Tag Archives: reflect

Week # 21 Ephesians 2: 8-10

Did you have an opportunity to share your story last week?  If not, I’m sure an occasion will be presented soon.  I love the way last weeks verse, Matthew 28: 19-20Matthew 28: 19-20
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19 Therefore go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

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, compliments  Ephesians 2:8-10Ephesians 2:8-10
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8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.

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(if this is your first time joining us click here to read more).  Both of these scriptures direct the focus in our life to Christ working in us for the purposes of God’s kingdom.  How does your story boast of God’s handiwork?

Sometimes that is an easy question to answer and other times it is difficult depending on the season of life we are in.  When our answer doesn’t come easy we should take time to reflect on how the Lord has worked in our lives in the past.  A purposeful pause might be just what we need right now as we are on the edge of entering the second half of 2017.

A good place to start might be with asking ourselves how has God’s free gift of grace impacted our lives?  Our answer to this question will reveal if we are accepting His grace freely and are living according to what He has created us, in Christ Jesus, to do.  An honest reflection requires us to start by defining God’s grace according to His standards.  Why?  Because, it tends to get muddled up when we try to define it within human parameters.  What do I mean by muddled up?

Well, we tend to want to continuously tie an “if– then” condition to grace.  For example, in my Sunday School Class, an illustration of restaurant tipping is often used to differentiate between God’s grace and an individual’s grace standard.  God’s grace standard is given freely without connection to if the individual deserves His grace.  God graciously provided salvation for us before we did anything to deserve it.  We receive God’s grace through faith, of any size, by accepting His offer and trusting His ability to freely gift us eternal salvation.

The tipping illustration places us in a service providing restaurant.  The person serving our table has a level of faith that their customer will provide a “monetary tip” for services rendered to the best of their ability.  What should our standard for tipping our server be?  As a paying customer we have been conditioned to measure the service provided by various personal standards.  How often are we trapped by our engrained service standards and “tip” based more on what they deserve rather than freely tipping with grace to bless our server?  From the conversations in my class I can tell you grace tipping is more of an acceptation rather than the standard. This topic is met by  some of the following comments:   “If I get bad service how is the person ever going to know they are terrible?”  or “I only give what they deserve, I shouldn’t have to tip, it’s the owners job to pay their staff.” This is meant only as an example— please don’t feel judged if your not a grace tipper.

I hope you didn’t get lost in this illustration.  The point I hope we will all take away is—- grace is given without consideration of merit and in many cases extended when by all measure when not deserved.  God’s free grace is absent of any “if or then” calculations.   But,  if we are focused on living life still trying to “deserve or earn” God’s grace.  Then, our understanding could be compared to believing that God is more like the paying customer who gives grace based on what we have done or are doing.  Does this belief align with scripture?  According to Ephesians 2:8-10Ephesians 2:8-10
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8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.

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the answer is, no.  Paul states very clearly that we are saved by grace through our faith in God NOT by anything we do beyond freely receiveing it all, because even our faith comes from God.

If our very faith, is the basis of receiving grace, comes from the Lord what is our role?   I propose that it is to act on the faith we are given through belief in Christ and to obey his commands.  Jesus gave us our first step when he revealed the greatest commands of the Lord in Matthew 22:36 -40Matthew 22:36 -40
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36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 A second likewise is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

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—  first, to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and second to love your neighbor like you love yourself.  When we obey these commands(John 14: 23 -24John 14: 23 -24
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23 Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him. 24 He who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word which you hear isn’t mine, but the Father’s who sent me.

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) it leads us into deep relationship with the Lord, increases our faith, and pours out into our love for him, ourselves, and our neighbors.  When we embrace the faith He has given to us we are able to live out His commands in love through His free grace.

Personally the concept of free grace was not one that I embraced immediately when I first believed Jesus is my Savior.  I spent many years believing that I had to earn God’s grace.  As I held onto this belief I felt like I couldn’t measure up or do enough for God and others.  My feelings of inadequacy became the substance of the walls that I built.  Barriers that separated me from experiencing God’s free grace and who He wanted to be in my life.  I blocked His love because I didn’t feel like I was good enough.  I couldn’t forgive myself, so I questioned  how or why the God of the universe would forgive me, love me, or even listen to me?  It breaks my heart to think of all the time I wasted behind a wall of unbelief, fear, and insecurity.  Maybe you can relate to the walls I built in my life or maybe you have other walls built to keep God at a distance.  If you do and are still struggling with this belief my prayer is that you will chose to believe in His unconditional love for you, as His child.  That you will act on the mustard seed of faith He has given you to receive His free gift of grace today.  It is as simple as us telling Him we believe in Jesus His Son and we receive His gift of grace— the key that brings us freedom from our sin.  After that we are free to continue to act on our faith and seek His help to obey His commands.  Now, let the boasting begin— of how God’s grace has invaded our life and caused us to live as the handiwork God created us to be in Christ!

Does boasting always mean through words?  Let’s consider how we can boast of God’s grace by extending grace to others through forgiveness, unconditional love, kindness, and maybe even some grace tipping.

How will you express the free grace you have been given this week?

Who needs to hear your story of grace and freedom?

Join the conversation I would love to hear your ideas!

**If you find your mind wondering back to the question of our source of faith being God himself?  I encourage you to answer your questions.   Here are some digging deeper scriptures for personal study. (Acts 3:16Acts 3:16
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16 By faith in his name has his name made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which is through him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

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, Acts 15:9-11Acts 15:9-11
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9 He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you tempt God, that you should put a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, TR adds “Christ” just as they are.”

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, Acts 26:18Acts 26:18
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18 to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

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, Romans 1:17Romans 1:17
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17 For in it is revealed God’s righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by faith.”

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, Romans 4: 1-8Romans 4: 1-8
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4 1 What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as debt. 5 But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works, 7 “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, Whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin.”

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, Romans 4:16-17Romans 4:16-17
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16 For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. 17 As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.” This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were.

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, Romans 5:1-2Romans 5:1-2
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5 1 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2 through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

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, James 2:21-22James 2:21-22
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21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected;

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) **

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
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23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 9 Wisdom Builder Romans 6:23

Weekly, I have the privilege of preparing scripture cards for my family and a mini post for those who are joining me on the “Wisdom Wellspring” journey to put the treasure of God’s word in our hearts each week.  My preparation includes: writing out the verse of the week on six index cards for each of my family members scripture rings and my wellspring ring.  As I re-write the current weeks verse I prayerfully seek to hear from the Lord what He wants me to focus on this week with this verse.  By the sixth card I pretty much have the verse memorized and have a basic sense of where the Lord is leading.  Today was a little different.
Romans 6:23Romans 6:23
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23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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is a fairly familiar Bible verse to me and possibly to many others.  So I wasn’t expecting any earth shattering revelation in my heart.  It’s the basics of salvation— sin equals death without God’s free gift of eternal life, which is opened through believing and receiving Christ as our Savior and Lord.  A simple, but life changing truth that I expected to present with simplicity.  The reality of the ability of God’s Word to touch our heart afresh(Hebrews 4:12Hebrews 4:12
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12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

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) no matter how many times we have read or heard the passage strikes again!  I think it was when I was making index card number three when I was writing the word “IN” that I began to get the greater depth of this verse.  On the surface, the message of Romans 6:23Romans 6:23
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23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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speaks of the difference between obtaining death and eternal life– God’s gift.  Reflecting on the simple word “IN” placed within this verse makes it so much more for our finite minds to explore.  The “IN” calls us deeper– What does it mean that our “eternal life” is “”IN” Christ”?   What does it mean to be “”IN” Christ”?  The Apostle Paul has much to say about this in Ephesians 1:3-14Ephesians 1:3-14
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3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ; 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love; 5 having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire, 6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely bestowed favor on us in the Beloved, 7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him 10 to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him; 11 in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will; 12 to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: 13 in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Gospel of your salvation,—in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is a pledge of our inheritance, to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.

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.  I hope you will take time this week to read through who you are “in Christ” and live with eternity as your focus.  I plan to discuss this in more detail as a future “Tuesday Tidbit” which will give a glimpse into my study Royal Reflections that explores what our position “in Christ” means in our daily lives and eternity.

Are you living for earthly wages or eternal treasures?

If you aren’t sure leave me a private message(leave a comment with “private” as first word) or email me at sherry@sherryeifler.com.  I would love to answer any of your questions or just connect with you.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
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23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 8 Wisdom Builder Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust is something we begin to learn from the moment we take our first breath.  We trust unknowingly most of our early years.  Until one day we experience something that is hurtful or scary that awakens the reality that not everything or person is worthy of our complete trust.  Each of our life experiences have developed the level of trust we give within the relationships we develop and daily determine our level of interaction with the world around us.  These realities also play a role in how we trust God.   

Proverbs 3:5-6Proverbs 3:5-6
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5 Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, And don’t lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, And he will direct your paths.

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It isn’t easy to trust the Lord all the time.  We tend to reflect our trust level with the things of this world  into our relationship with God.   Our hesitancy to trust could be due to memories of how things have gone in the past.

Moving bring my hesitancy to trust the Lord into the spotlight.  Each move our family makes is an opportunity for me to trust God and lean on him to make my paths straight.  The last duty station move I was faced with the choice—- was I going to trust and lean on Christ or turn to my own understanding.   It was a struggle because, as many of my Military friends can relate, our moving assignments known as “orders” don’t always come at effective and helpful times.  This particular time we knew we would be moving and the decision on when and where was long overdue.  There was talk of the possible locations and housing was highlighted by all our friends who had been there as an “immediate” concern.  Deep in my heart I knew I could and should just trust the Lord with all of these details.  Each conversation, over the months of waiting, I had about the pending move chipped away at my resolve to trust.  The looks and words spoken continued trying to knock me off balance.  Maybe you can relate to these– “really you don’t ______ yet” and “what are you waiting for” or “if I were you I would have already______”?  These statements left me to question my peace I had in trusting God.  I was tired of feeling that way so I asked the Lord to “please give me a verse to cling to during this challenging time.”  Psalm 5:3Psalm 5:3
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3 Yahweh, in the morning you shall hear my voice. In the morning I will lay my requests before you, and will watch expectantly.

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was the answer and my motto for the move became “waiting expectantly on the Lord.”  It was like my trust banner that my heart and mind would wave in the face of doubts that would come my way with every new thought, opinion, and look.  The waiting continued to the point my husband had changed jobs just a day before the next assignment was given.  I’m pleased to report within a few hours of the long awaited news of our next assignment the Lord provided a house that has blessed the whole family.

Do you trust the Lord with all your heart?

Who’s understanding do you depend on when you are making decisions each day?

Do you believe if you submit to Christ’s way he will make your paths straight?

Remember straight paths can come in the form of right way of life, conduct or thought, and sometimes even experienced as smooth and unhindered.  Straight paths are not promised to be perfect and without challenges.

Do you have a story of when you chose to trust the Lord and he made your path straight?

I’d love to hear so join the conversation!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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Walls or Bridges?

Walls or Bridges?

I was leading a Bible study group through Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer when this “tidbit” rocked my world. I hope you are encouraged. In this study, at the end of each study day, she asks us to write down our “Actionable Intel”(a personal take a way). This particular day we were studying the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace. Priscilla asked us with each piece of armor, we studied, to step back from our life circumstances and ask the Lord to reveal the spiritual realities influencing our daily interactions and experiences. That day we focused on how the enemy seeks to demolish the peace that God gives us in life. One way he does this is to keep us off balance and distract us from close relationship with God, the people of God, and the other people in our life.

Ephesians 2:13Ephesians 2:13
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13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Christ.

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– 18 tells us “he (Christ) himself is our peace, who has made the two groups (Israel and Gentile) one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility (verse 14 parentheses added). Christ reconciled both Israel and Gentile to God through the cross. The cross is the bridge he built to bring the peace of God to mankind for all mankind to have peace with him and one another.

My “actionable intel” for that study day was the following:

“Christ builds bridges of peace~unity~strength~love. Our enemy builds walls of deception to separate~isolate~weaken~spawn hatred. Which architect will you hire?”

This “actionable intel” is a challenge to be alert and ready to stand strong with our “Shoes of the Gospel of Peace” strapped on securely. Living as peacemakers who build bridges in the power of Christ through love, forgiveness, gentleness, and unifying strength.

 

Reflect on your relationships.   Which are they more characterized by tension or peace? The answer to this question will reveal if your life is full of bridges or walls?

 

Reflective Prayer:

Lord we come to you asking you to strengthen us in your love and peace. Help us to recognize the areas where we have worked with the enemy to build walls in our heart, our relationships, and our lifestyle.   Soften our hearts with your love, forgive us of our sins, and restore us to our peaceful relationship with you. Guide and teach us how to build bridges and walk on those bridges with you. Thank you for the bridge of your cross, which secures for those who believe in you, Jesus, that nothing can separate us from you— no wall, no sin, nothing! In Jesus name— Amen

Romans 8:38-39Romans 8:38-39
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38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Nothing can separate those in Christ from God!

What walls need bridges in your heart?  I’d love to hear……

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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Pursuit!

Days run by like water flowing to the ocean- sometimes just a trickle and other times swiftly. Either way, they have an

creek-21749__480effect on the lives and landscape they run by and through. God’s natural design for the waters is to pursue the vast oceans as their ultimate destination. Likewise, His natural design for mankind is to pursue Him as our eternal destination. (Ecclesiastes 3:11Ecclesiastes 3:11
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11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man can’t find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end.

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Would you describe your pursuit as a trickle or a swiftly running stream? The easy answer is “not quite swiftly but much more than a trickle.” But what does that look like? As I consider the question.  My mind floods with even more questions— Am I pursuing Him at the rate He has designed for my life? Am I taking the path He has set out before me? Am I allowing His design to have the effect on me He intends? Am I allowing His design to have the effect on those He places in my life? Is it better to

water-1658021_1280landscape-1843128__480move at a swift pace or trickle? My heart struggled to discover a truthful response- one absent of rationalization. I desired a cloudless view of any part of my pursuit that wasn’t authentically centered on Christ. Not excusing areas of my life that I refuse to sacrifice in my pursuit of God’s call to “be Holy as He is Holy.”(1Peter 1:14 – 16)

Our pursuit of God is not measured by pace but rather our heart as we pursue a life that “finds out what pleases the Lord!” (Ephesians 5:10Ephesians 5:10
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10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Lord.

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) When we study the paths of water to the ocean, we discover it travels at many different speeds

heart-996157__480and has subtle and drastic effects based on the path on which it has been set.   Each journey looks different. Consider the contrast of a flowing mountain stream, a river valley, and a mighty river. In each season they have their purpose and shape the landscape as designed by the Creator.

Living our life in pursuit will look different for each of us. The key is to keep moving with God whether it is at a painfully slow or exhilaratingly fast pace. Continue the journey with an open heart to what pleases the Lord and be prepared for the effects.

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As our lives are lived according to His eternal design it leaves us changed for His glory and those in our life’s path effected too. Take time to read the rest of Ephesians 5. Paul gives a few examples of “what pleases the Lord”. (Ephesians 5:10Ephesians 5:10
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10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Lord.

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)   I will leave you with this challenge.

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Ephesians 5: 19Ephesians 5: 19
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19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing, and singing praises in your heart to the Lord;

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b- 20 “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

I’d love to hear what song the Lord puts in your heart!

Please leave me a comment here or on Facebook.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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ADORE Series: Eternal Peace!

Welcome to the final post in the ADORE Series: Eternal Peace—

Happy New Year!!! Did you know we are just days away from the Day of Epiphany? Friday January 6th marks the day to celebrate the day that  The Wise Men or Maggi arrived and worshiped Jesus the newborn king—“And he will be their peace.” (Micah 5:5Micah 5:5
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5 He will be our peace when Assyria invades our land, And when he marches through our fortresses, Then we will raise against him seven shepherds, And eight leaders of men.

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) Some traditions celebrate the combination of both the worship and gifts given by the Maggi and the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist where the “Spirit descended on him like a dove.”(Mark 1:10-11Mark 1:10-11
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10 Immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting, and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 A voice came out of the sky, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

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). These events are both centered on the celebration of the peaceful kingship of our Savior. If you have never celebrated this holiday you can find more information at this link —https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/epiphany.

As we take time this week to reflect on the gift of “Eternal Peace”.   I think it is important to consider the gifts presented to the Son of God by the Maggi. These men had, in some cases, spent their lifetime searching for the foretold star to appear as prophesied hundreds of years before by the prophet Balaam (Numbers 24:17-19Numbers 24:17-19
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17 I see him, but not now; I see him, but not near: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, A scepter shall rise out of Israel, Shall strike through the corners of Moab, Break down all the sons of tumult. 18 Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession, who were his enemies; While Israel does valiantly. 19 Out of Jacob shall one have dominion, Shall destroy the remnant from the city.

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). The star was declared as the sign of the rise of an Israelite King. After the “Bethlehem Star” (click for a short video) appeared in the heavens the Maggi began their journey to the Jewish capital city of Jerusalem. Each one anticipating their opportunity to honor and worship this long awaited king with gifts suited for royalty— gold, frankincense, and myrrh. All of these gifts spoke of Jesus’ position, purpose, and perpetual fulfillment of the prophecies that brought hope for “Eternal Peace” on earth.Let’s reflect on the gifts:

The First Gift~ Gold– A gift of great value given to royalty and those who have treasure. This gift speaks to the future position of Christ as Eternal King—the King of peace.

