Category Archives: Faith

The Parable of the Sower!

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

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When speaking to the multitudes, Jesus often taught them in PARABLES, simple stories about common events, circumstances and things that His listeners could easily relate to. Most of the people that Jesus addressed were simple folk, and He knew that even the CHILDREN would be interested in His message if He presented it by using such illustrated stories.

The “PARABLE OF THE SOWER” is one of the few parables that is found in three different Gospels: In Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8. This wonderful parable reveals the four different states in which the hearts of men can be classified. As we now read Jesus’ Own words, you could ask yourself which of these four categories describes YOU!…

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, (1) some fell upon the PATH, and the BIRDS of the air came and ATE it up. (2) And some fell upon STONY GROUND where there was not much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the SUN came up, the plants were SCORCHED, and they WITHERED, because they had NO DEPTH of ROOT. (3) “Other seed fell among THORNS, and the thorns grew up WITH it and CHOKED the plants. (4) But other seed fell upon GOOD GROUND, and it came up, grew, and produced a crop–thirty times, sixty times, or a hundred times what was sown.

“And when He had said these things He cried, ‘He that has ears to HEAR, let him HEAR! Listen to what the parable of the sower means.'”

Now Jesus is going to interpret and explain for us exactly what this parable is all about: “The SEED is the WORD OF GOD. Those along the path, are the ones who HEAR, but then comes the DEVIL and TAKES AWAY THE WORD from their hearts, lest they should BELIEVE and be SAVED.”

When the life-giving seed of the Word of God is sown on this FIRST kind of ground, this kind of heart, what happens? Paths are usually hard and packed earth, and before the seed is able to sink in, Satan comes along and snatches it away before they even understand it, before they can receive it, before they even get saved!

Oh, how the Devil FIGHTS against the Word of God! The Bible tells us that, “FAITH comes by hearing the Word of God” (Romans 10:17), so to try to prevent people from believing in Jesus and getting saved, he’ll do all that he can to keep them from hearing or receiving the Truth of God’s wonderful Word! The Apostle Paul says, “If our Gospel is HID, it is hid to those who are LOST, in whom the GOD OF THIS WORLD (the Devil) has BLINDED the MINDS of those who do not believe, so that the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ cannot shine unto them!” (2Corinthians 4:3,4)

We trust that YOU who are reading this are ALREADY born again, that you have ALREADY received the precious seed of God’s Word and have asked His Son, Jesus, into your hearts. If you have received Jesus, then you don’t need to worry about being this FIRST kind of ground, thank the Lord!

But what about the SECOND kind of ground that Jesus describes? He says, “Some, like seed sown on STONY ground, hear the Word and at first RECEIVE it with JOY. But these have NO ROOT, and for AWHILE believe, but when TROUBLE or PERSECUTION arises because of the Word, they are OFFENDED and quickly fall away!”

This second kind actually receive the Word joyfully and begin to grow, but when a time of TESTING or TRIAL or PERSECUTION for the Word’s sake arises, their enthusiasm wanes, their faith withers and they fade away! This doesn’t mean that they lose their salvation, because once you have received Jesus into your heart, you are His FOREVER. He says, “I am with you ALWAYS, I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you!” (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5) But these kind of Christians simply “have no ROOT”, no DEPTH, they are SHALLOW, and they never really STAND UP and GROW and become FRUITFUL. They just sort of die out spiritually and fall away when a time of testing comes, when the hot sun of persecution or tribulation arises. They’re weak and they can’t take it.

How many Christians are like that! They’re happy to receive Jesus, but they never really study and feed on God’s Word and let His Truth sink deep down in their hearts. They are “easy believers” who gladly accept God’s Gift of salvation; a very convenient fire-escape from Hell and a sort of “life-insurance” for the next life. But when the time comes that they should really STAND UP for their faith and tell OTHERS about Jesus, and be willing to endure reproach, rejection, humiliation, or even downright suffering and persecution for the Gospel, they just wither up and fade away!

Now here is Jesus’ explanation of the THIRD kind of ground: “Others, like the seed sown among THORNS, hear the Word; but the CARES and CONCERNS of THIS life, the DECEITFULNESS of RICHES and the DESIRE for other THINGS enters in and CHOKES out the Word, making them unfruitful.”

Being choked-out by the cares, riches and concerns of this life is probably the greatest pitfall for most Christians in the World today! The wonderful way that God could use them is absolutely smothered and choked-out by the MATERIALISTIC cares of THIS temporal life. They get so busy with so many things besides the Lord and His Word and His Work–the “affairs of this life” (2Timothy 2:4)–and their spiritual growth is severely stunted, their strength is sapped, and the thorns of this World choke out their fruitfulness and render them USELESS to God’s eternal Kingdom!

This is not to say that riches are evil. It is “the LOVE of money” that is the root of all evil. (1Timothy 6:10) It is when we value riches and wealth and material things MORE than the LORD that we begin to be choked and fruitless and deceived by “the deceitfulness of riches”!

Finally, the FOURTH kind of ground that Jesus describes: “They who receive the seed that fell on the GOOD GROUND are they who, in an HONEST and GOOD heart, hear the Word and RETAIN it, and with PATIENCE produce a crop yielding thirty, sixty or an hundred times what was sown!”

Unlike the other unfruitful grounds, this fourth kind of ground receives the Word and KEEPS it, RETAINS it, and PATIENTLY PERSEVERES until it grows and matures and becomes FRUITFUL for God’s glory!

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What is the ground of YOUR heart like? Even though SAVED, a good many Christians become like the SECOND kind of ground, stony, rocky and shallow because of their DISOBEDIENCE to the Lord. Their hearts become “HARDENED through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13), and they never become the strong plants for the Lord that they COULD be, they never grow or mature spiritually or become fruitful. So when the “fiery trials” of temptation arise, their faith withers away because they have no DEPTH, and have never been “ROOTED and ESTABLISHED in the faith” as they should have been! (1Peter 4:12; Colossians 2:6,7)

Or like the THIRD kind of ground, they allow their potential usefulness to God to be CHOKED OUT by the thorny material cares of this life. They never seem to find time–to MAKE time–to prayerfully read and feed from God’s Word, thus they lack the “spirit and life” that His Word would give them. (John 6:63)

How different is the Bible’s description of the man who, like the FOURTH kind of ground, gives the LORD and His WORD FIRST place: “His DELIGHT is in the Word of the Lord, and in His Word he meditates DAY and NIGHT. He shall be like a TREE planted by the rivers of water, which yields its FRUIT in season and whose leaf does NOT wither.-WHATEVER he does shall PROSPER!” (Psalm 1:2,3)

Oh, if we will only realise the ETERNAL IMPORTANCE of yielding to God’s Word and God’s Will–like good, fertile, receptive ground yields to the farmer’s plow, receives the seed he sows and patiently yields a crop–then surely we will DESPISE the thought of allowing our usefulness to God to be choked out by passing material things! And we certainly won’t allow our faith to wither or fade away because of a little opposition, trouble or persecution for the Gospel!

