Keep Going – Faith Gives Us Hope

Keep Going – Faith Gives Us Hope

Hebrews 10:22-36 NIV

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. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 

28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 

30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[b] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 

34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Hebrews 10:22-36 KJV

22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

The Cyrus Anointing in the Book Of Isaiah

Isaiah 44:28, 45:1-5, 13-16

28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

1 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.5 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts.

14 Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.

15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.

16 They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols

Where were You Lord? Awesome conversation between God and a Man!

MUST READ.. Don’t MISS It.. Awesome Conversation between God And a Man.

Man: God, can I ask You a question?
God: Sure
Man: Promise You won’t get mad …
God: I promise
Man: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do u mean?
Man: Well, I woke up late
God: Yes
Man: My car took forever to start
God: Okay
Man: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong& I had to wait
God: Huummm…
Man: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
God: All right
Man: And on top of it all, when I got home~ I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!!Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that
Man (humbled): OH
GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.
Man: (ashamed)
God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.
Man (embarrassed): Okay
God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.
Man (softly): I see God
God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.
Man: I’m Sorry God
God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good & the Bad.
Man: I will trust You.
God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.
Man: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.
God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children…

Don’t forget to share with your friends.

Morning Manna – Walking In The Light

1 John 1:5-10 The Message Bible
Walk in the Light

5 This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.6-7 If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim.

But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.

8-10 If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—simply come clean about them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself.

He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.

1 John 1:5-10 NIV
Light and Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

There are still many good folks in this world!

Aug 2, 2021 the_title_attributes by Percy Parakh

On Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 while just getting back in the vehicle from lunch Trooper Eric Stingley, H-35 (Scott County) was traveling to the Troop H Substation for a meeting when he noticed something strange.

Just as he turned onto Jimmie Rodgers Parkway off Highway 19 south he noticed a car sitting along side the road with a female running around the vehicle in apparent distress. As he got closer the female began waving down traffic in an attempt to get help from other passing motorist.

Trooper Stingley stopped to check on the situation, once he stepped out of his patrol vehicle he quickly found himself in the middle of a life or death situation.

The female was screaming for help saying her husband was in the passenger seat not breathing. Without hesitation Trooper Stingley ran to the car and noticed the male passenger slumped over and turning blue.

Trooper Stingley immediately got on his hand-held radio and requested an ambulance to be dispatched to his location, shortly thereafter Stingley pulled the unconscious passenger out of the vehicle and began CPR.

During the call for emergency medical help, another nearby Trooper, Senior Staff Sergeant Roy Benamon, H-38 (Lauderdale County) also responded to the scene to assist his fellow Trooper.

Troopers Stingley and Benamon tirelessly preformed CPR while awaiting Metro Ambulance to arrived on scene. Both Troopers working together were able to get a pulse back just before the ambulance pulled up next to them.

Paramedics then took over medical treatment and loaded the male passenger into the ambulance and headed to the emergency room. It is without a doubt that the quick actions and teamwork among these Troopers helped save the man’s life on that Wednesday afternoon.

On behalf of Captain Ivory and the entire staff of MHP Troop H we’d like to recognize these brave Troopers for their amazing efforts which ultimately saved a life. As of today Friday, July 31st, 2020 we understand the male mentioned in this article is alive and doing well thanks to Troopers Stingley and Benamon.

Keep up the good work guys! We know you wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over again in the blink of an eye which gives a whole new true meaning to “protect and serve”.

Your dedication to the agency along with the citizens of the State of Mississippi has not gone unnoticed. Pictured below Left – Right are: Trooper Eric Stingley, H-35 and Senior Staff Sergeant Roy Benamon, H-38. Help us recognize these guys by liking and sharing this post.

This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made – Marathi Song

This is the day that the Lord has made
We will rejoice and be glad in it
How Great is our Lord
Gave Us Everything

He is our Redeemer, our Strength
Jesus is the Lord forever and ever

Ha Ha, Ha Ha, Ha-lle-lujah
Ho Ho, Ho Ho, Ho-san-nah
Ha Ha, Ha Ha, Ha-lle-lujah
Ho Ho, Ho Ho, Ho-san-nah

Let us go to His dwelling Place
Praise and worship Him
To the Lord of Heavens
Sing songs of praise

He is our Redeemer, our Strength
Jesus is the Lord forever and ever

Ha Ha, Ha Ha, Ha-lle-lujah
Ho Ho, Ho Ho, Ho-san-nah
Ha Ha, Ha Ha, Ha-lle-lujah
Ho Ho, Ho Ho, Ho-san-nah

Seeking Reconciliation – Faith And Salvation

Romans 5:1-11 NIV

Peace and Hope

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 

Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 

11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

What Is Peace In The Bible?

What Is Peace In The Bible?

Peace is a popular word a variety of people use in various ways. One everyday use is to represent the absence of war or conflict. For example, when warring countries sign a treaty and are at peace, or when quarreling friends makeup and are at peace with each other.

Peace also refers to rest. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines peace as “a state of tranquility or quiet,” while the Oxford Dictionary defines it as “the state of being calm or quiet.”  Such as when describing a place as peaceful or saying your mind is at peace.

However, peace in the Bible is a bit different. Biblical peace is more than just the absence of conflict or state of rest. It means completeness or wholeness, and it points to the presence of something else.

For further understanding of biblical peace, lets’ look at the original Hebrew and Greek words.

Peace in Hebrew

The word peace appears 237 times in the Old Testament with its first appearance in Genesis 15:15 “as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age.”

The Hebrew word translated as peace is shalom (shaw-lome’), and according to Strong’s concordance, it means completeness, soundness, and welfare. It comes from the root word shalam (shaw-lame’) which means to make amends or to make whole or complete.

Shalam is often used in terms of making restitution. Take Exodus 22:4, for example; if a man stole an ox or a sheep from his neighbor, under the law, he was to restore or shalam what he had taken.

Therefore, to have shalom means to be in a state of wholeness or completeness, without any deficiency or lack. Shalom is frequently used in the Old Testament in reference to the wellness of others. Sometimes it is translated as well, well-being or welfare such as in Genesis 37:1443:27Judges 18:151 Samuel 17:182 Samuel 11:7 and more.

In Jewish culture, people used shalom in greeting expressions such as shalom Aleichem which means “well-being be upon you,” or “may you be well.” Jesus and New Testament writers often greeted one another and said farewell with peace (John 20:19).

Peace in Greek

The word peace in the New Testament is from the Greek word eiréné (i-ray’-nay). According to Strong’s Concordance, eiréné means one, peace, quietness, and rest. It originates from the root word eirō, which means to join, or tie together into a whole.

Therefore, eiréné means unity; it is to bringing multiple parts together to form a whole, or set it as one again. For example, two friends who reconcile after a fight make eiréné, that is they come back together, and their relationship is whole.SEE ALSO:  For to Us a Child Is Born

Eiréné first appears in the New Testament in Matthew 10:13 “And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.” It appears 91 other times in the new testament in every book except 1 John.

In some translations, Mark 4:39 says, “Peace! Be still,” but the Greek word used in that verse is not eiréné but siópaó, which means to be silent.

Fun fact, the English word serene, which means calm and peaceful, comes from eiréné.

Putting it all together

The peace of God is different from the peace of the world. Biblical peace is more than just the absence of conflict; it is taking action to restore a broken situation. It’s more than a state of inner tranquility; it’s a state of wholeness and completeness.

Biblical peace is not something we can create on our own; it is a fruit of the Spirit. God is the source of peace, and one of His names is Yahweh Shalom (Judges 6:24), which means the LORD Is Peace. Jesus is the prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6), and He gives us peace in three ways.

1. Peace with God

Jesus is our peace with God (Romans 5:1). Due to our sins, we were enemies of God and were separated from Him (Ephesians 2:13), but Jesus restored our relationship when He took on our sins and died our death on the cross (Ephesians 2:14). He provided a path for reconciliation with God, and now we are joined to God (Romans 5:10) and can fellowship with Him (1 John 1:3).

