Love you all, praying for you.
I just love God’s Word. It is truth. Do you know that God loves you? Have you ever felt unloved by God? Could it even be the deepest struggle of your soul? “I know it intellectually, I know He loves everybody, or He wouldn’t have sent Jesus, but over time my thoughts of doubt became a structure, then a stronghold, and I just don’t feel that God really loves me, or really could… because I know me. And I know that He knows me…” So what is true? Does God really love you? Here are the receipts.
Matthew 3:17 – “This is my son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased.” Did you notice when God said that… Jesus hadn’t done any miracles yet, it was before he even had one disciple. He hadn’t done anything! God loves you because you are his son, just like He loved His Son Jesus. You aren’t Jesus, there is only One. But you are loved as His child. He loves you.
John 1:12 – Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sin, and your eternal salvation, you have become a new creation, and you are now a child of God. And God surely loves His children, more than you love yours.
John 16:27 – For the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me, and believe that I came from God.
Jeremiah 31:3 – “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with unfailing lovingkindness I have drawn you. “Therefore, I have drawn you in compassion, therefore I have dragged you to grace, therefore I continue to show you my constant love.” He keeps showing you, so you’ll know… He loves you.
Ephesians 5:1-2 – Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
I John 4:10-12 – This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. If His love is made complete in you, you’ll know that you are loved by God. Love one another! Just follow His command, it always benefits you more than others…
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. (If you believe in Him, you believe His Word, so you will not be ruined in your thinking. Do you believe that He loves you? He said it. It’s more than a feeling, it’s knowing and believing.
I John 4:16 – And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 John 4:19 – We love because He first loved us.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 – May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us everlasting comfort and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good word and (every) good work.
God wants you to know He loves you. It’s part of the comfort and hope He has for you. Your words and your works can reinforce your knowing and understanding of God’s love for you. Words because that’s what He said, He doesn’t lie… and works because his love shines through you! And in loving others, His love becomes complete in you. So Speak His Word, and go love somebody! Let Him love somebody through you… And you’ll grow in your knowledge of His love for you.
Romans 8:37 – Yet, in all these things we overwhelmingly have victory through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not even the powers of hell, neither height nor depth, nor anything in all creation, will ever be able to separate us from the Love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Deuteronomy 7:7-8 – The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you (because of how strong you were, you were the weakest). It was because the LORD loved you, and because He was keeping the oath he had sworn to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand from your slavery, from the oppression of (the enemy king). For the Israelites, Pharoah. For us, the enemy of our soul, the accuser, the one trying to make us doubt God’s love for us. (As if any action of ours could be more powerful than His sacrifice of love for us.)
Deuteronomy 23:5 – But the LORD your God refused to listen to Balaam. But turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you. The accuser, is your enemy, God doesn’t listen to him, He turns curses into blessing for you – because He loves you.
Deuteronomy 33:3 – Surely, He loves his children; all his holy ones are in his hands. They follow in his steps and accept his teaching. (Know His Word, Follow His Commands and you’ll Know His Love.)
John 17:26 – And I have made Your Name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love You have for Me may be in them, and I may be in them. Jesus revealed that He made The Father known to us, so that God’s love for us, might be in us. And Jesus too would be in us.)
2 Chron 20:20 … Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established (you will be able to stand firm in truth). But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stiff-necked as their ancestors who refused to believe in the LORD their God. Declare His Word, and you will believe what He says. He loves you.
Acts 16:31 - Believe in the LORD, Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. (From your sin, from an eternity apart from God, and also from every wound caused by sin, even the deepest wound of feeling unloved, unlovely, or unlovable. God loves you because you’re you, not because of what you do… You can believe it.
John 15:9 – “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. Not only does God love you, it should bring constant joy in you! You are loved by God. Just keep His commands, and you will know His love even more! His love for us is the greatest motivation to do what He commands. To Love Him is to obey him, and we love because He first loved us…
John 13:1 – It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. Jesus proved it, that God’s love will never end. He loved you to the end of his life on earth, like God loves you to the end of eternity. And it will never end!
John 15:16-17 – You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
Eph 2:3-8 - All of us used to live that way, gratifying the desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. Just like everyone else, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our sins – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Revelation 1:5-6 – …To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father – to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
God loves you! It will never change. But our feelings can. That’s why it is so important to speak the truth of God's Love to yourself. His Word is the receipts. He said it, He proves it constantly.
Psalms 51:6 – Surely, you desire truth in the inward parts; and in the innermost being, the hidden part, you will make me to know wisdom. God wants us to know and speak the truth of His love for us – that’s wisdom. Believing our feelings over His Word – that’s foolish.
God wants you to speak the truth that He loves you. The more you declare His Word, keep His commands, and love others – the more you will understand, know, and believe that He loves you. You can take comfort in His love for you. The more you know Him, the more you will know His love for you, and your joy will be full.
Love you all,
Does God Really?
