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    Living Stone
    devotionals

    Our great peril if we won’t let God answer and remove our doubts!
     
    Each of us is choosing to believe God or doubt God, moment by moment, depending on what or who we are looking at, and the thoughts we are allowing to occupy our minds:
     
    Matt 14:29 So He (Jesus) said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
     
    Peter heard with his heart Jesus speak the word of God. God’s words impart faith, the ability to believe. Peter was thus enabled to walk on the water of God’s word, and to do what Jesus called him to do, which otherwise couldn’t have been done - So too with us:
     
    v. 30 But when he (Peter) saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
     
    When Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked full on at his circumstances, and thought about them with his reasoning faculties, faith died and doubt and fear gained control. He started to drown, but, in a last gasp of faith he cried out to Jesus for help, and he was saved:
     
    v. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
     
    Everything God does requires our believing His word to us, doubt prevents Him from helping us:
     
    James 1:6-7 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
    Heb 10:39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition (destruction, through doubt), but of those who (continue to) believe to the saving of the soul. Jn 20:27 Jesus, “…Do not doubt, but believe.”
     
    We can doubt God, as to whether He exists, or is willing, fair or right. We can also doubt ourselves as to our ability or need to trust and obey God. What or who we look at controls whether our thoughts are of trust or of doubt. All sin causes doubt and doubt leads to fear:
     
    Heb 12:2 Looking (with heart faith) unto Jesus (who is the word of God) the author (source) and finisher (increaser) of our faith… KJV
    Heb 3:12 Take heed (listen with the intent to obey), brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil (sinful) heart of unbelief (doubt), in departing from the living God. Rev 21:8 …the fearful, and unbelieving…
     
    But what about Grace? Grace is God’s word; it can’t work if there isn’t faith to receive it:
     
    Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace... KJV
    Acts 20:32 So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
    Heb 13:9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines (words or thoughts that contradict God’s words). For it is good that the heart be established by grace (God’s words), not with foods (thoughts and words that feed the heart with doubt and falsehoods) which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
     
    As our hearts think on God’s words, or on Satan’s lies, either faith or doubt is produced:
     
    Heb 11:6 But without faith (to receive more grace) it is impossible to please Him...
    Rom 5:17 ...Those who receive (by faith) abundance of grace (God’s words) and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
    Jn 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy (our faith).
     
    Peter began to doubt, but called on Jesus and was saved, so must we or we’ll go down:
     
    Jer 33:3 Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'
     
    When doubting thoughts come, and they will come because that’s what Satan does. He challenges our faith in God by imparting to us doubting thoughts, questioning thoughts, reasoning thoughts, to get us to waiver in our faith. He did this with Eve saying to her “Did God really say...” (Gen 3:1). Our faith is more precious than gold (1 Pe 1:7), we must not allow doubts to fester and so get a hold on us; we must go immediately to God for help:
     
    Phil 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests (questions) be made known to God;
    Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace (by hearing more of His words) to help in time of need.
    Ps 27:14 Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart (with His words that impart faith); Wait, I say, on the LORD!
    Rom 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing of the word of God.
     
    God says those who have let Him make and keep them righteous, live by faith (Heb 10:38) and involve Him and trust Him in all their ways. Doubting thoughts will inevitably come, but most will be quickly overcome by those Christians who receive their daily bread of God’s words and hence keep on growing in faith. Disobedience to God will always give rise to doubt. If doubts can’t be overcome it is imperative for any Christian to quickly eliminate sin, if any, and seek God. For God alone is the source and increaser of our faith (Heb 12:2). God will always be found by every Christian who seeks Him with a pure heart (Jer 29:13, Matt 5:8) and He will give them the exact words that always restore their faith.
     
    But if Christians allow doubts to continue unabated, they will now be given even more doubting thoughts by their merciless adversary, Satan. Doubt will spread like a cancer with its goal of ruining a Christian’s faith in God and the consequential loss of their soul.
     
    Faith is the victory! This overcoming faith comes when we hear God speak with our hearts, not with our heads:
     
    Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind (the human intellect, including that of Christians) is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law (or rule) of God...
    Rom 8:6 Now the mind of the flesh. which is sense and reason without the Holy AMP Spirit, is death, death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin...
    Rom 10:10 For with the heart (which is the spirit) a person believes... AMP
     
    The words God speaks to us are spirit (John 6:63), they are intended to be received by us first in our spirits not the mind of our flesh; to which our spirits will then communicate them:
     
    Prov 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding (your natural ability to reason and doubt, based on what you see); In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
     
    Our faith comes from the words God speaks to our hearts, and works by our love for God:
     
    Gal 5:6 For if we are in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith...working through love. AMP
    Luke 7:47 (Jesus) ...Her sins which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is (thought to have been) forgiven, the same loves little.
     
