What is Sin and how does Free Will play a part?

The ministry God has called me to takes me into places and with people that you might call lost with a capital “L”. You must be incredibly careful how you label those that have yet to discover there is much more to God than salvation. All sin in God’s eyes is equal however some sin has a more obvious effect on our physical bodies as well as our spirit. In studying for my ministry exam, I stumbled upon a well written explanation about sin. I wanted to share with you my understanding in the hope that it will help you have a deeper insight as well.

Sin is a desire to exalt oneself above God. Ouch! I’m going to repeat that statement…Sin is a desire to exalt oneself above God. Eve was deceived by the serpent (Satan) with simple words that got her thinking…”I want more, why not?” See Genesis 3:1-6 This is at the center of all sin. It may not look like pride or self-exaltation sometimes because as the sin grows it causes us to keep making poor decisions, mixed with reasoning and rationalizing. Our outward actions reveal our sin and then we “hide” Genesis 3:7-8, cover up. We soon find ourselves hiding through addiction and behavior that disguises the sin even from ourselves. This is why sin and evil are often compared to darkness, we hide in the dark…sin is the absence of light. It is a force that is active and has a harmful effects usually very gradual or subtle.

The Bible tells us that sin originated in an abuse of the freedom given to Adam and Eve who are God’s created beings that He equipped with a will. God did not create evil. Evil disregards the glory of God, His plan or will for us as written in the Word of God. The devil has cleverly sown discontent into our thoughts, he has turned our yearning or spiritual hunger for God into a thirst for self-gratification. This thirst cannot be satisfied in anything not centered in obedience to and faith in God. The result is a decision to step out of God’s protection and enter into moral failure. God permitted this freedom of choice for reasons known only by Him. We are unable to search out and understand God’s reason by human reason. God, in providing us with a mind and spirit truly free to make moral decisions, has allow the possibility of failure. Without that possibility there would not be genuine freedom or true personality.


Sin originated in the free choice of God’s creatures. Instead of believing and trusting God, responding to His love and provision, we have let wrong thinking fed by Satan exalt ourselves above God. I know you are thinking not me…anytime you make a decision and that little voice, your spirit, says not a great idea, yet you still follow your decision; you just made your decision and action over God’s will. So, your decision was better than God’s. That is where self-exaltation happens. The essence of sin is the substitution of the satisfying self for the original and highest purpose in life…seeking God and the relationship we were created to have with Him.

Apostle Paul says this will be a struggle for everyone.
Romans 7:14-25 outlines the struggle we have within ourselves against sin, Paul says “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” NASB


Thankfully, we have a Savior, Jesus Christ who sacrificed Himself so that we have through repentance…forgiveness of our sins. The fight is on, how can we break the stronghold of sin? First, there is no way we can minimize sin even the slightest sin. No sin is too small for us to overlook and fail to seek forgiveness. James 1:13-15 warning us about the origin of temptation and sin…”When you are tempted don’t ever say, “God is tempting me,” for God is incapable of being tempted by evil and he is never the source of temptation. Instead it is each person’s own desires and thoughts that drag them into evil and lure them away into darkness. Evil desires give birth to evil actions. And when sin is fully mature it can murder you!” TPT.


We must not let our minds dwell on some temptation or wrong desire, we must stop ourselves from reasoning. Recently, I was ministering to a group of women and one of them boldly spoke about being a homosexual, she went on to say “If all sin is equal and everyone sins then my sin is no worst and acceptable.” Justifying sin never works, if we make sin a habit or a way of life, it will bring spiritual and eternal death, a final separation from God. This lost woman has set her sin and self above God, His protection and love. The Bible says, “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising Him always.” Philippians 4:8 TPT Sadly, she has let an evil thought and desire incubate into action. She cannot see that she is the glorious work of God, she is blinded from what is real, honorable, admirable, and so much more. I am praying that she will have a supernatural experience of God’s unfailing love for her and that she will come to the cross in repentance.


