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  #1201  
Old 08-03-2009, 04:52 AM
d'gal d'gal is offline
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The Shadow of the Giant
Goliath reminds me of the cross-eyed discus thrower. He didn't set any records . . . but he sure kept the crowd awake!
Day after day, he paraded along the slopes of the Valley of Elah throwing out threats and belching blasphemies across the creek with a basso-profundo voice like twenty out-of-tune tubas. He was not only ugly, he was huge, well over nine feet tall in his stocking feet. His armor included a bronze coat of mail weighing two hundred pounds, a solid-iron spear (the head alone weighed twenty-five pounds), and a big bronze helmet. Add another club, bronze leggings and boots, plus that face of his . . . and you've got the makings of a shoo-in linebacker for the Chicago Bears or next season's center for UCLA's starting five. Pity the poor private who drew duty as Goliath's shield bearer! It was about as suicidal as a novice drifting into the Devil's Triangle on a hang glider. Goliath, you see, was the pride of Philistia; and if you didn't believe it, all you had to do was ask him, or ask Saul's army (if you could find them).
Paralyzed and hypnotized, the camp of the Israelites sat galvanized in their tents. The only noise heard from the Hebrew troops was the knocking of their knees or the chattering of their teeth---in unison. Goliath was, up to that point, eminently successful with his basic strategy of intimidation. His threats boomed across the valley with chilling regularity, producing the desired result: fear. The inspired record informs us that those monotonous blasts from the giant's mouth sounded forth every morning and every evening for forty long days. The dawn of that forty-first day, however, was the beginning of the end for the giant from Gath.
Some ten miles away, a handsome, muscular teenager---the runt in a family of eight boys---was sent on an errand by his father. That innocent errand proved to be an epochal event in Jewish history. Fresh from the wilderness, the sheep trails, and more important, from the awesome presence of God, David stopped and stared in disbelief when he reached the battleground.
For a young man whose unsullied character had been nursed in solitude and spawned in secret acts of bravery, the scene before him was staggering. The young shepherd simply could not believe his eyes. Refusing to accept his brothers' rationalizations or listen to the giant's threats, David saw through the Philistine strategy and withstood it through sheer, solid faith. He knew His God could handle any threat.
Yesterday, we visited David as he faced off against Goliath. Refusing to accept his brothers' rationalizations or listen to the giant's threats, David saw through the Philistine strategy and withstood it through sheer, solid faith.
You know the outcome. With a well-worn leather sling and a smooth stone, and unbending confidence in his mighty God, David introduced Goliath and all the Philistine hordes to the Lord of hosts, whose name they had blasphemed long enough. The account concludes with a profound statement:
Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David's hand. (1 Samuel 17:50)
What an interesting counterstrategy! To this day, two timeless truths of giant warfare live on. Both are as appropriate today as they were in the days of Goliath.
Prevailing over giants isn't accomplished by using their technique. That's "lesson one" for all of us. Goliath might have been mistaken for the battleship Missouriwith all his noise and bronze. Not David . . . he didn't even carry a sword! His greatest piece of armor, the lethal weapon that made him unique and gave him victory, was his inner shield of faith. It kept him free from fear, it made him hard of hearing threats, it gave him cool composure amidst chaos, and it cleared his vision.
Conquering giants isn't accomplished without great skill and discipline. To be God's warrior, to fight His way, demands much more expertise and control than one can imagine. Using the sling and stone of the Spirit is a far more delicate thing than swinging the club of the flesh. But oh, how sweet is the victory when the stone finds its mark . . . and how final.
Are you facing a giant?
Chances are you've already bumped into one or more of them this week. Is the intimidation reaching unbearable proportions? Do your ears ache from their constant threats? Don't run . . . but don't try a bigger club, either. Be like David. Turn your Goliath over to Jehovah, the giant-killer. Explain to your powerful God how anxious you are for Him to win this victory for a change---not the giant and not you.
Then load up your sling, soldier, and don't forget the stones. You're in for the time of your life

by Charles R. Swindoll
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  #1202  
Old 08-03-2009, 07:13 AM
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Christianity can be condensed into four words: Admit, Submit, Commit and Transmit.

- Samuel Wilberforce
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:14 AM
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To love God is greater than to know him.

- St. Thomas Aquinas
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  #1204  
Old 08-04-2009, 04:55 AM
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this one, in a way links with the one "Jesus Loves Me." what do you think ?

