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To Do-ers List: What He Says

To doers

Princes also sit and speak against me, but your servant meditates on your statutes.

Psalm 119:23

 My mind used to be a battlefield, a theater of war used expertly by the enemy to oppress, control and render me useless for the cause of Christ. Darts of the enemy used to fly unchecked, inflicting damage on my heart and soul. Jagged wounds hemorrhaged confidence and peace as I struggled to stop the flow. I was a victim of my thoughts — at the mercy of whatever drifted into my mind. One nasty comment from  a coworker or supervisor and I would embark on a three-day pity-party, complete with sleepless nights and a churning stomach.

I didn’t want to think about the harsh words echoing around the corners of my mind — I seemed to have no choice. They’d flash in HD, vivid and brutal, as I relived the hurt with each replay.  I needed to learn to control my thoughts and take them captive for Christ and shut off the broken record. I needed to learn Christ had set me free.

I needed to listen to what He says.

As Christians, we decide what to meditate upon.

We have several choices. We can think about:

  1. What we say about ourselves
  2. What others say about us
  3. What the world says about us
  4. What Satan says about us (LIES, LIES, LIES) or
  5. What God says about us (TRUTH, TRUTH, TRUTH)

Satan will always lie and friends will usually only tell us what we want to hear. We can’t trust what the world says or our own words either. Our only trustworthy source is God. If we listen to any other source we’ll miss God’s will and disobey Him in order to “eliminate” fallout from critics. Peace no longer depends on Christ, but on the absence of conflict.

So how do we silence the broken record?

Focus on God and what He says.

Simple — yet, oh so challenging.

Turn off the lies.

Stop cooperating with the enemy.

Start agreeing with God.

Listen to what He says.

The Battle Plan:

  1. Shut down the lies. The second a thought slithers into your mind that does not agree with what God says about you, shut it down. (For example: Say the enemy wants you to believe you are not smart enough to complete a task God has given you. Literally say out loud, “That is not truth. I am not stupid, God has given me the mind of Christ.”)
  2. Praise God. Finish off your verbal power session with a round of praise for our mighty God. “God, I thank You that You are stronger than anything that comes against me. Thank You that You have called me and chosen me for this task.” The enemy will flee at the sound of His great Name.
  3. Re-purpose your thoughts. Remember all the hours you spent replaying some awful scene in your head in slo-mo? A fight with your husband, an attack from coworker, a mistake you made in a very public setting? The next time you are tempted to dwell on the hurt, re-purpose that time for thinking on what God says in His Word.
  4. Repeat the steps above as often as needed.

It works. I know.

Today, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of your self talk. The moment a negative thought pops into your head, replace it. 

Be a doer of the Word. Listen to what He says.

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Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 1: Believe Him

Christmas Correct 3png

Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 1: Believe Him

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45

Blessed is she who believes.

It was an ordinary day for Mary, one like any other. Chores to accomplish, tasks to finish, water to fetch, meals to cook and a wedding to plan. But, God interrupted the ordinary and asked Mary to do something extraordinary … believe Him. We might scoff and think how hard is that? Anyone can believe God.

But do we?

Do we believe God for anything beyond salvation?

Believe Him.

When Mary chose to believe God, it changed everything, her past, her present and certainly her future. Mary’s choice to believe God was a true test of faith. In order to accept God’s plan for her life, Mary needed two miracles. One miracle to start a life (she knew not a man), and another miracle to save a life — hers. Despite the seemingly impossible circumstances, Mary believed Him.

To believe or not to believe.Day 1 Believe jpg

God, in His infinite wisdom, does not force us to act. The choice is ours—we can believe or not. But for some reason, God will not implement certain actions unless we choose to believe Him.

Believe like Mary.

Live Mary, believing God changes everything about our past, present and future.  What do you need to believe God for today?  Your marriage … your health …  a job … a child … forgiveness? Because of the cradle and the cross, you can believe.

What if you live today as is if you believe what God says? What if you live today as one truly forgiven? What if you dare to live as a person who is called by God?  What would it look like to believe Him today? What actions would you take? What words would you say? What decisions would you make?

