DO YOU WANT YOUR POWER…OR HIS PEACE?

by Anita Mondragon
 
The other day, I was speaking with a friend of mine.  We were discussing anger and hate, and how we should strive to surrender it to God.  My friend, to my surprise, said, “I like my anger!  It makes me feel powerful.  I don’t want to give it up…I like it!”  I can relate to that, for I was once the same.  But, the problem with this attitude is that we forfeit God’s peace for our power!

Thomas Paine, the great English writer wrote the following words during the darkest days of the Revolutionary war: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The soldier and the patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of their country. But they that stand it now, deserve the love and thanks of men and women. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. But the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph…”

 

You see…it is difficult to stand in the face of adversity and not shrink away from the torrential waters that flood your soul!  It would be much simpler to run than to stand and fight!

 

The same holds true for the soldiers in God’s army.  It is easier to hold on to your hate and anger…your control, than to surrender yourself to God… to turn your back on all that is right and good and follow the crowd.  It is painless, undemanding, and trouble-free to simply ride the current.  But to row against it as you press toward your victory, is very difficult indeed!

 

As Mr. Paine pointed out, “hell is not easily conquered.  But the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph!”  Jesus’ conflict in the garden of Gethsemane was only won by His surrender to God the Father.  According to Scripture, He sweat great drops of blood as He prayed that the cup of crucifixion could possibly pass from Him…but in the end, He said, “Nevertheless, Thy will be done!”  That was complete surrender because if Jesus had wanted to, He could have called for ten thousand angels to come and rescue Him.  But He gave His power to God, and God, in turn, gave Jesus peace.

 

We who are soldiers in God’s army have a choice.  Do we want the thanks of men and women who found Jesus as their Savior because of our stand?  OR…would we rather keep control of OUR power with no peace in site?   Wouldn’t it be better to surrender ourselves to GOD’S POWER and Peace that will lift us up when the floods of adversity come? 

 

The choice is yours….

 

Your Power?  Or HIS Peace…



Words To Live By “Overcoming Fear with Faith”

by Francine Rodriguez
 

Faith that conquers is great faith, but faith that continues is even greater. In Hebrews 11 the Old Testament heroes conquered kingdoms, performed great acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness they were made strong, became mighty in battle, put foreign armies to flight. But that was not always the case…Others were tortured, not accepting their release so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mocking’s and scourging’s, chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawn in two, tempted, put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins, and goatskins being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (Men of whom this world is not worthy) wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. (vv.35-38). If they would have recanted their faith they would have been delivered, but they endured suffering because they were looking for a heavenly and eternal existence, not a temporal one. They did not fear death because they viewed their trials through the eyes of faith. “God help us to see our trials the same way.”

To grow our faith, we need other people: Battle Formation: While the Roman shield was carried by an individual soldier, it was most effective when combined with the shields of other soldiers.

In Paul’s day, archers of the Roman army would put cotton like material on the tips of their arrows and soak it with pitch. Before they shot the arrow, they would light the material. It would burn slowly but it was very hot. When the arrow hit the target, the pitch would splatter and start little fires, sometimes even the soldiers garments were set on fire.

To prevent this the soldiers would get into battle formation called the tortoise or phalanx. This is called the shield of faith; they would lift their shields and interlock with the soldier next to them. This shield of faith is utilized in community. Sometimes God will strengthen us when we are all alone but most often he strengthens us through the words or presence of other people in our lives. So do not neglect the benefit of following Jesus as a part of a community of believers, and let God grow your faith alongside, and as a part of His people.

God never intended for people to follow Christ alone. To grow faith that dispels your fears, you need other people. Faith is Contagious! “Every Word of God is tested; he is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” As long as you believe God, your shield is up. When you believe Satan’s lies, your shield comes down.

Faith is the most important element in life– without it; it is impossible to please God. At the core, faith is an act of trust by which we commit ourselves to someone or something. Faith is believing in the object of our trust. Believing in ourselves. Believing in another person. Ultimately, believing in God.

Faith is so important that it is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible!

The power of our faith rests in the object of our faith. At the foundation of all love is belief in the object that is loved. If we do not believe in a person we cannot love him or her. The same is true in our spiritual journey. We must begin with God: believing that He exists, believing that He cares, and believing that His love is real. “There is no fear in love but perfect love cast out fear” (1John 4:18).

The object of Abraham’s faith was not just the promises of God. His faith rested in God Himself. The key to the Christian life is our faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrificial and atoning death for our sins. We do not only believe that He died on the cross as a fact of history, but we believe that He died for our sins personally.

When we trust what Jesus did for us on the cross, we receive the gift of eternal life. (John 3:16-18) God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves.

