Offensive About Offense

“I refuse to live in offence!” We have lived out this refrain.   We have learned to live from a posture of being offensive about offence…

“I refuse to live in offense!”

We have lived out this refrain.   We have learned to live from a posture of being offensive about offence, and it has changed our lives! Oh, the freedom and liberty that we live in!

What does that mean?  Does that  mean that my feelings will never get hurt or that people will stopping doing things that irritate and offend me? No, of course not!  Then how am I suppose to live free of offense?  What does that mean?  I want to give you some very practical tools in how to employ this in your life.  You can live this way too!

I CHOOSE to live from a posture of forgiveness.  I forgive, release and let go.   Being relentless about not carrying offense in my heart, not allowing it to create a root of bitterness.  I am relentless about relationships.  Relationships are  important to me.

Colossians 3 talks about being merciful as we try the understand others, being unoffendable in our patience of others, being tolerant of the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them.  Wow!  This is a challenging passage (see full verses below).

A little secret……forgiving someone does not require me telling them how they hurt me, it does not require them to admit they were wrong, it does not require them to ask me for forgiveness, it does not even require them to change!  WHAT? Not change?  How is that right?

What if they never change?  Do I still allow them to interact with me in counter productive behavior?  That is a great question!  Part of healthy relationships is having healthy boundaries.   We must learn to clearly and lovingly set boundaries with people.  We must also recognize that we cannot change people.  Setting of healthy boundaries is for another blog post.

Forgiveness is really not about them at all!  Forgiveness is for me, my health, and my benefit.  Forgiveness is something I do with my Father.  I work it out with Him.  Don’t allow other people’s inability to work out difficulties to prevent you from walking in a life of freedom.   CHOOSE today to live from this position!

Colossians 3:12-15
You are always and dearly loved by God! So put on the garment of the virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them. For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Love becomes the mark of true maturity. Let your heart be always guided by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of his one body. And always be thankful, overflowing with gratitude for your life-union with Christ.  Passion Translation

God Models Love

I love how God models this for us and shows us HOW to love.  Through the whole Bible we see a demonstration of God’s love in action.  Jesus showed us how to love, He lived it, He demonstrated it, He was passionate about it, it required something from Him.

He Models His Expectation of Us.

I love how God models this for us and shows us HOW to love.  Through the whole Bible we see a demonstration of God’s love in action.  Jesus showed us how to love, He lived it, He demonstrated it, He was passionate about it, it required something from Him.

He models this for us, but He also instructs us in love.  We see in the life of Jesus, how He moved with compassion.  When He encountered people, when people came to Him, He never turned them away; He always met their need.  He demonstrated His love for them.  He redefined it, explained it, and demonstrated it.

Jesus changed the face of compassion, tradition, and teaching. History had given the nation of Israel a concept of compassion that gave them liberties which Jesus was combating face on.

In Matthew 14:14, Jesus was moved with compassion.  He saw the great multitude and His compassion was moved towards them.  He saw their great need, their deficit and it caused Him to move, it required something from Him.  He healed their sick.

When we read the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus was teaching them how to be moved with compassion.  He was showing what compassion looked like in action.

Over and over we see how Jesus loved, how He was moved with compassion.  His love required action.   Compassion rose up from inside of Him, it came from His innermost being and it propelled Him in action.  Read the Gospels with the mindset of discovering how Jesus loved, how He was moved with compassion, how He interacted with people.

God is love.  It is part of who He is, it is one of His attributes.  He cannot function outside of His love. He demonstrated His love for mankind by sending His Son to die for us. His redemptive plan was formed before the foundations of the world.  He has modelled this for us. His expectation of us is that we would do the same.  He strongly states it that we are morally obligated to lay down our lives for our brothers.  He has created a picture of how we should live and how we relate to each other.  His desire is for us to live sacrificially for each other, that we would demonstrate love the way He did, by laying down our lives, our rights for each other.  He set very big boots to fill!

Love comes from the very core of our being; it resides in the seat of our affections.  The Bible uses the word bowels, which shows us that it is place deep inside us that rules us, it is the seat of affections.  It means inward affection, tender mercy.

This compassion is active; there is movement to it.  It cannot sit idly by while others are hurting or in need.  It is motivated by mercy.   It requires action from us.

