Word of the day

Words Hurt

Have you noticed that it is easier to love someone who thinks great about you than like someone who thinks you are of no good? The words of people have a profound effect on our hearts, no matter what.

There is a deep need within all of us, to be loved and accepted by people around us. This need makes us curious to know how people feel about us. And this knowledge about what people think about us further sets us on a journey of emotions.

It’s amazing how deeply your respect for an individual shifts the moment you know their negative opinion about you!

Why are Words So Powerful?

Words have life in them and also the power to destroy. Let us not forget that this world that we live in came into being with the spoken Words of God. The battle of Genesis also began with the tricky words of satan.

However words have as much power on you as you let them have. If someone calls you worthless and if you know your true worth, then the words they speak over you must bounce off you.

However an insecure heart feels the need to defend itself. To defend yourself comes from the desire to prove yourself. Wounded pride is the deepest scar of an insecure heart.

Look at Jesus. It is amazing how Jesus wouldn’t let the opinion of people affect Him. John 2:23-25 says, “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs that He was doing. But Jesus on His part did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for He Himself knew what was in man.”

Now it is not enough that you just back off and walk away. We are taught by our Master to love the very ones that mock and look down upon us.

To be like our Master, we must learn to love unconditionally!

He prayed to the Father, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”Jesus was simply following what He had taught them, “But I say to 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.” (Matt 5:44-45).

It’s easy to ignore and walk away from those that hurt you. However God wants you to love and pray for them.

Today remember you are above all the lies of the enemy. He has “raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6). So, then, right now, take captive every thought that the enemy sows into your head to discourage you! (2 Corinthians` 10:5)

Praying for those who hurt you increases the love in your heart for them. A wholesome love is an unconditional one. Don’t believe me? Look to the cross. Yes I know there’s no love in this world that competes with the love on the cross, but that’s what we are called to be, to be like Him. To lay ourselves down is to let Jesus shine Jesus brightly through us!
 
 


Word of the day

What Happens to Christians Who Stray or get distracted?

What happens to Christians who stray, or follow another Jesus, another Spirit, or another gospel?

This is not a hard question to answer because it happened in the Bible. The consequences of going astray are well-documented.

Yet the question is worth asking because many don’t know the answer. Or, rather, they have the wrong answer, which is this:

What happens when Christians stray? They fall from grace prompting a loving God to discipline them with punishment. If they don’t repent they’ll lose their salvation and be eternally condemned.

The bit about falling from grace is true but the rest is a big fat lie. Your heavenly Father’s discipline never takes the form of punishment – that’s old covenant thinking – and those who have been found by Jesus cannot be lost by Jesus (John 6:39).

 

14 bad things that happen to Christians who stray or get distracted

  1. We lose sight of God’s love for us (Rev 2:4)

Jesus told the Ephesians, “You have left your protos agape,” or your primary love. What is ourprotos agape? It is not our love for him; it is a revelation of his love for us:

  • Love comes from God. (1 John 4:7)
  • This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us… (1 John 4:10)
  • We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Why would Paul pray that we would know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Eph 3:18-19)? Because there is a danger we might not know – that we might forget it or leave it. And that’s the thin edge of a bad wedge. God’s love is like air for us. We can’t live without it.

 

  1. Things become complicated – our minds become corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3)

 

The gospel is simple but lose sight of God’s love and everything becomes murky. I know God loves me but…

Suddenly the good news is not so good. It needs qualifying. We feel an unholy need to balance his grace needs with our works. We start thinking there’s more than one side to every scripture, the Bible is full of paradoxes, and God is a mystery.

 

Next thing you know, you need a divinity degree to be saved and you’re trusting the guy who can recognize Greek words and aorist verbs more than you’re trusting the Holy Spirit. Not good.

 

  1. We start striving to keep the rules (Gal 3:3, Col 2:20)

We never call it legalism, for that would alert us to the danger. Instead, we call it “Christian responsibility” or “duty” or “doing our part.” God has done his part, now it’s up to me to finish what he started. I have to work out my salvation and prove my repentance.

