Fixer Upper, Prayer and Jesus

I’m a great fan of farmhouse décor thanks to the lovely Mrs. Joanna Gaines, Queen of Farmhouse Décor.  Yes, I have the farmhouse bug you might say and speaking of farmhouse I’m sad that Chip & Joanna Gaines have announced this is their final season for their hit show, Fixer Upper.  It was definitely my favorite HGTV show.  I admired their closeness as a married couple and family and Joanna’s decorating skills were totally awesome.  One thing I know…I won’t be watching TV near as much when they go off the air.

Anyway, new subject matter.  Have you ever had a problem you couldn’t solve and then finally decided that fact in your wee little brain and then though, “Hey, I know!  I’ll pray about this!” and then almost immediately…problem solved?

Well, that’s happened to me on more than a few occasions.  I struggle in my own strength and when I finally give up and give it to Jesus, He lovingly takes it and works it all out for my good, just like Romans 8:28 says.

Anyway, I’m so thankful I know Jesus and know that He loves me and you too!

Now, if I could only remember that every time I’m in trouble.

The Voice

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When Life Wears You Out

Fires, floods, hurricanes…so much is happening.  Hurricane Harvey hit Houston hard and now Hurricane Irma has her eye on Florida.  Trouble, trouble everywhere, it seems.  Many have faced the damaging effects of Houston’s Hurricane and will be dealing with its after effects for months to come and now Florida is feeling the same fear of what is predicted to come.  Let us continue to pray for God’s protection and mercy in these troublesome times.

Life with all its “stuff” has a way of wearing us out.  Have you ever felt that total exhaustion—that bone-tired, soul-tired, mental tiredness that leaves you feeling like a limp dirty dish rag?  Oh, I have and it was that way with me just a few days ago.  I was a weak, whiny, weeping wimp sobbing my way through dinner.

What was confusing that morning I felt such total victory in my Spirit man.  I felt like I could whip two Goliaths with one hand tied behind me!  I was ready for anything the devil might throw in my way and well, he did throw something my way that very afternoon and I was a weeping weakling!  What happened?  Where was my victory?  Where was my strength?  Where was my power?  It all washed away in just a few words from a close relative.  Words hurt!  My spirit was wounded and I lashed back with more hurtful words intended to hurt my opponent for the win.  But did I win?  No way.  I hurt more because I felt so defeated.  I want to be like Jesus.  I want to show love like Him.  I want to be a light.  I want to turn the other cheek but did I do any of that?  No!  I reacted in an unchristian way.  Shame on me and the devil would not let me forget it.  He reminded me that I acted unchristian and that I failed…miserably.  Guilt and condemnation were eating me alive and I wanted to just disappear.  But where?  No man is an island, as the author said.

Finally, after sobbing and slobbering (no, it wasn’t a pretty picture) I prayed for the Holy Spirit to help me.  I didn’t know how to fix the damage.  Words were spoken in hurt and anger and once those words are spoken you can’t take them back as much as you wish you could.

As I sat quietly meditating on what to do, my phone rang.  It was the person I love so much who had hurt me, apologizing for their actions.  I was surprised but immediately apologized for my hurtful words and actions also.  Amends were made and life was good again.

Why do we always seem to hurt the ones we love the most?  We all do it.  We’re all vulnerable to the devil’s tactics.  Oh, he’s sly and just when we think we can’t fall,  we do and then condemnation sets in.  You want to throw up your hands and quit but quitting is not an option, ever.

If you’re feeling worn out maybe you just need to eat, rest or take an emotional break to recharge.  Jesus took the disciples away from the crowds and ministry to relax and refresh themselves.  If Jesus felt the need to do that how much more do we need to relax and regroup.  It’s okay to get away, really!  You’ll be better for it and the people around you will be too.  Maybe they need a break from you.  (Smile)

Rest and let your body, soul and spirit be renewed.  Let God feed you.

Truly my soul waiteth upon God:  from him cometh my salvation.  He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.  In God is my salvation and my glory:  the rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God.  Psalms 62: 1,2, 7 KJV

David knew about being overwhelmed with life.  Listen to his words.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:  lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalms 61:2 KJV

Rest in God.  He is your hope.  He is your rock.