I know in many of my other blog articles and many times when I am speaking before a group I use my life scriptures. A life scripture is one that you hold dear to your heart and meditate on when your mind moves into wrong thinking. These scriptures break evil strongholds, they will lead you in freedom and moral character pleasing to God and healthy for you. God has given His Word in order for us to have with authority over sin and live in peace until Jesus returns.

Here are mine…
2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” NASB


Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” NASB

Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” NASB


Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].” AMP


Hebrews 4:12 “For we have the living Word of God, which is supernatural and powerful, and it pierces more sharply than a two-edged sword(a weapon for good). It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where our spirit and flesh (sinful desire) meet! It reveals and surgically removes any wrong thoughts and secret motives of our hearts.” Personalized and paraphrased

A special thank you to the authors of “Bible Doctrine, A Pentecostal Perspective”, William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton. Their research and insight bring a profound understanding of God’s Word and His desired relationship with each of His children.

My prayer that these words help you to go deeper and run harder in your pursuit of God and live the life He has designed for you.
Blessing,
Laurie

How to Fight Worry and Anxiety

Late last year I blogged this message, with everything going on today I felt it fit today’s circumstances… Worry and Anxiety are weapons the devil uses to keep us captive, steal the true joy and peace that God has for us.

These spirits act purposefully to destroy and distract us, they are inhibiting our faith.  So that we cannot rise up and live in victory.

Are you addicted to worry?  When you do not have something to worry about do you take on the worries of someone else?

It is impossible to live in worry and live in peace at the same time…Worry is the root of anxiety. It brings physical manifestation…. hives, illness, disease.  I have been witness to divine healing over many of these manifestations when women caught in the devil’s grip are set free.  Instantly, they have received freedom physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The KJV of the Bible does not use the word “worry” so let us be clear about who and what this spirit is…

Fret – In the Hebrew this means a snare, violently agitated, to grieve, be angry, burn, be hot or provoked – in the Webster Dictionary it is defined as uneasy, distressed or troubled, anxious; to be tormented with distributing thoughts.

Matthew 6:25 is a warning to “take no thought” or don’t let your mind rest in negative thought

Philippians 4:6 tells us to “be careful for nothing” KJV or in the NASB “be anxious for nothing”

Worry does not make anything better…

The devil uses the spirit of worry to torment us!

A description of worry would be “To seize by the throat with teeth and shake or mangle, as one animal does to another or to harass by repeated biting and snapping”

After a few hours of worry do you feel beaten up? Worn out? All those destructive thoughts going around and around in your head?  Continually exaggerating and building, more and more until…

Matthew 6:25 – 27 puts it like this in the AMP version “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by worrying can add one hour to the length of life.”

 Let me break it down for you….

Peace is not something you can do for yourself in Galatians 5 the Bible says it is a gift of the fruit of the Spirit…Holy Spirit meaning only by abiding in Jesus Christ will we have peace.  John 15:4 says “abide in me and I will Abide in you.”

No amount of self-control will bring you peace or break your anxiety.  Drugs, anti-depressants, anxiety meds, sleeping aids only “Dumb you down” from hearing from God or receiving His healing, supernatural power.

So what is this abiding Jesus is speaking of?

First, it is a union we are actively pursuing to understand because the work was already done at the cross our part is to be in a personal intimate relationship with Jesus.  We are united to Jesus by faith by believing Jesus has cleansed us by paying the price through the whipping post and cross. He then went to hell and claimed the keys to God’s Kingdom here on earth to give us authority over the devil.  Are you getting the whole picture?

Second, this relationship is built on our obedience and pursuit of Jesus. 

John 17:7 says “If you abide in me and my Word, I will abide in you.”

Colossians 3:36 says “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” 

Ephesians 5:18 tells us “be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

You MUST allow His Word to fill out minds, surrender our will to His Will for us…our relationship to Jesus is intimately connected to what we do with our Bibles.

As God’s Word dwells in us and the Spirit fills us, we are transformed, our prayers change – your prayers become God’s Will – truth and revelation will open your eyes!