 

We worry about cheap grace (there’s no such thing) and invest in a little works-insurance (there’s no such thing). We tell ourselves, I gotta pray more, fast more, attend more. I gotta witness to two people this week. I gotta be a good Christian for Jesus.

 

  1. We feel unworthy and unqualified (Col 2:18, AMP)

The New International Version says, “Do not let anyone… disqualify you for the prize,” as if anyone could disqualify those whom God qualifies (Col 1:12)!

 

The point is not that we can disqualify ourselves, but when we get distracted from Christ and his perfect work – when we begin to trust in our own performance, our self-denial, our rule-keeping – we start to feel disqualified.  Although Christ makes us worthy, we feel unworthy.

 

  1. Our consciences condemn us and shipwreck our faith (1 Tim 1:18-19)

As I have explained elsewhere, “shipwrecked faith” does not equal “Christian burning in hell.” But it’s still a bad idea to thrust aside your good conscience.

 

Paul repeatedly warns about the need to hold “onto faith and a good conscience” (1 Tim 3:9, Acts 24:16). He’s not saying, “Avoid sin to keep your conscience clear.” He’s saying, “Treasure what Christ has done for you. He has cleansed you 100%” (Heb 10:22).

 

  1. We lose our freedom (Gal 5:1, Col 2:8)

The Galatian Christians famously lost their liberty by enslaving themselves to law, while the Colossian Christians were in danger of enslaving themselves to worldly philosophy. We repeat their mistakes whenever we take on the yokes of performance-based Christianity and manmade expectations.

 

  1. We fall from grace and cut ourselves off from Christ (Gal 5:2-4)

Falling from grace does not mean falling out of the kingdom. We fall from the high place of grace and favor when we try to merit what God has freely given us. This can happen when we put ourselves under the old law that says, “do good, get good; do bad, get bad.” If you think you have to work before God will bless you, you have made Christ of no value.

Christ died to set you free. But if you enslave yourself to religious expectations, then what was the point? Christ won’t cut you off – he’s utterly faithful – but you can cut yourself off from his love and grace.

 


 

  1. We miss out on all God has in store for us (2 John 1:8)

Jesus said those who went all out for the sake of the gospel would receive back in this life100 times what they gave up (Mk 10:29-30).

Live to reveal the good news of the kingdom and you’ll be rich in friends – people whose lives have blessed by your revelation of Jesus, people who will be your friends for eternity. In contrast, those who aren’t walking in the power of his grace won’t achieve anything of lasting significance.

 

  1. We get bogged down in time-wasting, life-sapping discussions (1 Tim 1:6)

In his warning about men who were fascinated by myths, Paul did not say, “Some have turned aside unto damnation.” He said, “Some have turned aside to idle talk.” In other words, they’re wasting time in conversations that are going nowhere –  usually on Facebook. Haha!

 

An excessive interest in controversy is a sure sign one has wandered from the uncontroversial gospel (1 Tim 1:4, 6:4). It’s good to ask questions, but when it comes to the gospel, Jesus provides emphatic answers. At some point you have to stop asking and start believing.

 

  1. We live lives of regret (1Tim 6:10)

Paul did not say, “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and lost their salvation.” He said, “Some have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” Sorrow and regret is what you get when you run after inferior substitutes like money and reputation. Only Jesus satisfies the deepest longings of your soul.

 

  1. We do not mature (Lk 8:14, Eph 4:14)

A lot of maturity teaching is based on the so-called spiritual disciplines. You need to do more of everything in order to grow. But growth is a perfectly natural process. You don’t need to do a thing – it just happens (Mk 4:27, 1 Cor 3:7). The only thing you can do is hinder the process by choking the seed of the gospel with the cares of this world or contrary teachings.

 

Do you desire good teaching? Do you crave good food? Then “grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18). Jesus is the best teaching. Anything else is junk food.

 

  1. We look less and less like Jesus (2 Tim 2:16-18)

Review this full list and you will see nothing that describes Jesus. Did Jesus lose sight of his Father’s love? Was Jesus enslaved to men’s expectations? Did he cast off his good conscience when the Pharisees pressed him with their traditions? Did he indulge time-wasters? No. Everything about Jesus speaks of life, freedom, and intentional living.

