How to Pursue and Achieve Godly Character

Have you admired people who were excellent at what they did and do? How can we achieve excellence of character? The first discipline is to train to be excellent, and the second discipline is to pursue your goals. I have been writing a series of posts on how to achieve the goal of godliness. Why should we pursue the goal of being godly and holy? 2Peter 3:10-11 explains, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness.”

The first post in this series covered what being godly was. The second post explained how to train to be godly. The third post described how contentment with godliness increases independence, time, and wealth. The fourth post admonishes us not to seek riches and how being rich distracts us from pursuing the character of God. In this post, you will learn what and how to achieve godliness; God’s divine nature.

Why Should I Pursue Godly Attributes?

To accomplish the objective of being godly, we need to pursue God’s virtues by striving for or seeking to acquire moral excellence, which is right thinking and acting. I want to finish where I started in the last post. 1Timothy 6:10-11 states, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. Through this craving, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs [griefs]. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” And In 2Timothy 2:21–22,the Apostle Paul explains, “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the Master, ready for every good work. So, flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” To be a vessel of honor and have a pure heart, you first must pray to put off (repent of) dishonoring lustful passions that contaminate your heart and then pursue and put on righteousness, faith, love, and peace.

  • You pursue righteousness by putting your faith in Jesus Christ’s ability to help you do what is right because He is your righteousness (Rom. 1:17; 3:22).
  • Pursue faith by reading God’s Word and memorizing Scripture (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 13:7).
  • Pursue love by putting off pride and forgiving those who sin against you (Mat. 6:12–14; 1Cor. 13:4–7).
  • Pursue peace by giving all your problems to God, trusting Him, and forgiving. If possible, you are to also live peaceably with everyone (Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14).

How To Pursue and Achieve the Virtues of God

The Apostle Peter’s instructions in the following passage give us hope for achieving godliness, excellence, and holiness. Read 2Peter 1:3–11 slowly and meditate on each prepositional phrase.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire [lusts].

For this very reason, make every effort [diligently pursue] to supplement [add to]your faith with

virtue [moral excellence; goodness], and virtue with

knowledge [of God and His truth], and knowledge with

self-control [self-rule or self-discipline], and self-control with

steadfastness [perseverance, patience, and endurance], and steadfastness with

godliness [be like God], and godliness with

brotherly affection [kindness], and brotherly affection with love.

8) For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall.

For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A promise is an assurance we can claim as ours. This passage promises we will never fall if we diligently pursue and practice faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, kindness, and love. Verse 8 guarantees that if we possess these qualities, we will not be ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Peter tells us to be diligent, which means to apply ourselves to accomplish something. 2Peter1:3–11 is full of many incredible truths. I encourage you to read a conservative commentary of this passage for a better understanding. Memorize these verses, so you don’t forget to do them because they are vital to being victorious over the unseen battles for your mind. Remember, God has given you His divine power through Jesus Christ, and you can partake of His divine nature through the promises found in the Bible. How fantastic is that!

Conclusion

To be excellent at anything, you need to train yourself to improve and then pursue your goals. Also, pursuing godliness makes us a vessel for honorable use. Thankfully, we have God’s divine power to help us achieve the virtues of God and His divine nature. Achieving godly character and excellence should be our number one priority because one day, we will stand before God and what will He find in you? Will you be ashamed?

RELATED POSTS:

End of Time POSTS


All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. No part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of eight prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a person making the request.

Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW NOT TO DIE SPIRITUALLY

Why do Christians fall away from their faith? Never forget that Satan is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1Peter 5:8). Because we live within the spirit world, we must always be vigilant for demonic attacks. Those attacks can be wrong thoughts, false beliefs, or temptation to sin. Often spiritual attacks are through people who offend us or lead us away from our devotion to God and into worldly activities.

Christians leave the faith because they take off the breastplate of righteousness that protects their heart from the daily temptations to be offended or give in to deceitful desires, which leads to sin. Being offended causes us to be self-focused and prideful, then we say and do unkind things. Righteousness also protects us from God’s wrath for sin by reminding us to do what is good and pleasing in His sight. For example, do you think Christian leaders who fall into sexual sins have on the breastplate of righteousness?

The first step to putting on the breastplate of righteousness is to ask God to forgive your sins so you can then forgive other’s their sins. Next, invite Jesus into your heart and be your savior and Lord because you can’t be righteous without Him. 2Corinthians 5:21 states, “For our sake, he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

God’s righteousness protects your heart when you surrender your life to do His will and obey His instructions. Romans 12:2 states, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” And 1Peter 4:2 states, “So as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” Also, 1John 2:17 states, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

How do you know if you have on the breastplate of righteousness?

