LIFE WITH CHRIST—A MODEL OF LOVE

God’s love is unconditional, He pours in so we can pour out.

~ Lisa Blair

We are to love one another unconditionally, as our Father loves us in our sinful state, without conditions, caveats, or exclusion. We are to have Jesus’s mindset.

Love breaks down walls and gives the giver peace despite the circumstances. We don’t have to like everyone or keep them in our circle if toxic in anyway, but as a child of God we are required to love them as He loves us.

God pours His love into us so we can pour it out into a dark world, casting light and changing the atmosphere. When we reflect chaos and hate, we are contributing to the darkness. When we, like Paul, love everyone as God loves us, our love attracts others who are seeking God and want a relationship with Him. We are the model of Christ. Are we modeling Him or living in the natural world modeling the evil one? Do we love unconditionally, are we kind, do we sacrifice for the good of others, are we patient, trustworthy, faithful, gentle and maintain self-control?

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Do we love our neighbors, those around us wherever we go? Are we the model God sets before man? The world sees Him through our actions. Are we modeling unconditional love through our actions or reinforcing worldly values and sel-righteousness? Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians stressing that we are to emulate Christ in all we do.

Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus [look to Him as your example in selfless humility],”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Daily reminder, recite each morning   Today I go forth (intentionally) modeling Christ.

Images and Scriptures—YouVersion.Bible.com

Resource— Nelson’s Quick Reference. Warren Wiersbe

Need vs Want

Desire and want may not lead to spiritual growth, what we need will lead to spiritual growth.

~ Lisa Blair

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭9:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Most people misconstrue this scripture to mean, ’all that we want and desire’. God knows what we want and knows what we desire. He also knows what we need to advance our walk and maturity as a Christian. Want/desire, and need are very different.

Praying for desire or want should include, ’ your will be done’, or ’if it is in your will, or some compilation of the phrases. Only God knows our spiritual road map.

Image – YouVersion

Bugle Call – Awake and Put On Your Armor

Awake every morning to the bugle call. Time to get up and put on the Armor of God in prayer.

~Lisa Blair

The full armor of God does not work if it is hanging up in the closet or strewn across the floor, likewise our invisible armor does not work if we do not put it on in prayer. Ephesians clearly explains God’s gift and purpose for what He has empowered each piece of armor to accomplish. He also explains that we cloth ourselves in prayer, not as a ritual, but as protection against the wiles of the evil one.

Freedom From Sin Requires Work

‭‭John‬ ‭8:36‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Once we have been freed, we are not to return to the servitude of our sin nature, our carnal man framed in lust, ego, material gains, and all that aligns with the evil one’s motives to destroy us and separate us from a Godly life.

Maintaining freedom from sin is a daily struggle; it is easy to slip back into our old ways like Peter who later became Christ’s (primary)Apostle. The beauty is that Jesus has freed us and; we have been given the gift of sanctification and redemption.

Not to sound preachy, but we must remain alert and operate in clarity to overcome the old shackles of sin and continue to live by God’s Will and His Way.

When we find ourselves falling prey to temptation, we must immediately self-correct. It is easier to do if the act or thought requires significant input, but much more difficult if it is subtle.

The new decade allows us to walk down the path of obedience, especially during this time of global uncertainty. We must always stay alert. We are Gods’ children. We have been freed by the Son. We are free from our shackles of sin.

Never Enough Testimonies

All to often we pray, solicit prayer experience God’s blessings but never share our testimonies and victories.

~ Lisa Blair

All to often we pray, solicit prayer experience God’s blessings but never share our testimonies and victories. Sharing God’s grace, healing and strength is just as important as the prayer seeking God’s help. So, today I share this and encourage you to share His blessings as well.

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TESTIMONY

Praise the almighty power of God. I have submitted multiple prayer requests over the past two years regarding a friends who was being attacked by a form of fibromyalgia in Europe. Eventually, she was bedridden and unable to do anything for herself.

