Leave the Old Behind

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Love surrounds me and fills my heart. (Author Unknown)

The new year is almost here, and as Christians, we should be grateful for all the Lord has done for us during this pandemic year. In the midst of extreme changes and loss, there are things to be grateful for in our lives; taking time with the Lord will help you examine your spiritual growth. I am certain you will find that during your trials and temptations you became closer to God. You most likely reached out to people you previously had no time to contact (a blessing for you and the people you reached). You reevaluated what is important and what have been found to be distractions. And, you probably spent time with yourself and determined what you like and what you want to shed as you grow in God’s will, way and life.

2021 can be your new beginning. The challenge is not making resolutions but a to-do list. It is a time to confirm that you will follow the Lord’s leading. It is time we all place God as the most important person in our lives, followed by family, siblings, and friends. It is a time to eliminate distractions that steal the time we should spend in communication with our Lord. It is time to stay in the present and make each day count.

Below are prayers welcoming a stronger llife with Christ in 2021 that I found on- line and speak to me. I hope they strengthen your as well. I wish you the best in the new year. ~Lisa Blair

For Peace in the New Year

At the start of each day, help us to recognize you above all else. Enlighten the eyes of our heart that we might see you, and notice how you’re at work through our lives. Give us the wisdom to make the best choices, fill us with a desire to seek after you more than anything else in this world. Let your Spirit and power breathe in us, through us, again, fresh and new. Thank you that you are greater than anything we may face in our day. Thank you that your presence goes with us and that your joy is never dependent on our circumstances, but it is our true and lasting strength, no matter what we’re up against. We ask that your peace lead us, that it would guard our hearts and minds in you. We ask for your grace to cover our lives this day. We love you Lord…we need you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” – Debbie McDaniel (Christianity.com)

Prayer for a Victorious New Year

Lord Jesus, I come to you in this brand new year with a desire to move forward, not backward. Last year is gone and with it all the foolish mistakes I made. I’m eager to put the past behind and to press on toward the mark of knowing you, loving you, serving you, and making Your name known in this coming year.

I need You, Lord. Without You, I can’t meet the heavy demands of life or the unrelenting pressures that I’ll face this coming year. I am making a new commitment today—not a New Year’s resolution—but a new desire to place You where You always belong, first place in my life. Make the “I will’s” of Scripture become my affirmations: “I will trust You; I will praise You; I will follow You.” I will replace fear with faith, knowing You are always with me. And with You on my side, it will be a victorious New Year.

I lay down my broken armor, my rusty tools, my self-defenses, and every excuse I’ve used for not living victoriously. Purge my bad habits; free me from wrong expectations; and fill my heart, soul, and mind with praiseworthy thoughts and actions. I want to exchange my past disappointments for Your divine appointments this year. My life is Yours; my relationships belong to You; everything I have is Yours, Jesus. Set my feet on the right path this year, and grant wisdom so I can make the right choices that will honor You. Let me see others as You see them, as precious ones You created. Renew the gifts and abilities You’ve so generously given me so I can bless others as You’ve blessed me.

I realize my desire for perfection is misplaced. My relationship with You doesn’t depend on my performance but upon Your presence in my life. I will make mistakes. But I don’t have to be perfect! You’ve already made me acceptable in Your sight because of Your death and resurrection. You covered my past, present, and future. You have given me everything I could possibly need for the coming year. In You, I am complete, Lord. Help me to accept my faults and make Your mirror my own. I want to reflect You daily.

Because of Your love and the price, You paid for my sin, I can not only enjoy a victorious new year but a triumphant life. You put a new “want-to” in my life and in my heart. And as the calendar turns another page in this brand new year, I want more than ever, to live it for You. There is no battle in my life too great with You in my life. There is victory in You, Jesus! – Rebecca Barlow Jordan (Christianity.com)
 

A Prayer to Keep God First This New Year

Dear God, Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you’ve allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day.