You Were Chosen


"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" - John 1:12

With all due respect to blood relatives, there is something powerful about being chosen. If you were adopted into a family, you were chosen. Your parents looked around and said, "We want her." Or "We choose him to be our son." Did you know that adoption's legal bonds are so strong that an adopted child cannot be disowned?
If you are married, then you also know the wonder of being chosen. Out of all the world your spouse chose you to share their name, to share their life, to share everything good and bad that they would encounter for the rest of their years.
But even these powerful bonds can't compare to the truth that God in His infinite grace chose to set His love upon you!
Some people struggle with this truth. They're like, "How dare God choose one person and not choose another!" If that bugs you, you still have a lot to learn about God. "How dare the clay say to the potter, ‘Why have you made me like this?'"(Isaiah 45:9). If God wants to make one vessel for honor and one vessel for dishonor (2 Timothy 2:20), that's what it means to be sovereign. I can't explain that to you. All I can tell you is that when people resist the truth about God's sovereignty to choose, it has led to two errors.
The first error people say is "A loving God wouldn't choose certain people and thereby reject others." So their rationalization leads to the idea that God chooses everyone. Yet John 1:12 says— "only those who receive Him are given the authority to be called the children of God."
Other people say God doesn't have anything to do with it. It's totally us. We're the ones that choose. If you know the Lord, it's because you choose." Of course that's not what the Scripture teaches either. Here are two verses that prove otherwise:
  • Psalm 91:14: "Because He has set His love upon me, I will set Him on high. Because He has known my name"
  • Ephesians 1:4: "According as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world"
Somehow, before the world was made, God looked into eternity future and chose to set His love upon you. Your inner assurance shines through when you are convinced that God is personally committed to you. For no reason you can claim, you were on His most wanted list.

by james mcdonald
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  #1205  
Old 08-05-2009, 05:45 AM
d'gal d'gal is offline
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P.S. I Love You... Period.
by Meghan Kleppinger
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 3:16


“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8
Okay – I admit it. Initially, it was difficult for me to understand that God loved me, and that He sent His son to die for my sins, and that He cared about the most intimate details of my life.
I was nearly nine years old when I accepted Christ. My mother was a new believer and our family became her mission field. She would read stories from the Bible and Christian biographies at night to her three girls.
I shared a bedroom with my older sister, a preteen, so we had different bedtimes. One night, when I was supposed to be asleep, I listened with eyes closed as my mother shared a story with my sister. It was the biography of a lonely teenage girl who turned to witchcraft as a means of finding acceptance, and only after a lot of prayer from a friend did she turn to Christ.
As I listened to the story unfold, I recognized the loneliness this girl felt, as well as her need for a Savior. That night I prayed to receive Christ as my personal Savior. In Jesus, I discovered, I would have a forever friend, something I desperately longed for as a frequently uprooted military kid.
The next day, as I thought about telling my mother of my conversion, I was afraid that she would be upset with me… after all, she was reading to my older sister and the story wasn’t meant for me.
Needless to say, she was far from upset, but for a long time I could not shake the feeling that I was an add-on. What I mean is that I felt like God extended His grace to me because I happened to be here with all of the people He really loved. It was sort of like He was saying, “I love all of my creation… oh, and P.S. Meghan, since you’re here I might as well love you too.” The funny thing is that I was okay with being a tag-along as long as it meant I was saved and got to have Jesus for a friend.

I’m not sure if it was time, experience, spiritual maturity, or all three, but slowly I began to understand that God loved me, period, and not just too or in addition to…. Through scripture, I learned and came to accept the most amazing thing of all, that He would have sent Jesus if I were the only person left on earth!
As an adult who has grasped this truth, my heart is burdened as I consider how many people have a hard time believing that Jesus loves them.
We live in a hurting world full of people desperate to know that someone loves them and cares. A recent study showed that an overwhelming number of Americans feel they have no one to confide in.
As believers, we know a loving God who does listen, plays an active role in our lives and will never leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). We know a compassionate God who delights in His children (Nehemiah 9:17). We know a God who understands our pain and holds every tear we’ve cried (Psalm 56:8). We know a God who sent His son to live and die so we might live (John 3:16).

We know our Father and of His eternal love.
But do they?
Let us live our lives in such a way that not only reflects His love for us, but shows others that they are undeniably and wholly cherished by the Creator of the universe who calls them His beloved… period.

Intersecting Faith & Life: John really put it well when he wrote, “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4: 9-11).


by Meghan Kleppinger, crosswalk
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  #1206  
Old 08-06-2009, 05:01 AM
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I struggled over putting this one in today. but nothing else seemed to 'click' inside me. I know I am guilty of this so maybe this is more for me than you. so if it doesnt 'click' with you, I apologize in advance for not feeding you proper. hugs

Getting Over Yourself

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV
If you’re having a hard time “getting over yourself” lately, then you might be due for a self-righteousness check.
Usually, a trusted confidante or loved one is involved in these routine examinations. Just like the one I had not long ago with a really good “friend” of mine. A friend who’s closer than a brother. Actually, make that closer than a sister, and she looks an awful lot like me, too.
Perhaps you’ve had a similar conversation with someone recently. Someone, perhaps, much like yourself …
You: Self, it’s time for a self-righteousness check. You’ve been measuring yourself with others. And um, basically… you need to get over yourself.
Self: But I’m not doing anything wrong. I didn’t say an unkind word or anything. In fact, I even reached out to this person. And went out of my way to help that one over there. But this guy here… see, he’s the one who’s not treating me right. He’s done this and this, and he hasn’t even reached out to help me in my time of need.
You: Self, why are you looking at others for how you’re measuring up and what they are or aren’t doing, when you should just be looking up?
Self: [mimicking] “Self, why are you looking at others for how you’re measuring up and what they are or aren’t doing, when you should just be looking up?”
You: Oh, THAT’S really helpful and grown up. I see your childish ways are still very much alive and active. That perfect Sunday School attendance and your prominent position in the church choir are realllly helping you out.
Self: But I didn’t do anything. That guy over there was the one who …
You: And that’s the point. You’re so focused on what someone else is or isn’t doing to or for you, that you’ve completely lost sight of what you are or aren’t doing in the sight of the Lord. What about what He thinks?
Self: Right, right. I know… God is my co-pilot and all. But what about the guy who’s not treating ME right? Is he just gonna get away with that and no one’s gonna call him on it?
You: Self, as you grow and mature in Christ, you will realize that it’s not about keeping score. It’s not about who’s done you wrong and who’s done you right. Leave that to the Lord, and learn from Jesus’ example when he became flesh and dwelt among us. Your concern is that you are becoming more and more like Christ. We need to work on there being LESS of you and more of him, as his glory is revealed in your life.
Self: Oh. But…
You: No buts. Just bend your knee. Ask for forgiveness. And get over yourself.

The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it's now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.
Romans 3:22-26, The Message

Intersecting Faith & Life: Has someone “done you wrong” recently? Did you do something good and no one acknowledged it? Leave your “case” and your grievances with the Lord today, and let him be the Judge. Let him rule in your life, so that his righteousness may prevail.

Further Reading
Luke 18:9-14, NIV


by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk
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  #1207  
Old 08-06-2009, 05:28 AM
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Thank You for being here reading this today has helped me get through something.Bless you.
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  #1208  
Old 08-06-2009, 07:27 AM
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isnt it amazing that God always knows even if we dont, when something needs to be shared. whether a devotion, just a word to a friend, or His Word/scripture.

glad this helped. and here I was thinking this one was just for me !

hugs n blessings
d'gal
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  #1209  
Old 08-07-2009, 05:45 AM
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The Hammer, the File, and the Furnace
James 1:2-4, 12
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him..


It was the enraptured Rutherford who said in the midst of very painful trials and heartaches:
Praise God for the hammer, the file, and the furnace!
Let's think about that. The hammer is a useful and handy instrument. It is an essential and helpful tool, if nails are ever to be driven into place. Each blow forces them to bite deeper as the hammer's head pounds and pounds.
But if the nail had feelings and intelligence, it would give us another side of the story. To the nail, the hammer is a brutal, relentless master---an enemy who loves to beat it into submission. That is the nail's view of the hammer. It is correct. Except for one thing. The nail tends to forget that both it and the hammer are held by the same workman. The workman decides whose "head" will be pounded out of sight . . . and which hammer will be used to do the job.
This decision is the sovereign right of the carpenter. Let the nail but remember that it and the hammer are held by the same workman . . . and its resentment will fade as it yields to the carpenter without complaint.
The same analogy holds true for the metal that endures the rasp of the file and the blast of the furnace. If the metal forgets that it and the tools are objects of the same craftsman's care, it will build up hatred and resentment. The metal must keep in mind that the craftsman knows what he's doing . . . and is doing what is best.
Heartaches and disappointments are like the hammer, the file, and the furnace. They come in all shapes and sizes: an unfulfilled romance, a lingering illness and untimely death, an unachieved goal in life, a broken home or marriage, a severed friendship, a wayward and rebellious child, a personal medical report that advises "immediate surgery," a failing grade at school, a depression that simply won't go away, a habit you can't seem to break. Sometimes heartaches come suddenly . . . other times they appear over the passing of many months, slowly as the erosion of earth.
Do I write to a "nail" that has begun to resent the blows of the hammer? Are you at the brink of despair, thinking that you cannot bear another day of heartache? Is that what's gotten you down?
As difficult as it may be for you to believe this today, the Master knows what He's doing. Your Savior knows your breaking point. The bruising and crushing and melting process is designed to reshape you, not ruin you. Your value is increasing the longer He lingers over you.
A. W. Tozer agreed. In The Root of the Righteous, he wrote:
It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.
Aching friend---stand fast. Like David when calamity caved in, strengthen yourself in the Lord your God (1 Samuel 30:6). God's hand is in your heartache. Yes, it is!
If you weren't important, do you think He would take this long and work this hard on your life? Those whom God uses most effectively have been hammered, filed, and tempered in the furnace of trials and heartache.
Take time to thank your Master for any trials and heartaches in this season of your life.


charles swindoll, day by day devotions
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:42 AM
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God is Good Even When Life is Bad

Daniel 1:3-8 3 Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, . . . 4 youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. . . . 6 Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. 7 And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego. 8 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food.

