Monday, April 17, 2017

Faith VS Fear


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Will you have the audacity to take God at His Word? 




Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


Did you know that you've got to have faith in order to have fear?  Sounds crazy, I know. But, it actually takes just as much energy to doubt and live in fear as it does to live in faith. In fact, fear, doubt and unbelief is your faith power working in the negative position!

Friend, faith produces substance. It produces evidence. God's Words says so.

In the same way that faith produces substance, fear, doubt and unbelief produce substance - or the lack thereof. 

So why spend another minute meditating on the wrong thing? Why allow your mental and emotional energy to create something undesired? 

As we meditate on God's Word - and what He says about us, for us, through us and to us - we re-program our minds to live in the faith zone. And, the faith zone is the place where the desires of your heart become a reality (Psalm 37:4).

God has good plans for you! He wants to see you live out your days going from glory to glory in all areas: spiritually, physically and mentally. 

But... His protocol for achieving this "land of milk and honey" requires faith. Positive faith. Faith in His Word. Faith in His good pleasure. Faith in who He made you to be. Faith in your abilities as a Child of the King. 

So, don't spend another minute in fear (negative faith). Read your Bible. Pray. Encourage yourself (David did this). Practice casting down thoughts of negativity. Practice replacing fearful thoughts with faith filled thoughts of the Great "I Am." 

Just do it! Take God at His Word. Be brave. Be courageous. Be bold. Be radical.

Shut out the nay-sayers. Close the door to the devil. Demolish wrong thoughts. 

And, watch God transform your every area of existence as He creates substance that gives evidence of your thought life!



www.DeborahRossMinistries.org

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dream Big!


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The saying, "the sky is the limit," had a much different meaning before there were hot air balloons, airplanes and space rockets. I'm sure whoever coined that phrase for the first time never "really" imagined anything beyond our atmosphere.

Where is your limit? Is it the sky? Is it the moon? Or is it yourself?

I hope you have no limit!

The impossible CAN be accomplished through God.

Your challenge today is to "Dream Big" and NEVER let your natural view dictate your spiritual reality!



Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV)

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.


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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pass the Test!


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I found this poster on Facebook and had to share it. Those of you who have taken my classes will totally get it...

Pass the Test!

What test?

That thing that repeatedly comes around and causes you to retreat, regress, oppress, depress, suppress... or, anything but BE BLESSED.

Respond differently this time.

STAND on God's promises. HOLD ONTO your blessing... your dream... your hearts desire... your hope... YOUR FAITH

The devil is betting you'll quit... give up... or, give in.

God is believing you'll WIN!

IT'S ONLY A TEST!


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Good Deeds


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Isn't it strange how we sometimes find ourselves in a place of feeling like we are OK with God - just because we made the check list of good deeds for the day. Then again, oftentimes, we find ourselves feeling inadequate as a Christian - because we failed to "do" all the things we intended.

Child of God, it's wonderful to rest in the LOVE OF GOD. By simply surrendering your life, meditating on His Word and fellowshipping with Him in prayer, God promises that the Holy Spirit will be your helper... your teacher... your compass... your comforter... your friend...

My sweet friend, when you truly rest in the LOVE OF GOD, there is no glory in the works of the flesh. There is no need to worry - "did I" do enough, "did I" say enough, or "did I" be enough.

The Holy Spirit of God reveals Himself through the fragrant fruit that emanates from a life that is not only trusting in the Master, but also one who is eager to please the Him in a spirit of humility.

A peaceful countenance is more precious than all the "works" your flesh can ever muster up.

So, if you are trying hard to be a good Christian. If you are trying hard to please people. If you are trying hard to win God's approval - to win His favor...

I've got good news for your today.

STOP TRYING and START LIVING!

By only laboring to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, all other labor becomes joy! The Holy Spirit will not just empower you to "do," "say" and "act" right... He will also add an abundance of JOY in the midst of it all.

So for today, I'm challenging you to LIVE in the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT.

STOP RIGHT NOW.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill you to over-flowing so that your life will spill out rivers of joy in everything you do!



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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Radical Faith


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Hebrews 11:6 NIV 

"And without FAITH it is impossible to PLEASE GOD, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he REWARDS those who EARNESTLY seek him."

Why does radical faith rattle the minds of some? While others cling to their faith in the power of the God's Word and the character of who God really is - it's their way of life!

