Have You Fallen into this Trap?
Invest Your Time—Don’t Just Spend It
by Dr. Charles Stanley
Time is a most valuable commodity. Since it’s irreversible and irreplaceable,
we ought to give careful consideration to how we spend our days—and even our minutes. Time is a gift from God. That means we are not owners but stewards and will one day be held accountable for how we used what was entrusted to us. According to verse 15, there are only two possible ways to live: wisely or foolishly.
Let’s first consider what is involved in using our time wisely. Those who realize that their days belong to God are careful how they live. Their goal is to understand the Lord’s will and align their schedules
and activities with His purposes. As they seek guidance each day through intimate fellowship with Him in the Word and prayer, their spiritual eyes are opened to discern which opportunities are from the Father and which are not a part of His plans for them.
But those who are foolish do not give adequate thought to the way they live. Some become unproductive and lazy, living for their own pleasures while missing out on God’s purpose for their lives. However, others may be very busy and extremely successful by worldly standards, but if their days are occupied with activities that aren’t God’s will for them, they’re wasting their time.
To make the most of your opportunities, begin each day with the Lord, submitting to His will and asking that He direct your activities. After all, none of us want to get to heaven and discover that even though we’ve been busy spending our time,we have failed to invest it for eternity.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
WHEREVER ONE'S GAZE IS "FIXED"
[FOCUSED]THAT IS EXACTLY
THE DIRECTION THEY WILL "RUN"
by Glenn H. Jackson
Words of Prophecy* What one keeps their eyes [both the eyes of their heart and their natural eyes] "fixed" [focused] on their heart becomes fond of [drawn to]. For the one who keeps their eyes fixed on My Word [Will] in this hour I shall "flood" their heart with a continually deeper revelation of the mysteries of the Kingdom - and their perfect positioning in it. For the one who keeps their eyes fixed on "flesh and blood" and the things below they will be overcome with great darkness - without exception. Entrance into My glorious Kingdom from the place of a heart wholly given or entrapped in a "world" controlled by the spirits of antichrist, fear and darkness - this is the choice of the "mulitudes" that are in the "valley of decision" [Joel 3:14] in this most critical and glorious hour [Isaiah 60:2].
* Keep your eyes "focused" on where you are going NOT where you have been. For where you have been has been but a perfect preparation for where I am taking you now - a positioning [both spiritually and physically] that will serve you well right to the end of the age.
...."let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God".... Hebrews 12:1b-2 NASB
...."The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single [in focus], thy whole body shall be full of light".... Matthew 6:22 KJV
...."If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [Ps. 110:1.] And set your minds and keep them set on what is above [the higher things], not on the things that are on the earth".... Colossians 3:1-2 The Amplified Translation
"surge" - a strong, wavelike, forward movement, rush or sweep; a sudden rush or burst of current [in this case, the Love of God]; sudden increase;
Latin: "surgere" - to spring up, arise, stand up;
"Fixing" one's eyes on Jesus [when done whole-heartedly] encompasses [effects] the whole spectrum of their existence [thoughts, words, feelings, will etc.] and "binds" them to Him - for it is certain that wherever one's gaze is "fixed" [focused] that is exactly the direction they will "run". In these days, there will be a distinct "surge" [outpouring] of faith, love and revelation in the remnant Church [in the midst of all those who truly love God] that will cause many [through the prayers and witness of His faithful ones] to get back onto the "narrow path" [of perfect obedience] - and, thus, begin to "run the race" properly, once again.
...."Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither. Therefore I do not run uncertainly [without definite aim]. I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary. But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit]".... 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 The Amplified Translation
Words of LIFE Weekly Devotional
What’s Wrong with Nice Girls?
with Jennifer Degler, PhD
“What’s wrong with nice Christian girls?” I asked Jennifer Degler, a clinical psychologist and author of the book No More Christian Nice Girl. She answered by describing many women I’ve known throughout my life. The wife of the youth pastor who left her after 15 years of marriage. The church secretary who always had a smile…until she had a nervous breakdown. Even, at times, my own family members.
