It’s A Virus and It Spreads – Part II (Revised)

Computer virus spider

It’s A Virus and It Spreads – Part II

From the book: It’s Still Relative (The Word of God for Today’s World)

I John 3:4 – 6

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.  But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”

The virus on my computer started turning my computer off when it wanted to and making decisions about which programs would function, when and for how long. It was as if my computer had a mind of its own even though it belonged to me. My computer was doing what it wanted to do without my permission. Even though the computer belonged to me; I bought the computer with my families funds, it was operating independent of me.

It is the same with Christians and sin. God bought us with the life of his Son. God did not purchase us with the blood of His son so we could still operate independent of Him. We are no longer our own. We have been bought with a price. Operating with sin in our lives is just like my computer trying to operate with a virus; we are trying to operate independent of the person who has purchased us.

How do we know if an activity/behavior we want to engage in is a sin? We should ask the following questions BEFORE we start the activity/behavior:

  1. Did I pray about this activity/behavior and then WAIT until I received an answer from God?
  2. Does the activity/behavior convey God’s character?
  3. Does the activity/behavior glorify God?
  4. Does the activity/behavior show the love of Christ?

If we answer “No” to any of these questions, we are operating in sin.

When we operate independent of God, we are operating by the pride of life, the lust of the eye or being able to boast about what we have or what we’ve done. We are bringing glory to ourselves and not to God.

This type of behavior doesn’t come from God. It comes from our flesh wanting to get what it wants, just like my computer was running amuck because of the virus, our flesh will run amuck if we don’t rein it in with God’s Word.

We should strive to reflect the character of God in everything we do. Showing the love of God through our lives is what brings God glory and it is what draws the spiritually lost to us so we can tell them about Christ.

Just like I had to get the virus off my computer before it would run correctly, Christians have to get sin out of our lives so we can run for God correctly.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;…” I Corinthians 6:19

 

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A F.I.T. Prayer Life

Prayer

 

F.I.T (Frequency, Intensity and Time)

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 (NIV)

Several years ago I hired a personal trainer. One of the first things he told me was, “I believe in F.I.T., which stands for frequency, intensity and time. If you really want to better your health and fitness you need to work out frequently, be intense in your workout and give ample time to complete the workout.”

The philosophy of F.I.T has stuck with me through the years. I found it to be true in every facet of life. If I want to save money, I have to monitor my spending frequently, be intense about self-control and make routine assessments (time) about where I am with my financial goal. The same thing is true for my spiritual life.

In the King James Version of the I Thessalonians scripture mentioned above says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing”. In this scripture the Bible sums up our F.I.T for prayer. It speaks to how often we should pray, how intense our prayers should be and how much time we should spend in prayer.

Daniel is a wonderful example of praying continually. He prayed three times a day whether he was under attack or not. David and Paul are also good examples of F.I.T. prayer. But the best example is Jesus. When he was about to be delivered into the hands of the Roman soldiers he prayed until he cried blood. But when he prayed to raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead, the prayer wasn’t nearly as intense as the one he prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

F.I.T is the key is to key to a rich prayer life:

 

Frequency: You set aside time that is specifically dedicated to having a dialog, not a monologue, with God on a routine basis. Dialog means everyone in the conversation gets to talk and everyone gets to listen. Unless you are a late night talk show host, none of your conversations should be monologues.  Your prayer life is not hit or miss if you are practicing frequency.

Intensity: Intensity means the correct amount of effort to achieve your desired results.  Some people think that intensity means flat out all the time. That’s not the case. Every day I work out I’m not a sweaty mess. Some days I’m lifting weights, which don’t require as much intensity from me as floor exercises or cardio. What I am trying to achieve determines the amount of intensity I use.

Sometimes you may be praying, crying and lying prostrate on the floor. Other times, you may be praying while you’re driving, while you’re working or during an event. Your intensity will be different because your amount of effort is different.

