each day.

Our Father is always there with His arms open wide. Jesus has made it possible for us to run into His arms if we will believe.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

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Under Attack!

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“You’ve blown it as a parent.”

You’ve wasted so much of your life, you are such a failure!”

“You call yourself a Christian; look at all the people you ignored over the years. Look at all the missed opportunities.”

“You blew it!”

“You failed.”… Have you ever had thoughts like these bombard your mind? Recently, I was struggling with these thoughts coming to my mind like so many artillery shells. One zinger, “I can’t believe you are 61 years old and you are just learning (insert recent revelation).” I was overwhelmed with my own self-focus, contaminating pride, laziness, and weaknesses. As I was getting in the car one morning, the song “Greater” by MercyMe was in my mind. As I was about to turn on the ignition, these lyrics went through my head, “And greater is the One living inside of me than he who is living in the world” I turned on the car and those exact lyrics were playing on the radio! Some would count this as a coincidence but as one who believes in and follows Jesus, I have learned there are no coincidences and when something like this happens; it is God giving me a message. But I didn’t really examine it at that time. Later that day I was sharing my struggles with my dear friend and prayer partner and she said, “That’s the enemy! God does not talk to us like that.” Then it was like a light going off in my heart and I remembered the song God brought to my attention. Later I read all the lyrics and realized all He was saying. I was under attack and the enemy was filling my heart with his accusations and reminders of my sin. But the blood of Jesus Christ has covered my sin! As it says in Ephesians 1:7-8a “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.

I then realized when the attack started. A few weeks ago God spoke to me through a sermon at my church. I took the challenge to give God the first minutes of my day to pray. Not just a brief prayer but a sacrificial time to seek God apart from all distractions. I started getting up earlier than usual to pray and it was a blessed time. But things came against me, I missed a few days and then I spent a week under this attack. The enemy did not want me to spend that time in prayer! That tells me how important it is. When the enemy attacks, it feels like oppression not conviction. The Holy Spirit will convict of a specific sin and call us to repent of that. He does not oppress us with a general feeling of failure and condemnation. I praise God for His love, His forgiveness and His grace. And I thank Him for this song.

Are you under attack?

Are you feeling condemned and overwhelmed by your sin? If you feel that conviction but you have never given your heart to Jesus, know this truth from Romans 10:9-10,

If you declare with you mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” And once you are His, Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Once we belong to Jesus, when we sin, He promises in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Once He cleanses us, our sins are gone. They are wiped away. The enemy condemns; Jesus leads us to life.

If you belong to Jesus and you are convicted of sin, confess it and move on yielding to Him. If there is a general sense of condemnation and accusation, that is the enemy! Resist him!

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 Meditate on the truth of Scripture. Spend time praising God. Pray and tell the devil to leave you alone. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 Praise God for the victory!

 

 

 

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Jesus Marveled

Join us in SOAP. Read today’s passages and journal your thoughts. To read others journal entries click below:

April 21 1 Samuel 24; Psalm 57,58; 1 Chronicles 8; Matthew 8.

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Mine for today:

I Have Never Found Such Faith  | Susan Aken

S~ “The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me, and I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ When Jesus heard it, He marveled…” Matthew 8:8-10a (NKJV)

“But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’” (NKJV) Matthew 8:26-27

O~ In this chapter, Jesus notices the faith of a centurion (considered an enemy by the Jews) and the faith of His disciples (His closest friends and followers). He marvels at the faith of the Centurion who is not a follower of Jesus and has probably never met Him before. The Centurion understands that Jesus has authority over all of creation including disease. Jesus says, “I have never found such faith.” Then, His disciples, the people who knew Him better than anyone, the ones who have seen Him perform hundreds of miracles, these men are caught in a storm with Jesus and they think they are about to die. Jesus says, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?” They didn’t understand that Jesus had all authority. Isn’t it amazing that this non-Jew who had never met Jesus had more faith than the disciples. The Centurion “got it”.

A~ Do I truly “get it”? Do I fully realize the authority and power of Jesus Christ? What would He say about my faith? Would He marvel at its strength or its weakness? How can my faith grow stronger? By meditating on who He is, by focusing on His strength not my weakness, by praying about everything instead of fretting. By choosing to trust and stepping out in faith.

P~ Jesus, I do believe you have all authority. I do trust you. But sometimes I take my eyes off of you and look at the problems. On my own, they are impossible to overcome but in you nothing is impossible. Please strengthen my faith.

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He Restores My Soul

 

One of the most beautiful passages ever written – Psalm 23. Read some responses at the link below:

February 20 Numbers 7; Psalm 23; Acts 27.

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