Compassion comes from our bowels, from the place of tender affections, the place where mercy resides.   God uses the word bowels, which shows us that it is place deep inside us that rules us, it is the seat of affections.  Part of its root is mercy, which is kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.

Love requires something from us.  We cannot say that we love and have no action.  There must be action.

Let’s look at how God demonstrated His love for us and see how He wants us to love each other.

I John 3:17-18 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

God’s demonstration of His love for us by sending His Son to lay His life down for us.

What should we be willing to do for our brothers?  According to I John 3, His expectation of us is that we would lay down our lives for our brothers.

Our willingness to give to our brother reveals our heart, it reveals the love of God in us.

What are we to love in?  We are to love in deed and truth.  God’s expectation is that our love has action behind it, it is not just words.  He requires action from us!

We have seen how He loves us, we have discovered His definition of love, we have seen how He wants us to demonstrate His love, but how do we cultivate love and compassion?  How do we have our capacity to love enlarged?

Cultivating love and compassion as part of our character.

We have studied what love is, we have looked at how God loves us, and we have seen how Jesus demonstrated and modeled love for us.   All of these things help us to better understand how we should love others.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

When we read the word compassion in this verse, it comes from the word pitiful, which means well compassioned, sympathetic, tender hearted.  Interestingly it means to have strong bowels, a strong place of affections, a strong place where we are ruled from.

Compassion affects us deeply, it comes from the seat that rules us, and it is full of mercy and affection.

When we are functioning from a position of love, mercy motivates us and rules us.  We are willing to extend mercy even when the recipient doesn’t deserve it.

There is a dimension in compassion that joins us with their suffering or their pain.  We feel their pain, and we hurt for them.  This joint suffering compels us into action, it moves us from a place of complacency to where we want to help them succeed or overcome.

  • Compassion is connected to relationship.
  • Compassion releases the supernatural.
  • Compassion cannot live in passivity.
  • Compassion requires action.

Compassion requires action from us!

Colossians 3:12-17  gives us specific instructions of what we are to do and what we are to put on, it says PUT ON, there is an action required here.  He is instructing us to do something, He wants us  equipped.  We are to put on:

  • Bowels of mercies – this is compassion, pity, mercy.
  • Kindness – this is goodness, integrity, excellence in character.
  • Humbleness of mind – having a humble opinion of one’s self.
  • Meekness – gentleness, mildness.
  • Long-suffering – patience, endurance, steadfastness, perseverance.
  • Charity – brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence.

We are instructed to:

  • Forbear one another – to hold up, bear, sustain.
  • Forgive each other – graciously to restore one to another.
  • Let the peace of God rule our hearts.
  • Be thankful – well favoured, mindful of favours, grateful. 

If we look back at verse 14,  we are instructed to above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.   Above everything else, we are to put on love.  Love is the bond, it is a joint tie that binds everything together.  Love is the ligament that brings it all together and causes everything to work well with completeness.

His expectation of us is to purposely put on the characteristics of love, this is a will decision, this requires us to do it intentionally.   Love is what makes everything we do work well.  If we think back on I Corinthians 13, we can be really adept in spiritual gifts, but if we don’t have love, it doesn’t work, it is for nothing.  I Corinthians 13 describes to us the uselessness of our works and words if they are not cloaked and covered in love and compassion.

If we could just grasp how effective we would be if we would continually walk in His love.  Everything that we do, everyone that we encounter, every conversation, if we would be moved by His compassion and demonstrate His love we would see amazing, supernatural things happen.  It is His love flowing through us that makes it all work, it is what binds it all together.  

People are desperate for a demonstration of love and Jesus wants to use you!  

Take a couple of minutes and ask God to enlarge your heart and enlarge your capacity to love.  Ask Him to change your head knowledge of love to a heart experience.  Ask Him to give you a different way of looking at people, a new lens, to see people how He sees them.  Now take a couple of minutes to sit quietly and receive what He has for you.

Tomorrow we will discover  10 Keys for practically walking in love and compassion.   

Oh How He loves Us!

God has opened up and revealed His love to me in such a large measure these past few months.  He has birthed an even greater love for others, and my heart has been enlarged for the care of others.  My cry has been to accurately reveal and display His heart.  Having a heart of compassion for others like the Father has for us.