 

Paul said, “Those who indulge in godless chatter become more and more ungodly” (2 Tim 2:16). What you talk about reveals your treasure. Hopefully what you talk about reveals Jesus and his love, for there is no greater treasure.

 

  1. We fear God’s punishment (1 John 4:17-18)

Those who are secure in their Father’s love can look forward to Judgment Day with confidence. Those who are insecure will be anxious. Have I done enough? Will God find fault with me? These are the questions asked by those who have wandered from the faith, who have fallen from grace, and who have left their first love.

 

  1. We’ll be ashamed (but not condemned) when Jesus comes (1 John 2:28)

I love how the Message Bible translates this verse:

And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we’ll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives. (1 John 2:28, MSG)

John doesn’t say, “Abide in Christ or you will lose your salvation.” He says, “Abide in Christ so you won’t feel like a fruitless schmuck when he returns.” Imagine the shame some are going to have when Christ shows up and all their futile attempts to impress him are burned up in the splendor of his glory. All our manmade programs, all our self-efforts – Woof! – gone in a puff of smoke. How embarrassing to arrive at the wedding feast with the smell of smoke in your hair (1 Cor 3:15)!



Word of the Day

7 principles to keep you focused on your future.

1.Focus requires a reference point.

I can’t think of a better story or illustration about the necessity of focus than that one found in Hebrews 12 of the Message Bible.

“We’d better get on with it. . .keep your eyes on Jesus. . .Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed.”

That is focus! You have to have a reference point.

I have nearly seven million air miles with American Airlines and I can tell you that on every single flight, I want the captain to know where he’s starting the journey and most certainly where we will end up. . .I don’t want him unfocused in cockpit.
 

2.Focus requires effort.

Focus requires a conscious mental decision to do whatever is necessary.

That means you may have a job description that only requires you to do a certain amount of effort. But when you see it is necessary to do more to make sure the outcome is successful and you do it, you put yourself on the next level for success.

While others may criticize, complain and seek to find and enlist fellow commiseraters. . .the one who will survive to success. . .the one who will overcome adversity. . .is the one who maintains their focus.

There are going to be moments when unexpected things occurred. I’m not speaking that into existence, I’m just telling you that the enemy is aware of your goals, commitment and focus.
 

3.Focus should be taught and modeled early.

What’s your assignment or life’s purpose?

The scripture teaches that we should train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

What are we teaching our children to focus on? We are teachers either consciously or subconsciously.

Children will imitate their parents. If your daily focus is on any and everything that’s on television, then your children will duplicate your choices as their own.

If your words are focused on criticism of your church, your pastor or your spouse or others in authority, then your children will act and behave in the same manner. Studies have shown that male children generally treat their wives the way their fathers treated their mothers.

That lends credibility to the old saying that: more is caught than taught.

If your children see that your personal relationship with Jesus is the greatest focus of your life. . .then they will follow, if not immediately, it will happen eventually.
 

4.Focus must be filtered through priorities.

There will be moments in our lives, despite our most best efforts, that we tend to focus on the wrong things or perhaps things that aren’t a part of our vision or the goals that we’ve established for ourselves.

Our focus should be filtered through the achievement of our goals in the six major areas of our lives (spiritual, family, financial, physical, mental and social.)

We have to continually inspect, what we expect, so that we can be perfect, without defect in the things that matter to us and more importantly to God.
 

5.Focus can be strengthened.

The best way to strengthen your focus is in the King James Version of verse Philippians 4:8 says, “. . .think on these things.”

What you focus on will expand in your life. As believers you are to protecting what you are reproducing in your imagination (1 Peter 1:13).

Your focus can also be strengthened by associating with people who will help you think on the right kind of things. Stay away from negative, toxic people. Unfortunately, some of those folks are family members or long-time friends.

Proverbs 13:20 in the New Living Translation says:

“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”

You can strengthen your focus by what you think on and who you associate with.
 

6.God is focused. . .should we be any less?

