Protecting the Mind at all Costs

Reminder – Men’s Fellowship Night is coming up on Thursday, January 11 at 6:15PM! Hope to see you there – visit our website www.americaskeswick.org for more information.

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‘Our minds are the battleground of spiritual warfare’

What we think determines what we believe; what we believe determines how we live.  It is in our minds that we think, reason, discern, and live out the rational aspect of our faith in God.  Our minds, soul, and spirit are so closely connected as to be virtually indistinguishable.  Therefore, the mind plays a foundational role in every aspect of our existence, especially in our relationship with God. It is for this reason God has provided you with the Helmet of Salvation.

When Jesus says we are to, ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind’ (Matt 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27), He is referring to the choices we make from the core of our being (heart, soul, mind), and the intent underlying the choices; i.e. ‘If you love me you will keep my commands’ (John 14:15-31). It is for this reason God has provided key armor pieces to protect these areas, i.e. Breastplate, Shield, and Helmet. Each of which is forged in the caldron of Christ’s sacrificial work of redemption.

Consider the events of our day… we attack statues representing events of our past and in tearing them down, we claim a self righteousness as if we have become better people; when in reality all we have done is displaced blame on a inanimate object that had no ability to choose right from wrong. In doing so, we have failed to recognize that the real problem is in our own hearts and that we have failed to protect it with truth, righteousness, and discernment anchored in reality. The Bible tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who really knows (discerns) how evil it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9) It is for this reason Paul pleads with us, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (at your core). Then you will learn to know (discern) God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

(Romans 12:2); and that ‘our old self, with its cravings for lust, greed and, selfishness, must be crucified with Christ. In so doing, It is no longer I (the old self) who lives (controlling how I think), but Christ lives in me (renewing my mind and producing the capacity to discern correctly). So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Once we have put off our old self and renewed our ‘minds’, orienting it to be filled with God’s Word and in sync with His Spirit, we must put on the Breastplate of Christ’s righteousness, and take up the Shield of Faith and the Helmet of His Salvation to protect our heart, soul, and mind from being corrupted by this world and the evil forces again.

Many have fallen because they did not do this… leaving themselves to be target practice for the evil one. I pray you not be one of them.

Choose wisely….

“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

(Ephesians 6:13)

Praying U choose Christ today

Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 6-9| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “If you are not thinking right, if your mind is not being renewed, if you are not God and His Word properly, it will show up in your emotional life.” – Neil T. Anderson

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13

What Do You See Now?

Reminder – Men’s Fellowship Night is coming up on Thursday, January 11 at 6:15PM! Hope to see you there – visit our website www.americaskeswick.org for more information.

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“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.” — Zechariah 4:6b

“For such a time as this” is a quote made famous by Mordecai speaking to Esther when she was at a crossroad. A crossroad is a place where we come to in our spiritual journey many times in our life. As a New Year dawns upon us, we tend to reflect on our journey more so then usual. “What Do You See” as you look back at some of the crossroads of your life? I believe God is able to pick up where we left off and continue to use us in a powerful way. In the account of Zechariah we see God showing His people that He wants to use them to rebuild the Temple.

Sometimes our sight is blurred due to the way we see ourselves because we tend to judge things according to our own ability. In verse 6 of chapter 4, God’s message takes all the weight off of Zerubbabel by saying

“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the LORD of hosts.”

This is basically God speaking into our own lives and reminding us it’s not by our clever designs and new found schemes, nor by our own strength that God’s will gets accomplished, but by His Spirit. I see this as putting the cart before the horse mentality, we are to use our abilities but only under the direction of God’s Holy Spirit.

It seems to me there are a lot of programs and things that are designed to further God’s Kingdom, but I think it’s important to ask ourselves, “What Do You See?” Our vision should always be directed out of God’s Word and it should always line up with His precepts and according to His character.

So, there lies our resolution, to keep ourselves in proper alignment with the Spirit of God. I have to be careful at what I see, and ask God for true meaning and for His will to be done. Ephesians 5:15-21 says it best,

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”

Happy New Year!

