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…..nor give place to the devil…..(A message to the church) Eph 4:27

MEN IN A lot of people think when it comes to faith, that I have faith by sticking my head in the sand. Not so. 

Many years ago, a small passage in Ephesians seems to jump off the page at me. “Nor Give place to the devil,” (Ephesians 4:27 NKJV). 

Like the men in black (if you’ve seen the movie) there is always “something” trying to destroy us at any given time. Always. 

James and the other Apostles would not have said “Resist the Devil” if there was no devil. He is the master of fear tactics, lying, coming against God and making false accusations about our Father in Heaven. He is “the father of lies.” In John 8:44 Jesus spells this out for us quite clearly.

He lied to the disciples, and made them fear for their lives when Jesus was crucified. That’s why Peter denied Jesus (three times) “Fear.” 

Fear is why people don’t want to pray in Faith (They might look stupid) and fear is why so many do not stand against the status-quo. As a woman pointed out at a meeting last night I went to “Sheep are dumb, they follow each other into the danger.” (Paraphrase) 

I pondered this passage many times in my life: “Neither give place to the devil,” and it occurred to me that even though the danger may be real, and even though there may be testimonies of all the bad things that could happen to me, I have to choose and decide once and for all whether I will believe God’s word, or whether to believe the lies of satan that are arrayed against me. 

“Fear” really is a liar. Yes, there are times we must be cautious. No, we should not go where angels fear to tread, or just run out and try to defy gravity without being armed with the Word of God and his presence. At the same time, we have to realize that literally thousands of lies are probably coming at us, every single day. 

There are testimonies of those who have not stood on God’s word, and had a bad outcome. Think back with me to the bible, and how all those people did not go on to the promised land, along with Moses. Why? Because they feared they were doing it all in vain. They had to get past their unbelief, but they refused to do it. Moses could lead them to the waters of God (so to speak) but he could not make them drink it. 

That was a decision they had to make for themselves. 

I choose to find out (from God) what is his voice and what is the devils. Because my friends, there is a devil. And Jesus is not going to do ALL the work for us, nor is he going to make all the decisions for us, that only we can make. 

It was his voice speaking way back in the Old Testemant: “CHOOSE” (Life or Death). to this day we choose what voice we will listen to. Please don’t decieve yourself. God wants to speak to you today. (John 10:4). First we pray for ears to listen and ears to hear. We pray to have a sheep nature, and accept him as our Shepherd, and the bishop of our souls. 

I am encouraging you today: There is a devil. Don’t give place to his lies in your mind and heart. If you don’t know what is God or what is the devil, ASK GOD For his input! Pursue him like Jewels! Listen for him like he’s a treasure! This is what I have have done, and will continue to do. -Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow 

 

 

 

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The importance of knowing God- (the most important message in my heart)

Jesus weptOn the radio yesterday, I heard this preacher ask, “If you could preach one sermon only (before you die) what would you preach?” The question captivated me for some reason. 

I started pondering it, and realized if I could say one thing only, I would talk about the importance of knowing God (for yourself) and not just hear-say on what others have said about him. 

I believe what others say about God, should cause us to seek him out for ourselves.

“I heard” the restaurant had really good food, (we say), “Think I”ll check it out one day for myself.” Let’s face it, the quest to know Jesus (and God the Father) is a scary quest at best.

What if we hear wrong? “Make up stuff in our head, and call it God?” What if the voice we hear is not God? For we do know if there is God, then there is a devil! What if he speaks to us? Will we know the difference between God’s voice and his? 

And why should God even speak to me? And, what if he says something that disagrees with my pastor, my parents, my friends or someone else I look up to, or respect? 

I see, the safe route is to just go along with the program, trust that everything that happens to me is God’s will, and float along with a lot of great intentions. After all, God does know my heart, so he can just let me know if he wants to speak, right? 

I think we all know, deep down, we are supposed to ask Him. Talk to him. Not about every little thing we want today but, “The important questions.” If we really believe he loves us, we should not be afraid to ask. God sent his Son Jesus to die for us so we could still have the right to ask anything of Him.

What would please you most? That your children want your goodies, or they want to know you? Would you be pleased if they got to know you “from others” who claimed to know you? No. 

The parable in Matthew 25:26 reveals the seriousness of making assumptions. “Well Lord, I thought you were (like this)” Or “Like that……” …..

