I'm just a wife and mother who earnestly desires to grow in my faith and it's demonstration. DISCLAIMER! I have absolutely no problem with women in the clergy. As a matter of fact, I have several female pastors who I consider friends. In my home, the pastor is a male so the pronouns I use to refer to a pastor tend to be male. This is not a statement of any kind. Just a reflection of my every day life!

Posts tagged ‘study’

Quotes

I recently read through a devotional entitled “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyers.  Found a few quotes that jumped out at me and have sort of stuck with me.  Sharing those quotes here!  (All quotes are to be attributed to Joyce Meyers.)

“If the enemy of your mind can convince you that you’re too bad or too worthless, he has set up a stronghold in your mind.”

” . . . Satan is never in a hurry.  All he needs is an opportunity to inject unholy, self-centered thoughts into our heads.  If we don’t kick them out, they stay.  And he can continue his evil, destructive plan.”

“That’s exactly how Satan works.  He begins by bombarding our minds with cleverly devised patterns of irritation, dissatisfaction, doubt, fears, and reasonings.  He moves slowly and cautiously (after all, well-laid plans take time).”

I also just completed a devotional entitled “Praying for Your Elephant – Praying Bold Prayers”.  The quotes below come from that study, written by Pastor Adam Stadtmiller.

“The boundaries of our personal prayer lives often have les to do with biblical restrictions and more to do with the limitations we place on them.”

“The Devil has no ability to contain prayer.  Prayer is spiritually nuclear in nature; it is the raw material of God and His people.  Prayer is out of Satan’s influence.  He has no power to warp or influence a prayer’s trajectory to God’s throne after it has been prayed.  Once a prayer is unleashed, it bounces around eternity in perpetuity, burning before the throne of God like incense.”

“When prayer is primarily about answers, our relationship with God becomes results focused.  When God says no or works outside of our time schedule, we desperately question why and are tempted to feel inadequate or unloved by God.  Be assured that as you grow in the area of asking prayer, the Devil will seek to shift the focus of your prayers from relationship to results.”

“When God answers your prayers in dramatic fashion, you will grow in the knowledge of His power and care for you.  When God works on His schedule instead of yours, you will come to know more about His sustaining power.  And when God says no and your dreams die or perhaps you lose someone close to you, you will come to know the God of all comfort who weeps with you.”

“Here is a truth.  Jesus did not die on a cross so that he could continue to speak to you primarily through some other person, movie, or book.  Christ came and suffered to be known intimately by you and to open up the lines of communication blocked by the fall of mankind.  He came that He might speak mightily and directly to you.  Scripture is clear when it says, ‘Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need. (Heb. 4:16)’ It does not say that we are to approach the throne standing behind a human mediator.”

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Quotes

Nothing super profound from my own head today.  Just some quotes from a Joyce Meyer study I’m doing!

These two deal with the painful issues from the past –

“I encourage people to let go of their past, but never to run from it.  The only way to gain victory over the pain of our past is to let God walk us back through that doorway of pain and into victory.”

We have to let God take us through things and let Him work in us so our mess becomes our message. Difficult things that we have endured in our past prepare us for God’s blessings in our future.”

(Can you tell which phrase really jumped out at me?!)

These were on the subject of joy –

“We will never enjoy life unless we make a quality decision to do so.  Satan is an expert at stealing and our joy is one of his favorite targets.  Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength.  In John 10:10 we are told that “the thief” comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but that Jesus came that we might have and enjoy life.  Satan is the thief, and one of the things he seeks to steal is our joy.  If he can steal our joy from us, we will be weak; and when we are weak, the enemy takes advantage of us. Weak believers are no threat to him and his work of destruction.  In order to live as God intends for us to live, the first thing we must do is truly believe that it is God’s will for us to experience continual joy.  Then we must decide to enter into that joy.

“Joy and enjoyment are available just as misery is available.  Righteousness and peace are available and so are condemnation and turmoil.  There are blessings and curses available, and that is why Deut. 30:19 tells us to choose life and blessings.”

And this was probably my favorite!

“Regardless of how it may happen or who may be responsible, it is hard to go on when everything we have counted on falls down around us.  That’s when those of us who have the creative power of the Holy Spirit on the inside can get a new vision, a new direction, and a new goal to help us overcome the downward pull of disappointment, discouragement, and destruction.”

Still “mentally chewing” on all of these so I’ll just let you do with them what you will! Enjoy!

For Love

“I did not engage in a religious life but for the love of God, and I have endeavoured to act only for Him; whatever becomes of me, whether I be lost or saved, I will always continue to act purely for the love of God.  I shall have this good, at least, that till death I shall have done all that is in me to love Him” – Brother Lawrence.

I just started reading “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence and was struck by this quote.  Everything I have read up to this point – and yes, I’m still in the very early stages of the book – keeps repeating this theme of loving God from a place of pure motives.

Then there was this statement – Brother Lawrence stated that “he was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of God, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even his gifts.” I re-read that statement at least four times.

In our nation, we function on a system of rewards.  Most cultures do.  If you do something “good” or “right” then good things or rewards come to you.  If you do something wrong . . . you get the idea.  Teachers have systems in their classrooms that allow students to earn point for rewards.  Bosses promise raises or promotions for a job well done.

But I think Brother Lawrence is getting to something much purer at the core of his faith.  It’s simply about love.  He sought to love God simply for the sake of loving Him.  It wasn’t a behavior to gain blessings.  In fact, there is mention in the book that “he placed his sins betwixt him and God” as though he needed to remind God NOT to bless him.  But God insisted on offering blessings anyway.

I have not been able to get this concept out of my head – why do I do what I do in my faith walk?  Do I try to show my husband love in the hope that he will show love back to me?  Do I perform acts of kindness for others, hoping that they will comment on my behavior or tell others what I’ve done?

I John 5:3 says “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”  I don’t need to get into a long, drawn-out list of Gods commands here.  We know that he commands us to love others as ourselves, we know that he commands us to control our tongues, to exercise self-control . . . you get the idea.

If I make the focus of my life loving God – expecting nothing from Him in return – and if I fulfill I John 5:3, showing my love for God by keeping his commands, what effect would that have on my little corner of the world?  How would I speak to those around me? How would I react in crazy traffic?  How would I approach someone who has different political views than me? Or someone who mistreats me?

What would happen if all followers of Jesus made it their goal to live each day “for the love of God, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even his gifts.” What would the impact be on the world around us?!  Think about it for a moment.  Every single believer simply seeks to love God by keeping his commands.  Not by doing good works, not by giving lots of money, not by political campaigning.  Simply by loving obedience seeking nothing in return.

In John 13:34 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  Not fix each other, argue with each other, correct each other, bad-mouth each other, avoid each other . . . love each other.  Granted, our fellow human beings are not nearly as easy to love as a perfect Heavenly Father.  But loving Him involves obeying His commands.  Even this one.

Are you willing to make this radical change in your own personal focus?  Am I even capable?

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