I read an article by Terri Copeland she made this statement, I will be stealing it and speaking it to others…”The Word is so unchanging and unfailing that He, God has bound Himself and the existence of all things to it. It is God’s most tangible gift of Himself to us.”

Third and last…Abide in My Love John 15:9 says “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also loved you; abide in My love.”  You MUST rest in this love, the love of Jesus Christ in verse 13-16 says “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do what I command.  No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”

Peace is not something you can do for yourself in Galatians 5 the Bible says it is a gift of the fruit of the Spirit…Holy Spirit meaning only by abiding in Jesus Christ will we have peace. 

John 15:4 abide in me and I will Abide in you…

Fourth, that authority I spoke of early…we have the authority to cast out this spirit…Jesus told us he would send a helper so that we could act in authority, just as the Acts church did so can we!  Nothing has changed…the Holy Spirit is within you as a believer! Make you stand TODAY!  In the name of Jesus reclaim what you have lost…declare and decree that the devil will not hold you captive through worry or anxiety ! Today, Claim your position as daughters and sons of the Most High King Jesus!

Blessing, Laurie

JesusTruthBeliever 6/29/2020

Not Today Satan!

Have you ever caught yourself going over a situation again and again? Be it positive or negative you just cannot let it go…It even is affecting your decisions, possibly a relationship. Your emotions are tied to these thoughts and often result in an action you later regret. Satan has many tools in his arsenal and here are a couple of them.
Reasoning – repeated discussion, wondering, daydreaming without Godly wisdom.
Rationalizing – justifying your behavior or another’s behavior or thoughts in order to avoid truth; this is the devil’s substitute for confession and repentance.
Manipulation – to control or influence a situation or person unfairly or unscrupulously, using a mixture of truth and lies to achieve a self-driven result.
The Bible is truly clear that we must be careful how we spend time in thought…do not dwell, in the end nothing positive comes from lingering thoughts.
James 1:5-8 says “But if any of you lacks wisdom(Godly clarity and understanding using it wisely), let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach(disapproval, criticism), and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting(unable to fully accept God’s truth), for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded (lukewarm with one foot in and one foot out) man, unstable (mentally and spiritually unbalanced) in all his ways.” Personalized NASB
Have you noticed that every time you replay a situation it becomes foggier not clearer? The devil is a master of twisting truth, corrupting our memory, justifying the wrong motives, persuading us to make a worldly, flesh driven decision instead of a Godly decision. That worldly decision may feel good for a moment or even longer, but it soon leads us farther away from God and more into the world. God has given us examples in His Word how Satan used reason, rationalizing and manipulation in order to cause two women to make decisions contrary to God’s Plan, the good news is God already knew and He had an eternal plan that could not be corrupted by the devil.


Let’s look at Genesis 3:1-6
Verses 1-3 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’? “The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”
We as believers must be aware that Satan can disguise himself and that he knows God’s Word and he will weave his purpose into God’s truth to confuse and corrupt us. The devil starts a conversation with a question to start Eve’s mind reasoning.
Verse 4 “The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Satan again engages Eve knowing well how much God’s loves her and Adam tempting her by saying “You surely will not die!” Here comes reasoning, rationalizing and manipulation in one statement, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Satan knew Eve as well as he knows all of God’s children. We do not have all the answers, yet our mind desires those answers. God warns us that we are incapable of that knowledge, our minds can’t fathom. Romans 11:33 says “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” I believe that knowledge we so desperately seek will be given when we are reunited with our Forever Father in Heaven.
Verses 5-6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
The Bible does not say how long it was before Eve tasted of the fruit however my gut tells me she spent some time reasoning the why not and what ifs. Rationalizing how good it would be…how her relationship with God would change because she could see and understand everything He does. Now the manipulation kicks in Eve wants Adam to taste as well, they may have even reasoned together, notice that it says “her husband with her”, so he was at the tree watching her taste and then he tasted for himself.
We all know the outcome from this event, Satan cleverly used reasoning, rationalizing and manipulation to bring sin into the world.


