WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Cheryl Zelenka”

Spiritual Footholds

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The Bible warns us not to give the devil a foothold. But what is a foothold and why is it so dangerous?

And do not give the devil a foothold.Ephesians 4:27 (NIV)

When I hear the word foothold, I imagine a mountain climber scaling a steep incline. A foothold is a place where a person’s foot can be placed to support them securely, especially while climbing. It is a reliable position from which further progress may be made. A foothold can be a good and necessary thing. But when you add the devil to the equation look out!

We are told that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Paul refers to our earthly bodies as a tent in 2 Corinthians. As you read on, consider your body a type of residence.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.2 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV)

The warning God speaks of has to do with our emotions. The devil preys upon feelings of anger, bitterness, depression, guilt, shame, fear, and worry. Examining the verse in front of Ephesians 4:27 provides us with more information. It explains how we provide the devil with footholds.

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)

Ephesians 4:26 is not referring to a just anger due to sin or unrighteousness. Rather, sinful anger hurts others. Proverbs 22:24 tells us to avoid those who are quick to anger and Proverbs 29:11 calls those who give full vent to their rage, fools.

It takes discipline to take every thought captive, but it is a sure way to keep the devil from our door. When we succumb to self-pity, depression, or any other negative emotion, we allow the devil to get a foot inside our house. Ephesians 4:26 instructs us to deal with our anger before the setting sun. In other words, do not let anger fester in your heart for very long. Take care of it quickly. Resolve the matter otherwise, it can lead to bitterness and a multitude of negative emotions. This can be applied to worry, fear, shame, depression, or any other emotion that does not glorify God. Seek help in prayer and through the Body of Christ.

When we provide the devil with a foothold and we do not slam the door on his foot, he will push his way into our abode. Once inside our home, he is no longer a foothold but rather a stronghold. He has gained more control. It will take a lot of “work” to evict him. So, slamming the door on footholds and bolting the lock as soon as the devil withdraws his sore foot, is a much wiser option. The robber and thief would love to usher in havoc and rob your peace of mind. Prayerfully consider your emotions and ask God to rid you of any footholds the devil may have in your life.

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)

New Book: Belly Up In The Koi Pond

_Belly Up Cover

Hello Friends,

I continue to write devotions but writing fiction has become a new hobby. My second book in the Sadie Sunshine Cozy Mystery Series is now available on Amazon. I’m sure you will enjoy Belly Up In The Koi Pond.

Please check it out if you like clean and fun mysteries. It’s a quick read filled with budding romance, humor, and suspense.

http://www.amazon.com/Belly-Sadie-Sunshine-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01EU2Q2V4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1461810763&sr=8-4&keywords=cheryl+Zelenka

Sadie Sunshine is off to Portland with her friends Detective Dora Flores and Lilly Pierce. Their plan to enjoy a long weekend at the annual Yard, Garden, and Patio show, along with some gourmet dinners, suddenly goes belly up. On opening day a body is discovered in the Koi pond exhibit which was the ladies’ first stop of the day. Sadie dives into the investigation as suspects come to light.

Book two of the Sadie Sunshine series reveals Sadie’s unusual phobia, Ichthyophobia. Two love interests spice up her life and an eating contest will leave readers in stitches. Ms. Zelenka cleverly weaves colorful suspects, with deep hidden motives, into a complicated web of mystery and suspense.

5 Star Book Review for FACING TRIALS Devotional

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I just had to share this wonderful book review for my book, FACING TRIALS: THOUGHTS FOR MEDITATION. It is such a blessing to write words of hope and comfort for others going through difficult times.

I need book reviews for my third book, Facing Adversity. Send me a message via my FB author site and I’ll give you a free eBook in exchange for a book review. https://www.facebook.com/cherylzelenkaauthor

“5.0 out of 5 starsWonderful Encouragement and Comfort!!
ByJulie Danielsonon February 16, 2016
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

I found this book to be so helpful and comforting! I have been through a lot of trials over the past few years and it does start to wear down my hope. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do or what Scriptures to meditate on. This book solves that problem and is so full of wonderful encouragement!

