Tag Archives: Faith

#3030Challenge Day 1: Driving out bad habits.

Want to know what the #3030Challenge is?

Commit to study the Bible for 30 minutes for 30 days.  Joyce Meyer Ministries has issued the challenge and you can sign up at http://www.joycemeyer.org/

Day 1

Today while reading Numbers 32-33,  My “aha” moment happened when reading the verse Numbers 33:55.

Num 33:55  But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. 

Wow, that is true even today.  They are still being vexed by those inhabitants.  How about you?  What do you need to get rid off that keeps you annoyed, frustrated and worried.

Let’s take a look at the word inhabitants.  If we look to the middle of the word we will find the word habit.  Wouldn’t you agree that any bad habit that we do not drive out of our life can become pricks/splinters in our eyes and thorns in our sides. (think of traveling through a thornbush) If you have ever picked blackberries you may have discovered blackberry thorns attached to your clothes and how annoying and painful that can be if the thorns prick your skin.

Just like traveling through blackberry bushes to find the perfect berries, the thorns on the vines can grab you and hold you back from reaching your destination.  A bad habit can also hold you back from reaching your goals.

 One major habit that many struggle with is doing things later.  “I’ll do it later” or leaving something for someone else to do later can really hold people back and stress relationships.   My favorite comment is “If you don’t have time to do it now, when will you find time to do it later?”

Do you realize that by putting one and two minute tasks off till later can add up to a whole “Later day weekend?” Why put everything off until the weekend.  Why not Do it Now and save your weekends for time with family or finish a project you’ve been working on for years.

Kicking out those “I’ll do it later thoughts” can help you become a “Do it now” person.  Driving out the “I’ll do it later habit” and replacing it with a “do it now” habit.  Will save your weekends, days off and help with your relationships.

What bad habits do you need to drive out of your life today?   Which ones are holding you back and preventing you from reaching your promised land?

Join the #3030Challenge at http://www.joycemeyer.org/ and get inspired today!

Don’t have a Bible reading plan that works for you?   The awmi.net Bible reading plan can help you read the entire Bible in one year.  Print out your own copy here http://s3.awmi.net/downloads/bible-reading-plan.pdf  or search for “Bible Reading plan”  at the top of awmi.net home page.

If you sign up at  joycemeyer.org they will send you information on  #3030Challege and good ideas on getting started with studying your Bible.

Get started today.

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What are you Thinking? Is it Stinking?

ID-10081437Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.

Now, that is a scripture to ponder on.   If we do well, follow the Lords commandments and give our best to him shall we not be accepted?   If we stray from the commandments and give God our leftovers, sin is just outside waiting for an opportunity or a crack in the doorway to wedge its way through.

Let’s back up a bit to the story of Cain and Abel and refresh our memory.   

Gen 4:3-5 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

They often say you need a good theologian to get people confused.  Just sticking to what the Bible says (Yes it’s the KJV) shall we look at it again.    In the process of time, (that’s important to note) Cain brought…. an offering unto the Lord.   And Abel he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof.  And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.   Notice the difference?   Abel brought the firstlings and the fat.    It’s probably true, that the fruit of the ground may not have had any fat in it but that’s another message.    

Abel brought the firstlings or the first fruits.  Cain didn’t.  Did you ever wonder why? What was wrong with Cain?  Why didn’t he want to give God the best of the best from his first harvest?   Could it have been some thoughts like?

“Doesn’t matter what I do it won’t be good enough?”

“God likes Abel better than me anyway; my offering will never be as good as his.”

“Able has a flock; I just have fruit of the ground. I can’t give as good as offering as him.”

“I’ll wait until my offering is perfect and then give it to God.”

I suppose we’ll never know what was running through Cain’s mind. Whatever it was, it prevented Cain from doing his best or even wanting to do well.  God knew that and even commented on it.   “Hey Cain if you do a good job and give me your best you’ll be accepted. If you keep falling away, sin is lying in wait to take you out!”

