John 3:20-21 “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Have you ever or do you live a life that is hidden? Do others know the real you or is it something you just reserve for a choice few? When we are living lives that aren’t what we know they should be sometimes we try to hide it even though we know inside that God will bring all things to light. I must admit here that unfortunately, in a lot of respects, when I have lived a life I shouldn’t have been living, rebelling, I didn’t try to hide it and there are repercussions for that as well. A life of rebellion, no matter how you look at it, affects others around you and when they don’t know God your influence as a Christian in a rebellious state has more of a negative affect than many people who don’t know Christ.

Too many people live lives that are so extreme. It’s like they have two personalities, one they save for the rest of the world and the other for a choice few. Who are you? Does anyone other than God really know? What exactly have you been doing that God is going to bring to light one day soon and you know they are works that you know you don’t want revealed because it certainly wasn’t something being carried out by God in your life?

Maybe it isn’t you who is living a double life, maybe it is someone you know. I would encourage you to pray that God will help you to be all you need to be and pray for God to move in their lives in such a way that He draws them to Him and that He will show mercy on them. God wants us to live lives that are pleasing to Him and something that can be an open book to others of who God is. There are many times you may be the only Jesus someone will ever see.  Know this though as well, if that person is a Christian God will reveal in His time what the truth is.

God is all about the truth being brought to light and He will bring it all to light. He loves us and He knows that there are times that the way a ‘deep dark secret’ eats away at the person keeping it destroys them and tends to bring out even more rebellion and open doors for Satan to get a foothold in their lives. God loves us and offers His grace and mercy because of His Son, Jesus, but you can’t accept His mercy and grace if you aren’t confessing all and having a heart of true repentance. God’s mercy and grace is reserved for those who are truly wanting to repent and turn from wrong, it isn’t just sitting there to excuse sin so you can live any way you want in the dark.

Ask God to bring all things to your attention that you need to deal with and ask Him to give you the strength today to deal with anyone else in your life that maybe has things they need to deal with. God is the only one who can truly change lives so don’t start trying to change people around you, it doesn’t work, been there tried that and it is a lot of work for nothing and then God just has to clean up the mess you leave behind before He can begin working in that persons life.

Quote: “You become what you think about.” Earl Nightingale

Luke 6:28
Bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.

Do you have someone that has wronged you either by what they are saying or maybe things they have done? Are you just about fed up with trying to deal with them and feel like you would really just love to put them in their place and give them a piece of your mind? I have been in that position more times than I care to think about and it can become overwhelming if you allow it to. Here are a few steps to finding God’s blessing through it all:

First of all don’t allow the thoughts of what they are saying or doing consume you. If that is your focus then all that will happen is you will become more bitter and angry. Don’t allow them to rob you of your joy on top of all they have already done! Focus on God and what He has to say about you and the situation. Forgive them so they don’t poison your mind with their foolishness and distract you from what God has called you to!

Jesus is always our example of what we ought to be doing in any given situation and when they persecuted Him and nailed Him to the cross to kill Him, His response was to beg God to forgive them because they were clueless and didn’t realize what they were doing. He recognized their ignorance in the way they were behaving.

In Job 42:10 And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. Hmmmm so the blessing of God came after Job was obedient and prayed for those wicked friends of his, imagine that.

Decide which you would rather have:
revenge your way
God’s blessing and His vengeance on the ignorant

Remember Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: For it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord.”
Is any of this easy to do? Nope! It is one of the toughest challenges I have faced and since I seem to keep facing it I must not have totally perfected it yet. I will say though it has been easier since God pointed out that someone who behaves in such a way is obviously too ignorant to really be able to insult or really affect me unless I choose to allow them to! It is more important to rise above and to not be so easily offended by someone who can’t really make a difference in my life unless I allow them to.

Ladies, I challenge you today to pray for whoever is giving you a hard time. Pray for God’s grace and mercy for them, they have no idea what they are doing. There will always be jealous people who feel the way up is to tear others down, so determine today to rise up and be the more godly and more mature person. Focus on God, not their foolishness. Ask Him to give you the strength to pray for them in spite of all of your emotions inside telling you to slap them instead. Don’t misunderstand there are times that you need to stand for what is right and speak your mind the key is to not allow it to consume you to the point that it poisons other areas of your life or your walk with God. Handle your situation with class and maturity and then let it go so you can focus on more important things like your walk with God.

Quote:
“Wisdom is knowing the right path to take…… integrity is taking it.” M.H. McKee

1 Samuel 1:6-7
And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.

 
What kind of woman are you? The battle between women can be so vicious at times it is amazing. We are instilled with a very competitive nature, it is not something we seek or desire to be but we all are and as a result we can be very hurtful to each other. We are made in the image of God so it gives us a “little” insight into just how important it is to Him to feel as though He is number 1 in our lives, He doesn’t want to come after your husband or your children or your job, He wants to be number 1 and so incredibly loved by you to the same degree you want someone to love you that way. It is His competitive nature that we have that we sometimes take way too far with other women. I am sure it breaks His heart to watch women tear each other down and hurt each other too, He made each of us beautiful in our own unique way, we are His creation and each of us play a special role in His plan, He loves each of us tremendously.

