Thursday, August 11, 2022

Twenty Encouraging Devotions with Inspiring Bible Journaling Artwork







































Illustrator Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original Bible journaling artwork so inspired author Beth Willis Miller that she wrote a devotion for each of the twenty Bible journaling pieces of art included in this book. Each of the illustrations which Krista created were so special, almost like stained glass windows, as she intricately painted each one with its Scripture reference. Beth’s heart was drawn to write a devotional word study based on each Scripture reference. Combining the beauty of Krista’s artistic excellence with Beth’s devotionals is perfect for individual quiet reflection or small group Bible studies.

Excerpt Links to Each Chapter:

Chapter 1--In The Beginning

Chapter 2--The Bible Is Our Burning Bush


Chapter 3--The Lord Looks On The Heart


Chapter 4--He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother


Chapter 5--Open My Eyes


Chapter 6--Thus Far The Lord Has Helped Me

Chapter 7--The Great Shepherd Of The Sheep


Chapter 8--The Best Is Yet To Be


Chapter 9--I Cried Unto The Lord And He Heard Me


Chapter 10--Power of the Holy Spirit


Chapter 11--Lord Jesus, I Want To Delight In You


Chapter 12--Unprecedented Peace In Christ Alone


Chapter 13--The Display of His Splendor

Chapter 14--Choose Life, Choose Christ


Chapter 15--Speak Lord, Your Servant Hears


Chapter 16--Alleluia, Jesus is Born!


Chapter 17--Jesus Paid It All

Chapter 18--When We All Get To Heaven


Chapter 19--The Lord Is My Shepherd

Chapter 20--The Romans Road To Salvation

 

Monday, July 11, 2022

The Romans Road To Salvation

artwork by Krista Hamrick

Krista Hamrick's beautiful artwork of "The Romans Road to Salvation" inspired me to write this post.

Put your hand over your heart—that small heartbeat is all that stands between you and eternity in heaven or hell!  If you died tonight, do you know for CERTAIN where you would be spending eternity?

The Romans Road to Salvation is a way of explaining the good news of salvation using verses from the Book of Romans. It is a simple yet powerful method of explaining why we need salvation, how God provided salvation, how we can receive salvation, and what are the results of salvation.

THE ROMANS ROAD TO SALVATION

I consider myself a ‘good person’… won’t that be enough?

ROMANS 3:23  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,.

ROMANS 3:10  As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one;

ROMANS 5:12  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

The creator of the universe is HOLY. "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all". 1Jn 1:5  He has set laws in place for his creation to obey. What are these laws? They begin with the 10 Commandments. While you might consider yourself ‘good’ compared to most people, how do you measure up against God’s law? Have you ever told the smallest lie? Then you are a liar. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” James 2:10 Disobedience to God is sin.

Is sin really THAT big of a deal? If it is… what HOPE is there?

ROMANS 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Disobedience to an infinite eternal God deserves an infinite eternal consequence. God shows us His character and his laws in his creation, the world around us. He has also written his laws in our hearts… on our conscience. He has also given us his WORD the Bible. No good judge would let the guilty go free, the criminal go unpunished. Neither can a holy righteous God allow sinful man to go unpunished… but God LOVES man whom He has made in His image and He has provided a way of escape by sending His Only Son to die in our place.

After what I’ve done to grieve God… HOW could He willingly die in my place?

ROMANS 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jn 3:16- While he died on the cross, he was mocked, spit upon, and cursed. Yet Jesus cried out, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do…” (Lk23:34) With such love, Jesus died in your place… knowing every evil act, word, and thought you would commit. What powerful love! He loves you unconditionally even to the point of death when you are at your worst!

HOW can I be saved?

ROMANS 10:9-10  If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

You can never be saved by trying to be a good person, nor can you be saved through any amount of ‘good works’. Ephesians 2:8,9 says “For by grace have you been saved by faith. And that, not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works. Lest any man should boast."

You and I can be saved only by confessing our sins and placing our faith in God’s son, Jesus Christ who died  and paid for our sins on the cross. We must also surrender our life to His lordship… placing him in charge of every area of our life because we now belong to him. Both John the Baptist and Jesus himself began their preaching with the word, ‘Repent’. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” –Matthew 4:17  To repent means ‘change one’s mind’ or to turn — to go in another direction. How can we be led to repentance? The first step toward repentance is true sorrow for what we’ve done wrong. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”2Corinthians 7:10  Worldly sorrow is more like the regret of a criminal who’s just been caught whereas godly sorrow is the deep remorse or conviction that produces a change in direction. Have you ever felt convicted after doing something wrong? The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is the one that convicts us of our sin. (John 16:7-8)

Did God HEAR me? Did He accept me?

