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How to Guard your Heart by Laura Grace

gate heart Be a Gate Keeper! Guard the Soul 

I think there are a lot of Christians out there, like me, who truly do not know how to guard their heart. First and fore most we must give more weight to the voice of the Shepherd than anyone else.

We don’t need pretty lies of exaggerating how wonderful we are, and we don’t need Input from amateur counselors or the peanut factories. We certainly don’t need help allowing unbelief! 

Because we are “word of God” people, we think if we can’t rebuke it, cast it out or get it gone via spiritual warfare, we are failing somehow. Not true.

Some people just ‘are what they are” and we must learn how to deal with it!

  1. Step number one we need to keep learning and meditating on who we are to Jesus. that knowledge must become so real to us, nobody can talk us out of it. If the voice of someone else’s opinion of us screams louder than what God says, we must reinforce what he says about us until it’s more real than anything else. 
  1. In keeping with that train of thought, the accuser of the brethren (the devil) is always going to try to remind you of your past. That’s his job. He is evil. He isn’t going to stop so you must learn to overcome him with YOUR TESTIMONY. You speak it to him: “I am saved, God’s child, I’ve been forgiven of that” and if the person who is allowing the enemy to “USE THEM” to accuse you keeps it up, start to ignore it. It’s the best defense you have. IGNORE IT. You can’t argue with demons.

 

You can’t cast them out of someone who wants to stay that way. No, they may not be demon-possessed- they just listen to his lies and it’s become a part of them, like WEEDS. You cannot go into someone else’s garden and start yanking weeds out. You are trespassing! You are going to have to ignore it and tend to your own garden. Not what you want to hear, but true. Change the subject, dodge the questions, or say “I don’t want to talk about that right now.”

 

  1. Do not ask for counsel from those who have no clue what you are talking about, or what you have been through. I don’t care what their credentials are or how much they “seem” to care. Ask God who you should talk to about something. SEEK HIM FIRST! He is your Shepherd, your counselor and your friend, and he is always listening. 
  1. You live in the world, so best to get started learning how to cope with things. Go to a rest room or go outside and pray. I’ve done this over the years, went to my car. Prayed, or even went to a restroom, prayed in whispers asking God for help, wisdom and guidance. I assume everything I go through he is RIGHT THERE WITH ME because he said he would be.

 

  1. Family can be the hardest, because they knew you before you knew Jesus. Family has expectations that often feel like obligations. If we are a good sister, daughter, mom or son we will do this or that supposedly. Jesus told his own mom he was going about the Father’s business, but another time he did change water to wine because she asked him to do something about the situation. There are no pat answers, we must learn to say; “I am praying” I am “seeking God” and let everyone know (including your family) you are on a mission to do God’s will. We are not born “being like Jesus’ It’s something we are walking out.

 

  1. Whatever weapons you know of right now (with God) use them, he will add to your skills as you use what he gave you. I started out a Lutheran Just ‘praying the Lord’s prayer” and now I know all kinds of spiritual warfare tactics. God is not in a hurry. You are in a school called life and he is willing to walk with you as your Father and help you to grow.

 

  1. Learn from your experiences, write them down. Use a Journal use the computer and ask God to teach you in EACH situation how to handle it better next time. I have noticed things I run from I will usually face again, so best to learn to overcome it.

 

  1. Give that other person the benefit of the doubt, whenever you can. Did they mean to hurt you or were they hurting themselves, distracted, or just clueless? We need to ask God “Why is this happening? Or “what do you want me to learn from this?”

There are some people who are just plain bullies, but what about the mandate to love them?Do we keep taking the hurt?

If I tell someone something wounds my soul and they keep doing it anyway, I am probably going to pull away from that person.  When you go, say a prayer and give it to Jesus. Be willing to be reconciled later, if that’s what he wants you to do. 

WHEN we guard our heart it’s not just against people. WE protect our heart from becoming bitter, angry, full of self-pity, and a host of other things the devil sends at us. There is no end to the things he will try, to destroy our very hearts. Do you know why?

BECAUSE my friends, that’s where the word of God gets planted and takes root. It’s where he speaks to us. It’s where rivers of life flow out of us!