Action Points:

  1. What has God said that you need to believe? Choose something from the list below.

    1. You are beautiful.
    2. You are chosen.
    3. You are gifted.
    4. You are loved.
    5. You are forgiven.
    6. You have purpose.
    7.  ____________ (other).

Today, choose to believe God over the wisdom of the world,  the advice of friends, the counsel of your own heart and the lies of the enemy.

What are you believing God for today? Please record your goal in the Comment section below.

Believe Him.

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For your listening enjoyment this Advent season, please click on the link below.




Back to School: Test

To Do-ers List: Back to School, Test

“Please get out two sharpened number two pencils and a piece of scratch paper. Do not open your test booklet until I tell you to do so. Please look at Sample A. Please read Sample A to yourself as I read it aloud…”

Tests! Life seems to be full of tests – math tests, English tests, spelling tests and history tests. Don’t forget about the never-ending-fill-in-the-dot tests. As Christians we also undergo tests. Spiritual tests. Character tests. Circumstances and events that try our souls. Unlike school teachers, God doesn’t test us to learn what we know. He tests us so WE can learn what we know. Once we learn the truth about the contents of our hearts, we are able to seek God’s healing and restoration.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10

Test Me in this.

There is an occasion in the Bible, however, when God asks us to test Him. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the LORD Almighty …”

The Teacher takes the test.

In fact, the Master Teacher longs for us to test Him. Why? So He can bless. The Hebrew word used for test in this verse is bachan, which means “to try, to prove, to lookout for, to watch.”

What kind of test are we to give God?

The giving test.

Giving.

Giving deep.

Giving till it hurts.

Out on a limb kind of giving where only God can pull it off. We give and what does God do?

God pours out.

” Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it…”

Funny. I have always approached this verse in a very self-centered manner. Prior to writing this study, I believed the verse read something like, “Give your tithe and I will pour out My blessing upon YOU.” I give my little sacrifice and God pours down blessings on little ol’ me. The one receiving my “sacrifice” benefits a little, while God pours His blessing down on me …

The verse doesn’t say that. It says, give your tithe, and

A continuous flow in the direction it was given–like the boy with the five loaves and two fish. He gave Jesus his boy-sized snack and ended up with lunch for 5000 … alfresco … plus doggie bags. Amazing. The blessing wasn’t just for the boy. Jesus poured forth blessing in the direction it was given, to feed the crowd. What would the boy have done with food for 5000? It would have spoiled. Hmm …

… I wonder what happens when we try to hoard our gifts?

For today: take the test.

God asks us to test Him by giving. Start by praying. Ask God to show you opportunities to give today. What shall we give? Our money? Yes, but not only  our money, but

  • our time,
  • our talents,
  • our gifts,
  • 0ur possessions and
  • any other thing we can think of.

Resources:

To help you organize your daily study and record your experiences, please download and print the following PDF, or download the journal app to your favorite Apple device.

Other Resources:

Joyce Meyer: The Going Through Test

Chuck Swindoll: The Ultimate Faith Test

Don’t forget to comment on your experience in the comment section below! Choose your test for today and  be a Doer of the Word. School is in session. Test!

We can’t wait to hear how your day went! Remember, God is waiting for His test.

Let’s do it!

if you need to catch up, click on the links below!

Day 1: New Clothes

Day 2: The Book

Day 3: Pack a Lunch

Day 4: Listen to The Teacher

Day 5: Study!

Day 6: Obey the Rules

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Copyright 2015




Back To School: Study

To Do-ers List: Back to School, Study

10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.”

Acts 17:10-12

“… and [they] searched the Scriptures daily …”

Study. Examine. Search. Searched in the Greek transliterates as anakrin, which means “to examine, to scrutinize, sift and question, to examine specifically in a forensic sense of a judge to hold an investigation.” What did they study? The Word of God. Why? To see if it contains the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The final verdict? God’s Word has stood the test of truth. Communism couldn’t silence it. Hitler couldn’t destroy it. Voltaire couldn’t banish it. God’s Word is eternal. No force, power, religious system, political regime or law can silence it.  And God’s Word will continue to witness of His power and majesty forever and ever, amen. It’s time to go back to school and study.