ROMANS 10:13   "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God promises that “to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (Jn 1:12) Yes, God does hear and accept ALL who come to put their faith in Him. There is no need to fear death any longer because Jesus BROKE the power of sin and death on the cross with his own shed blood.  The price for your sin has been paid in full and it is God’s promise to receive all who come to Him by placing their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. As a believer, you have a new life in Christ. Jesus did NOT remain in grave. He rose from the dead after three days. (Mark 16) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”2 Corinthians 5:17 

What do I do now?

ROMANS 10:17  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Your journey as a child of the King of Kings has just begun! You must begin by spending time daily in prayer and in God’s Word, the Bible. You must also find fellowship with other believers in a Church that teaches and preaches the Bible. You should also now confess Jesus Christ, as your Savior before men. Share about your new faith in Christ with your family, coworkers and others whom God has placed on your daily path.

As the song “Amazing Grace” resounded in the sanctuary, a woman on the front pew wept with joy.
It seemed only yesterday that she had sat in a prison cell, shaking as her body suffered from withdrawal. She remembered crying out to a God she didn’t know, hoping that someone would hear her prayers. In that dark hour God sent women from a local church to tell her the good news that Christ could heal her and take away her sins. One year later she was not only free from the four walls of prison, but God had healed her of a ten-year addiction. When the women entered the prison that first day, they felt shy, inadequate, and unsure in that environment but confident in God. And they were God’s answer to the prisoner’s prayers. Many times we feel inadequate to reach out to others. We make the gospel cumbersome or complicated and fear sharing it. Yet it is a simple message: God in his grace has declared us not guilty. We are free from sin through Jesus Christ. We encounter many every day who are crying out to a God they do not know, hoping someone will hear their prayers. Let’s share the Good News!


SAVIOR, every day people who are hurting and lost surround me. Help me to share the good news that you are the Christ and that you have set us free! Lord, if there are those in my life who are crying out to you, open my spiritual eyes that I might see, and give me the courage to share the gospel message with them. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on Romans 3:23-24 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God. Look In—as you meditate on Romans 3:23-24 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________." Look Out—as you meditate on Romans 3:23-24 … pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Total Forgiveness by Dr. R. T. Kendall

Dr. R. T. Kendall and family

Dr. R. T. Kendall shares regarding his life message, “Total Forgiveness”

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I will tell my secret (if there is a secret): it is literally practicing what I preach regarding total forgiveness – and not grieving the Holy Spirit by bitterness. 

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These twin teachings – (1) totally forgiving every single person in the world who has not been very nice plus  (2) the teaching of not grieving the Holy Spirit by anger and bitterness – are the secret to my writing books. 

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Total forgiveness enables the Holy Spirit to flow freely and unhindered in me. The result: thoughts come, words flow and God opens the doors. He will do this for you. 

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Total forgiveness is the secret to the anointing and is available to all who will let people off the hook who have been hurtful or injurious. A forty-day fast will not do it, neither will a thousand people laying hands on you. The secret is totally setting your enemy free and praying for them – sincerely – that God will bless them.

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In my 57 years of ministry the most talked about sermon I have had the privilege to come up with has been TOTAL FORGIVENESS.

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Whenever I preach Total Forgiveness I get the greatest response of people coming forward to forgive. What is more, I suspect I could go back to the very same congregations two or three weeks later, then preach the same sermon again and get the same response!

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Why? Because totally forgiving people that have hurt us is the hardest thing in the world to maintain. People do it instantly. But later forget. Fall back into the same old trap of “telling what they did,” pointing the finger, throwing up the wrongs. 

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This is why I preach that total forgiveness is a “life sentence”: you have to keep doing it – on and on and on. A good way to maintain this is sincerely to pray for these people – every day. Every day. 

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Just to remind you, we know we have totally forgiven when:

(1) we don’t tell “what they did”;

(2) we don’t let them be afraid of us;

(3) we don’t let them feel guilty – or wait for them to be sorry;

(4) we let them save face;

(5) we protect them from their darkest secret;

(6) we remember it is a life sentence – that is, you do it as long as you live; and

(7) we pray for them – that God will bless them.
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We live in a world that paints word pictures of love. We love our families. We love our careers. We even say we love inanimate things such as a beautiful painting or a new pair of shoes. But that type of love can’t change our world. Agape love is Christ’s unconditional love toward us, but agapao love is what others see as our actions reflect our love for Christ. If Christians truly demonstrated agapao love, then our world couldn’t help but be drawn to Christ.
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As Christians, we have been forgiven a debt so massive that we could never repay it. If you want to show Christ to a world that is seeking love, remember what Christ has freely given you, and then extend that mercy to others.
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LORD, you’ve forgiven me so many times that I’ve lost count. Each time I fail you, you scoop me up and put me back in right standing with you. When I owe a debt of forgiveness, remind me of the times you’ve forgiven me. Give me your heart for each person who wrongs or offends me. Help me to walk in forgiveness daily because daily you forgive me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

