Happy 2018!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Let’s start 2018 with Christ in our minds and hearts as we glorify Him by living for Him in everything we do. Living with an eternal perspective encourages us to live with purpose.

If you want to make a change this year and need a resolution, think of the word “perseverance”. With perseverance comes consistency, and with consistency comes commitment. When you stay committed, you will see success towards achieving your goals. This year, persevere through every goal and every task as you live for Him.

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Focusing on Purpose

“The Framework to Life is about reaching success with a purpose in life alongside a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is living a life of passion with an eternal purpose.”

Above is the opening statement on the “About Framework to Life” page. I am going to break this down so I can describe how important it is to know what your purpose in life is. Your purpose is also known as your calling. It can be your occupation, hobby, raising a family, building a ministry, or whatever you feel you are called by God to do.

“Reaching success with a purpose” is how I start explaining the framework. Success can be anything someone wants to achieve, whether it’s a short goal in life or a lifelong journey. But I add the kicker, which is the key word, “purpose“. Your purpose is the intention behind what you want to accomplish, it’s the why, the intent, and the reason. As we continue on with the same sentence, here is the most important part, “alongside a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ”. Adding this statement now changes the outlook of your purpose. Why? Read the next sentence from that same statement “It is living a life of passion with an eternal purpose”. Living a life that is bonded to a relationship with Christ means you live for Him and as He lives in you. If He lives in you, then you live a life according to God’s Spirit. If God’s Spirit dwells in you, then you can understand that your purpose in life is now eternal, meaning the purpose we are living for today on this earth may continue on to eternity. Think of it this way, if you live for eternity and every righteous thing you do becomes noticed by those who live in the flesh, there is potential there for them to be changed by God through you. You become a beacon of light for the Lord’s kingdom. This is how God intervenes in people’s lives by using others for His purpose. If this is the case and you eventually see these people living in God’s kingdom, don’t you think this is an eternal impact? I would think so. If you leave a legacy behind you of changing lives after the Father has taken you home to Heaven, wouldn’t your legacy continue to impact eternity?

I am not here to tell you how to find out what your purpose in life is, that is up to you and the Lord. Having a relationship with Him by reading His word and communicating with Him through prayer along with wise council will give you those answers. This framework is simply a way to help guide and protect what your purpose is as you embark on a journey to achieve the dreams that come with it.

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Heart Condition

 

We all have a heart condition! Our goal to a healthy heart is to be righteous in the eyes of God by emulating Christ in everything we do. This means being the most righteous human beings we can be. This means being sinless in our actions and our thoughts. Right now you are thinking “that’s impossible!” and you’re right! It is impossible, especially when it involves the deepest thoughts in our minds. Not to worry though, God loves us so much that He would never leave us hanging!

John 3:16NIV  For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

If we were all perfect and sinless then we would not be free thinking humans with a conscious mind and an indwelling spirit. God wouldn’t have a need to send His one and only son to save us from sin. If God made us in this robotic way then how would He gain the true love of His people? There would be no need for love! God created us with minds and hearts that make up the fervent spirit inside of us. Our spirit is the inner being that dwells within our bodies which God wants to connect with individually if we accept Him in our lives.

Our hearts make up who we are as beings. Why would God only examine the outward actions of human beings when every action comes from the heart? He wants to see and connect with what and who is inside. He wants to examine the source of our human nature which is our heart. When you give your life to the Lord, you are giving Him your body, mind, and heart, which together make up the temple for His Holy Spirit to reside inside of you.

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John 3:16 NIV

 

Pillars of Sin

I am stepping away from the pieces of God’s armor this week to write about something else that has been tugging at me. I will continue with the other pieces of armor next week but this message I will keep in this series to give you an idea of why we need to put on the whole armor of God. I feel the Lord wants me to write about how sin can be like pillars in our life. Pillars are usually large, they stand tall and are hard to move. If we look at pillars as sin in our life they will always stand between us and the Lord. I did some research on pillars and realized that pillars have so many symbolic meanings. Today we normally see them used for structural purposes by supporting buildings and homes but back in the Old Testament, I read that they had more of an idolatrous purpose to them. They were stood up and idolized by pagans and were considered sacred. Pillars are mentioned throughout all of scripture so not all references to pillars represented something to be worshiped. As a matter fact Moses actually stood up twelve pillars to represent the twelve tribes of Israel and Solomon’s temple had two bronze pillars at the entrance of the Lord’s temple so you will see many mentions of pillars throughout the bible. The pillars I am referring to are the ones that are considered to be sacred and worshipped by people that either have no idea of the One True God or through plain denial of His existence. If you read through the NKJV translation of the bible and search the terms “sacred pillars”, you will notice that the context of these two terms together referencing objects that need to be broken and torn down. Anything that is sacred other than God Himself is an idol that stands between us and His love. Our God is a jealous God and does not want anything to stand between us and Him.

