Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘NIV’

New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Church.



It’s that time of year again.

We’re going to lose weight, exercise more, get out of debt, stick to a budget, stop smoking, save for the future and spend more time with family.

We make resolutions because we want to bring change to bear on our circumstances.  We want to improve ourselves and our quality of life. And the top resolutions, for most people, tend to revolve around the same three poles: money, health and family.

But what would a set of New Year’s resolutions look like for you and your church, your role as a leader, or simply as someone who wants to live a life of strategic Kingdom investment?

Though many more could be added, here are 15 to consider:

1.         Pray more.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD … ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty (Zechariah 4:6, NIV).

2.         Invest in my spiritual gift(s).

Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress (I Timothy 4:14-15, NIV).

3.         Get more intentional about evangelism.

I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some (I Corinthians 9:22, NIV).

4.         Care for myself spiritually.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (Philippians 3:12, NIV).

5.         Make the tough decisions I know are best.

And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:22-24, NIV).

6.         Confront debilitating patterns of sin.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).

7.         Do the hard work needed to build community.

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over (Matthew 18:15, NIV).

8.         Keep in touch with contemporary culture.

From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders. … All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take (I Chronicles 12:32, NLT).

9.         Quit comparing myself to other Christians, other leaders and other churches.

Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved following right behind. When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what’s going to happen to him?”

Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You — follow me.” That is how the rumor got out among the brothers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that is not what Jesus said. He simply said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you?” (John 21:20-23, Msg)

10.        Read more.

Timothy, please come as soon as you can. … When you come, be sure to … bring my books … (II Timothy 4:9,13 NLT)

11.        Prioritize my family.

A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, … attentive to his own children and having their respect. For if someone is unable to handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God’s church? (I Timothy 3:2-5, Msg)

12.        Refuse to use ministry to satisfy my personal ambition.

Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not (Jeremiah 45:5, NIV).

13.        Love people, not just crowds.

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love (I Corinthians 13:1-3, Msg).

14.        Be more open to change.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19, NIV)

15.        Stay focused on the vision.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47, NIV).

James Emery White

Dara’s Wall.


During her childhood, Dara saw enough pain and abuse to last a lifetime. In response, she built a protective wall around her heart. But “The Wall” kept out the love and acceptance she so desperately needed. When Dara turned to God and began to read his Word, her wall began to crumble as God’s unfailing love tumbled in.

Dara’s true story is one of many uniquely featured testimonies from you, the members and visitors of this site. Each story reveals a life transformed by Christian faith. If your relationship with God has made a significant difference in your life, we would like to hear about it. Submit your testimony by filling out this Submission Form. To receive weekly messages of hope and encouragement from real-life stories of changed lives, sign up for eTestimonies.

Dara’s Wall

Watching my mother be abused emotionally by my father to a point which eventually brought her to a near-death suicide attempt, led me to internalize my feelings. I put them behind “The Wall” I had built around my heart. My father was and still is, the angriest, most controlling and domineering individual I’ve ever known. I literally felt my mother’s pain, yet I attempted to shut myself off from it by physically plugging my ears and running from any and all confrontation.

I became a person who always wanted to please others; to be the best at everything I attempted. I simply refused to pursue anything unless I was reasonably certain I could obtain perfection. So as you might surmise, my endeavors became very limited. To receive love and acceptance, I felt I had to be “doing something” to obtain it.

Internalizing My Pain

During my childhood I was sexually abused by the son of a family friend. My father excused it away saying, “Boys will be boys.” This caused me to further internalize my pain. I came to the realization that voicing it did not bring resolution, nor did it bring love and approval. Because of “The Wall,” I waited years to share the abuse and my subsequent pain with anyone.

I have known God since I was a child through the faithful example of my mother. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at age 12 and have since had a strong personal relationship with Him. Yet I resisted letting even Him into the depths of my heart. “The Wall” I had built by that time was thickly layered and nearly impossible to penetrate.