I really liked that the book is broken down into sections regarding things that could be bothering one. Whatever you find yourself struggling with, this book probably has the help you need. There are twenty chapters and some of the titles are, “Facing Trials”, “Broken”, “Endurance and Perseverance”, and “Healing”. Each chapter gives instruction, encouragement and wisdom to help us deal with the situations we may find ourselves in or that we’re trying to get past. There are Scriptures for each chapter to meditate on and put in our hearts.

I highlighted so much of this book! I found the wisdom and comfort of this book so wonderful! It has helped me to heal in so many ways and it will definitely be a book I refer back to time and again when I’m feeling the need to get that comfort I need. The book is very Biblical and definitely pointed me back time and again to God’s Word. I really loved this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

God, Be My Vision

New Year:Be My Vision

Magicians utilize a reliance on vision to fool their audience with illusions. A slight of hand might be employed to make a person or rabbit disappear. But, when David Copperfield (apparently) made the Statue of Liberty vanish before our very eyes, we had to pick up our jaws that had suddenly dropped to the floor.

In our walk with Christ, we need to rely less on physical eyesight and more on the eyes of our heart. These eyes of our heart encapsulate our total inner person: intellect, emotions and will. It is where we grow in our knowledge of Him. God wants us to know the hope of our calling, which is, children of the Most High.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people.” Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)

As we enter the New Year, we ought to reflect on the old and consider the New Year ahead. Do we need to make some changes? Are some routines in need of adjustment? Have we become spiritually blind, relying more on our physical eyesight rather than the spiritual promises of God? Is faith dependent on sight? No!

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Until Jesus visited Saul on the road to Damascus, with eyes that functioned properly, he couldn’t see God. But after he was struck blind, he could see the Father. The eyes of his heart were enlightened.

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.” Acts 9:5-8 (NKJV)

When Moses stood before the Red Sea, with the Egyptian army approaching, his eyesight could have been his downfall. Instead of viewing the situation as a hopeless trap, his faith in God’s provision saved Israel. In fact, the Israelites witnessed one of the most amazing miracles recorded in the Bible. The Red Sea parted and provided a much-needed path out of harms way. Where there had been no path, there was a new one divinely created by God.

If you find yourself at a crossroad this January, seek God in prayer but then trust He will direct your path. Do not try to force Him into moving. He will not budge… until He is ready. God knows the best time to advance, so you might have to camp out by the Red Sea for a while. Cling to His faithfulness. Trust in His love. The desires of your heart may differ from His. And since He wants only the very best for you, lay your will at His feet and ask Him to transform it into His.

The prophet, Jeremiah, clearly states the problem of man’s inability to direct his life.

“Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; It is not for them to direct their steps.Jeremiah 10:23 (NKJV)

May the Lord meet you exactly where you are spiritually and chisel out every bit of coal within your heart. Transformation is a long process, so hang on and trust the Master Artesian! Eventually, you will witness your own metamorphosis. Once a lump of coal, you were dead and without light because of sin. Now, changed by the hand of God, a diamond filled with His pure light. Enter into the New Year with the promise of His love, grace, and hope. Come what may, He will always be by your side.

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.Romans 15:13 (NIV)

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“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end-even the wicked for a day of disaster.” Proverbs 16:2-3 (NIV)

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)

Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.” Psalm 25:12 (NIV)

“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5 (NKJV)

“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.” Psalm 143:10 (NKJV)

A Bondservant For Christ

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Would you define yourself as a bondservant for Christ? The Greek word for bondservant conveys a strong sense of “slave” over that of a “servant.” So, for a Christian to be God’s bondservant, they must desire to give unconditional service and loyalty to their Master.

“Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”

But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  Also, we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” John 6:67-69 (NKJV)

Bondservants serve God with a grateful heart. They acknowledge His authority and the forgiveness of sin through His victory over the cross. Salvation (a free gift offered to all) is so precious to them, they ask God to fill them with His love and power to accomplish His perfect will. The bondservant of Christ understands that all glory belongs to God and they serve Him with this purpose in mind.

Servants and slaves are given tasks daily. With a desire to please their master, they strive to accomplish their assignments with diligence and integrity. Likewise, a bondservant of Christ must keep his eyes on the prize, running their spiritual race with endurance. This means they view every job and duty as GOOD, completing it with a thankful heart. Because all Christians serve a good and faithful Creator, we can trust that every unpleasant task, trial, or burden is for our benefit and the glory of God.