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano is married to Terri, and both serve as full time staff members. He is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and 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: Job 1-5| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” – Jonathan Edwards

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13

 

 

 

 

MAGNIFICAT

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“And Mary said: ‘My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.’” — Luke 1:46-48 (NASB)

Imagine the scene. The archangel Gabriel shows up in Nazareth, a place where nothing good could come from, and he approaches a young woman and tells her, “You have found favor with God.” That in itself would startle anyone, but this isn’t going to be your normal run in with an angel. Gabriel goes on, “Listen, you are going to become pregnant. You will have a son, and you must name Him “Yeshua” (Savior, Jesus). Yeshua will become the greatest among men. He will be known as the Son of the Highest God (El Elyon).” God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David, and He will reign over the covenant family of Jacob forever.” The world will never be the same after this moment. Because God doesn’t just send angels for fun…it’s to deliver a promise.

When we look at the Christmas season, it is usually to reflect on the promise of a Savior born unto us, Emmanuel, and there is no taking that away, but there were promises that a young woman saw that I think gets overlooked at this time. We all read the account in Luke 1 as the “Song of Mary” but I think we speed through it to get to good stuff about Jesus. That ain’t bad either so don’t go gathering stones, just put the brakes on and take a gander at Luke 1:46-55. In the Catholic tradition this song is known as “The Magnificat” and to quote MTS Professor Robert Tannehill…

“The Magnificat is both conservative and revolutionary, both personal and social in perspective. It is conservative because it affirms the fulfillment of ancient promises to Israel, but revolutionary because it proclaims the overturn of society. It is personal because it initially focuses on Mary, but it suggests that God’s choice of her—a person of low status—represents in miniature what God is doing for the poor and powerless in general.”

Anyway… the really cool thing about this song is that it is expressed by someone who has hidden God’s Word in their heart. It reflects of David from Psalm 34:2 “My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear it and rejoice.” Luke 1:50 reflects what we read in Psalm 103:17, “But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children.” And in verse 53 of Luke 1 we see a glimpse of Psalm 107:9, “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.”

However, the real take away here is the parallel of something that might be a stretch but is worth noting. In 1 Samuel we read about a woman named Hannah. She is married and has not bore her husband, Elkanah, any children. Now you can check the story out for yourself (1 Samuel 1:1-3:21), there you’ll find stuff about worthless priests in The Temple (kinda like the Sadducees) and how a young man was dedicated to God by way of the Nazirite vow (Numbers 6 and can you say John the Baptist?) But what I wanna zoom in on is Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2. She also expresses her joy to an Almighty God after she has conceived and given birth to Samuel… “Because I have asked of the LORD” (1 Samuel 1:20c).

When you look at Hannah’s prayer and put it side by side with Mary’s song, I believe you’ll see two women, blessed by God, giving Him the praise due Him, both with sons who are dedicated, by their mothers, to do the will of the Father. Their prayer’s may not have been word for word but the heart for God is sure there and let’s face it, Samuel never did stray from doing the will of the One he was dedicated to and neither did Jesus.

Jesus told the crowds, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). This means that everything that was written in Scripture, before He came to be Emmanuel, God with us, was coming to fruition with His arrival. Jesus also said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” I believe that His mother had those ears to hear in the same way that Hannah had and when God fulfilled His promises to them, their hearts were filled with an unspeakable joy that only their souls could express. Though Christmas has passed, may our souls be filled with that same unspeakable joy as we reflect on God’s promises to us, wrapped in swaddling clothes, ready to go to the Cross and bring us back to Him. Amen?

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: Genesis 8-11| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “How does a soul magnify God? A mouth magnifies God by saying, “God is magnificent,” by speaking His praises. But no one hears a soul. No one but you and God.” — John Piper

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13

 

Engaging our Faith in Our Relationships

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“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” Philippians 2:3 NIV

News and social media have covered many life changing events over the last few months. During these latest events, I notice that individuals naturally get entangled and began to formulate various opinions. Commonly, believers and non-believers get themselves interwoven in many affairs that don’t help the situation but add to the already wreckage.

Out of our infinite resources in Christ; are we resting in the peace of God?