Time: How much time are you willing to carve out of your daily routine to devout to communicating with God? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? An hour? How much time you devout to your communication with God will determine your relationship with God! The more time you spend with Him, the better you get to know Him.

So, how F.I.T. is your prayer life?

 

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Dying on the Vine

 

Tomator rotting on vine

I Corinthians 12:4-6

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in men.”

For the first time in my life I decided to grow a vegetable this year. I was talking to the farmer where I purchased my flowers and told her what I wanted to do and she suggested a table top tomato plant. She said they were easy to grow, easy to maintain and I could put them someplace where I would see them every day so they wouldn’t die on the vine.

She was correct on all points: the table top tomatoes are easy to care for and maintain, plus they sit on my deck so I see them every day and I can watch them as they flower, fruit and mature right before my eyes. If only our spiritual gifts were as easy to grow, maintain and watch. Maybe then so many Christians wouldn’t allow their gifts to die on their spiritual vines.

There have been several times I almost gave up writing Daily Prayers and Words for Today. I often thought “no one reads them any way” or “what I’m doing isn’t helping anyone” or, and here’s the best excuse I had for giving up this portion of my ministry, “who am I to try to help people live a fuller life in Christ. I struggle with stuff every day, how can I help them?”

During these times of defeat I’d still write the Daily Prayers and the Words for Today but I wouldn’t send them out. Then, I’d get an email from someone saying, “hey, where’s the daily reading?” Sometimes I’d know the person but often times I didn’t. I realized that what God had me doing in this portion of my ministry was important and helpful to people other than just me. And, if I continued to be selfish with what God was giving me, then the fruit that other people needed would die on the vine in my spiritual garden.

We all have spiritual fruit which grows out of our gifts. EVERYONE has at least one gift, according to I Corinthians 12:11, given to us by the Holy Spirit and, the Holy Spirit made the determination of who got which gift.

Sometimes we allow our fruit to die on the vine because we don’t value the gift we’ve been given. Selah!

“All these are the works of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”

I Corinthians 12:11

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Prayer for Today

 

C S Lewis Quote

June 30, 2015

Father, at the beginning of the year, we made plans, set time lines and set goals for what we wanted to achieve this year. As we look at our plans we see some plans are behind the schedule we had set or some things we wanted to do have not been done at all. These realizations can cause us to feel like failures or to feel like we’ve not obtained everything we’ve been pursuing and, if we’re not careful; these feelings will cause us to give up. Remind us that our plans must take a backseat to the plans You have for us. Nothing we’ve planned is better than what You have already ordained.

Everything is not going to go the way we’ve planned, but we’re sure that everything will go the way You’ve ordained. Help us mature to a point that, when what You’ve ordained overrides our plans; we do not fret, complain or grumble. Instead, we rejoice knowing that You have our best interest at heart.

You planned our perfect path long ago and You know what’s best for us. You will perfect us until we fit into Your perfect plan. Thank You Lord for caring so much about us that You planned for our greatness. Therefore; we press towards the higher calling, which is in Christ Jesus!

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Scripture References:

Proverbs 19:21

Psalms 65:9

Isaiah 25:1

Philippians 3:14

 

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Being Destroyed from the Inside Out

 

Japanese beattle on rose

I Corinthians 3:16 – 17

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”

I HATE, HATE, HATE Japanese Beetles!!! Can I say it again, I HATE JAPANESE BEETLES!!! They destroy everything in their path but they love roses. NASTY LITTLE CRITTERS!!! Okay, I feel better.

Japanese beetles grow underground where you can’t see them and hatch in late spring, early summer when my roses start to bud and bloom. They fly, crawl and have a hard shell which makes them difficult to kill. They get inside the rose buds or underneath the rose leaves and eat my roses from the inside out.  I can check my roses in the morning and they will look fine but, when I go out to look at them later the same day they have holes straight through the heart of them.

