When Satan accuses one of the saints – that’s you, me, and every believer – Jesus tells our Heavenly Father, “I got her covered. She’s mine.” Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus sees your sorrows and your joys, your trials and your triumphs. . .and he prays tor you? and protects you?
Jesus prays for you when you. . .
fret over a loved one’s poor health
your husband fails to communicate
are lonely or scared
call yourself ugly names
What difficulty are you facing now? Do you know Jesus’ followers are forever loved by him and that absolutely nothing “wlll be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39)?
Jesus Prays with Power
Listen to the gospel — the Good News — in the Apostle Paul’s words to the Christians in Rome,
Jesus Christ, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (Rom. 8:34-35, NIV).
Jesus lived a sinless life, was crucified, buried, and rose again on the third day, defeating Death and guaranteeing eternal life to those who love him.
Even more, when you have trouble praying, the Holy Spirit prays for you.
The Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will” (Rom. 8:26, 27, NIV).
Isn’t amazing that the God of the universe would bother to even to take note of us? He made man from dust. Our lives are a mist. But he is all-sufficient, all-knowing, all-good. How unlike God are you and me!
He doesn’t need me.
Or anyone else.
He is God. He is love.
Jesus Prays with Love
God invites you and me to know him deeply, experience his love, and follow him. When you know you are forever loved by Jesus, don’t you desire to love others? Even the “unlovables.”
Among today’s unlovables are gangbangers, the homeless, Syrian refugees, and many more. Who comes to your mind? The lady at church who gossips? Maybe your onery neighbor?
Some people find themselves living in a home that’s unloving. What can they do? What can you do? If this describes you, would you take this challenge?
For three months (or any time frame you choose) in the morning prayerfully yourself two questions:
Who in my home needs my love right now?
How can I show love to him or her love?
Then pray and ask God to help you follow through. The goal is not to get others in your home to love you back. It’s to love others and pray for them.
First, if life is hard now, may I encourage you to contact me so we can talk about the possibility of counseling? I counsel by Skype around the world and in person in greater Chicago. Contact me and request a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation.
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Several Christian moms at my church, Bible study, and MOPS swore by a method to change their dear children’s behavior after a skirmish.
Picture this scenario: Carrie tiptoes into older sister Mary’s closet and snags a super cool top to wear. Later Mary sees Carrie at school in her top and pointed words fly like daggers. Later at home their mom learns of the problem and tells the swiper to return the top and say “I’m sorry” followed by “I forgive you” from the other sister, then they hug. She requires both girls to say “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” for the mean words, and they hug again.
The mom in the scenario truly believes she’s getting to the root of the problem and that the girls learned a valuable lesson about taking without asking first and using hateful words. Have you found yourself in a similar situation? How did you discipline your kids?
Sort of hopeful (but not confident) this method would work, I tried a week-long experiment with my three children. I clued in my husband. A united front, right?
The plan: When one child was mean in some way to another, the offending kid had to say, “I’m sorry” whether or not she felt sorry. The offended kid had to say, “I forgive you” whether or not she truly forgave her — and they hugged.
The goal: to instill a humble, contrite spirit leading to true repentance. But did it work?
Laura called Julia a name, said “I’m sorry” while rolling her eyes, and Julia said “I forgive you” with great enthusiasm, bless her heart. Their hug resembled a vice grip you might witness on WWE. Within minutes John hit Julia in the face with a bouncy ball. It was an accident.
“I forgive you.”
Those two began throwing things at each other just to get to the vice-grip hug. Laura was “like whatever” and escaped to her bedroom.
When a lamp crashed and a cat flew out of the way, I stopped the experiment. I could not handle another six days!
The real point behind genuine sorrow is repentance. Wordly sorrow is fakery; it’s death.
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death (2 Corninthians 7:10).
“Sorrow,” in this context, refers to sorrow that is according to the will of God and produced by the Holy Spirit, says pastor John MacArthur whose Grace to You media ministry reaches millions. True repentance is impossible apart from genuine sorrow over one’s sin.
This was my problem and my kids’ problem: The “I’m sorry” were just words, not genuine sorrow.
Worldly sorrow has no redeeming value. This type of “I’m sorry” results from getting caught in a sin or from wounded pride, and leads to shame, despair, self-pity, and even death (see Mattew 27:3 for the account of Judas’ hanging).
Genuine repentance is at the very heart of one’s salvation. Believers repent of their sin continually as they turn from loveless thoughts, words, behaviors, and motivations and turn to God.
A person who is truly repentant experiences change in the inner person. Consider this:
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matthew 15:18-19, NIV)
The Pharisees were experts in “good” behavior–as my children became adept at saying “I’m sorry” and vice-grip hugs–and missed heart change. True repentance cuts to the heart.
Are your kids (young or older) driving you nuts? Do you need encouragment and godly counsel? Consider scheduling a free 15-minute phone call with me; contact me and we’ll set it up.
Anger: Some women bottle it up; others let it blow. The important question: What’s the best way to handle anger?
You’ve experienced anger, haven’t you? We all have. The reasons for anger outnumber summer dandelions. Like a dandelion, it has a root. Just as weeding can rid dandelions from your yard, you can learn the best way to let go of your anger.
In this article, you’ll get these two practical helps to grow hope in your soul:
Identify 3 main reasons for anger.
