In God’s Likeness

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We are created in God’s likeness, His image. His personhood exists in us, and it is not by accident. He is not a respecter of man. We all, regardless of gender, race, religion, or nationality, represent Him in human form. He spoke life into us.

~ Lisa Blair

God’s image gives every person dignity, worth, and purpose. You are uniquely designed to know the God who made you, in this life and for eternity. How will the truth that God knows you completely and loves you unconditionally impact your life, your week, your day?

Bible Study Fellowship, Lesson 2. God Creates Humanity in His Image.

Heart Surgery

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God conducts invisible heart surgery on all people who receive Him as their Lord and Savior. God promises to give us a new heart and insert His Spirit in us. ~ Lisa Blair

When God places a new spirit in us, He is renewing our hearts by replacing our own spirit with the Spirit of God. According to a commentary (Ezekiel 36:26-27, biblegateway.com), we are receiving a ‘new heart’ “renewed by the Spirit and grace of God. A new principle of life is put replaces the carnal principles. A new light is infused with a new will, filled with new purposes and resolutions, where new affections are placed, and new desires are formed, and where there are new delights and joys.”

If we compare God’s heart surgery with physical heart surgery, we will see similarities, the methodology differs, but the outcomes are generally the same. In one, surgeons disconnect the heart, cycle the blood and replace the old heart with a new one. Once they remove the old heart, they prep and insert the new heart and reconnect it, removing all surgical machinery, and then they wait to see if the transplant is a success.

When God goes into surgery, He examines our old stony heart and replaces it with a renewed heart in which he places His spirit. He does not wait to see if the transplant works, it is instantaneous. He knows that as soon as He breathes into our new heart, it begins to work and will work until we return to heaven at the close of our life on earth.

We enter life with a stony heart. The stony heart is immersed in sin. The stony heart was hardened by sin, it is impenitent, corrupt, and carnal, seeking after and lusting after the things of this earth. Read Galatians 5:16-22 to learn more about the acts of the flesh. When we accept Christ as our Lord, we immediately feel repulsed by our fleshly desires, they seem out of place. We are no longer inspired by wanton desires as we were before the transplant.

In Galatians 5:16, the scripture inspires us to walk by the Spirit, and not to be gratified by the desires of the flesh. We felt the inkling to ask God to come into our hearts and allow Him to prepare and give us heart surgery. So, why must we fear returning to our old ways that created the stony heart? Could it be because God also gave us free-will? Think about it, people have surgery for all types of ailments with clear instructions not to return to their old way of life the caused the abnormality, and what happens more often than not, they return to eating in excess, drinking in excess, and abusing their bodies.

We do the same after receiving a renewed, Holy Spirit-filled life. Hear me out. Receipt of the new heart does not make us immune to fleshly wants, in fact, Satan will continually try to taunt you. He knows your weaknesses and carnal desires. He did the same thing with Adam and Eve. He tried to offer Christ earthly riches and his strategy has not changed since the beginning of time. He also knows that God gave us free-will, the ability to make our own decisions, something he could work with. His game plan was and is to destroy your soul and separate you from God.

So, what will you do with your new heart? We are not perfect and will not know perfection until we reach heaven. We will fall because we are human. Our saving grace is that when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were no longer doomed by sin with no chance to repent. When Jesus was crucified, He took on our sin and gave us the ability to repent of them and walk with Him.

Satan lost when he fell from heaven. His only objective is to destroy us as he did himself. Where does your loyalty lie with God or Satan? I live on the side of the Lord. I make mistakes. I pray and repent and try to December myself as soon as I become aware that I am wandering off to the left or the right and failing to follow in Christ’s footsteps. Life will challenge us; we are not immune. We should cherish our renewed heart. Our love for Christ will give us the strength to overcome.

Now, more than ever, it is time to embrace your new heart and growing into becoming more Christlike by emulating His character and remembering to repent when you fall short. I thank God every day for being a God of many chances. Accept His loving-kindness and walk in the light.

Resource – Biblegateway.com; Biblestudytools.com

Images – Google Images

God’s Promises Shape Our Lives, #2

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Only God is our Strength.

~ Lisa Blair

God wants us to experience His supernatural insight and wisdom. So often we awaken and find ourselves in the dark. Life has shifted and we are no longer in control. A question that will have to be answered another time, but one to be pondered, were we ever in control? I hope not, because if I am in control, then the Lord is not in control. I pray that I will always depend upon Him.