We have all heard of I Corinthians 13, the Love Chapter, but today I want to see HOW God loves us,  what His definition of love is, how Jesus demonstrated love, and His expectation of how we should love each other.  I want us to have our capacity to love enlarged supernaturally!

God has opened up and revealed His love to me in such a large measure these past few months.  He has birthed an even greater love for others, and my heart has been enlarged for the care of others.  My cry has been to accurately reveal and display His heart.  Having a heart of compassion for others like the Father has for us.

My heart for you is that the Father would reveal His great love for YOU and that you would have your heart enlarged and transformed by His love and by the very virtue of His pouring of His love on you, you would in turn pour His love on others.

That being stated maybe you recognize yourself in the following paragraphs.  I think we can all see ourselves somewhere in there.  Let me ask you some questions, not to bring condemnation, but in an effort to be real.   By asking ourselves questions, we assess where we are at and we discover our need.

  • Have you been frustrated by the actions, attitudes or condition of someone?
  • How do we function from a position of love without getting frustrated with them and ourselves?
  • What do we require of others?  What do I require of myself?  Is it the same?
  • What does it mean to have compassion?
  • What does it mean to love?
  • What does love look like?

I was listening to some teaching on healing recently and the speaker used an illustration that twigged with me and caused me to examine how I function.

This gentlemen moves in healing, it is his assignment and he has seen thousands healed.  He liked to watch a particular TV show  – he liked the unorthodox character who thought outside the box.  But one day the Lord told him to stop watching that TV show.  He did not understand why.  He asked the Lord why, and the Lord told him that it would begin to effect his healing assignment.  He soon found this to be true, because instead of looking at people with a heart of compassion, he looked at their sickness and illness with a more analytical and critical eye.  He would think, that maybe they needed to change what they were eating or maybe that they needed more exercise.  The knowledge that he had gained from this show caused him to loose his compassion.  He had to refocus and bring that area of his thoughts back into subjection.  He had to be, move and live in the position of compassion.

This began to germinate inside me; what things, thoughts and ideas have robbed me of my compassion?  What things have moved me from my position of compassion?  It’s like a compass that is slightly off, you won’t be effective, you will be frustrated, irritated, you won’t hit the target, you will be doing all the work but the joy won’t be there.  We must re-calculate our route!  Get our compass reading correctly.

We live with people, work with people, play with people, we rub elbows with them, we fight with them, argue with them, disagree with them, we are irritated with them, frustrated by them…………………….we could come to believe that THEY are the problem!  But we are going to have to continue to live with them, work with them……..so how do I not allow them to frustrate me?  There are many things that we can do, but I think the first and foremost is compassion.  Compassion and love will transform and change OUR thoughts and feelings!

I think for us to fully understand HOW to love each other, we must see HOW the Father has loved us.

For many, this is head knowledge, we know that He loves us because the Bible tells us so, but it hasn’t become heart knowledge where we KNOW He loves us.  I want to spend some time looking at His love for us, and then how He models His expectations for us in how we should love others.

What is Love?

When you think of the word love, what comes to mind?  How would you define love?  We all have pictures and ideas of what love looks like, but I think the best description of love comes from the Bible.  Paul clearly describes what love looks like.  He paints a beautiful picture for to help us understand.

Let’s break I Corinthians 13:4-8 down.

