Jeremiah 31:3, He Drew You

Isn’t this a beautiful verse? He has drawn us. Out of his mind, to paper he gave us life. Have you ever observed a child drawing. They do so with such intensity. Their focus is spot on. I can image the Lord doing the same.

The full verse reads:

I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you. (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭31‬:‭3‬ AMP)

He loves us with everlasting kindness. It doesn’t matter what we have done with our lives; he loves us still. He has faith that we will find our way when we accept that he unconditionally loves us. His love is merciful and steadfast. It is covenant love. Covenant love is a pact between God and each one of us. It is everlasting.

How awesome is this? Shame cannot destroy it. Missed opportunities cannot destroy it. Pride cannot destroy it. You can run but you cannot escape God’s unfailing loving-kindness. He has drawn us. He created us. We came from Him. He unconditionally loves His creation, i.e., Us.

 

Pray, Believe, Receive

Mark 11 24

How many of us were raised thinking Mark 11:24 was about praying for and acquiring goods, products or services, you know, stuff from God? The truth is, this scripture is not about praying for and acquiring things. It is about developing an ongoing conversation with God.

“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
Mark 11:24 NLT

The scripture is about faith, belief, and relationship. It’s about God’s Omnipotent power. It is also a lesson about our faith in God, who provides all that He has for us. It is about building confidence in the fact that God is our Father and knows all there is to know about us and more. God knows what our material needs are, after all, he created us before he called this universe into being. He knew our challenges, pitfalls, and successes long before we were born. He gave us free will to navigate our paths. He knows our destinations, and as my VP used to share, he knows our stops on the way to our destination. This scripture is about encouragement. The encouragement to develop a daily conversation with God seeking his love, guidance, forgiveness, grace, and mercy. Once we develop a pattern of spiritual thinking, we can ask for anything in faith, knowing that God meets our needs.

Please pay attention to the term ‘needs.’ God provides what we need, not necessarily what we want. If we pray for our wants and they do not equate to needs that move us in the direction of spiritual maturity, they may not be granted. However, on the other hand, if we pray in confidence that God provides for our needs, then the expectation of receiving anything else is not considered as an option. Praying is the process of establishing our relationship with our Father, communing with him as we do with our best friend, confident that He will not let us down.

Matthew Henry puts it this way; All true Christians are endued with faith, which doeth wonders in things spiritual. Matthew Henry puts it this way, to that faith of miracles which the apostles and first preachers of the gospel were we endued with, which did wonders in things natural, healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils; these were, in effect, the removing of mountains. The apostles speak of a faith which would do that, and yet might be found where holy love was not, 1 Co. 13:2 . [2.] It may be applied to that miracle of faith, which all true Christians are endued with, which doeth wonders in things spiritual. It justifies us (Rom. 5:1 ), and so removes the mountains of guilt, and casts them into the depths of the sea, never to rise in judgment against us, Mic. 7: 19. It purifies the heart (Acts. 15:9 ), and so removes mountains of corruption, and makes them plains before the grace of God, Zec. 4: 7. It is by faith that the world is conquered, Satan’s fiery darts are quenched, a soul is crucified with Christ, and yet lives; by faith we set the Lord always before us, and see him that is invisible, and have him present to our minds; and this is effectual to remove mountains, for at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, the mountains were not only moved but removed, Ps. 114:4-7 .(2.) To this is added here that necessary qualification of the prevailing prayer, that we freely forgive those who have been any way injurious to us and be in charity with all men (v. 25, v. 26); When ye stand to pray, forgive.  (BibleStudyTools.com)

As I was reading and studying this scripture and the two preceding ones I realized that I had been praying this prayer incorrectly. I used it to pray for things rather than to establish and strengthen my relationship with God. The scriptures throughout the Bible inform us that God moves mountains, manifests miracles, provides food, clothing, and provisions to survive. He does these things because He promised us He would, not because we asked in prayer.

The asking (in prayer) is our way of announcing that we have faith and confidence to petition requests to Him knowing that He has heard and will manifest what is needed in our lives. Once we understand Mark 11:24, we enter into a more mature relationship with God and ‘revelation’ will become a more frequent occurrence when studying the Bible.

The caveat announced in Mark 11:25, is that if we ask and have not forgiven others who have sinned against us, we ask God in vain because He must first forgive us before he answering our prayers.

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22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Trulya]”>[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Mark 11:22-25 NKJV

I’ve learned that when studying a specific scripture it is important to read it in context which means reading the scriptures before and after the scripture we intend to use in prayer and when possible read a variety of commentaries about the scriptural package.

Ask yourself, how often do I pray amiss? Should I study scriptures more in-depth than simply reading them and adding them to my prayer tools?