The book of Hebrews tells us that God is pleased when we believe Him. So much so, that He actually rewards those who believe.

Some would say, "Well, He rewards some, but not all." On the contrary... God's promises are always true. The unstable factor is "us."

So why not dig your heals in, put your face to the wind, and hold onto the horns of the altar for your miracle?

It's much more noble to die believing than to live with unbelief.

Believe for God's best!
Believe for your miracle!
Believe for favor!
Believe Hebrews 11:6.

Fear, apathy, indecision, stubbornness, and religious dogma are not God's prescription for victory.

Friend, even FACTS must bow the knee to TRUTH.

Just believe! 

Earnestly believe!

... And if you feel it's just too hard to hold onto your belief, ask God to "help your unbelief."

God loves YOU!


Mark 9:24 NIV

"Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'”


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Monday, April 3, 2017

Generously Scatters!


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Scattering Love, Resources, Time, Money... ???

Boy, how often do we, even as Christians, think that's wasteful. It's often perplexing to think of how God commands us to be givers, with a promise that He will always supply our need.

I have found so many versions, so many slants, so many opinions - about God's law of sowing and reaping - to be discouraging and, quite frankly, exhausting. 

In the Kingdom of God, things are completely backwards from the things of this world. In God's Kingdom, giving brings abundance. In the worlds economy, "keeping" means abundance.

In fact, many Christians have such a hard time with this principle that they form doctrines that they unknowingly hold onto "tighter" than the goodness of God's Word!

Friend, the ultimate example of giving that resulted in a massive harvest is the life of Christ. God "gave" His Son, so that millions of sons and daughters would come to know Him. In our human intellect, that makes no sense.

But, even if you are a "good Christian" who has accepted this to be true, the question still remains, do you believe that God's principles are the same in every aspect of life? Or, do you compartmentalize God's principles so that you can pick and choose which ones to accept as absolute truth - because, after all, "you've got this" in that particular area.

Precious friend, the principle of SCATTERING (giving liberally) is a supernatural way of living that few will ever experience. Whether because of faulty doctrine, greed, temptation, justification, intellect, jealousy or manipulation, many will miss out on the goodness of God's exceeding abundance.

Like Joshua and Caleb, I want to believe that God says I can live in the land of milk and honey.

Moses sent twelve men to spy out the land of Canaan. They all saw the same thing with their natural eyes, but only two of the men understood that God said it was theirs. The other men feared that God didn't "really mean" it was theirs because they saw other people already living there who were giants. They rationalized, "Why would God give this land to us when these people already live there... and they are much bigger than us?"

So anyway... That's just a tidbit of how our human intellect gets in the way of the Holy Spirit.

So the encouragement for today is that you live a life that SCATTERS!

Scatter your love, scatter your time, scatter your resources and scatter your finances. The Holy Spirit will tell you how, when and where. Then, JUST DO IT! And... watch God increase all the more!

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

God's Love


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This is LESSON ONE of the Woman2Woman: The Naomi and Ruth Experience Bible Study, found on page 19.
WOMAN2WOMAN: THE NAOMI & RUTH EXPERIENCE
LESSON ONE

God’s Love

BIBLE TRUTH

The greatest truth in the universe is that God is love.  The greatest discovery for a woman is to awaken and realize that God loves her.  The most important decision a woman can make is to acknowledge and accept God’s love for herself in a personal way.  God’s love is called “grace,” and it is expressed in these terms:  undeserved mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, favor, care, help, compassion, tenderness, patience, comfort, protection, and provision.

In what ways can you recognize God’s grace toward you?
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Jeremiah 31:3
3The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.

Genesis 1:27-28
27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28And God blessed them, and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:  and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 

A DEEPER LOOK

Many times, as women, we settle for cheap imitations of love, which use and abuse us – leaving us cold, hard, and afraid.  Since God deliberately created each woman with her own special features and beauty, women are very valuable to Him.  By His design, a woman's deepest need and strongest desire is to be loved and cherished. There is a place in every woman's heart that only God can fill and nothing – nor, no one – can replace her relationship with Him.  Only He can satisfy. 

Just as God respects us, he expects us to respect Him, each other, and ourselves.  God intended for men and women to co-exist in a respectful, meaningful partnership with Him and with each other while here on earth. God is the author of “mutual respect.”