We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else. We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight. We ask that you would help us release our grip on the things to which you’ve said “no,” “not yet,” or “wait.” We ask for help to pursue you first, above every dream and desire you’ve put within our hearts.

We ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power to be constantly present within us. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us, so that you would be honored by our lives, and others would be drawn to you. We pray that you’d keep us far from the snares and traps of temptations. That you would whisper in our ear when we need to run, and whisper in our heart when we need to stand our ground.

We pray for your protection over our families and friends. We ask for your hand to cover us and keep us distanced from the evil intent of the enemy; that you would be a barrier to surround us, that we’d be safe in your hands. We pray that you would give us discernment and insight beyond our years, to understand your will, hear your voice, and know your ways. We ask that you would keep our footsteps firm, on solid ground, helping us to be consistent and faithful. Give us supernatural endurance to stay the course, not swerving to the right or to the left, or being too easily distracted by other things that would seek to call us away from a close walk with you.

Forgive us for the times we have worked so hard to be self-sufficient, forgetting our need for you, living independent of your spirit. Forgive us for letting fear and worry control our minds, and for allowing pride and selfishness wreak havoc over our lives. Forgive us for not following your ways and for living distant from your presence. We confess our need for you…fresh…new…again. We ask that you make all things new, in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives, for this coming year. We pray for your refreshing over us.

Keep your words of truth planted firm within us, help us to keep focused on what is pure and right, give us the power to be obedient to your word. And when the enemy reminds us where we have been, hissing his lies and attacks our way, we trust that your voice speaks louder and stronger, as you remind us we are safe with you and your purposes and plans will not fail. We ask that you will be our defense and rear guard, keeping our way clear, removing the obstacles, and covering the pitfalls. Lord, lead us on your level ground.

We ask that you would provide for our needs, we ask for your grace and favor. We pray for your blessings to cover us, we pray that you would help us to prosper and make every plan that you have birthed in our heart to succeed. We pray that others would take notice of your goodness and could not help but to say, “These are the ones that the Lord has blessed.”

Help us to be known as great givers, help us to be generous and kind, help us to look to the needs of others and not be consumed by only our own. May we be lovers of truth, may the fruits of your spirit be evident in our lives – your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Shine your light in us, through us, over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set you way before us. May all your plans succeed. We may reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing. To you be glory and honor, in this New Year, and forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen. (Debbie McDaniel. Crosswalk.com)

If you do not have a relationship with Christ, but found yourself on this page, it is time to take you leap of faith. Recite Romans 10:9,

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

God will receive you into the family of Christ. Seek a good church home to assist you on your journey. God bless, you are in good hands. I pray you will know God, see Jesus and be filled by the Holy Spirit as we enter this new year. Only He can save you.

Resources: Christianity.com; Crosswalk.com; Biblegateway.com

Photos: LAB Photos; Google Images.com; Mu Tahiry, Nextdoor app.

Resources: Christianity.com; Crosswalk.com

Photos: LAB Photos; Google Images.com; Mu Tahiry, Nextdoor app.

Godly Sorrow and Worldly Sorrow are Not the Same

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Christians are born into sin, but not bound by sin. Sin produces either Worldly sorrow or Godly sorrow. The two are not the same. Godly sorrow brings repentance and eternal life, worldly sorrow brings self-forgiveness and death.

~ Lisa Blair

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV

What is this scripture saying to us?

The kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin. My concern is that most try to categorize sin as a minor act or a major act, making one easier to erase than the other. Many feel sinning is defined by weight, the truth is that sin is not defined by scale but by act. The act itself defines it as sin. Whenever we focus on self and not the Lord, our sin nature is in control, and we are acting in sin that leads to death. Sin is defined as either sin of omission or commission.