Micah 5:2-5Micah 5:2-5
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2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Being small among the clans of Judah, Out of you one will come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. 3 Therefore he will abandon them until the time that she who is in labor gives birth. Then the rest of his brothers will return to the children of Israel. 4 He shall stand, and shall shepherd in the strength of Yahweh, In the majesty of the name of Yahweh his God: And they will live, for then he will be great to the ends of the earth. 5 He will be our peace when Assyria invades our land, And when he marches through our fortresses, Then we will raise against him seven shepherds, And eight leaders of men.

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“”But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come from me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace.”

The Second Gift~ Frankincense– An expensive form of incense known for it’s sweet fragrance, healing properties, and being used often in sacrificial offering ceremonies. This gift speaks to his purpose to live a life that would reconcile the world to its’ creator.

Isaiah 9:6-7Isaiah 9:6-7
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6 For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from that time on, even forever. The zeal of Yahweh of Armies will perform this.

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“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The seal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

The Third Gift~ Myrrh– A balm that had a sweet aroma yet bitter flavor most used for it’s healing, preservation, and protective qualities. It was commonly used for Jewish burial preparation. This gift resembles the suffering and sacrifice that speaks to the perpetual fulfillment of the prophecies for “Eternal Peace”.

 Revelation 1:4Revelation 1:4
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4 John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne;

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“ Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father— to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, “says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.””

Let’s carry these gifts in our lives this year to share with our world around us!

Our Challenges~

  1. Share the gift of gold by sharing the Gospel of peace and doing our best to remain at peace with all. (Ephesians 6:15Ephesians 6:15
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    15 and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace;

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    ; Mark 9:50Mark 9:50
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    50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, with what will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

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    ; Romans 12:18Romans 12:18
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    18 If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men.

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  2. Share the gift of frankincense by spreading the fragrance of Christ’s love daily. (Ephesians 5:1-2Ephesians 5:1-2
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    5 1 Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

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  3. Share the gift of myrrh by living selflessly and dying to our self-daily so Christ will live through us. (Philippians 1:21Philippians 1:21
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    21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

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    ; Galatians 2:20Galatians 2:20
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    20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.

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Prayer of Adoration: Oh Eternal King of Peace you are mighty and worthy of all praise. Your kingdom is never ending and your love endures forever. We seek to follow after you and be instruments of your peace, love, joy, hope, and grace this whole year through. Lord as we draw closer to you we ask that you would fill us with more of you so our lives will be a fragrant offering to you. Teach us to be imitators of you so where we walk we walk in your love and peace. Help us to live selflessly by faith. Empower us to choose to be salt and light encouraging peace among our brothers and sisters. We ask all of this as we long for your triumphal return to reign as The King of Kings. In Jesus Holy name, Amen

Here is a great song to listen to as you ponder the gift of Christ by Lauren Daigle “Noel(live)”.

Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Vwu-t7QRaE&sns=em 

Leave me a comment I would love to hear from you!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

For more study on the “Bethlehem Star”by Andrew Reese you can click this link https://youtu.be/k07DzOMjM to view the full length movie on the scientific discovery of the “Bethlehem Star”.

 

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ADORE Series: Outrageous Joy

Welcome to the third post in the ADORE Series: Outrageous Joy—

What comes to mind when you hear “Outrageous Joy”? Is it a loud memory or a quiet gentle one?   Is it a memory of a time experienced with others or a personal moment? I have experienced joy in so many ways it is hard explain the source of my joy at times. Especially when tears accompany it. This week let’s take a moment to reflect on the “outrageous joy” that Mary carried within her as the mother of our Savior. She gives a brief glimpse of it in her song found in Luke 1: 46-56Luke 1: 46-56
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46 Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord. 47 My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, 48 For he has looked at the humble state of his handmaid. For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed. 49 For he who is mighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name. 50 His mercy is for generations of generations on those who fear him. 51 He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart. 52 He has put down princes from their thrones. And has exalted the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things. He has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has given help to Israel, his servant, that he might remember mercy, 55 As he spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his seed forever.” 56 Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her house.

