Laying aside Falsehood

Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.Ephesians‬ ‭4:25‬ ‭‬‬

I value honesty. There was a time in my life where I was anything but honest. As an adolescent I could spend the best tale. I’m not sure I was honest about anything on the front side of things. I lied about my age, often my name, what I did, and who I was. Even from childhood I learn to lie about my thoughts and feelings, even to those I should’ve been safe to share them with.

As I grew closer to the Lord I realized that my past did not defined me and that truth was more important. By being a person of extremes, I shared truth boldly; just not always in love. I stopped dancing around the elephants in the room; yet, quickly trampled on others with my honest declarations. I put away falsehood, but I didn’t love my neighbor as myself. Or maybe I did; it just wasn’t God’s love. I learned to be brutally honest, with an emphasis on brutally.

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.Ephesians‬ ‭4:14-16‬ ‭‬‬

I am still learning to speak the truth in love. I know that people receive truth differently. I want to “just say it”; knowing that my heart is for people,not against them. Yet, not everyone knows my heart. Not everyone can handle the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Some people need to process truth, like I need to process deep emotions. Any trying to speed that up, just because it’s good for me, isn’t always what is good for the other person. It may cause harm instead of bringing the intended consequences.

These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord.”Zechariah‬ ‭8:16-17‬

As a member one of another, I have to remember hurting another, even if it is with the truth, hurts me also. I can’t break a leg and not have to over compensate with other parts of my body to make up for the brokenness. I have to set aside falsehood but it should build up, not break down when it is done in love. I know there may be times God has me speak the whole truth even when someone is not ready to hear it, but it will strengthen the body and act as a catalyst of growth when they receive it.

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:11‬ ‭‬‬

We have to speak truth to each other. Falsehood has no place in the body. We are called to build each other up, and at times that means correction or saying tough things. When done in love, God will use the truth to set us free, strengthen one another, and bring growth to the body,.

Prayer – Lord thank you for growth in my life. Help me to speak the truth in love knowing that I am guided by your Holy Spirit and not by my own will or thinking. I think you for grace and mercy when I miss it. I pray for those I have spoken truth to that you allow them to know my heart and bring healing or my words have caused..

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Processed Piles

Sitting at the claim watching my husband prospect, I was again looking for what lesson God wanted to show me. I am always reminded of the scriptures that talk of searching for treasure when we are at one of the claims.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed 2 Corinthians 4:6-9

My husband has started using a different machine called a dry washer. My simplified idea is that you shovel dirt in on the first layer, which slides downthrough a funnel to the next layer. The machine basically puffs the dirt up in hope that the heavier gold will fall down into the ripples.

Tossed before Processing

He no longer has to sift out the larger material with the dry wash. He can shovel it right in, rocks and all. He will usually toss the bigger rocks to the side, as he loosens the dirt with his pick or shovel. It makes a pretty good pile, but is less work for the machine.

He tells me he should run the material two or three times to make sure that he gets most of the gold. In the past, the process has been cut short while I am with him. Initially it was by error, but twice now it has been because of rain. Actually watching the process is all new to me.

Processed Pile – 1st Run

As he completed his first run through of the material, there was a large pile of rocks on the front side of the washer. These rocks fall off because they could not fit through the grate on the first part of the machine that lets the dirt funnel down into the through the dry washer. On the back side is the dirt that had been processed by the machine. Some dirt and the gold is left in the ripples of the machine for the concentrate he will hand pan when we return home.

After finishing running all the dirt that he planned to process for the day, he moved his dry washer to the other side of the finished dirt pile, to make for easier shoveling.

2nd Run

I was surprised that the second time he ran the material, there were again rocks on the front side. I didn’t understand how they made it through the process the first time. He told me sometimes, the rocks land just perfect on the grate to slip through. A couple of the larger rocks were just from the ground around his processed pile. The third run, he did not move the washer machine and very little continued to fall on the front side. It appeared to just be finer rocks or dust from the machine speed.