Read or study?

Any serious student can tell you there is a big difference between reading and studying. We can read the Word of God and let its truths skim the surface or we can study the Word of God and plant it deep in our heart. Reading takes a little effort. Studying requires energy, perseverance, and a willingness to learn. Verse 11 lists a crucial aspect of Bible study. Readiness.

How do we become ready to study?

1) By opening our minds, 2) By not having made a prior decision the Bible is just a book of stories, 3) By being teachable. The Bereans were teachable. Eager to learn. They did not judge The Book by its cover; they judged it by what’s between the covers. They studied. The result of their open-minded study of the Bible was … many of them believed …

Salvation. Redemption. Restoration.

Study.

I cannot study in a noisy room with the television blaring. I need to set the stage for spending time with God-a quiet comfortable place a part from the busyness of the world. I have a small bedroom in my house that serves as my study place. It is furnished with a comfy chair, Bibles, commentaries, colored pencils, notebooks and (of course) electronic devices! Find a quiet place and meet consistently with God.

For today:

It’s time to get your study on. We are not talking reading the Word, but studying the Word.  Follow the steps below.

  1. Choose a verse for today and write it on a note card. Carry it with you wherever you go and pull it out and meditate on it as often as possible.
  2. Study your verse at www.blueletterbible.org Click on the link to the left, view the short tutorial and invest some time in the Word of God. God will reward you richly for your study.
  3. Do your verse. Pray and ask God to give you the strength and opportunity to be a Doer of the Word.
  4.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to open your mind to the truth of God’s Word.

Resources:

To help you organize your daily study and record your experiences, please download and print the following PDF, or download the journal app to your favorite Apple device.

Extra Resources:

  • Study God’s Word: Joyce Meyer

Don’t forget to comment on your experience in the comment section below! Choose your verse/s for today and be a Doer of the Word.

School is in session. Study!

Previous Sessions of To Do-ers List, Back to School:

Day 1: New Clothes

Day 2: The Book

Day 3: Pack a Lunch

Day 4: Listen to The Teacher

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Back to School: Listen to the Teacher

To Do-ers List: Back to School, Listen to the Teacher

When I was in sixth grade, my best friend, Dawn and I had the great fortune to sit next to each other in class. While we were happy about it, our teacher, Mr. Herrmann, was probably not so thrilled. Dawn and I always had plenty to talk about, and on this particular day we chose to discuss our latest plans while he was trying to teach. We definitely did not listen to the teacher.

After several warning glances, Mr. Herrmann ran out of patience and called us out in front of the class. Usually not one to get in trouble, I was mortified and upset that I had disobeyed the teacher. My punishment was to write my spelling words 30 times each to be turned in the next day. Embarrassed, Dawn and I closed our mouths and listened.

That little story may be one reason why I identify so well with Martha in today’s scripture. Martha gets a call out of her own, and I can just imagine that she might have been keeping up a constant stream of chatter, too, while Jesus was trying to teach.

Listen to the Teacher

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman name Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.'” Luke 10:38-42 NKJ

The Teacher Comes to Town

Martha was excited to have Jesus in town. She invited Him to her home and was preparing a meal for all the guests. While Martha was cooking, Jesus was talking. And when He talked, people listened. They were compelled to listen. Everyone, it seems, except Martha.

Here’s how I imagine it went: Mary starts out in the kitchen helping Martha, with Martha giving the directions.

“Mary, take this tray out to the guests, and then come right back so that you can help me with the next course. I’ll need you to … ”

As Mary escapes the kitchen, Martha is still chattering and rehearsing to herself about what needs to be done next so that everything is perfect for Jesus.

Mary sets the tray down and magnetized by Jesus’ voice, she stops…listens…and sits. Pretty soon she can’t help herself and inches closer and closer until she is right at Jesus’s feet, hanging on his every word, eyes locked on his face.