If your desire is to please the Lord and be fruitful and useful for Him, then YIELD your heart to Him TODAY and let Him make you what HE wants you to be! If you faithfully read and draw strength from God’s life-giving WORDS, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you will grow spiritually. And if you obey Jesus’ command to “preach the Gospel” and you tell OTHERS about His Love, then the seed of God’s Word that you sow in THEIR hearts will take root and grow, and you will win OTHERS to Jesus, and thus bear FRUIT, thirty times, sixty times or even one hundred times more than was originally sown in your life! And God Himself will reward you with EVERLASTING saved SOULS and you’ll shine as the stars FOREVER! (Daniel 12:3)

* * *

PRAYER: Dear Lord, we sincerely ask You to please help us to yield to You, to be obedient to You, so we can be the good fruitful kind of ground that You desire! You said, “BLESSED are they who do HUNGER and THIRST after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” So please help us to really HUNGER for YOU and Your life-giving WORD, to read it faithfully and to share it with others so they too can find You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Anchor

Near to the Heart of God

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorThe great passion of the writer of Hebrews is that we “draw near” to God. (Hebrews 4:16, 7:25, 10:22, 11:6) Draw near to his throne to find all the help we need. Draw near to him, confident that he will reward us with all that he is for us in Jesus. And this is clearly what he means in Hebrews 10:22, because verse 19 says that we have confidence “to enter the holy place,” that is, the new heavenly “holy of holies,” like that inner room in the old tabernacle of the Old Testament where the high priest met with God once a year, and where his glory descended on the ark of the covenant. So the one command, the one exhortation that we are given in Hebrews 10:19–22 is to draw near to God. The great aim of this writer is that we get near God, that we have fellowship with him, that we not settle for a Christian life at a distance from God, that God not be a distant thought, but a near and present reality, that we experience what the old Puritans called communion with God.

This drawing near is not a physical act. It’s not building a tower of Babel, by your achievements, to get to heaven. It’s not necessarily going into a church building, or walking to an altar at the front. It is an invisible act of the heart. … It is a directing of the heart into the presence of God who is as distant as the holy of holies in heaven, and yet as near as the door of faith. He is commanding us to come, to approach him, to draw near to him…

“We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:11) This is the center of the gospel—this is what the Garden of Gethsemane and Good Friday are all about—that God has done astonishing and costly things to draw us near. He has sent his Son to suffer and to die so that through him we might draw near. It’s all so that we might draw near. And all of this is for our joy and for his glory.

He does not need us. If we stay away, he is not impoverished. He does not need us in order to be happy in the fellowship of the Trinity. But he magnifies his mercy by giving us free access through his Son, in spite of our sin, to the one Reality that can satisfy us completely and forever, namely, himself. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

—John Piper

 
Keep going for God

You’ve got to keep going for the Lord in this life! No matter how many mistakes you make, how many stumbles and falls and how many times you get off the track, you’ve just got to keep trying. You’ve got to keep going! Even if you keep on crying, you’ve got to keep on trying. Keep going for God! Hallelujah!

To love someone more dearly every day,
To help a wandering soul to find his way,
To ponder o’er His holy Word and pray,
And pray when evening comes,
And smile when evening comes: This is my task.

To follow truth as blind men long for light,
To do my best from dawn of day till night,
To keep my heart fit for His holy sight
And answer when He calls
And answer when He calls: This is my task.

And then my Savior by and by I’ll see,
When faith hath made our task on earth complete,
And lay my homage at my Master’s feet,
Within those jasper walls,
Within those jasper walls: This crowns my task!

(My Task,” Maude Ray (1903), adapted)

God bless you and make you a blessing! May that be your task, in Jesus’ name, amen. Whatever you do, keep going for God! Jesus never fails!

—David Brandt Berg

 
Bigger than anything

Bigger than all my problems, bigger than all my fears,
God is bigger than any mountain I can, or cannot, see,
Bigger than all my questions, bigger than anything,
God is bigger than any mountain I can, or cannot, see.

God is far bigger than I can ever imagine! God is a “doing” God! He is a God who is well able to do anything! He is able to do anything, far beyond our every human thought or imagination. The Bible says in Ephesians 3:20, “Unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.”

There is no impossible circumstance too far gone that God cannot minister to,
No problem too big that God cannot solve,
No sickness He cannot heal,
No miracle which God cannot do,
No prayer which He cannot answer,
No sinner too lost in their sin that God cannot save,
No backslider too far from God that God cannot restore,
No city too hard that God cannot bring a mighty revival to.
For our God is well able to do far above all that we ask or think … He is able to do!

If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we, more often than not, tend to fix our eyes on the problem. Then as we dwell on it, we allow it to grow until it becomes to us this huge mountain before us. However, in the eyes of our great and awesome God, it is but a speck of dust, which He can blow away by the gentlest breath…

Our God is able to do whatever it is you need Him to do.
Our God is able to heal you.
Our God is able to rescue you.
Our God is able to save you.
Our God is able to meet all your needs.
Our God is able to turn things around for you.
Our God is able to restore you.
Our God is able to heal your broken marriage.
Our God is able to forgive you.
Our God is able to show you mercy and grace.
Our God is able to answer all your prayers.
Our God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.
Our God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
Our God is a great big God, bigger than all our problems; He is bigger than anything.

We may never grasp how awesome God is, or the enormity of God. Or even how omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient He is. However, may we grasp the fullness of this promise from the Lord in Ephesians 3:20: “Unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think,” because our God is an awesome God!

—Matthew McDonald

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Overcoming Vices!

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

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We all have habits, both good and bad. Anything you do automatically without consciously thinking about it, or without specifically deciding to do it, is a habit. Good habits or practices–such as tidiness, courtesy, good manners etc. are a real blessing. But when the habits you’ve picked up are BAD or DESTRUCTIVE, and you find them hard or almost impossible to change, they are known as VICES.

There’s a true story about a man who owned an eagle, and for many years had chained him to a stake. Over the years, the eagle had walked around and around that stake so much on the end of his chain that he’d worn an actual rut in the ground. Finally, he was getting old and his master felt sorry for him and thought, “These are his last days, so I’m going to set him free!” So he took the metal ring off the eagle’s foot, took him up in his hand and tossed him into the air. But what do you suppose happened? The old eagle had almost totally forgotten how to fly! He flip-flopped right back down to the ground, walked back over to the old rut and started walking around the rut like he had done for years! No chain or birdband held him! Just the habit!

