Change takes endurance

Philippians 4:5 (AMPC) Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is [a]coming soon].

It is time to get it right and quit making excuses. The Lord is near and coming soon. If there is ever a time to get serious about our walk with God, now is the time. Most of us love God but not all of us are serious about our walk with God. It is time to make our mind up about how we want to live life.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (AMPC) 22 Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; 23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], 24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. 

The way we change our life is by renewing our mind. We all want our lives to change but we certainly do not want to do what we need to in order to see change happen in our lives. The first part of change in life is recognizing the need for change. Once we recognize it, then we have to set our mind to do what we need to do to see change happen.

Change takes endurance. The good news is we have a God who will help us with the change we need to make in life. With God on our side, it may not be a picnic, but we will have peace and direction and a partner who loves us through our mistakes.

James 1:21-22 (AMPC) 21 So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].

When we feel we are struggling, it is time to dig out that bible and start understanding it. The Word of God has power to change us day by day. Our lives can change drastically when we begin to read the bible and understand that we can have a different life than what we have.

If you would like to accept Jesus as your savior, and you are not quite sure how, it is as simple as saying a prayer to God to let Him know you are ready to accept Him into your life. Say this prayer if you would like to invite Jesus to live in your heart:

Father God, I love you and believe in you. I need you Lord and I am sorry for my sins and the way that I live. Lord, I want you in my life. I receive Jesus as my savior and Lord. I believe that Jesus died for me and rose from the dead. Lord take me as I am and make me the way you want me to be. God, thank you for saving me and being with me on my journey. I am looking forward to my journey with you Lord. I know you will equip me for my journey and I am glad I have you by my side as I walk this walk of Life. Thank you Lord, I love you. Amen

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Living in this biblical way sounds so great – but actually doing it can be a painful experience

We are not saved by good behavior alone, but by the condition of our heart. To condition our heart we have to develop a relationship with Christ.   When we develop a relationship with Christ we begin to see all the good things God has done with us. When we recognize God’s goodness then we want to behave because we are thankful for His grace.

Ephesians 5:21-25 (AMPC) 21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 22 Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body. 24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

Sometimes God will ask us to do some pretty difficult things. Submitting to authority and to our husband can be tough for a couple of us if we are not used to being submissive in life. But submission is a biblical principle. The respect goes two ways. This says for wives to obey their husbands and for husbands to love their wife’s as Christ loved the church and gave himself for the church.

Living in this biblical way sounds so great – but actually doing it can be a painful experience. It’s the learning how to apply the principle to our lives that is so incredibly tough. We are not going to get this right all the time and every time. We don’t always treat people kind because we feel like it but because we are a Child of God and we love God.

Being submissive is not letting people walking all over you but respecting those enough to let them have a say. God will lead us to know what is healthy in our relationship and what is not and He will guide us to do the right thing and how to react in the right ways. This really does not happen overnight, but rather, over time. Any time we have to change our lives to line up in accordance to God and it is not something we are used to doing we will have to spend a little time in the wilderness.

Ephesians 5:33 (AMPC) 33 However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [[a]that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and [b]that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].

If you would like to accept Jesus as your savior, and you are not quite sure how, it is as simple as saying a prayer to God to let Him know you are ready to accept Him into your life. Say this prayer if you would like to invite Jesus to live in your heart:

Father God, I love you and believe in you. I need you Lord and I am sorry for my sins and the way that I live. Lord, I want you in my life. I receive Jesus as my savior and Lord. I believe that Jesus died for me and rose from the dead. Lord take me as I am and make me the way you want me to be. God, thank you for saving me and being with me on my journey. I am looking forward to my journey with you Lord. I know you will equip me for my journey and I am glad I have you by my side as I walk this walk of Life. Thank you Lord, I love you. Amen

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It took me a long time to realize that I am my worst enemy.

We have power and strength from Christ to accomplish what we need to accomplish. I have great ideas on how I’d like to behave each day, but I usually don’t behave the way I plan to. I need all the strength and help from God I can get when it comes to behaving right. I need God’s help in everything I do.

Ephesians 6:10 (AMPC) 10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. 

Sometimes we don’t rely on God as much as we can for our everyday living. We go to God for big things but not the little things that God tells us to do. It took me a long time to realize that I am my worst enemy. Those little negative behaviors I display have a pretty big impact on the amount of joy I have in my life. We are really good at asking God to change the behaviors of others, but it takes some maturity and soul searching when we go to God and ask him to change our behavior.

Ephesians 6:11-12 (AMPC) 11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

We have to be willing to deal with opposition when we begin our battle to behave better. There are wicked spirits everywhere around us that war against us to keep us from doing the right thing. But guess what, we have more power than those evil spirits. We may not feel like behaving better all the time which is why we have to get dressed for battle each day by putting on the whole armor of God.