The most important thing in our life is the ability to pray. God is always with us, and prayer is a way to communicate with Him. As long and we are in communication, our lives are calm, even in the midst of the storm. Perhaps you will recall the story about the disciples in the storm, worried that they would drown. The sea was becoming more violent and the waves higher. Jesus was asleep in the boat. They woke Him and told them they were going to die. Jesus replied, ” ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” (Matthew 8:26, NIV)

The disciples had the benefit of living with Jesus. We have the same benefit, but our relationship is supernatural. We cannot see Him in person, but when we pray, we can feel His presence. In the Book of Genesis, God referred several times to ‘we’ and ‘us.’ Jesus and the Holy Spirit were with God as they created the heavens, earth, plant and animal life, and us. They are always there, waiting for you to communicate with them.

This brings us to the God’s Promises for Strength.

Psalm 31:24

“Be of good courage, and He shall STRENGTHEN your heart, all you who HOPE in the Lord.

God exhorts us to be encouraged and feel assured that He will never leave us or forsake us. He wants us to have strength even in the greatest distress. C.H. Spurgeon penned – God strengths us in many ways,

“He may do so with a cheering promise. “He shall strengthen your heart.” God alone can do this.

1. Sometimes by gracious providences.

2. By the kindly fellowship of friends.

3. By a precious promise.

4. Beside all that, God the Holy Spirit has a secret way of strengthening the courage of God’s people, which none of us can explain. Have you never felt it? You may have gone to your bed, sick at heart, “weary, and worn, and sad,” and you wake in the morning ready for anything. Perhaps, in the middle of the night, you awake, and the visitations of God are manifested to you, and you feel as happy as if everything went the way you would like it to go. Nay, you shall be more happy that everything should cross you than that everything should please you, if it be God’s sweet will. You feel a sudden strengthening of your spirit, so that you are perfectly resigned, satisfied, prepared, and ready. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

So you see, God who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient is the n control. He works through the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and give us wisdom and directions. He also works through people we know and may not know but were encouraged to help. For example, I was driving home one evening from work, and was driving through a rotator and saw a woman on the side of the road with a sign asking for help. I was not in the lane close to her, nor could I stop, so I kept driving. As I was leaving the area, God requested that I go back and give her $20. Twenty dollars was a lot at that point in my life, so I tried to ignore Him. He would not stop, ten minutes later, I turned around and went back to the rotator, got in the right lane, stopped traffic, and gave her my last twenty dollars. Obedience is everything, my friend. When I got home, I opened the mail and received an unexpected check that allowed us to pay the rent on time and more. Now, you could say This could have been a coincidence, but God does not work that way, He works through divine providence. Why did I share this story, you may ask? Believing God’s promises provides the strength to follow His nudging. Sometimes He just wants you to be obedient when He calls despite your circumstances. Nudging is when He puts something on your heart. It is the atmosphere of peace that empowers you with the strength to forge forward and trust in the path He is laying before you. It is the fortitude to turn left when you planned to turn right, to accept a job you would never have taken because He is lining up a job you thought you were not qualified for, to accept a lesser home when you lost your home, to look at each day as the day He made and rejoice in it despite your current circumstances.

Psalm 41:1,3

“Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.” “The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; you will sustain him on his sickbed.”

The story I shared was an example of being obedient to help the poor. In times like this, I recite, ‘but for the grace of God, there go I.’ This scripture is rich in identifying God’s strength and focuses on strength during times of illness. Charles Stanley wrote in his Life Lessons that, “In this fallen world, we all get sick at some point. Some struggle with it often, some not much as all. But whenever we fall ill, God invites us to trust in His strength and to pray for recovery.”

Psalm 50:15

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

Matthew Poolenconveyed in his commentary that, ” In the day of trouble” ; when the day of trouble comes, do not avoid it by ‘sinful shifts’ relying on a quick but questionable means to find relief, rather give glory to God and rely on His promises for resolve. God will deliver you out of trouble. We in turn should praise God for our deliverance. Some say, and I believe, that we should praise Him before He answers our cry for strength and resolve of the troubles we are experiencing. Faith requires that we believe in our heart that God’s promises are the only truth that ascribes the glory of deliverance to God. He gives us strength in times of trouble.

