Archive Tag:Peace

Lose Yourself to Gain Yourself

And He (Jesus) was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].

Luke 9:23

When I was dealing with discouragement and despair I noticed that it was because I was putting my focus and trust in everything else besides God. I was constantly dwelling on my problems and taking my eyes off of God.

Self-preoccupation is disorienting, because when we are looking at ourselves we are not looking to Jesus. and we are not looking at the road we are running on. The Bible states that Jesus is our example in Hebrews 12:1-2:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].

Note: Sometimes the public shame of the cross is overlooked when one thinks of the pain and agony inflicted by it, but in the Roman Empire crucifixion was a shameful and disgraceful way to die, a form of capital punishment from which Roman citizens were exempt; and in Roman comedy it was used in a curse: “Go to a bad cross!”

It is disappointing because we never find in ourselves what we are looking for. Therefore, it frequently leads to discouragement and despair. Ironically, we are often lured into self-centered introspection, which leads us into a vicious cycle of self-improvement efforts, self-indulgence, self-disillusionment, and new self-resolves.

When you do this that gives the devil an opportunity to tell lies such as God is not near you and He will not help you.

Please don’t listen to these lies. I found out what I was doing wrong and I went into prayer mode.

Take your eyes off the things of this world. Allow difficulty to bring you to your knees in prayer. Fight off those lies by crying for help. Trust in the Lord, not your circumstances.

The Bible states that Satan is a liar and deceiver. Follow:

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] 1 Peter 5:8-9

The one who practices sin [separating himself from God, and offending Him by acts of disobedience, indifference, or rebellion] is of the devil [and takes his inner character and moral values from him, not God]; for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

Jesus tells us that if we are not of Him, we are of the devil:

He who is not with Me [once and for all on My side] is against Me; and he who does not[unequivocally] gather with Me scatters. Matthew 12:30

He who is not with Me [believing in Me as Lord and Savior] is against Me [there is no impartial position]; and he who does not gather with Me [assisting in My ministry], scatters. Luke 11:23

43 Why do you misunderstand what I am saying? It is because [your spiritual ears are deaf and] you are unable to hear [the truth of] My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths. John 8:43-44

The key to overcoming despair is keeping your mind on the Lord, which will keep your mind at peace.

Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. Colossians 3:2

Take your eyes off the things of this world. Allow difficulty to bring you to your knees in prayer. Fight off those lies by crying for help. Trust in the Lord, not your circumstances.

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness[His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. Matthew 6:33

God Promises His Spirit and A New Heart

No one race has maintained their identity without a homeland after five generations except for the Jews, who have done so for over 2000 years. Yet as knowledgeable as the Jews are relating to the Scriptures, they fail to see that Jesus is the promised Messiah as prophesied in Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Daniel 9, and Zechariah 11-12.
Paul assures us in the New Testament, “not to be uninformed of this mystery …that a partial blindness (hardening of their hearts) has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” (Romans 11:25).
Surely anyone looking at the evidence of prophecy and the life of Jesus Christ must conclude that if Jesus wasn’t the Messiah, there will never be a Messiah! No one since Jesus has or can trace his genealogy back to David.
What a glorious day it will be when God gives them a unity of heart, putting His Spirit among them and remove their hardened hearts!
I will give them a heart to know Me, [understanding fully] that I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart. Jeremiah 24:7
“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord, “I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. Jeremiah 31:33
17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give [back] to you the land of Israel.”’ 18 When they return there, they will remove from it all [traces of] its detestable things and all its repulsive things (remnants of paganism). 19 And I will give them one heart [a new heart], and put a new spirit within them. I will take from them the heart of stone, and will give them a heart of flesh [that is responsive to My touch], 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose heart longs for and follows after their detestable things and their repulsive things [associated with idolatry], on their own head I will repay [them in full for] their [vile] conduct,” says the Lord God.  Ezekiel 11:17-21

24 For I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My ordinances and do them. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 I will also save you from all your uncleanness, and I will call for the grain and make it abundant, and I will not bring famine on you. 30 I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not suffer again the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember [clearly] your [own] evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your sins and for your outrageous atrocities. 32 I am not doing this for your sake,” says the Lord God. “Let that be known to you. Be ashamed and humiliated for your [wicked] ways, O house of Israel!” Ezekiel 36:24-32

Note: Ezekiel 36:24 This prophecy has been in the process of fulfillment since World War II. The Jews have for centuries been dispersed among all the nations with only a few remaining in the homeland. But by a.d. 1960 one-sixth of the Jewish population of the world was in Israel. Already they had been made “one nation” (37:22a)—between sunrise of one day and sunset of the next—“a nation born in one day” (Isaiah 66:8). But the greatest event of all is yet to come (Ezekiel 37:22b-25). This prophecy will be fulfilled in its entirety.

Then they will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them to their own land. I will leave none of them there [among the nations] any longer. 29 I will not hide My face from them any longer, because I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,” says the Lord God.

Ezekiel 39:28-29
CS Lewis put it so profoundly:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.  Either this man was,Trilemma and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Lose Yourself to Gain Yourself

When I was dealing with despair I noticed that it was because I was putting my focus and trust in everything else besides God. I was constantly dwelling on my problems and taking my eyes off of God.

When you do this that gives the devil an opportunity to tell lies such as God is not near you and He will not help you.

Please don’t listen to these lies. I found out what I was doing wrong and I went into prayer mode.

Take your eyes off the things of this world. Allow difficulty to bring you to your knees in prayer. Fight off those lies by crying for help. Trust in the Lord, not your circumstances.

The key to overcoming despair is keeping your mind on the Lord, which will keep your mind at peace.

Take your eyes off the things of this world. Allow difficulty to bring you to your knees in prayer. Fight off those lies by crying for help. Trust in the Lord, not your circumstances.