Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Power of Telling Yourself the Truth vs. Listening to Your Feelings ~ By Breezy

As a short seven-year-old, the edge of the pool felt very safe.   Who knew that toes could grip so   My  I knew my dad, I knew he loved me, I knew he was going to catch me, and I knew this would be fun.  But my feelings were telling me this was not a good idea – the water was deep, I was not very tall or strong, I was not a super swimmer, and there were no lifeguards close by.
dad was in the water and I was supposed to jump in and he would catch me.
well?

This is the struggle we face every day: truth versus feeling – what we know versus what we feel. 

That day at the pool, I went with what I knew was true and I jumped in.  It was so much fun.  My dad caught me (of course!).  We laughed, we splashed, and I jumped into the pool some more.  
I see this scenario over and over in my life.  I read my Bible in the morning and my heart is encouraged and challenged with so much truth from God’s Word.  Then, as I start my day, feelings start to press in on my mind.  It is far too easy for me to forget the things I know are true (because God has said them in His Word) and instead be guided by what my feelings are telling me.

It is so important that I go prayerfully to God’s Word to look for His Truth in everything.  To begin with, it is important that I am honest with the Lord about what I am feeling so that I can address it with the Truth of Scripture.  For me, it has been so helpful to write in my journal the specific thing I am feeling and then begin searching the Bible for verses that will tell me the Truth.  

Here are two recent examples from my life…

My feeling: This circumstance in my life that I am going through is not fun and I am tired of it.  My life will probably never change.

God’s Truth:
“All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenants and his testimonies.” (Psalm 25:10 ESV)  The path Jesus is asking me to walk is His way of expressing to me His steadfast love and faithfulness.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)  “…What [God] desires, that he does, For he will complete what he appoints for me…” (Job 23:13-14 ESV)  “For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it?” (Isaiah 14:27 ESV) God has a good plan for my life and nothing can stop it.

“But [Jesus] said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid’…” (John 6:20 ESV)  When Jesus says, “It is I” it means “I AM” like God spoke to Moses in Exodus 3.  Jesus said this to his disciples when he was walking on the water across the sea to them in the middle of the storm, but for me, I can know that Jesus is the I AM – He is in control of everything, so I don’t need to fear the future.

My feeling: This person is not treating me very nicely today, so I will just avoid them today.

God’s Truth:
“Love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10 ESV)  I am not supposed to be kind to someone because they deserve it.  I am supposed to be kind because it is what Jesus asks of His children.

Dear sisters, these are just two tiny example  God’s word is so full of practical Truth for every area of our lives and it is so important that we never let our feelings be in control of our thoughts and actions.  The Truth of God’s Word must control us.   This means that we must spend time in God’s Word to seek and know the Truth and we must give hard, diligent effort to letting it shape our feelings.

We can never stop ourselves from feeling certain things, but here is the key: will we choose to listen to our feelings, or will we choose to tell ourselves the Truth? 

He is a shield...


Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
~Proverbs 30:5 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Transformation of Truth ~ by Amy Vest

Truth that transforms.  That is the Truth that Jesus is offering you.  In John 8:31-32, we hear it:  "So Jesus said... “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  Let's look at this transforming Truth together!
1. Knowing the Truth - "If you abide in my word...you will know the truth..."
It is one thing to have a knowledge of the Truth of God's Word in your head.  It is another thing to be personally knowing the Truth, believing it, experiencing it, and owning it as yours.  This comes by you abiding and being in the Word of God - the Bible.  John 17:17 makes it clear, "...your word is truth."  This is the Word of the God who created you, has spoken the Truth to you in the Bible, and is equipping you by the power of His Spirit to know His Word for yourself.