When I first moved to Maryland and started caring for my roses I didn’t know what Japanese beetles were because I didn’t have to deal with them in California or Texas. I was talking to a friend one day and telling him about this bug that was eating my roses and nothing I used got rid of them. He identified the pest and told me to get some Sevin and that would do the trick. That afternoon I went to a nursery and picked some up. My friend was correct. As soon as I started spraying my roses with Sevin the beetles began to fly away and die.

Now that I’ve lived in Maryland for over 20 years I know how to deal with the beetles. As soon as the humidity starts, I begin two-a-day spraying; once in the morning and again in the evening. The humidity seems to be the trigger for the beetles to come out and destroy.

We have things that are eating us from the inside out. Things like hate, envy, jealousy, pride, low self-esteem and feeling less than are just a few things that eat at our spirit persons.  There is also the spirit of control, you have to control everything and everyone or everything is wrong. Then there’s a competitive spirit, you have to win and be first in everything even when no one else knows there’s a completion underway.  The list of things eating us from the inside out goes on and on but there are three solutions; The Word of God, prayer and professional help.

We need to identify the triggers that cause our internal bugs to start their eating frenzy within us. We need to pay attention to our feeling and emotions when this happens, also called self-awareness and we need to spray our internal bugs with the God’s word and prayer. If necessary, we need to seek professional help to deal with our internal bugs. It’s okay! The goal is to kill that which is destroying you from the inside out.

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other; so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:16 – 17

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Fighting to Become the Me I was Meant to Be

 

 

Basic Training

II Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.

Jesus’ disciple Peter was a trained to be a fisherman.  Historically speaking, he had been in fisherman training with his father since he was very young.  He would have learned all the tricks of the trade.

From Matthew to John and even in the letter to the churches, we also find that in addition to being trained in the art of fishing, Peter was capable of leading others to Christ; he was bold, loud, zealous, but, he was also fearful.  If the way got tough, Peter would turn his back on his friends, go into hiding or become a man-pleaser. Peter didn’t always exemplify Christ-like qualities.

Peter sometimes had a hard time fulfilling his Christ-life work of fishing for men, rather than fishing for fish (John 21).  He could be quick tempered and sometimey. In the Garden of Gethsemane Peter cut off a soldier’s ear when he came for Jesus, yet within a few hours, Peter was denying he knew Jesus. I’d call that sometimey!

In the Garden of Gethsemane, when things  didn’t go the way Peter thought they should, he went back to what he had been before Christ; a frightened man-pleaser. Rather than standing up for what he knew was right, he reverted to his old self in order to fit in and get along.  Sound familiar?

If we haven’t resolved to be what Christ has called us to be regardless of the cost, at one point or another in our lives, when it’s convenient and comfortable, we all go back to what we were before Christ. Some of us go back to gossiping about others because it makes us feel better about our own situations. Some of us go back to being afraid of what others will think if we do what the Holy Spirit urges us to do.  Some of us become men-pleasers because we want people to “like us”. Some of us we go back to the sin from which Christ delivered us.

Whatever we go back to, just know that God does not allow for folly, foolishness or sin in the name of our “previous training”. Once we come to Christ, we are new creatures.  We’ve joined a new army and our based training begins; Jesus is our Commander and Chief and the Holy Spirit is our Drill Sergeant.  We get a new training manual, which is the Word of God.  We must allow old things to pass away, so that the new training we are now undertaking can renew our minds.

Romans 12:2 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

 

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Living Above Mediocrity,

Anita Wamble

E-spirational – Divine Inspirations

Sharing God’s Word: Motivating God’s People

http://www.espirational1.com

Coming Out of Someone Else’s Normal, Into My Destiny – II

failure success decision

 

Romans 8:29 – 30

For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified he also glorified.”

No one wants to get to the end of their live and consider themselves a failure. In fact, most people don’t want to fail at anything they endeavor to do. But, do we feel the same way about fulfilling our God-given purpose? Are we willing to fail at what God has predestined us to do in order to fit into someone else’s box? Are we willing to forego our calling so we can be liked? Are we willing to neglect our predestination in order to get along with others? Are we willing to fail God so others can feel good about us?