The Voice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Time For Some Fence-Mending

Are you mad at someone today?  Has someone hurt your feelings and you’re not talking to them anymore?  Maybe it’s a neighbor, a friend, a spouse, or close relative like your mom or dad? 

So many people are at “odds” with others in our world today.  White against black, young against old, Republicans against Democrats, North against South, women against men, vegetarians against meat eaters, cat lovers against dog lovers and the list goes on and on.  It just seems that everybody is against somebody or something today and anger is measuring pretty high on the human Richter scale.  People are like earthquakes.  They are emotionally bruised, hurt, sensitive, boiling mad and likely to explode at any time!  Where has all this hurt come from?  Why are we now a nation of sensitive, can’t take it on the chin, whiny cry babies?  Our grandparents weren’t like this.  They were tough.  They worked long hours in the fields and fought in WWII.  They were called America’s greatest generation, so what has happened to today’s generation?  Why are they now called “snowflakes” by some?

They’re is probably a more complex answer than the one I’m about to offer but in my opinion it’s because of the breakdown of the family.  Fathers are no longer present in the majority of America’s homes and without the father the family is left to defend itself.  The father is to be the “head” and protector of the family unit and when he’s gone (for whatever reason) the family is more vulnerable.  Sometimes a close friend of the family and many times more likely a close relative will molest the girls and even the boys in this family situation.  You hear and read of it happening time and time again.  This affects the children for the rest of their lives.  They become angry because their childhood was stolen from them and some become promiscuous or turn to the gay lifestyle as a result.  Long story short, society now has thousands of angry people because they have been hurt, one way or another, looking for happiness and can’t find it.  Their hurt and hurting people, hurt people.

They need reconciliation.  What is reconciliation?  The restoration of friendly relations.  Synonyms for reconciliation are:  reuniting, reunion, bringing together (again), conciliation, fence-mending.  Reconciliation involves a change in the relationship between God and man or man and man.  It assumes there has been a breakdown in the relationship but now there has been a change from a state of enmity and fragmentation to one of harmony and fellowship.

In Romans 5:6-11, the great Apostle Paul says that before reconciliation we were powerless, ungodly sinners and enemies; were under God’s wrath.  Because of change or reconciliation we become “new creatures.”  “Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature:  old things are passed away: behold all things are become new.”  2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV  That means when we accept Christ, he makes us brand new!  We become a creature that never existed before; we’re changed.

How?  Through the death of Jesus.  “And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”  2 Corinthians 5:18 KJV  Reconciliation takes place through the cross of Christ or the death of Christ, thus we are no longer enemies, ungodly, sinners or powerless.  Instead, the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit whom He has given to us.  (See Romans 5:5)  It is a change in the total state of our lives.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV  God has justified us through His Son’s death on Calvary.  God has reconciled the world, not counting people’s sins against them.  Justification means, “just as if we had never sinned.”

The whole message of reconciliation is centered around the love of God and the death of Christ.  Paul reminds us that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8  This brings peace with God.  We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”  Colossians 1:21 KJV  We were God’s enemies but are now His friends.  We were in a state of condemnation because of our sins but we are now forgiven.  We were at war with God but now have the peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

It’s time for some fence-mending.  We first need to be reconciled to God and then we can truly have peace and get along with our fellow man.  Be reconciled to God today and in the process be reconciled with your brother, your sister, your parents, your neighbor, your friend, your spouse.

Praying for reconciliation today,

The Voice

 

 

It’s Here!

Perhaps the most misunderstood person among the body of Christ is the Holy Spirit and the role He plays in the life of the Believer. On the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, He made one of the most astounding statements of His whole ministry.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  John 16:7

Jesus was saying it was more beneficial for us to have the ministry of the Holy Spirit than it was to have Jesus present with us in His physical body!  It is the Holy Spirit of God who brings conviction to the unbeliever and causes him to see the truth of the Gospel in a clear light. It is the Holy Spirit who “woos” the sinner to come. This book is about the love of our Heavenly Father for all mankind and His desire to fellowship with him. 

Order your copy today on Amazon.com.

Has God Changed His Mind About Sin?