It has been said that “The chains of bad habits are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken!” EXCEPT by the Lord! And “Habit is a cable; you weave a thread of it every day, and at last you cannot break it.” These are very true.

How many times have you tried to quit a bad habit, but found yourself almost powerless to get rid of it or stop doing it, no matter how much you tried to exert will power against it? The fact is that, in one area or another, we are all weak and very human and fallible, and subject to many different problems which can turn into bad habits and vices.

What most people do not realise is that a vice or a bad habit is often MORE than just an ingrained natural reaction. When you have a certain weakness, and you entertain and give in to it for a prolonged period of time, very often evil spirits–demons–are BEHIND these habits, playing them up and trying to keep you addicted to them, especially if they are bad habits which endanger you or your health, or your relationship with others.

According to God’s Word, there are definitely demons who play up certain sins and vices and try to destroy us through them. Such as demons of gluttony, demons of alcohol and drugs and cigarettes, demons of gambling, demons of sexual perversions, of homosexuality etc. These are some of the most OBVIOUS vices, but what many people do not realise is that things like hatred, guilt, bitterness, worry, pride, jealousy, self-righteousness, fear, lying and deception are also bad habits and vices, and the spiritual powers that bind people to them can be just as strong and destructive as the addiction that drives someone to compulsive gambling, drugs or alcohol abuse!

There are demons that will try to harm and destroy you in almost every phase of your life if you let them. This is especially true if you have a TENDENCY or a BESETTING SIN along some line, say, for example, a strong inclination to be jealous or to critically judge others. Or if you have a WEAKNESS towards alcohol or anything else. The Enemy can play on that and tempt you with it constantly.

ALCOHOLISM is a vice that has plagued mankind for millenniums, and though drinking wine in moderation was very common in Bible times, the Bible has much to say against the constant ABUSE of and OVER-indulgence in wine and other alcohol. (See Proverbs 20:1; 21:17; 23:29-35; 31:4, Ephesians 5:18; Titus 2:3) The Lord can not only set you free from the spirit behind alcoholism, but He can also give you the will power to continue to resist it once He’s delivered you.

We all know, of course, that the nicotine and tar in TOBACCO is very bad for our health and has been proven to be a major cause of cancer! Even most smokers recognise that smoking is a vice and a bad habit, but the point is, how can they STOP? As it can have such a grip and be so addicting! The solution to stopping is to desperately pray for the Lord to free you from the physical dependence on the nicotine, and to rebuke any bad spirits which could possibly be aggravating and adding to the addiction. Ask the LORD to DELIVER you, and He WILL!

DRUGS are also very addicting and very harmful. This includes not only the illegal drugs, but also the “legal” prescribed drugs that millions of people buy across the pharmacy counter. Many are addicting, and whatever “benefits” they give–whether escape from reality or relief from pain–almost all of them have bad side-effects, are harmful and expensive! But the good news is that the Lord has DELIVERED untold thousands of people from drug addiction of all kinds! MIRACULOUSLY! And often without any withdrawal symptoms!

GAMBLING is a vice as addicting as alcoholism or drugs, and is clearly a case of deceptive evil spirits compelling someone to gamble their hard-earned savings away at a toss of the dice, the turn or a wheel, the speed of a horse or a chance good hand of cards. The principle behind gambling is that you can make easy money without labour, just the opposite of the values of diligence, hard work and thrift that the Bible teaches. Also, the dependence on “luck” is nothing more than wishing for the blessing of the Devil, as the word “LUCK” comes from his name, “LUCifer”. It’s bad enough that some people are foolish enough to take RISKS or CHANCES in gambling, but those who are actually “good” at it or “lucky” are even MORE in need of deliverance!

HOMOSEXUALITY–or Sodomy, as it is known in the Bible–has been more fully covered in another article in this site, “The Doom of the Sodomites”. Please read this story and its “Food for Thought” if you have a problem with homosexuality.

Many Christians who self-righteously condemn others who are caught up in the obvious vices of alcoholism, drugs or sexual perversion think nothing of over-eating and obesity. Yet GLUTTONY, or COMPULSIVE EATING are often spiritually induced vices as well, and a compulsive bad habit that takes real prayer and determination to overcome. Gluttonly is often as strong and as bad a habit as drug addiction or alcoholism, and God’s Word gives ample warning against it. (See Proverbs 23:2,20-21; 1Peter 4:3.)

Speaking of SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS and a condemning CRITICAL SPIRIT, these are definitely very serious spiritual problems and vices also. If you find yourself constantly judging and critical, looking down on others, thinking you are better than they are, then you should definitely seek for deliverance from the negative, divisive spirits which cause you to be that way.

Self-righteousness is very closely related to PRIDE, and stems directly from it. And though we all have the besetting sin of pride and a love and concern for ourselves, the Enemy of our soul can often play on that natural human weakness and blow it up into the worst of all problems! Pride is the root of ALL sin, and was the cause of SATAN’S downfall. (Isaiah 14:12-15) The Lord HATES pride! (Proverbs 6:16-17)

Two other common vices that countless millions of people are afflicted with are HATRED and BITTERNESS. Like other sins of the mind and of the heart, these are definitely weaknesses brought on by evil spirits. For what the Bible has to say about bitterness, read Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:19; Hebrews 12:15; James 3:14-15. For hatred, read Proverbs 10:12; 15:17; 26:26; Galatians 5:19-21. Not only are these bad habits detrimental and even dangerous to others, but medical science has proven that they cause all kinds of psychosomatic illnesses to the one who is bitter or hateful by releasing actual poisons into the bloodstream.

FEAR and WORRY are related negative emotions which cause no end of bad effects to the one who is plagued by them. Being deeply fearful or constantly worrying are usually more than just ingrained habits or the result of some bad childhood experience. Fear especially is a terrible bondage, and the Bible clearly states that “GOD has NOT given us the spirit of fear, but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind!” (2Timothy 1:7) (See also Proverbs 29:25; Luke 21:26; 2Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 2:15; 1John 4:18)

GUILT or a feeling of condemnation is also definitely spiritual, and brought on by the Devil, whom the Bible calls “the Accuser of the Saints”. (Revelation 12:10) People usually suffer from guilt because they are either disobedient and “have a certain fearful expectation of judgement” (Hebrews 10:27), or because “their conscience is weak” and therefore susceptible to the lies of the Enemy. (1Corinthians 8:7; Titus 1:15) The solution to breaking such an oppressive habit is to study the truth of GOD’S WORD to know what is WRONG and what is RIGHT, and then to OBEY and do the RIGHT THING! (Hebrews 10:22; John 15:3)

Some people have a compulsive bad habit of LYING or of practicing DECEPTION. The Bible makes it clear that this is also a serious vice. For Bible verses on lying, see Psalm 119:163; Proverbs 6:16-17; 10:18; 12:22, 13:5; 26:28; Ephesians 4:25. For deceitfulness, see Proverbs 12:5,17; 14:8,25; 26:24. There are many more bad habits and vices which we could list, but these are just a few examples of some of the most common ones. But remember, ANY bad or negative habit you have that hurts yourself or others is a VICE, and it is very possible that the Enemy of your soul is behind it, using it to try to defeat or hinder you.