Love you all, praying for you,
I just love God’s Word. It tells you the truth. Have you ever struggled with feeling loved by God? That He really loves you? Why do some people think that God doesn’t really love them? #1 They think their past sins are too bad for God to forgive. or #2 They’re still sinning. The pull of the world is too strong for them, they allow their old nature to be fed, they don’t feed their new nature instead. They don’t walk in the Spirit, they walk in the flesh, so their sinful desires control them, they are losing the battle. They haven’t learned to choose God’s Grace to say ‘no’ to sin, they have not yet learned the Fear of the LORD. They don’t instantly turn from every evil, they entertain it, it still holds some attraction, and they’re worried that they might be nearing the end of their “seventy times seven” with God. They’re worried that at some point, they will sin one to many times, and that will finally be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. These are real feelings, but what does God say? And can you believe Him? God’s Word says He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west, and He remembers them no more. So regarding past sins, Jesus’ blood is enough. God’s Word also says – if we will confess our sin, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin, and cleanse us from all unrighteous. Sin that you confess and forsake isn’t the problem, sin you excuse is. First, Jesus death, covers all sin. Not only every sin you ever committed, but every sin you could ever commit. (I wouldn’t try it, because God said those who continue in sin, have neither seen him or known him. Not those who ever commit a sin again, but those who choose to continue in a lifestyle of sin. Either denying that they are doing it, or telling themselves that God is ok with it, He’s not. He didn’t make you that way - whatever sin you are enslaved by. You were born in sin, and you gave way to it, and now it controls you. But it doesn’t have to. If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sin, you are free, (certainly free to sin again), but you don’t have to, it doesn’t control you anymore, only if you let it. If you have been filled with His Spirit – you have power to overcome! Walk in the Spirit! Choose Grace, to say “No” to sin. Move your feet! Learn the Fear of the LORD. Walk in His plans for you, and the sins you used to do will fade from view. Regarding the sins you have committed or could commit, Jesus blood is enough. Not just for you but for every human that has ever lived or will be born. He bore the weight of the sin of the world on the cross. And He has freedom for you! Just start walking in His Plans, PiVAT before dinner is how you start. Soak in His Word, transform your mind! PRISM will help you, Overcome daily with a Daily Call – it’s what God designed for your victory. Worship, and Praise, stay in His presence – it changes you, your appetites and desires. The real becomes what you desire, and the fake is exposed for the cheap substitute that it is. Learn the Fear of the LORD. Ask Him, He’ll help you. And sin will stay in your past, not your present or future. You won’t doubt God’s love for you. You’ll know His love is above your actions, and it's His love that has provided for your victory!
Love you all,
11 Questions To Ask
Love you all, praying for you.
I just love God’s Word, it is truth, and life, and it is love. It teaches you to be more about others, than you are about you. Are you going on a trip soon? Do you have car time with someone, or coffee time? It’s so easy to become occupied with the trivial, and not really get to deeper places. Thoughts, to feelings, to emotions, to core beliefs, to heart attitudes, and core identity which affects your God view, and your world view. The next opportunity you have for conversation time with a friend new or old. Here are 11 Questions To Ask, to honor others, to discover them and yourself, and just go, a little deeper… Once you answer, it's a new opportunity to hold up your answers to the lens of God’s Word – The Truth that comes only from Him. So God can transform not only your thoughts and feelings, and beliefs, but your identity… So you truly become seated with Christ, in Heavenly Places.
11 Questions To Ask – that God can use
1 What Do You Need Most From God Today?
Praying that you’ll review The Best Question Ever. Praying that you will ask that of yourself and at least one other person, every day. Ask God for yourself – every PiVAT before dinner, and ask someone else, whether a close friend, or a perfect stranger. It will open a window into their heart. Ask God to give you the opportunity. He will, He wants to give truth and life to them, through you!
2 What are you most looking forward to?
This is an open ended question, let them take it anywhere they want. Listen well. See 11 Things… about listening! So you remember to do it well, so the natural tendencies that are ineffective don’t surface.
3 What is the one thing you would change if you could? (In the world, or about yourself)
This is an identity revealer, and a worldview revealer. What burdens someone - may indicate part of the purpose that God has for them… This insight into how you or they view themselves, can then be compared to what God says. It doesn’t have to be in this conversation, you might need to pray and search it out later. For now, pray before you say. This is just to listen, love, and affirm them.
4 What is one thing you would do over if you could?
This isn’t to circle in regret, or pain, but it can provide insight… wisdom from a lesson learned that God gave them. Transparency can begin the healing process, and can lead to God’s Truth if you choose to look.
5 What is your greatest hope or dream?
This gives you insight in what God might be leading them to, so you can help them get there, through prayer, Godly counsel, and encouragement.
6 What is your greatest success in your life?
This is a perfect opportunity for you to help them discover their testimony. Because every success they ever experienced, when it comes down to it, was God’s blessing, whether resource or ability… Any success is really a testimony of God’s favor and provision. A great opportunity to just rejoice with them, affirm them, and give God the credit He deserves. “God must really love you, He gave you x, y, and z to do this!” Our successes are always testimony starters – that we can overcome with… or praise starters – And God can go places with that!
7 What are the things that have made you successful? (That have most contributed to your success.)
This isn’t bragging, this is just giving them the opportunity to put into words the things that God taught them, so they can be reminded, and keep doing them! You could learn as well.
8 What is your favorite thing to do? (Top 3)
This draws to mind some great memories, and reveals how God made them, it helps you get to know them better.
9 Who is your best friend and why?
It’s not the who that’s the most important here, it’s the why. It reveals what they value, what value they place on themself, and what they think friendship is. It reveals what they need in a friend, or what they think they need. It will tell you some things you can do, that will bless them, and make them feel valued and loved.
10 What is your family like?
Their view of their family will indicate who they think they are, who they want to be or don’t want to be. And even what they feel about themselves. Family is so important. And if this is a wound, or a need in them, you can help fill that need with the help of your Father in Heaven.
11 What makes you the happiest? (Top 1, 2 or 3)
They’ll share what they value, and what makes them feel valued. It will give you insight in loving them well – to demonstrate the love of Jesus.
Praying that God will give you the opportunity to make a great investment in someone. The investment of questions that enable listening. Praying that you listen well, and love well, so you can point them to the One who loves them most!
