EPHESIANS 6:12 ON 6/12

TL 6-12 EPHESIANS 6-12 ON 6-12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  – Ephesians 6:12

Today’s post serves to remind us that the hurdles before us, the hoops we are expected to jump through on a daily basis, have nothing to do with anything but the power of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Doesn’t that make you feel better?

What is a struggle?  An opposition.  Does evil oppose good?  Well, yes – the last time I checked, it did.  A struggle is a contest.  I’ve read the back of the Bible and guess what?  It’s a contest that’s already won.  A struggle is a fight to be sure.  Who fights on your side?  Christ Jesus does!  Be on the right side.  Does a struggle produce conflict?  Yes, it usually does.  But stay the course and let prayer be your constant companion in the midst of the conflict.

A struggle is an endeavor to do right in a world that wants nothing to do with right.  To struggle is to exert resources every day along with prayer without ceasing to our God who never fails.

We encounter in our struggles – sometimes God puts others with similar beliefs and mindsets in our path.  We see that as a real blessing!  Sometimes He puts people who are quite dissimilar in beliefs and mindsets in our path.  We see that as a challenge and we pray even harder for the right words and actions so our witness is not blemished.

Have you ever had a skirmish in your struggle?  I have – and that’s when the prayers reach a point where you’re constantly asking for direction on a moment by moment basis.  When there’s a skirmish in your struggle, it’s easy to say or do the exact wrong thing!  Does that ruin your witness?  Yes, sadly – it does.

When we clash during a struggle, we have to stay in a constant attitude of prayer so we don’t crash and burn!  We don’t have the answers, but we know the One who does!  We don’t know what the future holds, but God does.  We’re at a disadvantage during a struggle because we don’t see the way out – but guess what?  God does.

Struggling against forces we can’t even see takes the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  When we try to struggle without Him, it can take a significant toll on us physically and sometimes emotionally.  A Christian in the midst of a struggle who has stopped praying is defeated.  I’ve met them and so have you.  I don’t want to be one and neither do you.

Our struggles are not fun – but they do make us stronger in our faith when we come out the other side!  Remember that there’s not actual hand-to-hand combat; that’s what God’s Holy Spirit does for us.  The battle is His when it’s all said and done.  Trust Him and be still.  Pray and read God’s Word.  Find His peace as you pray for His way out.

When we struggle, it could be as small as a clash of opinions on facebook, or as big as a major medical issue.  Whatever we face, we know we don’t face it alone.  We know that God is there.  We just have to keep praying and studying His Holy Word, the Bible.  Evil will not win.  Let’s encourage one another with these words as we struggle along together in this life.  🙂

 

 

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PROVERBS 10:12 ON 10/12

TL PROVERBS 10 12 on 10 12

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.  – Proverbs 10:12

Let’s see what the Sunday School Sheep is up to…

https://youtu.be/zKAEvLd_98o

Click image to enlarge

I’m sure it’s happened to you too…  you get on facebook to chat with your friends and as you are browsing through the news feed, you see a post that you disagree with.  As much as you really should just ignore it and keep scrolling, you give in to the temptation to comment and maybe even leave a piece of Scripture to “defend” your position.  Well – then you see a comment that disagrees with yours and someone is calling you a name.  Before it’s over, you wonder why you didn’t just keep scrolling – and you wish you had kept scrolling.

Does God care if we say mean things to strangers?  Does He care if we call someone we don’t know but strongly disagree with a mean name?  Well…  yes, God does care.  It’s not right that they call you a name first – but it’s a good idea to take the high road and drop the name calling and move on before you fall into sin.  Try to be a blessing in Jesus’ Name.  Fight the temptation to stoop to the hater’s level and be just as hateful.  It gets us nowhere.  Let’s choose to live like we’re loved – because we are!

People are just plain mean and nasty on social media!  To be honest, it doesn’t happen to me much anymore because I don’t seek out those who disagree with me.  Most of the friends I have are adults.  If we don’t agree on issues, we disagree agreeably.  I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I try to stay out of the mud puddles – I’m not a champion mud wrestler – sorry to disappoint you.

It won’t change anyone to call them names – and it could quite possibly destroy any possibility of sharing your witness with them.  The only way to live a Christian life is to live in love.  I need to remember that hatred stirs up conflict – love draws the lost to my side.  With love and patience I can share my testimony.  It’s a story that only I can share.  No one else has traveled the path that I’ve traveled.

We are living in a time when everything insults everyone.  If we have a more loving approach toward others, it will not reflect badly on us and then we can witness.  The acceptance or rejection of that witness is up to them – but at least the door opens up instead of slamming shut and locking.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

WE PRAY FOR PEACE

PRAY FOR ISRAEL

I doubt I’ll ever get to the Holy Land, but I enjoy the “tours” via You Tube! Israel belongs to God and He will protect His own against evil. Hamas and Jihad are evil. They want to kill and view their own death as gain if they kill others in the process. It’s totally backward to the Christian’s belief system. That’s why we have a difficult time wrapping our minds around it. It’s so messed up!

Our Lord taught us to be loving and forgiving and turn the other cheek. Hamas is all about destruction and they don’t think twice about it. We pray for God’s people. We pray for Israel every day! There have been reports in the enemy newspapers about how Israel’s God protects them. They admit it – and that makes me want to do the Holy Ghost Happy Dance! I love hearing accounts that God intervenes and protects His own! Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!

But think about it… it’s just like Jesus to roll the clouds away!

Amen, sister!

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:1-4

I don’t question God’s methods – I don’t know whether He Himself is protecting Israel or whether He has sent angels to do it, but I’m thankful for His mighty hand being there. It’s my prayer that His protection will stay on Israel.

How do we as Christians pray for Israel? We just humbly bow our heads and say:

Dear Heavenly Father,
We pray for peace in Jerusalem. Our hearts are broken when we see the violence and suffering as men, women and children are injured and killed on both sides of the conflict. We don’t understand why it has to be this way, nor do we truly know if war is right or wrong, but we pray for Your sovereign righteousness, Lord. We pray for Your wisdom in the midst of this war and for Your mercy. For the governments, militants and terrorists, we ask for Your kingdom to come and rule over the land. Protect the soldiers and civilians from bloodshed. May Your truth and light shine in the darkness. God, we do not understand the way Hamas and Jihad believe because we have been taught to love and forgive. They have been taught to hate and kill – to the point where they give their own life in the process and see it as gain in the afterlife. We can’t wrap our minds around that sort of theology. Dear God, in this land where only hatred and death are known, please somehow let Your love prevail in their midst! Help me as a Christian to support those who You support, Lord, and to bless those who You bless, my God. In this mess please bring about the saving hope of Your Son, Jesus Christ to the people of Israel, dear God. Bring Your salvation to the whole earth.
It’s in the precious name of Jesus we pray,
Amen.