I also looked in the hole where he was digging and noticed that there is a very large rock that he has been digging around. From the outside looking in, it looks rather ominous.

the rock he’s digging around

I thought about how this is such a great picture of how God works in our life. He has to remove so much to get to the treasure He sees in us. As we draw closer to Him, He can toss some things aside from our life. He has to work on us in layers, digging deep, and often around big boulders we are not ready to have removed.

All the while there is this giant thing in our life, a bolder of sort, that God wants to remove. He knows how dangerous that could be for us if our foundation is not firm in the knowledge of who He is. So he just keeps working around it until we are ready for Him to remove it. He knows it is not something we can remove on our own.

He continues to work in our life. There are things that He allows to pass through the initial process. But He continues to refine us, removing more and more of the things that are not like Him. We are renewed by His Word, and those truths begin to drop down and become what remains. All the while, the things of this world are being slowly processed away. It gets less and less, but it becomes finer in detail.

When I allowed God to get hold of my life, it was easy to set aside the promiscuity and drugs. I stopped drinking every weekend. I stopped cussing, so much. I admit a word will still come out every now and then. I think of this layer of work as the things people typically say Christians don’t do. Although it is a work of God, it can usually be an intentional choice on our side to refrain from the behaviors.

Honestly for a long while in my life I was great staying in the first stage. I could look at the pile of large rocks God had removed from my life and see change. I didn’t realize I needed to be processed again and again. I was looking like a Christian and that was good enough to me.

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.””
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭‬‬

I am glad that although I thought I was done, God knew I needed more work. He didn’t stop working on me, even though I drastically slowed His progress with my actions. I went to church, and at times His presence would penetrate my shell, or a Word would challenge my status quo.

He started to remove other things off my life. I can remember thinking that pastor’s were preaching directly to me. The enemy had convinced me I was the only one dealing with issues, so obviously the preacher had to be talking to me. When I ignored that promptings, I would find the same message being preached by two to three televangelists. I knew He was trying to get my attention. Eventually I surrendered to the next processing He wanted to take me through.

I began to put the needs of others before my own. It was a big change for a girl who thought the world revolved around her. I admit I still had my priorities wrong because it was other people, not my families needs, that I was attending to, but it was a start. It took many rounds of processing to get to God, spouse, children, family, church, others. Sometimes I still miss the mark, but I know He is working on getting the treasure in that area.

Another area He was working was my speech. I have always been straightforward, but my bluntness could often be intentionally ruthless. I was a hurting person, who hurt others purposefully. My words were a precision tool of destruction. God used a lot of things to bring change there. God doesn’t waste anything, even secular training to teach His children. I am still straightforward, but more often than not, I can now speak the truth in love. I can hold my tongue when its not beneficial. I can bring life and encouragement, even in correction when I submit my speech to Him.

God has continued to work through some of the more noticeable things that others could still see, but were often blind spots to me. I know there are still areas He is working, and I am okay with receiving continued correction. I realize the Lord prunes and disciplines those He loves, and that He has been pruning a lot more than He has had to disciple as time goes on in my surrendered relationship with Him.

A few years back, I started to engage in an intense discipleship process. It was then, that God started processing the third cycle. He began showing me internal thoughts that were still shaping my actions. I began work on the internal side of transformation. He began pulling out roots of rejection. In a deep time of prayer, He revealed to me that I did not truly trust Him. I saw the religious stronghold in my life, the works mentality that deeply engrained in my life, and how I allowed past failures and my perceived expectations to keep me from stepping out where I knew He was directing my steps.

Letting God process the piles in our life, takes a lifetime. I want it to be a one and done processed pile. It has been thirty-seven years and He is still working on my piles! I realize I can’t reach perfection this side of heaven, if I could I would not need Him anymore.

And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 1 Corinthians 15:49

Some things can easily be tossed aside when we become a Christian. God will start to work on refining us so that our witness is strong before others as we submit to Him. God continues to work around the big areas in our life, refining and pruning until we are ready to have the big things removed that have so shaped our life. God will continue to work on the areas of our life that have been shaped through our past, the thoughts that are so deeply engrained we don’t even realize how they have taken us off His best path for our life.