    Our love for God is increased the same way our faith is, as our hearts receive His words:
     
    1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him...
    2 Thes 3:5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God...(into His word) Jn 1:1 …the word was (is) God…
     
    We Christians are not saved by our works, but we are saved for works! We can easily say we have faith but if our actions don’t correspond to it, we are deluded:
     
    Jam 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works (that reflect that faith)? Can faith save him?
    Jam 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works (to evidence it), is dead.
     
    True faith, “God’s faith”, which is the nature of Christ always desires to obey His Father:
     
    Heb 10:7 (Jesus) …I have come to do your will, O God…, So can you and I if, …I live by the faith of the Son of God… Gal 2:20 KJV
    Rm 1:5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name's sake.
     
    Abraham believed God. Jesus says to us “Have faith in God” it’s the #1 thing in Christianity:
     
    Rom 4:18-21 When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do...He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief (doubt) but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. MSGE/NKJV
    Mark 11:22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God”.
    John 6:29 Jesus replied, This is the work (the service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent, that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger, (and the words He speaks to you) AMP
     
    To be free from ruining doubts we must live in Christ and Christ must increasingly live in us:
     
    To grow in confidence, or faith, toward God requires constant daily fellowship with Him, in the Spirit. And, an ever deepening knowledge of Him through His word as revealed to our spirits by the Holy Spirit. This alone will overcome any doubts about God’s existence or His character that arise, either due to the widespread false doctrines in the Church or due to the often initially perplexing turn of events, or behavior of some people, in everyday life.
     
    John 6:56 (Jesus) He who eats My flesh (continues to receive My words - Jer 15:16) and NKJV drinks My blood (obeys My Spirit 1 Cor 12:13) abides (lives) in Me, and I in him.
    Eph 3:12 In whom (that is, when we live in Christ) we have boldness and access with confidence (and without doubts) by the faith of Him. KJV
     
    God has made provision in every way to build us up in our most holy faith, so let’s cry out to our Father, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Let’s feed and keep on feeding on His Faithfulness! Amen

    Living Stone
    devotionals

    Wrong words defile our hearts, then we can’t see God and all is impure!
     
    God speaks often about the crucial role of our words – how our salvation hinges on them,
     
    Matt 15:11 (Jesus) Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man (or woman); but what comes out of the mouth (our words), this defiles a man.
    Prov 13:3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips will have destruction.
    Matt 12:37 (Jesus) For by your words you will be justified (regarded as innocent) and by your words you will be condemned (regarded as guilty). NKJV 12:37 Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation. MSGE
    Rom 10:10 ...It is by confessing with your mouth (and believing in your heart God’s words) that you are saved. NLT
     
    What kind of words defile us, when we speak them, and instantly separate us from God?
     
    ANGER - Cease from anger, and forsake wrath... Ps 37:8 …the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God… Jam 1:19
    IMPATIENCE - For you have need of patience... Heb 10:36 by the, …Spirit of…patience… Gal 5:22
    PRIDE - Love is very patient and...never boastful or proud, 1 Cor 13:4 TLB Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God 1 Pe 5:6
    DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD - ...That you did not obey My voice. Jer 22:21
    LYING - Do not lie to one another... Col 3:9
    COVERING UP SIN - He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Prov 28:13
    COMPLAINING - Nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 1 Cor 10:10 Do all things without complaining and disputing, Phil 2:14
    UN-FORGIVENESS - For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matt 6:14
    ENVY - ...Envy is rottenness to the bones. Prov 14:30
    RETALIATION - Not returning evil for evil or reviling (bad mouthing) for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing 1 Pe 3:9
    FLATTERY - (False praise for an ulterior motive) ...With flattering lips and a double heart they speak. Ps 12:2
    SELFISHNESS - Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil 2:4
     
    What happens to us the moment we speak words like these that we shouldn’t speak?
     