When things are going smoothly in your life, you might not find it hard to believe that God is good. But if life takes a bad turn and something devastating happens, you might ask, "How could a good God allow this?" If you know that kind of pain, then you can empathize with Daniel.
Across the pages of the Scriptural account of Daniel's life-from teenager to old man-you can write, "Sovereignty at work." God was directing Daniel's life, whether Daniel saw it at the time or not.
Do you know Daniel's story? One bright day in Jerusalem when Daniel was just a teenager, he was captured as a POW and was ripped away from everything warm and familiar. Daniel's enemies were working a cruel strategy. They singled out the best young people-the all-American teenagers voted "MVP" and "Most Likely to Succeed" and brought them to their capital city near modern-day Kuwait. Their plan was to brainwash these kids with their culture and make them leaders. Daniel was given a foreign name, Belteshazzar. He was forced to learn a new language and was given a new diet.
Had Daniel decided what God was like by looking at his circumstances, he would have become a disillusioned, confused, angry, young man. Kidnapped from his homeland, forced into slavery, most likely castrated to become a eunuch in the palace, Daniel's eyes were still on God. Don't gloss over these facts like they're from some made-for-TV movie-this story is true in every detail. Imagine the suffering connected with his circumstances, yet Daniel went through the fire . . . successfully. This certainly gives us hope that we can make it through our firestorm, too.
No doubt a situation comes to mind right now from either your past or the present. You may wonder how a God of love could have allowed some painful, wrong injustice. Yet I would bet on the fact that you've not come full circle yet. There will be a day when you will look back and see how God's sovereign hand was at work. Truth is, He is in the center of the situation that troubles your heart right now. He's right in the middle of it.
Just because you can't see Him doesn't mean He isn't there. Look for Him. Trust Him. He is at work.

Lord, I know You are at work in my life and circumstances . . . even when I don't see Your hand. I know You are working all things together for good. Help me fix my heart on You no matter how long I must wait to see a bigger picture. I believe You will bring all things around for Your glory.

• Do I tend to look to God or to my circumstances? Have I ever questioned His goodness or His sovereignty.
• Do I know someone who has gone through significant trials, yet their eyes are completely fixed on Christ? Describe their joy.
• Are there hints in my life that point to "God at work . . . even when I don't see it"?

by james mcdonald, walk in the word
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  #1211  
Old 08-08-2009, 12:34 PM
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Thanks, Dutchgirl !! That furnace is mighty hot right now but that's what it takes to purify gold - to make one holy, sanctified, approved by God to be privileged to work for Him. Thank you for your use of your "gift" to us and so what this says to me today is this: " Hence straighten up the hands that hang down and the enfeebled knees, and keep making straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather that it may be healed. " Heb.12:12 For many years I have been praying for a prison ministry and it is not coming about like I thought that it would. I never ever would have guessed that my son would be incarcerated and I would find PTO. I'm learning real fast that what I thought it would be like is not. As I read stories on here and I read a lot; my pollyanna beliefs about prison have done a 380. Again, thank you
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:51 AM
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Count to Eight (Woe, Be Gone)

“We have here only five loaves and two fish.” (Matt. 14:17)

How do you suppose Jesus felt about the basket inventory? Any chance he might have wanted them to include the rest of the possibilities? Involve all the options? Do you think he was hoping someone might count to eight?
“Well, let’s see. We have five loaves, two fish…and Jesus!” Jesus Christ. The same Jesus who told us:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Luke 11:19 NIV)

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. (John 15:7 NIV)

What ever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 NIV)

Standing next to the disciples was the solution to their problems…but they didn’t go to him. They stopped their count at seven and worried.
What about you? Are you counting to seven, or to eight?

Here are eight worry stoppers to expand your tally:

Pray, first. “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him…(I Peter 5:7 AMP)
Easy now. Slow down. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him (Ps. 37:7).
Act on it. The moment a concern surfaces, deal with it. Don’t dwell on it. Head off worries before they get the best of you. Be a doer, not a stewer.
Compile a worry list. Over a period of days record your anxious thoughts. Then review them. How many of them turned into a reality?
Evaluate your worry categories. Detect recurring areas of preoccupation that may become obsessions. Pray specifically about them.
Focus on today. God meets daily needs daily. He will give you what you need when it is needed.
Unleash a worry army. Share your feelings with a few loved ones. Ask them to pray with and for you.
Let God be enough. “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matt. 6:32-33 NLT).

Eight steps. Pray, first. Easy, now. Act on it. Compile a worry list.Evaluate your worry categories. Focus on today. Unleash a worry army. Let God be enough.

P-E-A-C-E-F-U-L


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  #1213  
Old 08-09-2009, 11:38 AM
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How very uplifting to all of us today that will act on it. Exercising faith in Jesus requires action. If you bought a new car, it would come with an owner's manual and if yhou had a problem, you would look it up and fix it. Our Great and Almighty God gave to us an owner's manual, too. Who would know more about our needs, our pain, our joy, our everything but the One who designed and created us? We appredciate the time and effort that you take to make our day a bit more bearable and even peaceful. Love you
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:40 PM
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Cammie... very good thoughts ! thank you

I remember once my hubby had a pin that said... when all else fails, read the instruction book.
God gave us His Word as an instruction book to live by. many people talk about 'the law' but those of us who belong to God, we dont live under the law, but under His grace. since Christ came, the law is only to show us our sinful nature. like a balance scale.
we do need to act on faith. todays message at church was about listening and doing what God may call us to do. many of us are afraid of other peoples reaction, but if we step out in faith God will bless it. or use some one else if we balk at doing something.

