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CMF eZine


The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.


Dicipleship Training Objectives

Dicipleship Training Objectives

Discipleship Training Objectives

A basic tenet of the Christian Military Fellowship is that God has chosen the Bible as His primary means of communicating with us -it is His Word! In the words of the Apostle Paul, therefore:

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Why? Because as he also said:

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Key to a vibrant, robust, fruitful relationship with God is our attitude toward His Word (see Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1, 19 and 119; John 14:21, 23; Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 2:1-3 and many others!).

These" Discipleship Training Objectives" (DTO’s) are intended to get us into the Bible, studying for ourselves. They can be used for personal study, one-to-one discipleship/mentoring, and in small groups.

Each lesson is a self-contained unit that discusses a specific topic, beginning with ‘Salvation’. Each lesson contains passages relevant to its topic. Each lesson has a simple and challenging study guide that helps you explore the lesson topic. Each lesson also has a study form that teaches you how to study ANY passage of scripture!

If you are asking if they really help you grow spiritually, I can tell you they really helped this old soldier grow! The first time I worked through them (30+ years ago while in Special Forces) it was just me, the DTOs, and a Bible. Maybe that’s why I STILL use them and recommend them to anyone and everyone who is serious about growing in their faith.

So if you’re up for a growth challenge, you owe it to yourself to check them out. They can be found at the CMD Web site here.

If you’re up for the challenge and/or want to talk about them, contact me.

Romans 8:16 - Children of God

Romans 8:16 - Children of God

Romans 8:16 — Children of God

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, (NASB)
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (KJV)
For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children (NLT)
The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God's children. (NET)

It is a providential act of Grace that allows such testimony to our hearts.  Were it not so we would be in the same situation as those who remain under the law.  C. S. Lewis hits the nail on the head with his comparison of gravity with human nature.  The fact that we do good proves nothing.  The fact that we do evil proves everything!  Left to ourselves we remain helpless.  As children of God we are blessed.  Our blessedness is totally undeserved yet complete in everyway.  Our witness is God Himself testifying in the most personal way.  Without His testimony we would not be able to comprehend our adoption let alone the length, breadth, and depth of His loved conveyed—the ever expanding universe of Grace living within our heats.

“The law of gravity tells you what stones do if you drop them; but the Law of Human Nature tells you what human beings ought to do and do not.” C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

G4828
συμμαρτυρέω
summarturéō; contracted summarturṓ, fut. summarturḗsō, from sún (G4862), together, with, and marturéō (G3140), to witness. To witness with another, testify with. With the dat. (Rom_8:16; Rom_9:1; Rev_22:18 [TR]); used in an absolute sense (Rom_2:15).

Beareth witness with our spirit (συμμαρτυρεῖ τῷ πνεύματι ἡμῶν). This rendering assumes the concurrent testimony of the human spirit with that of the divine Spirit. Others, however, prefer to render to our spirit, urging that the human spirit can give no testimony until acted upon by the Spirit of God. Vincent, M. R. Word studies in the New Testament

Rom 9:1  I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, (NASB)

Rev 22:18  I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; (NASB)

Rom 2:15  in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, (NASB)

Gal 5:22-23  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)

But Paul means, that the Spirit of God gives us such a testimony, that when he is our guide and teacher, our spirit is made assured of the adoption of God: for our mind of its own self, without the preceding testimony of the Spirit, could not convey to us this assurance.  There is also here an explanation of the former verse; for when the Spirit testifies to us, that we are the children of God, he at the same time pours into our hearts such confidence, that we venture to call God our Father.  And doubtless, since the confidence of the heart alone opens our mouth, except the Spirit testifies to our heart respecting the paternal love of God, our tongues would be dumb, so that they could utter no prayers.  For we must ever hold fast this principle, — that we do not rightly pray to God, unless we are surely persuaded in our hearts, that he is our Father, when we so call him with our lips.  To this there is a corresponding part, — that our faith has no true evidence, except we call upon God.  It is not then without reason that Paul, bringing us to this test, shows that it then only appears how truly any one believes, when they who have embraced the promise of grace, exercise themselves in prayers. (John Calvin)

Romans 8:15 - Daddy

Romans 8:15 - Daddy

Romans 8:15 — Daddy

In New Testament times adopted sons enjoyed the same privileges as natural-born sons. So, instead of cowering in slave-like fear, Christians can approach God in an intimate way calling Him Abba, Father.