The righteous walk by faith (Habakkuk 2:4b; Romans 1:17b). Galatians 3:11 states, “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” And Hebrews 10:38 states, “But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” Also consider, Hebrews 11:6, which states, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

The righteous die to sin, then practice righteousness. 1John 3:7 states, “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.” Also, 1John 3:10 states, “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” And 1John 2:29 states, “If you know that he [Jesus] is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” 1Peter 2:24a also states, “He [Jesus] himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”

The righteous rejoice in the Lord and gives thanks. Psalm 97:12 states,”Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!” And Psalm 64:10 states, “Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult!” Also, Psalm 140:13 states, “Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.

The righteous are wise and increase in learning. Proverbs 9:9 states, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” And Proverbs 10:31aThe mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom.” Also, Psalm 37:30 states, “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.

The righteous hates falsehood (Proverbs 13:5a). Proverbs 15:28a states, “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer.”

The righteous are not selfish but gives. Psalm 37:21 states, “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.” And Proverbs 21:26b states, “The righteous gives and does not hold back.”

The righteous serve God and desires to do His will. Malachi 3:18 states, “Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” And John 9:31 states, “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” Also, Isaiah 48:18 states, “Oh, that you had paid attention (listened) to my commandments (instructions)! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

The righteous pursue righteousness. 1Timothy 6:11 states, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” And 2Timothy 2:22 states, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Also, Romans 6:13 states, “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”

The righteous seek first the kingdom of God and are not anxious. Matthew 6:33-34 states, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

According to what you have just read, do you have on the breastplate of righteousness? From the list above, where do you need to improve?

The best way to practice righteousness is to fear God.

Hebrews 11:7 states, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” God told Noah to build an ark and gather two of every kind of animal to survive a great flood, something they never experienced. Noah faced constant ridicule from the wicked people around him. But he obeyed God out of reverent fear, and because of his faith, he was considered righteous.

The fear of God is to have a deep respect and awe of His judgement, mighty power, and love. We demonstrate reverent fear by obedience to God’s Word and loving Him. Deuteronomy10:12-13 states, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?” Do you fear God, walk in all His ways, love and serve Him, and obey His instructions? The following verses describe what it means to fear God:

You who fear the Lord, praise Him! …glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him. –Psalms 22:23

Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you. –1Samuel 12:24

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh [body]; and refreshment to your bones. –Proverbs 3:7-8

Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity (the pit). –Proverbs 28:14

You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. –Psalms 115:11

Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack! –Psalms 34:9

Conclusion

The breastplate of righteousness protects our hearts from becoming offended and the temptation to give in to our fleshly desires that leads to sin. When we seek to please God, we will love those who hurt us, forgive them, and not allow sinful desires to trap us in pleasing ourselves or being unkind. Being righteous requires that we make Jesus Christ Lord of our lives and surrender our will to do His will. The person who has on the breastplate of righteousness will walk by faith, die to sin, rejoice in the Lord, increase in wisdom, hate falsehood, give, serve God, and pursue righteousness. Fearing God helps us keep the breastplate of righteousness on by reminding us to trust Him, shun evil (sin; wickedness), and do what is good and honorable in the sight of God and men. Romans 12:9-10 states, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Pray the following each day: I put on the breastplate of righteousness and receive forgiveness for my sins and forgive others their sins. I will practice righteousness and do God’s will by obeying His instructions. I will please God in reverent fear, knowing I will stand before Him to give an account of the good and evil I do while in the flesh. (Matt. 6:12-15; Acts 10:43; 1John 1:9; 2:29;  John 9:31. 2Cor. 5:9-10)

RELATED POSTS:

Four Realities of the Spirit World

HOW TO PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD AND DEFEAT THE ENEMY WHAT

HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR?

In The Last Days, Why The Righteous Will Not Fear

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

Fear God, Not People


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

PUTTING ON THE ARMOR OF GOD PRAYER MODEL

What is God’s armor, and why do we need to put it on? Who is my enemy? Ephesians 6:12-13 states, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.   Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” And 2Corinthians 11:3 states, “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” Your enemy is the serpent, rulers, authorities, etc., otherwise known as the devil (also called Satan) and demons. Satan has been deceiving and tempting humanity to sin since the Garden of Eden. We need to submit our minds to God daily and trust Him and resist the devil (James 4:7). The armor of God is one of the strategies the Apostle Paul outlined in Ephesians 6:14-18 to fight the daily spiritual warfare.

As you put on the armor, know that God’s divine power helps you succeed. Trusting in the truths of His great and precious promises allows you to have His divine nature to defeat the enemy of your soul. The devil’s single goal is to deceive you and corrupt your relationship with God and others through your sinful nature (2Peter 1:3-4). Daily put on God’s armor through prayer to keep the victory.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear Lord, I am weak, but You make me strong with Your mighty strength. I put on the whole armor of God so that I can stand against the schemes of the devil. I remind myself today that I do not wrestle against flesh and blood but with unseen evil powers. With Your armor on, I can withstand the destructive plans of the spiritual forces of evil and stand firm against deceptions and temptations.