Images – Google Images; LAB Photos

Scripture – Bible.com; Biblestudyhtools.com

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Relationship Balance

So many marriages and partnerships fail today because we run astray of their intent. Marriages and partnerships are negotiated like business deals. Love and commitment only survive as long as the ‘deal’ supports the contract. When situations arise that are not part of the deal, people bail out, unwilling to sit down and work through life’s challenges. I am reading a 6 Day Devotional Plan in Bible.com entitled, What Hinders Answers to Your Prayer by Dr. Michael Youssef, ltw.org.

I married in the early 1970’s when marriage was neither binding or eternal. ‘Shacking’ or cohabiting, going to the justice of the peace, or marrying in a church were one and the same. Relationships were negotiated, the commitment was agreed upon, and partner swapping and multiple partners were embraced as a part of the times. Communal living was part of the acceptable experimental norm. Walking away was written in as an accepted norm.

Our society, the human community, has suffered dramatically from this breakdown. Today, more than 40% of marriages (in the US) end in divorce. In 2012, the average marriage lasted 8 years.

I feel we should all read this devotional study, if for no other reason than referring to it as a reminder of who we are in Christ and the expectations for our lives.

The Delicate Balance
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

In the Garden of Eden, God gave the first man an incredible gift: a wife. She was the one who fit him perfectly – custom-designed by God to be his ultimate partner in life. But marriage is not automatic. It must be maintained. Husbands and wives must live out their callings as God intends. Otherwise, things get off-balance, and it’s not only the marriage relationship that suffers.

It’s a delicate balance in a Christian marriage, like a chemical formula. Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially, and wives to submit to their loving sacrifice willingly. If these two ingredients are not balanced, the marriage relationship gets out of whack. And sometimes a mistake in the formula can burn the whole chemistry set. Peter counsels husbands to guard this delicate balance “so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7).

It’s not only the marriage relationship that suffers when we abandon God’s design. The husband’s relationship with God suffers, and so does his wife’s.

Back in the Garden, we see this very scenario play out. When Satan spins his lies and tempts Eve to taste the forbidden fruit, where is Adam? The Bible tells us he is right beside his wife (Genesis 3:6)!

Adam knew God’s command and the consequences of their failure. To love his wife like Christ, Adam needed to confront the serpent and his lies and remind Eve of God’s goodness. But Adam failed her. What was the result? They lost the close relationship with God that they had enjoyed in the Garden.

Satan is powerless if we will keep our eyes on Jesus. But if we allow the enemy to gain a foothold in any part of our lives, including marriage, our relationship with God will suffer.

Husbands, are you loving your wives as Christ loved the church? Wives, are you submitting to your husbands, as you do to the Lord? If your relationship is not being lived out according to God’s design, ask for His forgiveness and take the necessary steps to bring your relationship into alignment with His will. As soon as repentance, confession, and restoration of that marriage formula takes place, joy is restored. And you can be confident that your relationship is not a hindrance, but a gateway to communion with your heavenly Father.

Prayer: Father, show me the ways in which I need to nurture my marriage and restore and maintain the beautiful, delicate balance that You have designed. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“To this, you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

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Images – Google Images; Bible.com

Scripture – Bible.com

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Ask. Seek. Find. Receive.

We all communicate with God through prayer, petitioning/asking Him for things to meet our needs, but what does the scripture really mean? I think we read these scriptures incorrectly. We assume we can ask for material things, that God is a box store like Macy’s or Harrod’s, or Amazon online. We read it in a secular sense and respond in a secular sense.

We often approach God asking like children with the ‘give me’s’, you know – ‘give me this, give me that.’ The truth is, prayer is the basis for approaching our Lord and asking for his mercy and his grace. It is a spiritual dialogue. Matthew 6:25- 33, paraphrased, says do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. We cannot add a single hour to our lives through worry. Our Father knows what we need. He created us before the earth and all that is on it. He knew us before we were born. He knows our destiny and the exploration of our life. There is little need to make these types of requests if we do not first seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. If we begin in faith, all the things we need will be given to us.

If we ask according to the will of God in the name of Christ, under the direction, guidance, and influence of the Spirit, in faith and fear, with submission to the divine will, we shall have what we ask for, not because we deserve it, but as a gift from God. God’s gifts are in reference to our needs, as he sees them, not necessarily what we want. The two are not necessarily synonymous.

“God will always give us good things. Our job is to understand what is good so that we know what to ask for. The natural mind cannot understand this. But, when we offer ourselves as “a living sacrifice” and are transformed by the renewing of our minds, then we “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1–2). Then, asking for what we need in faith, we will have all we need for life and godliness and fullness of joy (John 16:24).” [Gotquestions.org] The scripture, knocking, seeking, finding and receiving is so much more than crying out to meet our daily needs, though if our wants are in line with His needs to move us forward, they will be granted.

The key is – When we seek God’s face and favor in prayer, we shall find Him. When we knock, we are knocking at the door of mercy; faith is our door knocker. When the door is opened, we receive God’s grace and mercy used to assist us in time of need. Seeking is the object of our prayer. The door that is opened, is the door to our salvation.