Peninnah was ruthless in her attitude and behavior toward Hannah. She was mean and hateful intentionally trying to make Hannah feel belittled. God had mercy on Hannah and helped her by blessing her with children and if you notice Hannah pledged that she would give that child to God, the child would not take the place of God even though she desired a child with all her heart – He would still be first place in her life.

Are any of you a Peninnah with other women at work or maybe in your neighborhood or maybe even at church? Is it difficult for a new lady to “join your group”? Do you sit and talk about her behind her back picking apart everything you can find before you really get a chance to know her? How can we say our hearts are full of God and behave like that? A godly woman is gracious, kind, loving and helpful and should welcome other women so the group can be a place of healing, growth and a shared love for God – someplace safe!

Are you Hannah? Have you started working a new job where the other women aren’t seemingly too receptive? Do you feel the darts thrown your way even though you don’t necessarily hear them? I went to a conference once where the man speaking had several people stand up in front of the room with their backs to us and he would randomly give us either a thumbs up to think positive loving thoughts or a thumbs down to think mean and hateful thoughts and every time the person knew which one it was without anyone saying a word. I just happened to be the Hannah in that group of women I was with at the conference so I knew exactly what he was talking about and I know – so do you! Each of us has been there and has felt that awkward uncomfortable feeling, knowing we are not welcome, but God has your back in those situations just like He did Hannah, pour your heart out to Him and He will deliver you in a mighty way! Don’t retaliate and don’t allow those negative feelings to become your own, stand strong and be the godly woman you were called to be!

Why oh why does this happen ladies? Why do we hurt others without any real reason behind it? Why do we allow jealousy of other women tear our hearts out? Why do women go after other women’s husbands? Why don’t we have the boundaries we are called to have to be godly, Christlike women?

It is time to stop, take inventory of our hearts and ask God to show us the changes we need to make so we can stand together for Him, not apart duking it out behind the scenes. We all have our own wounded heart and we are all supposed to be working toward the same goal of glorifying God with our lives. If there is someone in your office, church or neighborhood that needs someone to reach out and stop the hurt maybe you need to ask God for the words and love to be able to do that. Set aside your own hurts from the past because I know other women have hurt you too and move forward determining to be different starting today! If you are Hannah, just hang on, your deliverer is about to make His move – keep the faith!

I challenge each lady today to be all you were called to be today, don’t be a part of the hurtful nature in your office. Stop it! Give your heart fully over to God today so He can love through you.

Quote:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

hope for your marriage

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Ladies, join Bill and me along with special guest, best selling author and speaker Dr Tim Clinton.  Dr. Tim shares that there is hope for your marriage.

Dr. Tim Clinton

Dr. Tim Clinton

Tim Clinton, Ed. D. (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor (LPC) and Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books.

www.aacc.net

Check out this episode!

Hebrews 11:1-2
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

Hebrews chapter 11 is knows as the “faith” chapter and it is a great reminder of the faith these men and women of God that Paul listed had. Where is your faith today? Could you be listed as having the faith to trust all that God is doing in your life is for a purpose so you remain faithful to all you know to be true and you are hanging on to that hope for the future He has planned or are you wavering a bit today?

We all have those days, not that that makes it right, but we do all have those days when we find ourselves scratching our heads asking God, “what are you doing ~ are you still there?” It is so important when you have one of those days to stop what you are doing and spend as much time with HIm as you possibly can, if there are activities or chores that can wait, let them wait and sit down and spend some time reading, praying, listening to praise and worship music, watch an encouraging preacher on tv, but don’t ignore your wavering faith. In verse 6 it says, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” God is faithful and He has called us to be faithful to all that He calls us to.

In Mark chapter 9 one of the stories there is about a man whose son had an unclean spirit that possessed him and when Jesus told the father, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” the man cried and said, “I believe, help my unbelief” and Jesus healed the boy. What does that mean to you? Does it at least encourage you that you can go to God and say those same words, “I believe, help my unbelief!” and then watch God move in your situation! God loves you and wants to work in your life in amazing ways, He wants His glory to shine in the situation you are facing, He wants to increase your faith!

I would like to encourage you today to have the faith that God isn’t finished with you yet and He is right there beside you. Ask Him today for more faith and for His strength to get you through to the other side. What you face today is temporary and He will see you through. Just like the Israelites passing through the dessert before the promised land, this may be your training ground for your promised land, learn to trust Him and to obey all that He is asking you to do today and take heart knowing this is just a short season in your life ~ The best is yet to come!

Quote:
“Beautiful light is born of darkness, so the faith that springs from conflict is often the strongest and best.” R. Turnbull