Category: Love

Willpower: The Fair-Weather Friend

But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). —Galatians 5:16

Willpower sure sounds like a great thing. We are led to believe that we have enough of it to fight off every temptation that comes our way. And sometimes it works. But let me tell you a little secret about willpower. Willpower is your best friend when things go well, but it’s the first friend to check out when you get weary. I have found that if I really don’t want to do something, my mind gives me plenty of reasons why I don’t have to. My emotions even join in, saying, “I agree because I don’t feel like doing it anyway.”

Our soul (mind, will, emotions) would love to run our lives, but the Bible says we are to be led by God’s Spirit. We are never instructed to be willpower-led, we are told to be Spirit-led. Willpower and discipline are important and vitally necessary to a successful life, but willpower alone won’t be enough. Determination gets you started and keeps you going for awhile, but it is never enough to bring you across the finish line. Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV) says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts.

What happens if, instead of turning first to willpower in your time of need, you turn to God instead? God releases His power into your willpower and energizes it to bring you across the finish line. Willpower does not get the credit for our success, God does. Jesus said in John 15:5, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. This is one of the most important and most difficult lessons we must learn if we want to enjoy the life Jesus died to give us.

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Don’t Miss Your Moment

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.” (Matthew 9:22, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD

In Scripture, there was a lady who had been sick with a bleeding disorder for twelve years. She went to the best doctors, received the finest treatment, but her health continued to decline. One day, she got word that Jesus was coming through her town. When she heard that, something came alive on the inside. She had so much coming against her, but she didn’t focus on that; she knew it was her time for healing. Instead of giving up, she fought her way through the crowds and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. When she did, immediately she was made whole.

I wonder how many other people were there like her in that same type of situation. They were sick. They were discouraged. They had trouble. But they just watched Jesus pass by. They let excuses keep them from their miracle. Friend, don’t let that be you. Don’t let your circumstances keep you from reaching out to Jesus. It doesn’t matter what’s happened in your past, just keep moving forward. God has destiny moments in store for you. Keep pressing in, keep believing, keep praying and, like this woman, reach out to Him. Know that He is faithful, and He will meet your faith with His power.

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, today I press into You. I believe that You have my miracle in the palm of Your hand. I choose to take my eyes off of my circumstances and set my gaze on You, Jesus, because You are the Author and Finisher of my faith in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen

Chocolate Vent’s Quote of the Week: “WHEN YOU SOW A GIFT; YOU STIR A GIFT.”

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life
{Galatians 6:7-8}

Don’t Blame God

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (James 1:13)

 

For far too long, whenever any type of tragedy happens in our lives, many of us would blame God for what has happened.  Many, whenever they would become sick would say that God is trying to teach them something or it must be his will that we become sick.  All of these thoughts are due to a lack of understanding and the blinding effect of the enemy.  Sickness and the many other things that bring heartache in our lives are a result of sin and the different choices that we make.  When it comes to illness, God’s desire is that we be well.  It is our lack of understanding concerning his will that keeps us sick.  As James lets us know, God is not the source of our misfortunes.  That’s the work of the enemy.  His role in our lives is to kill, steal, and destroy.  God wants to give us life more abundantly.

The next time you hear someone say it’s God’s will that they be sick so they can learn from it or be made stronger, have them search the scriptures.  God doesn’t tempt us or place burdens upon us.  He wants to remove our burdens.  He wants us to know the truth that we may be set free. Let’s stop blaming God for our troubles.

Prayer: Father, as we face the challenges of this day, we ask for the grace that we need to overcome what the enemy brings in our lives.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Do You Make Your Children Buy Their Stepfather A Gift For Father’s Day?

I went to a comedy show recently where one of the comedians made a very good point – why isn’t there  a day, or at least a few hours set aside to honor stepfathers? He went on to tell the audience that he was a “retired stepdad”. He had recently divorced a woman with 3 kids & started lamenting on how hard it was to raise someone else’s kids. With Father’s Day right around the corner, he thought that they should get some acknowledgement on that day, even if it was only the last 1 hour of the day. Now can you imagine that: on Father’s Day celebrating your stepfather from 11:00 pm – 11:59 pm only?! LOL

This actually isn’t such a bad idea. When you think about it, stepfathers oftentimes put in more work that than the biological father (or even a stepmother, in that case). Think about it: Usually children live with their mother full-time, therefore the stepfather typically has more interaction with the kids than their own dads. He has more opportunity to make an impact on them, since more interaction means more influence.