I had a fear of letting my feelings be seen, so although I never stopped talking to the Lord every day, I continued to keep Him and everyone else on the outside of “The Wall.” I know within my heart that the Lord was watching and waiting for me to turn to Him and lay everything at His feet. Yet, even still I could not break through “The Wall” I had erected around my heart.

Finally, almost 4 years ago, after losing two strong spiritual examples, my mother and my mother-in-law, who both passed away at relatively young ages, and after moving 600 miles from anyone I knew, and after having repeated thoughts of suicide, I turned to God, somewhat as a last alternative.

Reading the Word of God

I began to read the Word of God daily and allow the Lord to speak to me through it. I could not believe how relevant it was to what I was going through in my life. I began to devour the Word, as Matthew 4:4 says, “…It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (NIV)

I began to keep a journal and that allowed “The Wall” around my heart to begin to crumble. The Lord was faithful everyday to speak to me and to reassure me of his unfailing love and affirmation. He released His purpose in my life and I began without reservation to live to please him, and not everyone else.

The Lord became the “Counselor” I so desperately needed and, believe it or not, I was anxious to go to therapy! He became my comforter, my refuge and my source of strength in every circumstance. I came to the revelation that I didn’t have to “do things” to obtain his unconditional love and acceptance.

Now I turn to the Lord, most of the time, without hesitation. I open his Word daily and he is faithful to speak to me no matter the time or situation. I prayerfully seek his guidance in all my decisions. My life is definitely not a bed of roses, but I am able to handle all adversity by praying, reading God’s Word and journaling. I no longer allow my feelings to be put behind “The Wall.”

Just as the wall around Jericho came tumbling down, so did “The Wall” around my heart. I now exist to fulfill this verse of Scripture:

2 Corinthians 1: 3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (NIV)

By Dara Bennett

Staying Free.


The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Proverbs 22:7

Recommended Reading
1 Timothy 6:6-10 [ http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%206:6-10&version=NKJV ]

If a new “toy” caught your eye — boat, car, a recreational vehicle of some sort — but the cost was beyond your reach, how would you respond to this offer from the salesman: “I can work out a way for you to make the purchase, with only one stipulation: You and your family will become my slaves for the duration of the six-year loan. It won’t be that bad. It just means you’ll have to get my permission before you spend any money — even a penny — for the next six years.”

Listen to Today’s Radio Message [ http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo ]

What would you do? Without thinking, we enslave ourselves every time we borrow money to buy something we actually can’t afford — if we believe Proverbs 22:7 (NIV), that is: “the borrower is slave to the lender.” We wouldn’t think of letting someone enslave our family, but Proverbs 25:28 suggests how it happens: “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.” Lack of self-control in any area invites others to enslave us. Without self-control, we buy what we can’t afford. With the resulting debt, we enslave ourselves to the lender.

Ask God today for the protection of self-control when it comes to spending, and for the resulting freedom to be no one’s servant except His.

The alternative to discipline is disaster.
Vance Havner

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Matthew 23-24

By David Jeremiah.

Faith Building Bible Verses.


Inspirational Bible Verses to Fortify Your Faith

The Bible says in 2 Peter 1:3 that as we grow in our knowledge of God, through his divine power he gives us everything we need for life and godliness. Jesus relied on the Word of God alone to overcome obstacles, including the devil. God’s Word is alive and powerful (Hebrews 4:12), useful for correcting us when we are wrong and teaching us what is right (2 Timothy 3:16). So, it makes sense for us to carry God’s Word in our hearts through memorization, to be ready to face any problem, every difficulty, and whatsoever challenge that life can send our way.

Faith Building Bible Verses

Presented here are a number of problems, difficulties and challenges that we face in life, along with corresponding answers from God’s Word:

Anxiety

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

      Philippians 4:6-7

(NIV)

      • More on

Anxiety

Brokenhearted

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

      Psalm 34:18

(NASB)

Confusion

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace … 

      1 Corinthians 14:33

(NKJV)

Defeat

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair … 

    2 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV)

Disappointment

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

      Romans 8:28

(NLT)

      • More on

Disappointment

Doubt

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

Matthew 17:20

    (NIV)

Failure

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.

