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**Robert E. Lee IV **

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tikkabuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2017 at 02:44
He Knows How You Feel



I’ve heard people say, “Why talk to God about my problems? He can’t understand.” According to the Bible--he can! The writer of Hebrews says, “he himself has shared fully in all our experience of temptation, except that he never sinned” (Hebrews 4:15 Phillips).

He himself! Jesus himself shared fully, not partially, but entirely! In all our experience; every hurt; all the stresses and strains; with no exceptions! Why? So he could sympathize with our weaknesses.

Every page of the Gospels hammers home this crucial principle: your God gets you! God knows how you feel. When you tell God you’ve reached your limit, he knows what you mean. When your plans are interrupted by people who have other plans, he nods in empathy. He has been there. He gets you. He knows how you feel!

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Confess and Believe



Can we know we are truly saved? The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Confess and believe...and you will have salvation.

Catch what the verse does not say: live perfectly, be nice to everyone, don’t mess up, always smile--and you will be saved. Can’t do it. Impossible. Just confess and believe. Salvation will follow. It’s so easy. . .yet so hard.

God wants us to know we are saved, for saved people are dangerous people, willing to face off with the world, unafraid of the consequences since we know that, whatever happens, we will have eternal life. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV). Watch out, world!

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Our Harshest Judge



When it comes to shame, we are our harshest judges! Marred by hurt and humiliation, we don’t see the situation clearly. We listen too much to the voices that got us into this mess. The abuser still abuses our self-esteem. Our judgments are limited.

At these times who makes a better judge? You or Jesus? Jesus knows the situation inside and out. He sees from every perspective and feels all the pain. He knows when lines were crossed and when motives were just. Jesus is the best judge. So when he says, “I don’t judge you guilty” (John 8:11 NCV), that verdict is based not on a whim, but on a careful examination of all the hearts; all the guilt; and all the genuine repentance. So if Jesus declares you not guilty, then who keeps whispering guilt in your ears?

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God So Loved the World

Can a holy God overlook our mistakes? Should a kind God punish our mistakes? From our perspective there are only two equally unappealing solutions. But from God’s perspective there’s a third. It’s called “the Cross of Christ.” The cross is where God forgave his children without lowering his standards.

How could he do this? In a sentence: God put our sin on his Son and punished it there. “God put on him the wrong who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 MSG). Why did he do it? Because “God so loved the world that he gave his only son” (John 3:16 NLT). Aren’t you glad the verse doesn’t read: “For God so loved the rich”? Or “For God so loved the famous?” No we simply (and happily) read: “For God so loved the world!” And you are included in that love!

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We Have a Choice



In so many areas of life we have no choice. “It’s not fair,” we say. But the scales of life were forever tipped on the side of fairness when God planted a tree in the Garden of Eden. All complaints were silenced when Adam and his descendants were given free will, the freedom to make whatever eternal choice we desire.

Any injustice in this life is offset by the honor of choosing our destiny in the next. Wouldn’t you agree? It would have been nice if God had let us order life like we order a meal. It would’ve been nice, but it didn’t happen. When it came to many details of your life on earth, you weren’t given a choice, a voice, or a vote. But when it comes to life after death, you were! In my book that seems like a good deal. Wouldn’t you agree?

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God's Vision in God's Land

Joshua 21:45 says, “Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.” Joshua and his men went from dry land to the Promised Land, from manna to feasts, from arid deserts to fertile fields. They inherited their inheritance: the glory days of Israel. This is God’s vision for your life. You, at full throttle. You, as victor over the Jerichos and giants.

Paul describes it as a life in which “Christ’s love has the first and last word in everything we do” (2 Corinthians 5:14). A life in which Paul says, “we do not lose heart” (2 Corinthians 4:16). A life defined by grace, refined by challenge, and aligned with a heavenly call. In God’s plan, in God’s land...God’s promises outweigh personal problems. Victory becomes a way of life! Your glory days await you!



From Glory Days

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Your Promises-Land Life

Think about the Christian you want to be. What qualities do you want to have? More compassion? More conviction? More courage? What attitudes do you want to discontinue? Greed? Guilt? Endless negativity? Here’s the good news. You can. With God’s help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be--indeed, the person God made you to be. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that we can live “from glory to glory.”