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"  (NASB)

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (KJV)

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves.  Instead, you received God's Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, "Abba, Father." (NLT)

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, "Abba, Father." (NET)

Once again we see the illustration from adoption used.  We have entered into a relationship of intimacy wherein the Creator of the universe has become our daddy.  We ought not to cower in fear but appreciate this matchless Grace bestowed.  Grace that liberates us from bondage to sin where we were once slaves but are now freemen.  Seal an empowered by the Spirit that we may know we are now His children whether we "feel" like it or not.

“It was not the spirit proper to slaves, leading them again to shrink from God in fear as they had done when under the law of sin and death, but a Spirit of adoption, a Spirit proper to those who were being translated from the servile to the filial relation to God.” (Denny, as quoted in:  Wuest, K. S. (1997, c1984). Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader)

“The Spirit has you!” (vv. 12–17) It is not enough for us to have the Spirit; the Spirit must have us! Only then can He share with us the abundant, victorious life that can be ours in Christ. We have no obligation to the flesh, because the flesh has only brought trouble into our lives. We do have an obligation to the Holy Spirit, for it is the Spirit who convicted us, revealed Christ to us, and imparted eternal life to us when we trusted Christ. Because He is “the Spirit of Life,” He can empower us to obey Christ, and He can enable us to be more like Christ.  Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament comprising the entire 'BE' series"--Jkt. (Ro 8:5). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

Gal 4:5  God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children. (NLT)

1Co 2:12  And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. (NLT)

2Ti 1:7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT)

1Jn 4:18  Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. (NLT)

Pray for the Troops

Pray for the Troops

Pray for the Troops

A Seven-Day Devotional

The life of a young man or woman is forever changed when they sign the dotted line contractually binding them to their enlistment or commission in the United States Armed Forces.  That decision can bring exhilaration, fear, excitement, anxiety and a host of many other emotions however, the emotions that surpass trepidations are ones of pride, loyalty, sacrifice, patriotism, honor, and courage, to name a few.  The moment when the individual steps into the uniform for the first time, and views and salutes the American flag, is forever a life changing and heart transformation event.

Whether their initial contract binds them to Active Duty service or as a Reservist, whether a military member is relatively new in their role, and in their career or whether they’re a seasoned veteran having spent many years serving and leading in service to their subordinates and our great nation, structural elements and foundational duties and sacrifices do not change.  The requirements and demands of the “job”, while dynamic, are consistent throughout one’s career.  In fact, the only constant is the dynamic change as the day’s duties unfold.  The “plan” is discussed during the morning hours and duties are assigned accordingly only to be sidetracked or overcome by other events.  “Semper Gumby” is a fun take on the Marine Corps motto “Semper Fidelis”, or Always Faithful.  “Semper Gumby” reminds military members to always be flexible, and that the focus of the mission can change at any second and they’re to adapt, improvise and overcome.  Though the schedule is often fluid, there exists concrete infrastructural attributes of chain of command, expectations, and tradition, and they are deeply rooted into the fabric of Unites States Service Members.  These concepts can be hard to wrap your arms around, if you’ve not had the opportunity to have “walked the walk.”

            How are we, as spouses, family members, patriots and supporters to pray for those in uniform?  Why is prayer an important daily attribute that can help to shape and care for those that volunteer to be deployed in harm’s way?  The Bible has many verses that provide guidance and comfort for how and why we’re to pray, here are two of them:

 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (ESV)

The above verse reminds us that we’re not to worry, that we’re to give everything to God in all circumstances and that our anxiety and worrying are fruitless. 

 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24 (ESV)

Jesus compels us to ask with a pure and expectant heart and to pray with an understanding that we’ll receive what we’re asking for in prayer.

            Our military is in a constant state of readiness, or preparing for “being ready” to deploy Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, or Coast Guard globally, to any place, and at any time.  Regardless of where they are in the deployment cycle, understand that every day, every exercise, every task is in direct support of the readiness and operational missions.  That is their role and that’s how they conduct their daily planning and activities. 

            The best way to pray for our troops, all troops, whether or not they’re in harm’s way, or are supporting the mission from home, is to do so with intentional deliberation in a sage and forthright manner.  For you, this might include a prayer room, or a quiet place where you go to pray, or simply during your morning commute as you turn down the radio and seek to spend some time with the Lord during your drive.  However you have developed your spiritual disciplines, I encourage you to spend a few minutes preparing your heart and then intentionally praying for those, and those who support those, who put on the uniform every day.  