    Matt 15:11 (Jesus) Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth (our words), this defiles a man.
    Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure...(everything around us will now seem negative)
    Matt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (the impure in heart who have been defiled by their words, can no longer perceive God in the Bible)
    Prov 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it, for death (separation from God) or life (in God). AMP
     
    Unless we allow the Father of righteous words, “All the words of My mouth are righteous” Prov 8:8, to train our lips, to give us the tongue of the learned, our words will constantly fall into one or more of the above categories. We may wonder why we never see God the way some other Christians do. It’s because we pridefully keep control, and decide for ourselves what comes out of our mouth, and in so doing we stay defiled and separated from God by our words. Our own self generated, and influenced by Satan words will condemn us in the Day of Judgment unless we get right with God and allow Him to change us by His Life giving words, so that we stop defiling ourselves.
     
    What role does Satan play in inducing us to speak wrong words? Bigger than we know:
     
    Satan, who is the father of wrong words, “father of lies.” Jn 8:44, wants us to defile our hearts and separate us from God. He or his demons will attempt to feed lying thoughts into our thought lives. Fiery dart thoughts in one or more of the subject areas listed above, to get us to defile ourselves, and potentially defile others:
     
    Ps 39:1 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. KJV
    James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity...it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell (Satan and his demons).
    Prov 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one lets out water (wrong words): therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with (by Satan). KJV
    2 Cor 2:11 Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices (his thoughts – we are to recognize this stranger’s voice and shun it).
     
    Are we all alone in this conflict? Not at all "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 2 Kings 6:16. Who are those with us? God’s Angels, provided we are living in Christ: “Because you have made the LORD...your dwelling place, For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways”. Ps 91:9-10 and “Because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” 1 Jo 4:4.
     
    What do we need to do to insure that we don’t speak wrong words which greatly harm us?
     
    We refuse to be deceived any longer about the enormous significance of our words:
     
    James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.
    Prov 13:3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.
     
    We make it our purpose to never speak words we know to be evil:
     
    Ps 17:3 ...I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
     
    We look to God in child like faith to alert us and preserve us from damaging words:
     
    Ps 141:3 Set a guard O Lord over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.
    2 Thess 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one (Satan with his thought suggestions of wrong words to speak).
     
    We reserve our lips for giving God praise and thanks and for speaking His words:
     
    Ps 71:8 Let my mouth be filled with Your praise And with Your glory all the day.
    Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    Acts 4:29 ...Grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word
     
    We agree that God has ordained that we praise Him, to silence our spiritual enemies:
     
    Matt 21:16 (Jesus) From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise
    Ps 8:2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. NIV
     
    We desire God to keep changing us, by His words and Spirit, to make us Christ-like in heart, and free us from our flesh with its wrong words - often induced by Satan:
     
    2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face (heart), beholding as in a mirror (God’s words) the glory of the Lord (Jesus) are being transformed into the same image (of Christ) from glory to glory (line upon line, verse upon verse), just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
    Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man (including our mouth under the control of our sin nature) was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
     
    We value and believe, maybe for the first time, the words of God about our words.
     
    John 12:48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him - the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
    James 1:21-22 So...humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself. NLT 3
     
    If we are willing to see our need for our heavenly Father to be the Lord of our lips, and present our mouth a living sacrifice to Him, He will work in us to speak His words! Amen

    Living Stone
    devotionals

    How well have you learned to hear your Father’s voice?
     
    God really does have a voice and currently speaks to anyone who can hear Him:
     
    Jer 7:23 (God)…Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people… that it may be well with you.
    Joh 10:27 (Jesus) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
    Heb 3:7-8 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His (God’s) voice, do not harden your hearts…”
     
    Who is your real Daddy, the Father of your spirit – Do you always recognize His voice?
     
    Heb 12:9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits (and the Father of my spirit) and live?
    Jam 1:17 …The Father of lights…(are you one of the Father’s lights?)
    John 8:12 (Jesus) "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (how does His light get into us?)
    2 Pet 1:19 …The prophetic word…which you do well to heed (hear) as a light that shines in a dark place…(Jesus, the word of God, in our hearts is our light)
    Mat 5:14-16 You are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
    Matt 23:9 And don't address anyone here on earth as 'Father', for only God in NLT heaven is your spiritual Father. (Don’t you know your own Father’s voice? What kind of a child doesn’t know his Father’s voice? Only a prodigal child)
     
    Perhaps you have a major (or minor) decision to take, perhaps you are facing a crisis, or perhaps you are troubled by some habit or a relentless pattern of thought – the first question will always be: What does God say? What does your own Father have to say?
     