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. I wonder what it was like for her knowing she was blessed to carry the Savior of the world but unable to share her miraculous experience outside of a very small circle of relatives for fear of ridicule and a possible sentence of death.  Her life was marked by suffering, persecution, separation, and danger.  She experienced brief highlights of honor, acceptance, delight, and peace which she pondered and treasured in her heart.  What gave her the strength to continue?  I suggest that, like Jesus, she endured all the circumstances of her life for the joy set before her (Hebrews 12:2:3Hebrews 12:2:3
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)–  the fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah and the message given by the angel, Gabriel.  Her strength was born out of the presence of the Holy Spirit that released the power to create Jesus, God made man, and burst forth as “outrageous joy” that would sustain her and point her time and time again to “the joy set before her”.  That same Holy Spirit that sustained Mary and Jesus while they walked the earth is alive in us.  So no matter what we are facing now or in the future we need to tap into the strength of the “Outrageous Joy” only He can provide.  I hope you will experience the “Outrageous Joy” of Christ this Christmas!

May I suggest starting with this Chris Tomlin song “Joy to the World(Unspeakable Joy)”?  I personally think Mary’s joy is expressed well by the chorus lyrics—- “Joy, unspeakable joy. An overflowing well, no tongue can tell. Joy, unspeakable joy. Rises in my soul, never lets me go.” (check out the whole song on YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC3SwhJsLqU&sns=em ) Be careful I have had this chorus in my head for about two weeks now it is very catchy!!!

 

As you read the joyful Psalm below reflect on the birth of our Savior and the “outrageous joy” His birth brought into our world for us each to experience.

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness;

come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.

It is he who made us, and we are his;

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;

Give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

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How will you keep his “outrageous joy” alive in your heart this week and all yearlong?

 

Who can you tell about the “outrageous joy” of Christ’s birth?

 

Leave a comment to let me know what brings you “outrageous joy”!

 

Prayer of Adoration:   We come to you, Lord, with thanksgiving in our hearts  and your “unspeakable joy” in our souls for all the ways that you love us.  Your expression of love is deep and never ending.   Your outrageous gift of salvation through your Son our Savior leaves us in awe of you.   We ask that you the God of hope will fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in you so that we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit(Romans 15:13Romans 15:13
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13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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).  We love you, Lord, even though we have not seen you.  We believe in you and know that you are the one who fills us with an inexpressible and glorious joy-— the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls(1Peter 1: 8-9).  
Just as you filled Mary’s heart and soul with “unspeakable joy” as she carried our Savior and released Him for your glory.  May you be glorified this Christmas season as we seek to live joyful lives in reflection of your gift of eternal life!  Please strengthen us  as we fix our eyes on you, Jesus, and run the race you have set before us.  We want to live like you did enduring the things of this life for the joy set before us.  Help us to not grow weary and lose heart(Hebrews 12: 1-3Hebrews 12: 1-3
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12 1 Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him who has endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, that you don’t grow weary, fainting in your souls.

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but to consider it all joy that we will be made complete in you.(James 1:2-8James 1:2-8
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2 Count it all joy, my brothers The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”, when you fall into various temptations, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. 7 For let that man not think that he will receive anything from the Lord. 8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

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In your holy name, Jesus– Amen

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

 

 

 

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ADORE Series: Deep Love

Welcome to the second post in the ADORE Series, Deep Love—

Through out the scriptures, God’s “deep love” for his people is described in many ways. When I think about his “deep love” a picture comes to mind of a precious stone that has many facets. It sparkles brilliantly as light shines on it. The reflection appears different for each of us depending on where we are standing to view the captivating sight.glass-blocks-425719__480
Come let us ADORE our Savior this week reflecting on his deep love. Let’s take time to reflect on how we experience daily the Lord’s “deep love” in our life. Then, let’s take it a step further and seek how we can reflect His “deep love” through our life into the lives of those near to us in this season of giving.

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     Reflect on the following scriptures:

 

John 3:16 -17John 3:16 -17
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16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.

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“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”(bold and italics added)

John 15:13John 15:13
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13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

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“ Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”(bold and italics added)

1 Corinthians 13: 31 Corinthians 13: 3
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3 If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.

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“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails.”( bold and italics added)

“ When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (bold and italics added)

 

Deep Love Reflection:
Throughout scripture the love of God is characterized in the following ways: Deep – Enduring – Everlasting – Great – Forever – Unfailing – Rich – Lavish – Faithful – Jealous – Abounding – Sacrificial -Commanding – Fearless – Gentle – Inseparable – Better than Life!!

 

What facet of his love for you do you most clearly identify with? —Thank him for his love!

How are you responding to his expression of “deep love”?

How is he calling you to express his love to those near to you this giving season?

