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God alone is our source for truth and life. The devil prowls around looking for someone to devour. He is cunning, he and his demons. The powers of darkness and and the powers of God battle for control of our thoughts, because thoughts become actions. Jesus is the only truth. Jesus is the only life. Jesus is the only way to God. We are in a spiritual battle.
12 For our struggle is not against [e]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NASB)
“Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’ “John 14:6 (NASB)
Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (AMP)
And again He declares,
“I will be against anyone who goes to mediums and wizards for advice. Whoever does this is being unfaithful to me. So I will separate them from their people.” Leviticus 20:6 (ERV)
“If a man boweth to astrologers, and to false diviners, and doeth fornication with them, I shall set my face against him, and I shall slay him from the midst of his people (and I shall cut him off from the midst of his people).” (WYC)
Do not be deceived. Understand that mediums, astrologers, spiritists, wizards, and diviners work by the powers given to them from forces of evil. They are the tools through which Satan works to deceive us. God abhors putting anyone or anything between us and Jesus.
Understand, God ABHORS, HATES, DESPISES anything associated with these behaviors. He says we are whores and prostitutes if we participate in any related activities .
“… he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger.”
2 Chronicles 33:6 (AMP)
“He practiced magic and witchcraft and ·told the future by explaining signs and dreams [divination; augery]. He ·got advice from [dealt with] mediums and ·fortune-tellers [spiritualists; spiritists; Deut. 18:9–13]. He did ·many things the Lord said were wrong [L much evil in the Lord’s sight/eyes], which made the Lord angry.” (EXB)
“What good is it to mouth the words, “Lord! Lord!” if you don’t live by My teachings?” Luke 6:36 (VOICE)
“My little flock, don’t be afraid. God is your Father, and your Father’s great joy is to give you His kingdom.” Luke 12:32 (VOICE)
I urge you to be on the alert for those books, movies, and activities that may deceive you into becoming comfortable with behaviors unacceptable to Jesus. Examine your choices. Bring them before His standard. Choose that which leads you into a closer, more glorifying life to Him. Be transformed from appearing like the rest of the world. Stand out. Stand above the ordinary, for we serve an extraordinary God.
AMP Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved. For Permission To Quote information visit http://www.lockman.org/
ERV) Copyright © 2006 by Bible League Internationa
EXB The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.
NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
VOICE) The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserve
WYC) 2001 by Terence P. Noble
I feel such anguish. Brushing streams of tears aside as this is an issue personal and tender within my heart. Oh! How can we reach those who have no hope? Hope in God, even in the darkest of circumstances, overcomes the evil of the spiritual warfare.
Ephesians 6:10-13 (NASB)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Lord, Father God, ABBA, hear our pleas for your love to go forth and bring hope and life to those hurting such that they attempt or commit suicide. Surround the loved ones of those who have died by their own hands with your love, your grace, and your mercy. Help us to be your voice and arms of hope, encouragement and love. Lord, thank you that you came that we might have life and have it abundantly. Thank you for overcoming death and that you live. We know you are not surprised by this, because you know the number of our days. Thank you for creating us, because you wanted to pour out your perfect love on us, and for us to love you. Teach us, lead us and embolden us to share your love and hope with others.
Kate Spade is an internationally recognized designer and celebrity. But what of the you and me’s? As of this writing, from January 1, 2018-June 7, 2018, there have been 18,388 deaths by suicide in the US. *
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Sometimes my heart hears Jesus’s sweet voice gently directing me to be His voice, His hands, His embrace. My heart sounds like Moses or Jonah spilling forth all the reasons He should choose someone more capable.
And then my heart hears, “You. I, your Lord, am giving you the desire of your heart.”
“Delight yourself in the Lord;
And he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him and He will do it.”
Psalm 37:4-5 NASB
Well, my heart’s desire is to be His servant and to be a reflection of His love. He lives within me.
Heart’s desire: check.
Ability to do it: check.
He wants me to be His willing vessel.
Thankful, I hear Isaah’s voice from within my heart and I answer, “Here am I. Send me.”
He blesses the needy through these human hands and voice. But, my heart overflows with His abundant joy and blessings to me.
