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Be Quiet And Listen

Have you ever been talking with someone and your thoughts took over to wear you quit listening to them? I mean, you can be looking them dead in the eye and not hear a word they say. It’s one of the things I have to constantly fight against. Staying engaged in a conversation can be hard work sometimes. When my mind wanders off, and I tune them out, I have to tell myself, “Stop! Listen! Pay attention. You can figure this out later.” In order to pay attention and to listen, I have to work on it at times. Hearing is passive, but listening requires action.

You and i are to listen to God’s voice. He’s always speaking to us, but we aren’t always listening. That’s why having a quiet time is so important. A quiet time is where you get alone, calm your thoughts and listen for God’s voice. It takes discipline because we are constantly on the go and have a culture that ranks busyness with godliness. However, even Jesus took time to go be alone with God so He could listen to what the Father was saying to Him. If Jesus needed to take time to listen to the Father, how much more do we? If you’re not in the habit of listening for God’s voice, start with a five minute quiet time and then work your way up. When you start listening to what God says and start applying it, your life will change.

Here are some Bible verses on listening to God.

1. “O that my people would once and for all listen to me and walk faithfully in my footsteps, following my ways. Then and only then will I conquer your every foe and tell every one of them, ‘You must go!’”

Psalms 81:13-14 TPT

2. Don’t just listen to the Word of Truth and not respond to it, for that is the essence of self-deception. So always let his Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life!

James 1:22 TPT

3. God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

Hebrews 4:12-13 MSG

4. Everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and obeys them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a [far-sighted, practical, and sensible] man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and yet could not shake it, because it had been securely built and founded on the rock.

Luke 6:47-48 AMP

5. Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God.

John 8:47 NLT

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God Loves You

Ever since we were children we’ve sang the song, “Jesus Loves Me This I Know”. It’s got a catchy tune, and to be honest, I hope it gets stuck in your head today. This timeless classic speaks an eternal truth that all of us need to know and remember. On a day where love is celebrated, I think it’s important to remember the greatest love of all – God’s love for you. While we give cards, chocolate and flowers to show our love, God gave us His one, and only Son. His gift to us was representative of the love He has for us, and it was done in order to restore our relationship to Him.

Today, there are many people in the world who feel unloved. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You are loved beyond measure, and by the only one who matters. Yes, it’s nice to have the love and affection of another human, but no human could love you as deeply or give you so generous as gift as God did. Plus, there is nothing in all of creation that could separate you from His love, nor is there anything you can do to make Him love you more or less. He loves you for who you are, so you don’t have to pretend to be someone else. While the world celebrates love today, we have an even greater reason to celebrate it. We are each loved by God, and that’s worth celebrating each and every day of the year.

Here are some Bible verses on God’s love for you.

1. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:5 NLT

2. So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!

Romans 8:38-39 TPT

3. The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.] By this the love of God was displayed in us, in that God has sent His [One and] only begotten Son [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind] into the world so that we might live through Him.

1 John 4:8-9 AMP

4. But God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!

Romans 5:8 GNT

5. This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted…

John 3:16-18 MSG

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Opening Doors

Life can seem like a series of doors that you have to walk through. Some are open and some are closed. Sometimes you walk through an open door only to find a closed door behind it. That’s always frustrating to me. Does that mean I shouldn’t have walked through the open door? Am I in the wrong place? Should I turn around and look elsewhere? I don’t think so. Jesus told us to knock and the door would be opened. Jesus also told the story of a person who had a visitor show up in the middle of the night. He didn’t have any food, so he went to his neighbor’s house and knocked on the door. There man told him it was locked and that were in bed. The first man kept knocking until the other person came and opened the door to give him what he wanted.

When you’ve walked through an open door that God has led you through only to find a closed door, don’t panic and turn around. Knocking on closed doors is a faith builder and a prayer enabler. If you’ve knocked a while and nothing has happened, ask God to show you if you need to keep knocking or to open your eyes to see an open door you’re not seeing. God is in the habit of opening doors for us, and the doors He open can be shut by anyone. He has ordered our steps and leads us in His paths, but that requires that you and I are willing to move from where we are to where He’s taking us. As He opens doors, you and I must walk through them. I like to pray, “God, close the doors I’m not supposed to walk through, and lead me to the open doors you have for me.”

Here are some Bible verses on open doors.

1. Strive to enter through the narrow door [force aside unbelief and the attractions of sin]; for many, I tell you, will try to enter [by their own works] and will not be able.

Luke 13:24 AMP

2. Here’s what I’m saying: Ask and you’ll get; Seek and you’ll find; Knock and the door will open.

Luke 11:9 MSG

3. There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.

1 Corinthians 16:9 NLT

4. To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: “This is the message from the one who is holy and true. He has the key that belonged to David, and when he opens a door, no one can close it, and when he closes it, no one can open it. I know what you do; I know that you have a little power; you have followed my teaching and have been faithful to me. I have opened a door in front of you, which no one can close.”

Revelation 3:7-8 GNT

5. For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened.

Luke 11:10 AMP

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Self Imposed Limits

One of the first Bible verses I can remember memorizing is Proverbs 23:7. It says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (KJV). What a profound truth for all of us. Henry Ford interpreted it this way, “Whether you think you or can’t, you’re right.” The power of your thoughts are so important to being able to live out your faith and pursue your calling. Do you believe that Jesus forgave all your sins and set you free 100% or do you still carry the guilt of forgiven sins? Everything that God wants to do through you starts with how you answer that question. If you believe there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), then you’re free to fulfill your purpose. If you still feel condemnation from your past, you’re living in a self imposed prison.