            For specific areas of prayer, if not focusing your prayer for a single person or family, you may want to focus your prayer on an age or rank demographic (young, intermediate or seasoned service members), or on a particular unit or a branch of service in general.  Pray for their preparation and training, the success of their evolution or mission, and their safe passage to and from their areas of responsibility. 

            The following is a seven day devotional that can be utilized as a guide:

Day 1

Focus:  Preparation — Military Member

“Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.” Proverbs 24:27  ESV

In this day-and-age of fluid and dynamic work and home environments, we are increasingly aware that “the only constant is change.”  As a child growing up, your family members, parents/guardians, teachers and mentors around you have taught you some things along the way for how to be a responsible member of society when you step foot away from home for the first time.  For our military members, basic training is the conduit that shapes the person and prepares them for their military service.

Preparation teaches our military the elements of what it takes to become equipped in order to go forward and complete a mission.  Without proper preparation, the mission outcome could be detrimental.  Think about it: would you drive your car without the proper training and preparation?  If you did not receive any preparation, the truth is that you most likely could mechanically operate the vehicle, but to what success?

The apostle, Paul says: 

“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”  Romans 13:11-14 (ESV)

Preparation is a key element to the success of any mission.  Whether or not our military members are in an operational environment, an operational support role, or engaged in the deployment cycle, they are always preparing.  They are preparing for the next task, the next mission, the next deployment.  Pray for them today.

Heavenly Father, God.  As our warriors prepare in this day, for whatever the next mission is for them, I pray that you keep watch over them.  Prepare their hearts, minds and hands for the ability to focus on protecting themselves and others, so that they may complete their mission safely and return home with honor.  In Jesus’ holy name I pray, amen.

Day 2

Focus:  Preparation — Spouse/Family

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” Luke 14:28 (ESV)

We think about preparation being only for the military member as they prepare for their next mission, whether they’re engaged in a training cycle, or a physical fitness regiment, we know that they are continuously preparing for the next stages in fulfillment of their orders.  But we often forget, that the military member wouldn’t be successful in their preparation without the steadfast and unwavering support of their family.

Military spouses are the unsung heroes of our armed forces.  If there are children in the home, we know that their role, at times, are akin to single parenthood.  They’re responsible for holding down the fort at home, while their spouse is deployed.  Strangely enough, if things can go wrong, they do go wrong while the military spouse is deployed!  The water pipes burst or the car breaks down.  The child becomes ill and in need of special testing.  A tree falls on the roof of the home during a storm.  The family pet contracts a rare disease.  All of these things, which are normal family undertakings at some point in their lives, tend to occur all at once and just-in-time for the spouse to be deployed.

The spouse at home is left alone, having to deal with all of life’s struggles, seemingly alone.  If they have prepared properly, powers-of-attorney have been signed and executed, in addition to the myriad of other preparatory elements.

“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7 (ESV)

As we consider praying for the preparation of our military, whether for an individual, a particular unit, or a branch of service; I encourage you to also consider praying for the preparation of the unsung heroes, the military spouse.

Dear Lord, I pray that as you prepare the hands, hearts and minds of our military members for their mission, that you also prepare the household for the absence of the military member.  Lord be with the spouse, the children, and the supporting members of the family so that they are a strong and fortified unit of their own as they endure the hardships of their spouse being away on deployment, potentially in harm’s way.  Lord give the spouse the strength to endure the illness of children, household hardships or loneliness struggles during the time that their spouse is away.  Lord I pray that the spouse leans into you, during this time so that you may keep them and guide them towards a continued and rejoicing life in you.  In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Day 3

Focus:  Deployment — Military Member

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)

The day is upon us.  The day that all of the planning and preparation have called for.  This is the day that we step onto the plane, or we cast off all lines to get the ship underway embarking on the beginning stages of the mission.  Be at ease, rely on the training, this is what we’ve been mentally and physically preparing to do.  Time to operate! 

As the beginning stages of the deployment are underway, the troops are anxious and excited.  Some may be sad while others are exhilarated and thrive in the high optempo environment.  Within these first few days of the deployment, as they transit to and arrive “on station”, God offers His kind and gentle support during this season.

