This is my Bible.
I am what it says I am.
I have what it says I have.
I can do what it says I can do.
Today, I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess:
My mind is alert, My heart is receptive.
I will never be the same.
In Jesus name. Amen.
I remember watching Joel O’Steen during some of the darkest times of my life. I would hear him say the above words at the beginning of his talk and while I really enjoyed saying it with him, I am just now coming to understand the power of that proclamation.
Today, as I strive to not only believe IN God, but wholly turn my heart to BELIEVING God, these words mean so much to me every morning as I pick my bible and begin my morning study time.
Coming to understand that the words of the Bible are true. That the promises are true and available to me, has been life changing .
I pray that today, as you find time to spend in The Word, that you will be convinced that when you boldly approach God with an alert mind and a receptive heart, believing that you are what the bible says you are, that you can do what He says you can do and that as you are taught The Word of God, you will never be the same. In Jesus’ Name!
2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Over the past few days I’ve been asking God to shine light on to His Word as I continue my journey in understanding more about who He is and who I am in Him.
And not only who I am in Him, but asking Him to show me His love and grace for all of us who acknowledge His presence in our lives even in the midst of less than perfect choices of word, thought and deed.
This morning in my quiet time as I began to break down the above verse, I was instantly reminded that in the beginning when we cried out and asked Christ into our lives, it truly was only the beginning of the journey.
I love that as I began to define specific words, God reminded me again and again that He does not expect perfection and that to become the person He wants us to be takes time.
In reviewing the definitions below we can see that making the attempt and having the desire to obtain (more of God) is how it begins. Yet it is only the beginning. We are told to turn from our sinful ways, however that too, takes time. It is not instantaneous. At least for me it wasn’t. When I think of moving in a circular motion, I can’t help but picture my phone as I download music -the image of that little circle, filling up, with what seems like ever increasing slowness. That’s how my journey has been and still continues to be. My turning is done in a slow, ever curving way. One of the things that I love about God’s beautiful faithfulness is during this process He loves me unconditionally, He forgives me and pours out blessings on me (and heals the land) through it all.
God is asking us to make the attempt, to put forth some effort to get to know His Son and when we do that He will begin to turn our hearts towards Him, guiding us through a beautiful journey of Grace as He transforms us from the inside out.
attempt to find (something).”they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds”
search for, try to find, look for, be on the lookout for, be after, hunt for, be in quest of
“they sought shelter from the winter snows”
attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something).”the new regime sought his extradition”
try to obtain, work toward, be intent on, aim at/for More
ask for (something) from someone.”he sought help from the police”
ask for, request, solicit, call for, entreat, beg for, petition for, appeal for, apply for, put in for “he sought help from the police”
make an effort to achieve or complete (something, typically a difficult task or action).”she attempted a comeback in 1989″
try, strive, aim, venture, endeavor, seek, undertake, make an effort; More
a long or arduous search for something.
verb: turn; 3rd person present: turns; past tense: turned; past participle: turned; gerund or present participle: turning
move or cause to move in a circular direction wholly or partly around an axis or point.
2. change in nature, state, form, or color; become.
“Emmeline turned pale”
become, develop into, turn out to be; be transformed into, metamorphose into, descend into, grow into
“their honeymoon turned into a nightmare”
become, go, grow, get
“Emma turned red”
convert, change, transform, make;
adapt, modify, rebuild, reconstruct
“he turned the house into apartments”
So many times the encouragement has been “be strong in the Lord” but what I found was that I usually took it to mean -I can do this, I’ve got this, I can do anything… yes I know He’s with me, yes I know He can do all things…but somehow I missed the point of IN the Lord … if I am not IN Him – meaning, IN the word, IN the truth of the Bible, purposefully aligning my thoughts to His, learning His Word, studying and growing IN His Word, then I am just being strong in myself.
