Your Problem is Big – Your God is Bigger!

When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17

What do you see that has you stressed?  What do you see that has you scared?  What problem are you fixated on?  It looks big doesn’t it?  It looks unconquerable, right? You have no clue how to get out of it, when it’s going to end and, most of all, if you’ll be all right whenever it’s over and however it ends.  I have been there.

I have learned some things from those times in my life though.  Thank you Jesus.

I have learned that it is at that very moment, when I am in the midst of distress, when I am facing a “larger than life” problem, it is at those times I need to recalibrate, so to speak. I can call upon the Lord and do just like this servant and say to the Lord, I’ve got a problem, and it’s real.  (What the servant saw was reality.  It made him scared, but it only made him scared because he saw the true vastness of the problem. He wasn’t making stuff up.) And yep, I know the Lord already knows the problem; but me personally, I need to verbalize it because (a) it helps me face my fear and (b) it makes me make a conscious decision to invite God into the situation.  It makes me say to myself and the Lord, I want to have eyes to see you in this; I want eyes to see this from your perspective Lord!  And without fail He allows the Holy Spirit to guide me into all the truth.  I finally see that this problem, while big, is NOT, and NEVER WILL BE bigger, than my God.  This problem, while it temporary immobilized me because I was scared; it did not render my God powerless.  My God is almighty and all powerful, He is my dread champion (Jeremiah 20:11).  At that moment, when he opens my eyes, I know without a doubt, I’m gonna win!

Thank you Lord for always meeting me right where I am.

(c) 2015, The Heart of the Matter Ministries, Devotionals or Something Like It, “The Battle of the Mind”

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net: “Hooded Person” by Ambro

Battle of the Mind

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…

Sometimes we are stressed out because of what we imagine or speculate is going on, when in reality were we to seek the truth of the situation, what we imagine really is just that – speculation, rooted in our own perceptions, fears, demonic influence or the imagined opinion of others about ourselves or our situation.

We have the POWER to confront false imaginations.  First we have to identify them. We have to ask, “Is this just how I feel or is this what is actually going on?”  Do you have a healthy self-confidence, a bold God-confidence? If so, ask God to search your heart and lead you in the right way and reveal the absolute truth to us.  You see, sometimes it’s not what others think, but what we imagine or speculate they think, with no basis in any real truth!  Second, after we identify them, we call them what they are – lies.  Third, we replace those imaginations with spiritual truth and actual facts.

(c) 2015, (Rev. 2018) The Heart of the Matter Ministries, Devotionals or Something Like It, “The Battle of the Mind”
(image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net – Photo by atibodyphoto)

A Prayer for Our Children

Father, in Jesus Name, I thank you for another morning, another day … new mercies! I thank you for the relationship we have in you and the security that comes with that. I thank you that you are a very present help and that you will never leave us nor forsake us. This morning I pray for our children. Father, I pray for the bondage that some of our our children are under. Father only you can deliver from certain things, and as for us who are parents, help us to remember through your Holy Spirit, that some things only come about by prayer and fasting. I plead your blood over every life that needs to be set free from from ties that easily bind. If it’s people that are being a bad influence and not leading them in the right way, let your Holy Spirit saturate our children and speak deeply in their hearts in a way that would be undeniable that this person – these people are not for them but in reality are against them. Then Lord I pray for the “those” people that are in the lives of our children. I pray that they would come to the knowledge of who you are and that their lives would turn around. Forgive me Father for times when I get so into the “war” that I forget that the people I don’t want my loved ones around need you too. Have mercy Lord. I pray for the success of our children. No matter what path some may have taken, there are some that, early in life when we drug them to church, you have given gifts and have a special calling on their lives and those gifts and callings are irrevocable. Help us who are interceding to remember that one day is as a thousand years to you Lord. You don’t operate off of our earthly timetable. Everything you have decreed in the heavens for our loved ones will come to pass. We pray that you allow us to live to see it, but even if we don’t, we trust you that all that you have in store for our loved ones, for our children, for those we fathered and those we bore, it will come to pass. Help any parent that’s watching destruction in their children’s lives to not sink in fear and discouragement, but to remember to keep loving on the children. Love covers a multitude of sin. We have authority by virtue of our relationship with you Lord to come before your thrown to find grace and mercy to help in times of need. We are indeed more than conquerors through Christ who loves us and whether our children fully realize it or not, so are they. In Jesus Name. Amen!

Imitators of Christ!

Ephesians 5:1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

What an awesome command!  We all have heroes and people we look up to.  We all have people we admire and want to pattern our lives after.  But our ultimate goal in life is to pattern our lives after Christ.  We are dearly loved by Him.  We are His children.

If you are a parent, you know there are times when you can look at your child and see yourself.  (Because we’re human, sometimes we see the bad part of as well as the good!)  God wants people to see Him when they see us.  It’s an awesome task!  It’s one that we can carry out, but it requires that we give up selfishness and that we look out for the interests of others, rather than just or own.

The most blessed part of it is all we have to really do is surrender to Him.  We are to hide our lives in Christ and let His love shine through our hearts.  If we strive to be like Him we will often fail.  But when we surrender in order for Him to come to the forefront and we allow His Spirit to flow through us, we succeed – and oh what a success it is.

We must decrease so that he will increase!  Let’s surrender and succeed today!

©2009, Jessica Lynn Sifuentes, Devotionals or Something Like it, “That’s Love” (Rev. 2018)

 

A Trustworthy Problem Solver

“But I will send you the Counselor – the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will tell you all about me.” (John 15:26, NLT)

Going through a whole lot of “stuff?” Stuff that you can’t tell others about, not even fellow believers? I have found that if you tell non-believers some of your “stuff”, they will look at you like you should be better off because you are a SO-CALLED Christian. Likewise, if you tell some fellow believers about your “stuff”, they will look at you like you should be doing better because, after all, you ARE a Christian. In short, sometimes we can find that there are very few people who truly know how to be there for us during trying times and circumstances.