Love you all,
11 Things... As A Guest
Love you all, praying for you.
I just love God's Word. It is truth, and life, and wisdom. Have you ever been invited to someone’s house? For dinner, an afternoon, or a few days?
Eleven Things You Need To Know As A Guest - 1 Pray, 2 Communicate, 3 Bring, 4 When You Arrive, 5 Serve, 6 Listen, 7 Pray Over Them, 8 Inspire, 9 Leave It Better, 10 Sow A Seed, 11 When You Leave
#1 Pray. Pray for them before you arrive. Start praying for them and their family from the time you know you will be visiting. Your love for them will grow by the time you arrive. It will greatly impact your time together. Ask God to use you to bless them, and to show you how to serve. Every visit in someone’s home is a mission’s trip. Matthew 10:41 – “Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person, will receive a righteous person’s reward.” God has good for them! He will use you to bless them! Pray first, and His blessing will come.
#2 Communicate. Communicate your arrival and departure plan, and any changes as they occur. Honor their time by allowing them to prepare for your arrival. Don’t surprise them by being too early, and don’t leave them hanging in limbo, waiting for you to show up. Give them a thirty minute warning. I Corinthians 16:5-7 – “After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you – for I will be going through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter… I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you if the Lord permits…” Time with people is valuable. As a guest, you’re on a mission. God is sending you to love them!
#3 Bring. Bring a Gift as God leads, and a thank you card with you. Ask God what meaningful gift you might bring; whether monetary (God is not running low) or a personal gift suited to them, or a spiritual gift of some kind. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, God has the perfect gift to bring. He is a Giver, He loves us. Romans 1:11 – For I long to see you, so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord.
#4 When You Arrive. Pray before entering – ask the Holy Spirit to help you show the Love of Jesus in every interaction. Pray that every word out of your mouth will only be life, and submit them to Him. Pray that the Holy Spirit will lead every conversation. Appreciate – Thank your host, and find something about their home to genuinely complement them about. Notice – Read the room – listen spiritually, what are you walking into… peace, contention, discouragement? God will reveal to you how to minister to the needs of this family and the people who are there. They are precious to Him. Notice the need. John 5:6 – When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew he had been in that condition a long time, he said, “Do you want to be made whole?” Be sure you greet everyone personally. Play the 100 Game – Eye contact communicates the love of Jesus for them. 100% eye contact for the first six seconds, with increasing warmth in your eyes and smile - so they know you really see them, are focused on them, and value them. Six to seven seconds is good, long enough to make them feel like they are important, but not too long to make them feel awkward. The way you greet them, is their first impression of you and opens the door for further conversation as God provides the opportunity.
#5 Serve. You are there to serve, ask God to show you how. Matthew 20:29 – Just as the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
#6 Listen. Listen to their heart. Review the Relationship Topic – 11 Things... About Listening. Go Five Deep. Five sincere follow-up questions prompted by their last comment, to encourage them to explain further what they just shared with you. It doesn’t have to be five exactly – Five Deep means your goal is to go deeper. Briefly interject you own thought as it relates to what they are saying, so they don’t feel like they’re being interviewed… But sincere further questions reveal your interest in them personally. Invite them to share the joys and challenges they are facing in life right now. Love them by hearing their heart. Give the gift of listening. What is the goal of Listening? To love them. What is the goal of each conversation? To help them discover their testimony. The things God is doing in their life because He loves them - whether they know Him yet or not. Why is that the goal? Because when you’re gone, it will remain. They’ll overcome with it.
#7 Pray over them – Ask God to reveal His perfect timing. And ask the Best Question Ever (Review the PRISM Topic – Best Question Ever). “What do you need most from God today?” (or this week), as God leads. If it’s not a close relationship, you might preface it by asking, “Can I ask you a personal question?" (Don’t wait for the answer just go right into the best question ever). God so often uses this question to open the window to their heart. He will use you in this moment to minister His love and truth and grace, praying over them by the Holy Spirit, the very words of God into their life. God will use your faith and obedience, to literally speak His words to them through your voice.
#8 Inspire – Inspire them to complete a project they wouldn’t have undertaken without your motivation and help. Let the Holy Spirit lead this opportunity – don’t force it. When most guests leave, there is work to be done. You can be the opposite. Be the guest that helps them get work done! More than they thought! you can marshal the troops, as God leads, bring great enthusiasm and fun to a project that can be a great blessing for your host.
#9 Leave It Better – than you found it. Whatever room you stay in, leave it looking cleaner than when you arrived. Make the bed, straighten the furniture, clean, dust (find a dust rag, or a sock, or your towel, they’ll wash it when you leave anyway). Declutter without re-arranging their stuff. Be sure you do a ‘final glance.’ When anyone comes into the room you left, they should say, “Wow, what a blessing to have them come.” Give the parents the opportunity to train up their children, by pointing to your example.
#10 Sow A Seed – Leave a gift as God directs. Ask God, confirm with Him. At least leave a Thank You Card, expressing your appreciation. Ask God what you could say that would encourage and speak life into them.
#11 When You Leave – Express your sincere, heartfelt appreciation, it’s not convenient having guests. Affirm them in the things they do well, and how God is using them greatly to bless others. Help them discover their testimony, direct their attention to Him and His love for them. Pray over them before you leave, their family, and their children, God’s purpose and plan for them. Declare His promise for their good.