These are women who work too hard to please others. Women who unwittingly allow others to take advantage of them in the name of kindness. Women who focus on being nice instead of being good.
“Many women are nice,” Dr. Degler writes, “not because they truly care about other people, but because they fear conflict and rejection. That’s not peacemaking. That’s peace-faking.”
How do you know if you have fallen into this trap? The most common signs are frustration, anger, burnout, depression and a loss of purpose. In a male-dominated culture, it’s easy for women like this to fade into the background. For men, it’s easy to overlook or ignore. After all, if a woman is always smiling and eager to please, she must be happy, right?
“Many times we find that women get a pass on not being courageous,” Dr. Degler says. “We want to call that ‘having a gentle and kind spirit,’ but really it can be timidity or fear that’s holding us back.”
Three misconceptions can lead to this condition. First, an incomplete view of Jesus Christ. He was gentle and kind, but he was also forceful and truthful. Second, the cultural pressure of “sugar and spice and everything nice” that urges compliance and the suppression of true feelings. All of us should be gracious, but we should also be genuine. And third, a false standard of perfection. While we serve the One who is perfect, we must admit that we all make mistakes. Instead of denying or fearing our imperfections, we should learn from them and move on.
The self-examination for this damaging “nice girl” syndrome comes down to being honest about motivations. It requires a woman to look at the part that God looks at – the heart.
“On the outside, it can look like you’re being nice out of love, but you know on the inside, if you’re doing it because you’re afraid that the other person will be disappointed , be mad at you, or reject you, you’re doing it out of fear and fear is not of God. So women need to always check their heart first. What is their real motivation for saying ‘yes’ in a particular situation?”
Before you can be honest with others, you must first be honest with yourself. Once you hear the truth of God’s Word and admit the truth about your own motivations, you can then speak the truth to others.
“I spent a lot of years trying to make people happy,” Dr. Degler confesses, “and making myself miserable in the process.”
She is not alone. Women that live this way usually end up hurting themselves, as well as those they care about the most. They suppress their anger and frustration, though it can come out in ways unrelated to the real issue, and allow the pressure to build. The alternative is not contention, combativeness or meanness. It’s not about creating unnecessary conflict, but dealing with necessary conflict.
“It is non-negotiable for you to speak the truth in love,” Dr. Deglar says. “If you are going to be free of this, you have to do the very thing you are most afraid of: speak the truth and risk that the other person might get mad. What you will find is that conflict is the price you pay for intimacy. On the other side of people getting their feelings hurt is authenticity and true intimacy in a relationship.”
When you learn to be one of “God’s good women,” by seeking to please Him more than anyone else, you will find freedom that is refreshing and exhilarating. It’s the freedom to make wise decisions (like saying “no” to people), spend time on personal growth, face conflict with confidence, and be everything God created you to be, not merely what you believe others want you to be.
Adapted by Randy Robison from the LIFE Today TV interview with Jennifer Degler, PhD. Book quotes are from No More Christian Nice Girls (Bethany House)
If We've Ever Needed You - Casting Crowns
The Curse of the Enemy Nation
Deuteronomy Chapter 28
28: 49 "The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the world (age) , and it will swoop down like an eagle. You won't understand their language (tongue), and they will look mean. read more
Scholars teach that this prophey from Moses has already been fulfilled when the Roman Empire took over Jerusalem. So is this prophecy really about the Roman Empire or is Moses writing about a flying nation whose speaks in a language that we can't understand?
God's word was given to us as a prophetic teaching tool. Our heavenly Father wants our life to be marked by obedience and integrity as written about at the beginning of Deuternomy Chapter 28. But what happens when nations and people don't obey God's word? Is what's written about in verses 49-68 yet to come? Truthfully, I can't answer these questions, so we must wait for the Holy Spirit to reveal answers at the proper time.
While searching Deut 28:49 I found this article "The Sign Gifts" by Robert Sargent that teaches about signs, wonders, healing, prophecy and speaking in tongues that I enjoyed reading. Have a nice weekend.