Prayer of Adoration:
Thank you, heavenly Father; for your deep and never ending love for us. A love that nothing we do and nothing in this world can ever separate us from. You are our source of love. You are the lover of our souls. You desire us to draw close to you to be loved deeply by you. The realization of your sacrificial love is so overwhelming. You gave your Son and He gave his life so we could become your sons and daughters.  So that we could experience your love as you dwell in our hearts. Fill us each day with your love so our lives become an outpouring of your love into a world that is in desperate need of you and the hope that is found in your love. Open our eyes to see your sweet expressions of love for us in this season of giving. Thank you for your extravagant expression of love—- your Son, made man, born in a manger destined to be the Savior of the world.  And that you for the greatest gift of all—- salvation!
With adoration in Jesus holy name– Amen

 

I’d love to hear how you will be expressing our Savior’s love this season!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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Oh Come Let Us ADORE our Savior!

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We are in the season of anticipation and adoration— Christmas and New Years! What is your natural focus around these Holidays? For me, I naturally get caught up in the anticipation. I am easily drawn into the business of preparing and experiencing all the season has to offer– from yummy treats, beautiful displays and programs and lovely music, to decorating, preparing, and the entire gift gathering (making and exchanging)—  in anticipation of Christmas. “The list” could go on for a mile. I’m sure just like me, you just remembered something else to add to your list. Amongst all the “Noise, Noise, Noise” as the Grinch grinch-02calls it; I find my inner soul anticipating sweet moments spent adoring my Savior. But “the list” seems to shout and demand my full attention, creating an unseen struggle to follow through on my desire for sweet moments spent with Jesus. My intention is to stay focused on celebrating his birth and preparing for all the New Year has to offer, without getting distracted by the “Noise, Noise, Noise”!

Can you relate? Would you like help staying focused? I invite you to join me this season in setting aside time for the next five weeks to ADORE our Savior together. Each week we will focus on an aspect of adoring Jesus Christ our Lord for the gifts His birth brought to all mankind. Together we will reflect on scriptures that lead us through the acrostic ADORE.

Amazing Grace
Deep Love
Outrageous Joy
Rejoicing in Hope
Eternal Peacebible-1806079_1280

 

 

 

 

This week’s focus is Amazing Grace:
Read and reflect on the following verses:

Ephesians 2: 4Ephesians 2: 4
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4 But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us,

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– 10(NIV) “ But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (bold and italics added by me)christmas-1010749_1280

Titus 2: 11- 14Titus 2: 11- 14
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Štetje svetopisemskih vrstic se za?ne z 1! Vrstica 0 ne obstaja!

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(NIV) “ For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope— the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (bold and italics added by me)

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Amazing Grace Reflection:

What do these verses reveal about God’s amazing grace?

What are the purposes of God giving us His amazing grace?

How will you express your adoration to your Savior for His gift of amazing grace?

 

Prayer of Adoration:

Amazing Savior,         We come to you with adoration for the amazing grace you have given to us. Your gift–the intentional atoning sacrifice that brought with it your grace to give our redemption and salvation. At Christmas time we are reminded that your birth was the gift that fulfilled your desire to dwell with your people.

hands-750281_1280This week we invite you to reign in our hearts and minds as we seek to adore you for the incomparable gift of your amazing grace—given to make us alive and raised up and seated in the heavenly realms with Christ. Your grace—was born out of your love for us, expressed in kindness, and given as a gift through faith in you our given Savior. Thank you for creating each of us for your purposes and supplying your grace that teaches us to live self-controlled lives and fills us with eagerness to do the good that you have destined for us to do.   We praise you for your amazing grace extended to all people that none might boast of their righteous acts for only you our Savior and Lord are righteous.

In Jesus Holy name we pray— Amen

 

Want to continue the ADORE series?

Be sure to subscribe to this website so you don’t miss next weeks “Deep Love” reflection.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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What will they think?

 

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My sweet Sol and Kate.

Can you relate to my “Sol experience”? It’s all about the art of dog walking. My preference is with my sweet Border Collie Kate. It is a tranquil time of reflecting through the wooded trail behind our home. Now it has become a “Sol experience”. What is a Sol experience you ask? Well it’s walking the family rescue dog ,Sol–a “Jack-a-be”, or Jack-Russell and Beagle combo. The first time my husband and I walked her we were mortified. We had just become “those dog owners”.

You know them. You’ve seen them, and when you see them, you wonder, “Who is walking whom?” “Those dog owners” have no control over their dog. You consider turning around to avoid them altogether. It’s comical and scary at the same to time as they approach. Their dog is lunging forward with every step at the end of the leash no matter how long or short it is, huffing and puffing, straining to get to the next thing, zigzagging across the path, whimpering excessively, and barking. If you have experienced it then you can relate to my “Sol experience”.