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Hearing Faith

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.Romans‬ ‭10:17‬

I read some more recently about how modern churches tend to pick out a few scriptures and develop a message around them. But also how the foundation of Christianity full chapters of books would be read aloud in ministry to the people. I know I have heard many preachers skip over passages in a chapter for “time sake”. All Scriptures have a purpose. If faith comes from hearing the word of God it should be the primary focus of a message, not part that is skipped over for time sake.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭‬‬

Faith comes by hearing not reading.

Lexicon :: Strong’s G189 – akoē. thing heard; a. instruction, namely oral; specifically, the preaching of the gospel,

God spoke into to creation (Genesis 1).

This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;”. James‬ ‭1:19‬ ‭‬‬

Jesus repeatedly said “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.Matthew‬ ‭11:15‬ ,‭‭ Mark‬ ‭4:23‬, Mark‬ ‭7:16‬, Mark‬ ‭4:9‬, Luke‬ ‭14:35‬ ‭‬‬

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

Even as I write this, I feel a slight conviction that I blog because that is red, and not heard. I have not been one who wants my face plastered on the screen. I felt it is God not me that should be seen. It is his words not mine that need to be heard. I prefer to write the vision and love it. Not speak it but maybe this is wrong

Prayer – Lord, I’m not sure where You were leading me, but I hear Your voice. I recognize it. Help me, to see clearly what You are asking of me. I don’t want to miss You. You also know I don’t want to step out on my own. Guide me, direct me in Your ways.

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Prepared by the Word

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.2 Timothy‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭‬‬

Scripture teaches, convicts, restores to right state with God, and instructs us to increase virtue and righteousness. These tasks prepare us to be completely ready and capable of the good works Christ called us too.

One of the things I love about counseling is that Scripture can be given to believers and unbelievers alike. It still can be used to help regardless of their faith. I can use Biblical principles to teach my clients, to correct thinking errors, to challenge and instruct. The Word of God applied to a life, produces transformation.

Usually they are lessons God has given me through the years. Scripture that has come alive in my life. I have seen how Scriptures have changed my own life, and can share that with others. Sometimes a I am blessed to share directly from the Word, other times it is the principle taught through the Word.

The Word has been taught to me from a young age. The Holy Spirit showed me how to apply it to my own life. He allowed it to correct me when I needed it, often bring me back again and again because of my stubborn ways. Conviction has been gentle, yet clear and firm; so I will be receptive to it. I was able to allow the word to restore me to right standing with Christ. He shows me the path to take and the lines to stay in through His Word.

Prayer – Lord I’ve always loved Your Word. In learning your way through Bible story books read to me by my parents and memorizing scriptures during my childhood. I thank You for introducing me to the power of the Holy Spirit as a young adult. I praise You now helping me to know the work that You created me for. You have used the Word to equip me and make me ready to complete those callings that You prepared me for. I thank You for Your Word, that it is living and transforms lives. I pray that You continue to keep that desire in my heart, to read it daily and to apply it to my life.

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Uprooted

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;”. Hebrews‬ ‭12:15‬ ‭‬‬

God‘s grace and powers me to do what I can’t do on my own. That includes forgiving those that have done me wrong. When I think of wrong done to me, I go to a specific place and time.

My heart hurts for what happened there. For a long time, I let that hurt take root in my life. The bitterness wanted to grow. By God’s grace, I was able to uproot the seed.

I realized the hurt they caused me was in the past. The hurt they caused was nothing to them after the fact. I doubt it gave them a moment of pause. Hanging onto the bitterness was causing me trouble. I was allowing their actions to defile me, but it wasn’t them that caused the defilement.

For a long time I thought that what they had done to me, what they had said about me was what defiled me. They may have tarnished my reputation. But, it was my choice to defile who I really was. I was not living in integrity of forgiveness and grace.

He gave me opportunity to bless each of those who hurt me. I was able to choose to help each in a personal way when God gave me opportunity. The relationships were not restored, but I am not sure they were meant to be. I can be civil and support success for each of them. I learned to pray for them and wish them the best.