2. Peace with others

Jesus is our peace with others. In Him, we have reconciliation with others, live at peace with them (Colossians 1:19-20), have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:9) and can live with others in unity and one accord through the bonds of peace (Ephesians 4:3). He empowers us by His Spirit to be peacemakers with our neighbors, friends, and foes.

3. Peace with ourselves

Jesus is our peace within. In Him, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and He is making us whole and complete like Him (Philippians 1:61 Thessalonians 5:23-24). When trials come to tear us apart, He is our peace that keeps us together (John 16:33).

Attributes of biblical peace

The Bible has a lot to say about peace; it appears 329 times in the Bible, with the highest occurrence of 30 in the book of Isaiah. Here are some its biblical attributes.SEE ALSO:  What is Patience in the Bible?

1. Peace is a fruit of the spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Galatians 5:22

2. We must seek peace and make peace

Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:14

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Romans 12:18

So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Romans 14:19

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

2 Corinthians 13:11

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:14

let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3:11

3. Peace brings joy

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy.

Proverbs 12:20

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:9

4. Peace comes from God

O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works.

Isaiah 26:12

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

2 Thessalonians 3:16

5. God gives us peace in trouble

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Phillippians 4:6-7

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Isaiah 26:3

The Difference Between ‘Godly’ and ‘Worldly’ Wisdom

Why It’s So Important to Know the Difference Between ‘Godly’ and ‘Worldly’ Wisdom

On October 2, 1950, wisdom quietly announced itself in four hand-drawn black-and-white frames in, of all places, the comic strip section of the newspaper. On that day, the world was introduced to Charlie Brown, the awkward and lovable centerpiece of a group of children (and a dog and a bird) who would charm readers for 50 years as the Peanuts gang.

At the height of its popularity, Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip ran in more than 2,600 newspapers, reaching 355 million readers in 75 countries. What was the secret to its success?

No doubt, the relatable struggles the characters faced and the humor Schultz drew from them appealed to us, but an additional piece of writing genius was at work: Schultz’s children spoke with wisdom beyond their years.

In books and movies, we adore the trope of the wise child. C. S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling have demonstrated the lasting power and appeal of such characters. The idea is intriguing to us because intuitively, we associate wisdom with age and maturity.

Deep wisdom is not the norm among children—it is most often the product of years of learning and experience. When looking for a mentor, no one goes to a pre-school.

Job reflects, “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days” (Job 12:12). Think, then, how much wisdom resides in the One who is called the Ancient of Days.

Wisdom is closely related to knowledge but distinct from it. Knowledge is possessing the facts. Wisdom is the ability to achieve the best ends with the facts. Wisdom is the ability to make good decisions based on the knowledge available. The wisest human you know is capable of choosing wrongly, simply because they do not possess all the facts.

Wise humans choose wisely by taking the facts they know and extrapolating the best course of action. Because God is not bound by time, He is able to determine the end from the beginning, acting within time with perfect awareness of all outcomes.

Think, then, how much wisdom resides in the One who holds all knowledge. Because God holds all knowledge, He is able to choose perfect ends.

God, by contrast to you and me, never extrapolates. Possessing all the facts, He combines them with perfect insight, and chooses wisely every time. Wise humans may have their judgment clouded by personal bias, but God is free of that limit as well.

His wisdom is perfect. It is also implicitly good. We may speak of a malevolent person as an “evil genius,” but we do not credit wisdom to Him. Wisdom implies moral goodness, which God possesses in infinite supply.

The paths He chooses are always wise and always good. Though wisdom is a sign of maturity in humans, it is a simple fact in God. He does not grow in wisdom—He is infinitely wise and His wisdom never waxes or wanes.

God understands everything exactly the right way and does everything exactly the right way. He always has, and He always will. His wisdom transcends human wisdom by an infinite distance:

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

WISDOM AND FOLLY Given our relatively limited ability to obtain and retain knowledge, it is amazing that any of us ever receive the designation of “wise.” But remarkably, humans can learn to operate in wisdom if they so choose.