Sol does it all, but everything becomes excessively exaggerated when we walk near another dog, she spots a squirrel, or notices a bird. The looks I get– and oh, the advice I get– when I’m trying to train her. All the time, Sol is barking and usually getting more aggressive looking by the moment. It is comical at times, because the advice is so important to girl-1245678_1280share they willing my agony of this incessant dog barking performance for what feels like an eternity. I nod my head and repeat, “She is a rescue in training.” I smile as much as I can through my complete embarrassment, all the time wondering to myself, “What does this person think of me?”

Growing up the same question seemed to always be on the grown-ups minds too. I would get questioned all the time. Should you being doing that? Should you say that? Why didn’t you________? With the follow on question/statement “because what do you think they think about you after_________?” I know the questions all came with the best intentions but they developed a habit I’m still struggling to break.
I wonder if you can relate? I became hyper sensitive to what I think people might think about my choices and behavior walking-349991__340big and small. It led to constantly evaluating and wondering if I was good enough in other people’s eyes. I became entangled in the web of real and perceived expectations in my mind. In our Christian walk it is important what others think of us to an extent. But I can get wrapped up in seeking to please others rather than the Lord. Especially when I worry about what they “might” think.

So let’s take a moment to be honest with our selves. How often do your thoughts wander to “What do they think, or will they think about me?” When you are deciding what to wear, what to post on social media, where to go, what to buy, etc., how often has that determined what you would do or not do? If you are like me your answer is images-25much more than I would like to admit. It is amazing the power other peoples’ opinions, perceived or true, that I will give others over my life–even a stranger’s opinion. At times I may even find my self fearfully making choices in hopes to not offend and disappoint people. This fear robs me of full enjoyment to experience life in freedom. Proverbs 29:25Proverbs 29:25
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25 The fear of man proves to be a snare, But whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe.

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“ Fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.” Since I discovered this truth images-27I have been growing in my ability to recognize my fearful thought patterns. It’s a work in progress but day-by-day I am getting more skilled at “taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ”(2 Corinthians 10: 52 Corinthians 10: 5
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5 throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;

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It is a transforming process. I’m thankful I don’t have to do in my own strength and knowledge. It is the Holy Spirits job to transform me from the inside out making me desire to be obedient to this foreign way of living (2 Thessalonians 2:132 Thessalonians 2:13
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13 But we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth;

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). And just as I think I’m taking ground on this “fear of human opinion” disability I realize I have a long way to go. I need of a make over of my self-centered thoughts. The Lord wants to tree-84573__340completely remove this fear from my wardrobe. He wants to refit me with a style that is more flattering for His warrior-princess.

What woman would ever say “no” to a wardrobe makeover? Not me! The new designer label is “Fear of the Lord”! Just the name sounds fit for a warrior-princess. My first peak at the collection left me breathless. I would be stepping into a whole new way of thinking. He no longer wanted me to measure my choices and behavior by what others would think of me. He is asking me to be more concerned for what my choices would make others think of Him. Making this change would reflect righteousness from the hummel-1437243__340inside out. I would be putting on my spiritual garments of praise, robe of righteousness, and crown of salvation to send the message of love and hope found in Christ. My Christ- focused choices will spread His fragrance, thereby providing the opportunity to lead others in the direction to hope in my King. The new decision questions I will be asking myself are: What message am I about to send? Does it give others a glimpse of God’s love? Will it point others to Him? Can it send the fragrance of life in Jesus? How will it speak to those who need a loving God?

The way I live every part of my life sends a message. Will I live each part out in such a way that I send a message, giving off a fragrance that points others in the direction of their Creator to discover His love for them? Even in my “Sol experience” I need to turn my thoughts to the Lord. In what area of your life is he offering you a wardrobe makeover? Will you accept the invitation and receive the gift?images-2

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Together!

I’d love to hear about your “Sol experience”. Please pray for Sol and I in our obedience school!

Here are some other scriptures the Lord is using in my make-over process:

Philippians 4:8Philippians 4:8
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8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.

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- “….think on such things…”
Romans 13:14Romans 13:14
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14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, for its lusts.

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- “…clothe self with the Lord Jesus Christ..”
Colossians 3:12-14Colossians 3:12-14
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12 Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do. 14 Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection.

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- “…clothe self with compassion…over all of these virtues put on love…”

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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