It’s interesting also that a VICE is a workman’s TOOL that GRIPS something so it cannot move!

If you’re a Christian, evil spirits cannot permanently possess you, but they can try to put thoughts in your head to motivate you to do things which you shouldn’t. They try to INFLUENCE your mind and your spirit, and try to get you to yield to them. And if they can get you to yield to their influence or to decide to do their will, they get control and can almost bind you into vices or bad habits. If you get into a bad habit and do it continually, you can wind up in total defeat to where you’re obeying and listening to the Devil instead of the Lord.

Even born-again Christians who love the Lord are sometimes subject to evil spirits. Not permanently possessed, but OPPRESSED or under their influence. A Christian is the LORD’S property and possessed by the LORD and HIS Spirit. But of course, if you have some besetting sin, some dark corner of your life or bad habit that you’re not willing to yield to the Lord, the Enemy can bother you and plague you on that point. He can use that thing to weaken you or to cause defeat in that particular area of your life. This is why God’s Word says, “Neither give PLACE to the Devil!” (Ephesians 4:27) The Scripture calls them “BESETTING SINS” because they are SPIRITS that ATTACK you, “WEIGHTS” you must “lay aside”. (Hebrews 12:1)

When you “give place” to the Enemy in your life, it’s like having an evil boarder in your house: He’s not in control of the house, but he annoys you and causes you trouble and all kinds of damage. You tell him to leave several times but he won’t leave, so finally by the authority and the law–in this case the authority of the WORD and the Name of JESUS–you literally THROW him out! Otherwise he just won’t leave!

It’s sad that many Christians go so long without getting complete DELIVERANCE from deep-seated vices and bad habits! They just sort of harbour them and allow them to hang around without really getting RID of them. They don’t recognise that their problems are SPIRITUAL as well as physical, so they don’t take SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY over these spirits and REBUKE them and get RID of them.

You have to first of all be willing to RECOGNISE that there is a SPIRITUAL FORCE binding you into that vice, and you have to want to be FREE of it enough that you are not only willing to CONFESS it to the LORD and cry out to HIM for help, but you have to be willing to confess to OTHERS that you need help and prayer to overcome your weakness and bad habit. Because some vices have such a strong grip on people–even Christians–that they’re almost powerless to overcome them on their own.

If you have a real serious problem and you cannot seem to get deliverance through private prayer or trying to resist some vice on your own, then you need to contact other Spirit-filled Christians whom you know and trust and let them know you have a serious problem and ask for their united prayer! Never be ashamed to ask for help or prayer when you need it.

Remember, God’s Word says: “ONE can chase a THOUSAND, but TWO can put TEN THOUSAND to flight” (Deuteronomy 32:30), and it helps greatly to have someone else pray with you when you feel oppressed or distressed or attacked by the Enemy. “Where TWO or THREE are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” And, “If any TWO of you shall AGREE on Earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in Heaven.”(Matthew 18:19-20)

“If there is any SICK among you (SPIRITUALLY as well as physically), let him CALL for the ELDERS of the church and let them pray over him, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick. And if they have committed any sins, they shall be forgiven them. CONFESS your FAULTS one to another, and PRAY one for another, that ye may be HEALED.” (James 5:14-16) When you pray, quote and remind the Lord of the Promises that He has made in His Word. When you remind God of His Word, it shows you have faith in it. He has promised to keep His Word, so remind Him of it, cling to His Promises, memorise and quote them continually, and never doubt for a moment that God is going to answer–and He WILL! He HAS to! If you sincerely WANT deliverance and PRAY for a real victory over any bad habits, the LORD will help you! Jesus never fails! He always answers when we call upon Him with a WHOLE HEART.

“ALL power is given unto Me in Heaven and in Earth,” Jesus said (Matthew 28:18), and we have JESUS, so we have HIS power, so even the evil spirits and demons are subject unto us! (Matthew 10:1; Luke 9:1; 10:17-19, Acts 8:7). If there are demonic powers behind your bad habits, you can rebuke them in the name of Jesus, and they HAVE to DEPART!

To overcome a vice or bad habit, you first or all have to get delivered of the spiritual power that is behind the bad habit. Before you’re delivered, the binding spirit may pretty much have control, but after you are DELIVERED, it will be within your power to RESIST its re-entry!

But even after prayer and spiritual deliverance, it sometimes takes awhile to completely break free from the HABIT. Although you are delivered of the SPIRIT, you still have the ingrained HABIT, and the spirit may keep trying to come back to tempt you for awhile and play up on your weakness or tendencies along that line. Especially if a certain weakness or vice has been a big problem or habit for many years. It makes you much more SUSCEPTIBLE to attacks along that line. So for some time after prayer you may still have some battles with it. But don’t give up! It’s a real battle to overcome a strong bad habit you’ve had for years, but you need to resist even thinking about doing those things again. Rebuke the very THOUGHT of temptation, quote Scriptures and praise the Lord continually!

It’s not YOUR fault that you get TEMPTED. Nobody can keep temptation from coming, but you don’t have to YIELD to temptation! “You can’t keep birds from flying over your head, but you can CERTAINLY keep them from building a NEST in your hair!” Attack and hit the Devil back every time he tries his tactics on you! The Devil can only win if you SURRENDER! He can NEVER win as long as you keep FIGHTING. “RESIST the Devil and he will FLEE from you!” (James 4:7). As long as you keep resisting, he’ll keep fleeing. But if you stop resisting, he uses his lies and temptations and persuasion to win. When JESUS WAS TEMPTED by the Devil, He fought him with SCRIPTURES! (Luke 4:1-13). So quote the Word of God and rebuke the Enemy!

Some changes are instantaneous, overnight, and others take awhile. You can’t get over some habits in one day necessarily, because the Enemy doesn’t very willingly surrender territory which he has controlled so long. When people have had weaknesses and had channels open to the Enemy before, he tries to get back in if he can. But if you keep praying and asking the Lord to protect and deliver and give you the complete victory, and you claim and quote His Word, He WILL! “Whom the Son shall set free is FREE INDEED!” (John 8:36).

