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

Light Flows Through Us

God works through people. We are the light others see. How bright are you glowing? How many amps do you generate? Do you cast a dim light, or do you share the Word through your actions, deeds, and discussion allowing the Holy Spirit to emanate an overpowering light through you? ~Lisa Blair

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This scripture reinforces one of my earlier posts. You are the light others see. Christ glows within you and like the filament in a light bulb emanates light outward.

The full scriptural verses read:

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Only light contrasts the darkness. It is a symbol of the war that is raging between heaven and earth, God and Satan. Satan resides in the dark. He lost his light when he fell to the earth leaving his past as God’s most beautiful, intelligent angel behind to become Satan.

You defiled your sanctuaries with your many sins and your dishonest trade. So I brought fire out from within you, and it consumed you. I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All who knew you are appalled at your fate. You have come to a terrible end, and you will exist no more.‭‭                                              Ezekiel‬ ‭28:18-19‬ ‭NLT

Ezekiel‬ ‭28:18-19‬ ‭NLT

         “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning!”‭‭            Luke‬ ‭10:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment.” ~‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Our challenge, as human beings, is to overcome the darkness by acknowledging that Jesus is our Lord and Savior and then take up His cross and live a Christ-like life. Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior invites Him to reside in us as the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the light that emanates through us and glows outward targeting observers. It is through this process that non-believers are drawn to you, inquisitive as to why you glow. What is different about you? They see the difference and then hear your story and the Word of God. The glow is planted in them, growing until there is a time when they too will hear the call to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Be clear, we are a vessel, we cannot ‘save’ anyone, not even ourselves. Our glow is the Holy Spirit, whose job it is to offer eternal life.

“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:5-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
‭‭John‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭11:34-36‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Images – YouVersion-Bible.com; Google Images-cdn.pixabay.com
Scriptures – Biblestudytools.com, Bible.com
Other Posts, same topic: Light, Jan 6, 2019, Never In Darkness, Jan 7, 2019

If your thoughts differ, please begin a dialogue online. Thank you for reading my Post. God Bless.

God-The Creator of All

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We cannot fathom the majesty of God’s all-encompassing Creation.

It is Friday and, on The Fifth Day, the Lord brings forth all of the creatures of the skies and seas. For the first time, birds take wing in the open firmament of the heavens, the waters teem with fish, and great whales roam the oceans. “Increase and multiply,” the Lord commands, “fill the waters of the sea, and let the birds be multiplied upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:20–23)

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[Quote and picture from, The Crusader Bible or Morgan formed in 1239. On display at the Morgan Library and Museum, NYC]

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Stand Fast In These Crazy Times

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While attending Church this morning God spoke to me and said, “I gave you a prophecy, share it.” This was the first time this has happened and I was a bit timid and held back. Today, I bind and cast our the spirit of timidity and fear and share this Word with all who read this post.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

This is the prophecy: “Your world will be turned upside down, but STAND, you will come out stronger.”

1 Timothy 2:5 reminds us that Christ Jesus is our mediator and is here to reconcile God and all of humanity. His goal is to save everyone, believers and those yet to become believers. Jesus is here to reconcile God and all of humanity, not just you and me. As our mediator, Jesus will bring us through the turmoil of the times. Every day we look at the news and see the chaos and deception Satan has spewed forth. Life on earth, as we know it is under attack.

All of the dynamics of our world are changing. The powers of chaos abound. These areChaos signs that the End Times are near, or perhaps we have entered it. The prophecy tells us to stand through the chaos, upheaval, and destruction.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:11-12

Chaos Circling the WorldThe world atmosphere is causing anxiety, frenzy, and fear. It is evident that we live in a time when we must exalt our Lord, our God. Thank God who removes timidity and fear from us when we entrench ourselves in faith. Why faith, because faith is not an emotion, it is ‘knowing’ that God prevails. If we feel fearful, stand in faith. If we feel timid, stand in faith. If we feel depressed, stand in faith. If life throws any kind of curveball, stand in faith. As we stand in faith Christ Jesus mediates on our behalf. The key is to believe and know that our world may be turned upside down but the grace of God will see us through, as long as we stand.

God is saying, it is not our end, we are not doomed. He is warning that we are beingStanding7 Firm in Faith tested, our emotions will be sifted, and Satan will try to deceive us and break us. Christ said to Simon Peter,

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren. Luke 22:31-34 NIV

Like Peter, if we follow His word, we will come out, more whole than when we enter the chaos lying before us. We will turn again.

As we stand in faith, Jesus intercedes on our behalf. It is because he is our mediator that Standing6 Firmwe can put on the Armor of God and stand. We cannot do it on our own and we cannot mediate for others. We are in a Principality War and Christ is mediating or interceding on our behalf, and for those who are yet to be saved. It is different from our attempts to quell the onslaught of the evil one.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when Standing4 Armorthe day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm. Ephesians 6:13-14 NIV

“Christ’s intercession for us is quite different from our intercession for one another: he intercedes as having merited what he asks for us. Whereas we intercede for our brethren, merely as expressing our good-will toward them. We, depraved and guilty sinners, could not rejoice that there is a God, were there not a Mediator also; one who stands between God and men, to reconcile man to God, and to transact the whole affair of our salvation.” (Benson Notes. BibleHub.com)

Our charge is to share the Good News, the Word of God in the midst of chaos, just as the disciples did they were stoned and spat upon when they were put in jail and run out of cities. Our vision and knowledge must align with biblical truths now more than ever before. Why, because the master marketer, Satan, is afoot. Deception is how he causes us to fall. I encourage everyone to be attentive to how you pray, and how you read and interpret the Bible as you read. Satan and his false prophets know the Bible and spiritual warfare1twist God’s Word to deceive us.