 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)

The day-counter has begun that will remind us on a regular basis how many days there are until our service member returns home to us safely.  God willing.  As we at home settle into our new routine, with the absence of our spouse, or our son or daughter, or as we come alongside our friends that are enduring this time, we’re to lean into the body of Christ and trust in His will in all things, and to rest in that as we go about our daily activities.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (ESV)

Father, God: I pray for our troops as they transition to their overseas environment.  I take solace in the fact that you are with them, and that you are guiding the decisions of the leadership.  Lord I pray that they lean into and hear your still small voice of direction, and allow for your guidance in the strategic decision making and care for each other, as they trudge forward to do the “hard job”, the mission, that protects me and keeps my country’s traditions and foundational morals and values sound.  Protect them O Lord, and be with them always, until their return.  In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Day 4

Focus:  Deployment — Family/Home Support

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

There are “trimesters” to military deployments, similar to how we track growth, and events on the calendar as with gestation and human pregnancy.  At the end of the third trimester, the process is finished and we’re left to enjoy the fruits of our labor.  With deployed family members, the “stages” of the deployment timeframe can be tracked according to the calendar, and there are emotions and events that correspond with each.

First trimester: feelings of exhilaration are abound as the day of your spouse leaving on deployment has finally arrived!  The next few months will be an adjustment to the new schedule, taking care of the children, ensuring they get to little league or dance practice.  Carve out time to meet with friends, perhaps take up a new healthy hobby.  This is a time for perseverance for the “home-base” of support.

Second trimester: The strong spouse, often becomes despondent and is filled with doubt and desperation during this time period.  They miss their spouse, there is no end in sight to the seemingly insurmountable number of days between now and when their spouse returns.  Hopelessness can set in.  Couple this with some tragic events such as a water leak, the car breaking down, or a problem with the insurance and the burden of carrying everything alone, can become daunting.

Third trimester: Over the hump!  On the downward slide!  Feelings of excitement and preparation, along with anxiety can accompany this period.  How will they behave when they see each other?  Will the spouse be angry at the new haircut or the new paint in the bedroom?  Nervousness, doubt, anxiousness, and excitement are all bundled into the days leading up to the homecoming.

Dear Father God, I pray that during each stage that you are the focus of the family.  That all cares be given unto you so that all burdens and worries can be cast aside and that families flourish during times of strife, and their faith in you continues to grow as a result of your abundant and everlasting love.  Be with them always, through each stage of the deployment as each stage brings forth its own sets of challenges.  In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Day 5

Focus:  Deployment — Troops Looking for the Home Stretch

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. ...” James 1:12-18 (ESV)

It is during the last phases of deployment that the complacency, anxiety, and perfunctory numbness can set in for the troops.  During this time, our troops are watching the calendar as well (or not) while engaging in what can be considered mundane tasks that are performed without feeling or consistency.  The mantra “remember your training” is waning and the unit is in the throes of a continued haze of intermingled work days.  “Time off” provides no respite as they’re still bound to the base, having to respond to emergencies, having to carry their weapons and perhaps run to the bunker if indirect fire is a threat to their area. 

Another day with a couple hundred of their closest friends, clogging the lines to chow, lugging their weapon around, trying to watch a movie or go to the gym on their “holiday routine” (holiday for others, routine for them).  The hypersensitivity and hyper-vigilant operations tempo are the new norm, and no amount of caffeine can stimulate the “rush” that they experienced during the first few months on station.  They now live and operate in a mode where loud weapons releases in the middle of the night are commonplace.  When the siren goes off, they may grab their gear on the way to the bunker, they may not, or they may not even get up to go to the bunker for another alarm at all.  What’s the point?  Depression can set in and this is a critical time and area of prayer for our troops that are deployed in harm’s way.

Dear Heavenly Father…we raise up our troops during this critical stage of their deployment.  We pray that they remain steadfast in their mission and that they rely on you and the fundamental tenements of their job.  I pray a hedge of protection against complacency, that they may remain alert and vigilant in their roles.  Protect them Oh Lord, as they fight not only the physical enemy, but the spiritual enemy including the enemy of self which inaugurates depression, lethargy and complacency.

Day 6

Focus:  Homecoming — Family and Service Member

“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15 (ESV)

The countdown is over, the day is here!  Service members wake up (if they’ve slept at all) to a day filled with hope and wonderment, a day that they’ve been longing for ever since they left home: the day of homecoming.  Most of the time, this occurs with the accompaniment of a great fanfare.  There are bands, flowers, news crews, the clapping of hands, freshly dressed families that all await the arrival of their service member with nervous excitement!  That feeling of exhilaration upon first setting eyes on their loved ones as they step off the plane, or wave from the ship is an irreplaceable feeling of gratitude filled with patriotism and pride.

