Seeking Approval

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“For am I seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10

There seems to be an overwhelming need to impress and get the approval of others. We tend to compare ourselves to those around us and even more so with social media on the rise. We do all sorts of strange things because of our need to please and seek the approval of people we don’t even know. Popular opinion can dictate our decisions and lead us astray. The unpopular topics of discussion tend to fall under conservative, biblical, and moral values. It’s not popular to stand up for truth when cultural “tolerance” is relentless in their attack of silencing those who oppose them. It’s hard at times to find firm ground in our beliefs in an uncertain world. The result of our complacent behavior leads to finding ourselves trapped in a sinful society’s norms. God’s desire is to remove us from this sinful mindset. He doesn’t want us seeking the approval of others in fear of their rejection or rebuke. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we look to God for His ultimate wisdom. He will strengthen, correct, and uplift you in a firm yet gentle manner when you seek His council above all others. Resist the urge to run with the crowd. When we become rooted in the identity of Christ we no longer seek worldly approval or cultural agendas. Don’t be deceived by worldly doctrines that hold no truth or morals and try to corrupt who you are. Take a stand for what is right in the eyes of God and let the opinions of others fall to the side so that the one true opinion can shine through!

 

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Verses for having an Eternity Perspective

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“For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.”

Hebrews 11:10

 

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”

Proverbs 4:7

 

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Colossians 3:1-2

 

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Psalm 90:12

 

“Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when He comes.”

Matthew 24:46

 

“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!”

Psalm 39:4

 

“For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling.”

2 Corinthians 5:2

 

“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Matthew 24:44

 

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

1 Timothy 6:12

 

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9

 

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Revelation 22:20

Why God?

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“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”

Ezekiel 36:26

I often ponder on how to respond to someone who asks why God? Why Jesus out of all the others gods? What proof do you have? These are valid questions and they are also questions we need to be prepared to answer. We all have a unique story on how God spoke to us but it doesn’t benefit the person asking the question of why God. The personal experience you went through didn’t happen to them. Sharing a testimony can have tremendous impact on those who hear it but there are others who still won’t believe. There are in depth theological and philosophical answers as well to why Jesus but there is also another. The profound proof of Jesus’ existence that all can witness including the skeptic is witnessing the change of one’s heart and ultimately their new life. A drug addict, alcoholic, prostitute, depressed, broken, or any lost person can randomly walk into a church service and hear the message of Jesus. Words are being spoken by the pastor but God is touching the heart of the individual and is being supernaturally changed. All of a sudden in that moment of surrender Jesus changes what you want to do and frees you from your current addiction that you could never break on your own. Your decisions are affected, your character is reformed, and your heavy load is lightened. We suddenly have a fresh love for others we didn’t have before. We suddenly want forgive the people who wronged us. We now live in a wonderfully freeing truth. The troubles and burdens of this world are now lifted from our backs and placed in the hands of God. Joy can now be experienced through the storm and trials of life because the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) If there is someone who asks you why Jesus and where the proof lies then you can always point to change of one’s heart. No one can deny the change of someone’s life that Jesus has touched and how their own lives can change as well. If Jesus has changed your life and touched your heart make every effort to express this transformation in all you do!

 

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Verses on Strength

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“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10

 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

 

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

Psalm 31:24

 

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek His face always.”

Psalm 105:4

 

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:28-31

 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

 

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Isaiah 46:4

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

“I pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being,”

Ephesians 3:16 

 

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”

Ephesians 6:10

 

“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:13

Verses on Faith

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He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20

 

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Mark 11:22-26

 

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Romans 1:17

 

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2

 

But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

Romans 10:8-11

 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Hebrews 11:1-3

 

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

 

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-9

Verses on Love

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

 

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:37-40

 

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35

 

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

John 14:21-24

 

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:9-10

 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13

 

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

1 John 3:14

 

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

1 John 4:11-21

 

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.

