Change Not Spared

Help Me! I Need To Change My Life! • Devotional
https://bible.com/reading-plans/10498/day/4?segment=0

The Fight for Change –

So many people know they have to change, something’s gotta give, but they just don’t know how.

It starts with a sincere desire.

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 says,

Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (NKJV)

I like the New International Version:

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:16‭-‬18 NIV

https://bible.com/bible/111/2co.3.16-18.NIV

Christianity is a lifestyle more than a religion but if anyone insists on calling it a religion it is an ‘unveiled’ religion.

The veil represents the things that hold us back from change; things like fear, guilt, unbelief and so on.

But the good news is that when you are in Christ, when you open up, ask, and allow HIM to live in you, you are being transformed – changed –

like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

We cannot see ourselves the way God sees us, nevertheless we must allow ourselves to change.

It is a process of progress – we are works in progress.

We can trust God with the transformation of our life because He has the blueprint for our own unique design.

So, how does God change us? He does it in three ways:

  1. by the renewing of our mind,
  2. by the Holy Spirit and
  3. by His grace.

The key is to allow His transformation to work in your life.

We are saved by grace but we are changed by choice.

We have to deliberately continue to make right choices, every day, one after the other, aligning our lives with His plan and purpose for us.

There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself. (Heb 13:7-8 MSG)

Our one hope is in the One Who never changes, Jesus.

That’s why our hope of change is to become consistently more like Him.

Look one more time at 2 Corinthians 3:16‭-‬18 MSG from The Message

Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face!

They suddenly recognize that

God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone.

And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete.

We’re free of it! All of us!

Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face.

And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
2 Corinthians 3:16‭-‬18 MSG
https://bible.com/bible/97/2co.3.16-18.MSG

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1‭-‬2 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/rom.12.1-2.NIV

Credit:

This is inspired from Day 4 of the @YouVersion plan ‘Help Me! I Need To Change My Life!’. Check it out here:
http://bible.com/r/2jK

Now for an old Christian Classic Rock fav. of mime “Constantly Changing” by the band Jerusalem:

Evidence of Image

The following is just part of an 8 day reading plan called, “Glory Revealed.”

Today’s reading especially touched my heart so I wanted to share it here:

It is evident in scripture that God is passionately pursuing humanity in hope of us seeing who He is.

This passion is seen clearly in Jesus Christ, the Son of God coming into the world, clothed in flesh, revealing the very heart and nature of God.

  • Everything he did,
  • every step,
  • every word,
  • every miracle,
  • every moment,

further displaying the glory of God.

Whatever questions we have about God and who He is, all we need to do is look to Jesus, the Son, and we see clearly the perfect image of the Father.

Jesus wasn’t afraid to:

  • wade into the sea of fallen humanity, to
  • live with us, to
  • touch us and
  • talk with us, to
  • know our pain and
  • feel our sorrow, and
  • ultimately, to
  • take it all on as His own.

We can be sure of this, God is not far off, He is close, He is personal and has arms wide open to us all.

Personal note,

“Don’t confuse daily struggles and personal pain with God’s nearness. Regardless of how difficult life is God is always close by.”

Reading His Word daily is what feeds my relationship and understanding of who He is to me.

Inspired from,

Glory Revealed • Devotional
https://bible.com/reading-plans/14937/day/5?segment=0

Full & Overflowing

I’ll never forget this object lesson.

The objects were:

  • a cup,
  • a saucer,
  • a pitcher, and
  • water in the pitcher

The action:

Water was poured into the cup to the point of over flowing, running over the cup and caught by the saucer.

The full cup is lifted slowly and put to the side. The saucer is raised slowly, full of water.

The point/lesson:

We are the cup. The water is what we have and what we offer others (God’s Holy Spirit) The full saucer is what we share. Our cup, our lives, can be filled with all God has to offer. We go to Him to not only fill up but to have enough to share. Rather than emptying ourselves (the cup) and having nothing left to share we share what overflows (the saucer).

Inspired from:

Day 1 of the @YouVersion plan ‘Being Filled With God’s Love’. Check it out here:
http://bible.com/r/3Gw

That includes a type of guided meditation time.

On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out,

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.”

(He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)
John 7:37‭-‬39 MSG

Filled up and overflowing.

Brim and spill out, Beetle

Faithfulness Independent of our Doubt

God’s faithfulness isn’t based on our doubt

Heart Behind the Music “TRUTH I’m Standing On” Leanna Crawford

Lyric video:

Devotional thought by Leanna Crawford:

Day 1: Stand On God’s Faithfulness

I have a distinct memory of learning how to ride my bike: the moment when my dad removed the training wheels; I was ready to race down the driveway!

Instead of reaching a speed of a cheetah (my favorite animal at the time), I lost my balance and started to fall. But the moment before I hit the ground, I felt these tree trunk-sized arms catch me and lift me back onto my bike. It was my dad. There he was, blocking the sun out of my face while looking down at me, smiling. He laughed and said,

“Try again.”

In seconds, I was peddling off, only to fall again. Each time, my dad was there, catching me always at just the right moment; over and over again.

Of course, as a little girl I was afraid of falling, but I also trusted that when my dad was near me, I would be okay. I had faith he would catch me.

Since learning to ride my bike, I’ve fallen down a lot in life. Growing up in church, I learned I should trust God is faithful when I fall. I even have a dad who showed me an example of God’s love and faithfulness but I still find myself doubting and wondering if God cares enough to catch me.

What if He’s tired of me because I keep messing up? What if He’s had enough of me making the same mistakes again and again?

Thankfully, God isn’t that way.

He doesn’t get frustrated or annoyed, and

He doesn’t base His faithfulness on my doubt.

So, if you’re like me and sometimes you doubt that God will come through, you’re not alone; you and I are in good company because God’s got us.

GOD’S GOT US

When I find myself in a season of doubt, I often think about the story of Peter walking on water to meet Jesus (Matthew 14:22-33 listed below). Peter had seen Jesus do countless miracles with his own two eyes. Peter even said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”

AND YET,

when Jesus asked Peter to walk out to Him, “Come.” Peter had a moment of doubt.

Did Jesus stand there and watch as Peter started to sink into the raging sea? No. Immediately Jesus pulled Peter out of the water and lifted him into the boat. Peter doubted, yet God was faithful.

We can always stand on His faithfulness.

OUR PART is to spend time with Jesus in reflection and prayer. That leads to trusting Him more and more.

Scripture:

In 2nd Thess. 3:3 the Greek word for faithful is the same word used in the Old Testament where is is written,

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Deuteronomy 7:9 ESV

2 Thess. 3:3

Account of Jesus and Peter walking on the water:

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:22‭-‬33 ESV

Also note: Peter was the only one to get out of the boat, stand, sink, rescued, stand again, and walk with Jesus on the water with and for Christ’s sake.

Short reading plan by Leanna Crawford’s Truth I’m Standing On:
http://bible.com/r/59w

Acoustic version of song:

This tune came to my mind after reading and adding to this devoted thought:

Song of prayer:

Blessings Depend On OUR Choices.

I wrote an article about Free will and used a song by the band Rush with the same name (Free Will ).

I thought back to that post as I read part of today’s reading plan (Blessed • Devotional
https://bible.com/reading-plans/3422/day/2?segment=0)

Here is what day 2. Shared:

“Blessing”

“Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who fears (reveres and worships) the Lord” is the way the Amplified Bible (AMPC) translates the first verse of Psalm 112.
Throughout the Bible, God consistently promises to bless His people, but His blessing also depends on our choices.

Ya hear that? Stop to think for a moment about that,

His blessing also depends on our choices.

God puts two clear choices before people: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Think back to Adam & Eve. They ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament contains a list of blessings and a list of curses which were directly linked to whether one chose to obey or disobey the commandments of the Lord.

You can read these in Deuteronomy 28:1-14, but understand that to choose life with God is to choose a blessed life.

God’s will is always to bless you, but if you think His blessing is entirely for you, you are missing the point.

The blessing of God in your life should go well beyond your own existence.

God told Abraham that He would bless him, but the purpose of blessing him went far beyond his own life.

This is what God said:
“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2).

The purpose of God’s blessing is to enable you to be a great channel of blessing to others. If you have nothing, there is nothing you can do for anyone else; if you have a little, you can only help a little; but if you have plenty, there is a whole lot you can do.

When you are blessed, you have a mighty foundation from which to impact others.
You are blessed to be a blessing.

YOUR SPHERE OF LIFE
God’s will is to bless you, so set your heart to honor Him in every portion of your day.

Choose life, and be a blessing to the people God has placed around you in your sphere of influence!

Extra:

Free Will https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/bigger-moving-picture-freewill/

Go with God, Beetle

Painful Experiences = Powerful Passion.

Today I took a look at Day 4 of the 5 day @YouVersion plan ‘Different’

Check out the full 5 days here:
http://bible.com/r/1AP

Today was about our different thinking as believers in Christ.

The plan started off with this core thought,

Physical and emotional pain have a way of changing our brains.

