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The Abundant Christian Life Part 1

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“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”- Jesus

What is the abundant Christian life? I was asked this very controversial question and I extended it to my Christian community. And, just like I thought, there was an array of different perception; all helpful. Here is the overview!

It looks like a life of gratitude that leads to obedience. Faith and trust in God is the most peaceful and secure place a person can be. The abundant Christian life looks peaceful, joyful, and full of self control. It looks like everything makes sense because behind every action, in the abundant Christian life, is the very Spirit of God and that is made very clear through a believer’s actions.

All of Him, none of me. Pressing into Him regardless of circumstances or situations that may be telling me otherwise. It’s the understanding and knowing the victory has already been won and my responsibility is to ground myself in my new identity, which He has freely given to us, and then my actions and behaviors will follow.

If there is a “look” it can be simply described as obedience and is observable regardless of external circumstances. The abundant Christian life is a life that walks by faith and not by sight. It is a life in constant pursuit of the giver of gifts, NOT the gifts that may come from the giver. Living out of our identity in Christ.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalms 91:14-16 ESV

The abundant life is lining up with God’s perception, not the accumulation of good circumstances, accomplishment, or tangible possessions. It looks like things unachievable through my own strength, but working it out everyday through the power of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Freedom from addiction is being forgiven of addiction. The abundant Christian life doesn’t necessarily have a “look” rather it is truth, abiding, and growing within.

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 36; Proverbs 6

Daily Quote: “The Christian life is not merely knowing or hearing, but doing the will of Christ.” – Frederick W. Robertson

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Confident businessman points to himself with both thumbs. Isolated on white.

Pride – the Ugly Sin

Businessman - Mr Bigshot

A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor. Proverbs 29:23

It’s something that rears its head so often in our lives and yet sometimes we are blind to it. Maybe?

Pastor and Author Lou Priolo says that “Pride is the AIDS of the soul … Pride blinds us not only to itself, but to every other sin tucked away in the recesses of our hearts and lives. It causes us to hate correction and reproof. It hides our sin from us, it justifies our sin, it excuses our sin, and it keeps us from repenting of our sin. It deceives us into thinking that we are spiritually well when, in fact, we have a deadly cancer and are in desperate need of the Great Physician’s Balm.”

Puritan preacher, Richard Baxter really lays it out for us: Pride is a deep rooted and self-preserving sin; and therefore is harder to be killed and rooted up than other sins. It hinders the discovery of itself … It will now allow the sinner to see his pride when he is reproved; neither will it allow him to confess if he sees it; nor to loathe himself and forsake it. Even when he recognizes all of the evidence of pride in others, he will not see it in himself. When he feels himself despising reproof, and knows that this is a sign of pride in others, yet he will not know it in himself. If you would go about to cure him of this or any other fault, you shall fee that you are handling a wasp or an adder; yet when he is spitting the venom of pride against the reprove, he does not perceive that he is proud; this venom is a part of his nature and therefore is not felt as harmful or poisonous.

Pastor Priolo suggests several things about deadly pride in our lives:

1. Pride is the delusion that our achievements are primarily the results of our doing.

2. Pride is esteeming ourselves above and beyond the condition and proportion that God has appointed for us.

3. Pride is the desire to be esteemed by others above and beyond the condition that God has appointed for us.

4. Pride is the desire to exult ourselves above and beyond the condition and proportion that God has appointed for us.

In the Valley of Vision – Prayers of the Puritans, I found this prayer regarding pride:

Lord, let not pride swell my heart. My nature is the mire beneath my feet, the dust to which I will return … Help me see myself in Your sight, then pride must wither, decay, die, perish.

Humble my heart before You, and replenish it with Your choicest gifts. As water rests not on barren hill summits, but flows down to fertilize lowest vales, so make me the lowest of the lowly, that my spiritual riches may exceedingly abound.

When I leave duties undone, may condemning thought strip me of pride, deepen me in devotion to Your service, and quicken me to more watchful care.

