Tag Archives: heart

Who Am I Really?

Discovering Your True Identity

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Family, God, Identity, Jesus
This article was written by Andrew Palau.

From the time I was seven years old, I hung out with the same group of friends. As we grew up, I carved out an identity for myself that fit in among the group. I was “the crazy one.”

When I went off to college and left these familiar friends behind, this reputation I had built for myself disappeared. I realized that I didn’t know who I was because my friends weren’t there to define me. I was plagued by the question: “who am I really?” Left without an answer, I felt lost and out of place.

But once I became a follower of Jesus, that question took on a new and exciting dynamic. Who am I? The answer fills my heart with joy, confidence and a sense of eternity. When we accept Jesus Christ, our identity no longer relies on anything or anyone in this world.

Many of us let things such as our jobs, our talents or the people around us define our perception of who we are. But these things are fallible and temporary. Romans 8:16-17 calls us “God’s children” and “co-heirs with Christ.” God has claimed us as his own and promised us eternal life! This is our true identity; one that will never fall away. Isn’t that something worth sharing with those around us?

One of the deepest questions in life is "Who am I?" So who are you? Share with a caring Christian who you are.

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Recovering From Addiction

How far are you willing to go in destroying your life with an addiction?

Written by David on 28/03/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Repentance, Forgiveness, New Life, Restitution, Brokenness
If you have sinned, you should tell each other what you have done. Then you can pray for one another and be healed. The prayer of an innocent person is powerful, and it can help a lot.

James 5:16
The end of the line for an addicted person is a self-made prison with four walls — Terror, Confusion, Frustration and Despair. There seem to be no doors or windows, and fear fills your life as you see that you’ve embraced self-destruction of your own accord. There is no protection for what awaits you in the deepest, darkest, isolated, solitary moment of an out-of-control life of sin.

God’s Word is there to give you hope. But first there must be a "death:" “In the same way, you must think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But Christ Jesus has given life to you, and you live for God.” (Romans 6:11) This is because the hope is not found in yourself: “I know that my selfish desires won’t let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot.” (Romans 7:18)

Apathy Gives the Enemy Power
Do you spend a daily time with the Lord? Make it a daily quest in your life. Many days I falter in this goal to be in the presence of the Lord through His Word. But I know that my mind, left to itself, will wander to a place of apathy. And I know where this leads: shame, anxiety and destruction. This is what the Bible calls evidence of the "natural man:" a sinful nature seeded in our heart. “More than anything else, a person's mind is evil and cannot be healed. No one truly understands it.” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Where are You Looking for Your Fulfillment?
King David allowed his own heart to wander. It threw him into the four-walled prison: Terror, Confusion, Frustration and Despair. “In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war, David sent out Joab, his servants, and all the Israelites. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked the city of Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of his palace. While he was on the roof, he saw a woman bathing. She was very beautiful.” (2 Samuel 11:1-2) King David should have been fighting alongside his men as other kings went out to war. Instead, he stayed behind, allowing his eyes and mind to wander and looking at the beautiful Bathsheba. He fixed his eyes and didn’t turn away. Acting against God’s will according to his own desires resulted in an unexpected sequence of events. His sinful thoughts and pattern of behavior led to a terrible outcome.

Hope is Found in Brokenness Before God
God searches the heart to find what is good in us. The good is what He has planted. It is a seed that yearns to have a true, authentic relationship with Him. You must have a broken spirit, as David eventually expressed: "I know about my sins, and I cannot forget my terrible guilt. You are really the one I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong. So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me." (Psalm 51)

And Once You Have Confessed and Received His Restoration…
Focus on what is hopeful and favorable. “Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8) True faith continues to take God at His word. “If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful. Christ cannot deny who he is.” (2 Timothy 2:13)

This is the turning point of our conversion: repentance, total acceptance and submission to Him through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit living in us. In spite of this, it’s possible to wander in dissatisfaction, looking to fulfill our lives with worldly pleasures and worthless things. When we do this, we can quickly be distracted from God. Losing our perspective about what is important leaves us with emptiness. So the temporary pleasure ends with shame and self-destructive despair. It’s like falling on the sword of our own actions and desires.

The Path of Restoration for a Broken, Sinful Life
God is the answer for the broken hearted and sinful man. Addiction may have taken you to a place of desperation and even complete destruction of some things in your life. Remember that God is much bigger than any "hopeless" situation. Yet there has to be a complete turnaround. You must confess. Admit your sinful habits. Complete confession means confronting your ways from the moment they led you away from God all the way to the end. You need true, transparent, genuine repentance. God will forgive your sin if you confess. (1 John 1:7-10)

Pray this week:

Lord, keep me safe from the sinful ways of my heart. Fill my heart and mind with your thoughts and keep me in the path of righteousness. Create in me a pure heart and make my spirit right again. Amen

Your story could be complicated, like that of Zacchaeus. (Luke 19:1-10)

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Did God Put a Hole in My Pocket?