In John 4:10 Jesus told the woman at the well, “If you knew who I am, you would have asked for living water.” Matthew 7:21-23 contains a very stern warning from Jesus, which includes the idea if we didn’t do what he said, he will say he didn’t know us. He is talking to people who did “wonders in his name.”

Wow. I guess knowing him (and him knowing us) is pretty important. Beyond important, it’s crucial to our eternal lives.  (did you look up those scriptures?). 

On that day your physical body dies and you meet with Jesus (and you will, I promise), he is not going to say ‘what did the preacher say?”

He isn’t going to ask what your Sunday school teacher taught you, or what that book said, or this book said. He died a bloody awful death so YOU could know him and be reconciled to God our Father in heaven. 

The question is, after Jesus said that to the Samaritian woman, did she even ask for living water? We don’t know, because the bible does not tell us that information. We know she ran off to tell everyone about this man who knew all about her, but I don’t see a record for her saying, ‘Okay Jesus, please do give me this living water you are talking about!” 

John 4:42 says after the woman had told them about her encounter with Jesus, they went and sought him out. Then these people said, 

 “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ,  the Savior of the world.”

So the question is; Do you know God personally for yourself? Does he know you? Why or why not? (to both questions!).

Have we been taught the criteria for knowing Him? Or do we just follow along with everyone else, Assuming that we know him? Assuming that he knows us?

I challenge you today, the most important relationship in your life may be suffering from Neglect. And I also challenge you to do something about it. Right here & Right now. Talk to Jesus. He hears you. And make your prayers to him count for something other than ‘assuming’ what you ought to pray.

With Love, Laura Grace, Author and Ambassador for Christ. 

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:20 NKJV. 

 

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Building with Precious things …..#12 Taking Risks & The resistance of the faithless when you do……

Risk: “A situation involving exposure to danger.” RISK.jpg

I have taken a lot of risks in my life time. I did before I met Jesus, and I did it even more “after” I started to know him. Jesus always seemed draw people out into situations that involved Risk. Risky business! (this serving Jesus!) to be sure. 

I know one of the many things God has called me to do, is exhort people to do just what it says in Psalm 118:8. “Trust in God, not in Man.” Is it easy (to do?) certainly not! It’s not hard at all if someone agrees with me, but if they don’t? Man, that can be difficult! 

I am not a person who loves to fight, argue, or debate. I don’t thrive on that kind of stuff. Therefore, if someone is all upset with me (about my faith stance) I find myself saying Okay Father what is this all about? What do I say? How should I handle this? 

I’ll give you an example: When my kids were young, we often had situations where my spouse quite his job (every year or every few months) I was the stay at home mom for the most part, as I could not And I mean could not find a babysitter for us both to work. I figured it out it was cheaper for me to stay home, than to pay a baby sitter for 2 kids and make at that time, 7.00 per hour. We had ONE car. When my spouse worked I had to stay home as nobody was going to buy us a second car and babysitting was amost 5.00 per hour at the time for a good one. No “Welfare” would not help. 

So then we were poor, and could not buy what we needed at times. People would hear about it (some from church) and help but then I got lectures. “You need to work too” they said. Not one of them offered to babysit, (on a regular basis). If I worked and my spouse stayed home, the kids were not safe. They told me about “Man’s help” such as government programs.

They said I could ride ‘The shuttle bus” but when I checked on it, it didn’t work for the days I was scheduled to work. So I would say “I”m trusting God” and it would lead to going to whatever provision he gave me. I was at risk and my kids were at risk and when God would provide, people would say “What are you going to do next time?” Next time? I was hoping there wasn’t a next time! But, there always was a next time that I had to trust God for something. 

You see I HAD read my bible. I read in Revelation “I counsel you to buy from me gold” (Revelation 3:18) and I PRAYED FOR THAT to happen “I want Gold Father more than I want anything else, Gold from you! Gold from Heaven!” (Read Rev 3:18). 

So now, when I tell people what I went through, and how God provided, I get this attitude at times from people. “Shaking their heads” and anylizing my decisions back then. 

Faith makes people feel threatened. Having FAITH In God makes some very uncomfortable.

Sometimes it’s jealousy, other times they are just skeptical. Every time I stood for a miracle, I felt others were watching me as if it were some spectator sport. 