    Proverbs 24:16 (NLT)

Fear

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

      2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
      • More on

Fear

Grief

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

       (NIV)

• Read Psalm 23 in several popular translations.

Hunger

Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4

    (NIV)

Impatience

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

      Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

• More on Patience

Impossibilities

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

      Luke 18:27 (NIV)
      • More on

Postive Thinking

Inability

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

     (NIV)

Inadequacy

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

       (NIV)
      • More on

Feelings of Inadequacy

Lacking Direction

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

      Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
      • More on

Seeking Direction

Lacking Intelligence

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

    James 1:5 (NIV)

Lacking Wisdom

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

      1 Corinthians 1:30 (NIV)
      • More on

Wisdom

Loneliness

… the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

      Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
      • More on

Loneliness

Mourning

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 

    Matthew 5:4 (NIV)

Poverty

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

    Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)

Rejection

No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Romans 8:39 (NIV)

Sorrow

I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow.

    Jeremiah 31:13 (NASB)

Temptation

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

      1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
      • More on

Temptation

Tiredness

… but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

    Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

Unforgiveness

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

      Romans 8:1 (NLT)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 (NIV)

• More on Unforgiveness

Unloved

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!

    1 John 3:1 (NLT)

Weakness

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

    2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Weariness

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

    Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

Worry

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

        1 Peter 5:7(NLT)
        By

        , About.com Guide

Bible Verses for Hard Times.


Meditate on Encouraging Bible Verses for Troubled Times.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we can trust our Savior and turn to him in hard times. God cares for us and he is sovereign. His Holy Word is sure and his promises are true. Take some time to ease your worries and calm your fears by meditating on these Bible verses for troubled times.

Hard Times Bible Verses

Dealing with Fear

Psalm 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid? 
(NIV)

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (NIV)

• More Bible Verses and a Prayer for Dealing with Fear

Loss of Home or Job

Psalm 27:4-5
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
 (NIV)

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (NIV)

Psalm 84:2-4 
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Selah
 (NIV)

Psalm 34:7-9
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
(NIV)

Philippians 4:19 
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (NLT)

• More Bible Verses and a Prayer for Coping with Loss

Dealing with Stress

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

• More Bible Verses and a Prayer for Dealing with Stress

Overcoming Financial Worries

Luke 12:22-34
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV)

By , About.com Guide

September 11 – Bible Verses for Patriot Day.


Words of Hope and Comfort from Scripture for September 11.

The observance of Patriot Day marks the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our nation. As you remember those who died, and the heroes who responded with sacrifices of compassion, take courage with these words of hope and comfort from Scripture.

September 11 Bible Verses

Psalm 25:2-3 
In you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. (NIV)Psalm 119:114

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

     (NIV)

Psalm 147:3

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

    (NIV)

Lamentations 3:20-23

I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

     (NIV)

Habakkuk 3:16-19

I trembled inside when I heard all this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror. I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us. Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.

     (NIV)

Acts 2:25-27 
David said about him: “I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay…

     (NIV)

Romans 8:28-39

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)

By , About.com Guide

Are You a Fearless Christian?.


Fearful man
Do you allow Satan to render you ineffective with fear? (Imagery Majestic)

Fear consumes our energy. Fear leaves us empty. Fear makes us ineffective. Fear is a parasite. Fear is real.

Sometimes it is so invasive that it feels tangible. And the more it controls us, the more real it starts to feel, and we gradually lose control. Do we have to be controlled by these feelings that are constantly trying to invite themselves in?

Fear is always looking for an entryway. We are the ones who give it a home in our life. (Just to be clear, I’m not talking about that healthy fear that works like your conscience trying to keep you safe.)