The question being asked is this:  Does God ever change His mind about breaking His commandments?  Does He adjust His view to today’s world standards about sin and society’s cultural stance on moral behavior? 

This is what megachurch Pastor Brian Houston had to say about his church’s conversation about gay marriage:

This is a conversation the church needs to have and we are all on a journey as we grapple with the question of merging biblical truth with a changing world.

There is no need for the church of Jesus to be grappling with Biblical truth.  Sure, the world has changed it’s views about moral conduct, that’s an undeniable fact but the undeniable fact is the truth of God’s Word has not changed.  No Pastor should be grappling with the truth.  He has a Bible where the truth is laid out plain and simple!

A few days ago I read an article in a leading Christian magazine that Pastor Stan Mitchell, the pastor of GracePoint, another megachurch in Franklin, Tennessee, had announced to his congregation that practicing homosexuals can now be members of his church and hold their gay weddings in the sanctuary.  He stated,

Full privileges are extended now to you with the same expectations of faithfulness, sobriety, holiness, wholeness, fidelity, godliness, skill and willingness.  That is expected of all.  Full membership means being able to serve in leadership and give all of your gifts and receive all the sacraments; not only communion and baptism but child dedication and marriage.

A number of other church leaders and their congregations are welcoming same sex union couples into their church family and given full acceptance as born again believers.

Really, Pastors?  And where in God’s Word did you get permission to do this?  Did God change His mind because that’s not what His Word says.

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind:  it is abomination.  Leviticus 18:22 KJV

And now read what the great Apostle Paul wrote:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived:  neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  I Corinthians 6:9, 10 KJV

Just this morning I was reading in I Corinthians 5 where Paul opens up this chapter by saying there is gross immorality being tolerated in the church.  Paul goes on to say in this same chapter that the church should deliver this one or any other person who say they are believer and committing fornication to Satan.  Paul says the church should discipline those committing such evil works by excommunicating them.  (Read vs. 5)  Paul has quite a different method than some megachurch leaders in our day.

He goes on to say,

Your glorying is not good.  Know ye not that a little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump?  I Corinthians 5:6 KJV

What Paul is actually saying is this…these people committing such acts contrary to God’s commandment will influence the whole church with their evil practice.

In verse 7 Paul says to cleanse the church of these evil people.  In verse 9 Paul says he wrote a letter to the Corinthian church to not keep company with fornicators.  He says not to even eat with a brother who is a fornicator.

We can see from Paul’s letter that church discipline is Biblical but today we have people who are fornicators holding prominent positions in the church…some are even in the pulpits!

Paul dealt with it in his day and the church is dealing with it in our day.  It is a sad state and a disgrace.  God will not bless sin.  He never has and He never will.  You see, God is holy and He expects His church to be holy.  We are to be separated from world views and have the same view as Christ toward sin.  Jesus said for us to be holy because He was holy.

But them that are without God judgeth.  Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.  I Corinthians 5:13 KJV

God will judge sin.  The church is to judge it’s own.  The church is to discipline just a Parent disciplines their children.

Does God love people?  Does He love the sinner?  Does He love the believer who sins?  Unequivocally the answer is “YES”!  God is love but there are commandments or rules laid out in His Word and He expects us to live by those rules.

People change, methods change, ideas change but the Word of God does not change.  It is the measuring stick to which we are live by.   Instead of the church becoming more like the world, the church should be causing the world to desire to be more like the church.

Preachers are to preach the truth.  It is more loving to tell people the truth than to lie to them.  The Preacher will be held accountable for not declaring the truth to his congregation.   The blood of those lost will be on his hands.  Preachers “preach the Word”.  Don’t give up and don’t let down!  Hold up the blood stained banner of the cross and march forward to win the world for Jesus!

The Voice

 

 

 

 

Miracles Do Happen!

“Mama, I think you should go.”  These were the words spoken by my eight year old daughter and the only reason why I even considered going.  I had already made up my mind I was not going.

I had been able to fake happiness my whole life but the charade had gotten harder as my children began to grow older and wiser.  Their little voices on the other side of my bedroom door asking if I was okay made the anguish I was feeling much harder to bear.  I tried to muffle the crying noises as best I could but they knew their mama was not okay.  I needed help.