Having healthy relationships or dealing with conflicts with others ought to be a direct reflection the reasonableness of God. “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5). This decree extends even when we a have huge disagreements. When we engage with others, do we consider thought, issues, concerns, heart, walk with Christ, above ourselves?

Compromise in the Christian circles gets a bad rap, but it can be essential to making peace with one another. Here are some synonyms to consider as we deal with each other – are we agreeable, understanding, resolved, middle grounded, balanced, participating give and take, conceding, and cooperative?

As we operate in wisdom, take initiative to be more intenative to others and speak the truth in love, with humility.

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: Genesis 4-7| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “It now seemed that the deepest thirst within him was not adapted to the deepest nature of the world.” C.S. Lewis

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13

 

 

 

 

Unleashing Hope As You Learn to Ponder

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But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. — Luke 2:19

Happy New Year. Like last week, I am not sure if you will read this today. But if you do, today begins 2018.

Christmas was a week ago, and for many of us, we are done with Christmas. We’ve stopped listening to the music, and for some, you are done with the decorations – sometimes my kids have taken their trees down before New Year’s even gets here.

We tend to compartmentalize the Christmas story like we do life. It’s done, and we go on with life with business as usual. But for Mary and Joseph, it was all just beginning. In the midst of the narrative, Luke 2:19 is an interesting pause in the story.

Mary has had nine months to process the miracle of having the baby Jesus in her womb. The birth has occurred, and now life goes on. Had she even begun to process all that would occur in the life of Christ-child?

Sometimes we do the same. Life spirals out of control, and we need to stop and ponder so that we don’t miss all that God is doing in our lives and the lives of everyone around us.

Dr. Ray Pritchard says that the word “pondered” goes deeper than “wondering.” It means to take the events as you have laid them out in your memory and then to go beneath the surface to try to understand what it all means and why it happened the way it did.

In his book, Simple Christmas, Ray gives  a simple exercise that may help you do some serious pondering:

  1. Set aside at least an hour of uninterrupted time.
  2. Find a quiet place. Don’t forget to put your cellphone on silent mode.
  3. Begin with a prayer asking God to show you the things he wants you to learn.
  4. Focus on the Lord. What have you learned about God’s character in the last year?
  5. What lessons seem to come up again and again? What have you learned about yourself (positively and negatively) this year?
  6. Ask the Lord for insight as to where he might be leading you in the year to come.
  7. Use all of this as the basis for some personal prayer requests for the next twelve months.

If you do this exercise with an open heart, God will give you insight about the past and hope for the future.

So how about it? Will you take maybe one day each week to ponder? I would love to hear what God is teaching you.

Have you downloaded the 2018 Bible Reading Plan from our website? You can download from this link: 2018 Bible Reading Plan.

Unleashing hope,

Bill Welte
President/CEO America’s Keswick

Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 1-3| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Think About This: “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do – if with His love He ordaineth.” From hymn, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13

 

 

Is It Even Appropriate To Make Resolutions?

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“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.” — Psalm 115:1 (NKJV)

Man, did I make some resolutions back in the day!! I was gonna quit this to do that, I even went out and bought the stuff to do that which I said I would resolve myself to do. All that stuff is now hidden away in a place I call “Eh…I’ll get around to it.” Yeah, so I eventually gave up on making any New Years resolutions. Besides, statistics show that 25% of those resolutions are broken by January 2nd, so why burden myself with them? And ya know the problem with those nifty resolutions is that they are based on law rather than grace. It’s like ‘if we had a little bit more willpower, a little bit more self-effort, we could kick a bad habit and practice a new discipline.’ Yeah, right!

Around the time of his 20th birthday, the infamous 18th century theologian, Jonathan Edwards, started making resolutions more about living for Christ rather than himself. He wrote a booklet titled, “Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions and Advice to Young Converts.” I don’t own it (yet), but for the sake of having internet capabilities I have been able to read some these seventy personal resolutions that he put into writing. This dude was so serious about his relationship with Christ that he wrote many of his resolutions against the backdrop of eternity. He resolved “never to do anything that I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life,” and “to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.” He also made this resolution: “that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.”