Nahum 1:7

“The Lord is good. A stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust Him.”

God is good to His children and will always provide a stronghold, refuge, and a way out of no way. You can put your trust in the Lord, acknowledging that His Promises never fail. His promises always provide the strength to see you through the worst of times. His strength protections us in times of uncertainty, feelings of hopelessness, and being defeated.

Mark 10:27

“But Jesus looked and them and said, With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

Abbott, writes that although it transcends human power to change the fixed characteristics of avarice and selfishness to benevolence and piety, there is no limit to the control exercised over the heart by the Spirit of God. If God can convince a rich person to give up their riches, or in today’s terms, yield their wealth and denounce their dependence on their wealth to trust in Him, what more can He do for us? Image what He can do to and for those of us that are not part of the wealthy class. God seeks relationship, dependence, and allegiance to Him. He provides us with the strength to endure during difficulties and rest on His word as He works things out according to His plan.

Matthew 12:9

“My grace is sufficient to you, for My STRENGTH is made perfect in weakness.” “Therefore, most gladly, I will rather boast in my infirmities that the poser of Christ may rest upon m.””

Charles Stanley. Life Lessons, explains this scripture this way, ” The gospel is full of seeming contradictions. If you want to be first, you must be last. If you want to save your live, you must lose it. And, if you want to be strong, you must glory in your weakness.

You must glory in your weakness. You must never weaken and doubt, succumbing to your circumstances and lose hope. Your STRENGTH lies in your dependence on God’s promises.

Resources: Biblehub.com; dailyverse.knowing.jesus.com. Biblestudytools.com. Biblestudylight.org. Biblegateway.com. Charles Stanley Life Principles Bible. NKJV

Images: LAB PHOTOS

God’s Promises Shape Our Lives

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God’s promises give us HOPE in a cold world.

~ Lisa Blair
LAB PHOTOS


This is the first of a series of posts about God’s promises. His promises give us the STRENGTH to stand in the face of any and all attacks. He provides us with the ability to STAND in the face of all evil. Our FAITH in God always brings us through. There are times when we can see Him working in our lives and times when He is working to protect us against situations unbeknownst to us. Take time to examine your past, and you will see God at work in your life.

One of my friends added this to her daily prayers, “Teach me, Lord, to trust you.” It sounds easy and should be easy, especially for those who read and study the Bible and know God’s promises. But the fact is, most of us know something of His promises but think we can activate them on our own as needed. The truth is, God never promised us anything He will not deliver, but it is deliverable in His terms and time, not ours. Once we acquaint ourselves with His promises, we can rely on them in time of need, replacing our greed for faith in God to bring us through.

Friends, allow God to lead you and guide you in how to face your challenges. His promises will help you to see your challenges more clearly, as well as the opportunities that are presented. Reside in His peace. Go to God in prayer boldly standing upon His promises. Rest assured knowing that He hears you and will fulfill them in due time.

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because, he trusts in you.”

We receive peace with God in Christ, through the blood He shed on Calvary. Peace is the fruit of our faith. Peace is profound. It is expressed as peace with God and peace with men, peace outward and peace inward, peace here and peace in the hereafter, and denotes the abundant peace available to all believers. (Biblestudytools.com)

If you trust in the Lord, you will be steady, able to stand when under attack, knowing God is with you and provides perfect peace as you go through trials and temptations. You are not alone. God is your eternal rock. God’s peace anchors you so you will not thoughtlessly seek resolve in moments of anxiety, fear, and confusion. His peace allows you to spend time with Him in prayer, centered on Him and not the things happening around you. Once you are ina peaceful state, He can lead you in the direction He mapped out for you.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I think toward you, declares the Lord, plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

The prophet Jeremiah instructed the Israelites to stop believing in false visionaries. There are so many contending that they know what is happening in the world today, exhorting we are entering the End Times, and who is not a man of God. We look to these leaders to determine our direction, purpose, allegiance, and livelihood. The truth is – only God knows the plans He has for us. When we seek others, we create idols that slowly replace God. When this happens, we slowly fall into the hands of the evil one.