She texted me the other day to thank everyone that prayed for her. Deliverance has arrived, with the help of everyone who prayed for her complete recovery. She did not give up, or give in, but kept her eyes on the strength of the Lord. Result, she received new medications and the illness reversed itself. She walked her dog for the first time in two years, two days ago. 

She is in physical therapy, strengthening muscles etc., but functional again. She was always a God fearing woman and did not let Satan strip her faith.

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I love our victory stories, our God is our strength. When we walk by faith and not sight all things are possible. 1 Chronicles 16:12 tells us – “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”

Thank you prayer warriors from the bottom of our hearts.

Images – Google Free Images

What Does, God’s Will Be Done And Not My Own, Really Mean?

There are times in our lives when we surrender ourselves as a form of selfish need, and times when we surrender because we want a covenant relationship with the Lord. Where are you on the spectrum? It may be time to decide. You are on the precipice of surrender.

~ Lisa Blair
busy.org

Many of us tend to use this phrase nonchalantly. This is not a thoughtless statement or a decision to take lightly. When we express this thought, we are entering a covenant, a pack, with God. From this point forward, there is no looking back. This is the point of surrender.

I have heard this scripture spoken in many contexts during my lifetime. I imagine you have, as well. You may have glibly spoken it during a conversation. As a student of the Word, I now pose the question, how many times have I broken covenant with God? How many times have I uttered this statement and then chosen my own path, made my own decision, or followed others, overriding God’s purpose and plan for my life?

This gives rise to three questions we all struggle with:

1) What does ‘your will be done’ mean?

2) What does surrender mean?

3) Are you ready to commit to the covenant with God?

WHAT DOES YOUR WILL BE DONE MEAN?

When Jesus was preparing to take his place up the cross, after he could no longer take the pain, and wanted to be released from his duty, he cried out,

My father! If it is possible, let this Cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26: 39 NLT)

This is the turning point in Christ’s prayer. “Here, Jesus demonstrated the turning point in prayer for all of us. Prayer is not about bending God’s will to get what we want. The purpose of prayer is to seek God’s will and then align our desires with his. Jesus willingly placed his desires in full submission to the father’s will.” (Not my will but yours be done. Learn Religions.com)

When we make the statement, we are in effect, praying. We are committing ourselves to God’s Will for our lives. His plan for our lives was established long ago, long before we were born, perhaps before He created this universe. If we allow God to lead us, He will show us the path to take. Your will be done means you will abide by His will and not your own. 99% of the time, your purpose will be different than His. You are not first in His Will, but you surrender regardless and are bound by the covenant you created when you cried out the phrase.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11 NJKV)

In effect, when you call on God, pray to Him and listen to Him, you are abiding in His Will for your life. Your (totally) surrender yourself, holding nothing back, to His Will and His Way.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SURRENDER?

Surrendering means yielding ownership, to relinquish control over what we consider to be ours, to relinquish our life, all of it. We surrender what God has given us and how we wanted to use it to become His steward of this life. When we surrender to God, we are acknowledging His ultimate control of everything, including our circumstances, past, present, and future.

Billy Graham wrote: If you want a change in your life, if you want forgiveness and peace and joy that you’ve never known before, God demands total surrender, in so doing, our Lord becomes the ruler of your life.

When we surrender and give up all we are, we no longer seek personal gain, we are delivered from sin, and become useful to God to conduct His work on earth.

When we reach this point in our lives, making moral choices, we must choose to follow our own sinful nature (our carnal life) or seek God and surrender ourselves to Him.

ARE YOU READY TO COMMIT TO THE COVENANT WITH GOD?

Once someone speaks this statement, utters this prayer, recites this scripture, conversion has been set in place, you are on the precipice of changing your life to become God’s tool, His steward, and His servant.

