Don’t Believe This World’s Press, You INDEED Have Dignity

“But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people! For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”           2 Timothy 3:1-7

After a recent discussion in my household regarding whether or not there is a ranking of sin, I went back again to this long list of sins people in the last days will exhibit. I feel quite convinced we must take a look at the characteristics listed here, as well as other places in the Bible, and make every effort to understand what these behaviors look like so that we can expunge them from their existence in our lives.  The portion of our life spent unexamined will ultimately be the thread the enemy will attempt to use to snag and unravel us.  It is not that we analyze the splinter in someone else’s eye, pointing fingers and suggesting their radical change, but that we examine the plank in our own eye.

The warning that begins in verse six vexes me.  “For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”   According to The Word Study Dictionary, the wording, ‘idle women’ is used contemptuously as, ‘a little woman; one who displays immaturity and a lack of dignity’.

We receive our dignity from God.  Just because someone chooses to not treat you with dignity does not mean you do not possess it!  No one takes it from you just because they choose to not recognize it in you.  Psalm 8 speaks of God’s glory and man’s dignity.  Verse five of that Psalm says, “You made him little less than God, and crowned him with glory and honor.”  We were created to have value, dignity, and honor.  Proverbs 31:25 says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing.”  We must recognize our dignity as members of the household of God.  If this belief resides in our heart it will be showcased through our behavior.

Satan began his work of temptation with Eve so why wouldn’t the demons follow his example?  The people described in the 2 Timothy verse ‘worm their way’ into households in a manner of a serpent.  They will attempt to sacrifice you for their unholy purposes, steal the promises of God, and destroy your great value in the Kingdom of God (John 10:10).  The entry point for the stronghold of these lies will begin with your thinking and whether or not you are making agreements with the enemy.

They choose to first ‘capture weak women’ and then use them to influence men in their household.  Ladies, we must be vigilant at our post and be evaluating ourselves daily in order to reveal what does not belong in a child of God and expunge it from our heart through the Lord’s remedy of repentance.

So how do these ‘people’ get power and influence over ‘weak women’?  We are told the women are laden with sin, led by various lusts.  Whatever it is that convinces us we can ease our conscience and continue to indulge and pardon our sin by methods other than repentance will hinder us from “being able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”  If we desire to come to a knowledge of the truth, the necessary conditions must be present in our inner life – the truth found in Jesus.  The sin laden heart is easily tempted to seek the quickest and easiest method of relief and will quickly turn to what is false.  Our incentive must be a search for The truth which is found IN Jesus Christ; otherwise, we will become prey when someone/something comes offering new wisdom.

Thank you, Lord that YOU take away not only my sin but all the guilt associated with my sin.  Help me lead a daily life of repentance and not be confused in any way by counterfeit wisdom.  In Jesus name, I pray, amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

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Guard Against Lazy, Useless, And Careless Words

“I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak.”  Matthew 12:36

Greetings fellow sojourners!  Have you ever consider the words you speak could at times be lazy, useless, or careless?  If we are not thinking about the weight our words carry we might want to start examining them.

God is omnipotent, therefore, His words are omnipotent.  Since life and death are held in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), we chose to either speak life to ourselves and into our circumstances or to speak death.  When Jesus says we will account for every careless word we speak He is intending that we do not agree with the enemy and speak death but to agree with Him by speaking life.  We are to live intentionally by telling ourselves what to think, believe, and speak. We choose rebellion when we speak in disagreement with His word.

With our vast resources, educational backgrounds, and plenty of discretionary time, we absolutely have no excuse for not being able to locate Scripture that addresses our wayward human condition in order to provide the remedy.  When we allow all manner of words to carelessly tumble from our mouth we must be wise enough to know we will be required to answer for our useless comments.  The Bible possesses living and active words (Hebrews 4:12) which are omnipotent to assist in our trials.  To choose words contradictory to His is foolishness.  Lord, give us Your wisdom so that we comprehend the incredible value of agreeing with and speaking Your truth.