In the meantime, Martha’s frustration is growing by the second. She waves her arms, trying to get Mary’s attention.

“Psst! Mary, Maary! Psst! Come here.” Realizing that is useless because Mary can’t see her, Martha’s patience boils over, and she approaches Jesus with her plea.

Martha’s Come-to-Jesus Meetin’

I can just see Martha’s and every other eye in the room turn to look at Mary to get her comeuppence when Jesus surprises them by patiently and lovingly pointing out Martha’s fault. And ours. We are worried and troubled about many things. Instead, we need to figure out what our “one thing” priorities are, and that involves spending time listening to our Savior. Mary chose wisely. It was Martha who needed a readjustment.

For Today:

Of course we realize that tasks need to get done at home and at work. That wasn’t Jesus’ point. The point is that He needs to be our first priority in life, and we have to figure out what that looks like for the season of life we are in.

Write in your app or in your notes what you want your time with Jesus to look like. Pray about this and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Be realistic. If you have small children, are a caretaker, or have a job with immediate demands, keep that in mind. The important thing is that your are connecting with Jesus on a regular basis. Be as specific as you can. “I want to focus on prayer for 15 minutes.” “I will do the Armor of God study by Priscilla Shirer.” I want to incorporate 10 minutes of silence and solitude into my prayer time.” Pick one way that you will listen to the Teacher Jesus and incorporate that into your life moving forward.

Resources:

To help you organize your daily study and record your experiences, please download and print the following PDF, or download the journal app to your favorite Apple device.

Don’t forget to comment on your experience in the comment section below! Choose your verse/s for today and be a Doer of the Word. School is in session. Time to listen to the teacher!

Previous Sessions of To Do-ers List, Back to School:

Day 1: New Clothes

Day 2: The Book

Day 3: Pack a Lunch




The Book

To Do-ers List: Back to School Day 2: The Book

I love the digital age. Cell phones, iPods, laptops, e-readers. Technology – I am all about it. Technology not only changes businesses and industries, it also impacts the education system. Now, back in the day, when I went to college, we stood in line for HOURS to register for classes and buy our books.  Today, it’s done by a few clicks of a mouse. Instead of juggling huge stacks of hardcover books, thanks to technology, many students tote a lightweight iPad, pre-loaded with textbooks. Text books are important, but we need to study The Book.

Students of the Book

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Joshua 1:8

As students of the Word, there is only one book in which we need concern ourselves, the Book of the Law, otherwise known as the Bible.  As students of the Book, we have two assignments: 1) constantly speak the Book (God’s Word), and 2) constantly think the Book.

Speak the Book

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth.” A more literal translation of this phrase is “this book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth.” In others words,

  What we say either lines up with the Book, or it doesn’t.

Let’s take a test. And yes, it’s open Book.

Our Words about Others:

  1. Are the words you speak about others found in the Book? Are they true? Are they beneficial to the hearers? Do you speak God’s words over your friends, about your friends, to your friends?

Words about Circumstances:

  1. Are the words you speak about your circumstances found in the Book? Are they true, encouraging and full of grace? Do your words speak life or death into your circumstances?

Words about Self:

  1. Are the words you speak about yourself found in the Book? Do your words about yourself agree with what God says about you? You are called chosen, loved, redeemed, gifted and needed. Listen to your self talk. Don’t let Satan get a word in edgewise.

For Today:

The verse today shows a progression: word in, think, speak, and do.

  1. Choose a verse, and write it on a note card.
  2. Meditate on it. Ask yourself these questions. When should I do this? How shall I do this? Why should I do this?
  3. Speak God’s Word into your challenges and situations. Pray it aloud.
  4. Do what it says. Feed the poor. Forgive your enemies. Love the hurting. Pray about everything.

Resources:

To help you organize your daily study and record your experiences, please download and print the following PDF, or download the journal app to your favorite Apple device.

Don’t forget to comment on your experience in the comment section below! Choose your verse/s for today and be a Doer of the Word. School is in session. Time to hit the book!

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Previous Sessions of To Do-ers List, Back to School:

Day 1: New Clothes