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A quote I once heard Ravi Zaccharias say was, Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”
King David’s sin took him farther from God’s face than he ever imagined. The greatest pain of his life came during his separation from God’s hand of blessing and favor. He couldn’t bear the thought of losing his relationship with the One he loved the most. We can see this in the prayer David prayed after he had fallen into sin.
David prayed, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalm 51:1-3, 9-12).
When David came to his senses he cried out to God for forgiveness and God graciously forgave him; however that did not erase the consequences of his sins, for David paid dearly for those sins in his life and the lives of his family.
I'm sure if we knew the consequences of our sin before falling to temptation, how many of us would ever follow through with it? If only we could see beforehand the harm that our sins bring to ourselves and to others I'm sure we would not fall prey to them. Remember Peters admonition in (1 Peter 5:8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: The goal of our enemy is to destroy us and those we love by setting snares for us which will cause us to fall .
If we desire to live for God and in the blessings of God, He commands us to seek Him and His purposes and plans. We need to look down the road and calculate the cost of our decisions. We must keep our eyes firmly fixed on His path and stay true to Him and conscientiously stay focused.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1)
Listen to a short testimony and song by the Cathedrals Quartet
Mark 4:37: And there arose a great storm…Mark 4:39: And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
A little over two weeks ago I woke up thinking about one of my cousins. The Holy Spirit would have me warn her at times when a storm was about to come into her life. He was warning her because He loves her and He did not want her blindsided. But the Holy Spirit told me it frighten her when God would tell her that “A Storm Was Coming.” So I stop telling her, but the storms would still come at times.
I said all of that, to say this, God said “A Storm Is Coming.” When He said it, I asked God was this storm for me personally, for the Body of Christ, or for this country. God got quiet. I shut up. I started to pray, and prepare for a storm. As I prayed, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart and share with me about the storm.
When God tells you a storm is coming, you need to prepare for that storm. In the natural when they tell you a storm is coming, you make sure you have enough water and non-perishable food for at least three days. You make sure you have candles, matches, flashlights, your cellphone charged, and your car is full of gas. Then you buckle down in a safe place until the storm passes.
But what do you do spiritually to prepare for a storm? You pray, place your trust in God, and have faith God will bring you through the storm. You pray for strength, to be able to handle and endure the storm. You buckle down, shut down, and spend some quality time with Jesus in His Word; because Jesus can tell the storm to cease, and the storm will cease. You fast if the Lord leads you, or you feel that fasting will help prepare you for the storm. Fasting draws you closer to Jesus to gain deeper fellowship with Him. And I assure you in this storm you are going to need Jesus.In our storms, Jesus is our light (candle and flashlight) in the dark. He is our non-perishable food (the Bread of Life). He is our living water (the Holy Spirit) that flows from our innermost being. He is our peace in the storm, whether He tells the storm to cease or not. Jesus will bless us with peace that passes all understanding even in the storm. He is our comforter. Because sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His Child. We are not going to make it through this storm with light, peace, and comfort without Jesus.There Is A Storm Coming! You Need To Be Prepared!Encourager Linda Flagg, M.A., B.S., BCPCLC
Board Certified Professional Christian Life Coach
"From this side of the 'glass'...It is with hope that those experiencing
difficulties, come to realize and learn to accept truth, as too often the
truth is often painful, but it must be confronted and dealt with. The problem
appears to be just this...unwilling to change and apply spiritual principles.
Many beg for a change in many things, but yet unwilling to change....
this simply does not work...believe it....experience is a great teacher...
only by the 'grace' of God...it is from this side of the 'glass' to share this
life's personal spiritual journey, now of two decades...Praise God!
Testimony of the heart is indispensable."
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Has God called you to be a "Noah" for your family? I know He has called me! I have built my ark and my family are all aboard; the winds and the storm has already hit us, we are now just awaiting the sign from the Holy Spirit that our "promised land" is just ahead! Enjoy this devotion from Rejoiceministries.org
Scroggymommy5 aka Noah
Noah Believed and Obeyed God
"Now the earth was corrupt in Godâ€™s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, â€˜I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.â€™" Genesis 6:11-14
We all have heard or read in Genesis about Noah and the ark. I always am so thankful when I see the many different items in different stores that have a theme of Noahâ€™s Ark. Last year there was even a new family movie out with a modern version of Noahâ€™s Ark, called "Evan Almighty." Noahâ€™s story has a powerful lesson for the world to learn.
I must share with you that more than twenty years ago, my Lord had me read about Noah and asked if I would choose to be a Noah to build an ark to save my own family. Has the Lord asked you that question? What was your answer?
Today please read the story of Noah in Genesis, (Chapters 6-9) comparing your stand to what God told Noah to do. God chose Noah to do His will. Has God chosen "you" to be Godâ€™s example of a righteous and blameless person in your family? God needed someone to listen and obey Him during Noahâ€™s time and He also needs you and me during our time to make a difference. Obedience is not as easy as we think, especially when we are told to do what is contrary to our culture and the worldâ€™s standards. How are you doing in being obedient to Godâ€™s directions and instructions about standing for your marriage? Are you living by your emotions and feelings or by faith and trust in God?