Pretty heavy-duty stuff, but don’t we serve a pretty heavy-duty God? So, it’s in that that I would like to share some of the things (Thanks for those, inter-webs) that Jonathan Edwards resolved himself to be in front of a mighty God.

On man’s chief end: “Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God.”

On redeeming the time: “Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.”

On giving to the poor: “Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.”

On caring for the body: “Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.”

On reading the Bible: “Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of them.”

On guarding the tongue: “Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility and a sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the Golden Rule.”

On repentance: “Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, what sin I have committed.”

On sanctification: “Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.”

I can barely remember what I was resolving myself to do at age 20, but in contrast it seems that Jonathan Edwards was a serious young man and serious about living for Christ in every way,  every day. One of the last resolutions he wrote was, “Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, that is, with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and everything, and every circumstance.” This was not me at twenty years old…it’s barely me at fifty-five.

It has been said that Jonathan Edwards didn’t write any more resolutions after these, but who can blame him? Isn’t seventy enough? But there maybe a good reason why he didn’t and that is he may have had a healthy respect for his own depravity. Unfortunately for us when we think of our depravity, we use it as reason to practice self-mortification on our souls and we beat ourselves into a sense of uselessness for Kingdom work. What a lie!! God, Himself, has resolved to never leave or forsake us, so why be dismayed? Yeah, we don’t measure up to God’s standard but that’s not license to live like it is not achievable. How about we just resolve ourselves this year, and every year after, to live depended on the mercy that God has shown in Jesus Christ to forgive all our sins. Amen?

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: Revelation 18-22| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ’s sake.” — Jonathan Edwards

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Need Nothin, Except…

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“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” — Philippians 4:11

I’m sure all of my English major readers are cringing at the title of this one, the ever popular double negative. That’s worse than the run-on-sentence. The truth is we don’t need nothing, we need each other. As another Christmas passes and we have that one gift that we don’t know how we lived this long without, let’s remember, we lived this long without.

In reading into what the Apostle Paul is writing to the Philippians I sense a need, even though he says “for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content,” he also reveals his thankfulness for fellowship. Right after his famous quote in vs, 13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”, he goes on to say “Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.

“I don’t need nothing” means I need something, I need you and you need me. Fellowship and belonging are two of the keys to freedom in Christ. This is why the holidays are the hardest times of the year for some. They experience loneliness, missing the one thing that God uses to draw us to Himself. Our fellowship with God is one of the most important things in life, next is our fellowship with one another. As a matter of fact, the only way God allows the church to discipline us is to break fellowship in order to bring us to repentance and to restore fellowship. Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

In my experience, I have come to believe that when a close brother in the Lord drops off the radar, it’s only a matter of time before he will replace healthy fellowship with sinful behavior. Of course the status of our fellowship has to be subject to the things of the Lord, 1st John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Walking in the Light, the picture of a well-oiled machine running on all cylinders, a healthy body functioning and producing a harvest. Men coming together for good works and a good testimony.

If you look back on last year and see that fellowship wasn’t what it should have been, I would encourage you to engage in Christ centered relationships, it’s not always easy and there are times when we get on each other’s nerves, but iron sharpens iron. Don’t fall for the idea that you don’t need it, because believe me – “You don’t need nothing.” Amen!

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano is married to Terri, and serves with her as full time staff members. He is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and 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: Song of Solomon 7-8| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays.” – Andrew Murray

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

 

Nope: Not Today

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Falsehood – and only falsehood – separates us from God … False thoughts, false words, false feelings, false desires – Behold the aggregate of lies that leads us to non-being, illusion, and rejection of God.
~St. Nicholas of Serbia,

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am The Way, and The Truth, and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know Me, Philip? Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My Own authority, but the Father Who dwells in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My Name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
~ Jesus, King of The Universe, astounded at the unbelief of His friends, in John 14

Oh beloved, it is true.

And today, this fool of a writer is saying this: He will have nothing else thank you.

I will have His Truth in my Life, and all the lies can go to hell.

I will have His Life in my veins, and these same will bleed His Love.

I will have Him be The Way Home, and no other signs will do.