When I am tempted to think highly of myself, grant me to see the wily power of my spiritual enemy; Help me to stand with wary eye on the watch-tower of faith, and to cling with determined grasp to my humble Lord; If I fall let me hide myself in my Redeemer’s righteousness, and when I escape, may I ascribe all deliverance to Your grace. Keep me humble, meek, lowly. Amen!

Are you struggling with pride today? If so, grab your online concordance and look up verses to help you see God’s perspective on pride. The opposite of pride is humility. Lord, make me more humble today.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 34; Proverbs 4

Daily Quote: The man who thinks he is too big for a little place is too little for a big place. ~Vance Havner

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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Hold On: Spirit Wins

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“Our enemy is more aware than we are of the spiritual possibilities that depend upon obedience. We should never be surprised that he seeks by assault and, if that fails, by undermining our defenses, to compel us to give way.” ~Amy Carmichael
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
~ Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in 1 Corinthians 15
Oh beloved, it is true.
We are pushed from all sides. So many things vie for our attention. And nearly everything that can catch and hold our glance, really can take us out. We are in a terrible battle for the very survival of our souls.
Lust
Doubt
Fear
Anger
Death
Sickness
Bitterness
And so much more…
We are hurting. We feel the falling dark of the world around us, and we hope that things are going to get better. But really, we know that they are are not – absent some sort of powerful change.
Politics fail
People fail
Religion fails
Diets fail
Recoveries fail
Businesses fail
Programs fail
Countries fail
Everything fails
And this may be some of the clearest and best news that we have every received.
There is much call to ‘authenticity’ lately. And this can be good. … But, to simply be authentic to our flesh is merely rebellion. Only in being authentic to our new-creation spirit man, do we truly find freedom. And for us to being trying to fight this horrendous battle by ourselves – using the very part of us that got us into trouble in the first place – is just not going to work.
Can we see it?
There is no way to win this war. There is no place to go. We are already defeated. And to keep fighting our flesh, with the flesh, is not going to work. It will, in fact, kill us even more.
And so, the only way for us to really make a difference, is for us to hold on to a very important truth regarding our faith: We are dead to sin (self), and alive to G_d, in Christ Jesus.
So, are you struggling with the fall of the world around you? Are you struggling against the failures in your own life? It is time for you (and this fool of a writer) to hold on to a vital reality. We are only going to have success when we come to realize that flesh always loses, and spirit always wins.
Tonight is your night beloved. Time to walk in the Spirit. There is no need to let go of His hand. Just hold on, as you walk through the dark. The Dawn is coming.

 

Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 32;  Proverbs 2

Daily Quote: A certain monk had a struggle against defiled lusts. He got up and night and went to the elder and confessed to him the thoughts that were drawing him to defilement. The elder calmed him and the brother, have benefited, returned to his cell. But the struggle rose up against him again, and again he went to the elder. He did this a few times. The elder did not grieve him, but said, “Don’t give up, but it is better that you come to me whenever the demon disturbs you, and repel him by exposing your thoughts. By such a repulsion he will pass you by. For nothing so burns the demon of defilement as the revelation of his deeds [in confession before a spiritual father]. And nothing makes him so happy as the hiding of thoughts.” Thus the brother came to the elder eleven times, repelling his thoughts, and the brother’s temptation ceased.
~Ancient Patericon, 5.16

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

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A Position of Thankfulness

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“Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.” – Luke 17:15,16

In this account, Jesus uses a process to heal the 10 lepers. First, they needed to acknowledge that they needed help. Denial is a powerful enemy to our souls. To truly assess where you are, in addition asking God to vindicate you can be sobering. However, the healing is activated when there is awareness that healing is needed.

Secondly, completely believing where our help comes from. Believing is one thing, but taking the steps, in faith, provides access to the help. When I contracted Lyme Disease, I knew that the doctors, specialists, and hospital could help me but until I went to the hospital it was only a reflection. These lepers not only believe, they went (action) and asked Jesus to have mercy on them. All trusted and all were healed.