I once heard that darkness is the absence of light. So fear comes from the absence of what? Maybe a lack of confidence? Maybe faith? Maybe inexperience? Maybe bad experiences? Maybe not trusting God? Maybe trying to control everything? What do you think?

Am I fearless? I definitely ask myself this question from time to time. I think every man and boy does.

Inherently, we all want to be called fearless or daring. Call a boy a chicken, and it can stick with him for life. As a kid, I wanted to be a knight. Once I learned—sitting in history class—that they didn’t exist anymore, I switched to wanting to be a FBI agent.

There’s a reason “No Fear” became a popular tagline across the world. But we all have our fears, and they come in different sizes. Mine is fear of failure and not being someone others can depend on. If I fail at these, then I’m not a man (at least, that’s my fear).

A smaller fear of mine is heights. I didn’t learn how to ride a swing until I was 8 because that “exhilarating rush” scared me. I didn’t trust the structure of the swing to keep me from tumbling away in the wind. My fear restricted me from this simple pleasure. While this latter one isn’t life-debilitating, it is still a fear. Some fear eating or going to the movies alone. Right now there is a lot of fear in holding a job, financial security and the future.

“Imagine your life, wholly untouched by angst. What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats?” —Max Lucado

Fear is an emotion that will overcome us if we let it. So, how do we not give in to this parasitic fear? Do we embrace it? I’m sure we’ve all heard this. I disagree with this statement, however. I’m not going to embrace it when I’m trying to rid my life of it.

I’m not saying fear isn’t real. We’ve already established that it is. It would actually be unwise to not recognize the power and real existence of fear. Some try to ignore it, and that works for a time. Some build up confidence in themselves through knowledge and experience. I did this. But fear will eventually penetrate through any of this. Fear is bigger than us.

What are your thoughts on fear? How do you deal with it? Do you think fear only affects the weak? Think about it, chew on it and share your thoughts. We look forward to discussing this with you.

Think about who it is that wants us to fear and be afraid. A lot of fears are based on lies or misconstrued truths. And who is the father of lies? It’s Satan. I didn’t get this before.

It was easier to say Satan didn’t exist and that I’d overcome my fear. “I’m the master of my fate” was fun to say. Society has marginalized Satan into a little imp with horns and a pitchfork that we can point and laugh at. Who would be afraid of that? He looks weak and smaller than us.

We should recognize the danger, though, because he’s a master of disguises. He is bigger than us, and we need someone bigger to fight for us, to shed light on these lies and to help reveal the truth, which will ultimately free us. We need the God factor.

God says He is love and that perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). We know with confidence that we aren’t in this battle alone. God is a fortress we can run to and be safe (Ps. 144:2).

For myself, I now place my confidence in God. There’s no shame in that. I have full confidence in my strength and abilities, but I also know my limits. I know my fears and that my knowledge and strength will fail me at some point. They have in the past.

I still have to jump in the ring and put on the gloves to do my part. The enemy also knows my fears and will try to exploit them every chance he gets. He wants to knock me down and stomp on me.

It took a while, but I finally came to the realization that some things, like Satan, are bigger than me. In my own strength I can’t defeat him. God will.

Remember the promises He has given us that we can hold on to. Don’t let go. Trust in God. Live the fearless life God wants for you. No fear.

Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (NIV).

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

For the original article, visit fearlessmen.com.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

JOHN MUMMERY/FEARLESSMEN.COM

Comforting Bible Verses.


Remember God’s Care with These Comforting Bible Verses

Our God cares about us. No matter what is happening, he never leaves us. Scripture tells us God knows what is going on in our lives and is faithful. As you read these comforting Bible verses, remember that the Lord is good and kind, your ever-present protector in times of need.

Comforting Bible Verses

Deuteronomy 3:22
Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 31:8
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (NIV)

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (NIV)

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)

• Read Psalm 23 in several popular translations.