God

Images – Google Images; Bible.com

Scripture – Bible.com; Crosswalk.com

Resources – studylight.org/commentary/Matthew/7-8;Bible.com/Matthew/6:25-33; gotquestions.org/What did Jesus mean when He said, “Ask and you shall receive”?

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Kindness, Compassion and Forgiveness

We are told to be kind, compassionate and forgiving on a secular level. On a spiritual level, God commands us to be kind and compassionate and to forgive. But in a world plagued with hate, violence, and uncertainty, the atmosphere is contaminated. Satan is causing depression, oppression, and more.

God knew what we would go through and gave us the 91st Psalm. We should include it in our prayer requests for protection.

We must fight off the plague. We have to live Gods’ Commandment to be kind, compassionate and to forgive. To accomplish this task, we must stay in prayer to break through the darkness.

Good must overtake evil. Light must overtake the darkness.

God has called us to be set apart. We are in this world but not of this world. We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9 NIV

We are part of God’s plan. Now is the time to act as God’s ambassadors and his disciples.

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32 ESV

When have been set free. We are no longer bound by Satan’s evil ways. We are free to be kind and compassionate to all and we are free to forgive.

Remember, these characteristics (of Christ) are not an option for Christians, they are commandments that govern our lives.

Gods Rest

Images – Google Images; Bible.com

Scriptures – Bible.com; BibleStudytools.com; Biblegateway.com

If you like my Posts, please Tweet, FB, and Instagram to friends and the public. Help me get the Word out.

Visit my Young Christian Warriors siteThe earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

~Gods Compassion Brings Freedom. 5/9/2018
~We Are Disciples. 6/22/2018
~Jesus Christ Saves Sinners. 4/19/2018
~Forgiveness Is Not Easy. 6/14/2018
~God Breathed. 5/16/2018
~The Lords Light Shines Through Us. 4/23/2018
~Personalize God’s Word, Psalm 91. 1/18/2018
~There’s more, visit the site.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Lips Expose the Heart

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The things that proceed out of our mouths are the things of our hearts. These things defile us.

Jesus spoke to his disciples and said, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” Matthew 15:8

“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fortifications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man.” Matthew 15:19

Jesus was speaking to the disciples about the Pharisees who questioned Him about the actions of his disciples. They wanted to know why his disciples did not wash their hands before eating bread and why they transgressed the tradition of the elders. Jesus, in turn, asked the Pharisees, why did they transgress the commandment of God because of their tradition.

He further shared with the disciples that tradition is not bad, religious customs and rituals in themselves are not bad unless they take precedence over the clear Word of God. If these things begin to replace the Word of God, they become a problem because they sever the connection with God, who wants our hearts.

When we speak, when our lips move, do they speak of the things of this world that have become our idols, things of our flesh, or do they speak of the things of God: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, products of a Spirit-filled life? (Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23)

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Our lips expose who we are. Our outward appearance may suggest that we are followers of Christ. We go to church, honor our religious rituals and customs, quote scripture, and tell the world we love the Lord, but our lips betray us and expose us to the world. God sees how we behave. He hears what we say. And, is often displeased because all He asks of us is to give Him our hearts, to earnestly and honestly worship Him, and stop displaying actions that express our flesh and not his Word.

Ask yourself, am I more like the Pharisees than Christ? Am I a vain worshiper? Have my lips exposed me? What can I do to change who I am and how I act? Am I willing to repent and turn away from the things of the flesh today, and give my heart to the Lord?

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Today is the best day of your life. Give your heart to the Lord and enter into a relationship with Him. We must deny your flesh every day and pick up your cross to become more like Christ.   Working to become mature, intentional Christian Warriors is a daily process and often a challenge to put our old man down.

My cousin summed it up – “Wonderful words don’t let your mouth profess one thing and your heart another ❤️”

Images – Google Images

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

Resource – Life Principles Bible. Charles F. Stanley. NKJV

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

Related Posts:
YoungChristianWarriors.com
~Use Your Words, June 7, 2018
~God’s Promise – The Lord Determines Our Steps, April 27, 2018
~Thoughts as I work on Part 3, God’s Will – God’s Promises, April 19, 2018
~Change Your Filter, Hear His Voice, February 22, 2018
~Core Values Early In Life, September 23, 2017

Dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com
~Let the Spirit Lead-June 29, 2018
~God is With Us Even When We Feel We are Drowning, June 8, 2018
~The Lord’s Light Shines Through You, May 9, 2018
~Lack o Discipline, Part of Growing Peace and Holiness, May 5, 2018
~Free Will, Water Cooler Talk, and Responsibility, April 4, 2018
~Dying To Self, March 24, 2018
~Who Directs Your Steps? March 13, 2018

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

PEACE

The world is Topsy-turvy. We need God’s peace that is greater than our understanding more now than ever. We Christians must stay in prayer to stay in peace, and corporate prayer to provide global peace.

Image – LAB Photos

Other Post – Youngchristianwarriors.com. Post – The Peace of God. March 12, 2018

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.