At times, however, a member is returning home without the full complement of their unit.  This can be accompanied by mixed emotions as a bittersweet embrace with loved ones.  While thankful to be home safe, the service member might have anxiety and sadness due to lost comrades-in-arms, and return home with a heavy heart. 

What we can do for them, in those moments is be present, listen when required, offer two shoulders and two ears to allow for the outpouring of strife to occur.  This is the beginning of a process that can allow for healing and growth to begin.

Heavenly Father God, I pray that as our service members return home to their families, that they do so with a thankful heart.  That you’re able to pierce through the emotional strife and continue to love and care and guide the service members as they reintegrate with their families.  Though the experiences that they’ve endured, we rest in your grace as the One True God that provides an abundance of love and mercy to those that respond to your call.  Be with them Oh Lord, as they return home to the safe arms of their loved ones.  In Jesus’ holy name I pray, amen.

Day 7

Focus:  Family Unit Reintegration

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12

Reintegration occurs on many fronts.  For the spouse that’s been holding down the fort at home, to the child(ren) that’s been living with one parent for the past several months, to the military member that’s been living with a couple hundred of their closest friends for quite some time.  The excitement of being back home gives way to stressful circumstances as married couples learn how to “do life” together again.  This may include the service member becoming anxious as they’ve been operating in an unsafe environment and has learned to flourish on very little sleep and thrive on energy drinks.  After they’ve cleaned and organized the entire house and there’s nothing left to do, anxiety can set in.  They may feel useless as the “mission” is over and their participation is no longer meaningful.  When this occurs, they try to fill the adrenalin and anxiety hole with other things.  For some this is alcohol, which leads to relational problems.  For others this is anger which leads to relational problems.  As you can see, this is a volatile time for families as they discover that the elements of patience and grace are in great demand.

Pray that they intentionally lean into the Lord, in order to fill their gaps.  Pray for patience and understanding of the spouse and that they are involved with a loving and kind church family that can come alongside them during their time of reintegration into the home life.  Where it is safe for the Sergeant to become Daddy or Mommy again, and the smile and joy returns as the member is home, and present in the lives of his or her family.

Dear Lord, thank you so much for the safe return of the service members.  I pray that when their elation subsides, that they are intentional in leaning into You father God and that they can find solace and refuge in your arms.  I pray that their mission continues and that they find peace in that mission regardless of the role that they assume.  Whether it’s Daddy or Mommy, Mr. or Mrs. instead of Sergeant or Captain, I pray that they have taken the positive attributes of their experiences and can utilize them in constructive and meaningful ways as they go forward.  I pray this in the holy name of Jesus.  Amen.

Shalom.

Running Off At The Mouth

Running Off At The Mouth

Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.  Psalm 141:3

Does your mouth get you in trouble? Most people could honestly say yes or at least there have probably been times when you say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Perhaps you hurt someone and never asked for forgiveness. Maybe you lied about something? Gossiped?  The tongue indeed can cause lots of trouble if not kept in check.

Once something is said it is out there. It could be recorded to haunt you later or in form of a letter, text,  or email. The main thing to remember is to ask God to help you if this is a weak area. Your mom may have told you at one time "If you can't  say something good don't say it at all" and indeed how true that statement is.  James chapter three in the New Testament talks about no man being able to control the tongue. Oh if you and I could just think before we communicate.

Let your yes be yes and your words and thoughts  stay positive. You need right thinking and right thinking is developed by a steady diet of God's word. So what do you say...only good things I hope!

PRAYER:  Lord I thank you for your forgiveness and grace cause when I mess up with my mouth I am feeling horrible and I need your help to stay on track. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Becky Juett Miller
God's Lemonade Stand
https://www.facebook.com/GodsLemonadeStand/
https://www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com

Post Dramatic Stress Syndrome (PDSD)

Post Dramatic Stress Syndrome(PDSD)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Life in general can create allot of drama. No one really has to hold the title of drama king or queen for this to occur. Stuff just happens and sometimes the human reaction is just to sigh and throw up your hands. After this occurs a good case of PDSD may occur.

Perhaps things happen in your life and seem to barrel out of control. You feel overwhelmed, exasperated, frustrated, and just want normality to return. When you get this way the best thing to do is stop what you are doing. Regroup. Pray. Relax. Now do that same sequence over. Take a breath. This too shall pass.