    Matt 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God (in your heart) and His righteousness (His word is righteousness) and all these things shall be added to you.
     
    Every Christian has personally heard God’s voice at least once. Otherwise they couldn’t have been born again as a Christian:
     
    Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door (of a person’s heart) and knock. If anyone hears My voice (My word) and opens the door (by believing Me), I will come in to him and fellowship with him…That’s how we’re born again
    1 Pet 1:23 Being born again…by (hearing the voice of) the word of God… KJV
     
    Some Christians can recall the very first time God spoke directly to their hearts through a scripture and they were born again – others may not have such a recollection but virtually every Christian has experienced, even if just very occasionally, a scripture seeming to come alive to them, to jump off the page and resonate deep within them. And the words of that particular scripture became to them extremely precious and different from the rest of scripture. That was the voice of God speaking personally to them. Sadly, this hearing God speak, which should happen every day, is for many Christians only a very rare occurrence.
     
    With what part of me can I hear my Father’s voice?
    Matt 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (and they all had natural ears)
     
    Jesus repeats this statement about 14 times in the New Testament, more than any other statement. It must be important. What type of hearing was He talking about? What kind of ears was He referring to? Four times in scripture this answer is given:
     
    Heb 3:7-8 …Today, if you will hear His (God’s) voice, Do not harden your hearts
     
    So, we can only hear God’s voice with our hearts, meaning we can only hear God, who is a spirit, with our own spirits – which is the part of us that He is the Father of.
     
    1 Pet 3:4 But let it be the hidden person of the heart…the beauty of a meek (hearing) and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
    Prov 20:27 The spirit (God uses spirit and heart interchangeably in scripture) of man (or woman) is the lamp (place of illumination, the entrance of His words spoken by His voice brings light) of the LORD...
    Jer 24:7 (your Father speaking) I will give them (you) a heart to know Me…
     
    But even then, we will only hear Him with our hearts if they remain tender and we haven’t allowed them to become hardened. When our hearts become hardened we become dull of hearing or spiritually deaf – we cannot hear God:
     
    Heb 5:11 Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your spiritual hearing… AMP
     
    And what is it that we do that makes us dull of hearing and unable to hear the voice of our Father? Only one thing, which is why our Father wants to keep us from it – sin.
     
    Heb 3:13 Speak to each other about these things every day… so that none of you will become hardened against God, being blinded by …sin. TLB
     
    Is My Father’s voice audible to my natural ear?
     
    We hear God’s voice only with our hearts. The Holy Spirit is the living voice of God. He may speak through the word of God, through another person or directly to me. When He speaks through the word of God, I may be at the time reading it with my natural eyes or hearing it audibly with my natural ears, but the only important question is; are these words silently speaking to my heart? God will always speak to a heart that is tender and meek toward Him, that therefore can hear His voice. All Christian growth, and all Christian ministry, depends on hearing, believing and obeying the voice of God.
     
    Ps 89:15-16 Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound (of God’s voice) They walk, O LORD, in the light of Your countenance (the light of the words you speak). In Your name (your word) they rejoice all day long…
     
    You and I will also face many critical moments in life, the outcome of which will depend entirely on whether we heard and then held fast to what God said to us. These pivotal moments can alter the course of our or other people’s lives. Our loving Father wants us always to hear the wisdom of His words. He even invites us to ask Him in prayer:
     
    Ps 143:8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness (Your loving words) in the morning, For (because) in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For (because) I lift up my soul (my will) to You.
     
    If I can’t hear God speaking to me, am I listening to other voices, completely unaware?
     
    John 10:5 (Jesus) Yet they (My sheep) will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.
     
    If my heart is hard because of sin it is likely that I will not hear the voice of my invisible Father – recognizing it doesn’t have to stay that way one moment longer, for receiving God’s forgiveness will immediately soften my heart. But while it stays hard, there will be other voices from equally invisible beings, called strangers, speaking to me through thoughts. Thoughts, contrary to God, suggesting what I should do and say. I will likely assume that these thoughts are my own, but they are not, they are from evil spirits.
     
    Hearing and knowing God’s voice is something a son or daughter must constantly learn.
     
