A Letter of Encouragment From God’s Word

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Dear Chosen One, holy and beloved,

I know the plans I have for you. These plans are to prosper you and not to harm you. These plans I have for you are to give you hope and a future. Commit your way to Me; trust in Me, and I will act on your behalf. Trust in Me with all your heart. Don’t depend on your own understanding. Seek My will in all you do, and I will show you which path to take.

Be humbled, therefore, under My mighty hand, that I may exalt you at the right time. And cast all your cares on Me, for I am the One Who takes care of you.

You are My masterpiece! I have created you anew in Christ Jesus, so you can do the good things I planned for you long ago. For I formed your inward parts; I knitted you together in your mother’s womb. Even before a word is on your tongue I know every one of them. I hem you in, behind and before, and lay My hand upon you. I saw you before you were born. Every day of your life was recorded in My book; Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

I will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong. You shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

Oh beloved, I establish your steps, when you delight in My way. Even though you stumble, you will never fall, for I hold you by the hand. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which I have prepared for you because you love Me. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. I will fulfill My purpose for you; My steadfast love endures forever. I will not forsake the work of My hands!

The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand!”

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, Beloved. Behold, it was for your welfare that you had great bitterness; but in love I have delivered your life from the pit of destruction, for I have cast all your sins behind My back. Be confident of this very thing, that I have begun a good work in you and will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ! I will keep you in perfect peace if you stay your mind on Me, because you trust in Me.

Do not be ashamed, oh chosen one: for you know Whom you have believed in. Be strongly persuaded – I am able to keep that which you have committed unto Me against that day.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.Trust in Me forever, for  I AM the everlasting rock.

I AM faithful. I will establish you, and keep you from evil. I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me.

I AM the Alpha and the Omega–the beginning and the end, I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come ~ the Almighty One.

Col. 3:12, Jeremiah 29:11 NIV, Ps 139:4-5ESV, Ps 139:13 ESV, Ps 139:16NLT, Ps 32:8 ESV, 1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV, Proverbs 23:18 NIV, Eph 2:10 NLT, Isaiah 14:24 ESV, Isaiah 55:8ESV, Ps 138:8 ESV, Isaiah 38:17 ESV, Isaiah 26:3 ESV, Phil 1:6 KJV, 2 Tim 1:12 KJV, Ps 37:5 ESV, Pro 3:5-6 NLT, 1 Peter 5:6-7 ABPE, Isaiah 58:11 ESV, Jer 31:3ESV, Isaiah 26:4, 2 Thess. 3:3 KJV, Rev 1:8 NLT, 2 Cor 6:18

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We Aren’t a Free Nation, We’re a Passive Nation

I don’t hear it as much anymore because I avoid the Christian forums filled with people waving the American flag and chanting “God Bless America – the land of the free!”

They read about persecuted Paul and Peter and thank God for a country that doesn’t throw people in jail for standing up for righteousness. They look with pity and prayers upon Vietnam and the Christians who get beaten for their faith, and say, “I’m sure glad that doesn’t happen to us here in America”, as they sip their Starbucks latte in between filling out their tax forms and watching the latest political scandals on the news.

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The Bible promises persecution will come to those who stand for righteousness Matthew 24:9, but I think American Christians have it all figured out…if we don’t make waves, we can skip that step. We can believe Jesus Christ died to save us, we can go to church and worship all we want, we can pray in public, read our Bible and even talk about it with anyone we like. That’s free, right?

Let’s just overlook the fact that our taxes go to support murder, abortion, homosexuality, evildoers, covetousness, unrighteous wars, and the demoralization and depravity of mankind. Because, if we stopped supporting all these sins by not paying taxes, we’d go to jail.

Let’s not think about the corrupt politicians who make more and more laws that expressly go against God’s Holy Law and Order. Or the people they put in power to enforce those laws with guns and violence. Because, if we stood up and told these people that government is not God and that God is our only government, we’d go to jail.

Let’s be good little citizens and make sure all our papers are in order knowing it goes against the laws of the land to not get a birth certificate, a social security number, a driver’s license, a marriage certificate, a death certificate, and the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:17). After all, we wouldn’t want to deprive the US Government of using us as collateral for the national debt, would we? Nor do we want to go to jail for not having any of the above.