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Old 08-10-2009, 04:53 AM
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The Helmet of Salvation

And take the helmet of salvation.…
Ephesians 6:17
How would like you to have supernatural protection wrapped so tightly around your head that it would safeguard your mind from every mental assault of the devil? Well, you may not realize it, but if you are a child of God, you have already been given this kind of safe­guard to protect you from the enemy’s attacks against your mind. In Ephesians 6:17, Paul writes, “And take the helmet of salvation.…”
In this final chapter of Ephesians, Paul deals extensively with the subject of spiritual armor. By the time we come to verse 17, he has already talked about the loinbelt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, and the shield of faith. Now Paul speaks to us about the helmet of salvation, using the illustration of a Roman soldier’s helmet to make his point. Let’s see what we can know about the helmet of a Roman soldier.
The word “helmet” in Greek is taken from the Greek word perkephalaia, and it is a compound of the words peri and kephale. The word peri means around, and the word kephale is the Greek word for the head. When you compound these two words into one, you discover that the word perkepha­laia denotes a piece of armor that fits very tightly around the head.
The Roman soldier’s helmet was a fascinating and flamboyant piece of armor, very ornate and intricate. Highly decorated with all kinds of engravings and etchings, the helmet looked more like a beautiful piece of artwork than a simple piece of metal formed to fit the head of a soldier.
It was not uncommon for a Roman helmet to be decorated with depictions of pastoral farm scenes, complete with all kinds of animals. Frequently the entire helmet was fashioned to look like an animal, such as an elephant or a horse. Some of the helmets had intricate engravings and etch­ings depicting fruit.
Furthermore, as if these fabulous engravings and etchings were not enough, a huge plume of brightly colored feathers or horse hair stood straight up from the top of the helmet. If the helmet was designed to be used in a public ceremony or parade, this brightly colored plume could be very long - long enough to hang all the way down the soldier’s back!
The helmet was made of bronze and was equipped with pieces of armor that were specifically designed to protect the cheeks and jaws. It was extremely heavy; therefore, the interior of the helmet was lined with sponge in order to soften its weight on the soldier’s head. This piece of armor was so strong, so massive, and so heavy that nothing could pierce it - not even a hammer or a battle-ax.
It would be very hard to walk past one of these soldiers without taking note of him. It would be hard not to notice a man who had a piece of sculpture on his head or who wore a helmet with a brightly colored plume standing straight up on top of it! Yes, these helmets made the Roman soldier noticeable!
Why would the Holy Spirit compare a piece of weaponry like this to salvation? Because your salvation is the most gorgeous, most intricate, most elaborate, most ornate gift God ever gave to you!
Paul calls this marvelous gift “the helmet of salvation.” He likened salvation to these flamboyant helmets that were worn on the head where everyone would notice. By using this example, Paul is telling us something very important. When a person is confident of his salvation - and when he walks confi­dently in the powerful reality of all that salvation means for him - he is a noticeable individual !
But why did a Roman soldier need a helmet that was so tightly wrapped about his head, as the Greek word perkephalaia implies? This kind of helmet was essential because the Roman soldier’s oppo­nent carried a short-handled ax called a battle-ax - and when battle-axes were used, heads rolled!
If the Roman soldier didn’t have a helmet on when he went out to fight, he could be absolutely sure that he would lose his head. Thus, the Roman helmet was not merely a beautiful piece of weaponry but a defensive weapon designed to save a man’s head.
That’s exactly what salvation will do for you when you wear it like a helmet on your head! But if you don’t walk in all that your salvation entails, you may feel the brunt of the enemy’s battle-ax as he comes to attack your mind and steal your victory.
If your salvation is not worn tightly around your mind like a helmet, the enemy will come to chop the multiple blessings of your salvation right out of your theology. He will try to hack away at your foundation, telling you that healing, deliverance, preservation, and soundness of mind were not really a part of Jesus’ redemptive work on the Cross. By the time the enemy is finished with your mind, the only blessing he will leave you with is Heaven!
Many believers try to do the work of God without making it a personal goal to walk in the full knowledge of their salvation, and they are spiritually slaughtered as a result. By exposing their unpro­tected minds to the devil’s insinuations, they place themselves in a position to be severely attacked and possibly deceived.
Facing the adversary without your “helmet of salvation” is foolish! You must have this helmet if you are going to be useful and successful in the Kingdom of God!
You see, the devil knows that if he can seize your mind and fill it with lies, he can then begin to operate from this lofty position in your life. He can try to manipulate your emotions, send sig­nals of sickness and disease into your body, and so on. To protect you from such attacks is the very reason God has given you the “helmet of salvation.”
The fact that Paul likens our salvation to a helmet means that we must know all that our sal­vation includes inside and out. We must spend time studying what the Bible has to say about healing, about our deliverance from evil powers, about God’s desire to bless and prosper us, and about the consequences of our redemption in our everyday lives.
Our intellectual comprehension of all that salvation encompasses must be ingrained in our minds. When our minds are convinced of these realities - in other words, when our minds are trained and taught to think correctly in terms of our salvation - that solid knowledge becomes a helmet in our lives!
At that point, it doesn’t matter how hard the devil tries to hack away at our spiritual founda­tion; we know beyond a shadow of doubt what Jesus’ death and resurrection purchased for us. This knowledge has become a part of us, preventing the enemy from attacking our minds as he did in the past. That’s how the full knowledge of our salvation puts a helmet on our heads!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I am so grateful for my salvation! It is the most wonderful gift You have ever given me. It changed my life and set me free; it brought healing to my body and deliverance to my mind. I want to wrap the knowledge of all that my salvation includes around my mind so tightly that the devil can never steal these benefits from my life. Holy Spirit, I ask You to help me study and to understand everything Jesus purchased for me at the Cross. Reveal it to me; convince me of its truth; and help me to wear that revelation knowledge on my head like a mighty, fortified, spiritual helmet!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I wear my salvation tightly around my mind like a helmet. When the enemy tries to attack my mind and to chop away at the benefits of my salvation, his attacks are completely ineffective! My mind is convinced of all that salvation means for me, and my mind is trained and taught to think correctly according to that knowledge. Therefore, the knowledge of my salvation becomes a helmet in my life. It doesn’t matter how hard the devil tries to hack away at my mind, I still stand strong because I know what Jesus’ death and resurrection purchased for me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
  1. Do you wear the knowledge of your salvation tightly around your head like a mighty helmet to protect you against the mental assaults of the devil?
  2. Do you spend time studying what the Bible has to say about your healing, about your deliverance from evil powers, or about God’s desire to bless and prosper you? The only way you’ll know these truths is by studying them, so how much time do you spend learning about the consequences of your redemption in your everyday life?
  3. Are there any truths from God’s Word that you are certain the devil has already stolen from you? What has he taken from you that was once a major part of what you believed? Why don’t you start renewing your mind to that truth today so you can see its results restored to your life?
sparkling gems by rick renner
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:09 AM
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17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst,
and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed;
but new wine is put into fresh wineskins,
and so both are preserved.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKB's Girl View Post
I never quite understood this one.
could you please explain it.
This was the best answer I could find: Jesus' parable suggests that the good news he brings does not have to look exactly like ancient Jewish practices and patterns of conduct. Jesus brought a new way to live, and it did not work if it was mixed in with the Jewish customs and rules that were the tradition of the day.
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:06 AM
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When God Whispered