Revelation 5:11-14New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Angels Exalt the Lamb
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,
“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
The New American Standard Bible mentions hands 1550 times. Did you know the Lord states we are written onto His hands? The Orthodox Jewish Bible translates it as engraved into His hands. The following verse in several translations demonstrate this love for us.
Isaiah 49:16 (NASB)
Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;….
Isaiah 49:16 (VOICE)
Look here. I have made you a part of Me, written you on the palms of My hands.
Isaiah 49:16 (MSG)
I’d never forget you—never.
Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands
God wrote your name on His hand. He tattooed your name on the back of the hands that created all things. He promises never to forget you or abandon you. Will painful events occur in our lives? Yes, but God vows to never leaves us. He pours His love, His comfort, His strength, and His peace into us.
In December 2009, I asked the Lord for an anchor verse for 2010. He led me to Psalms 31:14-15 (NASB).
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
The Message paraphrases it as the following:
Desperate, I throw myself on you:
you are my God!
Hour by hour I place my days in your hand,
safe from the hands out to get me.
Four months later the doctor diagnosed me with stage two breast cancer. But God prepared me for this journey and I knew that He planned for me to experience His joy throughout. If my life here ended by cancer I knew my life in Heaven began. I anticipated blessings beyond measure as the Lord carried me on this venture and he poured them into my life.
Hands first touched us at our birth. But God’s hands wove us and formed us in our mothers’ wombs. His hands held us, comforted us, strengthened us. Throughout our lives His hands will continue embracing us in our joys, struggles, and sorrows. He holds us in His hands into which He engraved our names. He will never forget us. He will never abandon us. He loves us.
“Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.”
The Voice (VOICE)
The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.
APRIL 22, 2016 BY JANKWILLISAUTHOR
CATEGORIES: BIBLE STUDY, CANCER, CHRISTIAN LIVING, CHRISTIAN SPEAKER, COMFORT, CONFIDENCE, DEPRESSION, DEVOTION, DEVOTIONS, EMOTIONAL, GOD’S HANDS, HANDS, HEALING, HEAVEN, HOPE, JOY, LIFE, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, PAIN, PEACE, RELATIONSHIPS, SELF-WORTH, SORROW, STRESS, TRAUMA, TRAVEL, UNCATEGORIZED
TAGS: BIBLE STUDY, CANCER, CHRISTIAN SPEAKER, COMFORT, CONFIDENCE, DEPRESSION, DEVOTIONS, FAITH, GOD’S HANDS, HEAVEN, JOY, LIFE, LOVE, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, PAIN, PEACE, RELATIONSHIPS, SORROW, STRENGTH, STRESS, SUICIDE, TRAVEL
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We are not alone
Some of us living with depression slip into believing the lies we are alone, no one cares, and the world would better if we died. Some of you heard this favorite lie, “It’s a sin to be depressed.” The truth is we are not alone, we are loved, and our lives have purpose. It is not a sin to have an illness. Remember George in the movie It’s A Wonderful Life? He believed the lies and the angel showed him how worse life would be for those he loved if he died. Our lives have purpose for good. We are unique works of art crafted by the greatest of all creators, God.
Depression leading cause of disability
I scanned several recent health documents on the subject of depression and I learned some amazing facts. According to the World Health Organization there is an estimated 350 million individuals with some form of depression and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide.1 Nope. Not alone. Recognize any of these names: Beyoncé, Terry Bradshaw, Drew Carey, Harrison Ford, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton, Brad Pitt, Mike Tyson, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon? Yep. They all live or lived with depression. They reached out for help. They lead successful lives with their unique talents and personalities.2
Depression is a treatable illness.
Find a doctor you trust. The majority of us living with depression will enter into remission with proper treatment. Medications help the body heal and cope. Diabetics depend on medication. Those with crippling arthritis live functional lives on medication. There is a medication or a combination of medications if necessary to bring balance to the chemicals in our brains to assist us to live our lives to our fullest potential. There are almost more medicines for treating depression than we can count.