One of your best protections is to KEEP BUSY for God and others, doing what you know you SHOULD, as well as filling your mind and heart with positive, encouraging, strengthening and faith-building thoughts from His Word, remembering, memorising and continually quoting to yourself and even to the Enemy when he attacks you. And “pray without ceasing!” (1Thessalonians 5:17). As the poem says: “The Devil flees when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees!”

“Ye are of GOD, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is HE (JESUS) that is IN YOU, than HE (THE DEVIL) that is in the WORLD.” (1John 4:4). The power of the Lord is far greater, and is able to break all the chains that may bind you!

WHATEVER your bad habit is, JESUS can set you FREE! Are YOU free? Or do you need HELP? “ASK and ye SHALL RECEIVE!” Amen?

* * *

The following is a sample of a prayer for deliverance that you might find helpful, as it offers you an example, not only of how to call out to the Lord for His help to overcome vices, but also how to CLAIM and QUOTE Scriptures as you rebuke the Enemy:

(PRAY:) “Lord Jesus, I call out to YOU now with my whole heart and ask You, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, to FREE me from the terrible grip that this vice has on my life! YOU said in Your WORD, Jesus, ‘Greater is He that is in me (YOU in my heart, Lord!) than he that is in the World (the Devil)!’ So I KNOW that YOU are GREATER than the Enemy and CAN overcome this vice! You said, ‘ALL power is given unto Me in Heaven and on Earth’ and that `if ye shall ask ANYTHING in My Name, I WILL DO it’! So I ask You right now, Jesus, to BREAK every hold the Enemy has in my life and DESTROY the power of this bad habit! I REBUKE the Devil and ALL of his influence, right NOW, in Jesus’ name!

“Your Word says, ‘Give NO place to the Enemy’, and I don’t want ANYTHING that’s not of YOU, Jesus! Your disciples said, ‘Even the evil spirits are SUBJECT unto us!’, so I CLAIM that promise, I claim that SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY over the power of the Enemy–right NOW! And I REBUKE the Devil in the Name of JESUS CHRIST! I claim Your Promise, Lord: `RESIST the Devil and he will FLEE from you!’ I RESIST you, Satan, in the Name of JESUS CHRIST! I BIND and REBUKE any hold you might have on my life, any power you might have over me, in the Name of JESUS!

“JESUS, You PROMISED that “When ye shall call unto Me with a WHOLE HEART, I WILL answer thee!’ And Jesus, I AM crying out with ALL my heart for You to deliver me! And I EXPECT you to do it! You promised, ‘Whatsoever ye shall bind on Earth SHALL be BOUND in Heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on Earth, shall be loosed in Heaven’, so I BIND the power of the Enemy in YOUR NAME and I loose the grip he has on me and I ask You to cast him far away from me, NEVER to return! In JESUS’ name! I count it DONE, Lord! Thank You, Jesus! Thank You for setting me FREE! Help me now to take a stand of faith against the Enemy’s devices! Please give me the spiritual power to do what I can to resist temptation, and STAY free from the ingrained habits, Lord! In the Name of Jesus Christ! AMEN!”

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Anchor

Countercultural Christianity

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorBut you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
—1 Peter 2:9

*

Every generation must face this quandary of how to maintain cultural influence, and in our changing world, the conversation has been resurrected again.

In an effort to appeal to outsiders, some Christians simply copy culture. They become a Xerox of what they perceive as hip in hopes that people will perceive them—and their organizations, ministries, and churches—as “cool” and give them a chance. Unfortunately, this pursuit of pop culture removes the church from its historically prophetic position in society. Relating to the world by following the world is a recipe for disaster.

The next generation of Christians aren’t separatists, antagonists, or striving to be “relevant.” Instead, they are countercultural as they advance the common good in society. The next Christians see themselves as salt, preserving agents actively working for restoration in the middle of a decaying culture. They attach themselves to people and structures that are in danger of rotting while availing themselves of Christ’s redeeming power to work through them. They understand that by being restorers they fight against the cultural norms and often flow counter to the cultural tide. But they feel that, as Christians, they’ve been called to partner with God in restoring and renewing everything they see falling apart.

Paradoxically, in our current cultural context, this not only opens up more people to personal salvation, but it also sustains a God-glorifying testimony to the world of His restoration power at work. It’s truly good news to the world. Rather than fighting off culture to protect an insular Christian community, they are fighting for the world to redeem it. …

A commitment to being countercultural rather than being removed or “relevant” isn’t always easy. Living differently can be hard. Going against the ebbs and flows of culture can create friction and sometimes provoke a hostile reaction to the good we are trying to create. Theologians Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon remind us that this should be expected, for “whenever a people are bound together in loyalty to a story that includes something as strange as the Sermon on the Mount, we are put at odds with the world.”

Yet, it is through maintaining this cultural orientation that the world can experience God’s restoration power and people will be convinced that our faith is all we claim, all that Jesus commissioned His followers to. As the apostle Peter encourages, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12 NIV)

Is a countercultural community the answer to restoring the soul of the world, winning the skeptics, and revitalizing our faith? We’ll have to wait and see. For now we know that the clear call of Jesus is for the Christian community to be salt on a rotting world and light in the dimmest places.

—Gabe Lyons

 
God’s new nation

God called His people a new nation, a holy nation. That means a whole new culture, a whole new way of life, a brand-new people. We come from all races, creeds and colors, but now we’re all one in Christ Jesus, and that is a miracle in itself. (Galatians 3:28) No matter what nationality, race, or place we originally came from, we all now have the same faith, love, wonder-working power, and changed lives.

There are many different governments and kingdoms of man, but only one kingdom of God. We are a people without a permanent country on this earth because we seek one to come, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 13:14; 11:10) We seek a country established by God Himself, and it is certainly not any of the nations on the face of this earth. Not even the most Christian ones could be called His country.

We belong to the kingdom of God; that’s our country. We seek a better country, a country which we already have in our hearts, thank the Lord, the kingdom of heaven! That’s our country—the best country in the entire universe, one that has never persecuted the poor or oppressed the weak, a country that’s never lost a battle, and never fought a war for the wrong reasons!

We are strangers and pilgrims here on this earth, God’s representatives and ambassadors of His soon-coming kingdom of love, the greatest kingdom the world is ever going to know.