I put on the belt of truth by meditating on scripture day and night so I will not sin against God and succeed in all I do. I will depend on the Holy Spirit to lead me in truth, so I am not deceived. I humbly yield my mind to the truth of God’s Word and resist the devil’s temptations to sin through my deceitful, corrupt desires. (Josh. 1:8; Ps.119:11; James 4:7-8; Jer. 17:9-10; Eph. 4:22.)

I put on the breastplate of righteousness and receive forgiveness for my sins that I may practice righteousness and do God’s will. I will seek to please God in reverent fear knowing I will stand before Him to give an account of the good or evil I do while in the flesh. (Acts 10:43; 1John 1:9; 2:29; John 9:31. 2Cor. 5:9-10.)

I put on the shoes of the gospel of peace, being prepared to be at peace with everyone and in every situation, even when people do not meet my expectations. I put off the spirit of pride and walk as God walks in humility, love, compassion, and respect for others. I will share my testimony of hope and encourage everyone I can to love and trust in Jesus Christ, who gives peace. (Jam. 3:18; Rom. 12:16-18; Col. 3:12-14; 1John2:16; Prov. 16:18; 1Peter 3:8,15.)

I put on the helmet of salvation and take every tempting thought, offense, and unholy desire captive and make it submit to the Lordship of Christ Jesus. I have the mind of Christ and His authority to overcome every obstacle to my faith. I will forgive offenses quickly so the devil doesn’t get a foothold in my mind to produce the fleshly desire to be angry, impatient, and unkind. I will renew my mind with the truth in God’s Word daily. (2Cor. 10:3-5; 1Cor. 2:16b; Col. 2:9-10; Matt. 6:14-15; Eph. 4:26-27; Jam. 1:14-15.)

I take up my sword of the Spirit, which is God’s Word, to strike down every temptation to yield to my pride and deceitful, fleshly desires. I will discipline my mind to memorize Bible verses and practice them to strengthen and sharpen my sword. And I yield to the Holy Spirit’s control and guidance over my thoughts. (Heb. 4:12; Rom. 8:5-8; Mat. 4:1-10; John 16:13-14.)

I take up my shield of faith to block the fiery arrows of condemnation, accusation, temptations, doubts, and flattery of the enemy. I believe that God loves me, cares about me, and is my shield that protects me from evil. I will strengthen my faith by meditating on Scripture day and night. (Eph. 6:16; Rev. 12:9; 1John 3:1; 1Peter 5:7; 2Thes. 3:3; Rom. 10:17)

I will pray continually and give all my concerns to God. I will be thankful and not complain or argue. I will praise God’s attributes and trust Him. I will serve others in love and do good and share. (1Thes.5:16-17; Eph. 6:18; Phil. 2:12-16; Heb. 13:15-16; Gal. 5:13) I am prepared to be victorious today by the grace of God and in His strength.

I am prepared to be victorious today by the grace of God and in His strength.
By Joyce Hanscom–hopeforcompletehealing.com


You have my permission to copy this declaration and use it in your daily prayer time.

Grace and peace to you.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR?

Spiritual Warfare 1: HOW TO DISCERN THE TRUTH

Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW TO NOT DIE SPIRITUALLY

Spiritual Warfare 3: HOW TO BATTLE FOR PEACE

Spiritual Warfare 4: How to Protect Your Mind

Spiritual Warfare 5: HOW TO ANNIHILATE UNSEEN ATTACKS


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

Last Days: Part Seven—God’s Wrath and The Rapture

Do you think the rapture will happen pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, post-tribulation, or pan-tribulation? Pan means, however the rapture pans out. One thing we know, we will face suffering and troublesome times in the last days, which I explain in Part two. Over 2000 years ago, the first century writers proclaimed that we were in the last days. How much closer are we today? In this post, I want to address the uncomfortable subject of God’s wrath and the tribulation. Revelations15:1 states, “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.”

The Bible says in Ephesians 5:6, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” What things is Paul referring to? Ephesians 5:5 explains, “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” I explain this in more detail in the posts called: Are you in control of your life? And, What Will Cause You to Lose Your Inheritance. I encourage you to read them.

What is the wrath of God, and how do we avoid it?

God is Holy (perfect, untainted by evil) and deserving of reverence and worship. God has wrath on sin, which is disobedience of His instructions in the Bible. To avoid God’s wrath, you need to receive the atonement (payment) of your sins through Jesus Christ, God’s Son. 1Theselonians 5:9 tells us, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” John 3:36 tells us, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” Have you warned your friends and neighbor’s about the wrath of God and salvation through Jesus Christ?