Does your money vanish like a vapor?

Written by Lois on 07/06/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
You have planted much but harvest little…You earn money, but put it into a bag with holes.

Haggai 1:6
On a hot summer day you can actually see water evaporating from a stream. Does your money appear to be vanishing? Are you constantly spending more than you earn? Maybe the solution is not getting more money into your hands. Let’s go to God’s word to see what the Scriptures say about money. Do you believe God cares about what you do with the money you earn?

What has first place in your life, God or money?
For one month, try writing down all of your purchases. This is a good way to reveal where your money is going and what has first place in your heart. Does God have first place, or do you spend most of your money eating out or buying clothes and other material things? Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “…first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing…the attitude and character of God), and these things will be given to you also.”

How often do you help those less fortunate than you?
Selfishly using money we earn is the opposite of what the Father has instructed us to do. Do we forget to help someone else or help the church we attend? “Give, and it will be given to you…running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” (Luke 6:38)

At some point in my walk with Jesus, I realized that it was part of my obligation as a Christian to give a portion of my income to my church. The Apostle Paul told the church he planted in the city of Corinth, “On every Lord’s Day each of you should put aside something from what you have earned during the week, and use it for this offering.” (1 Corinthians 16:2)

Pray this week:

Father, forgive me for not putting You first in my life. Help me remember to keep You first in my heart.

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Your Finances and God’s Promises

Many passages in the Bible talk about giving our money and other possessions given to us by God back to God

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Finances, Generosity, God, Money, Tithe
In many passages of the Bible where it talks about giving our money (and other possessions given to us by God) back to God, He always adds a promise to it. He doesn’t have to do that! Because He is God He could just say, “Do this because I say so – that’s why.” But He doesn’t. He is loving and good, and He chooses to bless us when we obey Him.

While we do not respond to God’s command in order to gain a personal benefit, let’s examine the promises He makes to us when we are faithful in our giving.

Look up Proverbs 3:9-10.

The first lesson in these verses is that we honor the Lord with our wealth. Why? To express gratitude for all He has given us. This honors Him, and we do it because we love Him. We also see that God requires our “firstfruits.” That means we set aside our giving for Him right when we first receive, not out of our leftovers.

What is His promise? Just look at verse 10. The promise is His mighty blessings to us in return.

Now look up 2 Corinthians 9:6-12.

Notice the promise: When you give generously, you will receive abundantly. He will supply and increase your “store of seed.” You will be made rich in every way so that you may be generous every chance you get. It’s your generosity that will spark others to thank God, and that brings glory to God.

Also look up Philippians 4:11-13.

Paul says that he learned to be content, whether he was living in need or in abundance. We also must learn to be content with Jesus Christ, no matter what our circumstances. But the Lord loves to provide in abundance. As we learn to give joyfully and generously, we learn great contentment.

God’s promise, as Paul experienced it firsthand, is that we can do all things through Him, because He Himself is our strength.

Please dig further into God’s Word on the subject of financial giving. He has much to say about the subject! Make notes. Write things down. Talk to the Lord. When you obey Him with your finances, He notices. God sees your heart and is blessed.

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God Hears Your Prayers

God Hears Your Prayers
He wants to spend time with you and hear from you.

Written by GodLife
Series: Look to Jesus
Tags: God, Prayer
We learned earlier that God talks to us in the Bible. In prayer, you are talking with God. He knows you better and loves you more than any friend. He wants to spend time with you and hear from you.

God is more than a friend. He is the Lord Almighty. He is able to do things for you and knows the right way to help. To know what God is like, just look to Jesus (John 1:18).

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, He gave a model prayer, often known as the “Our Father” or “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13). It is not a magic formula to be repeated over and over to gain His favor. Rather, it gives some keys for relating to Him. Let’s look at some of them:

It starts with worship
Our Father in Heaven, holy is Your name.

We should approach God with deep respect, knowing at the same time that He is our loving Father. We are called to love God with all that we are. We worship Him and declare that His name is holy. We pray that more and more people would see this.

We align ourselves with His will
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven

God has a great plan for the world and for His people. We should find out how we fit into that plan. His plan for today includes something for us to do. And we ask Him to exercise His mighty power to make things right, here on earth. The more our prayers agree with His purpose, the more He delights in answering them.

We ask for the things we need
Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

After we worship and accept His plan, we talk about our own needs. “Daily bread” means the basics: Food, clothing, and shelter; and we are aware every day that He is the one who provides.

When we say “Forgive us our debts,” we remember that He has graciously forgiven our sins — a “debt” too large for us to ever pay back. Jesus lived a perfect life and shed His blood on the cross. He paid that debt forever. Because He lives in us now, we are able to forgive others. We can be set free from bitterness and broken relationships.