Some did follow my example, but for the most part I got this “Let me know how that goes for you attitude.” When I came out okay, they thought I was just lucky (perhaps). 

Nobody is going to get a Testimony without a test. We aren’t going to have miracles without taking risks, either. I can’t make anyone listen to me. As the years tick by, I find that many have grown cold to such possiblities (Miracles) because they think it only happens on the television set, and maybe those preachers are just doing some magic trick to bring in money (for themselves). 

God’s not going to do things on our terms. He never has, and he never will. HE calls the shots about how, when and where, and our part is to trust him. 

There are times having faith (for that miracle) is going to seem like “more trouble than it’s worth.” At times it seems silly to believe for one, when all you have to do is go along with the staus quo, and nobody will think you are too radical, too wierd, too crazy. 

Still, the mandate is the same. Psalm 118:8 “It’s better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.” that means “even yourself.” 

Why is it better? Because when you need to believe for a miracle, you’ll have had some practice and experience at it. pray with me if you dare. “Father I want to have a testimony of GOLD in my life. GOLD (of faith) that can come only from you. I want some precious testimonies to build on the foundation of your Holy word that I am saved, but now Father I want something more…….Please help me to achieve this in you. IN Jesus’ precious name…...amen. 

 

 

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What to do when you need to hear from God …….Building #11

What to do when you need to hear from God:

I”ve been known to stop everything, and just go and pray. If my mind gets swimmy, I don’t know what to do anymore, I feel like things are crashing in, and I have 20 things to do that are very important, well Yes I will say “I”m going to go pray”.

I’ve been known to walk past a stack of bills, a pile of work, dishes, people clamoring to talk to me and just shut the door and say “Father I’m not leaving here until I know what to do” .

See, I take it literally what Jesus said;

“Apart from me, you can do nothing.” (John 15).

In the natural we can seem to be doing something. shopping, cleaning the dishes, cleaning the house….

but without Jesus we can do nothing PROFITABLE to his Kingdom! You see? words of Jesus (John 15)

” for without Me you can do nothing”

Why did he say that? Because without him Nothing goes right!

When he says “cry out loud’ for Wisdom (in Proverbs) that too is the spirit of God speaking to us. I take it seriously.

I think I’m very blessed I was not smart by the world’s standards and had seemingly “no common sense.” “Airhead” “Hippie” “idealistic’……

I’ve been called all this and more! but I am blessed! when I call on the name of Jesus and say I cannot go on without you, I will not make this decision without you I “NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU He never lets me down” the thing is: I have to be ready for his answer which may or may not agree with my peers, this world, or anything I’ve been taught. i have to be prepared….

to lay it all down, and follow him. Amen -LG .

John 10:4 “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”Jesus said.jpg

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The Lesson of the Eggplant……and what I learned from not knowing something…

105_1995.JPG

I decided to make eggplant Last night (Eggplant parmeson).
 
Got the recipe, and got the eggplant out I had purchased from the store. I started cutting it up and noticed it was mostly turning brown on the inside. Knowing nothing about egg plant I sniffed it (smelled fine!) Sniffed it again (no bad smell!) so I thought okay it got a little brown, I just bought it Wed, and it still looked fine on the outside not slimy, not withered….not strange looking……..
 
So, I cut it up and breaded it, fried it, put it on the pan. I put a bit of sauce and cheese on it and baked it (in faith and had peace) I had no premonition about the eggplant, I intended to eat it!
 
Got it on the plate (as you can see) and decided to try a bite It tasted bitter! It occured to me and this promting came my spirit “go look up eggplant, see what makes it bad……..”
 
And I did. Turns out a little brown spot inside is fine but almost all brown/tan means it has spoiled. In my experience you go by odor or if it’s slimy LOL ….but now I knew nothing about Eggplant!
 
Why? It’s a new thing I need to learn! something I did not know (yet) and it turns out “Sniffing” is not always reliable. Looking for mold isn’t either! The Egg plant was bad! Not one to miss any opportunity for God to teach me I thought…….
 
“How many things do I not know about God that I need to know?” It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been following him……
 
What matters is, Do I still have a heart to learn? (from him?)” So I’d invested time into this but, I threw the eggplant away. Better late than never (to find out about this) ……..:) Love and blessings! -Laura Grace
 
“Cease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge.” Proverbs 19:27
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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