Isn’t that the truth?  If we know what to do and do it well, things go better for us.  For example, the scripture that encourages us to “take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ.” When we can capture negative thoughts at the beginning we can keep our emotions harnessed and be victorious.  If we dwell and think on things we probably shouldn’t be thinking about… (Shouldn’t take a Prophet or a sign from God on that one… You know what you are thinking about that you probably shouldn’t.)  Well sin lies out there just waiting for a crack to open at the doorway and Booya!!!  You’ve sinned and in some cases like Cain might lose it all.    

Now let’s stop and think for a minute.  Since this whole episode with Cain and Abel happened, Jesus came on the scene and we now have a new covenant.   If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord, he has already redeemed us from the curse of the Law and paid for our sins. Today, we do not have to worry about God not loving us or banishing us if we do wrong.   What we do have to think about is this…

I think the 1965 Bible in Basic English Version of this next scripture said it best.

James 3:16 For where envy is, and the desire to get the better of others, there is no order, but every sort of evil-doing.

That’s what happened to Cain, like the word said and God warned him.  Every sort of evil-doing crept up and took control of Cain and he chose to kill his brother Abel instead of following God’s suggestion to try and do a better job of following Him. 

Probably the thoughts that were giving Cain the most trouble were associated with envy and we see where he failed in taking those thoughts captive and he was banished instead.

What about you?  What thoughts are giving you the most trouble?  What do you find yourself thinking about too much?  If anyone else knew what you were thinking about, how would it make them feel?  Do you find yourself being drawn to certain thoughts?  What triggers those thoughts? Do you secretly enjoy daydreaming about things others would find appalling?  If so….. Now is the time to start taking those thoughts under control.  The Devil is always waiting for an opportunity or “door” to get through to destroy individuals, relationships, marriages, families, Churches, Ministries, and anything else.  He’s not picky he just likes to destroy things.   

Ok I hear you out there moaning  …”OK already you’ve made your point. Now what do I do about it?”

One of my favorite fathers of faith is Jesse Duplantis.   I like how he puts it.  “Admit it, Quit it, and Forget it.” Now depending on your situation you may not want to admit what you were thinking about to anyone but God.  Use wisdom.  If Eve would have kept her mouth shut and not mentioned to Adam what she was thinking… we literally would be living in a different world.    

Use the following scripture to help you defeat the thoughts that are preventing fellowship with God, leading you to sin, or both. 

Php 4:4 Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here.  Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.  Finally, my friends keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.

 In a nutshell, rejoice because the Lord has delivered you.  Don’t worry about not thinking about something.  Instead pray about what to think on that is good and have God show you what the original problem was that made you start having stinking thinking.  Then trust God to give you peace.  Finally, keep your mind on good things, don’t let your mind wander and if certain television shows, movies, songs, video games, books, websites, or magazines are hindering your progress.  Don’t watch, listen, play, or look at them.    

We may not have the same devastating effects that Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel had from not being able to take thoughts captive.   However, some thoughts do lead to some sins and those sins can change our whole world.   Just like Adam’s family, what they had was gone and they were never able to recover what they had lost.   Abel was gone, Cain was banished and…well you know the rest of the story. 

Get rid of your stinkin’ thinkin’ and let Philippines 4:4-8 be your guide. Choose to think on good things this year…God Bless.

 

Image Courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2014©AccessN2Grace

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Pastor Appreciation Month

This month is highlighted as Pastor Appreciation month.  A time of reflection and blessing of the one who has fed you throughout the year.  Typically this is for a church congregation to plan, and sneak around gathering bloopers of the Pastor throughout the year for almost a “roast” so to speak.  And then after the church family has had their fun it’s a time of reflection and blessing.

Here at AccessN2Grace I want to express my appreciation for the various ministries and ministers that brought new light into a dark world and are also restoring the value of Calvary.  So many have forgotten what Jesus has done for us.  Much was accomplished on the cross and completed for all time.    Our healing and forgiveness have been paid for.   Everything that Jesus died for has been done.   When we sin, Jesus doesn’t go back to the cross and he for sure doesn’t want us to beg forgiveness from him.  He’s already done it.