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

My four year old son had to learn 2 Timothy 3:16 for AWANA. One of the leaders was concerned and stated that there was just no way the children could grasp the idea of Scripture being "God-breathed." So we decided to ask my son to explain what "God-breathed" meant.
You know I think we are sometimes too quick to underestimate a child's ability to understand the truths of the Bible. We are so quick to dismiss their abilities yet this is what Jesus had to say in Matthew 11:25, "At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children."
Jesus knew what children could understand.
I recently was walking through a nature trail. The leaves rustled underfoot and the sun shone out over the lake next to the trail inviting me to stop and reflect on God's glory. I found a bench and while I sat there I heard the breeze whispering through the tops of the trees. Just a slight hushed sound and my thoughts. That's when I pondered on my son's words.
What did my son say?
He said, "Well, God-breathed means that…" and here he lowered his voice, "God whispered it."
Wow… God whispered His Word.
Peter said, "…you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Our Bible isn't just some compilation of stories. It is the very Word of God whispered into the hearts and minds of men who were selected to be his special vessels to communicate His good news.
How about you?
Have you, like Elijah, heard the "still small voice" of the Lord bringing you comfort, encouragement, and guidance?
If not, maybe you need to spend some time to just be still and maybe in His time you'll hear His whisper in your heart too.

Intersecting Faith & Life: Go for a walk in a park or through a quiet museum and find a quiet place where you can be still before the Lord.

Further Reading

1 Kings 19:9-18
Hebrews 4:11-13



by Fred Alberti, Crosswalk
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:56 AM
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Riding out the Storms of Life

Acts 27:9-44

Sometimes the sea is calm and the wind blows softly. But other times the wind rises, the sky darkens, and we find ourselves in the midst of a terrible storm. We know that's the way life is, and in Acts 27 we read of such a storm in the life of the apostle Paul.
He had been arrested for preaching the gospel of Christ and was now being taken to Rome to be adjudicated when they encountered a huge storm. Perhaps you're even in the midst of a terrible storm yourself, and all hope has seemed to vanish.
First we need to realize there are many different types of storms we all encounter. Then we're going to see what Paul did in his storm and what we can do.
• There are normal storms. The Bible says God makes it rain on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). We simply live in a world that has storms as a natural part of life.
• Then there are some storms we engineer by our own foolishness and disobedience. That's the kind of storm Jonah got into to when he tried to flee from the presence of God (Jonah 1:1-4).
• There are also storms God sends us for growth. Jesus commanded His disciples to get into a boat and go to the other side of the sea (Matthew 14:22-24). He knew a storm was brewing but was teaching them a lesson for their development.
• And then there are storms we're dragged into by other people. That's where we find the apostle Paul. He was a prisoner who had tried to warn them! But they wouldn't listen so he was dragged into his storm by others.