  1. Love suffers long.  It does not loose heart, it patiently bears the offences and injuries of others.  Love bravely endures misfortunes and troubles.  Love is patient.
  2. Love is kind.  Love is mild and pleasant in character, it is not harsh, sharp or bitter.
  3. Love does not envy.  It doesn’t boil with envy, hatred or anger.
  4. Love does not boastful.  It is not a braggart.  It will promote others and loves to see others succeed.  It doesn’t need credit for what it has done.
  5. Love is not puffed up.  It is not proud and doesn’t inflate itself.  Love is humble.
  6. Love does not act unbecomingly.  It is not ill mannered, it is not rude.
  7. Love does not seek its seek its own.  Love doesn’t insist on its own way.  It is willing to lay down its own rights for the benefit of others.  It looks for ways to benefit other people, it is more concerned about the state of the other person.
  8. Love is not easily provoked.  Love does not get easily irritated, it is not easily exasperated.
  9. Love thinks no evil.  It is not destructive or injurious in its thinking.  It does not think worthless thoughts.
  10. Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness.  Love acts against injustice.  It doesn’t rejoice at the failings or fallings of another, but love causes us to be stirred to help them succeed.
  11. Love rejoices in truth. Love stands in opposition to unrighteousness and what is wrong.  Truth is celebrated and held up as the standard.  Love will not lie.
  12. Love bares all things. Love covers with silence.  It does not expose people’s faults.
  13. Love believes all things.  Love has faith to believe and to trust.
  14. Love hopes all things.  Love expects, it has an expectation.
  15. Love endures all things.  Love remains and doesn’t pull back.  It preserves under misfortunes and trials, holding fast to our faith in Christ.
  16. Love never fails.  It is not powerless, there is power in love.  It moves things, changes things.  When love is enacted it always brings a result.

We have been given a great description of what love looks like.  But God doesn’t want this to be just in our heads, He wants it in our hearts.  When it remains in our heads and does not flow from our hearts, it becomes something that we know, but we do not function in.  We say, ‘yeah, yeah, yeah……’ but there is very little do, do, do……

O How He Loves Us!

For us to fully understand love, we must look at God and how He loves.  When we read First John, it says that God IS love.  Love is one of God’s attributes; it is part of WHO He is.  He cannot function outside of His love; He cannot do anything that is contrary to His nature.

I John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not. 

His love is extravagant!  His love for us is of the highest quality.  I love how Wuest puts it, exotic love – love that is foreign to the human heart.   We don’t easily understand it.  His love is permanent; it does not change!  Oh, how I wish you would grasp and understand this!   He LOVES YOU!  It is not dependent upon what you do or don’t do!  He LOVES YOU!   We are not worthy of it, we have done nothing to deserve it, and yet He loves us!  Settle in your heart – HE LOVES ME!

If this is something that you struggle with, or maybe as you were reading the above statement, you thought, ‘…..but….’.  I want you to stop right here and ask Him to show you His love.

Ephesians 2:4-5 gives us another picture of how He loves us.

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

I love how the Amplified Bible states it, ‘because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us.’  His love motivated Him, it drove Him to give His life for us, it is what propelled Him to the cross.  His love required an action from Him; He could not sit passively by and do nothing.  It drove Him and propelled Him to the cross.  It is important to note that He did ALL of this while we were sinners!

God loves YOU!  He wants you to EXPERIENCE His love, He doesn’t want His love to just be head knowledge.  He wants you to feel and experience it everyday.  He wants you to live in His love.

Take a few moments today, and ask the Father to demonstrate His love towards you.  Ask Him to show you HOW much He loves you.   Then sit for a few minutes and receive His love.

A Lesson From The Repenting Bench.

I remember when I was growing up, my dad would give us an instruction, and we would not understand the importance of that instruction until everything went awry. 

Have you ever felt dissatisfied and unhappy? Have you ever felt powerless? Are you ready for change and moving forward?  Are you unhappy with the quality of your life and relationships?  This is actually a good place to be, because you are now motivated to do what is necessary to change and you have positioned yourself to be teachable.

I remember when I was growing up, my dad would give us an instruction, and we would not understand the importance of that instruction until everything went awry.  Then my dad would come alongside, love us and instruct us some more.  What changed?  My dad’s instructions were still the same, his love was the same…. What had changed……ME!  I was finally in a position to hear what he had to say, I was finally in a teachable mode, and I was ready for change.


God uses events, crisis and people in our lives to bring us to points of dissatisfaction; He is waiting for us to come into a teachable mode where change can occur.

So how do we move forward?  How do we change?  How do we go from the known to the unknown? How do we break old patterns and modes of dealing with conflict and stress? I believe that it must start with ME.

As an adult I have appreciated my dad’s parenting, he raised me to be responsible for myself.  He loved on me, comforted me, defended me, but he always made me responsible for my part.  What did I do?  What could I have done differently?  These are hard lessons, but it did not allow a victim mentality to be created in me.  I did not understand that when I was 15, but I sure appreciate it now as an adult!  He gave us the skills to navigate through life, preventing life from navigating us.  He taught us the value of self-analysis and that blame shifting can’t be tolerated if we wanted to move forward.