Take the first step
There are counselors who will help you learn life skills to deal with the issues that cause you pain. Go to your doctor, your pastor, your most trusted friend, the county mental health department where you live or family member. If the first attempt at reaching out is brushed aside, go tell someone else. But take the first step. Seek help. You are more valuable than all the precious metals or jewels in the world. You are the only one of you there is and you are loved.
Last fall I heard on the news of a college sophomore who died after he jumped off a building because he had lost all hope. He felt his life too painful to live. He felt there was no one he could tell. I wept for him as if he had been my child. I wept for his parents who loved him. I wept for his friends who didn’t see his pain. I wept for me because maybe my story may have helped him. In my next column I will start at the beginning of my story of my living with depression.
1 WHO, October, 2015, Depression Fact Sheet
2 Wikipedia contributors, “List of people with major depressive disorder,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_people_with_major_depressive_disorder&oldid=708650078 (Revised March 6, 2016).
Have you found yourself snickering at a toddler’s mispronunciation of a word or phrase? Rather than tell me she had an ear infection my granddaughter said, “Mimi, I got a ear confection.” My grandson gave the scripture reference on obedience to parents as “E-cheese-uns 6:1.” Then he chanted, “Chew-ren, obay yo pare-wents in da Lawd fa dis is wite. Dis is da fust commanant wif uh pro mus, so it will be gud fa yo.”
This started me thinking about my relationship with Christ. When I gave my life to God and asked Christ to live in my heart and reign as Lord, I became His child. “Child” and “children” are mentioned approximately 2000 times in the Bible. When I read that statistic I felt a nudge to examine my obedience and define what that entailed. The apostle Paul recorded this over 2000 years ago for us.
Romans 8:14-17 (VOICE)
14 If the Spirit of God is leading you, then take comfort in knowing you are His children. 15 You see, you have not received a spirit that returns you to slavery, so you have nothing to fear. The Spirit you have received adopts you and welcomes you into God’s own family. That’s why we call out to Him, “Abba! Father!” as we would address a loving daddy. 16 Through that prayer, God’s Spirit confirms in our spirits that we are His children. 17 If we are God’s children, that means we are His heirs along with the Anointed, set to inherit everything that is His. If we share His sufferings, we know that we will ultimately share in His glory.
When asked what commandments were the greatest Jesus focused on love. God is love.
Matthew 22:37-39 (NLT)
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
I experienced a sense of wonder. I share an inheritance with Christ as his sibling. Love encompasses all the commandments for a child obeying the Father. He said he loved God first with all he was and he loved others more than he loved himself. He spoke it and he demonstrated it. Even though equal to God he chose obedience to God, even to dying on a cross.
Philippians 2:8 (NASB)
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Embracing the truth God is the Father of Christ and me, I reflected on the commandments Christ gave. As a child of God I obey by loving my Heavenly Father first and loving others as he loves me.
Ephesians 6:1-3 (NLT)
Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do… This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you….”
(Insert your name), obey God. Love God. Love others. This is right. Loving is good for me.
The Voice (VOICE)
The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
New Living Translation (NLT). Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Sharing Treasures and Spreading His Love
After giving my life to Christ an entire library opened for me. Lauraine Snelling, Traci Peterson, Francine Rivers, Robin Lee Hatcher, Chuck Swindoll, Rick Warren, James Dobson, Susan May Warren, Karen Kingsbury, Barbara Johnson, Carol Mayhall, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, Max Lucado, John MacArthur and others represent one percent or less of men and women whose faithfulness to God changed my life. Christ took their teachings, stories and encouragement to point me to look to him and seek to become more like him.
But in the last year the Lord brought hundreds more godly men and women into my life who obeyed his call to write and speak. Eva Marie Everson, James Watkins, Cindy Sproles, Andy Lee, Edie Melson, Lori Hatcher, Bob Hostetler, Torry Martin, Andrea Merrill, Vonda Skelton, Elizabeth Brickman, Elaine Potts, Debbie Webb McDaniel, Darla Bell, Katy Kauffman, Erin Elizabeth Austin, and each one from BRMCWC, CCC and Boot Camp.
My humble thanks to each of you. Critiquing and editing this I realize my lists ramble, but sometimes you have to break the rules. I wanted to continue them, but practiced restraint, not much, but some.