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
We all need the milk -the things in the Bible that tell us who we are in Christ and build us up and build others up and allows us to feel good about ourselves but there comes a time when we need solid food when we get up in line with God His thoughts and His actions and His purpose for our life.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand…
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.
Today God put a spot light a light on Ephesians 6:13 in a way that said to stand firm with the armor of God, we must first do something! For me, today, This is a call to action!
And after you have done everything…
While I don’t if I am correct in my interpretation of the scripture, This morning reflecting on this verse it stood out to me that we as believers, who trust in the Lord, cannot just assume that because we believe, that the armor of God will just fall onto our shoulders and protect us from the evil one.
We must first do everything to prepare.
So what does this mean? What is it that we are supposed to do? Reading back in Ephesians, we can find the answer when Paul outlines the instructions for Christian living in Ephesians 4:22 and on…
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
It goes on to list many other helpful and important things like not sinning when you’re angry, not giving the Devil a foothold, not stealing, not letting any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth-
to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit And to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God for gave you.
If you’re anything like me , we tell God, wow that’s a lot, but we strive to do this each and every day but still find ourselves struggling.
So how can we set ourselves to do the everything that God calls us to do in order to be able to stand? I can’t help but feel this morning as God has revealed His word to me this week yet again about the power of our thoughts, that it all starts with our mindset.
22…to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
in order to put off our old self, you know, the one who jacked everything up, we first must be made new in the attitude of our minds! It’s what got us into trouble to begin with!
This is our call to action! Our thoughts are not up to anyone but ourselves. God created us with a creative mind and gave us the ability to choose what we think about. As sinners, we are often dragged into the dark turmoil of sin in our minds which hinders us from doing any of the above Godly instructions. But we have the power as a human being to choose! To make a choice if we will think on the promises in the Bible and the truth of God’s word or on worldly things that continuously surround us.
God in His infinite wisdom, grace and unconditional love for us gave us free will
Freedom to choose Him as our Lord and Savior
Freedom to follow Him
Freedom to choose the thoughts we think
Freedom to act on the truth
Freedom to fight
We must die to self in order to live in Christ. Our flesh doesn’t want to go willingly and it becomes a battle. It is literally an every day fight to the death!
We cannot, will not win this battle alone. It is only when we ask God to place Jesus on the throne of our hearts and fill us with the holy spirit that He will Bring forth his gloriously planned victory!
Do you remember the story? Jesus had been healing a large crowd and the disciples wanted to send the people away to get food. Jesus told the disciples to feed the people. Their response is found in In Matthew 14 verses 17
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
But notice Jesus’s answer
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
I’m reminded how often my response is like the disciples. There’s not enough. Not enough time, not enough money, not even enough of me. Worry sets in and I become fearful of not being able to help take care of the needs of my family, or anything else that God may ask of me.
But the light of hope shines in verse 18 “bring them here to me”
By laying my whole heart, and the amount of time and money that I do have at the foot of the cross, I can faithfully trust in His provision. And because He’s so good, not only does He provide, but He provides abundantly.
What are you feeling like you don’t have enough today? Bring it to Jesus and watch as He blesses it and turns it into more than you ever imagined.
I want to encourage you to believe that today is going to be a good day. No matter what you’re facing, if you are tired, have lots to get done, or just not feeling it today, take a few minutes, seek God first and ask Him to guide you and give you strength for the busy day ahead. Ask Him to guide your words and actions today. Believe that He is with you and will help you. If you ask Him to, He will give you the courage and wisdom to make today better than you ever imagined.
Prayer for today:
God, thank you for being faithful and for hearing my prayer. I asked that you cleanse my heart and forgive me for the things that I have done that has not shown that I value our relationship. I ask that you be with me today. I need you. Life is so busy, I have so much to get done and I don’t know how to accomplish this on my own. I believe that you love me and care for me. Fill my heart and let it overflow into my actions today. Thank you for Jesus, it’s in His name I pray. Amen