image_print

Resentment is a Malignancy

image_print

“Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” Acts 8:22-23

Grace and peace to you fellow sojourners!

A man named Simon practiced sorcery with a skill that astounded the Samarian people. As a result, he elevated himself as someone great among them. He received attention from the small and the great and to his personal gratification they called him, “The Great Power of God!” When Philip came to town and preached the good news of Christ to the Samaritan people, they turned to him and believed him and even Simon himself was persuaded. After Simon was baptized, he began to follow Philip everywhere he went and was astounded by the signs and great miracles that were being performed at the hands of Philip.

Soon after that Peter and John visited Samaria because they heard that Samaria had welcomed God’s message. They prayed for the people and began laying their hands on the believers, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw this, he offered money to Peter and John asking them to give him this power so that he too may lay his hands on people so that they could receive the Spirit. It was then that Peter revealed to Simon that he was poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity and he had no part or share in this matter.

Bitterness was poisoning Simon and Peter confirmed that he had not genuinely converted to Christianity because his heart was still not right before God. Bitterness (also considered resentment) can be comprised of disappointment, anger, and fear. Unresolved resentment (lack of repentance) then becomes an obstacle to receiving the full grace of God. The remedy is laid out by Peter. The problem must first be recognized. Secondly, we must repent. Thirdly, we must pray to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. If we fail to acknowledge our bitterness, we will be chained to this iniquity, continually filtering our interactions and circumstances through this stained lens of resentment. Fellow sojourners, we do not want this.

What do righteousness and uprightness have in common? Lord, may we never be content to accept bitterness as our companion. If it resides in us, please awaken us to it and allow it to make us so ill that we renounce it as we reject spoiled food. Lord, we seek YOUR prescribed relief.

Thank you, Lord, for Your remedy. I choose to forgive others because You have forgiven me. I desire to have fruit in keeping with repentance which is the proper evidence of my sincerity. Help me to love others, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. Amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

Aspects of Eternal Rest

image_print

Grace and peace to you!

Living as sojourners in this human life God has placed before us requires a confrontation of our brokenness. Our pattern of responses to life’s difficulties is defined by the Book, not by the current mood with which our circumstances test us. Our many challenges often include broken hearts, broken health, broken relationships, and broken dreams. The beacon of hope in the midst of these frequent distresses is the explicit and trustworthy promise of God’s coming eternal rest.

The yearning for the receipt of eternal rest will be the compelling factor to persevere in the midsts of all hardship. Our eternal promise is that we will be in the presence of God (Luke 23:43) which is far better than anything this world has to offer (Philippians 1:23).

Another benefit we will obtain in our future eternal rest is an absolute incomprehensible joy and contentment (2 Corinthians 5:8, Psalms 16:11, 17:15, Revelation 22:1-2) that is unparalleled to any humanistic experience. Faithfulness to what the Lord has called us to in time will enable us to share in His joy (Matthew 25:23) in eternity and we will rest from our labors for our works will follow us (Revelation 14:13).

In addition, our life in eternity will be absent of pain, sorrow, and death (Revelation 7:17, 21:4). I love that HE wipes away every tear from our eye and that death, grief, crying, and pain will not exist! When I stop and imagine the removal of death, grief, crying, and pain from my experiences it fills me with sublime hope. This reality gives me peace as I face challenging circumstances knowing my momentary affliction will not continue.

Furthermore, we will experience the absence of conflict and harm (Isaiah 11:9, 65:25, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7, Revelation 6:10-11, 7:14) as well as the curse (Revelation 22:3).

I find interesting in as much as we have lamented and possibly feared the dreadful things the book of Revelation reveals, it also discloses delightful, refreshing, and satisfying needs our soul craves. Help me Lord to stand faithful and steadfast as I wait to enter the blessedness of Your eternal rest.

In His grace,

Amanda

A Daily Dose of the Miraculous​

image_print

Grace and peace to you dear fellow sojourners!

I suspect no one among us does not thrill when we hear of God’s miraculous healing in someone’s life because they have received what only God can do. Have you come to realize the same life-transforming miracle occurs within anyone’s life who accepts the great promises of God within their heart and mind?