Exodus 20:5(NKJV)

You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God… 

Looking at modern times now with all the changes that have occurred in the world from the birth of the industrial age to the present time, it has become easier to stand up these pillars of sin that can easily stand between us and our relationship with Jesus Christ. We all have something in our lives that can easily get in the way of that relationship. Sins that consistently stand between us and God are like sacred pillars that stand strong and are hard to bring down. The longer these pillars stand upright in our lives, the harder and stronger they become. These pillars can be in the form of an addiction, or an unrighteous lifestyle. Whatever it may be, these pillars get in the way and need to be torn down with whatever it takes.

Leviticus 26:1(NKJV)

You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the Lord your God.

If you have a pillar in your life and it has diminished your relationship with Jesus Christ, then this pillar has become sacred in a way and becomes a replacement for God. It becomes an idol and something you have devoted your life to. Idols can be the form of anything especially during this current time where our faith is constantly being attacked by influences from the world today. Look at what separates you from your relationship with the Lord and ask yourself if what you’re doing is defying the first commandment.

Mark 12:30 (NKJV)

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.

There are people out there that say they live for Christ but somehow justify and have peace with what holds them captive in their sin. This is a sin in itself because they say they live for the Lord on the outside but they know that their sin is hurtful to the Father. How can you live for Christ if you don’t repent of your sin?

Mark 7:6 (NIV)

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.”

It doesn’t matter who can see the outside, what matters is what’s in the heart where the Lord examines. If you confess and own up to your sin with the Lord and feel guilt and regret, then this is repentance. If there is no struggle, if there is no guilt and regret of the sin that stands strong as a sacred pillar, then the sin has taken over your life. For those of us that fight and try to take down these pillars, God sees this in us and wants us to persevere and be strong in faith. This is where God’s armor has to be taken up fully so we can resist and stand strong enough to tear down the pillars of sin in our lives.

 

 

Sword of the Spirit – Whole Armor of God

Sword of the Spirit

Everything starts with the Word of God. You need to understand that God’s Word is truth about salvation. Understanding and living with this in your heart and mind brings out the righteousness from within you. As you invite the Holy Spirit into your life, it encourages you to be faithful, to be strong, and to deploy wisdom of His Word. Multiplying this knowledge can turn into wisdom that helps you make upright decisions toward any situation that comes your way. The Sword of the Spirit is God’s Word, the only combined offensive and defensive weapon that He provides. In Hebrews 4:12, Paul describes God’s Word as sharper than any two-edged sword. Imagine handling the sharpest sword in the universe! To handle a sword of this quality in battle, you have to be wisely trained on how to use and maintain it. This particular sword needs to remain at its sharpest at all times and carefully handled when used. The more you read God’s Word the sharper your mind and spirit become. God’s Word is living truth that lives inside you so you want to handle His Spirit with great care and attention. It needs to be handled in a way where that truth maintains its integrity by not letting it become distorted through disregard. Once you misuse or neglect your only sword, the truth that you learned when you first received it can be forgotten or misleading to others as you try and use it without continuous training. Always stay up to speed in God’s Word and keep your sword sharpened daily.

How is this incorporated into the Framework to Life? As you read God’s Word and welcome His truth into your heart, you develop a relationship with the Father. Having a relationship with Him inspires you to keep building it up through His word. As you are encouraged to soak in His word daily, your whole outlook toward success in life becomes more clear. Your decisions and the choices you make in planning and executing toward your dreams become driven by a spirit that is inspired by the Lord Jesus Christ.

As a believer in Christ and with a dream of fulfilling a purpose, you will encounter physical and spiritual battles. There will be forces that will try and stop you such as fear, regret, discouragement, opinions, and many more. A clear representation of someone that endures life through spiritual and physical battles is seen in the book of Job. As you read through Job you will gain the understanding that God is with you but He wants you to pull through using your own heart and grit. As you become successful and live for the Lord do not be discouraged! God wants you to succeed in life! God wants you to push the limits! He wants to see you shine as you live without fear, and win your battles.

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