My children love to tell the story of the ‘repenting bench’!  They launch into tales of this infamous bench with gusto and laughter, each one adding their own viewpoint and story line.  This infamous bench was actually the piano bench in our home.  When the children were fighting with each other, we would make them sit together on the bench and work it out and apologize to each other.   From the other room, we would hear them bicker and argue some more about who did what and who said sorry first last time!  We would let this go on for a bit to see if they could work it out, and then we would step in if they couldn’t.

Now the tendency of our children was to tell on their sibling the things their sibling had done to them.  It usually involved them both talking at once and over each other!  David and I would stop them and say, ‘I only want to hear what you did to your sibling’.  This was a hard task, because invariably they wanted to justify what they did by telling us what their sibling had done to them.

Now the beauty of this bench was, if your sibling wasn’t exactly honest in their version of the truth, the other child quickly made it know.  Eventually we got down to the bottom of the issue, and who did what to whom, apologies were made, hurt feelings mended and relationships restored.  They tell these stories today with laughter and who said what, and who did what first, but they learned a valuable lesson – be responsible for your own attitudes, words and actions.

 So where am I going with these stories?  Well, I hope that it illustrates a couple of points.  One:  for change to occur, I must be in a teachable mode, and I must be ready to listen and make changes.  Two:  I must be brave and look at ME – my own attitudes, actions and words.

Take a fresh look, with objective eyes, to see what needs to change.  The ability to look at ME objectively (without excuses) is a challenge but it is necessary if I ever want to live a different life.

1 +1 will always equal 2.  If I am not happy with my outcome – I must change my part of the equation.  God always remains the same, He is constant, it’s our part of the equation that needs changing up.

Often when we are dissatisfied with our lives we look outward to other people, circumstances and events.  The greatest challenge is to look inward….what do I need to change?  What am I responsible for? What in my life does not line up with God’s Word and Kingdom principles?  These are tough questions, but if we want a different outcome to our equation, we must look at ourselves not others.

We have a saying in our house, ‘Learn the lesson the first time, so you can move on and you don’t have to visit it again!’  This is easier said than done!  Sometimes we get it right the first time, and other times we go around the mountain several times!  But if we can be teachable and take a few moments to be objective about ourselves, the payoff is huge!

Listening for Instructions

I remember taking a test when I was in high school (a long, long time ago!)  The teacher handed out the test and said, ‘Read the whole test first before you start writing.’ 

The Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” Acts 8:29

I remember taking a test when I was in high school (a long, long time ago!)  The teacher handed out the test and said, ‘Read the whole test first before you start writing.’  Invariably there were those who did not obey the instructions and began filling in the blanks as they read the test.  At the end of the test, the very last question, said, ‘Write your name on your test and do not answer any of the questions.’   You could hear the groaning around the room as each of us got to the end of the test!

Instructions are important; they are vital for our success!  We see it in our natural lives every day, instructions from our parents, from our bosses, from teachers; and we know if we follow their instructions we will succeed in what they are asking us to do.  But how tuned are our spiritual ears to hear?  How often do we rush ahead of the Holy Spirit; we don’t wait for Him to instruct us?  Think how successful we could be if we would just learn to wait and listen for His instructions!

 The Holy Spirit instructs us.  He listens to what the Father is saying and then He speaks to us, instructing us.  The account of Philip and the Ethiopian is a really great example of how the Holy Spirit gives detailed instructions and then shows the results of what happens when we obey His instructions.   There will always be fruit when we obey the instructions that the Holy Spirit gives us.  God is at work and He is wants you to join Him!

Acts 8:26-29 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying,
“Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from
Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

The Holy Spirit instructed Philip to ‘Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.’  Philip was given a very specific instruction.  He encounters the Ethiopian treasurer, he was a powerful man who had great authority, he worked for the queen of the Ethiopians, Candace.  The Ethiopian is reading the prophet Isaiah out loud while he is sitting in his chariot.

Now we see the Holy Spirit give Philip another very specific instruction. Go over and walk along beside the carriage.  Philip obeys and shares the Good News of Jesus with him and then proceeds to baptize him.