Ephesians 6:13 (AMPC) 13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

We do what God asks us to do, and God will do what we cannot do as we stand firmly in our place standing our ground to do what is right. A lot of times we pray for something and we do not do our part, we expect miracles. We do have a part with our battles and our part is to put on that armor so we are dressed for the spiritual battles we face each day.

Ephesians 6:14-18 (AMPC) 14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, 15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the [a]firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness [b]produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. 16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of [c]saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit [d]wields, which is the Word of God. 18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

If you would like to accept Jesus as your savior, and you are not quite sure how, it is as simple as saying a prayer to God to let Him know you are ready to accept Him into your life. Say this prayer if you would like to invite Jesus to live in your heart:

Father God, I love you and believe in you. I need you Lord and I am sorry for my sins and the way that I live. Lord, I want you in my life. I receive Jesus as my savior and Lord. I believe that Jesus died for me and rose from the dead. Lord take me as I am and make me the way you want me to be. God, thank you for saving me and being with me on my journey. I am looking forward to my journey with you Lord. I know you will equip me for my journey and I am glad I have you by my side as I walk this walk of Life. Thank you Lord, I love you. Amen

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Faith tells us to rely on God when we know we are unable to do something on our own

Ephesians 6:14-15 (AMPC) 14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, 15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the [a]firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness [b]produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.

We are soldiers in God’s army and He supplies us with all of the armor we need in our battle. We all have peace; we are to put on our shoes of peace so we can walk in peace. The devil loves it when there is turmoil in our lives. When we let our problems become the main focus of our lives then we will never see other things around us. We are fighting a very real enemy.

Ephesians 6:16 (AMPC) 16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of [a]saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].

If you are unsure how to put on your shoes of peace, then just keep pressing on and studying God’s work in this area. Faith tell us to rely on God when we know we are unable to do something on our own. We release our faith by trusting God, praying to God, and doing what we can do in our situation.

Ephesians 6:17 (AMPC) 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit [a]wields, which is the Word of God. 

We have been given the mind of Christ and we can take that helmet of salvation to live in according to the spirit rather than according to the thoughts that circulate in our head. We have to keep our helmet on so the devil’s thoughts do not infiltrate into our mind and cause us to think junky thoughts. We fight those thoughts not only with the helmet but with the sword – which is the Word of God. The Word of God tells us what we need to do when faced with situations in life.

If you would like to accept Jesus as your savior, and you are not quite sure how, it is as simple as saying a prayer to God to let Him know you are ready to accept Him into your life. Say this prayer if you would like to invite Jesus to live in your heart:

Father God, I love you and believe in you. I need you Lord and I am sorry for my sins and the way that I live. Lord, I want you in my life. I receive Jesus as my savior and Lord. I believe that Jesus died for me and rose from the dead. Lord take me as I am and make me the way you want me to be. God, thank you for saving me and being with me on my journey. I am looking forward to my journey with you Lord. I know you will equip me for my journey and I am glad I have you by my side as I walk this walk of Life. Thank you Lord, I love you. Amen

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Be thankful for the little growths

Philippians 3:10 (AMPC) 10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [[a]which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

God have given us quality life – a life of quality. He tells us how to live life. Many time we do just the opposite of what the Word of God tells us. Just as Adam and Eve ate from the one tree they were not supposed to eat from we do the few things we should not do. It is time to make a commitment to be led and guided by the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 7:6 (AMPC) But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life].

God deals with each of us differently. He even leads us each into relationship with Him in different ways. He purposely created us so I’m sure he knows what works best for us. Just because your bible study partner is led to read the bible in a year, it doesn’t mean that you should do it. It’s great to do if you feel led to do it – but be sure you are being led by God rather than people or guilt for not being like the super Christians you put yourself around. The Holy Spirit will lead you on how to develop that close personal relationship with God that you desire.

It is a great goal to want to go to Heaven, but we can actually enjoy the journey. Obedience to God is progressive. It’s not like we give our lives to Christ and are ready for complete obedience. God works with us a little bit at a time to teach us how to apply the word of God over our lives and live in obedience. As we grow with God, we grow in stages, not all at once. If God showed us all the areas we need change in at once, we couldn’t take it. It would be depressing. Be thankful for the little growths.

2 Peter 1:3-7 (AMPC) For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [[a]full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature. For this very reason, [b]adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in [c]exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence), And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.