    It takes time to learn to hear our Father’s voice. But if we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit, who is the voice of God, He will teach us. His “still small voice” is not burdensome and driven. He teaches us with a comforting gentleness, feeding us our daily bread through the words He speaks to our hearts. Initially it will be only at live meetings (where the Holy Spirit is leading) of the Church, then through inspired writings and audios that all teach me how to hear My Father’s voice, both from the Bible, by His Spirit, and directly from the Holy Spirit, all through the day.
     
    John 8:47 (Jesus) He who is of God hears God's words; …
    John 18:37 (Jesus) …Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice
    Rom 8:14 For as many as are led (because they hear His voice) by the Spirit of God, these are the sons (and daughters) of God.
     
    Are you getting to know the voice of your Father? Do you hear Him, through scripture and in direct conversation, better and more clearly this year than last year? Are you, by faith and under His teaching, constantly allowing Him to improve your daily communication with Him?
     
    Praise the Father of our spirits, we have ever increasing faith in Him as we hear His voice speak to our heart through His words! Amen

    Living Stone
    devotionals

    Grace re-defined - it is truly amazing
    1 Tim 1:14 The grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus (no grace, faith or love apart from Jesus Christ).
    John 1:14-16 The Word (Jesus Christ)...from (or out of) His fullness we have all ESV  received, grace upon grace. (Jesus, the word, is the grace of God, hence)
     
    We are being saved, initially by being born again, from sin’s penalty and power, by grace:
     
    Eph 2:8 For by grace you are (being) saved (from sin’s penalty and power) through faith…(since it is through faith that we are being saved by grace, then grace must be something we can believe – yes, it is the word of God – hence) KJV
    Acts 20:24 ...Testify to the gospel of the grace of God (God’s words are His grace, so)
    1 Pe 1:23 Being born again (initial salvation)…by the word of God…(by grace) KJV
     
    Once born again we Christians are intended to, and need to, continually grow in grace:
     
    2 Pe 3:18 But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (how do we grow in grace?)
    1 Per 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, (we grow in grace by believing more of the word of God)
    Acts 20:32 Now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, KJV which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified (freed from sin, made holy, like Christ - by His word)
     
    Grace is multiplied to us, how, through our increasing knowledge, better knowing, of God:
     
    2 Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God... KJV (What exactly is the knowledge - the increased knowing - of God?)
    Prov 2:1-5 My son if you receive my words…then you will...find the knowledge of God (we increase in knowing God as our hearts receive, that is believe, more of His words - in other words by receiving more of God’s grace. Therefore grace is multiplied to us as our hearts receive more of God’s words).
     
    Grace literally means “The gift of God” as in “God giving the gift of Himself”:
     
    Eph 2:8 For by grace you are (being) saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (but isn’t Jesus the gift of God?) KJV
    John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you…” (here Jesus identified Himself as the gift of God)
    Rom 5:15 But the free gift…the grace of God…Jesus Christ…(Jesus, the Word of God, the nature of the Father, is the free gift, that is, He is the grace of God).
    Titus 2:11 For the grace of God (Jesus) has appeared bringing salvation to all men,
    Eph 4:7 But unto every one of us grace is given according to the measure of (in KJV direct proportion to our willingness to receive) the gift of Christ (God’s word).
    Rom 5:17 ...Those who receive abundance of grace (God’s words - Christ) and (abundance) of the gift of righteousness (God’s words - Christ) will reign in life (over their three enemies) by the One, Jesus Christ (God’s word).
     
    Where do we receive this gift of the grace, the word of God, Jesus Christ? In our spirits:
     
    Gal 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
    Philem 25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
    2 Tim 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.
    Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...with grace in your hearts...
     
    Who brings us more of the grace of God, the word of God, Jesus? The Spirit of grace:
     
    Heb 10:29 ...The Spirit of grace.
    John 16:13 ...The Spirit of truth... Your word is truth (Jo 17:17) The Spirit of the word.
    Rom 8:9 ...The Spirit of Christ...(God’s Spirit brings us the grace, word, Christ of God)
     
    Based on this can we now re-define Grace? Yes, and it is way more than unmerited favor:
     
    Grace is God’s progressive gift of Himself to us, brought to us by His Spirit in His living words as our hearts believe them. And since Jesus Christ is the living word of God:
     
    Jesus Christ is God’s Grace, the ongoing free gift of the nature of God, to anyone whose heart believes more of His Holy Spirit breathed words.
     