Though wisdom is associated with maturity, it is not a guaranteed gift of the aging process. It is possible to live a life of folly from start to finish. Because we are designed to live in community with others, a life spent in folly always affects more than just the individual who chooses it.

Wisdom is desirable among humans because, in choosing the best outcomes, we look to serve the greater good, not just ourselves. Wisdom aids community. It allows us to live at peace with one another. Folly seeks to serve self alone and pulls the community into chaos.

Folly is the “way that seems right to a man” (Proverbs 14:12). With our usual air for the upside down, we call wise what is foolish and foolish what is wise.

The apostle Paul warned the church at Corinth regarding the tendency to call folly wisdom: “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness,’ and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile’” (1 Corinthians 3:18–20).

We love to deceive ourselves that in choosing self, we have chosen rightly. And we love to deceive others that our choosing of self is actually not selfish. We become wise in our own eyes, as Proverbs says, giving the appearance of wisdom but inwardly desiring the approval of others.

When the Bible makes the distinction between Godly wisdom and worldly wisdom, it is not separating a higher form of wisdom from a lesser one; it is distinguishing between true and false, between wisdom and folly.

Worldly wisdom is not wisdom at all. James writes: Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (James 3:13–18).

Note the sharp contrast James makes. Worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom are antithetical and adversarial:
Worldly wisdom self-promotes. Godly wisdom elevates others.
Worldly wisdom seeks the highest place.
Godly wisdom seeks the lowest place.
Worldly wisdom avoids the mirror of the Word.
Godly wisdom submits to the mirror of the Word.
Worldly wisdom trusts in earthly possessions.
Godly wisdom trusts in treasures in heaven.
Worldly wisdom boasts. Godly wisdom is slow to speak.
Worldly wisdom says trials will crush you.
Godly wisdom says trials will mature you.
Worldly wisdom says temptation is no big deal.
Godly wisdom says temptation indulged leads to death.
Worldly wisdom says, “Seeing is believing.”
Godly wisdom says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
Worldly wisdom wields might. Godly wisdom works in meekness.

Simply put, any thought, word or deed that compromises our ability to love God and neighbor is folly. Utter foolishness. The height of stupidity. The worldly wise place themselves in opposition to God, operating from their own perspective of what is best, a perspective that seeks only the best for them.

But the same writer who implores us to distinguish and avoid worldly wisdom is also eager for us to know how to possess Godly wisdom. James reminds us that it is ours for the asking: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).

This is a stupendous statement. Lack wisdom? Just ask. God will give it. Period. If you find you lack insight and understanding, consider the possibility that you do not have because you do not ask. God waits for your request, eager to grant it.

The Voice Of The Devil

The Voice of the Devil

It’s clear Jesus believed Satan to be a real being—not a social construct or symbolic figure, but a true entity. How much power does he have though? What does the voice of the devil sound like in your head? And how can you silence him?

This is part four of our series on the four voices in your head that are competing to shape what you do, say, and feel.

Who Is the Devil?

Is the devil—Satan—real? Jesus certainly thought so.

There are about 90 references to either the word Satan or devil in the Bible. A quarter of them are spoken by Jesus Christ. They show that Jesus believed Satan to be a real being—not a social construct, not a figurative symbolic character, but a true entity.

In John 8:44, Jesus said to some disbelieving people:

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Look again at how Jesus characterizes the devil: a murderer, no truth in him, lies are his native tongue, a liar, the father of lies. Is the devil—Satan—real? Jesus certainly thought so.CLICK TO TWEET

Elsewhere he is referred to as the accuser, the author of confusion, and the tempter of your soul. All temptation, sin, misery, and futility ultimately originate with Satan, and this world is under his control (1 John 5:19).

The devil wants to destroy what God wants to build. But the devil’s time as ruler of this world is short, and he knows it. The Bible tells us that “he is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short” (Revelation 12:12b).

Not only is his time short, but his power is limited: “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin (habitual sin); the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them” (1 John 5:18, parenthetic comment added).

Satan’s single pleasure, then, is to figure out how to get inside your head and make your life on earth as miserable as possible.

What Does the Voice of the Devil Sound Like?