—David Brandt Berg

 
By this everyone will know

There are some ways in which we don’t want the church to be countercultural. Churches accommodate themselves to culture in a whole number of very good ways. It’s a good thing, for instance, that Christians around the world use a word in their local language for God …

Being countercultural is a strong theme in the Bible. Jesus told his followers that they “do not belong to the world.” (John 15:19 NIV) St. Paul told the Romans, “Do not be conformed to this world.” (Romans 12:2) But it is quite another thing to figure out just what that means. There are a bewildering array of cultures and subcultures which proclaim and embody different values, ideas, and intuitions. How do we decide what we are to be counter to?

The Bible makes clear that the most significant way in which Christians demonstrate their distinctiveness is in the nature of their life together. How the Christian community’s members interact with one another, engage in discourse, and welcome others, for instance, are all part of their witness to God. This is what Jesus was getting at when he told his followers that “by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” (John 13:35) The apostolic church was noted for its distinctive relationships. The life of the early Christians—“all who believed were together and had all things in common” (Acts 2:44)—was countercultural in the context of a Roman society stratified by divisions of wealth. A central part of St. Paul’s teaching to the Corinthians is that, if they want to follow Jesus, all Christians actually need one another—no matter how unlikely that may seem and how much the world presses them to think otherwise.

Interdependence, relatedness, community: these are ideas that strike me as pretty countercultural in our contemporary society.

—Jesse Zink

 
Sent to be a witness

The particular notion that we are “in the world but not of the world” is based on the prayer of Jesus in the Last Supper discourses in the Gospel of John. Jesus said, “They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world,” and “As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.” (John 17:16, 18 NAB)

We are sent into the world to witness and share the good news that we have come to know in Christ. Peace is possible. Love is real. All creation has dignity and is sacred and can bring us closer to God.

This loving witness is costly. We may stick out or be misunderstood. We could end up like the one we follow, and so we must embrace the cross. We may have to pay a major price for proclaiming prophetic messages. Christ, after all, is our model for countercultural gospel living.

In his prayer recorded in John 17:22, Jesus declares that the ultimate aim of all countercultural Christian living is not actually division and separation, but unity: “And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

As we live our countercultural Christian lives, may we remain rooted in this vision. May we always remember that we witness Christ’s love in order to more boldly manifest the union and love that is found in God alone.

—Julia Walsh

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

New Beginnings!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-new-beginnings

Of all the changes and important events that have happened to you this past year or before, the most significant and wonderful one is that you have had an entirely NEW BEGINNING in life: You have personally met JESUS, and the power of His Spirit of Love has begun to change your entire way of thinking and your whole outlook on life!

The moment that you asked Jesus to come into your heart, God’s Holy Spirit began to miraculously transform your life! And whether it seemed like such a major change at the time or not, asking Jesus into your heart was a very real and important SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE! God’s Word calls it spiritual REBIRTH–being “born of the Spirit”, or “BORN AGAIN”! (John 3:3-8)

With some people, the change in their lives is so drastic, so sudden, that you can SEE what an absolute MIRACLE has happened to them! Their whole life, nature, mind and heart is immediately transformed and is changed radically for the better! Perhaps for you, however, the change that took place in your life when you received Jesus may not have seemed quite that dramatic or emotional and may not have seemed to have had such a powerful IMMEDIATE effect. At least not on the surface. But you have gone through a miraculous spiritual rebirth just the same! Besides, the FULL transformation that His Spirit brings about in our lives is usually GRADUAL! But if you CONTINUE to yield your life, your mind and your will to Him, your spiritual growth as a Christian will be SURE and STEADY! Receiving the truth of God’s Word, like Jesus explained in “the Parable of the Sower”, is like receiving a tiny SEED, and it takes TIME for that seed of truth in your heart to grow into a full, mature Christian life! (Mark 4:14,20,28)

It’s not often that a seed just IMMEDIATELY springs up out of the ground; it often seems to be just buried there, lying dormant, with nothing springing up above the surface. But if you could see what was happening below the surface, the miracles and wonders of God’s Creation would become apparent! Finally, when the new sprout pushes up through the soil, it becomes evident to EVERYONE that a new life HAS begun to grow! At FIRST you may even wonder if the seed is going to sprout at all! But just give it TIME, and it WILL! As Jesus said, “The seed which was received into good ground symbolises people who, in an honest and good heart, having HEARD the Word, KEEP it, and bring forth fruit (good deeds and changes in their lives) with PATIENCE.” (Luke 8:15) So just because you don’t become a full-grown, mature, strong Christian overnight, don’t worry! Just have a little PATIENCE! You’re still going to have problems and make mistakes, as we all do, but NOW at least you know WHO to look to for HELP! Remember, no one is perfect. Not even the great Apostle Paul counted himself to have become some kind of a sinless saint. He said, “I do NOT consider myself to have attained (already been made perfect), but this one thing I DO, forgetting those things which are BEHIND, I reach FORWARD to the goals which are BEFORE me.” (Philippians 3:13,14) Like the Apostle Paul, neither you nor I are perfect Christians, but all the Lord asks is that we FOLLOW HIM as best we can and keep trying to go FORWARD and make progress. “This one thing” we can do!

You may wonder sometimes, “Have I really changed?” The answer is YES! Not only did you change when you first received Jesus, but as you daily read His Word and do what you know He wants you to do, you will CONTINUE to change! Your values have probably ALREADY begun to change, you are SWEETER, HAPPIER, you have more PEACE, and you probably even SLEEP better at night! All this is the work of His Spirit! And all you need to do is to let Him CONTINUE to work in your life, to change and remake you! It doesn’t all happen in one day, but it DOES happen!

God’s Word compares His saved children to a TREE (Psalm 1:1-3), and like any healthy tree, it takes TIME to grow strong and sturdy Christian roots. And because they are UNSEEN, it may not look at first like you are growing much. But the deeper and stronger your ROOTS are imbedded in the rich soil of GOD’S WORD, the greater and more fruitful a tree they will later be able to support! So if you think you’re not growing much, don’t worry! Just keep rooted and grounded and nourished in His Word, and you WILL grow and bring forth the fruit that God intends you to!

If you have the ROOTS of your faith planted firmly in the Word of God, you won’t wither or be blown over by the winds of lies and doubts of the Enemy. Nor will your faith be uprooted if and when deep disappointments come. Colossians 2:6-7 says, “The same way that you have RECEIVED Christ Jesus the Lord, so LIVE in Him, ROOTED and GROWING in Him, ESTABLISHED in the faith, as you have been taught.”