If we are successful at reading the Bible, understanding scripture and praying according to the Word, then we will be able to stand, and walk (in hand with our Mediator) away from being sifted stronger than when we entered it. 

Other Posts on this site that relate to this topic:

>Second Guessing God, Self Deception
>Satan Cycles Our Experiences
>We Live in Spiritual Warfare Terrain, AKA  the Battleground
>Disrupt Your Nature
>Horses, Blinders, Distractions
>Rotating Sphere, Depiction of the Chaos in Life
>Do Not Fear, Do Not Be Afraid
>This is the Day the Devil Must Flee

ReBlog– https://wp.me/p9BMGC-Ny
Images – YouVersion.Bible.com; google.com
Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

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Thank you for visiting my Young Christian Warriors site and dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com, at the moment there is some duplication. I am working on merging the two to create one great site. Please bear with me through this process.

Focus On Today, It Is Enough

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When we pray, we should begin the day knowing God meets all of our needs. If we know this to be the truth, then our focus will be on the victory, the successes, and not the circumstances that prevail around us. Our strength is in knowing God will lead us, comfort us, and carry us when we are weak. 

We can stop worrying because He promised to take care of all of our needs. Seek His Kingdom first. 

“But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right–the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
‭‭MATTHEW‬ ‭6:33-34‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Images – Bible.com/YouVersion
Scriptures – Bible.com

Thank you for visiting my Young Christian Warriors site and dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com, at the moment there is some duplication. I am working on merging the two to create one great site. Please bear with me through this process.

Looking Back – Satan’s Web of Deception, Self Abuse

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I am currently studying a five-day Devotional entitled, Don’t Look Back, day four to be exact. Last week I shared an earlier devotional on the same subject. You’ll recognize the red title if you look it up.

Today, the lesson is focusing on how looking back feeds the flesh. Looking back is a form of self-abuse in itself, but it also causes you to return to your past. The reason we look back is because we find comfort in our experiences. God instructed Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Once out, they no longer had the comfort of food or shelter. These creature comforts were important to them and somewhat balanced the harsh abuse they experienced as slaves.

When you look back do you look for the comforts often derived from a negative experience? Did your spouse, partner or parent mistreat you and then lavish you with gifts? Did people befriend you to gain what you have? Where you punished and then fed well to offset the punishment? Did your boss promise you the raise and then give it to someone else, and placate you? These are all past experiences that people choose to recall because, despite, the abuse – they were familiar, and oddly enough safe memories of experiences past.

The Israelites blamed Moses for the discomfort they were experiencing in the wilderness. In Exodus 17:3 NLT, they cried, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Are you trying to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst.”

They had little food during the wilderness period and complained about the good things they had in Egypt, such as good and shelter. They cried, “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” (Numbers 11:5-6 NLT.)

The crux of this story is that their comfort was attached to the abuse they received as slaves. Your story may not be fraught with physical or emotional abuse, but looking back instead of forward is abuse in itself. As I shared in the earlier Post, you cannot look in the rearview mirror and focus on what is behind you, and expect to move forward and avoid potholes at the same time. There are many scriptures in The Bible where God instructs us to have faith and look ahead. One of the most notable is Lots’ wife’s experience. The angels instructed them to leave Sodom, and leave their belongings behind, and God would spare their lives. They were also instructed not to look back at the destruction cast down on the city. Lots’ wife defied God’s command, looked back anyway and was transformed into a pillar of salt.

When we experience life’s challenges we can do one of two things, operate in the natural or choose to follow the Lords instructions. It is safe to say that most of us have not learned from the experiences God has shared about looking back. We still seek the (dis)comfort of our past because we find relief in those experiences. God continues to impress that while the transition may be difficult, the unknown is not to be feared because He is with you. He provided the Israelites with daily manna and he will do the same for you. Consider the transition lessons in faith, dependence, and obedience. God cannot guide you if you will not look forward and follow His instructions. Times may be tough, but provisions are provided, just as the manna was provided daily. Faith in God is the key to transition. We often find ourselves in the midst of the storm because we do not focus on God and His ability to change the circumstances. Our career advancement stalls because we look at our past and what we have accomplished, or not, and not what God will provide. Our relationships fail because we look at past experiences that shackled us, for whatever reason, and not at the strength of our current relationship. We look at our neighborhood and want more, but feel we cannot attain it because nothing in our past demonstrates the ability to have more. We look back most often when we are not satisfied with our life.

Most importantly, we look back to when we were not saved, before we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, a time when we relied on ourselves, when we managed on our own, made mistakes, failed and wallowed in misery, rather than looking to God for direction, depending upon Him, and being obedient to the Word.

Satan uses the deception of looking back as a control mechanism. He encourages us to back at the past, relive the experiences that are wrapped in abuse and find comfort in slavery. He wants us to remain enslaved where we will never experience the blessings God wants to bestow upon us. He wants us paralyzed, cemented in salt, forever frozen in time.

God has given us free-will, liberty to choose. We choose to look back or focus on the present and what lies ahead. We choose the known and the uncertain. It is safe to say, life is not static, we all experience change and challenges, the key is that the challenges are often the very lessons we need to prepare us for the next step in our walk with Christ. Looking back retards our growth as Christians. Rather than looking back, take Jesus’ hand and walk with Him. The unknown is less frightening when we grasp the hand of a loving parent.

Don’t look back for a sense of comfort. Look to the future, live in the present, and God will lead you into your blessings. God will never leave you or forsake you. The chorus to a Sunday hymn, In The Garden, sums up our relationship with our Lord, Saviour and Father:

And he walks with me
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

Serenity Prayer7

Images – Google Images; Biblestudytools.com;Bibleverseimages.com

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

Resource/References – YouVersion.bible.com;Lyrics, In the Garden,Google.com

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

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