When my husband asked me what was wrong, I couldn’t answer.  I didn’t know.  I was just very sad.  I managed to work a full time job but would come home each afternoon, take some cold medicine because it made me drowsy and go to sleep.  I did have a headache almost every day but sleep was my best friend.

My husband didn’t know how to help me.  He encouraged me to see a doctor.  After all it could be hormonal and maybe if they prescribed medication I would feel better.

I was the oldest of seven children.  From an early age there was a lot of responsibility put on me from both my parents.  At twelve years old they would leave me in charge of my younger siblings.  If anything went wrong while they were gone it was my fault.  One day two of my brothers got in a scuffle and broke a lamp.  Sure enough when they got home dad scolded me because after all I was in charge.  Their was a problem however, I was not in charge because my younger siblings didn’t think they needed to listen to me, let alone mind me.

Some of my earliest memories were ones of being whipped with a belt by my dad and I never knew why.  He would tell me to lie across the bed and I would start begging and crying because I knew what was coming.  If I didn’t he said it would only be much worse on me.  He would then remove his leather belt and whip me leaving belt marks on my back.

My mother would come to the door begging him to stop but he would remind her if she didn’t leave he was going to whip her too.  I was left alone screaming, writhing and crying on the bed.  I don’t know if he was drunk.  I never knew why I was getting a beating.

Besides the physical abuse, I suffered mental and emotional abuse also.  Neither one of my parents ever hugged me, kissed me, praised me or told me they loved me…never.  In fact, just the opposite was true.  My dad loved to remind me almost on a daily basis that they just had me to clean the house.  He would say it with a grin on his face.  He would also say things like…”you’re not worth the salt that goes in your bread” or “can’t you do anything right?”  My Saturdays consisted of always cleaning house.  We never played family games together, went on a family picnic or outing together.

I was a smart kid.  I always made the honor roll and the teacher displayed my papers on the bulletin board with a large sticker because of my handwriting.  I was chosen to be in Student Council in the third grade but I’m not sure my parents even knew that.  If they were, they never said anything about it.  My third grade teacher stood at our classroom door each morning and gave me a hug before I entered the room.  She may have hugged every student but that was the only hug I ever received as a child.

One afternoon I came home with a Parent letter about the Bluebird Club.  I wanted to be a Bluebird.  I didn’t know exactly what they did but I wanted to join.  My mother glanced quickly at the letter and then let me know I couldn’t join because it was on Wednesday afternoons and we had church that night.  I begged a little but she said I couldn’t join, end of discussion.

I couldn’t wait to leave home.  I thought when I got out on my own I would be happy.

I got married and left home but my problems went with me.  I was sad and didn’t know how to enjoy life.  I wasn’t happy unless I was busy working.  I didn’t know how to relax and have fun.  I felt responsible for everyone else’s happiness.  If I saw other women with their mothers shopping or eating lunch together, I was jealous.  I longed to have that kind of relationship with my mother.  I felt isolated and alone.

After marriage I also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education and graduated with honors.  My husband and two children attended my graduation ceremony but neither one of my Parents came.  My husband and children were very proud of me and we celebrated with dinner after the ceremony at a nice restaurant.  My family was very supportive of me and I knew they loved me.  I felt so blessed to have them and was proud of them also.

After I landed a teaching position my life became very stressful  I worked a full time job, took care of two children, did all the household chores, helped take care of my husband’s elderly mother, plus we Pastored a small church in another county.

Life was becoming more and more difficult and I spent more and more time alone in my bedroom crying.  The depression was closing in on me.  I began to have headaches, stomach problems, back aches, high blood pressure, joint pain and significant weight gain.  I was going to the doctor and chiropractor more and more often for medication and relief.

One day my husband sat me down and told me I couldn’t change what happened to me as a child.  He told me I couldn’t change my Parents either.  He told me I would just have to accept things the way they were.  He told me I couldn’t change my situation but I could change my reaction to it.

I knew he was right.  I was wishing and longing for something that would never be and I was meditating on that fact.  This was the root problem of my depression and I knew it.  I needed to see my worth as a person and that I was valuable and lovable in God’s eyes.