Just as a tree draws the nutrients and the very life that it needs from the soil, so the Christian must draw HIS life and HIS SPIRITUAL strength that he desperately needs from the Word of God. The only way you can grow strong and bear fruit, so that everyone will SEE and KNOW that you are a GOOD tree, is if you sink the roots of your life down deep into the Truth of God’s Word and draw your spiritual nourishment from it by prayerfully reading and absorbing it EVERY DAY! “If you CONTINUE in MY WORD, you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you FREE!” (John 8:31,32)

Then you will begin to bear all the “fruits of His Spirit”: Love, joy, peace, kindness and faith! (See Galatians 5:22-23) And even more wonderful than this, as OTHERS see the change in YOUR life, they will want to know the secret of your happiness too! And you can tell them how to know Jesus just as you have come to know Him!

By a miracle of God’s Spirit, your life has had a wonderful NEW BEGINNING! So as you continue to grow in Him in this coming year, we pray you will bear MUCH FRUIT! Not only in personal happiness and joy and faith, but also that you will learn to share the Lord’s love with others around you, helping THEM to find His Love and His Salvation, and a NEW BEGINNING in life like YOU have found!

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Most Amazing Book!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-the-most-amazing-book

Whether you accept & believe in its teachings or not, it cannot be denied that the Bible is the most remarkable, amazing & absolutely UNIQUE book that has ever been written! Of course, many people today sort of pooh-pooh & dismiss it because they cannot help but associate the Bible with the largely do-nothing Christianity that they have seen, and they figure, “If THAT’S the kind of religion the Bible teaches, then no thanks! It’s not for me!”

But if you realise that the religion of LOVE that Jesus TAUGHT, and the religious TRADITIONS that many Christians today PRACTICE have little or nothing to do with each other, then you can approach the Bible with out prejudice. If you have an OPEN mind & are sincerely SEARCHING for the TRUTH, you can sweep away all of man’s false preconceived interpretations & you can delve down to the beautiful FOUNDATION of the Bible & see the true plan & how things are SUPPOSED to be! You will then discover that the Bible is NOT merely some kind of religious rulebook, but that it is the most wonderful, supernatural, miraculous, amazing, marvellous Book in the whole World! Which has the answers to EVERYTHING! WHERE we came from, HOW we got here, WHY we’re here, how to SURVIVE & be HAPPY while here, & how to love & have happiness FOREVER!

But before deciding whether or not to accept & believe in this amazing Book, consider the following seven facts that set it aside as a truly UNIQUE Volume:

  1. The Bible is unique in its CONTINUITY. It was written over a 1,500 YEAR time-span by over 40 authors from every walk of life, including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, shepherds, soldiers, poets, statesmen, scholars, etc.! Nevertheless, from beginning to end, its authors spoke on hundreds of controversial subjects with harmony & continuity, outlining one unfolding story: God’s LOVE for man!
  2.  

  3. The Bible has been READ BY MORE PEOPLE than ANY other book! It has out-sold every book that has ever been written & it STILL sells more copies every year than any other book in the World! But of course in the best-sellers lists they don’t dare acknowledge that, that in spite of all man’s writings and foolishness and fiction and ridiculous interpretations of history and reality, the BIBLE still out-sells them all! Another unique & related fact is that the Bible was the FIRST major book ever to be printed, on Gutenberg’s press.
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  5. The Bible has been TRANSLATED & PUBLISHED IN MORE LANGUAGES than ANY other book in existence! As far back as 1966 the WHOLE Bible had appeared in 240 languages & dialects, & one or more of its books appeared in 739 additional ones! (Update: “As of September 2016 the full Bible has been translated into 636 languages, the New Testament alone into 1442 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1145 other languages. Thus at least some portion of the Bible has been translated into 3,223 languages”. –Wikipedia)
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  7. The Bible, compared with all other ancient writings, has MORE MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE than any TEN pieces of classical literature COMBINED! Although originally written on perishable materials, having to be recopied by hand for thousands of years before the invention of the printing press, it’s style, correctness & accuracy has been preserved as no other book in all History! The Jews had special classes of scholars within their culture whose sole duty was to preserve & transmit the books of the Bible with PERFECT accuracy, counting the very consonants, vowels, syllables & words per manuscript as a means of double-checking. Literally THOUSANDS of ancient manuscripts in the original languages have been unearthed which PROVE, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Scriptures have come down through the ages to us just as they were originally written!
  8.  

  9. The Bible has WITHSTOOD VICIOUS ATTACKS by its enemies as no other book. Many have tried to burn it, destroy it & outlaw it, from the days of the Roman emperors to some present-day anti-Christ countries. Its very existence today & the fact that its teachings & Truths have been preserved despite the countless campaigns & tirades against it is in itself MIRACULOUS!
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  11. Discovery after discovery by MODERN ARCHAEOLOGISTS have CONFIRMED & PROVEN the Bible’s absolute accuracy & have proven it to be a source of HISTORY. Archaeologists following Old Testament references have rediscovered whole nations & resurrected entire peoples that the sceptics & critics once said were non-existent or imaginary. In fact, it can be stated categorically that NOT ONE archaeological discovery has EVER contradicted or cast doubt on a Biblical reference–all have CONFIRMED its accuracy!
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  13. The Bible is the ONLY volume ever produced which contains a large amount of PROPHECIES accurately predicting the future of individual nations, peoples, cities, & the coming of One Who was to be the Messiah! Although the ancient world had many different devices for determining the future, NOWHERE in all of Greek & Latin literature can there be found ANY real specific prophecy of a great Historic event to come in the distant future. But the BIBLE is FULL of countless, detailed, specific prophecies, all of which have been miraculously FULFILLED & come true–except, of course, the final ENDTIME prophecies which are either to be fulfilled in the near future or are coming to pass right NOW!

What an AMAZING & REMARKABLE Book! Yet so many people today, who consider them selves so smart & so knowledgeable, ignore the Bible completely! Time & time again we talk to people who’ve been through years of college & university & have read hundreds & hundreds of books–huge tomes & volumes of textbooks, religious books, philosophical books & ALL kinds of books–yet have never even cracked open the Bible, the most fascinating Book in the World! In which you can find almost ANYTHING: Drama, love, hate, peace, war, romance, poetry, prophecy, history, mystery, etc., etc.!

Just think about it: Words of wisdom from THOUSANDS of years ago, from the days before Moses! It’s such an IMPORTANT Book & one of the OLDEST Books in the World, yet a lot of “educated” people don’t even bother to read it! They waste time on all of their complicated & confused theories while neglecting the very Words of Life!

If you were going on a long journey & didn’t already know the way, you would bring along a MAP, wouldn’t you? Well, you ARE on a long journey, & the One Who knows the way has instructed some of His men to draw a detailed map so you won’t get lost & so you can make it safely to your final destination! To say you don’t have time to read God’s Map, the Bible, is like saying, “Well, I’m in such a HURRY to get there I don’t have TIME to look at the MAP!” But if you’ll just take the Bible & simply read it, believe it & follow it, you will be on the right road & wind up at the right place!