The flood in Genesis 6 was God’s wrath on a wicked world. Likewise, the tribulation described in Revelations is God’s wrath on the wicked, who do not repent of their sins. Romans 1:18 states, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Do you see how godless people are suppressing the truth in our world today? What is happening in America with the Leftist’s evil desire to eliminate the truth and control what they want us to think and do is concerning, but not surprising. History repeats itself.

Since the tribulation is God’s wrath on humanity’s wickedness, yet God has not destined us (the righteous) for wrath; therefore, the righteous will be removed from the earth before the tribulation begins. An example is when God saved Noah and his family from the flood. 1Peter 3:20 tells us, “Because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.” God is waiting for each of us to humble ourselves and repent of our sins. Do it now before the tribulation starts and it is too late. 1Peter 3:9 states, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Remember the conversation between God and Abraham about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God would not destroy the two wicked cities if there were any righteous people in them. Lot and his family were the only righteous people, so God sent an angel to lead them out before He destroyed the cities (see Genesis 18:22-33).

Who are the righteous?

Malachi 3:18 states, “Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” How are you serving God? The Bible also explains that the righteous lives by faith. Hebrews 10:37-39 explains, “For, ‘Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” 1John 2:28-29 states, “And now, little children, abide [remain; stay] in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29) If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” Living by faith is active trust in the promises of God based on the evidence in the Bible and the lives of those who live by faith. Read my post on the 15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep.

When you practice something, you perfect a skill by repeating the task until you can do it flawlessly. For instance, when you practice a song on the piano, you don’t get it perfectly right the first time you play it. But after playing the piece many times, you become, near perfect. It is the same with righteousness. 1John 3:7-8, 10 explains, “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.8) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 10) By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” In my post called The End Will Come: Part Four—Be Ready in Love., I explain why and how we are to love.

Thank you for reading this post, so to respect your time, I will continue this subject in the next post as there is so much more to cover. But before I end, I want to encourage you with what God spoke to Isaiah in Chapter 3. Replace Judah with the United States. Ponder these three verses. Isaiah 3:1, “For behold, the Lord GOD of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah [USA] support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water;Isaiah 3:8, “For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah [USA] has fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence.” And Isaiah 3:10, “Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.” What is the fruit of your deeds? The Albert Barnes commentary says, “As a farmer who sows his field and cultivates his farm, eats the fruit of his labor, so shall it be with the righteous. A similar expression is found in Pro. 1:31.”

How are you practicing righteousness? How are you living by faith? What does righteousness look like in your life?

Grace and peace to you in the coming year.


All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share my website link with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. No part of the blog or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

Is the End Near? Part Two―What Will Happen?

Many times, people have predicted the rapture would happen on this date, but it never happened. Why did they get it wrong? They were so sure they had it figured out. How could they be wrong? The Bible says in Matthew 24:36, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” The next time you hear someone say, I know for sure that Jesus is returning on this date; ignore them, but be ready. Matthew 24:44 states, “Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” 1Thessalonians 5:2 states, “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

How should we be ready for Christ’s return? Over the next several blog posts, I will explore the meaning of each statement listed in 1Peter 4:7-10, which tells us what we must be doing when Christ returns.

1Peter 4:7-10 (NIV) states, The end of all things is near.

―Therefore, be alert (ESV says, be self-controlled; NAS says, be of sound judgment) and

―of sober mind so that you may pray.

―Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

―Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

―Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

What did Peter mean when He said the end of all things is near? First, let’s review the context of this chapter. Chapter four begins by explaining Christ’s suffering and how our purpose is to suffer in the flesh (also means tempted) until we cease from sin and live for the will of God. Hebrews 2:18 states, “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” God will help you to endure your suffering. The chapter ends by elaborating again on how suffering will test our faith.

These posts explain how to suffer well: Example of Suffering Well and God’s Response: Part 2 of Suffering Well and 7 Ways to Suffer Well: (Part 1).

This next Scripture passage explains how we are to live our lives and how to keep from being distracted from running our life’s race. For me running is suffering, so I think it is fitting that a race is a metaphor for suffering. Hebrews 12:1-2 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Each of us is running the race of life in different lanes. My lane may require I suffer persecution and hardships; your lane may require suffering afflictions. We each need to keep our eyes on Jesus and encourage one another to love and do good deeds. Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us consider how to stir up (encourage) one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day (of Christ return) drawing near.