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”   1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (NKJV)

Today, ask yourself if you COMPLETELY trust the Father’s love for you and the faithful promises within the living Word. Have you claimed them? Hope is found in God alone. “ ’But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.’ ” Psalm 39:7 (NIV)

Our identity should be in Christ. Our significance does not rest upon our occupation, talents, or position in this life. We are valuable because we belong to God. We are valuable because we are precious in His sight.

So as we live a life of faith, “self” should be laid aside since we are now new creations.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Christ lives within us.

The devotion and loyalty of a bondservant will require self-control, trust, and focus. To remain loyal to Jesus, especially in these times of political correctness, will require sacrifice, suffering, and even persecution. But this should not surprise us! Jesus forewarned us.

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

Why then choose the high road? Each of us should ask this question. The answers will vary, but love is a big part of the answer. God’s love for us, and the debt Jesus paid on our behalf is proof of HIS unconditional love and faithfulness. A free gift does not require a gift in return, but a thankful heart will want to give back. And how do we give back to a God? How do we demonstrate our love and loyalty? The first two commandments give us the answer.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Matthew 22:37-39 (NKJV)

Let us all consider our service and loyalty to God. Deuteronomy 7:9 and Romans 8:38-39 tell of His faithfulness to us. But God has made it clear that we too are to demonstrate faithfulness. “If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed” (Deuteronomy 8:19). 

Yes, God desires faithful servants. To be faithful is one thing and a bondservant another. What distinguishes the bondservant of Christ is his spiritual maturity. Sanctification has served to pull dross and sin to the surface, and this saint recognizes he is nothing without Christ. He concedes that his righteousness comes from Christ alone, who lives within his heart. Over time, through struggle and adversity, the refining process has revealed the importance of submission. For when we are weak God is strong. When we step aside, God is finally free to work. With the decision to live for Christ no matter the cost, a bondservant is fashioned.

Wherever his master leads, he will follow. The less travelled path is the one God has prepared for this saint. Eventually, it ends in the high places. But the journey before him is complicated and covers dangerous territory, with more demanding terrain. It is not for the baby Christian or for those who are weak in faith.

The ground is often desert-like, where lost and weary souls await guidance and help. They thirst for the living waters and the bondservant shares the Good News to bring them to back to their senses. They will revive the deceived with words of truth and hope, reminding them of the unfailing love of the Father. By pointing them to Jesus, they will once again see His light and find their footing to back to righteousness and truth.

The bondservant of Christ will serve his Master and go where others would dare not follow. Why? Because the will of God is now his as well. Faithful believer or devoted bondservant… Which will you choose?

Intimacy with Christ comes when we invite Him to invade every space within our soul. Let Him brake down every wall of shame, sin, and self-will. He will rebuild and fill the space with His righteousness. With every little “death” there comes new life. With every surrender there is victory, and in each decision to serve God a reward in heaven.

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Blessed Father God,

Thank You for choosing me to live eternally with You. As Your bondservant, I will serve You loyally and with a thankful heart. I am blessed by Your desire to know me intimately. I long to know You more and more.

I now ask for a greater and deeper faith, one that trusts You unconditionally and with my whole heart. I do not want to lean on my own understanding when adversity and times of testing come. Your ways and thoughts are so much higher than my own. Grant me a faith that is certain of Your unconditional love and faithfulness. Enable me to REST in You, even during the most painful and trying circumstances. Be my peace, strength, and hope.

Thank You for calling me Your child. I am Yours. Do with me, as You will. Strengthen and equip me to endure any purpose You have ordained for my life and may I succeed in glorifying Your holy name. Amen.

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For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV)

“Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.” Deuteronomy 5:32-33 (NKJV)

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (NKJV)

“Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments” Deuteronomy 7:9 (NKJV)

Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.1 Samuel 12:24 (NKJV)

A Prayer For Greater Faith

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Blessed Father God,Thank You for choosing me to live eternally with You. As Your bondservant, I will serve You loyally and with a thankful heart. I am blessed by Your desire to know me intimately. I long to know You more and more.

