Purity is What You Think

Spiritual Warfare

Part 16

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:5 NIV)

Double-Minded 3In high school, I had a friend who proved somewhat less than trustworthy. She’d start a conversation about another girl, and I willingly added my thoughts. I might mention the other girl and I liked the same young man. The “friend,” in turn, took my comments back to the other girl. It didn’t take me long to realize what she was doing and refuse to talk to her about my feelings. Back then, we called people who pretended to be a friend only to get something two-faced. Sometimes we added liar to that label.

Along the same lines, in old western movies, the Native Americans said white men spoke with forked tongues. Time has not changed the way people treat one another, certainly not in politics. In government, the color of the skin makes no difference. They all speak with forked tongues.

I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to trust those who speak with forked tongues.

Apparently, God’s not too thrilled about two-faced people either. He calls them liars. He commands that they purify their hearts.

But before I get to self-righteous, I need to …

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Next Week:

We’ll begin to study the enemy’s tactics. Prepare by reading, pondering, and praying about 1 Peter 5:8.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Unforgiving—A Weapon Formed Against You

Spiritual Warfare

Part 11

And even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and turns to you seven times and says, I repent [I am sorry], you must forgive him (give up resentment and consider the offense as recalled and annulled). (Luke 17:4 AMP)

What's Keeping You Boxed In?

What’s Keeping You Boxed In?

“This will hurt me worse than it does you,” Mother said just before she “introduced” me to the unfriendly side of the hairbrush. She, actually, did more grounding than spanking to discipline me. But I do remember the reference to the unfriendly side of the hairbrush and her mentioning my punishment hurt her worse than it did me. I could never figure that out—how could she hurt worse than I did? Wasn’t I the one at the stinging end of the brush? Nevertheless, my mother always forgave the offense quickly.

Throughout Scripture, Jesus teaches the necessity of discipline. But He also commands that we forgive the transgressor as often as he seeks forgiveness.

That’s a difficult command to follow. But in a spiritual battle, the enemy can shape our unforgiving attitudes into…

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How about you? Have you disarmed the enemy by forgiving as the Father has forgiven you?

Next Week:

Prepare by reading, pondering, and pray about Revelation 12:11 and 19:10.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

T is for Time

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1Peter 5:6 NIV).

Skunka Tony Stu 2012 Time is of the essence. And the older we get the more painfully aware we become of the essence of time.

In my twenties, I drifted through life full of delight of early-motherhood. I had the hope of the years to come. In my thirties, I busied myself with my children and my in-house business. Age had no bearing on my decisions. In my forties, I embarked on a band-new venture—writing for publication. I took the time to learn the craft. As I stood on the fifty mark, I realized I was at the top looking down. And downhill always goes faster than the uphill climb.

Now stepping past the sixty flag, I wonder how much time is left for me to do what God has prepared for me. While the “sands of the hour glass” are falling at an incredibly fast pace, so much work remains undone. I don’t seem any closer to the goals He has bet before me than when I began. Yet Read More

Next Week: 

I is for Importance. Prepare by reading and thinking about 1 Corinthians 1:3-4

See you in a twinkling

Brenda K. Hendricks

U is for Understanding

Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you (Psalm 32:9 NIV).

Don't be like a horse... Psalm 32:9

Don’t be like a horse… Psalm 32:9

Hind-sight is always better than foresight, so the saying goes. Unfortunately that little cliché carries a lot of truth. We learn more through experience than through advice from other people. Our personal encounters with different situations activate a deeper understanding.

Case in point:

Experiences Drives a Deeper Understanding

Experiences Drives a Deeper Understanding

When I was learning to drive (many years ago) I was told by my father, mother, older siblings, and drivers-ed teacher not to go around sharp turns too fast. If you do…read more

Next Week:

T is for Time. Prepare by reading and thinking about 1 Peter 5:6-11

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

L is for Loyalty

…be submissive… be pleasing and give satisfaction in every way. [be careful] not to talk back or contradict…to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior (Titus 2:9-10 AMP).

He Came to Set the Captives FreePaul wrote the above verse to Titus concerning the appropriate attitude and service of slaves…Christian slaves.

Many of us shrug off verses that apply to slaves. What could such passages have to do with those of us who are free? Some may say that these verses apply to the workplace, which in a sense they can and should be implemented there. But is it possible that God has a much deeper meaning for them—one that applies to ALL of us?

Peter said, “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them” (2 Peter 2:19).  Paul’s discourse in Romans chapter 6 reminds us that we are all either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. We are slaves to Satan or slaves to Jesus Christ.

If we’re still denying that we are slaves, read more.

Next Week:

U is for Understanding. Prepare by reading and thinking about Psalm 32.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

R is for Renewal

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

Praise 3A matter of mind over matter, is that all there is to renewing the mind?

I’m a habitual procrastinator. There I said, or rather, and more incriminatingly, I wrote it. I know putting urgent and even not-so-urgent chores off leads to problems. I have made New Year resolutions year after year to correct my nasty habit. And every year, I end with a list of tasks I should have done months before the holidays.

We all have bad habits which compel us to make New Year’s Resolutions year after year. And year after year, we fail to overcome those bad habits. Why?

Beyond Mind over Matter

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Next week’s theme: E is for Endurance. Read Colossians 1:11-12 and pray for perseverance.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Resolutions

Winter's Dream

Winter’s Dream

As we begin a new year and make promises to ourselves for life improvements, it helps to get a clear idea of what our plans consist. Over the course of the next eleven weeks, we will be looking at each of these aspects more closely. This acronym serves as an introduction

R—renewing. The nice thing about a new year…a new day is we can start over. But starting over doesn’t work unless we first renew our minds.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV).

E—endurance. Without endurance, we cannot succeed in any endeavor. Let’s determine from the beginning to stick to the task until we accomplish it.

…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:11-12 NIV).

S—strength.   Regardless if we resolve to exercise our physical bodies or our spirits, strength comes from repetitive action. However, true strength resides in our relationship with the Lord.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him (Psalm 28:7 NIV).

Read the rest of the acronym here.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks