Treasure In Clay Jars

Feeling defeated is a human trait that Christians must overcome to become ambassadors for Christ.

~ Lisa Blair

Have you ever felt defeated? Paul wrote this letter to the disciples who were preaching about Jesus to crowds of non-believers. Their lives were being threatened, and they were beaten and jailed. Paul wanted the disciples to know that their efforts were not unnoticed by God and their rewards were forthcoming. He told them they would be hard pressed, but not crushed; they would often be perplexed, but should not despair; they would be persecuted, but God would not abandon them and; they would be struck down, but not destroyed.

“But now, GOD ’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— Because I am GOD, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:1-3 MSG‬‬

He encouraged them to continue to spread the Gospel, a ‘treasure’ because it contains rich truths, and are the blessing of the new covenant. The Gospel speaks to the riches of God and of Christ, of grace and of glory. He wanted to empower the disciples who were the vessels of the Word. Paul spoke to the disciples, we are not completely unlike them in that we are God’s ambassadors. We are today’s clay pots. They were the clay pots, many felt at a loss during these tribulations. Paul shared that even though they may have been at a loss as to what to say to the masses, they should not give up. Luke shared that God would give them the words to say when the time was right, Luke 12;12 – The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say at the moment when you need them. God also gives us the words to say in any situation in life, be it a speech at school, work, prayer group, or during family conversations.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV

We are all ambassadors. We each hold the rich truth of the Gospel and have been told to carry it with us and share the Word with all around us. God will never abandon us or forsake us. The Holy Spirit guides our words and actions, especially in times of doubt or fear.

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them (be terrified of them). For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Life has twists and turns. We can be figuratively or physically be stoned and struck down, but as Paul said, Christ survived the hardships, troubles, and frustrations that he faced. The disciples faced disappointments, exhaustion, harassment, mocking, and jeering standing by the side of Christ. Christ was mercilessly beaten, prodded and killed. Paul shares that there was a wearing effect of the ministry on Christ (he was very man and very God). Like Christ, the disciples experienced mental, emotional, and physical tolls.

We experience some form of the above in our personal and spiritual lives. Christ taught the disciples, and through adoption – taught us that we must deny ourselves, not gravitate to self, and put Him first. We must decrease, so He can increase. We must see Christ’s strength in all we do and rely on His strength to stand in the midst of unbelievers. Like the disciples, we cannot be defeated whilst acknowledging our humanness. The humanness that becomes a clay jar, an earthen vessel, housing the treasures of the Gospel through the Holy Spirit (who dwells in us), who leads us and guides us through life.

Images – YouVersion.Bible.com; New Boston Church of Christ

Resources – bible study tools.com; biblehub.com; preceptaustin.org

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com; Bible.com

Dwelling In God’s House


Dwelling in the house of the Lord is not only an afterlife experience. It begins in the here and now.
~ Lisa Blair

Our most valved longing should be our desire to seek after the Lord. All other desires are temporal. As we go through life putting God first, we will find all other things fall in place and no longer vie for our full attention.

Google Images

When I think of peace and safety, I see myself in God’s presence, like David (the author of the Book of Psalms) persevering in worship while conducting God’s work as I go through my daily life. Our dwelling place is anywhere we find ourselves: home, the studio, school, work, store, restaurant, library, church, the laundromat, on the bus, on a train, in a plane, walking, or in the park, anywhere we are at the moment. They are all sacred places because we are God’s children.


I’ve learned that while I travel through my day, I can just as easily hold internal conversations with God as I do with self-talk that is often harmful, doubtful, and demeaning. Inserting God into everything I do provides clarity and comfort. I am dwelling in Him instead of the world.
I become strengthened through conversations with God, which at times include prayer, praise, worship. I find studying the Word teaches me His Holy language, provides discipline and gives new light and understanding to our conversations. I love that my thoughts are ensconced in His Word.


By Majesticartdesign. Pixabay.com

Our ultimate purpose is to be in service to the Lord in all that we do. We are here to learn, grow, and be God’s ambassadors on earth. We were born again to dwell in the house of the Lord. Where do you reside?


Resources – Biblestudytools.com; BibleStudylight.org

Committed To Night Fishing?

“As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He noticed two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.”
‭‭MATTHEW‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭AMP‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

How tentative are we to follow Christs’ instructions to do something different than our normal routine prescribes? Most of us find comfort in routine. Routines are safe, they may not produce the best results, but we find comfort in the process.

Simon was a fisherman, and knew the patterns of fishing, so when Christ told him to take his boat out into the water in the night skies and drop his nets, he was skeptical. Fishing at night was not his norm. His prior experiences caused him to pause when Christ instructed him against fishing as he normally did. Most of us feel discomfort when instructed to row out into the reverse known ebb and flow practices. There are times when we feel we are fishing in the darkness of night, not certain which direction to take. Are we any different than Simon, skeptical of altering how we function? The answer is yes and no.Yes, if it a planned, or a recommended detour, no if we are told to walk with Christ into the dark of night and drop our nets. Simon probably took a moment before he decided to trust Christ. We are no different and have to trust in the Lord, (kind of blind faith), knowing that He is teaching us to walk the same path as Him.

entrust yourself to Him; Do not fret (whine, agonize).”
‭‭PSALM‬ ‭37:7‬ ‭AMP‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

I used the term blind faith, as a metaphor. When we are in the darkness of night, our sight is limited. We can no longer see into the distance, all that we see is what lies directly before us. We become myopic and can not see the big picture. It is during the night that our gait is reduced and we look down more than up to make certain we do not trip or fall. We are skeptical of what is around us, and our current pattern is disrupted. The disruption causes us to pause and question new instructions, asking ourselves why, how is this going to affect me, what will I get out of this change?