I now ask for a greater and deeper faith, one that trusts You unconditionally and with my whole heart. I do not want to lean on my own understanding when adversity and times of testing come. Your ways and thoughts are so much higher than my own. Grant me a faith that is certain of Your unconditional love and faithfulness. Enable me to REST in You, even during the most painful and trying circumstances. Be my peace, strength, and hope.

Thank You for calling me Your child. I am Yours. Do with me as You will. Strengthen and equip me to endure any purpose You have ordained for my life and may I succeed in glorifying Your holy name.

https://www.facebook.com/cherylzelenkaauthor

http://facingtrials.com

God Is In The Details

 

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God wants a relationship with His adopted children, but why? He doesn’t need us.

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,                                              The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,                                                        What is man that You are mindful of him,                                                                             And the son of man that You visit him”  Psalm 8:3-4 (NKJV)

The answer is LOVE. Even though God did not need man He chose to create us anyway. And because of His abundant love and creativity, He uniquely designed every one of us. Our physical attributes were given much attention, including distinct fingerprints and an individual genetic makeup. Blue eyes, brown eyes, big nose or small, we were created in the exact image God desired, and we are all beautiful in His sight. Dare we criticize the Potter of imagined flaws when He sees them as unique and perfect in detail?

We were created with a purpose, so while God knit us together in our mother’s womb, He created our personality and gave us spiritual gifts. These were provided so that we could accomplish tasks that would fulfill His perfect will for us and glorify His name.

“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”      Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

But God is not only concerned with OUR physical features. EVERYTHING in this universe shouts out, “GOD IS IN THE DETAILS!” All of creation has been given His attention. Consider the stars and heavenly bodies. The orbits these celestial bodies travel are all perfectly aligned! Trees, flowers, and crops have specific seasons of growth, fruit and harvest. All the creativity that went into designing the animals of earth hint of God’s humor and sense of fun (Consider the elephant and the armadillo). God’s appreciation for beauty is evident when we observe the many colorful birds and flowers of this world.

“He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.”  Psalm 147:4-5 (NKJV)

If God is involved in the feather design of an exotic bird and the minute patterns displayed on orchids, can we question whether God is involved in the details of our life? 

“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”  Hebrews 4:13 (NKJV)

God sees all and knows all things. From heaven, He looks down upon mankind and watches all who live on earth. He is not surprised by the right turn we make, even though it should have been a left. He knows how to direct us back to the path leading to glory.

“From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; From His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth— He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.”  Psalm 33:13-15 (NKJV)

Consider King David. He was a man after God’s own heart, but he was also flawed. David fell into sin with Bathsheba. God was aware of the details that led up to the death of Bathsheba’s husband, so He sent Nathaniel to King David. Through this prophet, God exposed David’s sin and revealed the consequences he would have to endure.

“So David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’

And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.  However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.’ Then Nathan departed to his house.”  2 Samuel 12:13-15 (NKJV)

When we suffer a loss or walk through adversity, God is with us. He sees each detail of our trial and provides the necessary help we need to carry on. When we are weak, HE is our strength. When we need wisdom, all we have to do is ask without doubting, and it will be provided. How could God provide the necessary wisdom for our unique situation if He was not aware of the details surrounding our circumstances?

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 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.”  James 1:5-6 (NKJV)

When we have a need, the Lord knows of it before we do! His provisions are always sufficient, but they are not always abundant or given in the manner we imagined. He knows the details that need to fall into place down the road, and we only see the present and a few steps ahead. Things might appear to be hopeless, but God works things out so that He gets the credit and is glorified. 

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”  Matthew 6:8 (NKJV)

Corrie ten Boom wrote a poem about a tapestry God weaves of our life. There are dark and golden threads and the pattern is detailed and beautiful. But her words remind us that the underside of the weaving is all we witness, which means it will appear chaotic and unattractive. The beauty of the canvas God designed will become apparent only after we pass from this world. Only then will we understand why the dark threads were added and see the beauty they added to our tapestry. God is an artist and makes everything beautiful in His time. He is involved in every detail. He is aware of what we face each day.