Noah obeyed God, regardless of what his family, friends or anyone else said. As you read the story of Noah you will see that Noah did not debate or ask a lot of questions. He listened to Godâ€™s voice. Noah followed Godâ€™s instructions and he obeyed God.
"Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with Godâ€¦Noah did everything just as God commanded him." Genesis 6:9,22
If Noah had not obeyed the Lord and followed all His instructions the ark would not have survived the floodwaters that flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
Can you imagine the consequences if Noah had not obeyed God and did not go into the ark at the time God commanded or instructed him to go? As I read about Noah again, you and I always think of the pictures of the two different kinds of animals that follow up the ramp to go into the ark. Imagine all those animals listening and obeying God to get on the ark at the right time!
"You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them. Noah did everything just as God commanded himâ€¦Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made. And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him." Genesis 6:19-22,7:2-5
I know personally that the Lord told me to pray for Bob before we got the divorce, but the circumstances and comments from my friends that I shared with, confirmed with me what I wanted to hear. I had a right to have a better life and remember, my children. So, I became hardhearted, bitter, resentful and allowed hatred and anger to grow in my heart. I chose to live my life "my way, instead of Godâ€™s way." I chose to listen to others, disobey God and I divorced Bob.
Our Lord did truly hear the cry of my heart and He knew deep down that I "did not" want the divorce, but I did not know what to do â€“ so the Lord sent a messenger with His good news. Our Lord God sends messengers to each of us also even though they may not be a glowing angel. My messenger arrived two months after our divorce at our church. A couple was visiting all day sharing their testimony of their marriage being restored as they sang songs. Ann Downing shared that her husband had been an alcoholic, abusive and a womanizer, but she fasted and prayed for him for five years until the Lord gloriously saved and changed his heart.
That afternoon, I called Bob and said this couple was visiting and their marriage was worse than ours, would he come to church with me that evening. I also asked him to forgive me for giving up on him and the Lord. Bob refused to attend and said our marriage was hopeless, dead and "get on with my life." I went to church that evening, really wanting to hear what Ann had done differently than me. In the evening service they shared their testimony, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said ever so loudly, "You did not fast and pray for Bob. You gave up on Me (God) and on Bob. I havenâ€™t. I need you to repent and you need to start praying for Me to heal and restore your marriage supernaturally."
That was the beginning of my Spiritual Journey. The Lord got my attention first and started changing my heart. The world today says if you have marriage problems, throw in the towel and try another marriage. Statistics show that second and third marriages do not last as long as first marriages. The solution is to believe that your Lord God can touch and change two hearts and the circumstances that you are facing today in your marriage.
"Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17
God does restore marriages! What if Noah had not listened or obeyed the Lord, what would have happened to his family? The Lord told Noah specifically how to build the ark. God was the Architect. God told him what to do and how to do it. Has the Lord been giving you scriptures for hope and direction for you, for your prodigal and for your family? Are you choosing to listen, believe and obey Him?
Can you imagine when Noah shared with his wife and children what God told him to do when no one had ever seen rain? It took approximately the next 120 years to complete the ark. Noah also had to be faithful, trusting and believing the Lord for a season of time, just as you have been called to do. Can you imagine the ridicule that the neighbors and friends would say to Noah for such a period of time? How many times did they tell Noah that there had never been rain or a flood? You are you wasting your time!
What if you really did not hear from God? I want to remind you that when the Lord starts speaking to you through scriptures, music, or many other ways, "Do not listen to anyone else! The Lord has told you what He is going to do and what â€˜youâ€™ are to do alone!" Just like He spoke to Noah. God told Noah He would save His entire family and God told Noah His plan. You have been chosen by the Lord and you are the link the Lord has chosen to use to save your spouse, your family and generations to come. The Lord will give you every detail you need to know or do in preparing and restoring your marriage.
You may go to family, friends, pastors, or counselors for confirmation and encouragement for what you are doing. You are told there is not any guarantee that your spouse will come home. You are reminded by others that your husband or wife have their own free will. If you get discouraged, remember the enemy is trying to cause confusion and for you to be doubleminded for you to give up your stand. Your family and friends may not always understand. Do you think Noahâ€™s family understood? I do not think so, but I know that Noah kept on doing what the Lord told him to do.
Noah was a man of faith and that is what the Lord is asking and teaching you to be today. Are you going to listen to the world or are you going to believe what the Lord has told you He will do? God did not change His mind when the ark was half finished. Ask the Lord for another confirmation. It is all right to ask God to confirm what He has said to you previously. But how many times does He have to tell you before you obey and follow His instructions? Today, persevere, donâ€™t give up, seek His face and He will guide and direct your pathway to see your restored marriage and His rainbow!
"And God said, â€˜This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds. I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.â€™"Genesis 9:12-15
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.