Types of Sin: Sins of Omission and Commission

Sin through omission is sinning without being aware, and therefore one cannot experience remorse or shame for having committed the sin. The other type is sinning through commission, meaning we are knowingly committing the sin, and thus consciously experience shame, not because we sinned, but because we have been caught or feel guilt, this produces worldly sorrow. When we sin against God, because He is God, we feel Godly Sorrow. It is important to understand that worldly sin (sin focused on self) begets worldly sorrow because we want forgiveness for selfish reasons; when we sin against God, we want forgiveness because we know we hurt Him.

Worldly Sorrow

Because we are human, we experience a contrite self-focused sorrow, a feeling of remorse or regret affected by a sense of guilt, a worldly sorrow. For example, when, as children, we fibbed to a parent or adult, we felt guilty and wanted to be absolved to remove the guilty, shameful feeling. Worldly sorrow focuses on regret and remorse and is focused on self, leading to death; conversely, Godly sorrow leads to salvation and life.

Godly Sorrow

Godly sorrow is the acute sense of sadness we experience when we knowingly sin against God. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation. Godly sorrow results from the heartfelt conviction that we have offended God by our sin, it has nothing to do with our feelings. This sorrow is sorrow towards God because the sinful act is against His Holiness first. It is unselfish in its focus.

True Repentance

Regret involves the mind primarily, and remorse involves the emotions. But, repentance includes a change of mind, a hatred for sin, and a willingness to make things right. If the will is not touched, conviction has not gone deep enough.

Repentance is not to be taken lightly. It is not a ‘get out of jail’ card. When we repent for hurting God, we immediately become responsible for eliminating this act of sin from our being. While elimination may take time, each time we are confronted by the sin, we learn to stand fast and turn away until it is powerless over us. God looks at our intent as we grow into maturity, following His Will for our lives. There is no complete perfection in this life. He looks at our righteousness through Christ who mediates on our behalf. Like Paul wrote, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:14 NLT. We must press on, relinquish our quest for self-gratification and focus on how we live a Godly life. As we mature, our lives should become less hurtful to God because our eye is on the prize and less on self. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

Note

Earlier in my Christian walk, I prayed that God would forgive me for my sins of omission and commission, not realizing the focus of the prayer was on self. I did not understand wanting forgiveness was not an act of Godly sorrow, but one of worldly contrition. Now I pray that He helps me to remove myself from the equation and focus wholeheartedly on Him. When the focus is on Him, I remove my self-interest.

Once we define which type of sorrow we are experiencing, we can remove ourselves from being the subject. We can then acknowledge that we have sinned against God because He is our focus. It is not until we understand that it is not about us that we can suffer Godly sorrow that leads to salvation and eternal life.

Resources — gotquestions.com; purelifeministries.org; Nelson’s Quick Reference. Bible Commentary, Warren Wiersbe; Authentic Ministry “What is Real Repentance” II Corinthians 7:2-16. Pastor John Miller

Images — YouVersion/Bible.com; Google Images

I am Thankful!

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I am thankful for being a child of God.

LISA BLAIR

Today is Thanksgiving in the USA, it’s our time to share what and why we are thankful. I am so thankful for so many things. My list is in this order – I am thankful for having a Sovereign God who is my Father in heaven, my family (husband of 47 years, three sons , daughter-in-laws and son-in-law, two granddaughters, one 11 and the other 2, and many cousins). We are blessed to have a 100 yr old Aunt who still lives in her own home and walks the bay several times a week. She has spent her life in church, and as they say, is a God fearing woman.

I’m thankful for our health and prosperity and the fact that Christ was by my husband and my side this year during health challenges that could have turned out much different. We are well.

But most of all I am thankful that Christ died for our sins. Our salvation is the result of Him taking on the worst of humanity to free us.

As long as I have Christ, I know my loved ones who shared their lives with me, raised me, cared for me, and made certain my memories are bright, are with God. 

I will continue to be thankful everyday and see the wonders of Christ in everything. Whether I suffer, experience trials and tribulations, or am in a place of peace. God will always be my Savior. I will continue to strive in obedience to His Word, His Will and His Life.