The Holy Spirit gave Philip instructions; he was obviously very familiar with God’s voice.  Then he obeyed.  There was great fruit because of his obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 The Holy Spirit will give you instructions.  He will tell you how to proceed in a particular area, He will instruct you on how to avoid pitfalls.  His instructions are always based upon the Word and they never violate His nature, character or attributes.

In Acts 8, the Holy Spirit was giving an instruction to Philip.  He was telling him what to do.  Why? Because He had a plan in mind and He had an end goal that He wanted accomplished and He used Philip to carry out His assignment and directives.

Can you image if we all would listen for His instructions and then obey them?  The world would change!  People’s lives could be transformed forever.

He has a plan for you, He has an end goal for you, He has something He wants to accomplish through you.  Are you listening and willing to obey?

He Guides Me

Many people wander through live, never quite figuring out what their assignment is, continually asking if they are in the ‘will of God’; some live in continual fear of being deceived and being lead astray; some live in a state of ‘am I saved?’ or  ‘will I make it to heaven’?

“…He will guide you into all truth… ” John 16:13

Many people wander through live, never quite figuring out what their assignment is, continually asking if they are in the ‘will of God’; some live in continual fear of being deceived and being lead astray; some live in a state of ‘am I saved?’ or  ‘will I make it to heaven’?

How can we live our daily lives with confidence knowing that we are making the right decisions for our lives and our family?  How can we navigate in a world that is full of opinions and ideas?  How can we function from our position as a son of God?

John 16:13 shows us that He is the Spirit of Truth.  He will guide us into all Truth, the whole, full Truth.  He speaks what He hears the Father say.  He will announce and declare to us things that are to come, things that will happen in the future.

If we understand the role of Holy Spirit in our lives we can live at rest.  We can live at rest because  Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth; this builds trust in us.  He is Truth!  He will not lead us in a lie or in ways that are not for our good.  What He hears the Father speak, He speaks to us.  When you understand the attributes and character of God, this is very powerful to grasp!

What He is speaking to us is coming out of the attributes and character of God.  He sees the beginning from the end, His thoughts towards us are good, His love for us is great, He cannot lie, He is full of justice, He is faithful, His Word cannot return void.  When we consider the source and authority behind what is being spoken to us, we can rest in His guiding.

Guide means to literally show the way.  The Holy Spirit was given to be our Guide, to show us the way, to be our leader and our guide.

When we seek out the counsel of the Holy Spirit daily, we walk with more confidence, hope, assurance and rest.  He loves to communicate with us.  He desires to talk with you and walk with you.   Read His Word, ask Him questions today, ask His opinion, ask Him to guide you, to help you make the right decisions.  He may quicken a verse to your mind, He may give you revelation about a verse, causing it to become a Rhema word to you.  He may speak to you in a still small voice, He may send someone along your path, or He may speak to you in a dream or a vision.  He wants to be involved in every area of your life.

Holy Spirit is the source of all Truth.  Seek Him daily. Delve into His Word and ask Him to guide you and show you the way.  He will never disappoint!

Be a Life Builder!

Sometimes we forget the impact that our words have.  God has given us some pretty specific instructions regarding our words.  He has cautioned us to watch what we speak, because our words are creative source.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.  Proverbs 18:21

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! James 3:5

Sometimes we forget the impact that our words have.  God has given us some pretty specific instructions regarding our words.  He has cautioned us to watch what we speak, because our words are creative source.  They either create life or death.

What is the confession coming out of your mouth today?  What negative things are you reinforcing by your words?  Stop and listen to what you are saying.  Is your conversation and words life building or do your words put you and others into a box – a sick box, a religious box, an identity box, a relational box?  Let’s line our words up with God’s Word!

Proverbs say to guard your thinking because your thoughts run your life, and Luke says that your mouth speaks what your heart is full of.

We need to recognize and connect the correlation between our words and our lives, and see the impact that our words are having on ourselves as well as those around us.  If you don’t like an area of your life right now, take a few moments and analyze what you have been communicating about this area in your life.  Then make a conscience effort to adjust your speech to line up with life building strategies.

We may not think our words are important, but they frame our lives, they set the course for our success or failures. Set yourself up for success – speak life!