What Abraham believed in his mind and heart, he put into action with his life. He turned trust into travel and experienced God’s grace and power along the way. Despite his imperfections God blessed him and Sarah with their promised son Isaac. Through them the nation of Israel was born- the lineage of Jesus Christ was begun. The plan to bless the world with a Savior continued to develop. God’s plan rested on the shoulders of a man who practiced faith.

I pray that we will be like the saints of old. Each one of them trusted God in a unique way. Their confidence in God’s promises resulted in personal obedience to His will for their lives. They clung to the hope that God would eventually triumph over what was challenging them. May we believe the same!



Before and After

by Anita Mondragon
 

We just finished re-storing an old antique table that our kids gave us.  They know my love for re-storing old things, so instead of throwing it out, they asked if I wanted it.  I jumped at the chance, seeing the beauty and craftsmanship in the tired, weathered piece.  It was a mess when we got it!  Dust, cobwebs, spiders, veneer peeling off in spots; dry, colorless…downright ugly and ready for the trash…in most eyes,  that is.  But I saw what it once was, and what it could be again with a little TLC.


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Dwayne

by Anita Mondragon
 

The other day, our family was on our way to the grocery store.  We had no sooner turned the corner, and Mike and I saw a man sprawled out on the grass, his cane lying beside him.  Mike stopped, I jumped out and ran over to the man.  I thought he was dead!  He didn’t twitch a muscle as I approached him.  “Sir…Sir! …Can you hear me?”  Nothing.  I didn’t know if I should touch him, move him, check his pulse…or just leave him alone.


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Edit Me

by Anita Mondragon
 

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24

I went to a Bible Study the other night.  Upon arriving, the hostess handed out some quotes.  The first one I looked at started out with the words: “Lord, edit me…”

Now, I’m not a believer in coincidence…I KNOW that God makes all things happen at certain times for His purpose! And, considering the conversation I had in the car with my friend…I’d say HE was listening. 


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No Room…No Time

by Anita Mondragon
 

“…For He says (God), I have heard you in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I comforted you; behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation.”  –  II Corinthians 6:2

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There always seems to be room in life

For pleasures and parties and fun…

But still in life, Jesus has no part…

There is no room for the Son.

There’s always room for gossip, and lies,

And dreams of lust, and ambition…

But there’s never enough time to search the heart,

And notice its sad condition!

There is ALWAYS room for overtime,

For position and wealth mean much!

But, never a spare moment for prayer each day,

To ask for the Spirit’s sweet touch!

These things you’re acquiring, will all soon pass away…

And you’ll stand at eternity’s gate;

See…you may find time for Jesus then…

But He may say, “…it’s TOO LATE!”

No room…no time…in this busy world you pass through;

Someday, when you come to the end of it all,

You may find…there’s NO ROOM FOR YOU!



Messes and Forgiveness

by Anita Mondragon
 

You’ve all heard me talk about my new puppy, Teddy.  He is a real joy…well…most of the time that is!  But, sometimes, he frustrates me no end!  Take this past Sunday for example.  He is house-broken for the most part, but still has an accident once in a while.  On Sundays, we have to shut him up in a kennel cage, or the bathroom to contain him, and any messes he may make.  This past Sunday, we were gone an extra- long time because of a meeting we had to attend after the service.


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Kill or Heal

by Anita Mondragon
 

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”  Proverbs 25:11

Timely words are works of art. -Unknown

Have you ever noticed the effect words have on folks? A hostage negotiator is trained to use certain phrases in quiet tones.  In most cases, this will calm the perpetrator, and resolve the conflict. Knowing the right time to speak words of love, encouragement, or rebuke, can be beneficial to both the one speaking, and the one listening.  But, the one speaking should consult God before saying anything.


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Lord Help My Unbelief

by Anita Mondragon
 
“…Jesus said unto him, if you can believe, ALL things are possible to him that believes.  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, LORD, I BELIEVE; HELP MY UNBELIEF.”  Mark 9:23-24
 
This morning, I woke up praying, asking God to show me what He wants from me…and asking Him to reassure me of His care and provision.  He reminded me of a poem I wrote back in 2008.  I share it now with you. 

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Buy Now…Pay Later

by Anita Mondragon
 
“For God SO LOVED the world, that He gave His ONLY begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

I have decided to follow Jesus…no turning back…no turning back! -Unknown

I received a catalog in the mail today…

YOU’RE PRE-APPROVED!  BUY NOW-PAY LATER The cover was striking!  It bore my name with some advice: Save your credit cards for other things – you’re pre-approved for ***** credit! There was also an ominous sticker below that read:


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One Response to “Forgiven- A Daily Devotional”

  1. Anita says:

    What a great prayer! As Believers, this is the kind of stuff we should be seeking God for on a daily basis!
    Thanks for the reminder sister Francine!
    -anita

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