Prayer – Lord, please let me continue to walk in your grace and forgiveness. I don’t want any root of bitterness to spring up in my life. I don’t need any added trouble and I don’t want to be defiled. You’ve already paid the price for me to walk in complete grace and forgiveness.

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Put On

Today in church, Pastor Ness talked briefly about things that we need to put on. He mentioned righteousness, the armor of God, the new creation, and light. Maybe it stood out to me as I recently studied out the Armor of God. Maybe it was that putting something on takes an intentional effort, and I know that is something God has been speaking to me about. I started thinking about other Scriptures where we are told to “put on” various things. I decided to study it out.

Put OnStrong’s G1746 – endyō– to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one’s self

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”” I Corinthians‬ ‭15:53-54‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Colossians‬ ‭3:12-14‬ ‭‬‬

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.Galatians‬ ‭3:27‬ ‭‬‬

The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
‭‭Romans‬ ‭13:12-14‬ ‭‬‬

and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians‬ ‭4:23-24‬ ‭‬‬

and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:10‬ ‭‬‬

We have to choose daily the clothes that we put on. I know I have left home without my coat before and regretted my decision. I am quickly learning that based on elevation, I can leave in shorts and need a winter coat when I reach the top of the mountain. I have to be intentional, I have to be prepared for what I might be walking into.

It is no different as Christians. We also have to chose to put on Christ and the things that help us to show Him to the world around us. We have to be intentionally prepared for what we are walking into, and most of the time we have no clue the spiritual warfare we are walking into as our day begins. We have to be intentional to put on the things of God as our day starts. We have to make sure that we don’t shed them for our flesh’s convenience as the day goes on. Some days we may need to put things on again and again so that we can walk not in our flesh but in the Spirt.

Prayer – Lord, I know sometimes I take off what You tell me to put on. Kindness, humility, long suffering, forgiveness, love, I admit sometimes I let my flesh strip off these things that You have called me to put on. I thank You for Your forgiveness and grace, but also know Lord, I want to do better. I want to stay clothed in Christ. I want my life to reflect You on every level, at every place, to everyone. I know I can’t do that on my own, but a I know Your grace empowers me to do what I cannot on my own. I surrender this to You, Lord. Help to to be intentional with what I put on, and to keep it on!

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The Leaven of Compromise

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?1 Corinthians‬ ‭5:6‬

My mom used to make homemade rolls and bread. I feel like I have a lot of memories of those but maybe it was just holidays. When I learned how To make them I was amazed at what the little packet of us could do when activated.

This passage is about sexual immorality. Paul shared how it poisons the church. Paul was telling the church to not let the actions of a few in fact the whole body. I have seen this impact many churches. Whether it has been from the head leader or a member. I have seen it handled effectively and I have seen it tear apart churches. I have seen it tear down people. Christ also talked about the religious leaders and their rules as leaven.

I thought about how this passage applies to my own life. I asked myself what leaven I have allowed to activate and to spread in my life.

I think complacency has been one that kind of took over. I was still getting into prayer and reading my Bible. I was not pressing into his presence though.

I remember reading a book entitled “The Great Compromise” by Greg Laurie. What I remember about the book is that while we are looking for “big sin,” we fail to recognize how far path we get by just making “little compromises”.

The small compromises we allow with our character, integrity and time get us off track. That is where my complacency is. The small actions that lead me farther away from the path I am supposed to be traveling.

In aviation, there is a rule of thumb known as 1 in 60 rule. For every 1° a plane veers off course, it misses its destination by 1 mile for every 60 miles flown. If you veer off 1° at the equator, you could land 500 miles off target.

That’s why it is so important to stay on the path that God directs. One small compromise in our character or even time came take us places we never intended to travel. Making a decision to go through the motions and not press in, at one time was where I was. I needed to develop a habit of spending time in the Word and prayer. I have that habit now. I need to be abiding in His presence, anything less is a compromise.

Prayer – Lord, thank You for Your mercy and grace that is new every morning. I want to follow Your path. Where I have veered off course Lord, correct me. I want to be obedient to You.