The walls of Jericho--they are already condemned. The giants are already on the run. The deed to your new life is already signed. It just falls to you to possess the land. Joshua 21:43 says, “So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to their fathers--and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.” Your promised-land life-- It is yours for the taking.

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Certain Victory

“It’s time to declare war on the pestilence that goes by the name, I can’t. It attacks our self-control with...I can’t keep a job and it attacks our marriages... I can’t forgive. It even attacks our faith...I can’t believe God cares for me.

Had Joshua mumbled those words, who would’ve blamed him? Joshua 1:1 begins with bad news, “Moses, my servant, is dead.” To lose Moses was to lose the cause. Imagine the dismay, the grief, the fear! And yet, God told Joshua, “Moses is dead. Now therefore, arise.” Moses may be dead, but God is alive! Even so, Joshua had reason to say, I can’t. Moses was dead. And the Canaanites ate folks like the Israelites for breakfast! But Joshua never declared defeat. God gave him reason for faith. Victory was certain because the victory was God’s! The same is true for you.

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Promised-Land Property



Most babies cry, “Mama!” I cried, “Mustang!” I had asked my dad for a car every day of my life! My father’s stock reply was, “You’ll have a car once you earn it, save for it, & pay for it.” But then came that glorious night when dad handed me keys. Not payment vouchers or requirements, but keys! He said, “Take the car I’m giving you.” I had a new car because he declared it.

In Joshua’s day, the Hebrews had a new land because their Father did the same. “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you.” So Joshua let the people depart, each to their own inheritance.

You have an inheritance! If you’ve given your heart to Christ, the Bible says “God has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Promised Land property--placed in your name!

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A Deposit of Power



Many Christians view their conversion something like a car wash. You go in a filthy clunker, and you come out with your sins washed away--a cleansed clunker. But conversion is more than a removal of sin. It is a deposit of power! It is as if a brand-new Ferrari engine was mounted in your frame. God removed the old motor that was caked, cracked, and broken with rebellion and evil; and he replaced it with a humming, roaring version of himself.

The Apostle Paul described it as being “a new creation, old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). You are fully equipped. Do you need more energy? You have it. More kindness? It’s yours. Hebrews 13:21 promises that God will equip you with all you need for doing His will. Just press the gas pedal. God has given you everything you need for living a godly life!

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The Lord Heals All Diseases



The psalmist says, “The Lord heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:2-3 NIV). Do you think among those diseases might be the affliction of anger? God can help you get rid of your anger. Do you want him to? This isn’t a trick question. You may be addicted to anger. You may be a rage junkie. Anger may be part of your identity. But if you want him to, God can change your identity.

Do you have a better option? Like moving to a rejection-free zone? If so, enjoy your life on the deserted island. When others reject you, let God accept you. Leave your anger at the tree of Calvary. He is not frowning. He is not mad. He sings over you. Take a long drink from his limitless love, and cool down!

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Check Your Garbage



Life has a way of unloading its rubbish on our doorstep! Your husband works too much. Your wife gripes too much. Your kids whine too much. The result? Trash! Load after load of bitterness, anxiety, deceit, and distrust. It all piles up. Now, mark it down. Today’s anger is tomorrow’s abuse. Today’s lust is tomorrow’s adultery. Today’s guilt is tomorrow’s fear. Today’s thoughts are tomorrow’s actions. So, deal with the trash!

Could that be why Paul says, “Love. . .keeps no record of wrongs?” (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV). Let trash pile up and people are going to smell it. Are we victims of the emotional bacteria of the season? Or do we have a choice? Paul says we have an option. “We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). We have a choice. You might want to check your garbage.

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Real Love Changes People



Paul writes, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15 NASB). Do you want to plumb the depths of your love for someone? How do you feel when that person succeeds? Do you rejoice or are you jealous? And when he or she stumbles or falls into misfortune? Are you really sorry? Or are you secretly pleased?

Love never celebrates misfortune. Never! Real love changes people. Didn’t God’s love change you? You know your love is real when you weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. Do you want to know what love is? “This is what real love is– It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us. He sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10).

God passes the test! And well he should --he drafted it! He rejoices with you; may you rejoice with others.