I didn’t know it at the time but a phone call came one afternoon that would literally change my life!  A friend of mine called inviting me to attend a Ladies Conference with her.  Within minutes of our conversation I had already mentally decided I was not going but I told her I would thing about it and call her back.

I had no intentions of going until my daughter spoke those words, “Mama, I think you should go.”  Somehow, I knew she was right.  I didn’t know why but I knew it.  I later  called my friend back and told her I would go.

I did go and when I got there imagine my surprise when I found out the guest speaker was a licensed Clinical Psychologist who spoke that evening about the symptoms of depression.  I identified with everything she was saying.  She had my undivided attention.

That weekend proved to be a major turning point in my life!  I learned by listening to her talk and through prayer that it was possible to be free from the debilitating grip of that demon called, depression.

The last day of that Conference, the Director came down off the stage touched my head and immediately I felt that dark cloud of depression lift off me.  I felt free for the first time since I was a child.  I began to laugh with uncontrollable joy.  It bubbled like a fountain from deep with my belly.  I laughed all the way home.

When my husband and children saw me they knew there was a difference in my demeanor.  I hugged them with joy.  Our home was now a happy home!

I was now able to function and be with my family instead of hiding in my bedroom from them and the rest of the world.  I was no longer a prisoner to sadness.  I was no longer captive but was like a prisoner set free!  Jesus set me free!

I’m so happy to this day that I listened to my little daughter and went to this conference even though I didn’t want to go.

Sometimes miracles happen when we least expect them!  I know!

My Quiet Time

The Voice of One Crying From Cyber Space

be-still-and-know-that-i-am-god

This morning I ate my usual breakfast…a boiled egg with a little fresh ground black pepper, crackers, a little mayo on the side and a small glass of orange juice.  I never get bored eating this same breakfast every morning because you see…I’m basically a creature of habit.  I like the same routine and if that routine changes I get a little upset.  I know!  All of you adventurous souls are cringing and thinking I’m boring but I like simplicity, routine and the basics of life.  I tell my husband…it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

I actually like sitting on our enclosed deck  watching my neighbors work in their yards, the blue birds flying by and the hummingbirds sipping sweet nectar from the feeder.  I like watching my roses grow, listening to the turtle doves coo and the aroma of fresh mowed grass.  I enjoy drinking my iced coffee, writing my blog, listening…

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My Quiet Time

be-still-and-know-that-i-am-god

This morning I ate my usual breakfast…a boiled egg with a little fresh ground black pepper, crackers, a little mayo on the side and a small glass of orange juice.  I never get bored eating this same breakfast every morning because you see…I’m basically a creature of habit.  I like the same routine and if that routine changes I get a little upset.  I know!  All of you adventurous souls are cringing and thinking I’m boring but I like simplicity, routine and the basics of life.  I tell my husband…it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

I actually like sitting on our enclosed deck  watching my neighbors work in their yards, the blue birds flying by and the hummingbirds sipping sweet nectar from the feeder.  I like watching my roses grow, listening to the turtle doves coo and the aroma of fresh mowed grass.  I enjoy drinking my iced coffee, writing my blog, listening to my favorite song or reading a book on my Kindle App.  Yes, I admit it…I’m a simple soul who likes the simple things of life.  Simple makes me happy.

I’m not flashy.  I’m a quiet person who is really an introvert.  I don’t like to be around people for very long at time.  Don’t get me wrong… I love people but it wears me out mentally to smile and make pleasant conversation for very long at a time.  I’m constantly looking at my watch to see if I’ve stayed long enough at a social gathering so I can make the usual pleasantries, give my excuse for leaving early and then excitedly looking for the nearest exit.  Am I the only one like this?

People mistakenly think introverts are snobs.  I know because I’ve been accused of that before but seriously, I’m not.  Sometimes I wish I were an extrovert but I’m just not wired that way.  To act otherwise feels odd…I’ve tried it and it just doesn’t feel natural.

Being an introvert I enjoy my quiet time where I can recharge my batteries and face life in the fast lane once again.  Believe me, it’s totally necessary for my mental state of mind!