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Armored Stand

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians‬ ‭6:11

Two things stand out to me in this scripture. The first is we need the WHOLE armor of God. Second, we are called to stand firm. The key to being able to stand is the whole armor of God. The armor is described in Ephesians 6:14-18.

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,”. Ephesians‬ ‭6:14-18‬ ‭‬‬

I decided to take a deep dive into what this armor is really made of with the Blue Letter Bible. I know the armor of God covers us from head to toe. I wanted to know what I am really putting on to stand against the enemy. I am not a Greek scholar, I just try to find the particular verse in the midst of all the definitions and words in the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on the BlueLetterBible.org website. When I came across a word I didn’t know, I would use the look-up option on my phone to get a general consensus of what the word meant, those words from other sites are in parentheses and not italicized.

Truth Strong’s G225 – alētheia (subjectively) truth as a personal excellence; that candor of mind which is free from affectation (facade), pretence, simulation (imitation of a situation), falsehood, deceit; sincerity of mind and integrity of character, or a mode of life in harmony with divine truth:

Righteousness Strong’s G1343 – dikaiosynē integrity, virtue, purity of life, uprightness, correctness in thinking, feeling, and acting

ReadinessStrong’s G2091 – hetoimasiathe condition of a person or thing so far forth as prepared, preparedness, readiness: with the promptitude (the quality of acting quickly and without delay) and alacrity (eagerness, brisk and cheerful readiness) which the gospel produces,

PeaceStrong’s G1515 – eirēnē – according to a conception distinctly peculiar to Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is:

FaithStrong’s G4102 – pistis – a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and conjoined with it: b. in reference to Christ, it denotes “a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God”

SalvationStrong’s G4992 – sōtērios – simply, equivalent to the hope of (future) salvation

The SpiritStrong’s G4151 – pneuma – God’s power and agency — distinguishable in thought (or modalistice, as they say in technical speech) from God’s essence in itself considered — manifest in the course of affairs, and by its influence upon souls productive in the theocratic body (the church) of all the higher spiritual gifts and blessings; the Holy Spirit; in the power of the Spirit, possessed and moved by the Spirit,

Word of GodStrong’s G4487 – rhēma – properly, that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word: saving truth which has God for its author,

PrayingStrong’s G4336 – proseuchomaito offer prayers, to pray

PrayerStrong’s G4335 – proseuchē prayer addressed to God

SupplicationStrong’s G1162 – deēsisseeking, asking, entreating, (Implore, plead with to persuade, ask urgently) entreat: contextually, of prayers imploring God’s aid in some particular matter: supplication for others

Keep alert – Strong’s G69 – agrypneōto be circumspect, (cautious) attentive, ready: to be intent upon a thing

PerseveranceStrong’s G4343 – proskarterēsis persistency ***Of note this is the only time this word is used in the Bible

SaintsStrong’s G40 – hagios – most holy thing, a saint

That was a lot of words and definitions. I typically hear about putting on the armor of God but not really about what that means. We’re told to to put on the helmet of salvation, the belt of truth, the breast plate of righteousness but really what do those words mean. I have went through the motions of putting the different pieces of armor on but I didn’t really know what I was putting on.

As I looked through each of these words, I realize in order to stand against the enemy, I have to consciously put on personal excellence, integrity of character, that is in line with God. I have to put on correctness in my thinking my feeling and my acting. I have to put on being able to quickly respond with peace – not only with God but with where I am at life, in the moment. I have to put on a firm conviction of who Christ is and who I am in Him. I have to have a conviction of my salvation in Him. I have to take His Word and apply it to my life, for the situation I am standing. I have to pray like it really matters, in the moving of the Spirit. I have to persevere, being cautious. I need to be praying for the needs of others also.

That’s a lot more than standing idly by in a suit that covers me from head to toe. It’s a lot more than pretending to put on different pieces of armor to protect my head or my heart and my feet. I have to put all of that on before I engage the enemy and keep it on while I stand. We’re not just getting dressed we are actively engaging in warfare in our armored stance.

StandStrong’s G2476 – histēmi – stand, Metaphorically, one who in the midst of a fight hold his position against the foe.