Not to mention,  a stepfather’s paycheck has to cover all the bills & incidentals in the home, which includes supporting someone else’s children. (This is precisely why I don’t want to marry someone with kids) The stepfather has to build & maintain a friendship (or at least a relationship) with someone else’s children that is “good enough” for the woman that he chose to marry (otherwise she wouldn’t marry him).  Imagine all the sporting events, recitals, etc. that he would be pressured to go to by his wife. He has to prove to her that he loves & cares for her children, and may even have to deal with the bio dad. This can be a hard thing for a man to do – deferring to another man for a child that lives under his roof (another reason why I don’t want to marry someone with kids – they may live with you & you are financially supporting them but you don’t get the “final say” when it comes to raising them). Only a strong man would sign up for this.

I think the comedian has got a point. If you are someone’s stepparent you have to do just as much work, spend your own hard-earned money and don’t get nearly as much of the credit. How often do mothers make their children buy a Father’s Day card for their stepfather or buy him a gift? How much do mothers show their appreciation of the effort & the dedication that their new husband puts into raising a child that is not theirs?

Helping to raise someone else’s child who lives in your house can be tough. Women with children really should show a little extra love on Father’s Day to any man who is helping her raise her kids.

This Father’s Day, I hope that you think about the men who are stepfathers in your life. Appreciate them. Tell them thank you. Have your kids acknowledge them because being a stepdad can’t be easy.

Wanna Make Him Swoon? Here’s How…

  • Ask him to teach you something – it really doesn’t matter what it is. Most men like to be empowered and when a woman defers to their knowledge or expertise it makes them feel “smart”. So even if you don’t think there is anything you can learn from your man, ask him for his help (especially if it involves him working with his hands).
  • Have an interest in sports – what man doesn’t watch sports? While you may not want to sit & watch the entire game with him, it wouldn’t hurt to know a little bit about his favorite sport. Ask questions, watch a game or two & maybe even wear some sports gear around him. It’ll make his day! 
  • Smile at him – men love it when women smile at them. It means they “did something right”, which always boosts a man’s ego. It also makes a woman look 100% better when she smiles.
  • Catch him by surprise – try something fun, like putting an ice cube down his back or squeezing him around the waist. These types of playful activities not only lighten up the mood, they also help create intimacy. Things can get stale in a relationship but when you are playful, he is more likely to be playful right back! 
  • Be friends with his friends – it’s always nice when different groups of friends can hang out together. Being comfortable hanging out with his friends & even getting to know them (and their girlfriends too) might actually show your man how into him you are.
  • Tease him – who likes to be teased?! No one, but when it’s done in jest (like when you stick your tongue out at him while he’s talking, or you have funny nicknames for each other) then it’s okay. Guys “tease” each other all the time, so when you do it to him he’ll just think you’re one of the guys. 
  • Nurse his wounds – contrary to popular opinion, men have feelings too. When a guy’s feelings get hurt or his ego is wounded, his woman should be the one to help make him feel better. Ladies, when he comes to you for comfort be there for him & he’ll want to continue to come back to you again & again for your support.

 

He Won’t Give Up On You

For today’s daily devotional, I’m led to remind you of the power in Hebrews 13:5b which reads … I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  Hebrews 13:5
To know that God is on your side no matter what you may going through is one of the greatest blessings. 
Even if you were in the wrong, or they were in the wrong, or if the situation itself was just all wrong, as long as you sincerely repent in your heart and go to God about the situation, He promises to never leave you in it…He promises to always see you through.
The word, “leave,” in this Scripture in the original Hebrew means to send back, relax, loosen, to give up, omit, calm, to leave, not to uphold, to let sink
The word, “forsake,” in this Scripture in the original Hebrew means to abandon, desert, leave in straits, leave helpless, totally abandon, utterly forsaken, to leave behind
So during those storms in life when you’re crying, “Why, God, Why?” or even, “Where are you!?” During those times you feel He has abandoned you, know that He hasn’t abandoned you… and He never will.
The fact that God says He will never leave you nor forsake you is a promise. And you know you can take whatever God says to the bank. You can cash that check and it won’t bounce. God’s Word is a sure thing.
Isn’t that good to know?
So another way to read Hebrews 13:5 is as if God, Himself is saying, “I will never relax or loosen my hold on you. I will never give up on you. I will never let you sink. I will never abandon or desert you.  I will never leave you helpless. I will never leave
you behind.”
God is always your present, right now, help in your time of need. (Psalm 46:1)
So no matter what you may be going through right now, remember you’re not alone.
You have someone who is right there with you, pulling for you who won’t let you sink in the quicksands of life – He’ll pull you up right in the nick of time – every time.
*Originally published on Kim on the Web.