Devotional

Leave the Fighting to God

For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. – Deuteronomy 20:4 My husband, Johnny, loves history. He once asked me if I knew why the first movies during World War II always depicted the Japanese as our enemies, even though we were at war against both Germany and Japan?  When I didn’t know the answer, as I usually don’t, he said, “Because the Japanese looked different. If the movies showed us fighting the Germans, we would have looked too much alike.” As I looked at this verse, I was reminded of yesterday’s history lesson and what I could learn from it. Today, most of my enemies probably look a lot like me and much of the time, my greatest enemy is me. The greatest danger in trying to fight my enemies instead of allowing God

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Enslavement

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. – JOHN 15:5 As a new First Place for Health member, walking with my husband one afternoon, I shared how overwhelmed I felt trying to fit all my daily First Place for Health responsibilities into one day. When my husband tried to encourage me, he paused to find the exact word, ” Just do the best you can and don’t worry about doing all those….” “Enslavements!” I blurted out. The surprise and irony of that word popping out of my mouth made us laugh, though I felt a little sheepish about being so negative. Moments later, the realization struck that this was God’s word choice. He was revealing to me that my expectation of perfect obedience was enslaving me. I was

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Uprooting the Heart

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3 :1-2 As a professional counselor, I have visited the hearts and minds of countless individuals. It’s important for me to know how a person feels and thinks before I can identify, with help from God, the root or source of the person’s wounds and then help him or her heal. In the same way, the Lord desires to uproot the areas of our hearts and minds that bear rotten or painful fruit—or perhaps no fruit at all. Our God is passionate for us to have a thriving garden in our hearts and minds. If our minds are focused on our problems, our failures, our weaknesses or our inabilities, we will produce the fruit of doubt

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Guarding Your Heart

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. – Proverbs 4:23 My Bible concordance defines the heart as “the vital center of one’ s being, emotions, and sensibilities”. My commentary goes on tell me that “ our heart – our feelings of love and desire – dictates to a great extent how we live because we always find time to do what we enjoy”. Scripture teaches that the heart is the “dwelling place of the Holy Spirit living within me.” We are God’s temple and what comes out of our mouth reveals who resides in our heart! As I was studying my First Place lesson, and this verse, I was reminded how important it is to guard our hearts against negative thoughts and people who are always negative. I find when I am continually around negative people I will begin to think what they are

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