“Life is but a Weaving” (the Tapestry Poem)

“My life is but a weaving                                                                                                                           Between my God and me.                                                                                                                                   I cannot choose the colors                                                                                                                             He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;                                                                                                                     And I in foolish pride                                                                                                                                Forget He sees the upper                                                                                                                                  And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent                                                                                                                               And the shuttles cease to fly                                                                                                                         Will God unroll the canvas                                                                                                                               And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful                                                                                                                       In the weaver’s skillful hand                                                                                                                            As the threads of gold and silver                                                                                                                   In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;                                                                                                                 Nothing this truth can dim.                                                                                                                            He gives the very best to those                                                                                                                  Who leave the choice to Him.”

― Corrie ten Boom

“Before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely.”  Psalm 139:4 (NIV)

“My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”  Psalm 139:15-16 (NKJV)

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

The Highway of Holiness

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“I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God’s creational intentions.” ~ John Wesley

Many of us are praying for a revival: A revival that restores our faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. We ask that revival once again comes, sweeping over our land like a wildfire out of control. A spiritual wildfire that would bring many prodigals home and open the eyes of the lost.

However, it is not enough to merely understand we have been saved and redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ. We lack passion. It is the reverent fear of God and an indescribable thanks for His eternal love that is absent in so many of us today. Humility has not brought us to our knees, prostrate with gratitude and submissive in our absolute repentance.

Are we merely speaking empty words of godly sorrow, without the earnestness and sincerity of heart our Lord so desperately desires? Every move to remove God from our government and ignore His truth is breaking His heart and causing Him anger.  For we are turning away from the One who has blessed and protected our nation. He will not have it! We will see the consequences of our sin and rebellion… unless we turn from our wicked ways and repent.

“See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point,  you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.”        2 Corinthians 7:11 (NIV)

1 Thessalonians 4:7 (NKJV) says, “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.”

We are called to be holy, for He who has called us is Holy. This means our conduct. We are to take the life of Christ as our example, and the wisdom found within His Living Word and apply it to our lives. Our family, friends, neighbors and even strangers should know we are Christians by our actions and lifestyle. They should see our love and willingness to serve. We are not to compromise Biblical truths for the sake of avoiding adversity or hurting the feelings of those who have been deceived. We are to witness and share the truth, but always with gentleness and respect. America does not want to offend anyone, although offending God does not seem to matter as of late.

“But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NKJV)

If there was a revival of holiness in our day, what would it look like?

Chastity would be practiced and honored. Integrity would be valued and honest words would once again serve to instruct and advise. Love would rule our hearts and compassion would cause us to intercede throughout the day. Our personal relationship with Jesus would grow in intimacy and our ability to hear the Holy Spirit would be fine tuned. With our closer walk with God, our faith would grow and our trust in God’s provision and grace would carry us past times of persecution and suffering. Our actions and decisions would not be based on fear, for nothing is impossible for God. He is ALMIGHTY.

We would live among the dirt of this ailing nation, but remain pure and clean in His sight. Our light would be evident to the lost and they would be drawn to us. Some drawn for a desire to be more like us… others are drawn with evil intents and a desire to put out our light.

However, hope is eternal and living a life of holiness promises great reward.

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing,  so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”    Philippians 2:14-16a (NIV)

How do we live out our faith with a “No Compromise” attitude? Is it even possible to live a life of holiness in a world so bent on hate and debauchery? Yes. Yes it is, with the help of Christ. Will it take personal sacrifice and be the cause of conflict. Most likely. However, we are not called to be man pleasers. We are called to serve and honor God. We have one judge and that Judge is God alone. We should consider our ways daily and determine if they please or grieve the Lord.

The heavenly Father gave us free will. He also gave us an instruction manual… The Bible. We must read it daily (even memorize it) so that we know what God says about certain behaviors/actions. What God expects from His children and what He finds as abominations are also written in scripture. Just as God tested Abraham, Moses, and Mary, He will test our faith as well.

These are dark times and the days ahead will prove to be even darker. Find encouragement in the community and Body of Christ.  There is a comfort to be found with like-minded believers. Surround yourself with brothers and sisters who will hold you accountable and lift you up in prayer. We need each other to maintain our calling to be holy. Blessings to you as you continue to travel the highway of holiness.