However, I am glad that I know someone who is always there:  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  If only we had the humility to go to Him as quickly as we go to another person.  You see, He not only comforts; He speaks to our hearts, comforts us and gives us the solution.  He is able to do this because He is omnipotent, meaning He has supreme power with no limitations.  He is omniscient, meaning that He is all-knowing. He has the answer to our “stuff” because He knew us and our “stuff” before the “stuff” became “stuff” in our lives.   He is omnipresent – everywhere at all times.  One day to him is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.  He already knows when and how we will overcome our “stuff” because He is the only one who knows our future.  The answer He gives will be right and will deliver because He IS the Spirit of Truth.  And not only is He everywhere, He is ALWAYS there.  He promised He would never leave us nor forsake us.  He reminds us in Psalm 23 that even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with us.  He reminds us in Psalm 23 that goodness and mercy WILL follow us ALL the days of our lives.

A question we must address in our hearts individually is, am I – are you – humble enough to boldly go to throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace in our time of need?

 

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Thank you for visiting my blog.  I pray the words God gives me blesses and speaks to your heart! -Jessica

 

 

 

I am Loved by God!

Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.  Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.  Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel. 
(Jeremiah 31:3-4)

This will be an everlasting love.  Do you remember that song?  I do.  But that song was about love between a man and woman.  And, I am by all means a diehard romantic, so I very much loved that song.  But in my life, that’s not been true in the sense that the songwriter meant.  People leave because of death, separation, divorce or sometimes for no reason at all.

But once I became the Lord’s, I found a true everlasting love.  I found a love that no one can take from me, not even – and especially not – death.  I found a love that is unmatched because it never fails.  I was pursued by the one true God and it pleased him, out of his love and kindness, to make me a permanent part of his family.  I have heard of an adopted child being taken back, but this is one adoption that is final by all accounts.  (Have you read in the word lately about how secure this family membership is?)  My Father has absolutely no intentions of sending me back to the life I once knew.

Do you know how much you are loved?  I hope so, because He does love you!.

Have a blessed day.  Love – Jessica

 

©2006, The Heart of the Matter Ministries, “I am Somebody”

Forgiveness – Pay it Forward

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy. We hated others, and they hated us. But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us because of what Jesus Christ our Savior did.  He declared us not guilty because of his great kindness. And now we know that we will inherit eternal life.
(Titus 3:3-7 NLT)

Forgiveness . . . the releasing of another from the bondage of our wrath, disapproval, future torment . . .  the wiping clean of the slate for a wrong done to us . . . .

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Forgiveness . . . the refusal to take any sort of vengeance or revenge or vindicate ourselves in our way at all because we have let the matter go . . . .

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We have had such a wonderful example this sort of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, kindness and love.  We have a great example of the importance of not waiting for someone to do good things before we show compassion, forgiveness, mercy.  That example is the Lord, if we truly believe what the Word says.

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Life is filled with transitions, trials and tribulations.  During those transitions . . . during the trials . . . during the tribulations we will be offended and hurt, often on purpose, by others.  We all have people in our lives that aggravate and agitate us, sometimes beyond our human ability to remain godly.  We ourselves will offend and hurt others.  But a healthy cycle of forgiveness, mercy, compassion, kindness, grace . . . one to another . . . sure would make lift a bit sweeter.

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I want to be better about doing my part.  How about you?

 

Have a great day!

 

 

 

 

Winning at Being Winsome!

 

I am really enjoying the daily challenges and prompts  posted on by The Daily Post.  Today’s prompt was to use the word winsome.  I looked it up and Merriam Webster says the definition is as follows:

1generally pleasing and engaging often because of a childlike charm and innocence

(a winsome smile)

2cheerfullighthearted

Immediately, I felt a spiritual challenge and prompting probably because (a) I love words, (b) I love The Word and (c) I most of the time like analyzing things, including myself.  Soooo, I looked in the mirror and I asked myself, “Jessica, do you have a winsome attitude?  Do people want to know more about Christ because of how you carry yourself?  When speaking with others, do you focus more on your (or their) problems than you do the provision of the Lord?  Do you engage people, with childlike charm and innocence, when speaking about Christ?”

As I thought of what it meant to be “winsome,” the following scriptures came to mind and each had a special meaning to me in consideration of the topic, and mostly, the current state of my heart.  Rather than write what each meant to me, I leave it to you and the Holy Spirit to converse about the verses and how they relate to the word winsome, if He leads you to.

  • A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13
  • All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15
  • A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
  • Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances.  Proverbs 25:11
  • Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.  Proverbs 25:20
  • Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.  Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. Galatians 6:1-6
  • Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
  • You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:22-27
  • These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Even as I ask myself these questions, I know that the Bible even bears out that we will at times be sad, brokenhearted or pressed, among other things.  So, I will hurry up and say that I think it’s unrealistic for me to think that I, or any other believer for that matter, will always be lighthearted or cheerful.  But it’s encouraging to know that at those times we all have God, and should have some fellow believers, that will walk with us and lift us up.

  • But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. Psalm 3:3
  •  Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

(NOTE:  Scriptures are from various versions.  My personal study habits are to start with KJV and use resources to find the meaning of key words.  When I read, I usually just read NIV.  When I teach or write, I will at times use other versions that are in more everyday language, but that do not deflect from the meaning.  There are many different study methods.  That’s generally mine.)

Blessings to each of you who visit this blog, and much thanks to The Daily Post for the inspiration and challenge to be creative! – Jessica

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/winsome/”>Winsome</a&gt;