“You’ve already Got it”  has been a life changing message for many this year.   I’ve heard many ministries this year turn around and get on the other side of the cross.   We are no longer waiting for Jesus to finish his work.   Jesus has done all he is going to do so it is time for us to step around on the other side and accept the finished work.   Even Jesus himself declared “It is finished!”

I will admit that it was the minister Creflo Dollar that arrested my attention. I’ll look to see which message it was but he was asking the congregation about praying for others and prayer chains.  He asked a question and I was half listening to him.  The congregation and me answered yes and then he said “NO”.   I shut everything down that  I was doing and backed up the video and listened.  Wow!  what a revelation.

During my research this year, I have stumbled across Andrew Wommack.   I have really enjoyed his teachings.  I’ve listened to old ones and new ones that you can download for free.  At one point in his life many years ago he and his wife could not afford teaching.  Which is so sad.  I wish I could have been there to buy it for them and I wonder if there isn’t someone somewhere kicking themselves for being prompted to buy it for them but they didn’t.    I truly appreciate Andrew Wommack Ministries and the Charis Christian Center in Colorado.  It is very refreshing to hear teaching about what Jesus has done for us and is readily available for us.

I also stumbled across Joan Hunter Ministries during my research.  Her parents were the “Happy Hunters” let me tell you..I know what made them Happy and everyone else who attended their meetings.    Joan is continuing in her parents footsteps and let me tell you people are Happy that attend the meetings.  I had the pleasure of attending one of her meetings live and I was truly amazed at how easy people’s lives were changed.  People were crying and yelling and so happy that they could do things they could not do before entering the building.   If I could imagine Jesus just walking around doing good and healing the sick.    That was what she did.   No push downs, no yelling no screaming  no “working up the anointing” just a simple ask the person what is wrong and then watch Jesus fix it.  Now that was cool to watch.

My slant for Pastor Appreciation is to bless those that feed you.   If your local church Pastor feeds you then by all means bless his socks off.  But, don’t forget the ministries that offer free materials and television broadcasts/podcasts  that you feed on everyday or weekly.

One more thing…don’t wait til October every year to be a blessing to your Pastor and the other ministries that feed you.  And don’t wait for your Pastor to ask for help.  They won’t.  They are trusting God for their personal needs so they won’t ask.

Just found out today that a local pastor didn’t have enough money for shoes for himself and his kids.  What a shocker!!!   You really want to bless your Pastor…take him shopping or take his wife and kids shopping for an outfit or two.      With what I am learning a certain % of offerings go to fees etc.  If you want to bless your Pastor directly without any of  the money going somewhere else.  skip the tax deduction and give him cash or fill up his car the next time you meet him at the gas station. Buy his lunch when you see him out at a restaurant.    Each church/denomination have their own systems some may give the Pastor all the Pastor appreciation offering.  Find out what your church does. This also pertains to traveling ministers not all of the offerings may be given to him or her.  As much as 20% or more  may be deducted  by the host church for their expenses.  Each church/denomination are different.  Find out what your church does and maybe give your traveling minister a good Andrew Jackson handshake if a large portion of the offering goes to cover church expenses.

Finally,  letting your Pastor know that you “hear” him or her and you are getting their messages.  One of the most frustrating things is working all week long on a message for the people and then wondering if anyone is getting it.

(Word to Pastors here:  If your people are falling asleep preach something that will keep them awake.  There is nothing about Jesus or his ministry that is something to snooze about.  Preach something worth listening to.)

To the rest of us, ministers rarely hear “That made an impression on me that is life changing.”    One sentence I will gladly say to  Creflo Dollar ministries, Andrew Wommack Ministries, Joan Hunter Ministries, Bill Winston Ministries, Jim Hockaday Ministries, Charis Christian Center, and Joseph Prince Ministries.    I wish I could say thanks to those who went before us in the 1800’s and 1950’s. To all of you Thanks so much and it’s coming back.   It is refreshing that some of those great teachings are still circulating today.  I don’t know how all these candles were shoved under buckets but the Word is coming back and we are awakening to all that Jesus has done.

It’s not about U or what U do, it’s about what Jesus has done 4 U.