Jesus’s lane was not easy. He was born in a smelly, cold stable only to suffer persecution for speaking the truth that God was His Father. Then He paid the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross to save us from the wrath of God. 1Peter 2:21-23 states, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.   He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”

The next Scripture passage encourages us to entrust our souls to God, who is faithful and to do good. 1Peter 4:16-19 states, “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”

“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

“And ‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’”

“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”

Read the posts on what it means to do good. Part 1: How to Achieve Genuine Goodness? and Part 2: How to Overcome Evil with Good.

Jesus warned us that the world would hate us because it hated Him, so expect it and don’t be surprised. John 15:18 states, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” Then John 17:14 says, “I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” And 1Peter 4:14 states, “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” Finally, Romans 8:16-18 (ESV) states, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Nobody wants to suffer unless you volunteer to join the military. But when you do suffer, keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Heb. 12:2), and He will help you endure to glorify you with Him. Matthew 24:13 states, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Be encouraged by the truth that nothing can separate you from the love of God explained in the following passage. Romans 8:35, 37-39 stares, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  37) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I hope you will keep your eyes on Jesus and the truth of God’s Word and not be distracted by your suffering, the problems in the world, and the allurements of your sinful flesh. We do not know when Christ will return but we need to be ready and watching. I am praying for you, please pray for me. I would love to know what your thoughts are.

RELATED POSTS:

Is the End Close? Part One―What does the Bible Say?

Unseen Battle With The Secular World

What Will Cause You to Lose Your Inheritance

How the Devil Causes Trouble

Forgiven and Saved? Now Renew Your Mind (Part One)

Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two)

How To Pray From The Answer

Is there a proven formula to get answers to prayers? I did some research to find out what God’s Word says about prayer and wrote a series of posts which you can read here. In this post you will learn how to claim God’s promises by faith and how God answers these prayers.

Do you struggle with knowing how to pray or what to pray? Prayer is by faith (from our spirit through the Holy Spirit) for what we do not see and to draw close to God, who is the Almighty Spirit. The neatest revelation I discovered is that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, even when we don’t know what to pray. Romans 8:26-27 states, “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” How cool is this revelation?

Praying scriptural prayers keeps me focused and increases my faith because I know scripture is the will of God. Likewise, God’s promises are also His will, and He said in 1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him (God), that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” The key is to pray by faith the promises of God from the Word of God. Every time you read your Bible, turn the scripture into a prayer for your life and for other people.

Recently, I have been praying the scriptural prayers in the book called A Watchman’s Guide to Praying God’s Promises by Dick Eastman. You can download a free electronic copy at www.EHC.org. In the introduction on pages 12-14, Dick shares a story about Armin R. Gesswein, Founder of Revival Prayer Fellowship, Inc. Armin met an elderly man who seemed to enter the presence of God every time he prayed. When Armin asked the man to share what his secret was in praying. The man said, “Young man, learn to plead the promises of God!”

Armin writes, “As the old chorus declares, prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door. There must be faith! Where does that faith come from? It comes from hearing…the Word of God.” Romans 10:17 states, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Armin said the elderly man would plead God’s word and promises like a lawyer does his case. He encourages the readers to make the Bible our prayer book.

Dick writes, “Promises predict the answers. They are the molds into which we pour our prayers. They foretell what to expect.  They shape our praying. They motivate, direct, and determine our supplications.” He says, “In a real sense, we pray from the answer…with the answer in mind…this is the way of faith.”

I have written several posts about how I have prayed the promises of God and seen incredible answers. Many times, the answer did not come right away, sometimes several years later. Keep praying God’s promise. Read Jehoshaphat’s Prayer in 2Chronicles 20 to learn how God heard Jehoshophat’s prayer because he claimed God’s promises. Claim God’s promises in Psalms 23 and 91 often. I encourage you to visit my scriptural prayer page to begin your journey of praying God’s promises.

One word of caution. God has given us a free will. We cannot pray for God to change the will of another person. But keep praying God’s promises over them until they choose to submit to God. Claim the promise that God can do immeasurably more than all you could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). And claim His promise that His word will not return empty but will accomplish His desires and purposes (Isaiah 55:11).

Second word of caution. Make sure you have repented of your sin of doubt and any other areas where you are disobeying God’s instructions. James 4:8 states, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” And, 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you do not confess your sins and receive forgiveness, God will not listen to you. Read Psalms 66:18 and Isaiah 59:1-2.

The prayer promise, I am claiming for our world is that God opens the heavens and rains down His righteousness on the earth, and salvation and righteousness will spout up and bear much fruit on the earth (Isaiah 45:8).

I claim the promise by faith for the lost souls of this world that God’s light shines in their hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

As far as who will be the leader of our country, the Bible says in Psalm 75:7, “But God is the judge; He puts down one and sets up another.”