Whenever God sends you as a guest to someone’s home whether for a meal or for a week, He is sending you on a mission. Know the purpose that He has for you in this visit. Ask Him, He will tell you. Ask God to direct your steps, how to serve, and what He wants you to leave behind. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, to the needs of your host, and be quick to obey. Be the hands and feet of Jesus. You represent you and your family, but you really represent Christ. Jesus only did what His Father told him to do. He laid down his life, He always preferred others over himself. He loved the unlovely. He washed feet. He ministered to needs, he brought healing and words of life. He fulfilled His purpose everywhere He went. Likewise, God is sending you as a guest.
Love you all,
Love you all, praying for you,
I just love God’s Word. It is truth and life. Have you ever overdone it? What happened the next morning? Have you ever decided to go on a hike, having not walked in a while? Have you ever eaten the whole thing… when you should have understood the wisdom of portion control? God said there are some things that can be too much. Proverbs 24:27 – It is not good to eat too much honey or to search out one’s own glory. (Let another praise you, not your own mouth, someone else and not your own lips). Proverbs 25:16 – If you find honey, eat just enough – too much of it, and you will vomit. Proverbs 25:17 – Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house – too much of you, and he will hate you. You can have too much of even a good thing. You can have too much honey. You can have too much of your neighbors, they can definitely have too much of you. Proverbs 23:4 – Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint (be wise enough to restrain yourself). Workaholism isn’t a man-made concept. God said if you’re working to get rich, you are working too much. If you don’t have the wisdom to get rest, you are sabotaging yourself. That’s why God made the Sabbath – and for the believer we should live in a sabbath rest – what is that? That’s letting God set your schedule, not you. That’s PiVAT before dinner– getting God’s plan, not making your own - going to this city or that city, having to spend a year there just to make a profit... Proverbs 23:20 – Do not join those who drink too much wine, (or eat too much) gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. God said a little sleep a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit, and scarcity like an armed man. You can sleep too much, sluggards do, that’s not for you. Get to work. Know God’s time for things, and be diligent to do them. You can keep too much. The rich fool said I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones and there I will store my excess grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry.” The rich fool kept too much, he was not willing to give. God said tonight your very life will be required of you, then who will get all you have kept for yourself. First he said too much, then he kept to much, so he could sleep too much, eat and drink too much, and revel too much. And he ended up with nothing. 2 Corinthians 8:15 – As it is written, “He who gathered much had no excess, and he who gathered little had no lack.” It didn’t say he who didn’t gather sponged off of those who did, it said he who was unable to gather enough was still sufficient. Because verse 14 At the present time, your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Don’t keep too much, be willing to give. Don’t dream too much, and Don’t talk too much. Eccl 5:7 – Much dreaming and many words are meaningless, therefore stand in awe of God. (instead Fear the LORD). Some people are always dreaming, always talking, but never doing. God said don’t talk too much. God said when words are many, sin is not absent. Ecclesiastes 12:12-13 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails – given by one Shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commands, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing. Whether good or evil.” You can even pray too much. Are you sure? Exodus 14:15 – Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on! Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. God told Moses – Stop Praying, Start moving! If God tells you to do something, stop praying, and just do it. Don’t pray when it’s time to obey. So if these are things that can be too much, what is not too much? Is there anything that you can never get enough of? Actually, there is. The Word of the Living God – never returns void. It means no matter how much you get, you can’t get too much of it. It’s not like honey that will make you sick if you eat too much. God’s Word – is truth and life and wisdom. It will always yield a return. Love His Word, and eat all you want. Don’t worry, it will never be too much. Praise - Every time you praise God – you forget about your problems, and focus on the problem solver. Your problems shrink, and his power expands. And God promised – He comes to live in the praises of His people. Just be careful that like prayer, sometimes it’s not time to praise, if God told you to do something, go do it – you can praise Him, but praise Him while you’re doing what He told you. Some people say you can’t give too much, you can’t out give God. Actually, you can. You can give too much. It’s his money, and if you are giving it to be seen by men, or to get something in return, or if you are giving under compulsion of others or so you feel good. You can give too much, you can out give God, cause He didn’t tell you to do that – you did that on your own. God said, they have received their reward in full. Don’t give if God doesn’t tell you, that’s just stealing his money so you look good. Usually if you feel prompted to give, it’s God, because people are selfish by nature (not realizing it’s not even their money). So usually, that prompting in your heart to give is God, just be sure it is. How? Ask Him. There are things that you can do too much. But there is one thing you can never do too much of. His Word – coming out of your mouth, and into your heart, the power of truth into the atmosphere around you, and the words of Praise. That He comes to live in, that His power flows through. Don’t worry about those two – you are never in danger of getting too much of His Word, and Praise. Hoping and praying they will become your habit. And praying that God will reveal to you, how to put guard rails in your life against the “too much,” so you don’t talk to much, eat too much, sleep too much, work too much, or even study too much. The best Guard Rail against too much, is PiVAT before dinner. Just do in this hour what God told you to do. If you’re doing that – you won’t be doing too much – just the right thing at His perfect time. It’s a walk in the Spirit life. That brings His Good. God is the God of more than enough, not the God of too much! He has a purpose for your increase, and will increase you by His Word! So you have more than enough, but never too much!