My favorite time is in the morning after breakfast.  I gather my big King James Bible, my Prayer Journal, my favorite pen, my water and settle down into my big comfy chair in the living room.  I’m alone but I’m not alone.  You see, the Holy Spirit is with me. It’s my quiet time with Him.   He helps me understand God’s Holy Word.  I greatly treasure this time alone with God listening to His voice.  He speaks to me, not in an audible voice but through my spirit.  He gives me encouragement and revelation about the scriptures I am reading.  He tells me things I’ve repeated to no one else.  He talks and I listen and I write.  I eagerly hang onto each word He speaks.

Most people never take the time to be alone with God and if they do take the time they’re doing all the talking.  They never shut up long enough or are still long enough to listen to what He has to say.  Listening is a lost art these days.

During this morning’s quiet time, I read about the Apostle Paul when he and 276 men were shipwrecked on the island of Melita.  The barbarous people were so kind to him and the crew.  They built a fire because it was raining and cold.  Paul helped by gathering a bundle of sticks and when he laid them on the fire a venomous snake came out and fastened itself to his hand.  The island people watched him closely expecting Paul’s hand to swell and him to die suddenly, but when Paul suffered no harm they changed their mind about him being a murderer and said that he was a god.  The Apostle prayed for the chief’s father who had a fever.  Paul laid his hands on him and as he prayed the man was healed.  When the other islanders heard about this they also came to be prayed for and were healed of their diseases too.

The Apostle finally made it to Rome and though he was a prisoner he was allowed to dwell two whole years in his own hired house and received all that came to him to hear him preach the kingdom of God and teach about the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul was a simple man and he preached the simple truth of the gospel.  I’m not comparing myself to the great Apostle Paul by no means but I too love the simple truth of the gospel.

Look at this scripture,  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10  It’s okay to be adventurous but we must take time out of our busy lives and schedules to just be still and listen to God’s voice.  Take the time to be alone with Him.  He wants to talk to you.

 

The Voice

 

Are You Image Obsessed?

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What is our obsession with image?  We love to post pictures on social media that capture the very best of our lives and then anxiously look to see how many “Likes” we get.  Some people toot their own horns constantly and they are a drag to be around.  News Flash…no one likes a selfish person.  We all know the “ones” who post a selfie of themselves several times a day.  They become a joke.

This image obsession is rooted in pride.  We all have pride to a degree and a little pride is a good thing.   Pride is what motivates you to take a bath, use deodorant, brush your teeth, comb your hair and believe me we’re all proud you do that!  It’s excessive pride that is a bad thing.

I’m thinking right now of an example of excessive pride portrayed so humorously by the character of Fonzie on the TV show Happy Days.  Fonzie was image possessed.  Every time he walked by a mirror he would stop to check himself out.  He would then whip out his black plastic comb and swipe it quickly through his oily slicked back hair.  Fonzie was all about image, but he could barely talk or read a book.

When you are image obsessed, you are looking for approval from others.  Your true identity and image can be found only in the person of Jesus Christ.  He is to be number one in our life.  If you don’t know who you are in Christ, you will look to find yourself or approval in another person or career, in the clothes you wear, the car you drive, clothes size, Instagram likes and being better than everyone else because that makes you feel like you matter…that you are important.  It’s okay to have nice things and try to improve yourself, but if your motivation is to exalt yourself, then your motivation is rooted in pride.

If you surrender your image obsession to Jesus, you can learn to live a life free from fear.  When the Apostle Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he conquered pride.  Although the Apostle was a man of great intellect and an eloquent speaker, listen to what he writes,

When I came to you, brother, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.  I Corinthians 2:1-5 KJV

Before Paul met Jesus, he was a man full of pride because of his education, religion and position in the church but when he met Jesus he was completely changed by the power of the gospel.  We now see a forgiven man…an humble man who has let the idol of his image obsession die on the cross with Jesus and who is now obsessed with the image and person of Jesus Christ.

You can rely on the Holy Spirit of God to help you find your true image in His power and presence to heal you from your past, to receive forgiveness, forgive those who have hurt you, so that pride does not rule your life.

Ask yourself:  Am I image obsessed?  Is the spirit of pride keeping me more focused on my image than on Christ?

The Voice