In every family everyone has a role. Some of us are the “go to” person. You know, the one everyone calls when things are falling apart. The one everyone expects to have all the answers and take care of everything even when it’s not their responsibility. Then you have the “baby” of the family. Not that they are a baby or the youngest in the family, they just act like a helpless, hapless baby. They expect to be taken care of by everyone else because that’s their role. And of course, you have the irresponsible one. We all have them in our families, they are the ones that no one can count on for anything, and usually, they are the lazy one that does nothing but expects a share of, or a free ride to, everything that goes on in the family.

But what if your family role was not the role God has appointed for you? Are you willing to give up the role your family expects you to play in order to fulfill your God given appointment?

Sometimes, we are called out of our current situation and into our destiny like David, but other times, we’ve got to walk into our destiny in spite of what others may think or say.  We’ve got to know that if God called us to our destiny, He’s made the way for us to fulfill our call and, our gifts will make room for us.

Are you struggling with knowing you’re more than others give you credit for?  Or, are you fighting within yourself to move past your fears and reach for the unknown because you know that God has ordained greater for you?

If you answered to either of these questions is “yes” then you have a bigger question to answer; Are you willing to be a failure in God’s plan for you, rather than being the success He’s already ordained you to be?

The biblical meaning of success is summed up in Acts 20:24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

Not succeeding at our God-given task means hundreds, possibility thousands or event millions of lives will not affected by the eternity plan that is in you.

To fail or to succeed, the decision is yours.

 

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You Are the Salt of the World!

Salt shaker

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Matthew 5:13 (NIV)

If we have accepted Christ as Savior, You and I are the salt of the world. We have the power to heal, cleanse, preserve, create thirst, keep things afloat – like the Dead Sea, enhance an experience, take away stains, repel unwanted pests and add flavor to every life, situation or circumstance we encounter.

Salt is small and seemingly insignificant but, it is very necessary if we want to change the outcome of the flavor of what we cook or the look of what we clean. The same is true with us.

We may not be a big named preacher or someone others deem significant but we can give a smile to a cashier at the store, a kind word to a homeless person on the street or a shoulder to cry on for someone who is grieving. We can make a small donation to a local charity that’s working to make our community better or volunteer a few hours a week to that same charity. These things may seem small but they can make a big difference.

Christians are the salt of the earth. Everywhere we go and everyone we come in contact with should be changed by their encounter with us. This can be a very dangerous thing if the Christian the world comes in contact with is bitter, resentful, envious, and hateful or has a bad attitude. Christians with personalities like this in like putting too much salt in your food; it ruins the food.

Every time we’re going to encounter someone we need to ask ourselves these questions:

  1. Is my attitude going to enhance or ruin this encounter?
  2. How can I help clean away their stains?
  3. How can I help them stay afloat?
  4. Am I going to do anything that will cause me to be an embarrassment to God?
  5. Has my reputation been rightfully trampled by men?

Keeping these questions in mind will help us enhance our encounter with others verses ruining their view of Christ. We are the salt of the world. We are here to enhance other people’s lives one small act at a time.

We’ve Got to Do Better!

Hunting with Truth

 

This morning during my devotions the Lord spoke to me and said, “The Body of Christ is weak and scrawny. My Word is full and free for those who choose to eat of it. No, the Body of Christ is weak and scrawny because there is a fast in the land.”

“The people of God are fasting from the Word of God. The people of God are fasting from the promises of God and the people of God are fasting from the holiness of God.”

“My Body has become “of” the world not just “in” the world. My Body is working to hate the sinner or love the sin but they are not loving the sinner to wholeness in Me while hating the sin. You all are going along to get along with a dying and fading world system.”

“Because of My Body’s refusal to keep My commandments and follow My ways, the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is only a flicker. They are no longer the candle that sits on the hill, they are just a smoldering wick.”

He who has an ear, let him hear.