Give your worries to God. Give your relationship issues to God. Give your heart and life to God.

PRAYER:  I am thankful I do not have to allow frustrations to define me. I am thankful I can go to call out to God at any time. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Becky Juett Miller
God's Lemonade Stand
https://www.facebook.com/GodsLemonadeStand/
https://www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com

 

Romans 8:14 - For...Next

Romans 8:14 - For...Next

For as many as are led by the Spirit, etc. - No man who has not Divine assistance can either find the way to heaven, or walk in it when found. As Christ, by his sacrificial offering, has opened the kingdom of God to all believers; and, as a mediator, transacts the concerns of their kingdom before the throne; so the Spirit of God is the great agent here below, to enlighten, quicken, strengthen, and guide the true disciples of Christ; and all that are born of this Spirit are led and guided by it; and none can pretend to be the children of God who are not thus guided. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (NASB)

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (KJV)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. (NLT)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. (NET)

Here is a great FOR…NEXT statement.  All who are led (presumes that there are indeed followers).  The followers must then recognize whom it is they follow.  Since we live in an age when even the saints will be deceived one should consider with great care what is deemed of the Spirit lest deception have its way and we unknowingly become the offspring of sin and death.  There was a segment on National Geographic that told a tale of Christian nudists.  The naked and unvarnished truth was nowhere to be found in the beliefs to which they ascribed (pun intended).  Nevertheless, they are deceived still!  Not all excursions into deception are as patently obvious.  A short sojourn in church history will glean a navigational chart replete with a constant drift until the culture inside the church obfuscates her former glory.  We too quickly focus on the NEXT, "are the children of God," without recognizing our duties as followers. I am sure the folks of Jonestown could not foresee of the day when they would be partakers of Guyana grape juice however, many died deceived.  We have a wonderful navigational chart that has been preserved for us (at no small cost) that we may test every leading.  The Bible remains the standard by which all things are measured.  When I offer the Philippian quote, the question most often offered is, "What is truth?"  But that is not what it says!  Whatever is true, is that which is not crooked!  About 30 seconds at the Lowe's lumber pile will become enlightening as you gaze down the length of an eight foot long board.  The untrained human eye can distinguish distances smaller than one quarter of an inch.  Imagine the trained eye of a master carpenter assessing the work of his hands.  Will he not see even the slightest of imperfection?  To be led by the Spirit is not a mindless meandering nor is it necessarily the shortest distance between two points.  It is however, a constant reckoning!

Col 1:23  But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it.  Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.

Heb 2:1  So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.

Phil 4:8  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Isa 53:6  All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.  We have left God's paths to follow our own.  Yet the LORD laid on Him the sins of us all.

Eph 5:9  For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

Rom 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,.... Not by the spirit of the world, or of the devil, or by their own spirits: the act of leading ascribed to the Spirit is either in allusion to the leading of blind persons, or such who are in the dark; or rather to the leading of children and teaching them to go; which supposes life in those that are led, and some degree of strength, though a good deal of weakness; and is a display of powerful and efficacious grace, and is always for their good: the Spirit of God leads them from sin, and from a dependence on their own righteousness, in paths they formerly knew not, and in which they should go, in the paths of faith and truth, of righteousness and holiness, and in a right, though sometimes a rough way; he leads them to the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ, and to the fulness of grace in him; into the presence of God, to the house and ordinances of God; into the truths of the Gospel, from one degree of grace to another, and at last to glory; which he does gradually, by little and little he leads them to see the iniquity of their hearts and natures, to lay hold on Christ and salvation by him, into the doctrines of grace, and the love and favour of God, and proportionally to the strength he gives. (Dr. John Gill)

Your 'Job' Friends

Your 'Job' Friends

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24

You may recall in the book of Job in the New Testament, Job was greatly tested to see his allegiance to God. If you have never read this account take some time and read this book. In Job 19:19 it says "All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me."

I have 'been there, done that, got the tee shirt' as the saying goes and it is not fun. It is very confusing particularly when you are clueless as to what brought it on. Indeed you do learn from bad situations in your life although they are devastating to endure.

If you have been shut out by a close friend first and foremost pray for this person. You may be angry, and confused. Think about Jesus when he was betrayed. How He must have hurt. Cling to God and He will get you through these times.