Love you all,
Love you all, praying for you,
I just love God’s Word. It is truth and life, it is warning, insight, instruction, and encouragement. Have you ever done a Word Check? Taken inventory of the words that have come out of your mouth in the last twenty-four hours? Mentally reviewed the conversations you had in the last day... Proverbs 18:21 - Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit. Matthew 12:36-37 – But I tell you that everyone will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every idle word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. Wow. Wouldn’t that be by your actions you are acquitted or condemned? That’s what I would think… but that’s not what God thinks. It’s not what He said. Your words are either life or death. They either build up, or tear down. They are either positive or they are negative. Even every idle word – those are words you say without thinking, words you say by habit not conscious decision. You will give an account of every idle word, every empty word, every useless word. Your words are useful – they build up, or useless, the ones that tear down. They are either faith, or unbelief, obedience or disobedience. They always produce a harvest, either righteousness or judgment. Are your words praising or complaining? Building, or tearing down? Acquitting, or condemning? Have you ever thought of this? What do people talk about? God, themselves, other people, things, or ideas. What do you say about God? Do you praise Him, or do you blame him (in not so many words). What do you say about others? Do you overlook faults, or do you multiply offenses? Introduce them to others… Be careful what you give words to. It cements things. Your words give credence to things that are death or life, true or untrue. What do you put words to? The Israelites grumbled and complained. People do that all the time, no big deal. Do you? Actually, it is a big deal, God heard them, He was listening. And it cost them the promised land. They came through four hundred years of slavery, they narrowly escaped with their lives from pharaohs army, they got manna from heaven to eat, they escaped thirst and hunger, their shoes never wore out. They saw God do miracles, but they lacked wisdom, they didn’t guard their tongue they let it start to grumble and complain. They didn’t remove themselves from people who grumbled and complained, instead they joined them. And it cost them everything. Are your words life-giving, or life-sucking? Do you ever do a word check? What has come out of your mouth in the last twenty four hours. Have you said anything harmful? Anything that really… isn’t building up. The fear of the LORD is to turn from evil, every “slow to obey” word, to fully obey, say nothing harmful, seek peace and pursue it. Have you decided in your heart – that certain things – I will not say. Does something just really bug you? Does someone or something someone said, just really bug you. Do you just have to repeat it to someone. Do you have to vent to someone? Will you make a decision to not say it... ever? If not, your tongue is in the habit of speaking death, not life. Are you getting together with friends, or having coffee with someone? Are they grumblers and complainers? Are they doubters and unbelievers? Are they venters? How will you turn them or redirect them – to life! And God’s Good! If you can’t, you would be better served to avoid them. Once you stop for a word-check, how do you prevent foolish, and establish wisdom? The best way to avoid stupid, is overdose on wisdom. Let your words be life. Tell yourself, “Today my words will be life and faith, Today my words will build up and never tear down.” Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. And then - Employ your words for good. If you’re praising, you’re not complaining, If you’re blessing, you’re not cursing, if you are speaking faith, you are not speaking unbelief. Speak His Word, Declare it constantly, not only will you guard your tongue, you will release it for good! You will release faith, your heart will change, your attitude will change, your situation will change, your surroundings will change, and your friends might even change. You’ll attract those who speak life and faith, and you’ll avoid those who don’t. Actions, begin with words, and by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be blessed. Praying that you will take time for a word-check – so you don’t live in empty words, but put your words to use, to build your life, and build life in others.
Love you all,
Love you all, praying for you,
I just love God’s Word. It is truth, completely. It was written to save your life, forever. Have you ever had an “ex.” Maybe an ex-boyfriend, or an ex-girlfriend. Maybe you’re an ex-employee. A company you used to work for you are no longer employed by. Some people living abroad are considered ex-patriots. Whether just living outside of the United States, or maybe they went all the way, and relinquished their citizenship. An ex, something you used to be, but are no longer. Reading something yesterday that puzzled me, and really saddened me… a famous christian singer who now considers themselves by a self-coined term, “ex-christian.” I didn’t know there was such a thing. Almost sounds like an oxy-moron. How do you become an ex-Christian? Perhaps, you never really were one. You were misinformed, you signed the wrong contract. Some people become Christians because they are sold on the benefits in this life. They think it’s a transaction, not a life surrender. They hear about the goodness of God, and they want their life to go better, cause it kinda sucks, their choices or others’ have brought them pain. So they try this new thing that they heard about that will make their life easier. And when it doesn’t go according to plan (their plan) – of what they think God should do to make their life easier… They think it didn’t work, so they look for something else instead, like trading in their old car for a better one. But to become a true Christian, a true believer in Christ, requires something foundational – at the very core of your being. Repentance, with Godly sorrow. If you don’t understand the Holiness of God, how He is perfectly without sin. And if you don’t understand how much sin grieves Him. If you don’t realize that you are forever separated from Him because of your sin - that you were born in! You were a sinner at birth and therefore eternally separate from Him. You need a Savior, and a new birth, so you are born again, not in sin, but in freedom from sin, newness of life, a completely different you. But for this to ever happen you need – someone without sin, to pay the penalty of your sin – death, separation. The only One without sin, isn’t a human being, but God himself. So God sent himself, in the form of His Son Jesus, to take the form of a human, so His sinless life – could take your place, and cover your penalty of death in his own body. If you don’t realize the brutal suffering He went through, not just physical, but in the spirit world, the weight of the sin of the world! You would never be eternally grateful for being saved from hell and outer darkness, the complete separation from God for all of eternity. It will be God-less, nothing good will exist there, only darkness, and torment and suffering. And all of the little evil that you might have experienced from people in your life… that is all that will exist there. Blame, accusation, vengeance, and violence. There is no escape, no light, and no hope, complete