If we are quick to judge the motives of people we will also be quick to criticize.  If we have distracted minds or have allowed our heart to cool, our language can become flippant and critical.  Self-control plays an enormous role in how we choose the words we use in our interactions with others.  Whether online or face-to-face we must not be careless when we speak.  Let’s take the advice furnished in Proverbs 10:19,17:27 and let our words be few.

God’s word accomplishes what He intends for it to do (Isaiah 55:11).  We speak God’s word faithfully and know that His word is like fire and like a hammer that pulverizes rock (Jeremiah 23:28-29).   The Word of God is Spirit and life, living and effective (John 6:63, Hebrews 4:12), and set us free (John 8:31-32).  The Word of God in our heart is also a powerful antidote to sin (Psalm 199:11).

Help us, Lord, to build up not tear down, to speak life and not death, and to love and not hate.  I desire to use my mouth to display Your goodness and guard it against being used as an instrument for the enemy.  I repent of careless words I have spoken and I receive Your complete forgiveness.  Assist me in being conscious not only of words I say to others but also of every word I utter, even to myself.  In Jesus name, I pray, amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

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Church, We Need A Complete And Pure Devotion

This is what Paul said in his pursuit of the bride of Christ:

“For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, because I have promised you in marriage to one husband — to present a pure virgin to Christ. But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a complete and pure devotion to Christ. For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly!”  2 Corinthians 11:2-4

If you have taken part in or witnessed a wedding, the care the bride took to ready herself most assuredly did not go beyond your notice.  As everyone takes their places before the ceremony commences, all wait in anticipation for the bride to make her approach to the groom.  When the time has come for everyone to behold the bride, emotion fills our heart but not because of any worldly fulfillment.  No, it is spiritual.  God has planted eternity in our human heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and this earthly marriage covenant is only a shadow of the eternal marriage that is to come (Revelation 19:6-9).  That, my friend, is breathtaking.

In our covenant relationship with the Lord, He has vowed promises to us and He is absolutely faithful.  “I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.” (Ezekiel 36:27)   In this covenant relationship, our allegiance is not left in question.  God secures the completeness of this covenant with his Son’s own blood and with the power of His Spirit!  He initiates it, He secures it, and He guarantees that it will not fail.  He is a promise maker and keeper.  Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness.

The earthly marriage vow we enter into is also a covenant relationship with promises to keep.  Knowing the Lord keeps His promises motivates us to keep our earthly promises.

Just as the bride goes to great lengths to make herself ready for the earthly marriage, NOTHING should distract you with from possessing even more significant momentum to make yourself ready as the bride of Christ; not a mission to ‘save’ a person, no greater good, and no worthy cause.  These desires, as well as many others, are clearly noble causes but if they are detracting you from preparing yourself to be the bride of Christ they most likely are a cunning maneuver of the enemy to seduce your mind from a complete and pure devotion to our Beloved.

Let’s recall Eph. 6:17. The idea of a helmet is to protect the mind, the intelligence, and the ability to think and reason. God’s helmet keeps our thinking straight and preserves us from mental confusion regarding His covenant and who we are in Christ.

“Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself.”  Revelation 19:7

Jesus is the lamb slain (Rev. 5:6, 12, 13:8).  Even when referring to the marriage, our Bridegroom is still mentioned as the Lamb.  When Jesus went to the Father, it was through the crucified flesh.  As the bride, we must also crucify our flesh in preparation to make ourselves ready.

If you are going to make yourself ready you must know what it requires.  One thing He will be looking for is faith (Luke 18:8).  Are you building yourself up in your most holy faith (Jude 1:20)?  Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17) so don’t waste a day by not being in the Word.  Have your lamp, take your oil, and prepare yourself to meet your Groom (Matthew 25:1-13).  It’s a beautiful thing.

In His grace,

Amanda

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God Sustains The Weary

“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of those who are instructed to know how to sustain the weary with a word.  He awakens Me each morning;  He awakens My ear to listen like those being instructed.”  Isaiah 50:4

Whether this speaker is the purified Israel or Isaiah, the spokesperson is a student of God; trained to provide encouragement to those who are weary.  Each morning God awakens him with new insight. (Holman commentary)  THAT is thrilling.  Lord, create a desire in us to be trained so that we can provide encouragement to those who are weary!  Increase our sensitivity to the Spirit and help our willingness to be instructed.