Satan’s malware of choice is distrust, doubt, and despair. Once he hacks your brain and loads this malware onto your hard drive, it’s a virus that spreads very quickly and turns into false guilt, false shame, and self-pity.

Satan is always probing for a vulnerability and loves nothing more than leveraging the wounded, broken parts of your story.

For example, my first impulse is to see things through the lens of emotional neglect. I have always found it difficult to believe people really care about me personally, and I tend to look for cues that confirm my distrust. I am loyal to a fault, but once I suspect someone doesn’t really care about me, I’m tempted to abruptly cut them off. “If they don’t need me, then I don’t need them either.”

I no longer act on this temptation because I have matured spiritually, but the devil knows this is my biggest lifelong wound that has never fully gone away. It’s a vulnerability he tries to hack—often in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep.

What is the devil’s preferred point of attack to get in your head? Maybe you’re vulnerable to the devil’s voice in your marriage, work, sense of identity, source of worth, children or grandchildren, friendships, past hurts, finances, faith, sinful behaviors, the relevance of Christianity today, church hurts, or parent wounds.

Wherever you are vulnerable, that’s where the devil is most likely to keep inserting those recurring doubts and deceptions.

But you are far from defenseless. Much of the devil’s success can be attributed to how effectively he conceals the ease with which he can be resisted.

Limited Power

As Christians, we should take the voice of the devil seriously, but we also need to understand his limitations.

Satan is not like God. He does not have unlimited power or knowledge. He knows that—if you are in Christ—you have more than enough power to turn him away:

The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Perhaps the devil’s single biggest accomplishment is to have so successfully exaggerated his power. But the truth is, in Christ you are beyond Satan’s reach forever. Jesus is always with you. You are not alone.

That’s your baseline for when the devil’s voice tries to take control of the conversation in your head.Perhaps the devil’s single biggest accomplishment is to have so successfully exaggerated his power.CLICK TO TWEET

A Simple Sentence to Silence Satan

The psychologist Abraham Maslow said, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem is a nail.”

When it comes to the voice of the devil, God has not left us with only one tool. He’s given us multiple pieces of defensive armor and offensive weapons, as explored more in The Four Voices.

But there is an additional tool I have used for decades when I sense that the voice of the devil is trying to take control of the conversation in my head, and you can use it, too.

In the wilderness, when responding to all three of the devil’s temptations, Jesus points to the word of God: “It is written.” But in His last response, Jesus adds a verbal rebuke: “Away from me, Satan!” (Matthew 4:10)

In the same way, I verbally rebuke the voice of the devil with this one simple sentence:

“Satan, I rebuke you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

There is no magic in the exact wording. You can memorize this sentence or make a version of your own. Whichever words you choose, you can silence the voice of the devil by invoking the authority of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I say it out loud, but usually as part of the mental conversation to control what’s going on inside.

When I repeat it, coupled with my understanding of what’s written in scripture, I immediately feel whatever cloud of oppression, confusion, or temptation start to lift.

If you’ve been experiencing oppressive emotions, confusion, or temptation—however deeply the voice of the devil has burrowed into your brain—you can tell the devil to leave:

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:7-8)

THE BIG IDEA: The devil wants to destroy what God wants to build. But the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Question of the Week

What is the devil’s preferred point of attack to get in your head, and how can memorizing the sentence, “Satan, I rebuke you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,” give you the confidence you need to take control?

Unity In The Church – Having Compassion For Others

Romans 12:15 New International Version

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Matthew 23:37 King James Version

37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Abraham Lincoln said “I am sorry for the man who can’t feel the whip, when it is laid on the other man’s back!”

World’s Oldest Living Man Knows The Secret To Long Life: ‘Christ Lives In Me’

Emilio Flores Márquez has seen the world morph from buggies and horses to witnessing the birth of the Model Ford T and the birth of the digital age. He’s lived under 21 U.S. presidents and now holds the record of the world’s oldest living man.

Born on Aug. 8, 1908, in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Emilio was the second of his parents’ 11 children and his parent’s right-hand man. He helped raise his siblings and learned how to run a sugar cane farm.