Luke 2:49 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And He said to them, How is it that you had to look for Me? Did you not see and know that it is necessary [as a duty] for Me to be in My Father’s house and [occupied] about My Father’s business?”

If something is important to God, then it should be important to us. He wants you to have more than enough.

When it comes to focusing on our future. . .Jesus gives us very specific instructions on how to ask and receive.

Matthew 7:7 says:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
 

7.Focus will produce the faith we need to accomplish our goals and dreams.

Luke 17:5-6 in The Living Bible says:

“One day the apostles said to the Lord, “We need more faith; tell us how to get it.” “If your faith were only the size of a mustard seed,” Jesus answered, “it would be large enough to uproot that mulberry tree over there and send it hurtling into the sea! Your command would bring immediate results!”

Focus strengthens faith which produces miracles.

How do you achieve your goals and dreams in 2015 … by focusing on the Word.

Romans 10:17 says:

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

That’s focusing on the Word. . .then you’ll find every answer you’ll need in 2015.

When it comes to focus. . .remember, seven words.
 


Word of the Day

7 things that happen when we become distracted and our focus is broken.

1.We fall to victim to our circumstances instead of being victorious over them.

If you feel overwhelmed by what’s happening around you. . .the turbulence of life at the moment . . . take comfort in Isaiah 41:10 in the Message Bible which says:

“Don’t panic. I’m with you.  There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.  I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.”

2.We will be double-minded when we lose our focus.

James 1:8-9 in the Amplified Bible says:

“[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].”

3.We will feel intimidated and insecure when our focus on God is broken.

Philippians 1:28 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God.”

4.Confusion and chaos will enter our lives when become distracted.

Romans 16:17 in the Amplified Bible says:

“I appeal to you, brethren, to be on your guard concerning those who create dissensions and difficulties and cause divisions, in opposition to the doctrine (the teaching) which you have been taught. [I warn you to turn aside from them, to] avoid them.”

5.Without our focus. . .we become unstable.

James 4:8 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].”

6.We will never experience lasting success if we are unable to remain focused.

1 Peter 5:8 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”

7.Without focus. . .we will live a life filled with fear and doubt.

Mark 11:23 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.”

One more verse. . .Mark 9:23 in the New Living Translation says:

“`What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.’”



Word of the day

DANGER! Destructive Distractions

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or to the left; keep your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:25-27)

Police officers set up shop at various intersections in our cities with one goal in mind: Catch those who were committing the offense known as “distracted driving.” 

The most flagrant violation under this category is, of course, drivers using their cell phones to text, talk, check e-mail, etc. However, distracted driving is not limited to cell phone use. You could also be ticketed for eating a sandwich with one hand while driving with the other or applying lipstick while looking into the mirror on your visor…in short, anything that takes your attention away from focusing on the main task at hand, i.e. driving in a safe manner.

What is even worse is the prospect of driving off the road and putting one’s life and the lives of others in the vehicle in jeopardy. Or even worse, driving into another vehicle and destroying more innocent lives in the process.  

Dear friend, distractions abound on the road to your destiny. Over the years, I have seen many who were tracking well toward their destiny get completely derailed by distractions.

 

No wonder Solomon, the wisest king of them all, counsels us: “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you…Do not turn to the right or to the left…”  

In other words, he is telling us to avoid distractions. They carry a hefty penalty. Sometimes you pay with hard-earned cash. Sometimes the price tag is a precious life.

One thing is for sure. Distractions can delay your destiny and destroy you in the process.
 


Word of the Day

Trusting God in the face of fear

Numbers 13:26-14:38 tells us the story of the spies who went to check out the Promised Land.
They saw giants living in the land. Most of the spies gave into fear when they saw the giants. 

They decided that they could not conquer the land because the inhabitants were much bigger and stronger than them.  Those spies reported their findings to the other Israelites and convinced them to live in fear too.

Two of the spies saw things differently.  They saw how big and strong the giants were as well, but they knew their God was able to give His people what He promised them.  Unfortunately, the rest of the Israelites were not willing to step past their fears and follow God.