Living under guilt and condemnation from your past is a self limiting belief. The enemy knows that your thoughts predict your future, so he attacks you there. He goes after how you feel too. If he can get you to feel guilty, then he can keep you from your purpose. Feelings lie, but God doesn’t. Other He has the power to forgive you and take your guilt or He doesn’t. Acts 13:39 says, “Everyone who believes in Him is set free from sin and guilt” (TPT). So we know that those feelings of guilt are a tool of the enemy to hold you back from your destiny and they are not from God. You need to let that verse sink into your soul and repeat it, along with Romans 8:1, until you believe it from the inside out.

1 John 3:20 tells us, “Whenever our hearts make us feel guilty and remind us of our failures, we know that God is much greater and more merciful than our conscience, and he knows everything there is to know about us.” God knows who you have been and who you’re becoming. Old things have past away, and all things in your life are becoming new through Him. Trust in the grace of God to forgive and remove your guilt, then be transformed into a new person through the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). Your past happened and there are scars to show, but those things are not meant to hold you back. They’re there to help others find their freedom and healing. God knows everything, everything, about you and He still loves you, forgives you and wants to use you. Leave the self limiting thoughts and feelings in the past where they belong and find your freedom and purpose in your forgiveness.

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Be Alert

When I was a teenager, I was part of a scouting program at church. One of the things that was taught to us each week was the code of core values that each one of us were to adopt into our lives. To this day, I can recite all eight, and still try to live by them. The very first one was, “Alert – He is mentally, physically and spiritually alert.” I believe there is deep significance in this one for everyone, and that we should all live by it. To be mentally alert is to pay attention and to guard our mind. We have to be careful what we all into it. To be physically alert is to pay attention to our surroundings so we can keep ourselves and others out of danger. Spiritually alert is very similar. Instead of looking into the physical realm, we need to be alert to things happening in the spiritual realm.

Jesus and several authors of the New Testament warm us to be alert, to pay attention and to be vigilant. Each one of us must be aware of danger and opportunities around us. We’re not mean to drift along life being carried by its current. We must live intentional lives paying attention. We are to fight the enemy when he shows up, rescue the lost when our paths cross and ready to give an answer for the hope that lives within us. We cannot let our guard down ever. When we do, our enemy will strike or we may miss an opportunity to lead someone to salvation. Being alert is a core value that every Christian must have and incorporate into their lives.

Here are some Bible verses on being alert.

1. Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8 AMP

2. But since we belong to the day, we must stay alert and clearheaded by placing the breastplate of faith and love over our hearts, and a helmet of the hope of salvation over our thoughts.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 TPT

3. Remember to stay alert and hold firmly to all that you believe. Be mighty and full of courage.

1 Corinthians 16:13 TPT

4. Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen. Don’t let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren.

Deuteronomy 4:9 MSG

5. Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people.

Ephesians 6:18 GNT

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Receiving Mercy And Grace

Mercy and grace are two words we use a lot whenever we are speaking Christianese. Do we really know what they are though? To me, mercy is not getting what we deserve when we’ve done something wrong, while grace is getting God’s favor that we don’t deserve. To receive mercy, we have to understand we’ve done wrong, own up to it and ask for it from the person whom we’ve offended. So many times we want mercy, but don’t want to own up to our mistake or admit it was our fault. To receive grace, we have to understand our shortcomings and our weaknesses. We have to know that we simply can’t do everything on our own and that we need divine assistance.

To receive both mercy and grace, we have to make an admittance so we can get the things we need, but don’t deserve. Pride will keep us from receiving both. That’s why God resists the proud, but accepts those who are humble enough to know and admit that they need Him. God is rich in mercy and full of grace that He wants to give us. We must go to Him and ask for both because every one of us need them. It’s when we recognize our weakness and go to Him that His grace is sufficient for us. We must quit trying to do everything on our own and in our own strength and learn to receive and trust in His mercy and grace.

Here are some Bible verses on mercy and grace.

1. So now we come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness.

Hebrews 4:16 TPT

2. GOD is all mercy and grace— not quick to anger, is rich in love.

Psalm 145:8 MSG

3. But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved.

Ephesians 2:4-5 GNT

4. But He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP

5. When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

Titus 3:4-5, 7 NLT

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Standing Your Ground

I used to love playing King of the Hill. The struggle to maintain your position while people try to knock you off balance was fun for me. You’d have to brace yourself when you saw someone coming at you. The other thing you had to be good at was deflecting them as they hit you. Using their momentum against them was always to securing your spot on the hill. Inevitably you’re knocked off the spot, and then someone else occupies what was once yours. When that happens, it’s time to go on the offensive so you can take it back. It’s the classic game of standing your ground.

As Christians, our enemy roams around like a lion trying to intimidate us so we will back down and give up ground. Sometimes he comes at us with a full on assault doing everything he can to get us to give up ground, but like Jesus, we can hold our ground during these times by using the Word of God. We are to hold up our shield of faith in God’s Word when these attacks come. We need to use the whole armor God gave us to stand up to the devil when he is trying to take ground. It also takes a strong will and determination to stand up and say, “No more! I refuse to give up this land. You cannot have it!” I believe the Holy Spirit, who is our sword, gives us the courage and the strength to stand up and fight back. We have all authority through Jesus’ name, so stand up to the devil, resist his advances and he will flee.

Here are some Bible verses on standing your ground.

1. So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will turn and run away from you.

James (Jacob) 4:7 TPT

2. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT

3. With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.

1 Corinthians 15:58 MSG

4. Wickedness does not give security, but righteous people stand firm.

Proverbs 12:3 GNT

5. Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11 AMP

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