According to God’s original plan – based on Genesis 1:28 – God loves and blesses women and gives each of them purpose and power to live full, productive lives.  His best for us is often hindered when we allow the wrong people, or things, to substitute for His love in our heart.

Name some destructive attitudes or relationships that compete for God’s place:
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Do you understand the term, “boundaries,” and how they are necessary to insure mutual respect?  If so, describe the type of boundaries that you need to uphold in your life.
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1 John 4:7-11
7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.
9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.



1 John 4:19
19We love him, because he first loved us

WORKING IN YOUR LIFE

God always takes the first step and offers us a proposal of genuine love.  1 John 4:10 says that even while we were still clueless and bound by our sin (with no respect for God), He sent us His Son, Jesus, to save us from the very penalty that God’s law demands for our disobedience.  In essence, God’s love saves us from His own wrath and judgment.  His amazing love (salvation through Jesus Christ) is a free gift with no strings attached!

When we can identify the “real thing,” then we will not be deceived by counterfeit affections.  When God reveals His love, we can trust in it forever. He will never neglect us, abandon us or treat us cruelly. By the same principle, when someone shows you his or her true colors - believe it. Loving hearts act in loving ways.  Anything else is not love.  Without God’s love, it is impossible to know or give true love, because God is the source of love.

Based on verses 7 and 8, of I John 4, can you determine if your actions are based on love?  Explain.
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Can you recognize genuine love verses manipulation?  Explain.
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REAL LIFE EXAMPLES

At the mall or in our neighborhoods, even in our own families, we see women who disrespect themselves and live with the mentality that they are just doing what they have to do to survive.  While some crave attention at any price, others are caught in terrible circumstances of poverty and desperation.  In their weakness, they fail to make decisions based on honor, hard work, and morality.  They experience everything except genuine love, and they tolerate disrespect from others.  God desires to rescue hurting women today.  He offers hope through His Son, Jesus Christ, who graciously wants to heal broken hearts and broken lives.  No matter how horrible the circumstances, those who call on His name find forgiveness, wholeness, courage, significance and peace.  God restores their honor and self-respect and His love empowers them to rise up to a level of life that is rewarding.

What areas of your life do you need to trust in God’s love?
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What steps do you need to take to deal with disrespectful and unhealthy relationships?
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MAKING IT HAPPEN

No matter where we have come from or what advantages or disadvantages we have been given, God loves us, and invites us to receive and trust in Him.  No matter who has wronged us, hurt us, or betrayed us, God is faithful. 

In order for us to fully trust in God's love for us, we must start by believing the greatest truth in the universe…God is love!  Then, as we talk to Him and tell Him everything on our heart (good and bad) we will begin to experience the relief and peace that His love brings to all who rest in His goodness.  Because of God's great love for us – and, His desire to manifest His love toward us – we should expect the unexpected in both practical and supernatural ways.  God is the giver of wonderful surprises!

Discuss how God has revealed His love in an answered prayer for you.
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Romans 8:35-39
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.




HOMEWORK

Study 1 Corinthians 13:1-8,
which defines the true characteristics of love.




NAOMI & RUTH
REFLECTION

Ruth’s story is a love story in the purest sense.  It depicts the mutual love of two women who share in bonds of suffering and redemption.  It is also about a deep love between a man and woman in the highest portrayal of mutual respect and devotion.   And most importantly, as a portrait of grace, it reveals the divine mutual love between God and his people.

The story serves as a tremendous example of God’s supreme faithfulness to those who love and trust Him, as He powerfully moves in the mysterious realms, unfolding His master plan in human hearts.

Ruth and Naomi, both poor widows with no one to help them, were in desperate need of someone to save them from their despairing lives.  Ruth’s commitment to her mother-in-law, Naomi, caught the eye of wealthy landowner, Boaz, and her humility captivated his heart and prompted a marriage proposal.  His passion for Ruth turned things around for the women.  Boaz, who came to be known as her kinsman-redeemer, returned the kindness that Ruth showed to Naomi.  He rescued them from destruction and led them into a place of loving favor, peace, provision, and protection, which is a beautiful picture of the same type of relationship that Christ desires to share with us. 

Dr. Patricia Shankle is a contributing writer for this lesson.