The behaviour of someone who is genuine holy (not perfect, but living in humble obedience to God) and someone who is a hypocrite may seem quite similar. God does not look on the face of things; He looks at our hearts. He does not just glance at our hearts; He searches them. (Taken from: Seeking Him by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Tim Grissom). Father, You know my heart. I do not want to portray to be someone that I am not. I want to be honest in all my ways. I long to be holy. Please help me.
The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Encourage one another and help one another” (TEV). You are to build up, motivate, and inspire other people. How do you do that? You can do it three ways: You can give people hope, you can help people overcome their fears, and you can help people break down barriers.
First, you need to give people hope. You show that you’ve been through the same thing, and you reassure them that they’ll be able to get through it, too. You show through your story that it can be done.
When you share your experiences with other people, you help take away their fears. It’s kind of like riding a roller coaster. When you go to Six Flags and you’ve never been on one of those huge roller coasters, you’re kind of thinking, “Is this a smart decision?” Then, the person in front of you turns around and says, “This is a great ride. I’ve been on it five times.” So you’re thinking, “OK, I’m going to live. They’ve done it five times. It’s got to be OK.” Having someone share with you who’s already gone through it is an inspiration. It’s motivational.
How many first-time mothers feel scared to death, unprepared, and inadequate? All of them! How grateful they are for somebody who comes along and says, “Babies cry. It’s OK. It’s OK to let them cry. This is normal.” The fears that they’re experiencing don’t seem so daunting when others share with them their experiences and how they came through them. It gives them hope!
You also help people break through barriers when you motivate them with your own experience. Roger Bannister was the first guy to run a four-minute mile. At the time, everybody said it was an impossible barrier. Yet within about a year after Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile, a dozen other guys had done it. All of a sudden, people realized it wasn’t impossible, and it gave them hope that they could do it, too.
You have experiences in your life that could be barrier busting, inspirational, and motivational to other people — if you’re willing to share them. The most powerful way to say anything is the most personal way to say it.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:6, “For your sake, my friends, I have applied all this to Apollos and me, using the two of us as an example, so that you may learn.”
Whenever I teach a series on marriage, I always go back and talk about the marriage problems Kay and I have had. Why? Because it has the credibility of reality and people can go, “They don’t have a perfect marriage, and we don’t, either. But they’ve lasted nearly 40 years. Maybe we can, too.” Perfection never helps anybody — except when it’s Jesus.
The preacher placed two identical jars on the table next to the pulpit. He quoted I Samuel
16:7, "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the
outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
He explained, "These jars came from the same factory, were made of the same
materials, and can hold the same amount. But they are different."
Then he upset one of the jars and it oozed out honey. He turned over the
other jar and vinegar spilled out.
"When a jar is upset, whatever is in it comes out. Until the jars were upset, they looked alike. The difference lay within, and could not be seen. When they were upset, their contents were revealed. Until we are upset, we put on a good front. But when we are upset, we reveal our innermost thoughts and attitudes, for "out of the abundance of
the heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45). What if someone tipped you over
today? What would flow out? Would you reveal the "honey" of grace and patience,
or the "vinegar" of anger and sarcasm?
I stood in the bare white room and sighed. Paint cans, trays, rollers and brushes were stacked in the middle of the floor. Every breath I took reminded me that I'd been here for a number of days, but there was still work to be done. These walls were still white. By the time we were finished painting the downstairs floors of two houses, I was tired, but I was getting pretty good at painting. I was even enjoying it a bit. It was satisfying, watching the paint flow onto the walls, turning them to a warm comforting colour.
I grabbed a new pail, gave it a bit of a shake and opened it up. I knew as soon as I passed the roller over the wall that something was wrong. I looked at the label on the pail. It was the same colour. I looked at the paint inside. It looked the same as what I'd been using earlier in the day. But I looked at the wall and frowned. I dipped a brush into the paint and immediately realized the problem. It needed to be stirred. It took quite a while, and my arm was starting to object, before the consistency was right and I could use that paint, but once it had been stirred enough, the rest of the work was almost effortless.
Like paint, our faith in God needs to be stirred. We need to see God's hand at work in our lives and the lives of others. It's the answered prayers, the obvious God incidents, and the manifestations of His glory in the world around us, which thicken our faith into something that will sustain us, something that can be used.