Discover the how to zap anger at its root.
The last thing you want is a place for the devil. The word devil come from the Greek diabolos, which means “one who makes malicious false statements; a false accuser; a slanderer.” It is the a title for Satan.
His main goal is to deceive people, including Christians. He wants to convince you to reject the truth and believe lies.
‘In your anger do not sin.’ Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27, NIV)
3 Main Reasons for Anger
Hurt: Tami’s husband is MIA — “in the worst way,” she says. “He’s here but not here. I’m so hurt I could scream.” After dinner, he disappears into his man cave, where he reclines in a La-Z-Boy and flips cable channels. He has next-to-know conversation with Tami or their two young school-aged children during the evening. She cleans up after dinner, helps with homework, and gets them ready for bed — and seethes.
Lack of control. When your life gets squirmy, you may feel out of control and angry.
“What are you? Stupid?” Suzanne yelled into her cell. Her teenage son had forgotten to pick up his little brothers from soccer practice. A single mom, she depends on her eldest for help. Her mocking putdown reveals her feelings of lack of control. She didn’t get what she wanted so she got angry.
Can you think something you got that you didn’t want? Perhaps a parking ticket? A poor performance review? A snub from a friend? What was your emotion?
Godly indignation. Sometimes — but not often, if we’re honest — you and I feel anger when we hate what God hates. God hates hypocrisy. He hates evil. God hates the trafficking of children. God experiences anger yet never sins. His anger is holy.
Here’s a scene in the Bible where Jesus displays anger:
Jesus goes into the synagogue on a Sabbath where there were Pharisees and a man with a withered hand and “looked around at them [the Pharisees] in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus” (Mark 5:6).
Hold on to your godly indignation and let it propel you to good — this is holy anger. My husband and I hate the suffering of families in poverty. Our anger has led us to support a child through World Vision and to organize a food drive to stock a local food pantry. But. . .
When you’ve been wronged, you can become angry and sin. Or you can choose forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t easy. It costs you. It cost God (Colossians 3:13). When you forgive someone, you no longer hold the person’s sin against them. Forgiving doesn’t excuse their behavior or pretends the wrong never happened. However, you choose to let it go.
Your also deal with your hurt in a godly manner. It is wise for Tami and Suzanne to seek God’s perspective and determine to obey the Word in spite of how they feel. Both women need to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) to their family members.
Tami could let her husband know how his disappearing act hurts her and the family. She can be confident that God will work in her husband’s heart, convicting him of his need to ask forgiveness (2 Timothy 3:16). Suzanne could lovingly remind her son that she counts on him to help out and if he’s unable to follow through on his commitment than he needs to let her know so she can make alternate arrangements.
In addition, Tami needs to ask her husband’s forgiveness. She has anger toward her husband that she need to confess. Suzanne needs to ask her son’s forgiveness too. Angry words cut like a knife.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)
3 Parts of a Message
Did you know that the words you say are just one part of your communication? Your body language and your tone of voice make up a far larger part of your message than your words. Would you believe that they account for more than 90 percent of your message?
This is an essential you need to know — that I need to remember too — in all of our relationships. My next post focuses on the three parts of the messages to give — and how to say what you really mean.
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This is a 3-part series on submission, marriage, God and the devil.
SUBMIT. Use this S word in church-y circles or even at Wal-Mart, and you may hear this verse quoted, word by word, sometimes pridefully, sometimes timidly, and only occasionally with proper use.
It is among the best known verses in the Bible. Here goes:
“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:18)
Two similar verses pop up in Ephesians.
“Wives, submit to your hubands as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)
“Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:24)
Hit Pause. Like now.
Whether you’re married, single or single again, this message is for you. The battle of the sexes, especially in our homes, endears us mortals to the devil, who not only wants marriage redefined — you know, guy with guy, gal with gal. . .maybe even guy with gorilla. . .Barak Obama and far left judges have opened Pandora’s box — but also destroyed, along with the couples’ innocent children. If you have a kid or were a kid, read on.
OK, hit Play.
While many can quote the “wives submit” verses, few remember its counterparts, one in Colossians, two in Ephesians.
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3:19)
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25)
“In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives, as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:28)
The command the apostle Paul chose for women: submit. For men, love.
Hmm. Submit and love. It this unfair? shortsighted? out of wack?
Are women suppose to obey? Be doormats?
Rather, both the husband and wife are called to self-sacrifice. Look at the word the apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, selected for love. It is agape in the Greek. This self-sacrificing kind of love isn’t about sex or affection or brotherly kindness. It is the kind that lays down one’s life for the other.
It looks alot like. . .submission.
The wife is to submit and the husband to sacrifice.
As a Bible study author astutely poined out, an argument in such a home would sound like,
“I insist that you have your way.”
“No, no, really, I insist you have your way.”
Wow. Just imagine that was the tone of your arguments, each trying to out-sacrifice (the man) or out-submit (the woman) the other. Just imagine the number of marriages that would not only survive and thrive. The kids too.
You Are Loved, Lucy
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5 AMAZING NAMES GOD CALLS YOU!
Blessed, Daughter, Saint, and more!
In this delightful, four-color ebook, you’ll discover the precious names God calls you. Today so many Christian women don’t fully know their wonderful identity in Christ. Isn’t a time to know yours? Filled with scripture, photography, personal stories, and encouragement!