Sinking the Ship
The sailors on Paul's ship took some actions that made things worse. We tend to do some of these same things when we find ourselves in a storm. Let's look at some of the ways we sink the ship.
Make decisions in haste. Verse nine says much time had past, and they felt they had to do something. Have you heard some say "Let's do something even if it's wrong!" If you're in the middle of a decision, wait on God. If you feel something pushing you, I can assure you it's not the Holy Spirit. He leads and He guides, but He doesn't shove.
Depend upon worldly wisdom rather than godly wisdom. The captain and owner of the ship believed each other instead of Paul (verse 11). Don't go to the people of this world and ask them what to do. Seek a godly counselor - one that bases their counsel on the Word of God.
Take the easy way out. Because the harbor wasn't up to their standards, they decided to depart hastily (Acts 27:12).When they made their decision, it was based on what would be easy. Almost always you'll find trouble this way! Sometimes, we're called upon to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.
Follow the crowd. There was a crowd on that boat. When they took a vote, Paul was outvoted (verse 12). They said, "Let's sail." But if you think about it, often the majority is wrong. Don't get the idea that if everybody says it, then it's right. You may go from person to person trying to get permission to do what you already decided to do, but frequently, the majority is simply a lot of people pooling their ignorance.
Depend upon circumstances. In Acts 27:13 they said, "The sun is shining, the sea is calm, and the wind is blowing in our direction; it must be the right thing." There are a lot of people who are led by circumstances and say, "Lord, it must be Your will. It looks good." But that soothing south wind may turn into a horrible, ferocious storm.

Responding to Rain
When they found themselves in the teeth of this torrential rainstorm, the ungodly on this ship reacted in some curious ways.
• In verse 15, they saw dashed dreams as the floundering vessel began to sink.
• And they also saw desperate efforts as described in verse 16. They desperately tried to get the tackle of the ship back together.
• Subsequently in verses 18-19, they experienced wasted resources. They started dumping what they thought were precious things into the ocean. What a waste!
• Then in verse 20, they lost hope. The stars, sun and moon has disappeared and they were in complete darkness.
• And finally, in verse 30, we see their foolish actions almost caused their demise as they tried to escape by lifeboats. In our lives today, we often see escapism in the form of alcohol, divorce, desertion, or even suicide. These are all foolish reactions to the storms of our lives.
In contrast to the ungodly responses, Paul said "be of good cheer" (verses 22 and 25). Can you imagine saying that in the midst of these problems? But the same One Who gave him songs in the night in a dungeon at Philippi gave him peace in the midst of this storm - His name is Jesus.
We serve a mighty God! You may fail, flounder, and sin; but God is ultimately in control. Paul believed in God and could say, "Be of good cheer," even in the midst of his storm. And you can too by relying on the same God Who brought him through the storm.

by adrian rogers. love worth finding ministry

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Old 08-12-2009, 07:54 AM
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As I read the Devotion this moring.It really made me stop and think.There is so much going on in my live right now.It is hard for me to know what to do.And if Iam doing the right thing.
Thank you so much.This has really help me.And I really needed it.
God Bless
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:23 PM
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the only sure answer is seeking the Lord in all decisions. even if we are unsure at a moments notice, but feel confident it is the Lord, even if wrong.. He will be there because we step out in faith.
when we moved from cal to az... we knew we were to do it, but so new to the Christian walk, we didnt seek Him first and immediately put the house up for sale, quit our jobs. confident that He would take us directly to az. it took a yr. but becuase we stepped out believing, He took care of us that yr. we never had more than $30-50 at a time, yet never went w/o having gas,elec, water, food. just the basics, but that is all we needed.
my sister is unsaved. sometimes she will say or suggestion something and I remark that well it depends on what the Lord says. she scoffs, but I know that He is concerned in every aspect of our life. it isnt that He rules us, but He wants us to trust Him in all things.
am I rambling here, or did any of this make sense ?

sorry just came in from a short 'powernap' and still groggy . guess I shouldnt type when I am not fully here.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:32 PM
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Yes you made sense.And you are a Blessing to me.
God Bless
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:14 PM
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sorry this is late today. we had a storm this morning so didnt turn my home puter on. I did have something else I was going to put here. but today, if I may be a bit candid, I have some medical issues I am looking at. and of course, it is our human nature to allow all the 'weird' thoughts to fill our minds, instead of listening to what God would say .... so I saw this devotion, and decided, for me, this is the one I needed to hear.
d'gal


God’s Peace
Some people believe that if they have a certain level of wealth, then they will have peace—or if they marry right, then they will know contentment. Others mistakenly believe that if they can just live in some ideal location or receive certain recognition at work, then they will have all they could ever hope to achieve.
However, none of these scenarios is capable of providing the peace and contentment we long to experience. True peace only comes as a result of living a life filled with the Spirit of God. It is eternal and has only one source—Jesus Christ. Charles Spurgeon writes, “The God of peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are fixed upon Him.”
We can try to achieve peace through accomplishments and hard work. We may look for peace everywhere—thinking that new experiences, buying things, or stashing money away will deliver peace. However, apart from God, we will never find lasting peace.
In order to experience the peace of God, we first must have peace with God—which comes as the result of a complete surrender to Christ as our Lord and Savior. Once we are saved, God’s peace is available to us. A famous actress once lamented that she had everything she could possibly want, but she still did not have a sense of peace. There are some things that money cannot buy, and peace is one of them.
Before His death, Jesus comforted His disciples with these words: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
We, too, can find the peace and comfort we need within His eternal care.

The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).


Dr Michael Youssef. leading the way ministry
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:16 AM
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It's Possible . . . Not Easy!