Change is inevitable once you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. Part of having faith is being dependent upon our Father, accepting that His ways are not our ways. We should at minimal have the same faith in Christ that He like our parents will protect us, guide us, and lead us in the right direction. Our faith in Christ allows us to row out into the darkness of life and throw out our net.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, this is the way; walk in it.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We must learn to follow Simon’s leads and listen to God’s voice and obey when He instructs us to walk in the way He commands.

Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.”
Proverbs 4:25

If we listen to Jesus’ instructions, instead of questioning them, it will not matter if it is night or day. It will not matter if the directions seem convoluted and misdirected according to our understanding. God is our Master and Teacher and His path and trajectory is not the same as ours. He is looking at (our) eternity, we look at what is before us and no further.

And He said, “ Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men.”
‭‭MATTHEW‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭AMP‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

We are all ministers and thus fishers of men. Wherever we go, whatever we do or say, there are onlookers observing how we act and how we respond in all situations. We cast our net into the water every day, we are just not aware of it. The prerequisites are: giving our life to Christ, not fearing His instructions and standing fast on the Word of God. Do you want to become a night fisherman like Simon?

Hearing His Word

It’s important to learn the Word so your relationship becomes more vivid. God speaks to us in many ways, but I find it most comforting when He teaches me through the Word. Memorize a daily devotional scripture each day and watch it strengthen your faith and emotional stamina.

CONQUERING EVIL By DOING GOOD, Part 1

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Conquering Evil

Evil times are times when the worst of mankind surfaces. It is also a time when the Principality War is most visible. My last two posts shared thoughts about the present evil time, and how faith is our anchor. Today we’ll focus more in-depth on conquering evil by doing good. We are Gods army; we are the ‘ Resistance.’ It is our responsibility to resist the enemy in the time of evil. (Eph 6:13)

The word ‘conquer’ means, to overcome by force. In our case, overcoming by physical force is not possible. The Principality War is between God and Satan. The war exists in the second heaven and is played out on earth. If we are to be victorious and conquerors, we must use the weapons the Lord gave us that are described in Ephesians. Each part of the armor represents a component of our weaponry and is based in prayer.  Paul tells the Ephesians to put on the armor and explains that they must be dressed to stand against the devil’s schemes. He also shared that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (See my post about the Heavenlies.) 

Paul described the armor as Roman military uniforms. The importance of wearing the armor is still applicable today. The war is raging, and we need to dress in the appropriate attire to protect ourselves, stand, and fight in God’s army.

“13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

There are six elements that compose our armor. Each element has its attribute though they must be worn together. Failure to wear each piece leaves us exposed to the wiles of Satan and the onslaught of his demons.

Parts of the Armor Definition of Attributes
Breastplate The breastplate represents Christ’s Righteousness/Purity. It protects us from Satan’s accusations and charges. The enemy attacks through sin, and the temptation of the flesh. The breastplate protects our heart, through which spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23; Romans 3:10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:9)
Belt The belt is the Gospel of Peace. The belt holds everything together. It is our commitment to the truth. It refers to the truths of the Scripture, as opposed to the lies of Satan. It is the foundation of our integrity and honesty. If we don’t have integrity, we will lose the battle. (John 8:44; John 8:32)
Shoes/Sandals Sandals are the believer’s tranquility/solid footing of peace. Satan tries to place obstacles in our path. Jesus provides strength and discipline to our walk. (1 John 2:6; John 10:27)
Shield The shield is our Faith/Certainty in God’s Word/Truth. The shield combats doubt, thrown as fiery darts. Faith is a gift from God that dwells in us. (Ephesians 6:16; 2 Timothy 3:12; Romans12:3; Galatians 2:20; 2 Timothy 4:7) Use the shield of faith to turn aside everything Satan and his demons hurl at you.
Helmet The helmet is our salvation. It is being saved which protects our thought and mind from attacks. When we are sure of our salvation, we will not be moved by Satan’s deception. Our salvation is knowing that our sins are forgiven and gives us peace when the accusations of unforgiveness are hurled. (1 John 1:9; 1 John 5:11, 12)
Sword The sword is the Word of God we use when we are being tempted by Satan and his attacks. The sword is the only offensive weapon. The sword protects us and destroys the enemy and his temptations. (Hebrews 4:12; John 17:17; Psalm 119:105)

Each morning when we take out our outfit for the day, we must also take out our armor. Paul commands us to:

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17 NKJV

Prayer is the thread that stitches the armor together.  So, while prayer is not part of the armor, it is the thread that holds it together.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18 NKJV

 READ, Conquering Evil by Doing Good, Part 2, tomorrow

Re-Blog – https://wp.me/p98Coa-DL
Scripture – Bible.com/YouVerison,Images – YouVersion, Google Images
Resources/References – Armor of God-WHat It Is and How to Use It. Debbie McDaniel, Crosswalk.com; Armor of God. What Is It? Bibleinfo.com

The Dark Times

In a time where it seems that the Civil War spirit has spread throughout the nation, it’s important to remember who we are – God’s children.