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Look Up—meditate on Matthew 18:32-35 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
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Look In—as you meditate on Matthew 18:32-35 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."
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Look Out—as you meditate on Matthew 18:32-35 … pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

I can only imagine…


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.—Ephesians 3:20

When I am feeling stuck, engaging in what some call, “analysis paralysis,” I find it helpful to apply the power of our God-given creative imagination for inspiration and problem-solving.

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Imagination is a powerful entity. It can cause the hair on the back of our neck to stand up, our spirit to soar, or our face to blush. Imagination is the power that holds our beliefs together; we believe with our imagination. Imagination is the wellspring of faith and hope. Our biggest and best dreams for ourselves and others rise from the imagination.

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When we have been hurt, our imagination is wounded. As a result, alienation and belief in bad news replace belief in good news. We may have...

  • feeling response that can become frozen into resentment. 
  • an anger response that can become frozen into negative reactions of rage or passivity. 
  • an interpretation response that can become frozen in negative attitudes, perceptions, biases, and beliefs. 

As a result, our imagination becomes paralyzed. Attending to our wounded imagination is a path through forgiveness. Forgiveness expands our horizons and invites us to retrieve the positive and work through the negative. Is the glass of water half-full or half-empty? The answer depends entirely on how you see it. “How you see it” is called “perception.”

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There is the story about the blind men and the elephant. Each man named and described the animal according to his experience of touching only one part of the elephant’s body. The man who held the trunk “perceived” the elephant to be a large snake; the man who held the leg “perceived” the elephant to be a sturdy tree. In the same way, we “perceive” life—depending on what our experience is.  Our experiences generate our expectations and our perceptions. We interpret life experiences, and we form expectations and perceptions, attitudes, and assumptions.

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All of this activity is the work of the imagination.

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It is also the work of the imagination to reinterpret and reform repeated assumptions and expectations. Forgiveness demands that we take another look so that our imagination can reframe our narrow interpretations. Forgiveness includes the decision to refocus or enlarge the context…walk a mile in another’s shoes. When we enlarge the context, we refocus, or we see it through a wider lens.

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Imagination is the work of seeing through a wider lens.

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If we remain stuck in a negative interpretation of an old offense, we will experience resentment whenever we think about it, or about the offender. We will never be able to grieve and let go; we will seesaw between rage and resignation; we will never allow anger to surface and put us back on the journey of forgiveness. If we insist on telling and retelling our bad news stories of the past, we simply recycle the bad news and pass it on to the next generation. We pollute the emotional environment; we remain stuck in lifeless memories instead of looking for a more positive side of things long past.

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When you enlarge your perceptions using your creative imagination, you at least allow for the possibility of healing. You give yourself the opportunity to turn from the negative aspects of your past, to get rid of the excess baggage, and to face the journey into the future with hope.

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When I served as the Florida Department of Education State Consultant for Gifted Education, I was frequently asked to provide technical assistance to school districts regarding strategies to improve creative and critical thinking skills for students.  I have identified some of those strategies here to inspire us to think creatively using our God-given imagination.

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The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old questions from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.—Albert Einstein.

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The formulation of a problem determines the range of choices:  the questions you ask determine the answers you receive. Write the problems you want to solve as a question. Use the phrase, “In what ways might I…?” to start a problem statement. This keeps you from settling on a problem statement that may reflect only one perception of the problem. Keep asking this open-ended “In what ways might I…?” question allowing your creative imagination to flow.

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You will be amazed at how your continual re-wording of the "In what ways might I...?" question will increase your creative thinking skills of Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration—the four primary strategies for developing and improving creative thinking or imagination:

  • Fluency is the ability to think of many answers to a question, to list many possible solutions to a problem, or to generate a number of responses. Fluency is being able to think of lots of plans or ideas.
  • Flexibility is the ability to change your way of thinking about a problem or situation. It is the ability to think of alternative ideas and to adapt to different situations. 
  • Originality is the ability to think of fresh or unusual designs, ideas, responses, or styles. People who are original are independent and creative in their thoughts and actions. They create things that are new, different, or unique. 
  • Elaboration is the process of expanding an idea by adding detail. To elaborate, you must understand the original idea and see a way to clarify or improve it by adding specific details. You are elaborating when you add to, enlarge, enrich, or expand descriptions, designs, drawings, explanations, instructions, reports or stories. 