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

God's will is not always easy but it is always possible. For with God all things are possible.
Rest in the fact that God will never command you to do something you can't accomplish. He will never direct your steps without providing the strength to walk the path.
Jack Handey wrote in his book entitled Fuzzy Memories:
"There used to be this bully who would demand my lunch money every day at school. Since I was smaller than he was, I would give it to him. Then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons. But then the karate instructor told me I owed him five dollars a lesson. Five dollars! So I just went back to paying the bully."
Truth be told, it's sometimes easier to pay the bully than it is to learn how to defeat him. However, God never commands you to live for His glory without helping you to overcome the obstacles you will face. Whether it is loving your spouse, witnessing to friends and family, or remaining pure on a college campus, Christ will enable you if you obey Him. Paul did not say, "I can do most things through Christ," but "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
While you're at it, stay alert to the fact that opposition usually means opportunity is close at hand. In fact, there is rarely opportunity without opposition, so you must be prepared for both opportunities and obstacles at the same time.
Paul intends to encourage us as we follow the leadership of Christ, which in real terms means never throw in the towel. He challenged the Corinthians and every Christian to be "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord." What a great promise-your toil is not in vain.
Endurance that demands blood, sweat, and tears, will be rewarded one day. So get ready for today's obstacle course and run it with patient diligence. The hurdles may be high, the track may be uneven, the distance may be great, but it's possible . . . not easy!


by Dr. Stephen Davey, Wisdom for the Heart
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:52 AM
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Weathering the Storms

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. (1 Thessalonians 3:3,4)

Here is a statement that is a little hard for any of us to swallow. Paul says that we should not be disturbed by "these afflictions," that is, pressures and tensions. Then he makes the amazing statement that "we are appointed thereunto." We know that we are going to go through storms. They will be temporary, but we cannot escape them. We are going to have trouble down here; the Word of God makes that very clear. Paul wants the Thessalonians to stand for the Lord in the midst of afflictions.
There are other passages of Scripture that teach this same truth. The Lord Jesus said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Tribulation is the trouble that all of us are going to have. There is no way around it. Yet the Lord Himself tells us to be of good cheer even in the midst of trouble.
If you are a believer, you are not going to escape trouble. To accept Christ does not mean to take out an insurance policy against suffering. The fact of the matter is that you will have trouble after you become a child of God, even if you haven't had any trouble before. He has never promised that we would miss the storm, but we will go through all the storms of life. What He does say very definitely and dogmatically is that He will go with us through the storms and that we will reach the harbor. Any boat that He is in will not go to the bottom of the Sea of Galilee but will reach the other side. You and I are in the process of going to the other side.
The time to be concerned is when there is no cloud in the sky, no ripple on the sea, and everything is smooth and nice. Then you might question your salvation. But if you are experiencing trouble down here, if the pressures and tensions of life are on you, then that is a sign that you are a child of God. This is the way God teaches us to rely on Him.
I remember hearing about a congregation where the pastor asked for some favorite verses of Scripture. One man got up and said his favorite verse was, "And it came to pass." He sat down, and everyone looked puzzled. The pastor asked him how in the world that could be his favorite passage. He answered, "When I get in trouble, I turn to where it says, 'It came to pass,' and I know my troubles came to pass. They didn't come to stay." God will bring us through the storms. We will finally be rid of all our troubles. How wonderful that is.

thru the bible w/j vernon mcgee
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:51 AM
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Potential
“ . . . My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” ~Judges 6:15

How many of us have ever felt like Gideon, believing false truths about ourselves that have stunted our growth and attempted to undermine our God-given destiny?
Author Dondi Scumaci describes it well in her new book, Designed For Success: The 10 Commandments For Women In The Workplace.” In the very first chapter she says,
"Imagine that when you were born, you were given a box. The box is empty to begin with, but almost immediately people begin to put messages into it. Some of the messages make you feel strong and safe and powerful; others teach you to doubt yourself and your abilities.
"Over time the box is filled with messages. Some are duplicates. You’ve received them more than once and from more than one person. One message tells you it’s important to be popular, one reminds you to always be very polite, while another tells you to wait to be recognized—because bragging is very bad. Your messages warn you against making mistakes, rocking the boat, or being pushy—because nobody likes a bossy girl.
"Now imagine shaking the box! The messages get all mixed up. That makes it hard to separate the encouraging, empowering messages from the negative, limiting ones.
"You grow up and carry your box of messages to work. As you being to use them, you discover that, for much of your life, the messages have been managing you. Now you must learn to manage them."
This is the very place where Gideon found himself.
Gideon processed through discouraging old messages and new encouraging ones from God throughout the remainder of Judges chapter six.
Although Gideon’s self-doubt was high, and his faith was low, by stepping forth into God’s instructions—albeit with trepidation—he managed to overcome obstacles and reach the divine destiny God had for him.
How about you? Is anything holding you back from reaching your God-given potential? If so, have you asked the Holy Spirit to intervene, to reveal the issues of your heart and lead you to overcome to full victory?
God sees our potential, and He has a plan to advance us all the way. His purpose being that He loves us, He loves nations, and He desires to use us to affect them. God’s vision is big. It goes beyond us. As Gideon was set free from his fears and ungodly beliefs, others were also restored. It was a battle that was worth fighting. And so is yours.

by Margaret Mitchell, a womans walk devotion
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