Related Posts:

15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

Trust God to Keep His Promises

HOPE: How it Motivates and Inspires BUT God’s Sovereignty…

Pt. 2: Why You Can and Cannot Trust God? 

The scriptures in this post are from the English Standard Version. If you find my posts and website helpful, please send a link to your friends and family. Hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and may not be reproduced without permission from Joyce Hanscom.  You can contact me by emailing hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com.  P.S., seeing lasting change your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

How You May Be an Enemy of God.

These are very strong words. I do not want to be an enemy of God because I know what God can do to His enemies, and I want to be on His blessing side, do you? James 4:4 explains how we can become an enemy of God;

You adulterous (unfaithful) people!

Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?

Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?

Do you want to be an enemy of God?

We all know how adultery destroys a marriage. So adultery with the world destroys your relationship with God. Friendship with the world looks different for each of us. Nonetheless, friendship with the world is when you desire the pleasures of the world to please yourself more than you desire the presence of God and to please Him. To know if you are worldly-minded, pray and put off pride, humbly draw near to God, and ask Him to show you. Also, read Unseen Battle With The Secular World.

You can’t love the world, or the things of the world and love God as described in James 4:4. There is no middle ground; you are either humbly submitted to God or pridefully submitted to the world. You cannot stand firm in your faith if you continue to do the things of the world and think worldly thoughts. Galatians 5:17 states, “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for they are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” And, Romans 8:7-8, explains, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8) Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” The one thing that pleases God is faith. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

How does our faith please God?

By faith, we believe and seek first what God wants, just as a soldier believes in his commander and wants to do what pleases them. 2Timothy 2:4 states, “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” To be entangled means to twist together, so that disengagement is difficult. To avoid getting entangled we are to do what Jesus encourages us to in Matthew 6:33Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Seeking the kingdom of God is not easy as explained in Matthew 7:13-14 which says, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14) For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” As Christians, we are to be single-minded and focused on our pursuit to stay on the narrow path and please God. The world’s enticements lead you down the wide path to destruction. The Apostle John tells us in 1John 2:17, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

What are the world’s enticements?

The world’s enticements most often come from the media. You must guard your mind against viewing, reading, and listening to media that glorify evil. The next two verses are good to pray and resolve to do. Psalms 119:37 states, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things (vanity); and give me life in Your ways.” Something worthless is useless and without value. Vanity is having no real value or significance. Psalms 101:3-4 states, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless (vile). I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. 4) A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.”

In the MKJV, it states, “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes. I have hated the work of those who turn aside; it shall not hold on to me. 4) A perverse heart will depart from me; I will not know the wicked.

In the NAS, it states, “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. 4) A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil.”

Mark 12:30 states, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” If you love God this way, would you allow anything vile (evil; wicked; depraved; sinful; repulsive; disgusting) and perverse (not considered right or acceptable) to enter your mind? Do you love God to the point where you will know nothing of evil? Remember, evil is something morally wrong and wicked that causes pain or trouble. Evil is compared with death and good is compared with life in Deuteronomy 30:15, which states “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.” This tells me, I can choose life and good and not death and evil. Romans 12:19b states “Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” Psalm 34:14, also states, “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” 3John 1:11 states, “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” So, it makes sense that those who do evil have not seen God because God is good and when we invite Him into our hearts, we will naturally want to be good. Would you agree?

After reading Deuteronomy 30:15, I realize I need to choose life by choosing good things that benefit me and bring glory to God. When you allow worthless, vile, and evil things into your mind, it will stain your conscience and cause death by separating you from God, who gives life. James 1:27b says to “keep oneself unstained from the world.” All forms of ungodly media entice believers to conform to the world’s standards of deception, revenge, sexual immorality, hate, etc. I challenge you to make a mental note of the worldly messages you receive from video games, advertisements, TV shows (especially soap-operas), movies, or the internet. Do the messages glorify God? Do the messages entice you to glorify yourself? Or do the messages glorify the world’s standards of ungodliness?

Think for a moment. If the people creating the entertainment have not submitted their minds to God to bring Him glory, then their foolish, evil thoughts are directing their actions and creativity. Worldly entertainment deceives you into thinking that foolishness and evil are acceptable when the goal is to enslave you in sinful thoughts and actions. Ask yourself, is what I’m taking into my mind drawing me closer to God or drawing me closer to vain worldly thinking and sin?

Are you an enemy of God in your thinking and actions?

Do you seek and love God or do you seek and love the things of the world?

Is your focus on living by faith and pleasing God or would you rather have the pleasures of the world?