When our mind and heart believe entirely on the promises of God, an absolute miraculous transformation occurs within us and our faith expands. Sweet things, let’s strive to secure God’s truth planted firmly in our mind. Believing the truth of God’s promises is like receiving His miraculous healing. This is the precise healing our brokenness craves and that which only God Himself can deliver. Yes and Amen!

The following are ten of God’s promises. Plenty more are discoverable in His Word. Receive the power of these and all of God’s truths as your daily dose of the miraculous.

Luke 11:13 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

John 8:36 “Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.”

John 3:16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

James 1:5 “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”

James 4:7 “Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.”

Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.”

Romans 8:28-30 “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called, and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.”

Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

May the truth and power of God’s word never cease to amaze you.

In His grace,

Amanda

Mile-High Expectations

image_print

“For I fear that perhaps when I come I will not find you to be what I want, and I may not be found by you to be what you want; there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.”  2 Corinthians 12:20

Grace and peace fellow sojourners!

In this second letter to the people of Corinth, we find Paul wondering if when he came to minister to the brethren that instead of receiving an outpouring of love from them he would instead be met by their undisciplined behavior, whether displayed openly or masked.

A humanistic approach to any gathering would be marked by the overwhelming mindset of, ‘What can I get from this time” instead of “I desire to share whatever I have.” If our bent is toward self-centeredness, the primary motivation will be to make certain our personal needs are fulfilled (knowingly or unknowingly) above all else. Let’s give this an honest appraisal. Have you found from your own experience that most times these errant behaviors are exhibited has been the result of unmet expectations?

If people do not meet our expectations, does our undisciplined nature drive us to exhibit the behaviors specified in 2 Corinthians? Things like:

  • quarreling with people
  • possessing jealous thoughts
  • quickly erupting into anger
  • acting on selfish desires
  • slandering
  • gossiping
  • acting arrogantly
  • lacking self-control

So how can we avoid setting ourselves and others up to such risky mile-high expectations? Love more than ever, be determined to let people off the hook, and trust that God is working powerfully in their life just like He is working powerfully in our own. Believe the Word when it says, “love covers a multitude of sins” and endeavor to love big and forgive often. You can do it.

In His grace,

Amanda

avatar

Amanda

Hearts Ablaze Ministry

Amanda’s ministry is grounded in and fueled by her service and fellowship at her local church. She writes Bible studies, inscribes a weekly inspirational blog, and teaches a Bible study group at her home church each week.

All Things NEW

image_print

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Grace and peace to you fellow sojourners!  Did you grasp that verse wording?  OLD things have passed away, and NEW things have come.  What a fantastic gift praise God.

As we retrieve our latest calendars and behold the old year being eclipsed by the new, let’s remember with a fierce tenacity that with the Lord every day is a new day; a fresh beginning.  Are His mercies not new every day (Lamentations 2:22-23)?  I encourage you to begin this day and this year anew by possessing eager anticipation to BE new.  May I suggest such a newness that you are unrecognizable by those closest to you.  The momentum indeed is not found by merely evaluating our slack dietary habits nor by increasing our less than enthusiastic physical exercise patterns but found by an honest appraisal of the very condition of our heart towards the things of God.

Perhaps Paul recalled, “Do not call to mind the former things; pay no attention to things of old”  (Isaiah 43:18) when he said if anyone was in Christ he was a new creation.

“For I will create a new heaven and a new earth; the past events will not be remembered or come to mind”  (Isaiah 65:17).  I surmise that this is what God intended when He creates the new.  The new things are not added to the old; the old things pass entirely away.  Shall this be our mindset as we apply 2 Corinthians 5:17 to our reality in this ‘new’ year?  I am a new creation IN Christ.  The old things HAVE passed away, and they will NO LONGER be a defeating thought or even come to my mind as something I cling to, or even behaviorally or emotionally respond to.  I say this by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in me, amen.

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to possess an accurate knowledge of Christ that has the power to alter me, my judgments, my manners, and make me new.  Therefore, I repent and turn away from my sins so that they may be wiped out, and season of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19).  Repentance makes me a new creation and cleanses me from all unrighteousness.  Amen.

In His grace,

Amanda