Now let us look at Abram and Sarai, but first a little background on the two of them. Abram and Sarai were in their 80’s at the time God shared his promise of descendants with Abram. He and Sarai had been married for many years and I believe that they were faithful to one another and Abram did not desire to take another wife or take his wife’s maid servant as was a custom in order to provide an heir.
In Genesis 15:5-6 God gives Abram a promise. “And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”
Time passes, Abram and Sarai are still without children let’s look how Sarai takes matters into her own hands through reasoning, rationalizing and manipulation…Genesis 16:1-6 ”Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the Lord judge between you and me.” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence.”
Reasoning – Sarai thought I am to old and God has made this promise. Surely God means for Abram to take my servant?
Rationalizing – After all it is a custom to provide their husband as many heirs as possible, some men even take more wives. At least I do not have to share Abram he has not chosen to have other wives. Hagar is my servant this won’t be so bad. Remember, up until now Abram and Sarah as far as we know had been faithful to one another…so in that moment the devil had deceived Sarai by putting thoughts of reasoning and rationalizing in her mind. Verse 3 tells us it was ten years before Sarai sent Hagar into Abrams bed. How difficult those years must have been as she reasoned and rationalized her plan?
Manipulation – Verse 2 says “Abram listen to the voice of Sarai.” This is an important statement because we see here that Abram had not spent time reasoning and rationalizing how these heirs, his descendants as many as stars would come. Sarai manipulated Abram into taking Hagar to bring about an heir.
There is a price to be paid when we step out of the will of God…to reason or rationalize our way to get what God has promised or what we believe God wants for us, sadly to get what we want. In verses 4-6 we have a glimpse of the price Sarai paid. The relationship with her maid servant was damaged, Abram’s response also hints upon the tension between all three of them.


The devil frequently steals the will of God from us due to reasoning. He injects wrong thinking and emotions into your mind so that you cannot focus on what the Holy Spirit is speaking to your spirit. God tells us to be on guard continually watching and discerning our thoughts, “make every thought obedient to Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5, James 1:22 says “be doers of the Word not just a hearer.”


Dear Sisters in Jesus Christ, there is only one way to keep our mind full of Godly wisdom, Romans 12:1-2 says “Therefore (make it so) I urge you, sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy (devoted) sacrifice , acceptable (pleasing) to God, which is your spiritual service of worship (praise and glory for all God is doing). And do not be conformed (copy what others do) in this world (your flesh, emotions), but be transformed (be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think) by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is(with our mouth and lived out in action), that which is good and pleasing to God in every way.” personalized NASB


If our relationship with Jesus is a growing and an intimate one, our goal must be to let our spirit (which is stronger, supernatural) be in control of our mind. This can only be achieved if our spirit is in tune with the Holy Spirit and listening to the voice of God daily. Victory and freedom come when we recognize the devil’s tools and fight back using everything we have in Jesus Christ.


Proverbs 3:5 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Blessing, Laurie

It’s Just TIME to Stop!

I know and understand…taking responsibility…WOW! Stop walking in a state of being offended, blaming, using excuses to justify your thoughts and actions.  We all have those hidden agendas, desires to be right, control the situation, impress others.  Ladies, what God thinks is all that really matters. It takes time to totally drink in what is being offered.  I get that…for me I still am seeking, still learning, still asking God to forgive and reveal. Guess what God answers back…He declares who I am “His Daughter, Valued and Loved!” and with that knowledge it is getting so much easier.  I will offer this…when I started this journey of knowing God the victories were small and sometimes hard to even see. Then one day while reading my Bible I realized I loved God’s Word more than anything else, I love God more than anyone or anything.  In this journey many changes are still happening some exceedingly small and some huge…God remains right there guiding even when I said “Ugh! Really? But?!” He continues to stand right next to me when all I can get out is the simplest praise “Yes God!”  Today Ladies, drink in the goodness of your Savior, continue the journey to know and love Him for He is your Forever Father.