“Suppose for a moment that you were allowed to enter heaven without holiness. What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you feel there? To which of all the saints would you join yourself and by whose side would you sit? Their pleasures are not your pleasures, their tastes are not your tastes, their character not your character. How could you possibly be happy, if you had not been holy on earth?” ~ J.C. Ryle“I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God’s creational intentions.” ~ John Wesley

 

Morning Prayer: Memorizing & Praying Scripture

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Dear Reader,

Russell Kelfer has a wonderful teaching on how to memorize scripture. It motivated me to write this morning prayer. I hope it blesses you! Please check out the following site.  http://66.254.26.51/dtmlessons.blp?view&lesson=195

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12 (NIV)

”My soul waits for the Lordmore than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.” Psalm 130:6 (NKJV)

“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.”   Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

“ ‘Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ ” Jeremiah 3:3 (NIV)

In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

“The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught/instructed.” Isaiah 50:4 (NIV) 

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; May Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Psalm 143:8-10 (NIV)

I will, “Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

I will “ Not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, present my requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard my hearts and my mind in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) 

I will, “ Let my light shine before others, that they may see my good deeds and therefore glorify my Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

I will, “Put on the full armor of God, so that I can take a stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

“This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

~ Cheryl Zelenka

 

Do You Run To Man Before God?

 

*Run

What is your first response to adversity? Do you run to God or do you look elsewhere for support? A loving father wants his child to solicit his help in times of difficulty thus, our heavenly Father wants His spiritual children to do the same.

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” Psalm 54:4 (NIV)

God is pleased when we depend on His provision. He longs to assist us with His wisdom, strength, and love. Christian saints know a miraculous peace during the most trying of circumstances if they remain constant in their faith, remembering that God is good…. All the time! With a strong Father to protect and guide, trouble quickly diminishes into an obstacle of realistic proportion.

Fear has a way of making circumstances look darker than they really are. Satan gladly jumps on any opportunity to harass the children of God, so a weak faith or a weakened spiritual condition gives him a foot in the door we call torment. God is our eternal hope, but when we are overwhelmed by the sorrows and cares of this world hope can appear to be out of reach. This is a lie since God is both eternal and our hope. Therefore our hope is everlasting.

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” John 8:44 (NKJV)

Since God is omniscient, He is aware of your trouble and knows how best to direct you to higher ground. The Word of God is truly alive, so if you search it with your whole heart…. Very special verses will come to your attention. Thanks to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, these scriptures will give you the necessary comfort and instruction you need to help you through your time of trouble.

Trials and storms will whip about us causing great discomfort. These storms in life come from many different directions and originate from places we often never suspect. Don’t let this throw you off your spiritual race or cause confusion in your service to God. Look up to the heavens and imagine God on His throne. Keep your focus on Him and soon the irritating whirlwind will loose its power. God is not a God of confusion. Confusion and chaos live in a spiritual realm the devil likes to inhabit.

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” 1 CO 14:33 (NKJV)

It is wonderful having flesh and blood brothers and sisters who support us during troublesome times. The Lord encourages the body of Christ to pray for one another. However, God should always be our main source of help and the first caregiver we call upon when adversity strikes.

DURING YOUR TIME OF QUIET REFLECTION, CONSIDER YOUR DEPENDENCE ON GOD AND HOW HE IS THE PERFECT HELP AND SHELTER.

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:5-8 (NKJV)

“When I remember You on my bed,I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help,therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You;Your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:6-8 (NKJV)

“Help me, Lord my God;Save me according to Your unfailing love.” Psalm 109:26 (NIV) “Save me, O God!For the waters have come up to my neck.I sink in deep mire,where there is no standing;I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.I am weary with my crying;My throat is dry;My eyes fail while I wait for my God.”   Psalm 69:1-3

“He does not regard the quantity of faith, but the quality. He does not measure its degree, but its truth. He will not break any bruised reed, nor quench any smoking flax. He will never let it be said that any perished at the foot of the cross.” ~ J.C. Ryle

This devotion is in FACING ADVERSITY WITH WISDOM, PRAISE, AND PROMISES. Look for it the first week of December on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=cheryl%20zelenka&sprefix=chery%2Caps

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