I realize from this definition that we may not gain territory in the fight. But when we take a stand, we don’t lose any either. We hold our position when the enemy schemes against us .

Prayer – Lord, putting on the armor of God just took on a whole other meaning to me. It’s not a passive thing that I do at the start of my day, to put on the armor of God. It’s a continual process if I want to stand firm. Help me to apply this to my life now. Help me to teach this to others so that they can stand against the wiles of the enemy. Teach us to stand. Not just in some armor that is more than we understand, but to take an armored stand in the way that Your word tells us to.

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Confirmation of Peace

not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.” 2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:2‬

Make Up Your Mind To Live Fearlessly And Peacefully in These Last Days! message from Rick Renner on this passage spells out this passage so perfectly. It is talking about the coming of Christ and all the events leading up to it. I recognize we are facing a lot of the things described. We still need to stay in peace.

Reading Make Up Your Mind To Live Fearlessly And Peacefully in These Last Days! today, especially the breakdown of the scriptures that was given, really ministered to where I am right now. I love how God can take something completely unrelated and use it to minister in the moment.

In the past two weeks, I learned that a coworker, three managers and someone in higher leadership are all leaving the company that I work for. That’s a lot of change, even for someone who can generally roll with change. On top of that, church hasn’t been in person due to Covid exposure. My husband and I are in the middle of buying a home which will impact us financially, but we are currently in the waiting process where a lot of paperwork has to be sent and signed. I have peace about everything that I’ve been going through; although there are moments, I’m like “God what is going on?”

I know that He is in control. I had answered my other daily devotion which asked “As you listen to God speak in your difficult time, what do you hear him saying?” I wrote “I hear the Lord say “trust me. I’ve got you. We’ve got this. Rest in me. And obey. I already have victory.” Then I read this devotion. Talk about confirmation.

Prayer – Lord I love when You speak to me in ways that I so easily recognized it to You. It used to take three or four but now I see and You confirm. Thank You for growing me. Thank You for giving me peace. Lord I do trust You. Help me to hear and obey.

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Managing Well

He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?1 Timothy‬ ‭3:4-5

This is one of those passages is easy to skip over because it refers to official leaders in the church. I know that I am not a pastor, an elder or bishop. That doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be applied to the lives of believers.

Manage – Strong’s G4291 – proistēmi in the transitive tenses to set or place before; to set over. (a) to be over, to superintend, preside over

Household – Strong’s G3624 – oikos by metonymy, the inmates of a house, all the persons forming one family, a household:

Again, it’s easy for me to cop out and say man is the head of the household, since I’m married. As a wife though, I still preside over my home. I have duties as a wife, mother, and daughter. If I am not managing well my family, then I need to take a step back from ministry. My first priority is to manage well my family.

I admit most of my kids lives, I was not good at managing a household. In part, I was young and spoiled. As I grew older, I had my priorities all messed up. I put work and service before my family. God clearly did not intend for that to occur. I put my kids before my spouse, which was wrong. Though I thought I was putting God first, I put service before personal relationship with Him. I went through the motions. I was faithful to the letter of the law. I had too many walls that I used to compartmentalize my life from God to follow the Spirit of it. I tried y to control what I gave Him access to..

All the while I was trying to help others manage their lives, their families. Not always through church, although I was generally involved in at least children’s ministry. I was in a position of leadership in the community through my career.

Looking back I can certainly see the times that I was most effective is when I was making intentional efforts to manage well my household. When I put my relationship with God first, he lined things out in the other areas. When I was honoring my husband, our children benefited. Not that God didn’t use me at other times but I certainly didn’t make it easy.

Prayer – Lord, I am blessed that Your grace covered my children, who are now productive adults. Thank You for grandkids that give me a second chance at getting priorities straight and being able to help their parents do the same. I am grateful that You protected my marriage and that despite a divorce, and the filing for a second, we have twenty-two years behind us and still going strong in our thirty years together. I am glad that You have given me a front row seat to the transformation of people’s lives and that I can share You and the lessons I’ve learned with confidence. Thank You for helping me see my mistakes, forgiving me in my repentance, and redeeming the time!!!

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