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A Cloak of Love



Do you know anyone who is wounded and afraid? Do you know anyone who is guilty and embarrassed? Do you know anyone who needs a cloak of love? “Love covers a multitude of sins,” the scripture says in 1 Peter 4:8. Love doesn’t expose. It doesn’t gossip. If love says anything, love speaks words of defense. Words of kindness. Words of protection.

Do you know anyone who could use some protection? Of course you do. Then give some. Pay a gas bill for a struggling elderly couple. Promise your kids that, God being your helper, they’ll never know a hungry day or a homeless night. Tell your husband that you’d do it all over again and invite him on a honeymoon. Make sure your divorced friends are invited to your parties. Do you know anyone who needs a cloak of love? Then, give it.

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Show Up



God believes in you! And I wonder if you could take some of the belief he has in you and share it with someone else? Could you believe in someone? One German poet said, “Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be.”

How do we show people that we believe in them? Show up! Nothing takes the place of your presence. Do you believe in your kids? Then show up...at their games...and at their plays. It may not be possible to make each one, but it’s worth the effort. Do you believe in your friends? Show up at their graduations and weddings. Spend time with them. You want to bring out the best in someone? Then show up. And let God’s word be the authoritative word in your world.

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God is Doing What's Best for Us

God is at work in each of us whether we know it or not, whether we want it or not. Lamentations 3:33 says, “He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way.” He doesn’t delight in our sufferings, but He delights in our development. It’s what Paul pointed out in Philippians 1:6 when he wrote, “God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure He will continue until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.”

Don’t see your struggle as an interruption to life but as preparation for life. No one said the road would be easy or painless. But God will use this mess for something good. This trouble you are in isn’t punishment, it’s training. It is the normal experience of children. God is doing what’s best for us, training us to live God’s holy best!

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God Shapes His Servants



Compassion matters to God. This is the time for service, not self-centeredness. Cancel the pity party. Love the people God brings to you. This test will be your testimony. Second Corinthians 1:4 reminds us, “God comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who’s going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us” (MSG).

You didn’t sign up for this crash course in single parenting or caring for a disabled spouse, did you? No, God enrolled you. Why? So you can teach others what He has taught you. Rather than say, “God, why?” ask, “God, what?” What can I learn from this experience? Your mess can become His message!

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Keep Waiting–God is at Work

I’m convinced the Sabbath was created for frantic souls like me, people who need a weekly reminder that the world will not stop if I do. In one of the most dramatic examples of waiting in the Bible, Daniel prays for people who’d been oppressed for seventy years. He abstained from food and drink for twenty-one days, as he labored in prayer, persisted, pleaded, and agonized. No response. On the twenty-second day an angel of God appeared. He revealed to Daniel that his prayer had been heard on the first day. From an earthly perspective, nothing was happening. But from a heavenly perspective a battle was raging in the heavens. God was working.

What if Daniel had given up? Lost faith? Walked away from God? Better questions: What if you give up? Lose faith? Walk away? Don’t! God is at work. Keep waiting!

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Let God Define Good



Nothing in the Bible would cause us to call a famine good or a heart attack good or a terrorist attack good. These are terrible calamities, born out of a fallen earth. Yet every message in the Bible compels us to believe that God will mix them with other ingredients, and bring good out of them. But we must let God define good. Our definition includes health, comfort, and recognition. His definition? In the case of His Son, Jesus Christ, the good life consisted of struggles, storms, and death. But God worked it all together for the greatest of good: His glory and our salvation.

At some point we all stand at this intersection. Is God good when the outcome is not? Do you want to know heaven’s clearest answer to the question of suffering? Take a look at Jesus!

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What God is Doing

Changing direction in life is not tragic--but losing passion in life is! Something happens along the way. Convictions to change the world downgrade to commitments to pay the bills. Rather than make a difference, we make a salary. Rather than look outward, we look inward. And we don’t like what we see!

But God is not finished with you yet. Oh you may think he is. You may think you’ve peaked. You may think he’s got someone else to do the job. If so, think again! The Bible says, “God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again” (Philippians 1:6 NCV).

Did you see what God is doing? A good work in you! Did you see when he will be finished? When Jesus Christ comes again. May I spell out the message? God ain’t finished with you yet!

Read more When God Whispers Your Name

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