I am getting ready to leave for Cincinnati for a funeral for a 25 year old that overdosed. This has become all to common in that generation. Heroin is wiping out an entire generation it seems. I am praying for the family of the victim. I pray that the are lead to The Lord to seek comfort strength and peace. I pray if The Lord needs me He will give me His heart, eyes, ears, and words. I pray I walk in His strength.
Lord I ask You to powerfully come into this world of drugs, death, and evil. Lord lead all to You, Lord set these addicts free.
Thank You Jesus Amen
(Matthew 15:13) “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”
When dealing with deep wounded hearts many people, most of us, want the pain gone any way we can get it. Heartache is not fun and many people reach out to something natural as a way of escape. Natural remedies, whether diving into shopping, or working more, gambling or drugs and alcohol, these things are only temporary and then the when the temporary relief wears off, the emotional pain returns. God, the creator of the heart is the only one who can heal the heart permanently. The heart remembers and all the emotional pain that is put upon you or that you choose to hold on to will not leave until you choose to get rid of it. God gave us free will, because like you and me, we do not want people to love us because we make them and God is no different. It means so much more when they love us freely and since we were created “in the image of God,” he wants the same of us. He does not want robots but a sincere devotion, (Hebrews 10:22) “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” The issue with that, free will works both ways. He can whisper into our hearts to “walk this way” but it is our choice to obey. (Isaiah 30:30) “The Lord will cause people to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.” When people do not listen, then others get hurt. We hold our children’s hands when they are young and learning to walk, but if they choose to pull away and fall, is it our fault? No, but we are there to pick them up, heal their wounds and continually love them. God is the same; he is the healer, spiritually, emotionally and physically. (Psalm 147:3) “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
The heart is like a garden, (Isaiah 58:11) “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” He plants the fruit of HIS Holy Spirit into your heart like seeds upon salvation. It grows with prayer, time spent with him talking, reading the word and worship. When someone comes along and hurts us, other seeds are planted into our hearts and if we do not give them to the Lord, they will take root. We do not have to hold onto every emotion or thought that comes into our mind. It only takes root into your heart when you dwell on it, speak it and bury it without dealing with it. (II Corinthians 10:4-5) “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” When you dwell on it and do not deal with the negative emotions they will consume you and spill over onto everyone that comes into your path. (Luke 6:44-45) “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a brier bush. A good man from the good stored up in his heart brings out what is good; and an evil man from the evil stored up brings out what is evil; for from the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
You do have a choice what you allow into your heart. You can keep it, dwell on it and in that it will grow and overflow. More negative will come out or you can choose to let God handle it, and being no respecter of persons, he will and you will receive the benefit of his light, love and liberty! Your choice, (Deuteronomy 30:19-20) “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
As a garden, the Lord plants his seeds, his fruit into your heart but like a garden, planting seeds does not automatically get rid of the weeds. If you plant flowers in a garden, will they automatically kill the weeds? No, you must pull them out! The same is true of negative emotions. Do this exercise with me. Get a friend or a loved one and have them sit with you outside. Think of your heart as a cup. Put some seeds in the bottom.
What you will need:
Small rocks, small cup, seeds
While holding the cup over the foot of your friend or loved one, put the seeds in the bottom. Then for every painful memory and heartache and all the emotions it brought, name that emotion, the anger and the unforgiveness it brought. Anger, fear, bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment, jealousy, rage and so on; keep putting the rocks into the cup until it overflows onto the foot of the person with you. You have no control where the rocks fall or overflow, do you?
You do have a choice and the only way to let it go and feel the peace and serenity of God’s love in your heart once again is to let go. Here are some ways you can choose to let go and with every positive step of praying, talking and journaling, take a rock out:
1. Pray and talk to God-this is the most important! “Ask and you shall receive.” Tell God how you feel and especially if you are having trouble with forgiving. Unforgiveness keeps YOU bound, not the one that hurt you! (Psalm 68:19) “Praise the Lord who daily bears our burdens.” He wants you to forgive but understands your pain. (Hebrews 2:18) “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
2. Talk to a friend in the Lord or if the pain is too deep you may need a counselor. (Galatians 6:2) “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
3. Journal—writing your feelings down is another way of releasing them. As you write down your feelings, pray. God will also speak to your heart and may give you a word to help you to deal with it. Shepherds wrote on their staffs, they carved out important events and journeys and things the Lord brought them through and then passed it on to the eldest son. They would go back and look at it for encouragement. You can do the same with your journal to see past events and emotional issues that the Lord brought you through.
Praying, talking to God, to other people and journaling are ways of helping you to let go of buried emotions. The seeds at the bottom of the cup represent the Fruit of the Spirit within your heart. When you allow the negative emotions to stay and take root they cover up the seeds, leaving no room for growth. You do have a choice and you can choose how you want to release the negative; to God who can deal with who hurt you and heal your heart permanently or keep it buried and let it overflow in unexpected and uncontrolled times and ways. The choice is yours. God says, “Now choose life,” and allow the Lord to heal your heart and make room for His fruit to grow within you. Keeping the negative emotions buried is allowing you to be enslaved again. The emotions tell YOU when and how to react instead of you deciding.
What way are you going to choose?
(Galatians 5:1) “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”