Thursday, January 5, 2012

Victory over Evil

"The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and seers: Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets." - 2 Kings 17:13 NIV

As much as I'd like to think otherwise, evil abounds in this world. I strive to look for the good in everyone and in all things, but, like it or not, Satan is hard at work every day. Temptations surround me. The TV, Internet and newspapers bring bad news everyday. Satan sows the seeds of destruction all around. Peter tells me to be alert against Satan and his tricks: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8 NIV).

I have two choices I can make toward Satan and the havoc he wreaks: despair and doubt or peace and hope. When temptation rears its ugly head, I can choose to give in to it or give it to God to handle. When bad news comes my way, I can choose to despair over it and wonder why it happened or I can pray and ask God to use it to bring honor and glory to Him. To truly get victory over Satan and evil, I desire to choose peace, hope, giving it to God and prayer. God can protect me and help me guard my heart against temptation and evil. By wrapping myself in His Word and in prayer, I can keep Satan out of my thoughts and my actions.

God will be my protector, my guardian, if I choose to allow Him to be. "For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer (protector) of your souls." (1 Peter 2:25 NIV). When I turn to Him in prayer and meditate in His Word, it's amazing the peace that envelops me. I know, no matter what evil comes my way, God is in control and will watch over me. In Psalm 28:20 NIV, David asks God to "Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in You." If trusting God was good enough for David, believe me, it's more than good enough for me!!!

Do I want a peaceful life? Do I want victory over evil? Then, as Peter warns, I must be alert to Satan and his doings and I must turn from my evil ways. And the only way for me to do so is with God's help. I am a weak, fearful, despairing woman without God but, with Him, I am strong, courageous and hopeful. I know who to rely on to give me victory over evil...what about you?

"God is with you, and He'll help you make spiritual progress - strengthening and encouraging you to keep on keeping on during rough times. It's easy to quit, but it takes faith to press on to victory. - Joyce Meyer

Dear Lord, I want to live a peaceful life and be protected against Satan and the evil he brings. Only through faith in You, prayer and time in Your Word can I guard against the temptations and evil in this world. With Your help I can be a courageous, strong, hope-filled and contented Christian. Help me to guard my heart and thoughts against the devil. Give me victory over evil. I ask this in Jesus' name, Amen. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


"But godliness with contentment is great gain." - 2 Timothy 6:6 NIV

It's Tuesday, January 3rd and I've already broken a resolution. I had resolved this year to be faithful in writing my blog Monday through Friday every week. Obviously, I missed Monday of this week and I'm okay with that! So, no more resolutions for me but there are some things I am going to strive for this year and would like to be held accountable for.

Last year, I decided to strive to become less judgemental, less critical of others. Was I always successful.....NO! But I was more aware of when I was judging or criticizing other people. That's something I want to continue in 2012. I want to see others as Jesus sees them: created by God, beautiful, worthy of love and attention. That includes the homeless person on the corner, the drug addict down the street, the gang member in the mall, the small child having a temper tantrum, the grouchy old gentleman in the grocery store. The second greatest commandment in the Bible is to love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:39 NIV). May I not judge anyone else but just show them the love that Jesus has given to me.

I am also going to strive to be a more hope-filled Christian. As my devotional says: "Pessimism and Christianity don't mix". I'm an optimist by nature but there have been times when I've made the choice to be upset or downcast by circumstances beyond my control. I've allowed the situation to define my attitude and ruin my peace and joy. Jesus is with me wherever I go and whatever circumstance I find myself in. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 NIV); He is my burden-bearer. When I find myself burdened by the things of this world - and I will - I want to remember that Jesus has conquered the world (John 16:33 NIV) and in Him I can have confident peace and hope.

The last thing I want to strive for this year is contentment. As this verse in Timothy says, that will be great gain for me. The world tells me that I can only be content and happy if I have a big home, drive a fancy car, eat in the best restaurants, travel the world, stay in the finest hotels, have money in the bank. I can honestly say I have a modest home, an older, well used Tahoe, the fanciest restaurant I eat at is Texas Roadhouse, I travel when I can afford it and either stay with family or find the least expensive motel and have very little money in the bank. But, I have a husband who loves me, wonderful children and grand-children, the best parents and siblings a person could ask for, friends I wouldn't trade for all the gold and silver in the world.  I also have Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I have Him with me at all times. I have a mansion waiting for me in Heaven. I have eternal life. I have someone to lean on during the most trying times of my life. I have a God who can do the impossible if I just have faith. May I focus on all God has given me and be a content Christian this year!

"Contentment is one of the most distinguishing traits of the godly person, because a godly person has his heart focused on God rather than on possessions or position or power." - Jerry Bridges
Dear Heavenly Father, these are the things I am striving for this year: being less critical and loving others like Jesus does and becoming more hope-filled and content with all You've given me. Let me seek You first and not give in to anger, pessimism and discontent. Guide my thoughts each day; may they be obedient to Christ and reflect Your love for me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Celebrate the Day!

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" - Philippians 4:4 NIV

This is the season of celebration and joy! We are celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Son of God!! But I'm not talking about celebrating that day; I'm talking about celebrating TODAY!!

What? Why? It's not Christmas yet!! Who says it has to be Christmas, or even a birthday or anniversary to celebrate today?! Are you alive and breathing? If you're reading this, then obviously the answer to that question is "yes". That's reason enough to celebrate! My God is an awesome God and He gave me this day. "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24 NIV) If God gave me this day, He must have something wonderful in store for me!

What are my expectations for today? Did I wake up expecting wonderful things from God or did I wake up in gloom and doom? As a Christian, a believer, I have every reason to wake up each morning with expectations of a great day - Jesus is alive and well and sitting at the right hand of God. I am saved and will one day join Him in Heaven. No more tears or sorrow. No more worry or pain. Hallelujah!!

Some of you may think I'm not living in the real world. There are people dying, grieving, going hungry, living on the streets, estranged from family, hurting. So much pain. I know that. But God still has a purpose for each and every person on this earth. If we're alive, then there's a reason for it. We have a choice to make each morning and I'm just saying that the Bible says that we are to celebrate each matter what. Easier said than done? Yes! Impossible? NO!! "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8 NIV) Lean on Him and He will see you through. Today can be wonderful if you rejoice in the Lord, no matter your circumstances. Let's choose to celebrate today!!

"When you cannot rejoice in feelings, circumstances or conditions, rejoice in the Lord." - A. B. Simpson

Awesome God, let me rejoice in You today. No matter what this day may bring, may I celebrate it. Jesus is alive and reason alone to celebrate each day. Thank You for the wonderful gift of life, both here on earth and eternally. Let me use today for Your honor and glory, as Your humble servant. All praise belongs to You, Lord! In Jesus name, Amen.