Romans 8:6-8

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Romans 8:6 tells us that “to be spiritually minded is life and peace”. Being “spiritually minded” means we are led by His Spirit and live in a way that reflects God and not our flesh. However, there are many who would rather attempt to find life and peace another way. They may try medications and vacations. They may try to feel it through other fleshly desires. No matter what they try, at the end of the day, they will still feel as if something is still missing.

Making the choice to leave our old ways and walk according to Scriptures is the only way to put ourselves at ease. Even when I had rough and difficult times at work, with money, and in relationships, once I refocused on Him and continued to follow His Spirit, I knew that everything would be okay because the “God who is deeply concerned about us causes all things to work together as a plan for good” (Romans 8:28 AMP). God knows the outcome. He’s got it all in control. Just follow the Spirit. #HisSpiritBringsPeace #ForgivenFriday

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Romans 8:6-8 (TLB) Following after the Holy Spirit leads to life and peace, but following after the old nature leads to death because the old sinful nature within us is against God. It never did obey God’s laws and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their old sinful selves, bent on following their old evil desires, can never please God.

John 3:20-21

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I used to find it odd that a church that taught sound doctrine could have a small congregation while one the focused more on the “activities” of church and making people feel good could grow seemingly overnight. The reason? Even in the church, there are unfortunately multitudes that don’t want to hear the convicting Word because it makes them uneasy and it points out their comfort in their mess. Many have become so content in living how they see fit that they try to avoid anything that tells them they should be living as God sees fit.

Matthew 7: 13-14 (AMP) tells us that “easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it” but “difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it”. Becoming like Christ, working to reflect the Father takes work on our parts. It takes stepping into the Light [reading and heeding His Word], honestly acknowledging our flaws, and enduring the process to turn those flaws into testimonies of God’s glory.

The Light vs. darkness. The path of right standing with God versus the ways of the world. One is followed by few. The other by many. Which do you gravitate toward? Which do you follow? #TruthLovesLight #LiveInTruthAndLight #ThankHimThursday

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John 3:20-21 (TLB) They hated the heavenly Light because they wanted to sin in the darkness. They stayed away from that Light for fear their sins would be exposed and they would be punished. But those doing right come gladly to the Light to let everyone see that they are doing what God wants them to.

James 1:5-6

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We frequently say that we want to live better lives, but what some fail to realize is the process that must take place for this change to occur. It can be trying, tedious, frustrating. It’s not magic – POOF! I’m a brand new, shiny, never sinning again person. It can seem overwhelming. We get tired of the temptations and no longer want to rejoice. We don’t want to continue going through it just to show that we can endure. And unfortunately, when we seem to be on the right track, our “Praise Him! I got through that!” moment can quickly turn into “Hmm, I know I shouldn’t, but that would be nice”. This is the process. God brings our imperfections to the surface so that we can deal with them and become who we are meant to be can be.

To get water out of newly-washed clothes, people used to have to use wringers. It squeezed out what was not needed to get the clothes to an ideal state. And, I’ve been told that for a diamond to reach its coveted state it must endure intense heat and pressure. What is the purpose of a refining process if the flaws and impurities remain?

God allows us to go through hardships and dark times, but He is always here simply waiting on us to ask for guidance. If you’re ever unsure about what to do next, ask God for wisdom. #AskForWisdom #WitnessingWednesday

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James 1:5-6 (TLB) If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

Romans 8:37

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When life continues to throw curveballs and nothing seems to go right, when it seems like no one can see the good we do and we’re being taken advantage of, when the world wants to overtake and drown us in worry and defeat, remember … God is on your side. Not only that but Jesus has already conquered all to give us the final win – the victory. When your vision is clouded by the world, re-focus on the One who will never leave us and will allow us to triumph if we just trust and follow Him. #ConqueringVictorOrCoweringVictim #TrustingHimTuesday

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Romans 8:37 (AMP) Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us].

Matthew 6:3-4

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Quick thought: What is the true intent, the motivation behind what you do? Do you do it to be seen? Or, do you do it to benefit others – even if a “thank you” is never said? Which do you believe God prefers? #DontDoToBeSeen #MeditateOnHimMonday

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Matthew 6:3-4 (AMP) But when you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing [give in complete secrecy], so that your charitable acts will be done in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.

Isaiah 29:13

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Do we truly honor and love God, or is it just something we say because we’re “church folks”? The Lord told Isaiah in 29:13 that “they act like they’re worshiping me but don’t mean it”. I can see that in our world today. God’s children claim to be His and wear shirts that mention Him, but the meaning, the genuine love and understanding of Him has been lost.

Why be in a relationship with someone who just goes through the motions and routine of being together? I’d want a man to tenderly think about me whenever his mind is free. I’d want his embrace to be meaningful and his words to express his sincere love and desire for me. If I want someone to do this for me, wouldn’t it make sense that I do the same for God?

Take a moment to think. Are your actions intentionally glorifying and meaningful to God? Or are our hearts empty and on autopilot? #DesireToDrawNear #SetApartSaturday

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Isaiah 29:13 (AMP) Then the Lord said, “Because this nation approaches [Me only] with their words and honors Me [only] with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me is a tradition that is learned by rote [without any regard for its meaning] …”

Isaiah 29:13 (MSG) These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their hearts aren’t in it. Because they act like they’re worshiping me but don’t mean it.

Matthew 5:16

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Ever wonder why moths are drawn to light? Long story short: they use the moon light to navigate and sometimes confuse man-made lights for the real thing. This confusion can be deadly because their flight path is altered, they lose their true sense of direction, and then they ultimately seem to spiral to their destruction.

Because we are His chosen, people are drawn to us. When Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men” in Matthew 5:16, it was so we could resemble our Father, the Heavenly Light. When we let our lights shine, we show others how to navigate life and how to cultivate a relationship with the Father. However, if the light we are putting off is of man, we are then allowing our flesh and the ways of this world to guide people. And like the moth, those people begin to falter and are truly lost. In Jeremiah 23:1, the Lord said, “I will send disaster upon the leaders of my people—the shepherds of my sheep—for they have destroyed and scattered the very ones they were to care for.” You don’t want to be that person!

Look carefully at your actions. People are paying attention.  Which light are you? #BeAGuidingLight#ForgivenFriday

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Matthew 5:16 (KJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Luke 6: 35-36

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I watched the film “The Shack” featuring Octavia Spencer and Sam Worthington. Worthington’s character was filled with anger toward God and hatred and bitterness toward the man who killed his daughter. At one point, it was explained to Him that we all are God’s children and His desire is to redeem and reconcile with the ones who are lost – no matter their past.

While we are quick to try to explain how someone else’s sin is worse than what we’ve done, Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. We weren’t told that there were different punishments for sins that fell into group A or B. While God does judge and discipline, He also forgives and shows mercy. God doesn’t look at whether we deserve forgiveness, mercy, or compassion. When we repent, He doesn’t hold our past against us.

Luke 6: 35-36 tells us to love, do good, and be merciful just as we would want the Father to be with us. If we are to call ourselves “Christ-like”, we must reflect the Father. #LoveDoGoodBeMerciful #ThankHimThursday

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Luke 6: 35-36 (MSG) I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

Luke 6: 35-36 (KJV) But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

1 John 2: 5-6

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We’re not perfect, so of course, there are times we may fall short; however, whom do we reflect more in our intents and actions? Do our actions reflect Christ? Or do our actions make people question whether we’re truly children of the God we claim? #FollowLiveLikeChrist #WitnessingWednesday

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1 John 2: 5-6 (MSG) But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.