God had demonstrated His power to them in Egypt, but they still didn’t believe He was more powerful than the giants.  The people chose to stay in the wilderness and not take the Promised Land.

As a result, that generation died in the wilderness and never entered the Promised Land.  The two spies who trusted God were blessed and led the younger generation into the Promised Land 40 years later.

In the End Times, we will see the evil in this world get worse and God demonstrating His power over evil.  We have two choices.  We can live in fear or we can choose to trust God.

If we live in fear, we will miss out on experiencing the fullness of God’s promises for us.

If we choose to trust God, we will see God demonstrate His power in ways we have not experienced before.

The best way to get through the hard times is to get to know who God is and stay close to Him.  Life with Him is full of blessing.



Word of the Day

Do you honor the Lord’s Anointed?

David is in the wilderness of En Gedi, hiding from King Saul, who is seeking to kill him, because he is jealous and “afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul” (I Samuel 18:12).

David had a great opportunity to kill King Saul, as he entered the cave where he was hiding, but he refrained from killing him and restrained his servants from rising against Saul because he was ‘the Lord’s anointed’.  David gets another chance (I Samuel 26:8-11) to kill King Saul and yet he would not touch ‘the Lord’s anointed’. 

Dear friends, as our heavenly Father is preparing His people for the great move of God that is coming, I have noticed that satan is very busy creating disharmony within the body of Christ.  

People are getting offended so easily. Some are walking away from their spiritual families after hearing just one remark made by their pastor, guest speaker or any of ‘the Lord’s anointed’, with which they do not agree.  Some are insisting that what they do not agree with should not be offered at all, otherwise they’re walking out. There seems to be a lack of willingness to forgive among Christians and a readiness to judge, instead of letting God do His work.

I am not even suggesting for a moment that all of the Lord’s anointed are perfect. We are all human beings and we do make mistakes sometimes.

Look at David, he had every good reason to kill King Saul, we might think, but he wouldn’t.  Not only that, his people were advising him to kill him, but he refused, because Saul was ‘the Lord’s anointed’.

It is high time that we bring back our respect for all of ‘the Lord’s anointed’.  When we go to a church service or to a conference where one of these anointed ones is ministering, think of it like going to a grocery store.  We are not going to buy everything on the shelves, are we?  We grab what we need and leave the rest.

Just because we don’t care for pork, would we insist that the store take it off the shelves? Of course not, because someone else might love it.  The same thing applies to what we receive from our leaders too, doesn’t it?  We take in what agrees with us and leave the rest for someone else to devour.

If God is convicting you as you read these words, please ask God for His forgiveness first and then if possible, have a heart to heart talk with ‘the Lord’s anointed’ and ask for their forgiveness.  If all of us did that, there will be a lot less strife and more unity. Watch the blessings flow now, because God has said that He will command His blessings where there is unity (Psalm 133:3).

We also need to remember that God has placed these anointed people to watch over us and wants us to honor them: “Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit”.(Hebrews 13:17)

David’s example so impressed King Saul that he blessed him with these words in I Samuel 24:19-20: “May the Lord reward you well for the way you treated me today. I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.” Wow!

As you advance into your destiny, I pray that you too will reap every blessing that flows from the King of kings for showing honor to ‘the Lord’s anointed’.



Word of the Day

My God Shall Provide

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
 

Have you ever gone through a time of complete dependence on God for your material needs? Perhaps you lost a job and could not generate income on your own. Perhaps you got sick and could not work. There are circumstances in our lives that can put us in this place.

When God brought the people of Israel out of Egypt through the desolate desert, they had no ability to provide for themselves. God met their needs supernaturally each day by providing manna from Heaven. Each day they would awake to one day’s portion of what they needed. This was a season in their lives to learn dependence and the faithfulness of God as provider.

By and by, they entered the Promised Land. When they did, God’s “supernatural provision” was no longer required. “The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan” (Joshua 5:12). In both cases God was the provider of the need.

For most of us, we derive our necessities of life through our work. Like the birds of the fields we are commanded to go out and gather what God has already provided. It is a process of participation in what God has already provided.