However, only one returned to praise and thank the Healer. A Position of Thankfulness! I played charades with some children and asked them act out a scenario for which they were thankful. Some mentioned their parents, others stated friends, God was declared, and then one boy took out a comb and began combing his hair. With many failed attempts to figure out the picture he was painting, he said: “I’m thankful for this comb. My dad gave me this comb and I don’t get to see him anymore.” A Position of Thankfulness

We are healed or being healed in some way or another. Do you have a spirit of thankfulness? Are you like the 9 lepers who did not appreciate the miraculous healing? Or you like the one who returned with A Position of Thankfulness?

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 31; Proverbs 1

Daily Quote: “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” – Harry Ironside

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

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Fifty Three: One

 

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Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” –  Isaiah 53:1 (NASB)

Well my brothers (and sisters) like it or not, we have a new President!! The remains of the Thanksgiving turkey should be a frozen mass of soup in your freezer by now and that “Black Friday” thingy (ya know, the day where good people do bad things to get great deals) is in the history books. What else could possibly be left to do? A lot of you will say Christmas but for me it will be my birthday. The Roman Catholic Church will observe it as day they call The Immaculate Conception. What is that?

Well to give that day a small moment of definition, I can say that the Catholic Church teaches it as the day that the Virgin Mary was conceived in her mother’s womb, (the Catholic Church refers to her as St. Anne) free from original sin by the foreseen merits of her son, Jesus Christ, and is considered a holy day of obligation meaning, your fanny perpendicular better be in church. The rest of it gets too murky for me to go into but I think that’s why my mother named me Christopher (my name means “bearing Christ”) and not after my father, John (which means “YAHWEH is gracious”). Anyway…back to Christmas.

Now we all know that to celebrate Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, but do we really get that? Maybe those who do the commercialized version of i-Christmas don’t, but we – Christians –  should. Sometimes when we tell the commercialized world “Jesus is the reason for the season” we need to be able to back it up. Just to say that Jesus is the Messiah doesn’t make it so. Paul tells those in Thessalonica to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thes 5:21) and since it would be those folks in Berea (Acts 17:11) who would actually dig into things lets follow their example and dig into what would have been available to them at the time…The Old Testament!!

One thing to understand is that Jewish hope is centered on the advent of the Messiah, which is rooted in YHVH’s promise to David that his kingdom would endure forever. “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” (2 Sam 7:16) But before we can get here there was judgement pronounced in Genesis 3:14-15, that was directed at the serpent, and tells us that the Messiah will be a man. So, with that lineage will be very important at this point. We will need to get off the Ark and follow Shem to Terah to Abram. Abram will receive Melchizedek’s blessing, YHVH will make him a promise, Abram will think Ishmael is that promise, El-Shaddai will change Abram to Abraham, then there’ll be Isaac, then Jacob and then Judah!!

Now I put us on the fast track to get to Judah because of what Jacob (or Israel as he now known) says in Genesis 49:10, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” The key portion of this verse is “Until Shiloh comes”. Now the word Shiloh can get a little obscure within the context of its usage but I’m pretty sure that in this case we are talking the Prince of Peace. So, with that we now know what tribe of Israel the Messiah will come from. Getting to David’s family is just a hop and skip to Isaiah 11:1-2 and a jump backwards to 2 Samuel 7:8 and then we can safely land on 2 Samuel 7:16.

Now I bet you are sitting there shaking your head in order to get it back into focus. Lineage’s have a way of doing that, but they are important to take in. So, what does this have to do with telling the cashier at Wal-mart “Jesus is the reason for the season” and that it ain’t “Happy Holidays?” Foundation!! We need foundation and as much as the Old Testament is filled with chaos and disorder the line of Messiah drives right through it. And since we live in a chaotic and disordered world we need to show the strength of the Messianic line still driving through and the need for salvation in Jesus Christ. I got more to get into but for today can you sit back and rest knowing that YHVH has been with all things at all times? Or do you need a holy day of obligation to remind you? Hmmm….