1 John 5:2

10 Inspirational Quotes of the Day

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1) The joy of the Lord is my strength. -Nehemiah 8:10

2) Singleness isn’t a season to “endure” until marriage, but a season to serve God to the best of our ability. -Unknown

3) A warrior is that women who gets up despite the enemy trying to destroy her. A women who declares victory before seeing it. A women who believe she receives her miracles, because she knows the Lord she serves is alive and powerful -Unknown

4) Being a Christian isn’t for sissies. It takes a real man to live for God- a lot more man than to live for the devil. -Johnny Cash

5) Paul wrote, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content…” -Philippians 4:11

6) “When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.” -C.S. Lewis

7) “Lord, call us to battle, that we may proclaim you King of Kings and Lord of Lords!” -Miss Clara; War Room

8) She’s a strong cup of black coffee in a world that is drunk on the cheap wine of shallow love. -JmStorm

9) “I believe in Christ, like I believe in the sun- not because I can see it, but because I can see everything else.” -C.S. Lewis

10) May we be a canvas for displaying God’s powerful works of Grace- Unknown

The Roman Road : The Plan of Salvation

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The Bible is a book with sixty six divisions in all. The book of Romans is a series of verses that outlines God’s plan for salvation. Write these verse on a page in your Bible or highlight the verses. You can memorize them and be prepared to tell anyone about God’s plan for salvation when the time arises!

Romans 3:23 // Romans 6:23 // Romans 5:8 // Romans 10:9-10 // Romans 10:13

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23

For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.

Romans 10: 9-10

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:13

The Roman Road: This is one of the most effective presentations for people who’ve heard the message but need to see it in black and white, right out of the pages of the Bible. It’s based on…verses in the book of Romans I’d suggest highlighting these in your Bible so that they’re easy to find and show to others. -Bill Hybels

 

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Communion with God

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What is the definition of communion? It is the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level. There are many ways we experience communion and closeness to God. I want to share with you the best way I know how to meet with God and join in communion with Him.

Give God your first and find a meeting place.

What do i mean by that?

In the old testament their was a tent of meeting that was always set up in the center of camp. The rest of the camp was built around this main tent. What does that revel? You need to build a tent of meeting to be with God. Every child of God must dwell with God in worship, prayer, and communion. In order to dwell with God you need to build or create a tent of meeting.

How can you do this?

It’s more then just finding a quiet place. You need to build and set up your meeting place with God in the center of you life. It must be the center of your day, the center of your schedule, the center of everything you do, the center of your life. That’s the key. If it’s not the center, then every other thing will crowd it out of existence. You don’t fit your time with God around your day or around your activities. Your relationship with God and the sacred meetings of that relationship can only occupy one place in your life. The center.

Center your life and everything of your life around God and your time with God. When you continue to meet with God in this one sacred place it becomes essentially a hot spot. A place of meeting that God arrives at with you to join in intimate communion. When you do that, everything else will fall into place.

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Matthew 6:6

“But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33

Of course God is with you always but wouldn’t it be better if you start your day in your tent of meeting and let God’s presence leave with you and go wherever you go throughout your day?

Every life is to be made temple filled with God’s presence. But without God’s presence we become a temple desecrated, defiled, darkened, filled with idols. Don’t let material things or even other people in your life become more important. We are created to live holy lives and treat our temples preciously. A temple created to be holy but fallen from its purpose is what God wants to prevent.

What do you do if that’s you?

You open the doors of your life and you let God come in. Let the Holy Spirit cleanse you and restore you.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

You let Him take away your sins, cleanse your impurities, restore your purpose, light up your heart, and fill your life with His presence. It’s never too late to rededicate your temple back to God. When you honor God with your body and ask Him to take away the fleshly desires He will fill it with His glory. In other words, let God dwell within you, walk beside you, restore your heart and soul.

Give God your first.

Let the Holy Spirit dwell within you.

Walk in the way Jesus walked.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

2 Corinthians 13:14

Verses on Abiding in Christ

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Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me—and I in him—bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and are burned up. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you. My Father is honored by this, that you bear much fruit and show that you are my disciples. “Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain in my love. If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

John 15:4-10

As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.

1 John 2:24

By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him.

1 John 4:13-16

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17-19

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

2 Corinthians 5:17