We can take comfort in Jeremiah 29:11, God’s promise of having a plan for us gives us peace in knowing that we are not floating aimlessly in the sea, but can see the light ahead confirming His presence in our lives. Believing God’s promises give us the courage to work through difficult times with hope.

Our hope is planted in God’s promises. As long as we can rest in his peace, the outside world becomes less daunting. When we reside in inner peace, we can view things more objectively and recognize God’s hints and directions for our lives. If we follow them, no matter what it looks like to the world, He will provide rest, restoration, replacement, and re-energize us giving, us the fortitude to move beyond the loss, devastation, and hopelessness we may feel.

Images: LAB PHOTOS, free google images

References: Biblegateway.org, Charles Stanley Life Principles Bible, NKJV, Biblestudytools.com, biblehub.com, Bibleletterbible.com

Silence the Chaotic Internal Noise

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“Only God can quell the noise of chaos attacking our minds.”

~ Lisa Blair

Are you experiencing a cacophony of inner (chaotic) noise? I think every human in the world is or has recently experienced internal noise. We live in uncertain times and feel we no longer have control over our lives and that of our loved ones. We think we are losing our minds. PAUSE. We have to take command of our sanity and quell the noise that creates inner chaos. Chaos is the result of the external disorder. Satan’s purpose is to destroy our relationship with the Lord and do it through the means of this earth, those things that are temporal and control the circumstances of life.

Do not allow him to destroy your relationship with the Lord or your inner continence and peace. Focus on the Spirit of God, which is internal and eternal. The Holy Spirit lives in us. He can direct our path if we are silent and rely on Him, and not the dissidence the evil one orchestrates to destroy us.

Steps To Quell the Chaos

1. Dress yourself each morning in your Armor of God attire. Put on the Helmet of Salvation. It is part of the Armor of God.*

The Helmet of Salvation holds the thoughts, feelings, and purpose of God’s heart in your mind. Our mind is essential because it houses our perspective of who you are in Christ. If the evil one can attack your mind, he attacks who you are in Christ and weakens your resolve to dispel or reject the chaos he stirs relentlessly in our minds. “Salvation provides a unique perspective on who we are” as Christians. (The Full Armor of God. Larry Richards. 2013.)

2. Sit in silence.** Give God time to evacuate your mind flooded with Satan’s chaos. Let him extricate all airway messaging.

Satan does not like silence because silence is where the Lord dwells. He creates noise, dissension, and destruction. It is, therefore, essential to sit in silence and allow the Lord to speak to you.

3. Turn off the news; it is harmful and weakens your inner peace allowing chaos to enter and reign.

Satan is in control of the airways. Shut him out by turning off the radio, television, and social media. These are his tools to control your atmosphere and create a sense of hopelessness, despondency, and failure.

4. Once your inner sanctuary has been swept and sanitized, continue meditating and praying regularly, especially when you begin to feel hopeless, depressed, and doubtful about your future and the future of this world.

We can live in perfect peace, or we can choose to allow chaos to overwhelm our lives. When life becomes challenging, remind yourself that you must Amour Up each morning by dressing in the Whole Armor of God. I place my Helmet of Salvation on first, followed by the other parts of the armor. Once I am dressed, I take the first few minutes of the day to quiet my mind and body and begin the morning with God. Chaos is an option for Christians. Do you choose chaos or the peace that is greater than our understanding, being steadfast, *** relying on our Lord to fight our battles, meet our needs, and provide a way out when you do not see a way out?

““Be still and now that I am God,” the first half of Psalms 46:10, is a popular verse used to encourage believers to be still and silent before the Lord. This interpretation promotes a healthy rest in the presence of the Lord.” (Christianity.com, What Does ‘Be Still and Know I am God’ Means in Psalms 46:10? By Joel Ryan)

In closing, Cherie Hill writes, “When you begin first thing in the morning, you set the stage for your day. Through your praise, you establish a firm foundation of faith, and you can face whatever you must with courage, strength, wisdom, patience, and peace. I tell you that joy comes in the morning because you will find God’s mercy there.”**** IHe Whispers Your Name by Cherie Hill)

Scriptures (YouVersion. Bible.com)

* Ephesians 5:13-18 NKJV

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”

** Psalms 62:5-8 NIV

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

‭‭*** Isaiah 26:3,4 NIV

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

**** Psalms 59:16

But I will sing of your strength in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.

Images: Google Images
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