“Set up signposts to mark your trip home, Get a good map, (God’s Holy Word) Study the road conditions. The road out is the road back…Come back!…Dear Daughter, come back to the Lord your God…How long will you flit here and there, indecisive?  How long before you make up your fickle mind?  God will create a new thing in you…A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!”   Jeremiah 31.:21 MSG (paraphrased and personalized)

Give up your need to BE RIGHT!

Give up you need to CONTROL EVERYTHING!  Let the Holy Spirit be in control.

Give up on LAYING BLAME!

Give up YOURSELF DEFEATING TALK!  You will get lost if you try to direct your own path, seek God’s face.

Give up COMPLAINING!  Stop complaining and start BLESSING  OTHERS.  Don’t hang out with complainers!

Give up your need to IMPRESS OTHERS. 

Give up YOUR EXCUSES!  Examine yourself and surrender to GOD!

Give up YOUR PAST!  Do not let the past determine your future!

Give up your RESISTENCE TO TRUTH…GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE!

Walk in the freshness of TODAY!  You are the daughter of the Most High KING! Find your TRUE IDENTITY IN HIM!

Blessing, Laurie

JesusTruthBeliever 6/16/2020

The Weight of Unforgiveness

I struggle with forgiveness how about you?  For years I not only could not forgive my parents as well as others in my life that I suffered physical and mental abuse from but I could not forgive myself.  My self-esteem (identity) was held captive behind a stronghold of unforgiveness and bitterness not only for them but for myself.  I want to blame them for everything that I had experienced without taking any responsibility for my decisions and consequences. It also destroyed my ability to have a healthy relationship with anyone. I was carrying daily an incredibly heavy backpack full of bitterness and hate. If you are suffering under this spirit of wrong thinking come before your God and ask Him to help you forgive yourself and those who hurt you.  Ask God to reveal your part and the wrong thinking that is holding you captive.  It may be painful, but you have a Savior that loves you and is right there beside you to walk through the painful memories and wash you clean in His blood.  That is just the beginning because He also has lifted you up with Him to sit at the Father’s side and use the authority given you to cast down those spirits of wrong thinking!  You see, Jesus’ resurrection and position at the right hand of the father is full of power “Dunamis Power”  to heal your brokenness and forever heal you.  2 Timothy 1:7 tells us “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (lack of courage or confidence), but of power and love and discipline(self-control).”  The Greek word “Dunamis” is where the English word “dynamite” came from, Paul wanted Timothy to know that God had given him the dynamite ability to stand strong in the faith.  This is just as true today; God wants you to know that we have the power over our wrong thinking and the spirits that try to control our mind. Matthew 10:1 also tells us we have this power, “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”  Yes, GOD! Thank you for giving us the authority to “cast them out”.  Today, God is speaking to you…forgive those who have hurt you and forgive yourself! Ask God to forgive the people who have hurt you and then forgive them…Jesus last word on the cross reflects the strength and power in forgiveness “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34  Let the gift of “Dunamis” power fill you and give you the strength and courage to step forward in your relationship with your Forever Father and His Son. Who in your life needs your forgiveness?  Do you believe you are forgiven? Finally, unforgiveness in us creates bitterness which in turn creates a hard shell over your soul, how can the Father’s Love reach it with that hard shell upon it?

Dear Sisters, here are a few scriptures on Forgiveness to meditate on:

But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.”  Luke 23:34 NASB

“Watch over your heart with all diligence,  For from it flow the springs of life.”  Proverbs 4:23

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”  Mark 11:25 NASB

 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. “  Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly  Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. “  Matthew 6:14-15 NASB

“Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”  Colossians 3:13 NASB

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”  Luke 6:37-38 NASB

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21-22 NASB

Blessing, Laurie

Cooperate with God’s Refinement

Hebrews 12:10b says, “He disciplines us for our good so that we may share in His Holiness.”

Correction in scripture is sometimes described as troubles, tribulations, hardship, or discipline. I do want to make it truly clear that God does not bring hardship upon you.  You live in a fallen world, trials and tribulation as spoke of in the Bible will come despite all your efforts to avoid them.