    God’s First Covenant with the Human Race:
     
    LAW is the word of God - without the Holy Spirit:
    It is understandable by the human intellect. But it is the strength of sin (1Co 15:56) because human nature can’t keep it.
     
    God’s New Covenant with the Human Race – and which replaces the First Covenant:
     
    GRACE is the word of God (as law is) – but now made living by the Holy Spirit:
    It is understandable first, only by the re-born human spirit, that is, the heart. It is the impartation of the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ needed for salvation.
     
    Eph 2:8 For by grace (living words, the nature of Christ) you are (being) saved (made like Christ) through faith (as we believe them in our hearts, our spirits)
    Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but only such words as are good for building others up (spiritually, in the knowledge of God) that they (your words) may (by God’s Spirit) impart grace (Christ) to the hearers.
     
    God bless you, and may…
     
    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all… (2 Cor 13:14)

    Living Stone
    devotionals

    When I blow it – God longs to quickly restore me
     
    God’s door – it’s always open to me
     
    When I’m:
    -Seething with anger, resentment and unforgiveness, or
    -Wallowing in self-pity and seeking sympathy, or
    -Pouting with pride and self-justification, or
    -Overcome with guilt and self-loathing falsely believing this is humility, And therefore I’m unhappy, troubled and with a totally dark and negative outlook on everything and I suddenly realize where I am – in a pit – I should:
     
    Go to God immediately and nowhere else, for He will always lovingly cleanse and deliver me from my anger, self-pity, pride and guilt, and the misery of them. He will completely change my perspective on my circumstances and on people to one that is positive, light and peaceful so restoring my happiness and confidence in Him.
     
    Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
    Hebrews 13:5&6 ...For He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.

    So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man can do to me.
    The more I do this, going directly to God when I’ve messed up and I’m in trouble, the more it becomes a good habit and the easier and quicker I’m able to do it. God’s love for me never changes, never diminishes, His welcome is unwavering no matter what I’ve said or done I can never wear it out. If He wants me to extend forgiveness to others at least seven times seventy times what do you think the extent of His forgiveness towards me is – limitless. Remember the prodigal son; he messed up big time, what happened when he turned back to his father (a symbol of God our Father)?
     
    Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
    Jeremiah 31:3 (God speaking)...Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love:
     
    God will never not forgive me – I really need to know that.
     
    Whenever I go to Him, after stumbling, and spend time quietly alone with Him my determination should be that I’m not going to leave until He has made me right again. I seek Him with my whole heart knowing that He can always be found. I am instantly and sincerely ready to say I’m sorry for any and all the wrongs I may have done, because I know that Jesus purchased my forgiveness at Calvary by taking those sins I just committed on Himself. I am completely unafraid of God’s reproof or correction or instruction because He does it by His Spirit through His word and, since He is love, He always does it in love.
     
    I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    I Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree...
    II Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    I John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love;...
     
    When I go to Him He never fails to restore me to peace and to cause a morsel of scripture to come alive to my heart and thereby to strengthen, comfort and establish me. It is very safe always to go to God when I’m in trouble, He never turns me away and He always blesses and refreshes me.
     
    John 6:37 ...He who comes to me I will by no means cast out.
     Acts 3:19 ...When the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
     
    My enemy doesn’t want me to go to God,
    When I yield to temptation and sin, be it pride, anger, self-pity or whatever, it wasn’t God that tempted me, it was Satan who the Bible describes as the tempter. Having then successfully tempted me it is Satan again who heaps accusing and condemnation thoughts on me for what I’ve just done. Part of that condemnation will always include how I do not deserve to be forgiven (as if forgiveness was on the basis of what I deserve) and therefore I shouldn’t even think about going to God. This thought coupled with the fact that I may not “feel” like going to God, because my flesh may want to savor its anger, pride or self-pity, keeps many believers from a quick recovery and they remain captives. These lying thoughts and feelings can only be overcome if my heart is established in the truth that God wants me to come to Him regardless, and if I then act on the truth instead of the lie.
     
    James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man:
    1 Cor. 7:5 ...That Satan tempt you not...
    Rom. 8:34 Who is he that condemns, is it Christ that died...?
    1 Tim. 3:6 ...lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
     
    Of course if the enemy of my soul can trick me (that’s what “wiles of the devil” means) into believing that God was responsible for my fall with a thought such as “why did you let this happen to me God?” then Satan really has me in a headlock. Not only am I not going to God to free me, but now I have a resentment against God, the very worst thing a Christian can possibly do. Once again, it is only my knowing the truth in my heart that God always desires to either lead me away from temptation or sustain me in and deliver me from the temptation that will keep me from this awful snare of the devil.
     