Proverbs 4:23 Be careful what you think,
 because your thoughts run your life.

Luke 6:45 For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

 

Holy Spirit Helps Me

Have you ever felt strength less, weak, sick, or frail?  Do you ever feel like you are trying to do things on your own?  Do you ever feel overwhelmed, wondering how you are going to make it through?

Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. Romans 8:26

Have you ever felt strength less, weak, sick, or frail?  Do you ever feel like you are trying to do things on your own?  Do you ever feel overwhelmed, wondering how you are going to make it through?

Jesus saw all of that and He knew that we were going to need someone to walk with us and help us.   How wonderful is it that He made those provisions for us?  He said, ‘I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever’ (John 14:16).

He knew that we were going to need help.  He recognized, that the assignment that He has given, could not be completed without the help of the Holy Spirit.  He knew what frailties and weaknesses we were going to experience, and He made a provision for us!

Romans 28:6 Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

The Holy Spirit was sent to help us.  The word help means to lay hold along with, to strive to obtain with others, help in obtaining, to take hold with another, embrace to help, to be a partaker of.  We see the idea here of, the Holy Spirit joining together with us to help us succeed and overcome.  He is at work with us.  We are not left alone; we can rely and call upon Him to help us.

I love how Robertson describes this!  ‘Here beautifully Paul pictures the Holy Spirit taking hold at our side at the very time of our weakness and before too late.’   The Holy Spirit comes alongside us, takes hold, and before it is too late He helps us in our weakness!

It is interesting to note key descriptive words, ‘helps, together, lay hold along with, help in obtaining’.  The Holy Spirit works ‘with’ us.  He is not doing the work ‘for’ us, but He is coming along side us to help.  We still have to take responsibility and do our part, but He has promised that He will meet us in our weakness and lay hold along with us so that we can overcome and have victory.

When a parent helps a child walk up a stairway, that child has all the strength and resources of the parent, but the child still must take the steps and walk up the stairway himself.   This illustration still doesn’t describe the full impact of when the Holy Spirit lays hold and comes along side with us, but it gives us a framework and a mind picture to relate to.

When He is active in our lives and helping us,  we are connected with the full provisions of the Godhead – wisdom, peace, strength, wealth, understanding, healing, provisions, discernment, and the list goes on!  He helps us as we grow and walk.  Just like we want to see our children grow and mature, God’s desire for us to grow and mature governs His help for us.  He wants US to do it, He wants US to succeed.  He wants US to overcome.

Oh how amazing!  How wonderful is that?  We don’t have to do life alone!  We have been given a Helper!

*Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament.

Eliminating the Road Block

Moving passed an offence or hurt is a difficult process sometimes and depending upon how close that person is to us often determines how deep the hurt goes. 

Do you feel blocked?  We have all struggled with being hurt and with offences.  It is part of life.  Jesus said that offences would come.  But what we do with the hurt and the offence determines our quality of life.

Moving passed an offence or hurt is a difficult process sometimes and depending upon how close that person is to us often determines how deep the hurt goes.  We have all heard that we need to forgive, we need to let go;  we have all heard that Jesus said forgive seventy  times seven, but how do we walk that out when we have been deeply hurt?

Often times while we are processing or nursing our hurt, we don’t realize what it is actually doing to us inside.  We think that we are protecting ourselves, but in reality we are actually inflicting more pain and damage upon ourselves.  We get stuck in a moment of time and our roadway becomes blocked.  We cannot not move forward with our life.

When forgiveness is hard to give, how can I  move along the path of forgiveness?  How can I stop being ROAD BLOCKED?  Exercising the skills below will eliminate the road block and enable you to move forward with the abundant life God has for you!

Objectivity
One of the hardest things to do is gain objectivity.  This is really hard when we feel like we have been unjustly treated, or that we have not been heard, or we have been misrepresented.  But if we can step back from the situation and look at it objectively, from another’s point of view we will gain understanding and empathy that will help us deal with the offense.

Ask yourself, ‘Why would they act like this?  Why would they say this?  What are they going through now that is making them respond this way?  What deficit are they functioning from?   What’s motivating their behavior? How would I act or feel if I was in their position?’