Growing up Emilio didn’t have much in the way of material things. But he never noticed because his parents gave him everything he ever needed. A loving home, job skills, and a love for Christ.

World’s Oldest Living Man Shares His Secret

His parents also taught him how to live a life of abundance and it’s not what most people would expect. Some would wager that for a man to live this long, he needs to be on a special organic diet, access to the best doctors, and to have an exercise routine.

But when Emilio learned he now holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest living man, he told them his secret — it’s Christ who lives in him!

“My father raised me with love, loving everyone,” Emilio explained. “He always told me and my siblings to do good, to share everything with others. Besides, Christ lives in me.”

He learned to get rid of the things in life that hold us down. Things like bitterness, anger, and malice because these things can poison us to the core of our souls.

How incredible and simple is this wisdom? God has given us the wonderful gift of his word and through the Bible, we can live a life of abundance in love as we learn to live for Christ! Emilio’s secret to life is incredibly simple: Love God and love others the way Christ first loved us.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

How Can I Know God’s Will For My Life

It is important to know God’s will. Jesus said that His true relations are those who know and do the Father’s will: “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35).

In the parable of the two sons, Jesus rebukes the chief priests and elders for failing to do the will of the Father; specifically, they “did not repent and believe” (Matthew 21:32).

At its most basic, the will of God is to repent of our sin and trust in Christ. If we have not taken that first step, then we have not yet accepted God’s will.

Once we receive Christ by faith, we are made God’s children (John 1:12), and He desires to lead us in His way (Psalm 143:10). God is not trying to hide His will from us; He wants to reveal it. In fact, He has already given us many, many directions in His Word.

We are to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We are to do good works (1 Peter 2:15). And “it is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

God’s will is knowable and provable. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” This passage gives us an important sequence: the child of God refuses to be conformed to the world and instead allows himself to be transformed by the Spirit. As his mind is renewed according to the things of God, then he can know God’s perfect will.

As we seek God’s will, we should make sure what we are considering is not something the Bible forbids. For example, the Bible forbids stealing; since God has clearly spoken on the issue, we know it is not His will for us to be bank robbers—we don’t even need to pray about it. Also, we should make sure what we are considering will glorify God and help us and others grow spiritually.

Knowing God’s will is sometimes difficult because it requires patience. It’s natural to want to know all of God’s will at once, but that’s not how He usually works. He reveals to us a step at a time—each move a step of faith—and allows us to continue to trust Him. The important thing is that, as we wait for further direction, we are busy doing the good that we know to do (James 4:17).

Often, we want God to give us specifics—where to work, where to live, whom to marry, what car to buy, etc. God allows us to make choices, and, if we are yielded to Him, He has ways of preventing wrong choices (see Acts 16:6–7).

The better we get to know a person, the more acquainted we become with his or her desires. For example, a child may look across a busy street at the ball that bounced away, but he doesn’t run after it, because he knows “my dad wouldn’t want me to do that.”

He doesn’t have to ask his father for advice on every particular situation; he knows what his father would say because he knows his father. The same is true in our relationship to God. As we walk with the Lord, obeying His Word and relying on His Spirit, we find that we are given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

We know Him, and that helps us to know His will. We find God’s guidance readily available. “The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, / but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness” (Proverbs 11:5).

If we are walking closely with the Lord and truly desiring His will for our lives, God will place His desires in our hearts. The key is wanting God’s will, not our own. “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Seeking Assurance – Faith And Salvation

Romans 4:1-12 New International Version

Abraham Justified by Faith

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[a]

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

“Blessed are those
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”[b]

Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 

11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 

12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

God Does Not Show Favoritism

After hearing a message about correcting injustice, a church member approached the pastor weeping, asking for forgiveness and confessing that he hadn’t voted in favor of calling the black minister to be pastor of their church because of his own prejudice.

“I really need you to forgive me. I don’t want the junk of prejudice and racism spilling over into my kids’ lives. I didn’t vote for you, and I was wrong.” His tears and confession were met with the tears and forgiveness of the minister.