RELATED POSTS

RECOGNIZE WORLDLY THINKING AND BE FREE

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

 

Unseen Battle With The Secular World

My struggle with unseen battles with the wicked secular world began at a young age with my dysfunctional parents. Because of the dysfunction of my home life, I mentally and emotionally checked out. I have no memories from the time I was six until after I was eight. At eight years old, I accepted Jesus as my Savior at a Good News Club. Even at eight, my life changed dramatically. I found a place where I felt I belonged and was loved and accepted. Peace became my companion.

Because of the damage to my emotions from the abuse, I was vulnerable to the devil’s lies. So, when I became a teenager, I was drawn into the sinful activities of the secular world. Satan lied to me and said, I would be popular and have fun, but I ended up with regrets and depression. During my third year in college, I recommitted my life to God, though I still struggled with the worldly activities of college life, which took me deeper into depression. Only when I surrendered my mind and heart to God, put off my old sinful way of thinking, read my Bible, and resolved to obey His will, that my soul began to prosper. I continued to struggle with worldly acceptance because I did not submit my pride.

How to recognize the unseen battle with the secular world.

The key is your focus. If your focus is on worldly fulfillment and not on your relationships with God and people, you will never feel satisfied. When you focus on loving God and people by serving them, you will be rewarded beyond explanation. Some people have disciplined their minds to be devoted to God, such as Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, and monks for example. Otherwise, everyone struggles with distracting worldly enticements (worldliness) that draw them away from devotion to God. The dictionary defines worldly as being devoted to or concerned with the affairs, pleasures, interests, etc. of the secular world. The unseen battle with worldliness is the hardest to recognize because we can justify our worldly pursuits.

How the secular world controls your thoughts.

To be victorious over distracting worldly thoughts, you must recognize how the secular world influences and shapes you into its mold. With the help of God through prayer, you can overcome these unseen battles by faith without being legalistic. Remember, what controls your thinking will control how you feel; your feelings control what you believe; and what you believe controls what you say and do. For example, advertisers know they can entice you to buy their product by putting the thought in your mind that the product is desirable and you need it. So, you believe you need that item to improve your life somehow. After you give in to the worldly enticement, then you discover how empty and lonely you still are because nothing will satisfy your soul like serving and loving God and people.

How to overcome the ruler of the world.

The main source of unseen battles with worldliness comes from the demonic realm. Jesus calls Satan “The ruler (prince) of this world.” See, John 12:31; 14:30; and 16:11. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:2a to “not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (thoughts, feelings, and beliefs).” You began transforming your mind when you put off your old self (thinking) and its sinful behaviors and put on a new self, which is in the likeness of God, holy and righteous.

Practice your authority through Jesus Christ over the unseen demonic realm. To learn more about your authority in Christ, read, Four Reasons for Authority in Prayer. All thoughts are within your control according to 2Corinthians 10:3-5, which outline our divine authority over thoughts. “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4) For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds (fortresses). 5) We destroy arguments (imaginations, speculation; Greek meaning is logical thinking) and every lofty opinion (judgment) raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Verse 5 denote a mental war against worldly thinking. You may think you are not affected by the world, but please read this post, RECOGNIZE WORLDLY THINKING AND BE FREE.

RELATED POSTS

How To Overcome Legalism And Judgmentalism

POSTS on Thoughts

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

How To Overcome Legalism And Judgmentalism

Have you experienced legalism? Why are some church people legalistic and judgmental? Legalism began as a guideline created by church leadership to help the people in their congregations avoid worldliness. But the guidelines became a source of judgmentalism and conflict instead because of differing opinions of what is worldly. Those who thought they were sanctified and held to the do’s and don’ts looked down on those who did not hold the same convictions. The judgmental attitude offended a lot of people who then did not want anything to do with the church. Love must eclipse convictions.

Romans 14:1-6 explains how to handle differing convictions. Though the conflict is about food, it can apply to anything not specifically defined as sin.

1) As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions (also, see 2Timothy 2:14 and 23).

2) One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.

3) Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.

4) Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 

5) One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

6) The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

How do judgmental people make you feel? Are you guilty of being judgmental? The key thought in these verses is that what is honoring to God for one person may not be honoring to God for another person. We are not to judge other people’s actions based on our convictions. What if a believer causes another believer to stumble and fall away from their devotion to God? God does not want us to cause anyone to stumble, so we should be respectful of the convictions of others. Romans 14:13 and 21 state, “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 21) It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.” So, if watching PG-13 movies causes your brother to stumble, then out of love, don’t watch them. This can be applied to all worldly activities that do not glorify evil or draw you away from godliness.

Everything we do should be done in love1 and Romans 14:19 states, “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and the things for building up one another.” Romans 13:8-10 also states, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9) For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10) Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” For example, the first four commandments explain how to love God and the next six commandments explain how to love people.

Exodus 20:3-17 – the 10 Commandments:

1. “You shall have no other gods before me. 