Jesus used parables to help people imagine what His point was. Bible-centered imagination paints a picture of something new. It shows you the potential of what could be. Imagine how you will feel as a result of kicking a heart-hurting habit to the curb. 

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Use the blessings of God’s Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23) as a carrot incentive to act differently...even more than what you’ve imagined, God can do. Imagine God smiling down on you as you trust Him with the scary things of your day. See yourself leaning on Him when you feel you can’t stand. Praise His name and feel Him smiling back at you through your suffering. Imagine who God has created you to be and what He has created you to do. Imagine how you feel as you let go of all that has held you back. When you set up God to rule over your life, no doubt, your heart can’t help but rule over your head.
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Lord Jesus, I can only imagine what it will be like to see Your light fully for the first time and bask in the light of Your glory. Your light has changed my life, given me wisdom, and helped me find my way out of dark places. It has illuminated Your Word and comforted me and taught me. I can only imagine what it will it be like one day to walk in a city where You are the light! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
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Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 3:20 ... pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
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Look In—as you meditate on Ephesians 3:20 ... pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."
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Look Out—as you meditate on  Ephesians 3:20 ... pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.  

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Let the Peace of Christ rule in your heart

Word Study inspired by I Thessalonians 5:23-24:


I Thessalonians 5:23-24--May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

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I Corinthians 6:17--But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit..

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I Corinthians 3:16--Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?

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II Corinthians 6:16--What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."


Colossians 3:15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

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Scripture teaches us that humans are made up of three components: spirit, soul, and body. My body may have been hurt and my soul—the seat of emotions—may have been injured, but my spirit—the innermost part of my being, where the Spirit of Christ dwells—cannot be touched. Therefore, what defines me most has never been touched. God taught me that the more I allowed the Spirit of Truth dwelling in me to take authority over my body and soul, the more the wholeness of Christ would overtake every part of me. In other words, God taught me to live from the inside-out. I seek to allow the strongest, most invincible part of me—the spirit—to have dominion over all else, thereby sanctifying them (setting them apart as holy) just as I Thessalonians 5:23-24 suggests. Now I live most consciously out of my healthiest part—the Spirit. Through the years, the health of my spirit has been gloriously contagious to my soul and even to my body. According to I Corinthians 3:16 and II Corinthians 6:16, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. In some ways, broken temples can be rebuilt. The Spirit of Christ dwelling within me has overtaken my whole being.

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God created us as to be whole creatures made of three different components: body, soul, and spirit. As long as we see God as Lord of our spirits alone, we will continue to live in areas of defeat. God is as surely Lord of our souls and body as He is our spirits. It’s all His turf. In fact, take a refreshing look at I Thessalonians 5:23-24. “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” 

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First of all, please celebrate the glorious fact that God Himself is the One at work in you and through you. He hasn’t just assigned you a mighty angel. God is thoroughly interested and involved in every single part of you: body, soul, and spirit.

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Second, notice that the verse identifies God specifically as the God of peace. The Word of God is perfectly inspired; therefore, every identification of God, every name He is called, is in perfect context. In this case the inference of the title is that the believer will be awash with God’s peace when every part of the life—body, soul, and spirit—is surrendered to His wise, loving, and liberating authority. I know far too well how distant the peace of God is when we refuse to bow a part of our lives to His rule. 

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Peace is the fruit of authority. God’s authority. As Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule. Christ brings His peace where He is Prince. That’s what the title “Prince of Peace” represents.

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Third, don’t miss what God Himself desires to do. I Thessalonians 5:23-24 proceeds to tell us that this glorious God of peace wants to sanctify us “through and through.” The original Greek word for “sanctify” is hagiazo, meaning “to make clean, render pure…to consecrate, devote, set apart from a common to a sacred use…to regard and venerate as holy, to hallow.” In other words, God deeply desires for us to grant Him total access to set apart every single part of our lives—body, soul, and spirit—to His glorious work. Always keep in mind that anything to God’s glory is also for our good. The two concepts are never at odds. God’s inclusion of the physical body is proof among many others in Scripture that He cares deeply what happens to these tents of flesh in which we dwell. Indeed, our physical bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit.

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For just a moment, let’s think of ourselves like triangles. Imagine each point of the triangle being labeled as body, soul, or spirit. If the triangle is sitting on its base, only one point is “up.” Imagine that point being the one in present control of us. For instance, when distinguished from the spirit as in I Thessalonians 5:23-24, the soul represents the seat of our emotions and our personality. 