separation from God, the Essence and Source of all Good. And apart from Him is just darkness and pure evil. If you don’t grieve because of the stain of your own sin, and you don’t understand what Jesus went through for you, if you don’t really understand what you were saved from… You might think that you tried this – so your life would get better. So you would be saved from the disappointments of life, the hardship or injustice, or the consequence of your own poor choices. But that’s not how it works, and because people don’t get what they expected (an easier life) they look for something else. They blame God for their poor choices that brought pain, or the choices of others that were unjust or unkind. They blame God for sin, and leave Him because of it. That’s the oxymoron, or at least the irony... Leaving life with the One who loves you, for the life of the one who hates you. Paul warned of those who loved the world, loved money, and have left the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. The false christianity that’s a promise of ease, without the cost of a fully surrendered, forfeited life. That’s not being a Christian, that’s just trying to get a free meal. Jesus said, people will hate you, they hated me, they will hate you. A servant is not above his master. Jesus said, In this world you will have trouble, but be of good courage, (be encouraged!) I have overcome the world. Before Salvation, you are in sin, because you were born in it. Adam’s Fall permanently stained his bloodline. But in Jesus, you are in Christ, no longer part of the bloodline of sin. His blood spilled for you, created a new bloodline, so that you are no longer in sin, but in Christ. You can still sin if you want to, but you don’t have to anymore,. You are no longer controlled by your sin nature, you have a new nature, and new birth, new blood, the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin. You can now choose His Grace to “say no” to sin, and walk in righteousness. So those who consider themselves ex-christian – perhaps didn’t understand the transaction. His life for yours – your life for His, not His life for yours, so your life gets easy. Romans 12:1 – Present your body a living sacrifice, which is (only) reasonable, as your (lifelong) act of worship. He died for you, now your old life dies for Him. People who think being a Christian means everything gets easier in life, so they understandably get disappointed and disillusioned when it doesn’t – never understood the gift of Salvation. They don’t understand the weight of what Jesus did for them, nor their only reasonable response. Full faith, and full surrender. They don’t want to be “In Christ” they just want Christ to be “in them” They don’t want His will and His way for them, His plans which lead to His good. They want Him to do their will, and do it their way, so they get to their plans of what they think is good. If they only knew what was at stake! Eternity in heaven or eternity in hell, forever with God in heaven, or forever removed from Him in the outer darkness and endless torment of hell… They would have Godly sorrow for rejecting God, for sinning against Him, and His Holy Standard of righteousness. They would be grieved to have grieved Him, and they would understand the complete hopelessness of their eternal condition. They need a Savior. And having received the true Christ to come into their heart, and they In Him, they would willingly give up the rest of their life to do whatever He commands, and go wherever He leads, just like the disciples who left their old lives to follow Him. It would be a no-brainer… That’s a permanent change in your heart – that Salvation brings. Your old nature still wants to regain control, but your new nature – if you feed it – will permanently put sin, under your feet. It will stay in the past because you walk in newness of life. If you are saved, and obey the first command of Jesus – wait in Jerusalem until you receive power from on high. The promised Holy Spirit – to lead you into all truth, and give you power to overcome sin, from the old nature that still desires to control you. (Luke 11:13) The only secret to success that remains, is to “walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh, your old nature. Those ex-christians either never knew what God really did for them, their hopeless state of utter separation from a Loving but Holy God… or they kept their eyes on the world, instead of keeping their eyes on Jesus, and became “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” They became like the pig that returned to it’s slop, or the dog that returns to his vomit. God warned of it, the struggle is real. Sin and Death, or Obedience and Life. Praying that you would walk every day in that newness of life! The victory He brings! And the joy that comes with it! Presenting your body a living sacrifice – holy and acceptable unto God which is your reasonable act of worship. To give your life as a living sacrifice, your time, your thoughts, and money must be surrendered fully to Him. Then your words, and actions will follow. You will be fully walking in the new life Jesus came to give you. You will know victory over sin, His complete forgiveness, you’ll know His plans for your Good, and you’ll know His grace that helps you overcome. Your love for Him will grow, and your knowledge of His love for you will grow. Your life will be forever changed, and forever planted and growing in His wonderful plans for you. You will know His mercy and forgiveness, and His help for you in times of trouble. You will overcome the world, because that’s what He did. You won’t ever be an ex-christian, you will be what you now are, an ex-sinner. Now free in Christ from what once bound you. Praying that you would receive Jesus as your Savior – with the complete understanding of what that is. Praying that you would be filled with the Holy Spirit – the power you need to live this new life – so old things are passed away and all things are new! Praying that you would give him full control of your life, Time, Thoughts, and Money – See the Five Steps on the home page of hearwelldone.org – to fully surrender your life to Him, so He can fulfill His purpose for you, and lead you into every good thing that He has for you. It won’t be easy, but it will be eternally worth it! And His Joy will be in you!
Love you all,
11 Skills You Need To Acquire
Love you all, praying for you,
I just love God’s Word. It is truth and life. It reveals skills and habits. That in choosing them become skills in your life, that help you grow more like Him, and grow in His plans for you – which are so good! So what are a few of the skills so important – that begin and continue by choice?
11 Skills You Need To Acquire
1 Obedience – If you love me you will obey what I command. If there were one skill to develop, this is it. Because if you learn to obey, to walk in His plans for you, He will lead you to every other thing you need, and lead you to His good, for you and others.
2 Worship – Complete focus on God, His infinite worth, and the full surrender of your life to Him. The place of His presence, changes you completely – the power of His Spirit, brings change in the natural.
3 His Word - It never returns nothing, for by it you’re protected, delivered, healed, preserved, and established. It is truth and life, and wisdom to live by. It brings joy and peace and reward. God’s Word is His love letter to you, and his instruction book for your success. This skill is mission critical for you.