Some of the stirring can only be accomplished by God Himself. Faith is a gift. Only He can open our eyes to its reality. But we can put ourselves in places where we will see the hand of God at work. Go to the third world. Help in a soup kitchen. Visit the dying and those in prison. Work with those who are disabled. Witness to those around you. Go to church. Take the risks that will reveal Him. God is always at work in places where He is most needed.
When faith is thin, our spiritual life fades and God can't accomplish much through us. But when it's been stirred, life thickens with purpose and meaning. It is then that faith becomes a beautiful and useful tool in God's hands. When our faith has been stirred, the work we do for Him seems almost effortless because we recognize that it is He who works through us. We see the difference only He can make, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose". (Philippians 2:13).
Two kinds of voices vie for our attention. One says, “God will help you.” The other says, “God has left you!”
And here’s the great news: you select the voices you hear. Why give ear to pea-brains and scoffers when you can, with the same ear, listen to the voice of God? I had a friend who battled alcohol. He tried a fresh tactic. He gave me and a few others permission to slug him in the nose if we ever saw him drinking. If the wall is too tall, try the tunnel! Try something different… God will help you!
Ephesians 1:19-20 says, “God’s power is very great for those who believe. That power is the same as the great strength God used to raise Christ from the dead and put Him at His right side in the heavenly world.”
Turn to God and he will give you what you need. Turn a deaf ear to the old voices. Open a wide eye to the new choices!
from Facing Your Giants
"the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ is spread through the believer” (2 Cor.2:14)
I looked out the window and noticed a thorny plant in bloom. The flowers look like clover- round little purple heads on a tall and gangly stalk. The amazing thing is the amount of bees this plant has drawn. About thirty bees are literally swarming around this bush. Now, there is no fragrance to this flower that I can detect, but, there is something most definitely appealing about this perennial to these busy insects!
In the Bible, God talks about fragrance a few times in both the Old and New Testament. In 2 Cor. 2:14 He says, "the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ is spread through the believer". In the next verse, it says that we (Christians) are "the sweet fragrance of Christ to God". (2 Cor. 2:15)
So, therefore, we are the fragrance of Christ, to God, and we spread this fragrance of Christ to others. Just like the bees were drawn to the flowers which emitted no sweet smell to me - likewise non-believers can be drawn to a Christian - by some undetectable pull.
In the New Testament, the story of a nice aroma is told in the book of John. In this story, Mary took expensive perfume and anointed Jesus’ feet. This wonderful smell permeated the entire house. (John 12:3) Likewise, sometimes our love for Christ is overflowing in such a manner that the fragrance of joy is obvious to others, and draws them near to see what is going on.
In either of these manners—obvious or subtle, Christians must draw the secular population to the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus. This is the fragrance which is pleasing to our God.
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. ISAIAH 41 : 10
DRESSED FOR SUCCESS !!
Before you rush head-on into yet another hectic day .. Pause for a moment to ensure that your outfit is fully intact !!
Did you remember to put on .. The Belt Of Truth .. The Breastplate Of Righteousness .. The Shoes Of Peace .. The Shield Of Faith .. The Helmet Of Salvation .. and .. The Sword Of The Spirit .. ?
Did you remember to dress yourself for success in The Full Armor Of God .. ?
Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand .. Ephesians 6 : 13
Wherefore .. Or .. Because you are fighting against spiritual wickedness, you must Take Unto You The Whole Armor Of God !!
Now, what is important for you to understand is that the phrase .. “Take Unto You” .. gives you great insight into the seriousness of the advice that is being put before you.
And Here Is The Reason Why !! .. In the Greek language used .. “Take Unto You” is like a military command that must be obeyed immediately and for all time !!
In Other Words .. You are to put on God’s armor Right Now and Do Not ever consider taking it off !!
It is important for you to maintain discipline over your flesh .. And .. Keep your spirit alert so that the Holy Spirit can keep you well informed of the enemy's movements at all times !!
You need to realise that when you Keep The Armor Of God On and you Persevere In The Spirit .. you Will Be Able to “withstand in the evil day” !!
Now, do yourself a favour .. Go back to Ephesians 6 : 13 and underline that word .. Day !!
Do this as a prominent and pertinent reminder to yourself that .. The devil’s attack against you is only for a day !!