And that is actually the GREATEST proof that the Bible really is the miraculous, supernatural Word of God Himself–it WORKS! So why not TRY it! It’s the greatest, most enduring, wisest, most truthful Book in the whole World that you can really TRUST! I’m sure that you will find it an absolutely inexhaustible source of wisdom & knowledge, out of which you will constantly find “treasures new & old”! Beautiful! (Matthew 13:52)

Of course the MOST wonderful thing about the Bible is that, through its Words, we can get to know its AUTHOR! For the Bible is GOD’S GREAT LOVE LETTER to us! Its Life-giving Words make it the GREATEST Book in the World, with the only Author in the World that can guarantee life & love & happiness & Heaven forever through simply reading it & believing in its main Character, the One Who loved us so much that He gave His Own Life to save us JESUS CHRIST, the Son of God!

So take the Bible & sincerely pray, “OPEN Thou mine eyes, that I may behold WONDEROUS things out of Thy Word!” (Psalms 119:18) But don’t get bogged down in the “begats” & genealogies of Genesis, nor the Jewish History & ancient past of much of the Old Testament that is over & done with! Read the NEW TESTAMENT & the wonderful Words of JESUS in the GOSPELS–not as fairy tales of the PAST, but as GOD’S WORD for YOU TODAY & see how inspiring, uplifting, feeding & encouraging the Truth of the Word of God can be! In the beautiful GOSPEL OF JOHN particularly, you will find the spiritual depths of the Love of God & His Salvation for you!

Have YOU received God’s Love through JESUS? Have YOU tasted the wonderful, soul-satisfying waters of His wonderful Word? If not, receive Jesus into your heart personally by simply ASKING Him to come into your life, to forgive you of all your sins & give you His Love & peace & free gift of eternal life! Then you can not only READ His Word with understanding, but you’ll have the LOVE & the STRENGTH to OBEY it & to SHARE His Truth & Love with OTHERS who need them too!

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Anchor

Ditching Ruts and Taking Flight

Words from Jesus

free-bible-studies-online-anchorMaking your good better and your better best

I’m in the business of helping you to make your good better and your better best. I want to help you to take the good things in your life and improve them and make them even better. But if you never take the time to think about these things, maybe because you consider the way you go about it a good thing or “good enough,” a set thing or something that works well for you—then you’ll lack the motivation to strive for something better.

When you’ve found a rhythm that works for you in some area, it would only seem logical that it would be My will for you to keep it going. That’s an example of a good habit, something that is helping you to do the right thing, and you’re probably doing it in the same way day after day. But even something that has worked well for you can still be improved when change is introduced from time to time.

Variety and change often build experience and growth, which are important for your spiritual life. New experiences that increase your faith in what I’m able to do through you help you to realize that you’re capable of more than you thought you were.

How can you tell whether something has become a rut in your life that might be holding you back from trying new things, gaining experience and growth? Obviously there are bad habits and besetting sins that clearly have negative consequences. Those are pretty easy to recognize. But there are also routines that can, if left alone, eventually pose a problem or stifle your growth in some area.

Some indications of this type of “bad rut” are:

  • If you don’t know why you do it that way; it’s just how it happened or how you’ve always done it.
  • If it’s perpetuated because doing things a new way seems too difficult, or you’re afraid of what it will cost, or afraid you won’t be able to learn the new way.
  • If it’s so hard to learn something new or do something differently, if it throws you off kilter and you become stressed and edgy because there was a disruption in your routine, then you may have gotten into a rut.

When you identify a rut that fits the definition of a bad rut, then getting out of that rut with a positive dose of the new is not something “nice to do” or to change just for “change’s sake‚” but rather vital for your growth and fruitfulness. You don’t want to get to the end of your life and lament the fact that you’ve hardly ever changed and done new things—whether in your mindsets and attitudes that kept you from being fully used by Me or in your physical surroundings when you could have improved things and benefited from changes that could have been catalysts to growth and progress.

Seek Me about where you might be stuck in a rut and be open to change as needed. I can guide you and help you to break out of ruts that stifle your growth. I am the best rut-breaker of all time. Call on Me to help you smash any chains that hold you back, and I will help set you free.

 
Take flight

Ruts can be bad for your spiritual life because they make it harder for you to go in a new way, a new direction. Ruts generally yield stagnation. They keep you from moving forward, and they keep you from seeing and embracing new possibilities for growth and development. Ruts keep you from reaching your full potential.

When you’re stuck in a rut, you may feel like you’re moving forward and gaining ground, but you may be going in circles, boring deep grooves in your life without really making forward progress. Maybe because you’ve gotten into a rut as to how you operate, you’re held back, you’re hindered in your progress, and you won’t be able to move forward in some area.

You are meant to soar the skies, charting new terrain, and seeing the world with My bird’s-eye vision of faith and hope. But if you’re stuck in a rut in certain areas of your life, then you’re not reaching this full potential. If you want to fly high in My skies as you are destined to, put your ruts behind you and be on the lookout for the new ways that I want you to operate. Leaving your ruts behind will better your life and make your service for Me more of a joy and a blessing than a struggle or a strain. The new methods I show you, the new things I show you, will be for the purpose of making your work run much more smoothly and your personal life blossom more beautifully.

Ask Me today what ruts might be holding you back from reaching your full potential. I will lead you into all truth, and I will help you to break those chains and chart new paths that lead you forward and take you farther for Me and My kingdom. Then ditch the ruts and don the wings! My skies of fresh ideas and newness of spirit wait to embrace you. You were made for flight; let’s reach your full potential!

 
Embracing new challenges

It’s tough to change the things that have become second nature to you. But when these things are holding you back, they need to be countered, challenged, and overcome. That’s what makes change so difficult‚ but so wonderfully challenging—you are defying the very elements of human nature in habits that bind you to doing things in the same way. You are altering your course to head in a new direction that will bring forth fruit and growth.

So don’t ever feel that overcoming ruts and bad habits is not worth the effort. It is worth every tear shed, every ounce of effort spent, and every difficulty. This brings to life the fighter in you. It is breaking loose from the ties of routine, of characteristics, of what you have come to believe are unchangeable elements of your personality or circumstances, and it is making a decision to turn around and go in a new direction that will move you forward.

The determination to break the chains of bad habits and ruts can bring out the best in you, for it causes you to rise above the circumstance of comfort and search out a new route—a new challenge in life—and as difficult as it may sometimes be to leave behind the old, the promise of better things ahead becomes a compelling force, a reason to live.

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.