 

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 30; Proverbs 30

Daily Quote: “The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.” – J.I. Packer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

 

 

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Someone’s Knocking at the Door

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“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” – Revelation 3:20

Here’s the scene, comfortably sitting on the couch after a long day. “Someone’s knocking at the door; Somebody’s ringing the bell.” You turn to another and say “Do me a favor, open the door and let’em in”.

So often in the Bible we read passages that tell us, “Ask, seek and knock”, “Call”, “let your requests be made known to God”, etc. Each day we are told to pursue God. Just recently I was doing a routine inspection of our hotel rooms at Keswick with a state inspector. Our first room was occupied by one of our African Missionaries, they were having a conference here. A little man with broken English answered the door and invited us in. The inspector was then presented with a question from our guest, “What have you asked of God today?”At a loss for words, the inspector said “nothing.” With great dismay, the Ghanaian missionary inquired “why have you not asked of the Lord today?” In a very awkward moment, I broke the silence with, “well, maybe tomorrow”.

This gave me an opportunity to explain the Gospel to our inspector friend. In Revelation 3:20 we see a pursuit of our Lord Jesus Christ by standing on the outside wanting to come in. It says He stands at the door and knocks, I must tell you that this verse came to mind immediately after we encountered our guest.

God is the Pursuer, and has called each of us to Himself. He does this at salvation and I believe He also does this at times in our walk with Him. Just like the scenario of us sitting on the couch too lazy to get up because we don’t see a need to answer. This message to the Laodicean church is presented because of a “lukewarm” condition which is defined by a list of what I call “you think, but I tell you” rebukes from our Lord.

So, if you’re too comfortable in your Lazy Boy and you hear Jesus knocking, maybe today is the day we willfully open the door and let Him in. Amen!

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 29; Proverbs 29

Daily Quote: “‘You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,’ said the Lion.”  – C.S. Lewis

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

 

Stressed businessman in the city.

Praying as You Read The Scriptures

Stressed businessman

In just a few days we will be entering the month of December. A number of you committed to read through the book of Psalms and Proverbs with us this year and I trust it has been a blessing to you.
I am always looking for ways to keep my quiet times fresh and exciting. I have seen a number of great resources that I will share with you as we prepare for 2017, but resources that you can start right now.
I recently read a blog by Kristen Wheterell and she suggests 22 ways to pray as we read through the Bible based on principles from Psalm 119. I am using them in my quiet time and commend them to you:

  • Pray for wholehearted seeking: Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways (vv. 2-3)!
  • Pray for protection from sin: I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you (v. 11).
  • Pray for opened eyes: Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law (v. 18).
  • Pray for spiritual strength:  My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word (v. 28)!
  • Pray for delight and longing: Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!…Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life (vv. 36, 40)!
  • Pray to fight lies: Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word (vv. 41-42).
  • Pray to live with trust in God’s promises: This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life (v. 50).
  • Pray for quick obedience: I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments (v. 60).
  • Pray for good judgment and knowledge: Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments (v. 66).
  • Pray for God’s comfort: Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant (v. 76).
  • Pray for endurance against the enemy: All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me (v. 86)!
  • Pray to depend on God’s enduring Word: Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens….I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts (vv. 89-94).
  • Pray for continual meditation: Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day (v. 97).
  • Pray for God’s light to guide you: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (v. 105).
  • Pray for fear of the Lord: My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments (v. 120).
  • Pray for trust in the Lord’s justice: I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies! It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken (vv. 125-6).
  • Pray for victory over sin: Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me (v. 133).
  • Pray for joy in trouble: Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight (v. 143).
  • Pray for God to hear you: Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life (v. 149).
  • Pray for mercy: Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules (v. 156).
  • Pray to abhor falsehood: I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law (v. 163).
  • Pray for a soul of praise: Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me (v. 175).