4 Thanksgiving – It’s your admission ticket to God’s Presence – it gets you in the door. Developing the skill of thanksgiving will always draw you into His presence, where He can change you.
5 Praise – He inhabits it – Praise brings you into His inner courts, where He is. And everything you need is found there. Praise gets you in, He takes over your praise, so you can see His face and be changed!
6 Forgiveness – Overlook faults, forgive. It means to not hold their faults against them. If you forgive others, God will forgive you…
7 Diligence – The precious possession of a man. Don’t be diligent about just anything, be diligent in His plans for you. So He can grow you and increase you for good!
8 Humility – God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. He exalts them. Choose God first, and others before you, and God will raise you up. He promised.
9 The Fear Of The LORD – The Fear of the LORD brings wealth, honor, and life. You are not fearing God for nothing. Develop this skill and your life will be established. His grace will cover you, and He can fulfill His purpose in you.
10 Listen – The language of love, the first demonstration of humility. The first step in loving and preferring others – is to listen.
11 Love – Learn to love well, expend yourself, lay down your life. If you love, you will give. Love God first, that’s affection and obedience. Love others next, that’s preference. These are the two greatest commandments. Love demonstrates His character, it covers over a multitude of wrongs, and it worships and honors the God who made you and loves you, and will fulfill His purpose in you.
Praying that you will choose these skills, so they become habits, and then DNA. They start as a choice, then become a skill, until you do them without thinking. It’s Jesus in you and the power of the Holy Spirit that does it. Have you done these things today? You can. Skills become skills daily. Praying that these skills will define you: Obedience, Worship, His Word, Thanksgiving, Praise, Forgiveness, Diligence, Humility, The Fear of the LORD, Listening, and Love for God and others.
So your life reflects Him and His love to everyone you come in contact with. So His glory and His blessing fills your life in every way.
Love you all,
11 Things... About Listening
Love you all, praying for you
I just love God’s Word. It tells you practical things. Have you ever noticed one of the hardest things to do? Listen. Why is that so difficult? Why are so few people good at it? Because it is fully about someone else, and not you. But how important is it? Very. If you love God, you will listen, if you love others, you will listen. If you want to be effective, you will listen.
11 Things You Need To Know About Listening
1 It’s the language of love – if you listen you are actually demonstrating that you prefer them above yourself, their opinion over your own.
2 It’s the first demonstration of Humility. Prideful people don’t listen, they don’t think they have to, they know better. If you think you’re better, or your opinion is better, you won’t listen. But God says He opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Whoever humbles themselves will be exalted. Listening is humility practice.
3 Seek to understand before being understood. This is the secret of listening. If you start each conversation with this in mind, it will remove self-seeking, and replace it with them-seeking. Do you really want to understand them? Or do you just want them to understand you. Do you think they are more important? God’s word says to prefer others above yourself. It starts with what they say.
4 Give Full Body Attention – so they feel listened to. Look for the next opportunity to talk with someone. And decide beforehand to give that person your full body attention. Face them completely, eye contact, no distractions, not on your phone, or email, or shuffling papers on your desk. Turn to them, face them fully, and let them know that right now in this moment they are the most important thing in your life, nothing is more important that what they have to say. You’re fully interested in them. They will feel respected, and God can use you to help them on their journey of discovery – the truth He wants to lead them in, the deliverance He has for them.
5 Focus on what they are saying, not what you want to say next. Focus on understanding, not what to say. If you’re not already thinking of what you want to say next, you are finally really listening. Let them discover more of themselves and their thoughts, sometimes just their communication gives God the chance to prompt them with what’s missing, their need for Him.
6 Wait until they are fully finished speaking. Give them the opportunity to fully express themselves. You might clarify the time you have, so they nor you feel rushed. You might even say – please share right now, I’ve got about five minutes before I have my next meeting, but we can also reschedule more time if you need. What was on your heart to share? I want to hear…
7 Don’t hijack the conversation. Most people interrupt with what they think the person is about to say. They finish their sentence before the person has a chance to get it out of their mouth. A 90% of the time, it’s not what they were going to say, or how they wanted to communicate it. Don’t finish their sentence for them. It just throws them off track, makes them lose their flow, and now they have to try and recover – which they can’t. They have to now correct your error of understanding, and now they can’t get back to where they were – which was just about to lead to them feeling like they finally could explain what they think or feel. Until you interrupted and hijacked their conversation. Don’t be selfish – you get no points by knowing what they will say next. You don’t. Only they do. Let them express their heart. Even if you were right – don’t try to guess where they are going… respect and honor them enough to let them drive the car, and choose the direction of the conversation.
8 Ask A Clarifying Question, and then listen further. The first thing you should say in any conversation – is a clarifying question. “If I’m hearing you correctly – you really think xyz. Did I hear you right? How did you feel about that? Is there anything you wanted to add, or “Are there any new thoughts that come to mind about that situation?” However God leads you. A clarifying question helps them discover further things in their conversation journey. And helps them put to words what they are feeling in their heart.
9 Listen for thoughts and feelings. Clarifying questions help them distinguish between thought – what they think about something. And feelings – what those events or words caused them to feel inside. Thoughts are intellectual, feelings are emotional, and feelings have greater power than intellect. People’s responses are driven by emotion more than logic. That’s why people do stupid things. Encouraging them to distinguish between the two, helps you understand them better, and helps them discover for themselves what they really think, and how they really feel. Then they can determine if their thoughts and feelings are accurate or slightly misperceived. And if what is justifiable to think or feel, is really the best course to pursue, or if a broader or slightly different perspective may have value for them.