The longer you walk with the Lord and fill your life with His Word, the more that you will see the reality that, 
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”  (Proverbs 30:5)  

As you truly know the Truth for yourself, you will be able to increasingly discern things that are not true when they come - whether in the form of information, feelings, or thoughts.  Years ago my family was in another country that was both beautiful and different from where I had grown up.  When we went to a restaurant, I decided to try to be healthy and ordered milk.  When it arrived, I took a sip and quickly realized it was NOT real milk!  It was some form of powdered milk or substitute that I couldn't bring myself to drink.  But, how did I know it wasn't real milk?  Because I had spent years drinking the real thing.  It is similar with the Truth.  When you have known the Truth and are filling your life with it, you will be more and more aware when something is not the "real thing"!
2. The Transformation of Truth - "...the truth will set you free.”  
As you know the Truth, it: reveals to you where you are in bondage, serves as a key through which the Holy Spirit brings the Truth to life, and sets you free from the bondage that once held you captive!

It is a beautiful process:

~ Us battling bondage of: fear, pride, jealousy, etc.
~ God opening our eyes in His Word to: Who He is, what He has said and promised, who we are, and the hope we have.
~ God giving us faith to believe His Word
~ Freedom results

Recently the Lord gave a beautiful opportunity to serve Him where I faced and regularly had the temptation to feel pressure and fear.  In this situation, the Lord brought His Word to my heart, "I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand a keep you." (Isaiah 42:6) This brought refocus on Him, His Truth, and freedom of rest through both His presence and Word.  He wants to bring this freedom in every area and situation of your life.


3. Truth in Every Day Life - "If you abide in my word, you are truly my 
disciples..."
The Word of God is meant to saturate and impact every moment of your day - leading you more and more into the freedom that comes from living in the Truth of His Word!  
Colossians 3:16 tells us, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..."  

Let's look together at some ways we can live, abide, and soak in His Truth in a daily practical way: 

~  Being in His Word - reading, studying, etc.
~  Having His Word in you - memorizing His Word, so you can think on it all of the time.
~  Being reminded of His Word through the day and week - reading, playing Bible on CD, speaking it to yourself, listening to sermons, singing songs filled with Truth.
~  Thinking intentionally about verses from the Bible and allowing the Lord to teach you from them
~  Sharing the Truth with others and allowing them to share with you - confirming it in both
of your hearts
~  Allowing the Lord to bring it to your heart through the dayand all that you face - this is possible as you are reading the Word and have memorized it
~  Receiving God's grace andwalking in the reality of His Truth - no matter how you feel - and experiencing His freedom

Right now, I am in a season where my health is struggling and I have seen the power of this so real in my daily circumstances.  If I focus on and base my attitude on how I am feeling, it results in becoming discouraged, sad, or even crabby (and who wants that?).  But, if I keep my focus on Jesus and the Word, feed my soul with Truth (verses like 
Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.")and listen for Him to speak His Truth to me, my heart is flooded with joy, hope, peace, and purpose - causing me to embrace Him, His Word, and my current circumstance for His glory, my good, and blessing of others!

Look at your life with the Lord and identify at least one area in which you need to walk in His Truth and freedom.  Find a verse to memorize on that area, pray it to the Lord - asking Him for His help to walk in it, and receive His grace to walk in it each moment!

May the Lord pour out His richest blessings to you as you go as His disciple, abide in His Word, know the Truth, and watch Him work through it by His Spirit to set you free!

Your Word is Truth...



Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
~John 17:17

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Join us for Session 6 - "The Influence of Your Thoughts and Attitude" - of the Beautiful to God Online Conference!

Session 6 ~ "The Influence of Your Thoughts and Attitude" from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

Truth that transforms. That is the Truth that Jesus is offering you. In John 8:31-32, we hear it: "So Jesus said... “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” He has called us to live a life that is radiant in His Truth! Two of the major areas the transformation of His Truth takes place is in our thoughts and attitudes.

Join Amy as we look together at the power of Truth - the Word of God, the Bible - and allowing it to transform our thoughts and attitudes in a way that impacts our lives and the lives of those around us!

Please visit our website lovingthelordministries.org for handouts and study questions for this session!

The truth will set you free...



"...and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
~ John 8:32