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You know, Christians, if we don’t stand up against injustice, immoral practices, and evil people, well, we won’t get persecuted! That’s a comfortable thought, isn’t it? We can just keep going along to get along; keep taking the next tiny step toward complete communism and utter serfdom and keep lying to ourselves that we are free.

Does that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?  I hope not, because…

We aren’t free, Christians, we are passive.

We aren’t being persecuted because we aren’t making a stand against the corrupt, ungodly, evil world. We’re hiding. Hoping and praying it won’t touch us. Closing our eyes, plugging our ears and going about our merry way. We don’t want to know what is really happening.

As nice as it sounds to be blissfully ignorant, news flash, people, it won’t save us. Someday we’ll either have to make a stand for Christ and righteousness and be persecuted for it, or we will keep giving in to the evil until we suddenly find ourselves swallowed up by it.

Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Timothy 3:12

But…

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

I don’t want persecution any more than the you do. I dread the thought of walking the path of pain and suffering that Corrie Ten Boom, John Bunyan, Paul, Peter, and Christ did. I long to be taken from this dark, dark place, but there’s a reason I’m here and there’s a reason you’re here. That reason is only God and His grace.

It’s only by His grace that we can put off this passivity and stand for Him, for His righteousness, for His Kingdom…

…And let the chips fall where they may.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31:6

Renewing Your Mind

I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.Psalm 119:59

Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.Eph. 4:22-24

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:2

I’ve talked a lot about making choices on this blog – choosing joy, choosing our attitudes…

Well, here’s what it all boils down to – choosing our thoughts.

To be honest, I never seriously thought that we could really control what we think and how we act until I watched an interview that Joyce Meyers did with the author of Who Switched Off My Brain? – Dr. Caroline Leaf – titled Your Brain and You, Part One and Two.

I was blown away by the scientific research that Dr. Caroline Leaf has done showing that it is physically possible to “take every thought captive” and “renew your mind”. And, did you know thoughts can make you ill?

“A thought may seem harmless but if it becomes toxic, even just a thought can become physically, emotionally or spiritually dangerous. Thoughts are measurable and occupy mental ‘real estate.’ Thoughts are active; they grow and change.Thoughts influence every decision, word action and physical reaction we make. Every time you have a thought, it is actively changing your brain and your body – for better or for worse.”- Who Switched Off My Brain

“87% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions.

The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. Through an uncontrolled thought life, we create the conditions for illness; we make ourselves sick! Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones. There are INTELLECTUAL and MEDICAL reasons to FORGIVE! Toxic waste generated by toxic thoughts causes the following illnesses: diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin problems and allergies to name just a few. Consciously control your thought life and start to detox your brain!” – http;//drleaf.net

“God has given us a design of hope; we can switch on our brains, renew our minds, change and heal.” – Dr. Caroline Leaf

I’m amazed by how powerful our minds are! We can use them for evil or allow God to use them for good. The real battle is all in our mind.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 cor 10:4-6

Since the beginning of time, walking in our own ways or thoughts has only caused us trouble.

Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. rom 1:28 nlt

Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. is 59:7

I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; is 65:2

Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. jer 6:19

I believe that one of the best ways to renew our minds is to read the Holy Bible because the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12) Proverbs 23:7 says, we are what we think. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7) Therefore, we must prepare our minds for action; be self-controlled; and set our hope fully on the grace to be given us when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Pet 1:13) We have the mind of Christ! 1 cor 2:16 We should take that to heart and do as the Thessalonians did – receive the word with all readiness of mind, and search the scriptures daily. Acts 17:11

Take no thought…

…of one’s self more highly than one should. Rom 12:3

…of high things, but conform to the lowly. Rom 12:16

….foolishness Pro 24:9

…for the flesh. Rom 8:5

…for earthly things Php 3:19

…about carnality. Rom. 8:7

…about evil Mk 7:21

…for your life. Matt 6:25

…about what you will eat and drink.Matt 6:28

…what you will wear

…for tomorrow. Matt 6:34

…for what you will speak. mk 13:11

Think on these things –

This verse sums it up beautifully –

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Php 4:8

The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. Pro 12:5

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. Is. 26:3