Satan would rather take you out than take out a church building. If he can take you out, he has stopped the flow of God’s spirit to hundreds, or perhaps thousands of people due to the ripple effect. (you touch a life, they touch a life, and so on and so on and so on).  Some people gaurd a church building more zealously than they protect their own hearts from the evil one. It’s a full time job! 

 

 Guard your heart! It’s where your inheritance lies. It’s worth fighting for.

 

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow Click here to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Grow-study-guide-Rescue-ebook/dp/B077L71XP1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525753636&sr=8-1&keywords=grace+to+grow+by+Laura+grace

 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Prov 4:23

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Building #10 The Measure of Spiritual Maturity. What does it mean to be “Grown Up” In Christ? And how do we know if we are (and if others are?)

GROWING TREE ROOTS I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have a grown-up for my leader. Many people aspire to be leaders, coaches, teachers, and the like; but they are not always qualified. 

I said, they are not always qualified. 

How do we know if they’re qualified? What do you think would be “God’s measure” of maturity? have you ever thought about that one? (I have). 

We’ve all heard the stories of how someone wasn’t “picked” for the team. I was one that nobody wanted on their baseball, football, or even volley ball team! I was not good at it. I didn’t want to be good at it (bad enough) to practice.

I let go of even trying long ago, because guess what? I didn’t care! (about sports) enough to put my heart into learning, practicing, and becoming great at it. 

I did, at some point, need to stop whining and admit to myselfI don’t want this bad enough to do the hard work.” Step #1 to Growing and Maturity: Admitting the truth about ourselves in the light of God’s Truth! 

I’m sure out there “somewhere” there are ministries that choose their leaders by their maturity level in-Christ, but I don’t think there is many. Sad to say, the mainstream church world often makes their selections based on willingness, an outward appearance of maturity, faithfulness to church services, and attending bible school and colleges. The main goal is often raking in more bodies (to fill the pews) and not growth and maturity for the ones who are in those pews. 

They have board members who look at the resume’, pray about it, and make their choice as to what they think is the best candidate for the (open slot) or job.

So, if you were picking a leader, or a pastor (of a church) what would be your measure for maturity? 

I make that decision every day of my life, when I decide who I will listen to and who I will not (listen to). Ephesians 4 says God gave us Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets and Teachers to help us come to maturity (in Christ). 

I learned a long time ago, a person who is blind will lead me into the ditch. A person who is not mature will not help me get mature. I want a leader who is stronger, wiser and more mature than I am. 

Therefore, if I do not listen to someone’s advice, it doesn’t mean I am rejecting them, personally. I simply learned (a long time ago) That listening to Jesus comes first. To put anyone’s council above His, is a form of idolatry. 

Am I perfect? No! Have I made mistakes? Yes, I have. But my heart and mind are set on the words “Take my yoke upon you” (Words of Jesus) “and be yoked to me.” (Matthew 11:28). 

The Lord is my Shepherd (primarily) and everything else is subject to him. 

Years ago I sat under a minister for a time (online) and hardly anyone understood why. It was because of his Testimony.  A testimony (for me) is the true measure of maturity. Not what school they went to, not how many days they warmed a pew in the church. 

I”ve met many who attended church for 30 years, and like a submarine, nothing seemed to really get INTO their hearts. They are no different today than they were 30 years ago, other than knowing how to speak christianese. 

Like a tree, a testimony is a measure of how much work God has actually done in a person’s life. Are they born again? Filled with God’s spirit? Have they walked in the fruits of the spirit and learned to walk by the spirit of God? Have they cried out for, and received wisdom (from above) and not relied on the wisdom of man (and his ways?). Are they tried and true? 

It’s out of balance to say we don’t need anyone but God and it’s out of whack to say we only need church, and just follow along with whatever supposed “leader” comes our way. It’s unhealthy to gather around someone who just “says what we want to hear” and it’s foolish to assume every person in a leadership position was put there by God. If that were the case, Paul and Jesus would not have wept over flocks being deceived by wolves in sheeps’ clothing and they would not have interceded with tears over those being “led astray.”

Did you know Jesus cried (and wept) for those that would not listen to him? That was more serious to him than starving children or the physical suffering of humanity. Why? 