Psalm 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (NIV)

Psalm 71:5
For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. (NIV)

Psalm 86:17
Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me. (NIV)

Psalm 119:76
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. (NIV)

Proverbs 3:24
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. (NIV)

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
(NIV)

• Compare Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 in several Bible translations.

Isaiah 12:2
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. (NIV)

Isaiah 49:13
Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. (NIV)

Isaiah 57:1-2
Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die. (NIV)

Jeremiah 1:8
“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. (NIV)

Lamentations 3:25
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; (NIV)

Micah 7:7
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. (NIV)

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (NIV)

Mark 5:36
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (NIV)

Luke 12:7
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (NIV)

John 14:1
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. (NIV)

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (NIV)

John 16:7
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (NIV)

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (NIV)

Hebrews 13:6
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (NIV)

From 

What Does the Bible Say About Drinking Alcohol?.


Beer and Wine

Is Drinking Beer and Wine a Sin?

Photo: John E. Kelly / Getty Images

Is It a Sin to Drink?.

Christians have as many views about drinking alcohol as there aredenominations, but the Bible is abundantly clear on one thing: Drunkenness is a serious sin.Wine was the common drink in ancient times. Some Bible scholars believe the drinking water in the Middle East was unreliable, often polluted or containing harmful microbes. The alcohol in wine would kill such bacteria.While some experts claim wine in Bible times had a lower alcohol content than today’s wine or that people diluted wine with water, several cases of drunkenness are cited in Scripture.

Bad Consequences of Intoxication

From the first book of the Old Testament onward, people who got drunk are condemned as examples of behavior to avoid. In every instance, a bad consequence resulted. Noah is the earliest mention (Genesis 9:21), followed by Nabal, Uriah the Hittite, Elah, Ben-hadad, Belshazzar, and people in Corinth.Verses that denounce drunkenness say it leads to other moral lapses, such as sexual immorality and laziness. Further, drunkenness clouds the mind and makes it impossible to worship God and act in a respectable manner:

Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. (Proverbs 23:20-21, NIV)

At least six major denominations call for total abstinence from alcoholic beverages: theSouthern Baptist ConventionAssemblies of GodChurch of the NazareneUnited Methodist ChurchUnited Pentecostal Church, and Seventh-day Adventists.

Jesus Was Without Sin

Even so, ample evidence exists that Jesus Christ drank wine. In fact, his first miracle, performed at a wedding feast at Cana, was turning ordinary water into wine.According to the writer of Hebrews, Jesus did not sin by drinking wine or at any other time:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15, NIV)

The Pharisees, trying to smear Jesus’ reputation, said of him:

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘ (Luke 7:34, NIV)

Since drinking wine was a national custom in Israel and the Pharisees themselves drank wine, it was not drinking wine they objected to but drunkenness. As usual, their accusations against Jesus were false.

In the Jewish tradition, Jesus and his disciples drank wine at the Last Supper, which was a Passover seder. Some denominations argue that Jesus cannot be used as an example, since Passover and the Cana wedding were special celebrations, in which drinking wine was part of the ceremony.

However, it was Jesus himself who instituted the Lord’s Supper on that Thursday before he was crucified, incorporating wine into the sacrament. Today most Christian churches continue to use wine in their communion service. Some use nonalcoholic grape juice.

No Biblical Prohibition on Drinking Alcohol

The Bible does not prohibit the consumption of alcohol but leaves that choice up to the individual.Opponents argue against drinking by citing the destructive effects of alcohol addiction, such as divorce, job loss, traffic accidents, breakup of families, and destruction of the addict’s health.

One of the most dangerous elements of drinking alcohol is setting a bad example for other believers or leading them astray. The Apostle Paul, especially, cautions Christians to act responsibly so as not to be a bad influence on less mature believers:

Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless-not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. (Titus 1:7, NIV)

As with other issues not specifically spelled out in Scripture, the decision whether to drink alcohol is something each person must wrestle with on their own, consulting the Bible and taking the matter to God in prayer.