A week later, the entire church rejoiced upon hearing the man’s testimony of how God had worked in his heart. Even Peter, a disciple of Jesus and a chief leader in the early church, had to be corrected because of his ill-conceived notions about non-Jewish people.

Eating and drinking with gentiles (who were considered unclean), was a violation of social and religious protocol. Peter said, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile” (Acts 10:28).

It took nothing less than the supernatural activity of God (vv. 9–23) to convince him that he “should not call anyone impure or unclean” (v. 28).Through the preaching of Scripture, the conviction of the Spirit, and life experiences, God continues to work in human hearts to correct our misguided perspectives about others. He helps us to see that “God does not show favoritism” (v. 34).

Where Sin Abounds, Grace Doth Much More Abound

…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. — Romans 5:20

I’ll never forget the time we were being attacked on every side by the enemy. It seemed like an all-out assault had been unleashed against us. At the same time we were experiencing this attack on our ministry, the city where we lived was in political upheaval.

This chaotic situation was so terrible that a bomb was detonated just a two-minute walking distance from our apartment! We could feel our building shake as the bomb exploded. It seemed as if each day was bringing new problems to the nation and more threats to our ministry.

All of this was occurring at a time when the Spirit of God had told us to launch out and take a new step of faith. It seemed like such a wrong time to take such a step of faith. Logic said, “Pull back! Protect yourself! Stop everything until the heat is off!”

But the Spirit of God kept telling us, “Dig in deeper! Keep pressing forward! Don’t let up for one minute! This is a perfect opportunity for the Gospel message to be spread even further!”

Right in the middle of all that chaos, we watched as God poured out His grace on us. Although it was a dangerous and difficult time, it was also a glorious moment to be serving in the Kingdom of God! God began to do marvelous new things in the nation where we lived.

In that troublesome hour, people were open and hungry to know more about the things of God. They wanted answers and were willing to listen. As a result, people were saved; spiritual darkness was pushed back in people’s lives; and the Gospel was spread further than ever before!

As God moved mightily in the nation, that very dark, precarious moment became a spiritually bright time as many were led into the Kingdom of God. This simultaneous operation of darkness and grace made me think of Romans 5:20, which says, “…Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

The word “abounded” that Paul uses to describe this abundance of sin comes from the Greek word, pleonadzo, which simply means more. It denotes something that exists in abundance.

The Greek tense describes an abundance that is growing larger and more expansive with the passing of time. The implication is that sin is never stagnant but continually grows, increases, and expands. This means Romans 5:20 could be translated, “Where sin exists in abundance and is multiplying and constantly expanding….”

This describes the growing nature of unrestrained sin. But Paul doesn’t stop there! He goes on to say, “…Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

The words “much more abound” are from the Greek word huperperisseo, which describes something that is growing out of measure, beyond proportion, and out of its banks to a far-stretched extreme. It is like a giant river that is being flooded with waters from upstream.

Those waters are coming downstream so fast that the river can no longer hold the raging current in its banks. Its water rises, rises, and rises until it finally begins pouring out of its banks and begins to flood everything in sight. This is exactly the idea of the word Paul uses when he says, “…Grace did much more abound.”

This means Romans 5:20 could be interpreted: “For wherever sin exists in abundance and is multiplying and constantly expanding, that is precisely the time and place where grace is poured out in a far greater, surpassing quantity.”

Regardless of where we live and what we are facing — regardless of how bad the situation around us looks to our natural eyes — the grace of God is flowing downstream, and God is lavishly pouring it forth in abundant measure!

In fact, it is impossible for us to imagine, measure, or even dream of the amount of divine grace God is sending in our direction. No banks can hold the flood of grace He is sending our way! It isn’t just “a lot” of grace; it is more, more, more, and much more grace!

The flood of grace will always far surpass the flood of sin and darkness! Satan will try to stop you from doing the will of God, but never forget that the enemy cannot prevail against you if you will only yield to the Lord. You will find that God is supplying more than enough grace to match whatever the enemy is trying to do.