That’s Right .. The devil Has A Limit !!
he will Not last if you will put on your armor and fight !! .. If you will Stand, his attack will soon be over and he will have to flee from you !!
STAND TALL !! .. STAND STRONG !! .. DON’T YOU QUIT !!
Are you aware that two of the greatest deceits of the devil are .. Discouragement and Exhaustion !!
In his view, if all else fails, he will very simply come at you again, and again, and again, and again, all to wear you down, tire you out and get you to throw in the towel and quit !!
Do you recall the time when Jesus was exhausted and alone in the wilderness being fiercely tempted by the devil .. Did Jesus Quit ? .. Absolutely Not !! .. Jesus stood against the devil with the Word Of God until the devil simply could not stay any longer !!
10 .. Then Jesus said to him, Be gone satan ! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve.
11 .. Then the devil departed from Him, and behold angels came and ministered to Him ..Matthew 4 : 10 – 11
The devils Time Was Up !! .. Jesus Outlasted him And he Had To Go !!
Today, you do not see Joshua and the children of Israel still circling around the wall of Jericho .. No !! .. They had a specific number of times to march and then their shout of victory brought the wall crashing down to the ground !!
The evil That Is Coming Against You Only Has .. A Day !!
If You Will Keep Standing .. his Day Will Soon Be Over !!
Whatever it may be that is coming against you in the spirit realm, you can be highly confident of the truth that it is not permanent !! .. It is not going to last too long .. Not If You Will Keep God’s Armor On And Stand !!
And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due season we shall reap, if you do not loosen and relax your courage and faint ..Galatians 6 : 9
How many of God’s children have not possessed the promises and blessings of God purely because they got tired of the struggle and quit just moments before ALL was theirs ?
How many were just inches away from conquering their land and they dropped their Sword or their Shield on the ground ?
That Very Thought Should Make Your Entire Body Shudder !!
What would have happened if Joshua had simply given up and quit before marching around the walls of Jericho for the seventh time ?
What would have happened if Joshua had given up before the shout ?
Father .. Help me to stop running in my own strength and live only in the quality of yours !! .. Help me to hear and listen to the voice of my Captain and follow only Your battle plan !! .. In your strength Lord, I will be sure to keep your armor on at all times, and when I have done all, God I will continue to resist the discouraging deceits of the devil Until your victory is manifested in my life .. In Jesus Name .. Amen !!
Child Of God, Always Remember !! .. When you know your enemy .. And .. You understand his tactics .. And .. You stay suited in the whole armor of God .. And .. You refuse to budge from God’s perfect will for your life .. You Can Defeat Your Enemy And Keep Him Defeated !! !!
You can love people .. Hate evil .. And .. Remain focused on the prize until it is fully yours !!
DO NOT PANIC .. PRAY !!
PANIC IS NATURAL .. PRAYER IS SUPERNATURAL !!
PSALM 91:3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.
Today, we hear of new strains of viruses which were unheard of only a generation ago. The world has yet to find cures for them and many people are afraid of being struck down by these viruses.
But as believers, we are not of the world, though we are in the world. (John 17:15–16) So our protection is not of the world, but of the Lord. And when we say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust,” (Psalm 91:2) then what follows is not “maybe”, but surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.
A couple in our church can testify that surely the Lord delivered and protected their two young children during a Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) outbreak, which claimed a few lives in Singapore not long ago.
When their four-year-old daughter started vomiting and running a fever, the mother brought her to their family doctor, who found ulcers in her mouth and small red dots on her hands and feet—symptoms of the HFMD. Naturally, the doctor prescribed medication for her.
Back home, however, the little girl continued to vomit throughout the day, throwing up everything including the medication. Her fever persisted. Not able to do anything for their daughter, the parents prayed, proclaiming Jesus as their healer, and partook of the Holy Communion many times with both their children.
That night, their daughter’s fever broke and the vomiting subsided. They continued making the Lord their refuge and fortress. Within two days, their daughter was completely delivered from the disease. And all this while, their six-year-old son was completely protected from the infectious disease.
Beloved, you don’t need to be afraid of deadly diseases which may have claimed the lives of others. You don’t have to be fearful that you or your child may become victims of these super bugs. When the Lord is your refuge and fortress, surely He shall deliver you and your family from the snare of the fowler, such as the avian flu, and from all perilous pestilences!