We live in this world but are not of this world, and some of the commandments do not line up with worldly logic. I understand that, my response, to paraphrase Jesus, is, ‘not my will, but your will be done’.

God’s command is to ’love our enemies, to love those who hate us and despise us.’ We are to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who mistreat us.

Why?

We are God’s children and He wants to save all souls. ”The idea of blessing is to invoke God‘s favor on another’s behalf or at least appeal to God for that person.” Jesus is calling for an unnatural response. He wants us to respond in love and not physical or verbal retaliation.

This is important for everyone including me. I am at times taken over by the prevailing spirit of hate and anger, succumbing to the spirit of Civil War hate. But my response feels unnatural and weakens my resolve.

As we mature as Christians, our continuance is no longer of this world. We can no longer linger in the hate, hurt, or malice. God has called us into another world. One that stands in the face of this energy and proclaims Him the victor, our Lord, and Savior.

We cannot be separated from God. We are his children. And we have an intimate relationship with Him. It is unnatural to abandon Him during these dark times.

It is precisely during these times that people look for light and look for God. We are the light, the Holy Spirit lives in us and shines through our being. They look to see how we respond, with love or hate. The war is not ours, it is a principality war and we are charged to carry out the Lord’s commands. We are God’s foot soldiers. Our light must continue to shine brightly in this all-encompassing darkness.

Light always shines through the darkness, if we ’STAND’ in these evil times. We need to do good and be merciful to our enemies because of what God did for us, when we were unsaved sinners.

Re-Blog – https://wp.me/p98Coa-Dv
Scripture Bible.com; Biblegateway.com, TNIV
Images – Bible.com, YouVersion; Google Images

Thank you for visiting my Young Christian Warriors site and dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com.

Forgiveness is Not Easy

Believe me, it is not easy to forgive, because it is not easy to forget past hurts. Before we can forgive as God commanded,  we must first learn how to disconnect from past hurts. This is the most difficult part of the preparation for forgiving. We give life to our thoughts every time we allow them to re-enter our consciousness. They are restrictive, remotely controlled, and Satan’s ploy to distract us and keep us from activating God’s Word in our lives.

It is impossible to remove them if they live in our present day thoughts, they remain part of us and continue to define us as earthly vessels. However, it is possible to retire them to a place of dormancy where they can no longer access energy to be reborn. Each time they resurface and we cowl to their power we replace the power of the Word of God, which is our ultimate power source. Satan created or minimally inspired the hurt that weakens us, by giving renewed life to the experience(s) each time we are distracted by them, meaning they do not lay dormant as long as you continue to give them energy through our thoughts.

Satan inspires and maintains past hurts to weaken us.

Satan knows that as long as we are enslaved by past hurts, we cannot follow God’s command to forgive. This is the wedge he placed between our spiritual development and our carnality. We cannot forgive if we cannot control our thoughts and release ourselves from continuously being victimized by our thoughts.

We must retire the past and allow it to become part of our past, in a catatonic state so we can stabilize our present, and mature as Christian Warriors. Never forget we live in a good fight4principality war and we must take God’s commands to heart and use his principles and weapons to secure our ability to control our own thinking.

 

To this end, all change is a process, a procedure. We must relegate our hurts to the past. We cannot learn to forgive as God forgave us until we rewire our thinking. The scripture says we are not of this world, though it tries to enslave us. We do however live in this world where Satan continues to treat us as pawns in his plan to take over the earth and all that resides on it. Consequently, we must stay vigilant, awake and constantly return thoughts that pervade our thinking back into a catatonic state. In short, we must speak to the hurt, reject the thought and replace it with God’s words.

As a caveat, we should not remain in harmful environments if there is physical or emotional harm, however, if the experiences are behind us, we must learn to take away their power and replace it with the Word of God, our true power source.
The actual scripture reads: “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Col 3:13, NLT

Forgiveness1Our humanistic conversation sounds something like this: He/She harmed me, how can I forgive them? I hate them. God’s response is, I forgave the people that crucified my innocent son, there is nothing worse than that. If I can forgive them, you can forgive those that caused you personal harm as well. Don’t let the hate become a badge of victimization, an albatross around your neck. Capture it once and Forgiveness3for all and put it in cryosleep. Is this easy? No. But God commanded and our answer should be ‘Yes Lord. I forgive those that have done me harm and am no longer bound by the hurt.’

God’s Command to us – FORGIVE, as I forgave you.

 

 

Images – YouVersion, Bible.com; Google Images

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

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