If you would like to accept Jesus as your savior, and you are not quite sure how, it is as simple as saying a prayer to God letting Him know you are ready to accept Him into your life. Say this prayer if you would like to invite Jesus to live in your heart:

Father God, I love you and believe in you. I need you Lord and I am sorry for my sins and the way that I live. Lord, I want you in my life. I receive Jesus as my savior and Lord. I believe that Jesus died for me and rose from the dead. Lord take me as I am and make me the way you want me to be. God, thank you for saving me and being with me on my journey. I am looking forward to my journey with you Lord. I know you will equip me for my journey and I am glad I G you by my side as I walk this walk of Life. Thank you Lord, I love you. Amen

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Our relationship and understanding of God’s word is a gradual progression

It is one thing to read the bible or memorize a few verses and a completely different thing to study and absorb what the Word says and apply it to our lives. The bible can seem confusing; it will always seem confusing if we are always in a hurry and read for quantity rather than quality. We should not have a goal to see how much of the bible we can read each week, but rather, how far we can develop our relationship with God through the study and application of the word to our lives.

Philippians 3:10 (AMPC) 10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [[a]which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

Be determined to understand the bible no matter how complicated it may be. The devil does not want us to understand the bible. Don’t be defeated by the devils ploys to keep you away from the knowledge you need to live a victorious life. Nobody can make us be determined – we have to discipline ourselves to be determined. We can make it our determined purpose to know God and what the Word of God says.

When we study the bible we begin to know God personally. We believe in God because we know him rather than what we were taught to do or what we think is acceptable in the circles we walk in. When we understand the Word and we begin to see what God is doing in our lives that align to what we have read in the bible, then the reality of God becomes evident and that is how we develop our relationship with Christ.

The more we read and understand and see results of God’s work the more progressively we come to know Him. It’s not like everything can be downloaded into our brains the first time we decide to take to studying the bible. We have to have faith and patience in developing our relationship because we may not be able to see the good results 24 hours a day. Our relationship and understanding of God’s word is a gradual progression.

Philippians 3:13-15 (AMPC) 13 I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. 15 So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.

If you would like to accept Jesus as your savior, and you are not quite sure how, it is as simple as saying a prayer to God letting Him know you are ready to accept Him into your life. Say this prayer if you would like to invite Jesus to live in your heart:

Father God, I love you and believe in you. I need you Lord and I am sorry for my sins and the way that I live. Lord, I want you in my life. I receive Jesus as my savior and Lord. I believe that Jesus died for me and rose from the dead. Lord take me as I am and make me the way you want me to be. God, thank you for saving me and being with me on my journey. I am looking forward to my journey with you Lord. I know you will equip me for my journey and I am glad I have you by my side as I walk this walk of Life. Thank you Lord, I love you. Amen

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Choices bring us closer to God or further from God

2 Peter 1:5-7 (AMPC) For this very reason, [a]adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in [b]exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence), And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.

There are a lot of things we do not have to do to get to heaven but we can choose to do them so we have a better life here on earth and in heaven. We can make choices today that are good choices for our lives. It’s easy to start a diet or exercising but tough to stick to what we set out to do.

Galatians 5:25 (AMPC) 25 If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit [a]we have our life in God, let us go forward [b]walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]

Self-control is our friend and will help us be the person we want to be in life. The devil wants to guide us and so does the Holy Spirit. We make choices all of the time and those choices bring us closer to God or further from God. We are really good at coming up with excuses of why we do things or do not do things that we know are good for us. Bottom line is, our situations may not be in our control but the choices we make in our situations are in our control.

Ephesians 2:10 (AMPC) 10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [a]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

Jesus died and provided a great life for us. Jesus has laid a path out for us and it is up to us to walk in that path. Every step we take equates to a decision we make in our life. The decisions we make give us good results or bad results. Sometimes when we begin to make right decisions we feel alone or lonely. But the path is narrow that leads to a great life and few are those who find it.

Matthew 7:13-14 (AMPC) 13 Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. 14 But the gate is narrow (contracted [a]by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.

If you would like to accept Jesus as your savior, and you are not quite sure how, it is as simple as saying a prayer to God to let Him know you are ready to accept Him into your life. Say this prayer if you would like to invite Jesus to live in your heart:

Father God, I love you and believe in you. I need you Lord and I am sorry for my sins and the way that I live. Lord, I want you in my life. I receive Jesus as my savior and Lord. I believe that Jesus died for me and rose from the dead. Lord take me as I am and make me the way you want me to be. God, thank you for saving me and being with me on my journey. I am looking forward to my journey with you Lord. I know you will equip me for my journey and I am glad I have you by my side as I walk this walk of Life. Thank you Lord, I love you. Amen

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