It goes on to explain,

“It’s why getting burned changes how we think about fire. It’s how a difficult diagnosis changes a lifestyle, often creating passionate advocates in the fight for a cure.”

When painful realities enter our bodies, or the bodies of people we love, those painful realities change our thinking forever.

It all come back to perspective.

Peter experienced this firsthand, especially as it related to his thoughts about suffering.

In Matthew 16, Jesus predicted His own suffering and death. Peter then took Jesus aside and basically reprimanded Him! Then, Jesus looked at Peter, and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me.

You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” (Matthew 16:23 NLT)

Wow. Later, as Peter watched Jesus suffer through the crucifixion, he denied Him, fearing for his own life. Yet, something about these painful experiences changed Peter.

  • Painful experiences often lead to powerful passion.

When Peter wrote about suffering in 1 Peter 4:1, he wrote as a man with a new outlook on suffering.

Looking inwardly will help change our outlook of things.

When Peter described suffering, he used the same word, páschō, that Jesus had used with him in Matthew 16.

Peter used this same word throughout 1 Peter, and it’s where we get the modern word “passion.”

Páschō is why we refer to Jesus’ trial, crucifixion, and resurrection as the Passion.

  • Painful experiences often lead to powerful passion.

Jesus’ physical pain, His páschō, should be the basis of our passion.

Jesus’ death and resurrection has the ultimate power to change our thinking, and in turn change our behavior.

This is why Peter started his fourth chapter like this, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.” (1 Peter 4:1 NIV)

Done with sin.

That’s what the Passion of Jesus can do.

As believers we are able to continue to mature, develope and reach a point, step by step, where were are ready to just be done with sin our lives.

Christ’s Spirit comes in, lays on our hearts, covers us with His love, grace, and mercy, and slowly but surely we become more like Christ. We desire what He desires more than just the things we desire.

The Holy Spirit has a way of helping us see certain injustice and he spurs us on, ready to fight against those things.

Day by day, moment by moment we are given the opportunity to ask God to show us how Jesus’ physical pain and passion can change our thinking, giving us the resolve to be done with sin.

We are able to ask God to show us how to pray for people around the world who are suffering physical and emotional persecution for their faith.

Finally, if we are persecuted for our faith, may we know that we have company in our páschō with Jesus.

Here are a few focus words that will help form a personal prayer. Don’t try to use proper grammer, big lofty words, sentences or paragraphs just look at these words and phrases as we let The Holy Spirit read our minds, our thoughts, the deepest desires in the core of who we are. Think on these things:

The suffering Jesus went through.

Passion he showed

Christ whole mission.

His display of love.

Being set free from sin.

Our reason to live.

Our purpose.

God’s plan.

The present comfort and help to people who are persecuted for their faith.

In Christ name and for His sake, Amen.

Go with God right up until the end, beetle.

Please note:

Today’s post is part of Day 4 of the 5 day @YouVersion plan ‘Different’

Check out the full 5 days here:
http://bible.com/r/1AP

Here is the scriptures focused on for today:

Matthew 16:21‭-‬23 EASY
After this, Jesus began to explain everything to his disciples . He told them,

‘I must go to Jerusalem. There, people will cause me to have great pain. The important Jews , the leaders of the priests , and the teachers of God’s Law will hurt me. Then people will kill me. But three days later, God will cause me to become alive again.’

Then Peter took Jesus away from the other disciples . He began to tell Jesus that he must not say things like that.

‘No, Lord ! God will never let this happen to you!’ he said to Jesus.

Jesus turned round and said to Peter,

‘ Satan , go away from me! I must obey God. But you are trying to stop me. Your thoughts do not come from God. Instead, you are thinking like men think.’
Matthew 16:21‭-‬23 EASY
https://bible.com/bible/2079/mat.16.21-23.EASY

1 Peter 4:1‭-‬19 EASY
Christ had trouble and pain while he lived in his body. So, you should prepare yourselves to have trouble and pain too.

Think about it in the same way that Christ did.

Then you will be strong. If someone has trouble and pain in his body, he no longer wants to do wrong things. As a result, that person will want to do what God wants him to do. While he continues to live in his body, he will not want to do the bad things that people often want to do.

You have already done those kinds of bad things for long enough.

The people who do not know God like to live in that way. In past times, you also did those bad things. You did many wrong things that your bodies wanted to do.

You had sex in a wrong way. You were drunks. You went to many wild parties where you drank too much alcohol. You worshipped idols , and God hates that.

The people who do not know God are surprised that you no longer live in that bad way.

They continue to enjoy those bad things all the time. But you do not join with them.