Because: He knew if he could successfully save the human soul (and we would listen to him) all the rest would be taken care of. God’s wisdom leads to us being “alright” in the Spirit first, and then in the natural. He wants us healthy (Spirit, Mind, and Body!). He wants us mature, which means we have grown up INTO his Headship.

I would dare say this means “We’ve God the mind of Christ” in all things. 

To get the mind of Christ, we have to continually give up our own ways of thinking. We have to push out the voices of the immature, the unsteady, and the godless and faithless, and INCLINE Our ear to the word of God via His Spirit. 

So here’s my standard on whether I will listen to you (or not). What is your Testimony? If you don’t have one to overcome with, how can I follow you? 

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11 NKJV). 

In conclusion, if you have found a church that truly has a loving, parental heart to see you Grow (UP) IN Christ, stick to them like glue! If you can see they love you, and want you to grow, stay put! If they have other agenda’s, face it and pray, and ask God for a church that helps you get where you need to be. This is my advice, and I believe it is sound. LOVE yourself enough to get good spiritual food. 

Put your Spirit and Soul First, and the rest of you (body) as secondary. This is what it means to love not (your physical life) Unto Death. You put it under, and put it second to your growth and development in Christ. Enough said! -Laura Grace 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fickle Feelings and your worth to God vs “self worth”…….:) What’s the difference?

anger 1 JEsus loves you 

 
Most of the rage and anguish people experience is over some sort of injustice. “IT”S NOT FAIR” They made me feel this way! It’s not right! Believe me I know and understand it (too well).
 
The counselling of the 70’s taught us to get in touch with ourselves, and before that we were supposed to “find ourselves”.
 
Secular counselling teachings us to be justifiably angry over the injustices committed against us, where as the bible teaches us to realize we have all sinned, and none of us deserves a thing, but Jesus paid the price for us anyway.
 
(Talk about unjust!) Why did he (an innocent person) have to suffer such horrific agony and pain to redeem us?
 
He didn’t have to, thats the point. He wanted to. WANTED TO! For the Joy OF YOU set before him……Jesus went to the cross. FOR YOU!
 
‘We’ve got a right to be angry…..” (Pat Benetar croons) and yes we do, (have the right). But Is it right? Really?
 
I’ve had fits of anger, but it never healed me.
 
Raging anger gets us in trouble, stuffed anger makes us depressed. What do we do with the rage we feel over injustice?
 
Having God point out our sin (again and again) does not build our “Self-Esteem” so let’s just be honest about it, right now.
 
Many people will never see (Or admit this) but the reason so many are rejecting the gospel today is because it does not make them feel good about themselves. Supposedly “what they did” is worse than “what I have done.”
 
Our sense of Value and worth needs to come from the truth that “WE” are just as sinful as “THEY ARE” but Jesus paid the price to save us from ourselves.
 
If you understand your vaue and worth from God’s view point, nobody can ever take that from you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).
 
God cares, but sometimes he allows people to suffer in NOT having all that makes them feel good about themselves, so they can learn what their value is to him. This is what is meant by “buy from me Gold refined in the fire” (Rev 3:18).
 
For you see…..Good feelings and “Feelings of self worth” achieved by what we do, accolades, applause, none of it is lasting ………..
 
I”m glad I suffered. Glad I was lonely and alone at times, destitute, rejected, and forlorn. It was during those times God taught me what my worth is TO HIM. Had I not suffered, I’m not sure I ever would have been propelled to seek him, and find out. Now I know, I am worth so much to Jesus, he would have died JUST FOR ME. My sin of rejecting him was even more horrible than any rejection I have ever experienced.
 
And he forgave me for it…………I cried out for his Mercy….and he granted it to me. That’s the only reason I’m here to tell the story.
 
“…….knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1: 18 and 19
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Building in God #7 What is a Steward? Am I a steward of something? (read and see!)

TREASURE BOxFather please help us today to see what you see (In your Spirit Father) in Jesus’ name, amen” 

So we are on part 7 now, (building with precious things) which is based on 1 Corn 3:12, that we should build with gems and gold (VS wood hay and stubble) if we want what we build into our lives to survive (the storms) and fires and floods.