PRAYER:  Lord I can't control other people and what they do but I can pray. Help me never be hateful when I am rejected but to remain steadfast in prayer. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Becky Juett Miller
God's Lemonade Stand
https://www.facebook.com/GodsLemonadeStand/
https://www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com

Romans 8:13 - Choose Your Path

Romans 8:13 - Choose Your Path

Romans 8:13 - Choose Your Path

for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (NASB)

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (KJV)

For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. (NLT)

(for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. (NET)

Rom 7:14  So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. (NLT)

Rom 7:23  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. (NLT)

Rom 6:21  And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. (NLT)

Rom 6:22  But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. (NLT)

Now that we are part of Christ's body will we continue to live unto death in the old way?  For if we do we will reap its just reward.  Gravity has not been suspended!  If anything, it has been enhanced by our ability to see the death and destruction that it wreaks.  But now we have a real choice!  A new chooser powered by the Holy Spirit that will lead us to choose life.  If we take an honest look at our "habits" will we see ourselves habitually under the control of the flesh OR will we see ourselves habitually under the control of the Holy Spirit?  An opportunity for confession or praise daily.

Ye shall die (μέλλετε ἀποθνήσκειν). The expression is stronger than the simple future of the verb. It indicates a necessary consequence. (Vincent, M. R. (2002). Word studies in the New Testament)

Assuming that a person lives habitually under the dominion of the evil nature, Paul says, that person is about to be dying. The verb is present in tense, and therefore durative in meaning, indicating habitual action. The individual who lives habitually under the dominion of the evil nature is an unsaved person. That one is on the way to final death in the Lake of Fire. But the person who by the Holy Spirit habitually puts to death the deeds of the body, will live. That person is a saved person.

Translation. So then, brethren, we are those under obligation, not to the flesh, to live habitually under the dominion of the flesh. For, assuming that you are living habitually under the dominion of the flesh, you are on the way to dying. But, assuming that by the Spirit you are habitually putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Wuest, K. S. (1997, c1984). Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader

Gal 5:19-21  When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (NLT)

Romans 8:12 - We Are Debtors, Not to the Flesh

Romans 8:12 - We Are Debtors, Not to the Flesh

Rom 8:12  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

An exhortation to oppress the flesh daily more and more by the power of the Spirit of regeneration, because (he says) you are debtors to God, in that you have received so many benefits from him.

 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh (NASB)

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (KJV)

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. (NLT)

So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh (NET)

We are no longer obligated!  Why?  Because we have been adopted into a new family!  Paul here introduces us to a new metaphor that is in keeping with Roman law and adoption.  We have lost all rights and obligations to the old family and have received a new father and are now heirs to a new estate.  Our old self has been wiped out and all debts cancelled.  This is demonstrated in history when the Roman Emperor, Claudius, adopted Nero so that he could be his successor (they were not blood kin). (William Barclay, paraphrase mine)  Calvin adds that Paul's sentence leaves out the contrast (perhaps because it should be obvious) that we are now debtors to the Spirit.  Calvin goes on to warn us against contempt and negligence in our walk lest we again find ourselves fighting against God.  Darby equates this with the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt and into a new life where we participate with Christ.  The flesh will continue to assert itself saying we must follow its desires but the completed work of Christ and the indwelling of the Spirit will testify that we are participants in a new life and joint heirs with Christ whose power gives us the victory!  Perhaps John Wesley says it best: "We are not debtors to the flesh — We ought not to follow it."

But it is as it were to fight against God, when we extinguish the grace offered to us, by contempt and negligence. (John Calvin)

Eph 4:30  And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. (NLT)

Gal 5:25  Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. (NLT)

The key to all this doctrine of the apostle's, and that which unites holy practice, the Christian life, with absolute grace and eternal deliverance from condemnation, is the new position entirely apart from sin, which death gives to us, being alive in Christ now before God. The power of God, the glory of the Father, the operation of the Spirit, are found acting in the resurrection of Christ, and placing Him, who had borne our sins and been made sin for us, in a new position beyond sin and death before God. And by faith I have part in His death, I participate in this life. (Dr. John Darby)

Php 3:21  He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same power with which He will bring everything under His control. (NLT)

Psa 116:16  O LORD, I am Your servant; yes, I am Your servant, born into Your household; You have freed me from my chains. (NLT)

1Co 6:19-20  Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (NLT)

1Pe 4:2-3  You won't spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.  You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. (NLT)


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