If you will surrender to that divine grace, it will rise higher and higher until it eventually floods every area in your life. Instead of seeing the destruction of the enemy, you will see the awesome outpouring of the marvelous grace of God everywhere you look!

So when a situation looks bad, as it did so many years ago when we were living amid troublesome times in our part of the world, don’t be too surprised if you hear God’s Spirit say, “Pour it on! Keep it up! Don’t stop for a minute! Keep pressing ahead!

It is in dark and difficult moments like these that I love to work the most! This is when My grace super-exceeds the darkness of the world. Wherever sin and darkness abound is where I really pour out My grace!” sparking gems from the greek My Prayer for Today Lord, I thank You for pouring out Your grace in difficult, chaotic times.

When sin abounds and darkness tries to reign, that is always when You reach out to seek and to save. Forgive me for giving way to fear and for thinking of retreating at this key moment when You are wanting to make a strategic advance. I choose to push away all my fears and to believe that You are going to do something miraculous to save the day!

Let Your grace flow, Lord — pour it on! Please shine Your light in this hour of darkness! I pray this in Jesus’ name! sparking gems from the greek My Confession for Today I confess that God’s grace is poured out mightily to drive back the forces of darkness during times of difficulty and chaos.

God uses these dark moments as opportunities to pour out His grace and to show others who He is! The world may reel in fear and uncertainty, but God is always near. I declare by faith that God will reveal His power and intervene with His grace to bring the solution for this difficult hour!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

A Gift To Strengthen You – Faith And Salvation

Romans 1:8-17 NIV

Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,[a] that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[b] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[c]

Growing in God’s Grace

The English preacher Charles H. Spurgeon (1834–1892) lived life “full throttle.” He became a pastor at age nineteen—and soon was preaching to large crowds.

He personally edited all of his sermons, which eventually filled sixty-three volumes, and wrote many commentaries, books on prayer, and other works. And he typically read six books a week!

In one of his sermons, Spurgeon said, “The sin of doing nothing is about the biggest of all sins, for it involves most of the others. . . . Horrible idleness! God save us from it!” Charles Spurgeon lived with diligence, which meant he “[made] every effort” (2 Peter 1:5) to grow in God’s grace and to live for Him.

If we’re Christ’s followers, God can instill in us that same desire and capacity to grow more like Jesus, to “make every effort to add to [our] faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge . . . self-control, perseverance . . . godliness” (vv. 5–7).

We each have different motivations, abilities, and energy levels—not all of us can, or should, live at Charles Spurgeon’s pace! But when we understand all Jesus has done for us, we have the greatest motivation for diligent, faithful living.

And we find our strength through the resources God has given us to live for and serve Him. God through His Spirit can empower us in our efforts—big and small—to do so.

Delicious Goat (Mutton) Curry with Indian Flat Bread (Paratha’s)

Easy Goat (Mutton) Curry with Indian Flat Bread (Parathas)- It’s so delicious!

2 lbs. Goat Meat
4 Potatoes
1 Fresh Tomato
2 Cups Broth (goat meat)
2 Tbsps. Yogurt
2 Tbsps. Sour Cream
1 Packet Butter Chicken Masala (spice from Indian store)
1 Large Onion Diced
2 Tbsps. Ginger Garlic Paste
2 or 3 Frozen Parathas

Cook the goat meat in a Pressure Cooker. Fry the Onions till they are light brown, add the Ginger Garlic Paste. Fry for 2 mins. Add the diced tomatoes and the entire packet of Butter Chicken spice, add the broth and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the Sour cream and Yogurt to thicken the gravy.

Add the Goat Meat, thoroughly mix with the gravy, add the billed potatoes and cook on low for 4 mins. Boil the cut potatoes in water for 15 mins. or until they are fork tender. Add the potatoes in the gravy above, and cook on low heat, so all the spice is absorbed.

In a cast iron pan, put 1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil, and fry the Parathas on both sides till they are lightly browned.

Giving Thanks – Jesus Teaches About Faith!

Leviticus 13:45-46 New International Version

45 “Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt,[a] cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.

Luke 17:11-19 NIV

Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[a] met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”