10 Respect Them. Don’t try to fix them, respect them enough to allow them to be wrong. One of the greatest things you can do for someone, is love them enough to let them be wrong. They may just not be ready to change. They may not be able to discern truth or understand a different perspective. That’s ok. You can’t fix people, only God can. Love and respect them enough to let them choose their own beliefs.
11 Ask God what to Pray and What to Say – be OK with not saying anything. Are you OK with not saying anything? God may use this opportunity – now that they finally found someone who will truly listen, and perhaps for the first time could get their true feelings out – without being interrupted, hijacked, or condemned. Often that discovery process opens their mind and heart to the fact they might be missing something, or misunderstanding something. It may be that God uses you at this very moment, to speak the truth in love. Listening – has already demonstrated you love them. God may give you the go-ahead to speak into their life. But It may be just a time to pray, not to say. Are you willing to say nothing, if God tells you it’s not the time yet? God is not in a hurry. He loves them, and He loves you. You’ve been wrong more often than not. He’s got this, He loves them more than you do. Praying that you will ask God what to pray and what to say. And be ok – if God says – say nothing. Just pray.
Praying that you will love people by listening. That this humility practice will be your daily workout. Praying that as you love well, by listening well. God will open doors for His healing and hope to be the oil and wine they need in their life. Praying that His truth and His love – will be available through you, because you are soaked in His presence, and His Word, and you are willing to just listen – so the love of God, can flow through you.
Love you all,
A couple of resources that address this skill of listening are worth the read. Listening for Heaven’s Sake, and Quick To Listen Leaders by Dave Ping. Praying that God grows your capacity to listen – to hear their heart, so you earn the opportunity to love them further.
Full Or Less
Love you all, praying for you.
I just love God’s Word. It’s challenging. It draws you. It’s truth and life for the choosing, or the neglecting. Have you ever noticed the power of a question? Is what you are, what you’ll be? That depends… It depends on you. Are you prayerful? Or prayerless? Are you hopeful, or hopeless? faithful or faithless? Are you Word full, or Word less, world full, or world less, Presence full or Presence less? Courageful? Or courageless? Habitful? Or habitless? I saw a clip recently. It was a minority teacher speaking to a class full of what this culture has labelled, “underprivileged” students. She asked a couple of questions… “Have you ever heard of an athlete who started with nothing, and became super-rich? Every kid nodded their head. “Have you ever known a celebrity who started as a nobody, and became world famous? Again, full concurrence… She immediately continued…“That means where you come from means absolutely nothing. You were born looking like your parents, you die looking like your choices.” A quick review of our earlier list of questions. Have you noticed one that’s not like the rest? All are choices, except one. That last one isn’t a choice, its a little misleading. Are you prayerful or prayerless – that is a choice. You choose one or the other. As are the rest… except the last one. Habitful or habitless… Nobody is habitless, the question is what habits do you have? As with all choices, they are either what God wants you to do, or what you want to do… which if it’s not God, it’s really what the other guy wants you to do, not really you… Have you also noticed that God only tells you to do two things? Things today, and things every day. When you do the things He has chosen for you every day, you’ll be ready, prepared, and able to do that thing He told you to do, today. And that will prepare you so you’re ready for what He has for you - one day. Many people don’t even know what those things are? They don’t think about it really. They don’t have the habit of asking Him, so they don’t know. Praying that God will grow you in prayer, worship, and His Word. PiVAT before dinner – is really just a prayer. It’s a choice feeder, a decision discerner, a plan download – from the One whose plans for you - will prosper you. Choices for today and reminders for every day. Prayer usually starts with asking for His plans and His will for you, what you think about and hope for. But as you grow in it, your prayer becomes what He thinks about and what He hopes for – not just for you but for others. The best answers to prayer are always what He wants, not what you want. Have you ever got an answer to prayer – that was not what you wanted… but was actually the very best thing for you? Praying that you will spend just a few minutes talking with God about your PiVAT Prayer List for this month. Just like every other Hear Well Done tool, it’s not a religion, not an exclusive formula, just a prompter… a track to run on. Insert #2 for each month, has several of these, which some people shy away from… “I can’t do all of these this month!” God may not tell you to. Just do what He tells you. It’s never too late to start, no matter what day it is or how many are left. What does God have for you this month? Prayer is the start. Someone once said, no prayer, no power. A prayer-less life will definitely lack power. It’s the force to overcome inertia (doing nothing), and then the force to overcome anything opposing you (especially what you think is right or good for you, but really isn’t). God’s way is always better than your way – way better!. The more you ask, the more you receive, the more you pray, the more He reveals His heart. He’ll lead you to His Word, which always reveals His thoughts toward you, His will for you, and His love for you. He will definitely lead you to His Word. That’s where life and everything good, comes from. Praying that you will become a man of prayer, a woman of prayer. So you are powerful, not powerless. Praying that you will consistently choose to be full, and not less of whatever God has for you. Have you noticed that every time God prompts you to take a first step, your enemy will always whisper what you aren’t? and try to get you to buy a label, that isn’t true of you. You can become something new, instantly and increasingly better… simply with one new choice, a first step. Remember what you’ll look like when you die… you’ll look like your choices. And the best thing to choose, is that thing the Holy Spirit leads you to. God’s will for you, His best for you. Praying that you will always be Holy Spirit full. So you look like God’s plan for you! So you become what He created you to be. There’s joy there, fruit there, and reward there…
Love you all,
Kelly Kamentz - Jesus follower, husband, father, and friend, helping others surrender time, thoughts, money, and testimony, to fulfill their purpose!