I find it interesting that Solomon admits, “All things are wearisome; man is unable to speak” (Ecclesiastes 1:8a).  Have you discovered that in your weary circumstances it becomes difficult to encourage yourself to pray as you ought, let alone pray boldly?  I sure do.  I have experienced the incredible blessing of having comrades willing to pray for me when I have become wearied which bolsters my faith so that I can stand firm again.  This my friends, is an absolute must during our days under the sun.  It is one of the sweetest blessings God provides in our lives.

It is true we do not need someone to pray on our behalf because each child of God is expected to approach the throne of grace with prayers.  But when the circumstances become difficult the Lord can provide another Believer, full of faith, to sustain our weary souls with a prayer on our behalf. What is remarkable is how we can apply the Romans 10:17 verse to the transformation that occurs in our mind when this prayer occurs.  “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  When we become wearied expect someone speaking the Word of God to us or offering a prayer in faith on our behalf to be a demonstration of Romans 10:17.  Expect your faith to increase when you hear Biblical truth!

The prayer of faith will save the wearied person and the Lord will arouse him again! (James 5:15) Hallelujah!  Thank you, Lord God, for giving us words that are powerful to sustain Your weary people.  Awaken me each morning to your instruction.  Your servant is listening.

In His grace,

Amanda

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Do Your Eyes ALWAYS Reveal The Truth?

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  2 Corinthians 5:7

Greetings fellow sojourners!

One method we typically use to confirm something is real is by the witness of our own eyes.  We can see the car we are about to get into and trust it will reliably land us at our destination.  We can also see the bed we are about to crawl into and trust it will support us properly all through the night.  But what about love?  Have we ever seen love itself?  Perhaps we have seen love demonstrated between people but have you ever bumped into love in order to actually behold it?  I think we would agree that just because we have never seen love in and of itself does not mean it does not exist.  We can examine hope in the same way.  What is interesting about hope is that if it is seen it is not hope at all.  For who hopes for what he can already see?

What about a mirage?  Have you ever seen a mirage in a desert or on a scorching highway?  Does it appear like a pool of water exists in the distance but when you approach it you discover there is absolutely no water whatsoever?  If we can’t always believe our own eyes as in this mirage example, can we then surmise our eyes can’t always see everything and therefore we can’t always believe what our eyes reveal as the whole truth?  Sometimes things are revealed to our senses which we then assume most certainly is the case when in fact it is not.  Our Spiritual life many times operates this way.  Our eyes are vital for operating in the natural life but spiritual truths must be discerned spiritually.  Lord, help us to be steadfast and make our way by faith and not merely by the way something appears.

If our eyes do not ALWAYS reveal the truth what then can we trust?  Is that the most difficult question we ever ponder while in the flesh?  If we are proud it will be difficult to admit when we do not know something.  Truth is, we will not know everything.  Period.  There is a source, however, that we can always trust to inform us of the truth and that is God’s word.

Believe by faith regarding the truth and power of the Word, not by whether your fleshly eyes are able to validate it or not.    Faith is what makes us sure of what we hope for, provides proof of what we cannot see, and most importantly wins God’s approval. (Hebrews 11:1-2)  The revelation of our eyes is not faith, it is not hope, and it does not bring the same blessing (John 20:29).

We are told that righteousness demonstrates itself through faith (Hebrews 10:38) which does not rely on our eyes to witness Truth.  An example of this can be seen in Noah’s life.  Noah was warned about things not yet seen and believed in faith even though his eyes did not first behold a sign.  He even spoke bold warnings to his peers because of his faith in what God would do (Hebrews 11:7).

Thank you, Lord for giving me faith.  I ask for an increase in faith so that I can speak Your truth with even more boldness.  Strengthen me to live by faith and hope which I do not require my eyes to reveal and to love even when I see no benefit.  In the name, power, and authority of Jesus I ask and believe.  Amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

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