Take heed, think this through before you find yourself amid the war for your soul. It is a choice, do you follow your carnal desires, or surrender them to our Lord and Savior, the head of our lives?

Are you ready to enter into covenant with God and all that it entails? Are you ready to allow God to take you wherever He needs you? Are you prepared to commit?

Internet Resources – Thy Will Be Done. lifehopeandtruth.com; A Message From Billy Graham. billygraham.org; Surrender To God. http://www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org; Total Surrender| My Utmost For His Highest. utmost.org; What Does It Mean To Surrender To God? http://www.gotquestions.org

Choose Your Friends Wisely

Your friends and associates define you. If you surround yourself with wise, thoughtful people, you too will remain or become wise, following God’s Word to govern you life. If you surround yourself with fools, you too will remain or become a fool.

~ Lisa Blair

This scripture is easily overlooked. Why, because we do not unpack it to determine what we are being warned about. That’s right, God is warning us to choose wisely. As we grow up, most of us have aligned ourselves with people (a person) that changes the very atmosphere around us. Equate people with atmospheric pressure. When the pressure is light, all goes well, when it is heavy, we jeopardize our character. We begin to act in a manner unbecoming to our nature.

Your friends and associates define you. If you surround yourself with wise, thoughtful people, you too will remain or become wise, following God’s Word to govern you life. If you surround yourself with fools, you too will remain or become a fool, following man’s word to govern your life. You get caught up in the details of the relationship and you no longer assess the damage it is causing you.

As adults, many of us align with the wrong people for any number of reasons. Sometime during the relationship we realize that it is unhealthy. It is not always unhealthy because the person is bad, it may be that their trajectory is different than yours, their values do not naturally align with yours, thus causing the relationship to feel forced. It is like atmospheric pressure.If the atmospheric pressure is constraining, you feel the weight of it, and you are always on edge around them, this is a warning sign. Alert, alert, you are under attack by carnal demons. It is time to refer back to this verse and change your course, step out of the friendship, the group, the clic, the environment that leads to the heavy atmospheric pressure weighing down on you. Run away, change your relationships that hamper your walk with God.

Photo – BecomeNomad

The following is an excerpt of Day Two, Guardrails: Avoiding Regrets In Your Life. Andy Stanley, North Point Ministries, Bible.com

Our greatest regrets are usually connected with people we’ve considered friends. Maybe yours is connected to a colleague, a classmate, or an ex-boyfriend. Maybe it’s a group of friends that, in hindsight, you wish you’d never met. Even if you were alone, chances are your greatest regret somehow grew out of a relationship. 

These ill-fated friendships have taught us (often the hard way) that our futures are impacted by the people we spend time with. This is why we need relational guardrails. 

Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, wrote: “Walk with the wise and become wise . . .” In other words, wisdom is contagious. Do life with the wise and, over time, you’ll become wise. It happens automatically.

And there’s a second part: “. . . for a companion of fools suffers harm.” When you hang out with a fool, you get caught up in the consequences of their bad decisions. You catch the shrapnel. Your reputation is ruined like his. You get fired like her. You aren’t invited next time either. 

Relational guardrails help us avoid “foolishness fallout.” 

So, as you think about your friendships, here are three guardrails to consider. When one of these things occurs, let it light up your conscience before you suffer harm.

1. You catch yourself pretending to be someone other than who you really are.

2. Something that’s never been a temptation before is now something you’re considering. 

3. You hope the people you care about don’t know your whereabouts.

Remember, guardrails aren’t meant to declare something (or someone) right or wrong. They are meant to guide you back toward wisdom. So, are any of your friendships veering into the danger zone? Which guardrail are you bumping up against and what are you going to do about it?

The most important thing we can do in life is to continue our walk with God, anything that negatively impacts our relationship with the Lord should be shed. Wisdom is a gift, cherish it and hold it dear to your heart, consider it your guardrail.

Visit my site for other posts focusing in friendships, relationships, and living God’s Word.