Sometimes it appears it is all up to us; sometimes it appears it is all up to God. In either case we must realize that the Lord is our provider; the job is only an instrument of His provision. He requires our involvement in either case.

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

Acknowledge the Lord as the provider of every need you have today. He is a faithful provider.



WORD FOR THE DAY

Where is passion for God?

The day Jesus entered Jerusalem before His death and resurrection is known as Palm Sunday.
This marks the beginning of the week of Christ’s passion. The word ‘passion’ comes from a Latin
word which means ‘suffering’. The suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross has always been referred
to as The Passion. There is even a movie by that name. In modern times, we have come to apply the
word passion to mean any kind of strong feeling, or commitment, even though it more properly it
describes a suffering for some worthwhile thing.
 
In many ways we have lost this sense of the word, in part perhaps, because there is so little of this kind of passion left in the western world. We ascribe the word passion to how we feel about sports teams, music, or our political views. Would you be willing to suffer for those things?
 
How different is the passion of Jesus: directed by God and willingly accepted. Jesus actively chose His
path and the sufferings that followed. In Jesus we see not only the full depth of God’s passion for us
and the suffering that was a necessary part of it, but also the full depth of one perfect human’s passion for God (in Jesus): obedience that led to death.
 
How do we respond to God’s call to follow Him? Are we passionate? Or passive? To walk with Jesus,
who said, “take up your cross and follow me,” we must accept God’s direction and choose to follow the
path laid out for us. This is a path of certain passion (suffering), but also certain hope because of the
victory we have through Christ’s resurrection.
 
Matthew 10.24-32, 38-39 (TEV): (Jesus teaches his disciples) “No pupil is greater than his teacher; no slave is greater than his master. So a pupil should be satisfied to become like his teacher, and a slave like his master. If the head of the family is called Beelzebul, the members of the family will be called even worse names! So do not be afraid of people. Whatever is now covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known. What I am telling you in the dark you must repeat in broad daylight, and what you have heard in private you must announce from the housetops. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but cannot kill the soul; rather be afraid of God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell. For only a penny you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. As for you, even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows! Those who declare publicly that they belong to me, I will do the same for them before my Father in heaven. “Those who do not take up their cross and follow in my steps are not fit to be my disciples. Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it.”

Psalm 130 (NLT): A song for the ascent to Jerusalem From the depths of despair, O LORD, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer. LORD, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.

I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word. I long for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, yes, more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love and an overflowing supply of salvation. He himself will free Israel from every kind of sin.
• How are you passionate in your love for the Lord?
• In what areas do you actively choose God’s ways and desire to live for Him?
• Or, do you passively follow Him?
• In what ways do others look at your life and see your passion and consuming love for Jesus?
• Ask God to enable you to passionately love and follow Him.


PRAYER & FASTING DAY 7

Tune in

John 10:22-30: Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Have you ever been searching for a radio station only to be frustrated by finding static rather than music? You then focus to fine tune the dial again, and suddenly you hear a clear signal. The fact is, the signal always existed on the airwaves; the only difference is that now you have adjusted your tuner to the right frequency.

In our hectic lives, there are so many signals bombarding our senses that it can become difficult to distinguish God’s voice from the deafening “static noise” of life. Fasting enables us to tune out the world’s distractions and tune in to God. As we fast, we deny our flesh. When we deny our flesh, we become more in tune to the Holy Spirit and can hear God’s voice more clearly. If you truly listen for God’s voice, you will hear it. When you hear it, it will build faith within you. If you desire to tune out the static of life and really tune into the voice of God, come to Him first and foremost with ears that are willing to listen and a heart that is ready to obey what he says. (Psalm 34:18, Isaiah 66:2) The more we practice being in His presence, the clearer and more recognizable His voice becomes.

  • In this time of fasting, what is your mind tuned to?
  • What distractions do you need to remove so that you can focus on God?
  • Prepare your heart to hear the voice of God, and ask God to help you remove distractions that keep you from focusing on Him and hearing Him clearly.

additional reading:

Psalm 34:18

: The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Isaiah 66:2:

Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.
Isaiah 64:8:
Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.



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