Pretty cool, huh? I trust they will be helpful to you. I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email at bwelte@americaskeswick.org Trust you had a great Thanksgiving.

Resource: Kristen Whetherell blog

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 28; Proverbs 28

Daily Quote: The louder Satan roars, the more proof you shall have of Christ’s love. ~C.H. Spurgeon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

Man praying while holding a Holy Bible.

Response To Truth!

A man with his head bowed and holding a holy bible in prayer

“Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” (Acts 17:32)

Paul was dealing with a severely Greek influenced culture with many wise and well thought out perceptions. The philosophers were known for unraveling new ideas and voicing their opinions on various matters. They even had ideas on the reality of gods and what was recognized as the Unknown God. Which Paul used as a segue to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But the key here is the various responses to the Good News.

Believers; has God been sharing new perspectives in your lives? Has he been calling you to new truths or deeper conformity? Are your convictions being challenged? And if so, what’s your response? Do we mock it, reject it because it’s different from which you are comfortable, or delay and say I will hear at another time?

“But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.” (Acts 17:34)

This is the response I enjoyed. These men heard the truth and their actions followed. We are faced with trying times and confusing circumstances. This is not the time to be casual in our walks with Christ. Jesus did not die on the cross for us to be lukewarm in our walks. God didn’t not call you out of darkness to display a dim reflection of His glory. He wants us to respond to His truths in a way that there will be immeasurable evidence that we are in Him. Respond well my friend!

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 23; Proverbs 23

Daily Quote: There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him. ~William Law

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6

Thanksgiving turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and homemade cranberry sauce.

Let’em Eat Stuffing!


The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 22; Proverbs 22

Daily Quote: “We tend to take all the gifts and pleasures and happiness and the joy without saying much to God. We take our health and strength, our food and clothing and our loved ones, all for granted; but the moment anything goes wrong we start grumbling and complaining and we say ‘Why should God do this to me, why should this happen to me?’ How slow we are to thank and swift to grumble.”—Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6

chess combination with knights, pawns and other wooden chess pieces on the game chessboard on the green outside background

Finalizing Your Battle Plan

knights, pawns and other wooden chess pieces on the chessboard

Here is the last step in preparing to fight temptation in your life. I trust that these steps have been a help to you in your daily walk.

Don’t Go There – Take the Way of Escape

I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. Psalm 119:30

a. Stop thinking about it. The battle starts in the mind.

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:12-15

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Do not look at temptation with a wandering eye if you do not wish to be taken by it, not allow your mind to dwell on that which you do not want lodged in your heart. William Gurnall

b. Purpose where you can and cannot go. Strategize ahead of time. If you don’t plan in advance where you can and cannot go, you have set yourself up for failure. Recently a good friend of mine had to miss a family birthday party because he knew going there would be a big step toward relapse. He chose to stay home and for him. That was a good move. c. Take the way of escape that the Father ALWAYS provides for you.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Can you ever think of a time when you faced temptation where God did not provide a way of escape?

d. Don’t boast about temptations. “I don’t struggle in this area …” “I can’t believe he blew it in that area … how could they be so stupid?”

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12

e. Find someone who will hold you accountable. Ask the tough questions, hold your feet to the fire, not be afraid to get in your face.

d. Play the tape to the final conclusion. What the consequences if I do this? How will this all unfold/unravel? What about my wife? My kids? My ministry?

O what desperate madness it is to accept the wrath of God for joy that lasts but an hour! William Gurnall

Conclusion:

Today you are not alone against temptation because the One who is your Savior is also your fortress, your hiding place, your defense.

Today you will fight temptation, but not alone because a Warrior Spirit lives inside you and fights on your behalf. Dr. Paul David Tripp

I am a fellow struggler. I am in this journey with you. But with God’s help and a strategy, we can be more than a conqueror.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 21; Proverbs 21

Daily Quote: The Bible characters never fell on their weak points but on their strong ones; unguarded strength is double weakness. —Oswald Chambers

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6