So they say bad things against you. But those people will have to explain to God what they have done. He is ready to judge every person, whether they are alive now or they have already died.

This is why even dead people needed to hear the good news about Christ.

Their bodies had to die, as all people must die. But they heard the good news so that their spirits could live, as God wants them to live.

All things in this world will soon come to an end. So, you must think clearly. Then you will be able to pray in a serious way. Continue to love each other very much. That is more important than anything else. If you love people, you will forgive them for any wrong things that they have done. Always be happy to have other believers as visitors in your homes. God has helped each of you in a certain way. You should use that gift from God well, so that you can help other people. Think carefully about how you do that.

Remember that God has given many different gifts to his people so that they can serve him.

  • Has God helped you to speak well? Then speak God’s messages to people. Or
  • has God helped you to serve other people? Then let God make you strong to do that.
  • Do everything so that people will praise God. They will say that God is great, because of Jesus Christ. He is the one who has all authority and power always.
  • Everyone should praise him! Amen ! This is true!

My friends, I know that people are causing you to have bad trouble. It is like a fire that is burning you. Do not be surprised about that. These things are happening to you, to show whether you really trust God. So do not think that something strange is happening to you. Instead, thank God when you have trouble. Remember that Christ also received much pain.

If you have trouble like he did, then you will be happy when he returns.

When everyone sees how great Christ really is, then you will thank God, and you will be very happy.

People may say bad things against you because you belong to Christ. But God will bless you when that happens. It shows that God’s Spirit is with you.

He is the Spirit who shows that God is really great.

But if you receive pain because you do wrong things, that is only right. You must not kill anyone. You must not rob anyone. You must not do bad things to other people. You must not cause other people to have trouble. If you do bad things like that, then they are right to punish you.

But if you receive trouble because you are a Christian, do not be ashamed about that. Instead, you should thank God that you belong to Christ.

The time has come when God will start to judge people. He will decide what should happen to everyone. He will first judge the people who belong to him. Since he will start with us, think about what will happen to other people! They have refused to obey God’s good news. In the end, it will be very bad for them. Is that not true? The Bible says: ‘When God saves people who are good, it is difficult for that to happen. So, think about the people who refuse to obey God. It will surely be much worse for those bad people.’

So remember this. If you receive trouble because that is what God wants, you should trust him.

God made you and he always does what he has promised. So you should continue to do what is good, and you should continue to trust him.
1 Peter 4:1‭-‬19 EASY https://bible.com/bible/2079/1pe.4.1-19.EASY

Primary Motivators

Discern the essential from the nonessential.

And

primary motivators

I just finished day 1 of the @YouVersion plan ‘The Ministry Of Excellence’. Check it out here:
http://bible.com/r/3dS

Here is a part of it:

Excellence in All Things

One of my favorite descriptions of Jesus comes from Mark 7:37 where it says “People were overwhelmed with amazement. ‘He [Jesus] has done everything well.’”

As followers of Christ, this passage should give us great pause.

So, pause

Selah

Reflect

Imagine

Seeking to imitate Jesus in every way imaginable.

The fact is that all of us have areas of our lives where we are falling short of Jesus’s excellent standard.

I think this is truer today than ever before.

Why?

Because now more than ever, we believe the lies that we have to do it all, be it all, and have it all. We are overcommitted, overwhelmed, and overstressed, making a millimeter of progress in a million directions because we fail to discern the essential from the nonessential in our work and in our homes. This is a recipe for mediocrity, not excellence, and I would argue the problem is epidemic in the Church today.

Truly, anything less than excellence falls short of the standard we Christians have been called to.

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul writes,

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

The late great pastor Dr. James Kennedy used to paraphrase this passage, calling his congregation to “excellence in all things and all things to God’s glory.”

That is the standard we are called to.

There are many good reasons to pursue excellence in all things, especially in our chosen work.

Excellence in our vocations advances our careers, makes us winsome to the world, grants us influence, and can lead to opportunities to share the gospel.

But none of these good things should be the primary motivators for us as we pursue excellence in our work and the other roles God has called us to fulfill in our lives.

We pursue excellence for a much more fundamental purpose—because excellence is how we best reflect the character of Christ and love and serve our neighbors as ourselves.

In other words, excellence is our most everyday form of ministry.

Glorify God and love others well through whatever you do.

Romans 12:1‭-‬3 MSG

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:

Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.

Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.

Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you.

Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No,

God brings it all to you.

The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what HE does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
Romans 12:1‭-‬3 MSG
https://bible.com/bible/97/rom.12.1-3.MSG

Discern the essential from the nonessential.

And our

primary motivators.