Being Fire Proof! What a concept eh? I want to be (how about you?). 

So what is a steward? Someone trusted (or in charge of ) something. Now, we do need to know if God has assigned us to this task. Our Job (we prayed for) now we are a steward of that. Our Home, our children, our dogs, cats, birds, even hamsters! Everything we are in charge of we have become a “steward” of that task.

God says if you are faithful with a little, you’ll be trusted with more (and more and more). Here is some scripture on this: 

  1. There are stewards of the mysteries of the gospel (1 Corn 4:1) 

  2. There are stewards over us, for a time until we mature (Galatians 4:2) 

  3. Stewards should be faithful or they can lose their jobs (1 Corn 4:2) 

  4. We are all called to be good stewards of something (1 Peter 4:10) 

  5. Laborers are Stewards so are Ministers. (Matthew 20:8 and Col 1:25) 

I did not include the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1) who almost lost his job! When I write my blogs I normally do not include a lot of scripture as God has called me to Speak plainly and exhort (vs detailed teachings) but what I say always comes straight from the word of God as it’s base (or source). We need to realize not only is God watching our stewardship, but it benefits US to have a job with Him In His Kingdom! 

As in the show “Touched by an Angel” (which I dearly loved) we are all on assignment from God to be steward over something (or many things). These assignments are important. Our children, our dogs (cats) our homes and our jobs, as well as school studies God has assigned us to, people to pray for, meals to cook, money we have been given, and yes, ministries we manage and over-see, are all equally important to God. It’s all Stewardship. 

So what’s the message? (you may ask?) “Stay at your posts!” Do it Faithfully! It will not only benefit others, but yourself as well. Precious gems take time and heat to develop, and as you stay faithful to what God has given you, the goal of building in the spirit with Precious things comes into play.

The goal is not for someone to be impressed by your life (as in others and their praise of you) but are you building things that will survive the storms of life? This is what matters most!

This is important, my friends! How can Jesus say “Well done, good and faithful servant,” If we are not good stewards over what he assigns to us? 

I do hope this helps you “stick to your guns’ about Building on the Rock! And realizing that yes, in the long run, yes it is worth it to ‘do things right” in Jesus! You do have Time It’s not all for nothing! You will Stand when others cannot stand. so stick to it! 🙂 with love and blessings, 

 

Laura Grace, author, Grace to Grow, and pastor in training, Grandma, mom, and steward of many things. Peace! 

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Overcoming…..How do we do it?

HURDLE.jpg

I’ve never liked physical exercise, nor been into sports.
 
Therefore, the athlete analogy in scripture didn’t do much for me until I read 1 Timothy 4:8. Now there is a scripture I can get my teeth into! 🙂
 
I can and do, understand the need to overcome obstacles in this life for there are many of them. We say we have faith for something “someone” bars the way. We (as christians) do too much of this “well it must not be God’s will” (type thing) giving up too easily. A Major part of our walk is to OVERCOME!
 
In fact, I would say that’s the biggest goal. Didn’t Jesus say “fear not I have overcome?” and saying in a nutshell, if I did, so can you?
 
Yes indeed, He did.
 
Christmas a lot of times is just overcoming obstacles, and I didn’t realize it until just now. God didn’t send it, (Christmas) people came up with it.
For many it’s an obstacle course.
 
It’s either an opportunity to get upset, or a chance to let God produce love, generosity, more fruits of the spirit, and whatever else he’d like to do IN US at Christmas OR any other time in our lives.
 
That’s all trials really are. Opporunities to Overcome.
Oh, so THAT”S why he said rejoice (when you have a trial)
It’s your big chance to overcome!
And you don’t even have to sign up for the Olympics to do this! 
 
YAY!!! I can Get the Gold! Go for the Gold! Hurray Hurray! And yes LORD, I will do it! Be with me I pray! as I go and JUMP over all these spiritual hurdles I face today!
 
cheering you on!
Your partner in this life in Christ Jesus!
 