    Mat. 6:13(God wants me to pray and believe daily) And do not lead me into temptation (so that He can then always lead me out of it).
    1 Cor. 10:13 There is no temptation that has taken you that isn’t common to man but God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able to bear, but will along with the temptation also make a way of escape that you might be able to bear it.
    Hebrews 2:18 For in that He (Jesus) Himself has suffered being tempted, He is able to aid (assist and relieve) those who are tempted.
     
    I am in a war, the battle is in my thought life & it’s only winnable through God,
    Whether we know it or like it or not we Christians are constantly engaged in warfare and it’s a thought warfare. Unless I know the truth in my heart, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is always good to me, always does the right thing, will always take care of me and can be utterly trusted, then I will be dead meat in the hands of my enemy. I will inevitably fall easy prey to the fiery darts of the character assassinating thoughts he gives me about God. Oh but when I believe in the unchanging goodness of God, turn quickly towards Him in my heart when trouble comes and stay anchored to the truth of His word, then the devil is dead meat and runs away in fear.
     
    Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles (deceiving thoughts) of the devil.
    Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (people), but against ...wicked spirits...
    Psa. 27:13 I would have lost heart (and given up the fight) unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord...
    Psalms 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.
    James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
     
    When I know who my enemy is, it’s easier to always forgive people, as I should.
    Pride, anger and self-pity always come with contention, hostility and resentment towards other people, which will remain as invisible prison bars, with me the prisoner, until I forgive everyone of everything. This forgiveness is made easier when I understand that Christian people (me included) often do and say things contrary to their true nature when their thoughts, words and deeds are to varying degrees under the influence of wicked spirits. Unsaved people, according to the Bible, are unknowingly, by virtue of their being unsaved, much more heavily influenced by demons. It would be foolish of me to expect godly behavior from an unsaved and therefore ungodly person. Yes, as the scripture in Ephesians quoted above says, my fight is really not with people but with the spirits behind the people.
     
    Eph. 2:2-3 ...Following the prince of the power of the air (you were (Amp. Version) obedient to him and under his control) the demon spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience...among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves...
     
    When these realities are combined with the fact that the one who extended mercy towards me and my sins, requires and will enable me to extend the same mercy to others, then granting forgiveness becomes both desirable and achievable. Especially since the alternative, of harboring unforgiveness towards another, forfeits my own forgiveness from God.
     
    Mat. 10:8 ...Freely you have received (forgiveness) freely give
    Eph. 4:32 ...Forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.
    Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
    Mat. 6:15 But If you do not forgive men (everyone of every thing) their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
     
    The same spirits that may have induced a person to wrong me will endeavor, through thoughts, to induce me to not forgive them. If I am to remain free I must come down on the side of God’s truth, knowing that He will empower me to do so, and, regardless of my feelings or even if the person is not sorry, forgive them.
     
    After I’ve blown it and God has restored me,
     
    When I’m restored and learning to live more at peace in the spirit than in the flesh and troubled, it would be wise for me to let God start to strengthen my heart with His word in the area(s) of my weakness. Whether that weakness is anger, self-pity, pride, condemnation or whatever God not only will restore me when I fall but better yet His living words in my heart will literally change me so that I’m no longer vulnerable to falling in the same pit over and over again. Under the New Covenant God no longer requires that I measure up through self-effort and will power to His standard of right behavior, no, He offers to change my nature and actually make me more like Jesus. How, through planting individual scriptures in my heart as living seeds – these words of His in me are alive and very powerful and are the exclusive way God transforms a Christian into the image and likeness of His Son.
     
    Heb. 4:12 The word of God is alive and powerful...
    1 Thes.2:13 ...The word of God which works mightily also in you that believe
    2Cor 3:18 But we all...are being changed into the same image (of Jesus)
    Rom.8:29 ...To be conformed to the image of His Son...
     
    Scriptures, any one of which, if in my heart, will change my nature,
     
    Anger: The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger; and it is to his glory to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:11
    Self-pity: For consider Him that endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. Hebrews 12:3
    Pride: Only by pride comes contention (arguing and quarreling).. Prov.13:10
    Guilt: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Rom. 8:1
     
    God bless you

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