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If the “soul” is in the upward, authoritative position in our lives, then we are ruled by our feelings and our personality types. All of us know what kind of trouble results from being under that kind of authority! Our feelings and personalities are given to us by God, but they are not meant to control us. 

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Now picture that the “body” is in the upward position and momentarily ruling over our triangular selves. We don’t have to be terribly bright to imagine what can happen because we’ve all experienced the upheaval firsthand: our fleshly appetites and physical drives and habits take over. Our “appetites” become our masters. Certainly, our physical bodies are gifts from God “fearfully and wonderfully made,” but when they control us, the result is bondage. Also understand that one area exerts tremendous influence over the others. As you know, our feelings can drive our physical appetites just as our physical appetites can drive our feelings.

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The “point” we need in the upward position to live in victory is the Spirit. All of us were born with a “spirit.” When distinguished from the soul, it represents the part of us created in the image of God to know Him and enjoy His fellowship. It is the primary component in us that sets us apart from all other creatures. Until we are redeemed and inhabited by Christ (Rom. 8:9), our spirits are no better off than our souls and bodies. But, glory to God, when we receive Christ, His Spirit takes residency in ours! 

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I Corinthians 6:17 speaks of this supernatural consolidation: “he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” The key to victory as we occupy this triangular temple is to bow daily, perhaps a half dozen times daily, to the control of the Holy Spirit over our lives. Our bodies and our feelings and personalities are wonderful components sanctified by God when the Spirit is in control. I am convinced that a huge part of wholeness in the life of a believer is when God has been allowed to sanctify (take over and set apart) our whole spirit, soul, and body. 

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The question of authority is one we are challenged to answer every single day. The concept of rededicating our lives to Christ only at infrequent revivals or conferences can prove disappointing and defeating. Joshua 24:15 suggests a far more workable approach: “Choose this day whom you will serve.” Christ repeated the concept when He called us to take up our crosses daily and follow Him. 

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Do you want to know something wonderful? A daily recommitment is not to ensure that we’ll never fail, but to help us develop the mentality that every single day is a new day—a new chance to follow Christ. Obedience to God is not some diet we suddenly blow. It is something to which we recommit every single day, no matter how we blew it the day before. 

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Victorious living is not an instant arrival. It is the pursuit of one victorious day at a time until the sun sets on enough to begin forming victorious habits. 

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So, are you just about to give up? Good. Give yourself up to God, to the authority of His Holy Spirit. Both Galatians 5:22 and II Timothy 1:7 tell us that self- discipline is a work and a quality of the fruit of the Spirit. Stop feeling guilty because you don’t have any self-discipline on your own. Neither does that together-looking person next to you. None of us can master ourselves. Some yokes may be more obvious than others, but all of us have had them. God is the only One who can sanctify and make every part of us whole…“and He will do it.” All He wants is our trust, our belief, and a little time…For without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5) and with Him, we can do anything (Phil. 4:13).

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II Timothy 1:7--For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

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Galatians 5:22-23--When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

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Suppose you wanted to start an apple orchard. In early spring you carefully cut dozens of twigs from an apple tree and stick them in the ground twenty feet apart. You water and fertilize and watch and wait. But in the fall, you have no apples to pick. Why? Because those twigs could not mature and bear fruit once they were not rooted in the tree they came from. The same is true with spiritual fruit. It is only when we belong to Christ and stay close to him that his Spirit lives in us and produces the virtues, or “fruit,” listed in Galatians 5:22-23.

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Self-effort won’t produce this fruit. Good intentions won’t produce love, joy, peace, patience, or kindness. Instead, as we yield ourselves to Christ, his Spirit lives and moves freely through us and touches others through our lives. We express his gentleness as we respond to children, his great patience as we encounter difficult people. We demonstrate his faithfulness as we keep commitments, and we share his goodness and kindness as we bless others. 

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Corrie ten Boom writes: “I have a glove here in my hand. The glove cannot do anything by itself, but when my hand is in it, it can do many things. True, it is not the glove, but my hand in the glove that acts. We are gloves. It is the Spirit of Christ in us Who is the hand, Who does the job. We have to make room for the Hand so that every finger is filled.”

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LORD, teach me to yield to the authority and control of the Spirit of Christ Who dwells in the innermost part of me. How I realize that none of the virtues reside within my flesh. But this understanding is a gift from You that enables me to humble myself before You and rely wholly on Your Spirit rising up within me. Do so, Lord, and may the fruit You produce draw others to You! In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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Look Up—meditate on I Thessalonians 5:23-24… pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

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Look In—as you meditate on I Thessalonians 5:23-24… pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

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Look Out—as you meditate on I Thessalonians 5:23-24 … pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

 

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