I will not force my foolish questions upon His manifold wisdom.

I will listen to His Word, and ask for the grace to walk in obedience.

I will not be pulled into the foolishness of the world and thus fall into the snare of the evil one.

Can we see it?

So often, we are so much more than willing to live like none of what He said is true. So often, we are convinced that it is better to question, than to trust.

Now, i am absolutely sure that G_d loves questions. But, if we get honest (and it can happen) are we asking questions with a view to an answer? Or, are we just flinging out interrogatives to try and keep Him at arm’s length?

What if we just said no? What if we just said, “Not today. Today, I will live according to my design. I do not care what others think, and I do not care what my flesh screams as I ignore it. Today, I will simply believe that the winter of my dead, former life is over – and that Springtime has come to my soul, in Him.”

What if?

Would you join me brothers? We tried it the other way for so long. Never worked out too well for us, did it?

Tonight is your night. Time to say: Nope.

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 149-150| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: (ed. note: grace is) The willingness to keep growing: Unfaithfulness is a refusal to become, a rejection of grace (grace that is inactive is an illusion), and the refusal to be oneself. ~ Brennan Manning

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

 

Get a Grip

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In battle, as also in any competition, having a firm footing is the key to standing fast against your opponent.

The next piece of your armor that Paul writes about is for your feet. He says, “and having shod the feet with the readiness of the gospel of peace;” What he is referring to is the calig, or sandals, of the Roman soldiers. These were heavy sandals studded with hobnails, to give a secure foothold to the soldier in battle enabling them to stand firm. The idea seems to be that the mind is to be steadied, or kept from fear, doubt, and anxieties by means of the Good News of peace… the truth that we are at peace with God because of Jesus’ completed work of salvation; and understanding that “if God is for us, who can be against us?” So, as the nails in the roman sandal gripped the ground firmly, even when it was sloping or slippery; so the Good News of peace keeps us steadfast and firm…unmovable by temptation, doubt, and fear.

The Gospel is ‘that Christ died for your sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures’ (1 Cor 15:1-4) This will never change.

God loves you… this is always true.

You call on the Name of the Lord, and you will be saved. That is always true.

Your faith is in Jesus Christ and His work of Salvation… no one can take that away from you.

Having chosen to believe God, He declares you justified in His sight and you are at peace with Him. This is an unchangeable truth.

These Gospel truths are like the nails in the roman sandal that keep you steadfast and firm in every confrontation. I pray you do everything possible to keep them firmly planted under you so that you will press on in this life… against every foe.

Choose wisely.

“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. (for) He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.” (Proverbs 2:1-5, 8)

Praying U choose Christ today

Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.

The Daily Bible Reading: Esther 6-10| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.” – George Mueller

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

 

Joy Has Dawned – Merry Christmas

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“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” John 1:14

Merry Christmas from all of us from America’s Keswick and from your Freedom Fighter blog team.

Most likely you will not open this entry, and if you do, it will be after Christmas.

I recently read the words of a new Christmas carol written by the dynamic duo of Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. This carol is ripe with great theology for our consideration:

Joy has dawned upon the world, promised from creation –
God’s salvation now unfurled, hope for every nation.
Not with fanfares from above, not with scenes of glory,
But a humble gift of love – Jesus, born of Mary.

Sounds of wonder fill the sky, gazing at the glory;
Gifts of men from distant lands prophesy the story.
Gold—a King is born today, Incense – God is with us,
Myrrh – His death to make a way – by His blood, He’ll win us.

Son of Adam, Son of heaven, given as a ransom.
Reconciling God and man, Christ our mighty Champion!
What a Savior! What a friend! What a glorious mystery!
Once a Babe in Bethlehem, now the Lord of history!

© 2005 ThankYou Music

You can watch the YouTube video and be doubly blessed: Joy Has Dawned

On behalf of all of us from America’s Keswick, Merry Christmas and God bless you.

Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!

Bill Welte, D.D.
President/CEO America’s Keswick

Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 32-34| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Think About This: God became man to turn creatures into sons; not simply to produce better men of the old kind, but to produce a new kind of man.
C. S. Lewis

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30