By asking ourselves these questions and learning to be objective, we position ourselves to see that person in a different light.   We will begin to have empathy and understanding for them and what they are possibly going through.  When you have gained a proper perspective, it allows you to deal with the hurt and the offense quickly.  It is easier to forgive and let go when you are coming from the position of understanding and empathy.

Looking in the Mirror
Seeing ourselves as others sees us, is a more difficult task.  It is easier to focus on the other person’s faults and shortcomings than it is to accept that possibly part of the problem lies with me.  But if we are going to process and let go of hurt, we must also take a look at ourselves objectively.  This is a necessary but painful step.  Be quick to admit when you are wrong or have wrong attitudes.

Involve the Holy Spirit
Involving the Holy Spirit is always helpful, because He is patient and kind towards us.  He will gently expose or show you the areas where you need to change.  He will often use people and conflict to bring us to a place where we are ready to receive and hear His voice.  Our growth and maturity is important to Him and He will allow us to go through things to bring about those changes.  But how we respond to the conflict will directly impact our growth and maturity.  If we don’t allow it to bring growth and maturity, He will allow us to go through more difficulties to help us grow.  Our response dictates how many times around the mountain we must go.  Learn to listen and receive from the Holy Spirit and then be quick to obey.

Controlling our Emotions
You may say, I have done all of those things, but I still feel……..
You are right!  You may still feel…….

Now is the time to exercise some spiritual backbone and maturity.  Here comes where we live by principle and not our feelings.  This is where we say, ‘My feelings are subject to the Word of God and I will live by them and not my feelings.’

Satan wants us to hold on to those hurt feelings, nurse them along, feel sorry for our self, because he knows if he can get us focusing on that we will no longer be focusing on our God-given assignments.

This is where we get to employ the Fruit of the Spirit and love the unlovely, dispense joy to the grouchy, administer peace to the restless, demonstrate longsuffering to those who try our patience.  These are all acts of our will.  We must choose to do them.  We must deliberately act!  This is where WE control our emotions and feelings.

Conflicts with people will never go away, so the quicker we learn the necessary skills to navigate through these times the happier we will be.  Instead of allowing these negative experiences to throw us into tailspins that last for weeks, months or sometimes even years.  We can bounce back from them quickly.  Our lives can be filled with love, joy and peace regularly.  We can stay focused on our God-given assignments.

Don’t loose heart!  Determine today to move forward into the life that God has waiting for you!  Move past the ROAD BLOCK!

What Do You SEE?

Eye

There are some people that we just love spending time with and then there are those who we would rather not.  Well, the Lord decided to have a little fun with me one day and gave me the opportunity to spend sometime with a challenging person.   They were thrown across my path unexpectedly, and I was challenged in my attitude.  I was like, ‘Lord, really?  This is not how I planned on spending my day.’

The Lord said, to me, ‘How do I SEE them?’  I laughed and said, ‘I know how you see them!  Very funny Lord!’  I was chuckling because I knew exactly where He was taking this conversation and encounter!

As the day continued on, I thought, ‘Why do I have to deal with this today Lord?  How much more enjoyable and restful would my day be if they were not part of it?’  Again the Lord said, ‘How do I see them?’  I laughed again and said, ‘I KNOW how you see them!  And yes, I have not chosen to see them through your eyes.  I’m sorry that I chose not to view them through your eyes of love and compassion.  Lord, I will see what you see and act accordingly.’

The Lord challenged me to see them from His eyes, His perspective.  Why are they doing and saying those things?  Where is it coming from?   Instead of taking it personally or being annoyed by it, I was challenged to show the Fruits of the Spirit -love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22

I began to see them with different eyes. I saw them through their need,  and what they needed.  Not through the eyes of how they should be.  I left my expectation of their behavior at the door and just loved them where they were.

I wish I could tell you that they changed,  but they continued on throughout the week just like they always had, but somehow, it didn’t irritate me so much.  Instead of being annoyed, I just laughed and thought, ‘it’s just the way they are, it’s not my job to change them.’

I am reminded of how God loves us and displays His fruit towards us even when we don’t deserve it.  I am reminded of how patient He is to work out the unlovelies in our own lives.

Choose to see what God sees!

Blessings – Winona