Laura Grace
PS (Here’s the scripture I told you about!) #overcoming
 
“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”
 
1 Timothy 4:8 by Laura Grace (Author) 
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Building on the Rock #1 Your Prayer life

Prayer 1.jpg

Good Morning! God has something great for us today! (Let’s pray) 

Father I ask you in Jesus’ name. Please get me closer to you! Help me hear from you! Please cause me to have that “relationship” that everyone is always talking about, with you Father…..In Jesus’ name we pray. amen” 

In Timothy 1 Paul says (to Timothy) “FIRST of all…” Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men…..” 1 Timothy 1:1

I have asked the Lord for years now, cause me to do thy will, cause me to say what you want me to say, cause me to do my part, and when I get to heaven, I want you to say, ‘Well done.”

I see that the plan of How-To-build-wisely is threaded all through the old and new testament. As I sought on how to build he let me know “FIRST” Is your prayer life.

When we pray about (all things) we are choosing the pearl of great price (God’s wisdom) over our own. I know a lot of people say make “sure” It’s in the bible, but ….

One time my husband was asking God to speak to him and he was touched to add transmission fluid while he was out of town. It was low, and no indicator light came on to tell him.

He said “I”m so glad the Lord showed me that!”. He was seeking really hard for God to “speak to him.” and I know we all wonder, will he tell me great things today? Maybe I”ll write another book of the bible (like Daniel, or Isaiah!).

And tell me……WHERE in the Word of God is the word tranmission Or even “transmission fluid?”” Not there! Did he get deceived, I wonder? 🤨🤓

Surely as we pray, we do not leave ourselves off the list. Every week I see answers to prayer (every week!!!) Why? Because I pray every week! Do I think I’m too stupid to make decisions without God? Can’t I just “function” without him?

Sure I can (to some degree) but see now doing it all myself would be that “wood, hay or stubble” he was talking about. it’s the easy way, and seems like less trouble, takes less time.

isn’t that why the pig chose the straw house? It was easier?

(to be continued) Laura Grace

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When the Lord is your Husband and he is First #1 (Exodus 20:3)

Jesus said to him,‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind ” Luke 10:27
Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
 FIRE OF THE HOLY GHOST 2
Is God really first in your life? The first one you run to? The first one you listen to?
God had a lot to say in the Old Testemant about “other lovers” which meant: Others that people beleived in Over Himself. God said something pretty stern in Isaiah 57:13:
“When you cry out, Let your collectionof idols deliver you. But the wind will carry them all away, A breath will take them. But he who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land, And shall inherit My holy mountain.” “Thou Shalt have no other gods before me……..” What does it mean? 
God wants to be like our husband. #1, Uno. Forsaking all others (because of him, and his importance to us). Thus we have the passage in John 1:12 (I like the KJV) as it says “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”
 He’s our Shepherd. He’s our husband as well, and he doesn’t take kindly to us trusting in others more than we trust in him. Convicting? Yes, it certainly is.
He’s not “on our case” he is trying to help us. He wants us to be able to resist the devil, and cast down the accuser (of the brethren) but cannot do it unless we do it GOD”S WAY. He set things up that way! (and he’s not going to change it because it makes you uncomfortable, either). 
“repent” (means) to turn away from all others you have trusted in, besides Him. When we come through the fire, it means all that we have trusted in (that is not of him) has been consumed. He’s a consuming fire, and wants to burn up the (fleshly) ways we have BECAUSE there is no other way to become (his sons) who are like him in how he thinks, how he walks, how he talks, and what HE believes in.
We can’t defeat the devil when we are unsurrendered to God (James 4:7) And submission does not mean “Okay Father I guess you want me sick, poor or defeated” It means I submit Father, to handling my entire life YOUR way!” My entire life “I give to you Father” (My husband, my friend) for you are worthy to be trusted with it all! 
Now “If there is any way in me” that seems unrighteous to you Father Deal with me!! correct me! chastize me!” (amen) I give my heart soul mind and body to you Father in Jesus’ name (amen)!
Now …..Now you are ready to resist (the enemy of your souls) however God says to do it! Worship! Praise! Rebuke the devil! anoint someone! Maybe God will have you say to a total unbeliever “God is healing me!!!” (in the face of their unbelief) There are no formula’s…...(only Jesus)
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”   Luke 10:19