God uses your life circumstances to refine you.  Do you ever find yourself asking God why me?  Many times, these circumstances are because of something you have done, our choices, behavior, wrong thinking, selfish desires and motives.

Read Isaiah 53:2-5  written hundreds of years before our Savior Jesus would be born…God reveals His plan.  He knew all along that it would take a Savior Jesus Christ, His very Son to save you from yourself.

“The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field.  There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look.  He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.  One look at him and people turned away.  We looked down on him, thought he was scum.  But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.  We thought he brought it on himself,  that God was punishing him for his own failures.  But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!  He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.  We’re all like sheep who have wandered off and gotten lost.  We have all done our own thing, gone our own way.  And God has piled all our sins, everything we have done wrong, on Him, on Him.  (Isaiah 52:2–5 MSG)

What is God’s purpose in discipline?  What blessings can you expect when you surrender to it?

Hebrews 12:5-10 says tell you what you need to complete the tasks He has for you.  He is preparing you for something better more valuable to Him!

“In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So, do not feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, do not shrug off God’s discipline, but do not be crushed by it either.  It is the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.

God is educating you; that is why you must never drop out. He is treating you as dear children. This trouble you are in is not punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline is not much fun. It always feels like it is going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” (MSG)

Hebrews 12:13 says that your behavior must be refined by Him for His work to be completed in you…”make straight paths (obedience and love) for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint (lacking self-control), but rather be healed (controlled through obedience to God’s Holy Word).

Now let us visit Romans 8:26-39 (paraphrases are my revealed understanding)

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; (1. The Holy Spirit strengthens you.)

27 He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  (2. He teaches  you to pray accurately.  3. He prays perfect prayers through and for you.)

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (4. All things work for your good as you pray, love God, and desire His will)

29-30 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (5. You are destined to be like Christ…living here and now a resurrected life.)

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (6. Since God is for you, who can be against you or ultimately do harm to you? What do you need to overcome?  What lie must be broken and truth revealed?)

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (7. God provides everything you need.)

33-34 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. (8. God, the Holy Spirit will show you where you have made a mistake, but He does not and will not continue to beat you up…repent and receive that freedom…stop remembering, let go.  Speak the Word of God out loud…the devil is a liar!)

35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (9. God loves you! He desires a personal relationship with you!)

 36-39 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (10. Nothing can separate you from His love! You are His child loved and valued above all of God’s creation. Your past, your freedom comes through Him conquered through Him because of His love for you. 11. Nothing can separate you from His love!  You are deeply rooted and grounded by His love!)

These days have an air of uncertainty however, my sisters in Jesus Christ you should know without a doubt who you belong to and that nothing can separate you from God! Praise and Worship your SAVIOR TODAY WITHOUT HESITATION! Do not let the devil distract you from your purpose and God’s will for you!

Blessing, Laurie

A New Life

Sometimes the best writing one can share is simple and yet profound…God’s Word.  Today my sweet sister’s in Jesus Christ have hope and courage; meditate upon God’s Amazing Truth and BELIEVE!

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have Him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we have been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you will have it all—life healed and whole.

I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

You never saw Him, yet you love Him. You still do not see Him, yet you trust Him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you will get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.

The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing. The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory. They clamored to know who and when. All they were told was that they were serving You, you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled. Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!

So, roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Do not lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You did not know any better then; you do now. As obedient children let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”

You call out to God for help and He helps—He is a good Father that way. But do not forget, He is also a responsible Father, and will not let you get by with sloppy living.

Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood; you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew He was going to do this for you. It is because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

Now that you have cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s Living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! 

1 Peter 1:3-23 MSG

Open up your heart right now.  Listen to Him.  Follow His leading, not just my words.  Man can fail you.  God Cannot and will not ever fail you.  He keeps His promises.  He loves you so very much.  You are His special child, and He wants you to curl up in His arms and feel His eternal, everlasting,  unconditional love.

Blessing, Laurie