2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5) You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6) but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

3. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9) Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10) but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, 11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

6. “You shall not murder.

7. “You shall not commit adultery.

8. “You shall not steal.

9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Legalism began in the ancient world to help people know how to conduct themselves, so they don’t break the Ten Commandments. This is not a bad thing, except, it is a matter of interpretation. For example. Commandment four is to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” What you may believe this means may be different than what I believe. Who is right? What we do know is God took the seventh day to rest after six days of working, and He requires us to rest from all work too. Rest means to refresh oneself by sleeping, laying down, or relaxing. No guidelines were given, just rest for one day each week. Relaxing looks different for each person because relaxation is a matter of perspective. Some people find it soothing to cut grass. To them mowing the grass is not work but restful and rejuvenating. A long time ago, stores were not open on Sunday, and you learned you were not to shop on Sunday. So, does the Bible say it is a sin to shop on Sunday? Where did that belief come from and is it still the right belief? Romans 14:23 states, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he _(fill in the blank)_, because the ___ is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”

Reflections and Application:

What is your experience with legalism? What rules were you taught to follow?

Do you have painful memories by someone who was legalistic and judged you? If yes, then read my short book to heal that memory so you can be free from that oppression. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

What do you think is honoring to God?

What does legalism cause people to do and what does the Bible say we should do?

Further Study/Footnotes:

1. Do things in love: 1Corinthians 16:14.

2. God’s rest: Hebrews 4:1-11.

This blog is from “Unseen Battles For Your Mind” by Joyce Holzman Hanscom (soon to be published).


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

Unanswered Prayer? Are You Connected?

Nothing is more discouraging to our faith than not getting what we pray or hope for. The first two reasons why God may not give what you ask for are: 1) God may not be your Father and 2) what you are asking for may not be good.  Read Reasons One and Two Why Prayer Is Not Answered.

Now, if you know for certain that God is your Father, and you believe what you are asking for is according to His will, then do you only pray when you are desperate or need something? God created us to be in relationships with others and especially with Himself. A healthy relationship requires spending time and talking with those we love. So, the third reason why you feel your prayers are hitting the ceiling is not being in the right relationship with God.

For example, if a lamp is not plugged into a power source, the lamp will not produce light. By faith, you expect the lamp to light when you plug it into an electric outlet, and as long as it stays plugged in, it will light. The power to the outlet comes from outside the building, just like our power source is from God. And as long as we remain connected to God, we will have power. Are you always plugged into God and the Bible?

John 15:7 states, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

  1. Are you abiding in God and are His words abiding in you?

Abide means to remain in something. We abide in God in the same way we rest in a place of shelter. When we abide in God, we trust He will protect us and provide for us. We remain in the shelter of God by faith through continual prayer with thanksgiving, praise, and pondering Scriptural truths.

Psalm 91:1 states, “He who dwells in the shelter (secret place) of the Most High will abide (rest) in the shadow of the Almighty.” Read my post called Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now to learn more about how to abide in heaven with God.

When we pray with thanksgiving, praising God, and ponder Scripture, then our spirit draws near to Him, and He promises to draw near to us (see James 4:8). Do you only pray to Him and read your Bible in church on Sunday morning and maybe Wednesday night service?  Do you say a nightly prayer after spending the day worrying or doing and thinking about worldly things?  If your answer is yes, then you are not abiding in God.

Do you abide in God’s Word by reading it every day and memorizing it? If not, resolve to begin today.  The mornings are the best time to read the Bible so you can meditate on what you read throughout the day.  Writing out a key verse and reviewing it throughout the day will help you stay connected to God. 2 John 1:9 states, “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God (in their hearts). Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”

How do I know if I am abiding in God?

1John 3:18-24 explains how you know if you are staying connected to God.

18) Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

19) By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;

20) for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

21) Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;

22) and whatever we ask we receive from him because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.

23) And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

24) Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this, we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ?  Do you want to know if you have resentment towards anyone, then read How to Recognize and Eliminate Emotional Cancer.

If you have a hard time loving people, then read Love From a Pure Heart to become free to love others well.  1Corinthians 13:13 states, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1John 3:17 explains, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees a brother (Christian brother or sister) in need, yet closes his heart against them, how does God’s love abide in him?

Conclusion

Prayer is our connection to the living, almighty God, and is the channel through which we receive power, wisdom, direction, and healing. Prayer is not only asking for things. You must remain in connection with God through continual prayer with thanksgiving by faith, reading His Word, and loving your brothers and sisters in Christ. If your heart does not condemn you, then you have the confidence to be connected to God. Ephesians 3:11and 12 states, “This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

RELATED POSTS:

How We Know God Will Never Forsake Us?

HOW TO PRAY USING THE LORD’S PRAYER AS A MODEL

If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).