We ask for protection
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Though we are God’s children, we still tend to sin. So we ask Him, through the Holy Spirit, to guide us away from tempting situations. Also, we have an enemy, Satan, whose goal is to "steal, kill, and destroy" (John 10:10). We ask for protection from God who can help us no matter what we are going through.

Look to Jesus in Prayer
The more we spend time with God in prayer and in His word, the more we know Him and love Him. The more our hearts beat with His. The more like Jesus we become.

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Idolatry In Relationships

Scripture: “Even after Paul and Barnabas had said all this, they could hardly keep the people from offering a sacrifice to them. Some Jewish leaders from Antioch and Iconium came and turned the crowds against Paul. They hit him with stones and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead.”  (Acts 14:18-19)

Seeing a miracle, the people of one town assumed Paul was a pagan god. They started to worship him. But they were just as quickly persuaded to try to kill him. How could someone jump so quickly from love to hatred?

When you make a person an idol, you cannot really love them, for you’re seeking something from them that they are unable to give you. 

The same way an idol is chiseled from stone, you “chip away” at someone who fails to please you. This causes you both great harm. The person believes you love them. But when you try to make them fit your idolatrous heart, your words and acts cut them deeply.

Is there someone in your life who is feeling pain because of your idolatrous heart?

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He’s Counting On You

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for
it is the power of God unto salvation to every one
that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the
Greek (Romans 1:16)
As Christians, we’ve received the mandate to
take the Gospel to the ends of the earth; it’s
a most sublime and high calling. It’s something you’re
to do with all boldness, faith, courage, and conviction.
You must never be ashamed or apologetic about Christ
and the message of the Gospel. Don’t be ashamed of
who you are in Him, and don’t let others make you
ashamed of what you believe. Paul said, “…I am not
ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power
of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…”
(Romans 1:16).
It’s only the Gospel that can catapult the sinner
to salvation and righteousness. It’s only through the
preaching of the Gospel that the righteousness of
God can be unveiled and embraced. So, there’re
no options to the Gospel. Its power and efficacy are
incontrovertible; it’s the only message that, when
received, makes sinners sons of God, in a moment
of time.
In 2 Timothy 1:13, Paul said to Timothy, “Hold
fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard
of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

That means the words of the Gospel are potent, filled
with inspiration, power and divine energy. No sinner
should be around you over a period without being
transformed and impacted by the power of the Gospel
that you bear. Be determined about that. Be so fired
up with the Gospel that its impact in men’s lives, and
spread around the world is all that matters to you.
The Bible says those that turn many to righteousness
shall shine as stars forever (Daniel 12:3); shine for the
Master by making an impact with the Gospel. Go the
extra mile. Like Jesus, let your meat (what matters the
most to you) be to do the will of the Father, and finish
His work (John 4:34). Let it be what you live for. He’s
counting on you for the salvation of many in your
world, and in the regions beyond. Therefore, be faithful
in your responsibility as a soul winner. 
Prayer
Dear Father, I thank you for
entrusting me with the divine
responsibility of reaching those
in my world and in distant lands
with the message of eternal life.
The light of your glorious Gospel
that I bear dispels the darkness
in the hearts of the unconverted,
destroying the bonds of religion
and establishing them in your
righteousness, in Jesus’ Name.
Amen. 

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This is so heartwarming!

In just a couple of hours, 100 kids will be coming to the AT&T Stadium for a giant sleepover. Little do they know, they get to keep their beds. These kids don't have beds of their own….and now they will. I'll be the one standing off to the side, bawling. #AshleyHomestore #tempursealy #dallascowboys #hopetodream show less

 

 

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Heatstroke and cardiac arrest

Summer increase in cases of heat stroke due to high temperatures, a disorder afflicting our body when body temperature rises considerately. This excess heat can be very dangerous and even in the most severe cases, cause cardiac arrest.

Heatstroke occurs when the body temperature rises to 40 degrees due to prolonged sun exposure, which can lead to organ failure. The most common symptoms that warn us that we must avoid exposure include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, unconsciousness, convulsions, and in very severe cases, cardiac arrest.

To avoid this situation prevention is very important, especially in the elderly and children, whose bodies have more difficulty regulating body temperature. 
What are the recommendations to avoid heat stroke?

1. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, especially in times of risk, between 12 and 17 hours, which is when solar radiation is higher.

2. Cover the skin with light clothing, caps, hats and wear sunglasses. In addition to protect from burns we avoid excessive heat on the body.

3. Avoid heavy meals, which are difficult to digest and increase the temperature.

4. Very important, eating plenty of water, frequently drink to stay hydrated, especially the risk group composed of elderly and children.

5. If you have symptoms of dizziness or discomfort, look for a cool, dark

If we find a person with heatstroke, we must succor and apply knowledge of basic first aid:

1. call 112 or emergency services concerned and indicate that come with a medicalized ambulance

2. Place the person in a dark, cool place

3. If conscious, give cool water in small sips, and steadily. If unconscious, that we must not make for a possible choking.

Fernando Santa Isabel

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