Free Yourself From The Shackles

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Jesus humbled himself to the point of death to give us life. We should be able and willing to humble ourselves and, honestly, repent for our sins (stating what they are or were) and start anew (fresh). It is never too late, God forgives us when we repent, allowing us to move-on shackle free. Christ gave us the opportunity to rise above who we (presently) are. It is time to change our home location,  we are in this world, but not of this world. 

Go to a quiet place and speak to God, ask Him to forgive you. You choose the place. It could be in the midst of a train station, bar, standing on the corner in busy traffic. Just still yourself and pray. He will receive you wherever you are at the moment.

We belong to Christ. New Beginnings.

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Use Your Words

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As we tell children, use your words. Words have creative power. Speak to yourself. Speak to the Lord, and believe what He promises you. Stay in agreement with the Lord, hang all hope on His Word. God will never leave you or forsake you.

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart.
Jeremiah 1:5, NLT

Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.
Deuteronomy 31:6, MSG

It is comforting in knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us. This truth allows us to stay in faith when we are suffering through whatever circumstances are prevalent in our lives. Always focus on the truth – God will bring you out. Through faith, even if we do not see what He is doing, we know that He is working behind the scenes for our good. God orchestrates the outcome long before we are aware of the prevailing circumstances.

Don’t wallow in despair, which is what most of us want to do in times of stress. It is important to continuously stir up our faith, especially when you want to give up. Remember God is always working, especially when we are weary. Faith reinforces our stamina, it girds us up. Jesus carries us when we cannot take another step. This is the time to stay in prayer and use our words to verbally seek our Lord.  Which words you ask? The Word of God, the scriptures in the Bible. God enjoys our relationship with Him. Feel free to speak His words back to Him asking for guidance and deliverance.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

Our future is always greater than our expectations

Expect a supportive outcome, it may not be what you expected, but it will be one that moves you forward. Speak to the expectation/outcome, whatever it is. Don’t speak failure or despair. In other words, do not harp on being fired, speak to the next step, a new job or career path. Ask God to show you the way and put you in the right place at the right time. Be open to new adventures. Give God your attention and He will reveal how his promises operate in your life. You ask, when will I see my next step, when will I have a clear vision? You may see it either through revelation before it manifests or after the manifestation when you have the opportunity to look back over the given episode in your life and you are able to say ‘ah-ha’, that is where God moved in my life.

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In review, this post began with Romans 8:18 and covered the entire chapter. Take time to read Romans 8 after completing this post and reviewing the summary below. Ask God to show you how He supported you in your life to this point, how opportunities arose, health was reclaimed, spiritual maturity developed over time, how your family prospered, and your career took a turn that led to a success that you could not imagine.

The entire chapter directs us to keep our mind centered on the things of the Lord. These points will help you on your path

 

  • The Holy Spirit resides in us and therefore lives in us.
  • It highlights that we have been adopted into God’s family, which leads us to spiritual maturity, and is our inheritance.
  • We are no longer orphans, God adopted us into His family.
  • Belonging to God’s family means we should no longer be frustrated when suffering through our own experiences, or by what we see in the world. because we have hope, which is part of our inheritance.
  • God’s purpose is for us to succeed here on earth. He gave us the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us and guides us as we pray, and He ensures that life’s circumstances work out for our good, no matter how painful they may be.
  • God always sees us through the dark days.
  • God’s love is real and manifests in us in the form of the Holy Spirit, who is the very life of Jesus Christ.
  • Nothing can separate us from God’s love.

USE YOUR WORDS

Tell yourself, I have God’s favor, nothing can hold me back. I am standing fast to my faith, even in the darkest hour. My God is still in control. If God is for me, then who or what can be against me and succeed? My God is a good and faithful God. His glory in my life is His promise to me.

Images – YouVersion, Bible.com; LAB Photography

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

Resources – Hayford’s Bible Handbook. Jack Hayford, General Editor, 1995. Nelson’s Quick Chapter-by-Chapter Reference: Bible Commentary. Warren Wiersbe,1991.

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