In 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, Paul sets down the principle we should use in such cases:

“Everything is permissible”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”-but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (NIV)

(Sources: sbc.netag.orgwww.crivoice.orgarchives.umc.orgManual of United Pentecostal Church Int.; and www.adventist.org.)

From 

Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack’s Bio Page.

The Turning Point in Prayer.


The Turning Point in PrayerPhoto: Marili Forastieri / Getty Images

Discover the Turning Point in Prayer by Observing the Way Jesus Prayed

Prayer is both the most exhilarating and the most frustrating experience in life. When God answers your prayer, it’s a feeling like no other.

You stagger around for days, awestruck because the Creator of the Universe reached down and worked in your life. You know a miracle happened, big or small, and that God did it for just one reason: because he loves you.

When your feet finally touch the ground, you stop bumping into walls long enough to ask a crucial question: “How can I make that happen again?”

When It Doesn’t Happen

So often our prayers don’t get answered the way we want. When that’s the case, it can be so disappointing it drives you to tears. It’s especially hard when you asked God for something undeniably good—someone’s healing, a job, or mending an important relationship. You can’t understand why God didn’t answer the way you wanted.

You see other people getting their prayers answered and you ask, “Why not me?”

Then you start to second-guess yourself, thinking maybe some hidden sin in your life is keeping God from intervening. If you can think of it, confess it andrepent of it. But the truth is that we are all sinners and can never come before God totally free of sin. Fortunately, our great mediator is Jesus Christ, the spotless sacrifice who can bring our requests before his Father knowing God will deny his Son nothing.

Still, we keep looking for a pattern. We think about times we got exactly what we wanted and try to recall everything we did. Is there a formula we can follow to control how God answers our prayers?

We believe praying is like baking a cake mix: follow three simple steps and it comes out perfect every time. Despite all the books that promise such a thing, there is no secret procedure we can use to guarantee the results we want.

The Turning Point in Prayer

With all that in mind, how can we avoid the frustration that commonly accompanies our prayers? I believe the answer lies in studying the way Jesus prayed.

If anybody knew how to pray, it was Jesus. He knew how God thinks because He is God: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30, NIV).

Jesus demonstrated a pattern throughout his prayer life all of us can copy. In obedience, he brought his desires in line with his Father’s.

When we reach the place where we are willing to do or accept God’s will instead of our own, we have reached the turning point in prayer.

Jesus lived that: “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” (John 6:38, NIV)

Choosing God’s will over our own is so hard when we want something passionately. It is agonizing to act as if it doesn’t matter to us. It does matter. Our emotions try to convince us there is no possible way we can give in.

We can submit to God’s will instead of our own solely because God is absolutely trustworthy. We have faith that his love is pure. God has our best interest at heart, and he always does what is most beneficial for us, no matter how it appears at the time.

But sometimes to surrender to God’s will, we also have to cry out as the father of a sick child did to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24, NIV)

Before You Hit Rock Bottom

Like that father, most of us surrender our will to God only after we hit rock bottom. When we have no alternatives and God is the last resort, we grudgingly give up our independence and let him take over. It doesn’t have to be that way.

You can begin by trusting God before things get out of control. He will not be offended if you test him in your prayers. When you have the all-knowing, all-powerful Ruler of the Universe looking out for you in perfect love, doesn’t it make sense to rely on his will instead of your own puny resources?

Everything in this world that we put our faith in has the potential to fail. God does not. He is consistently reliable, even if we do not agree with his decisions. He always leads us in the right direction if we give in to his will.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus said to his Father, “…your will be done.” (Matthew 6:10NIV). When we can say that with sincerity and trust, we have reached the turning point in prayer. God never abandons those who trust him.

It’s not about me, it’s not about you. It’s about God and his will. The sooner we learn that, the sooner our prayers will touch the heart of the One to whom nothing is impossible.

From 

Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack’s Bio Page.

Tag Cloud