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No one goes into battle half dressed. No one enters a game without the proper apparel. Champions know their enemy. Champions have a game plan, a strategy that will assure them victory. Champions never play to their opponent’s level. They know their weapons and limitations. Everyday we face a formidable enemy in our minds, our workplace, and in our circles of influence. Our enemy is deceitful. Our enemy is ruthless. Our enemy is cunning. He’ll do whatever he can to destroy our faith in God and ourselves. But, and this is the game changer, greater is he that is within you than he that is in the world. Arm yourself with the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s promises. You’ve got this! Not because of your power or expertise but because of the battle armor you’ve been given. Go forth and conquer!


Taking delight in there Lord is easy when the bills are paid, the kids are stellar, you love your job and your weight is right on with the insurance charts. Taking delight in the Lord is easy when the doctors report is good and the bank calls asking to borrow some of your money because they are a little short this month. But for the rest of us, it’s hard to take delight when life is hard. In those times we need to hold tight to the promises and not reality from our perspective. Most of the time we struggle to take delight in the Lord because we rely more on our heart than on the promises of God We trust ourselves more than we trust him. Don’t follow your heart! The Bible tells us that over and over again. It can’t be trusted. The heart is in tune with the enemy and focuses on disappointment and fear. The heart focusing on God’s promises reminds us of the hope we have in him even when the world seems dark around us.


συνεσταύρωμαι: living the crucified life

In a recent conversation, it was wondered if the NLT over interpreted this verse.  This verse is noted frequently, especially when related to prayer.  It occurs in Matthew (7:7) and in Luke (11:9).  Let’s compare using the NLT and TNIV as our base translations:

Here is the TNIV for Matt:

Matt 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 

Here is the NLT for Matt:

Matt 7:7 – “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 

Here is the TNIV for Luke

Luke 11:9 – “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened…

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In Old Testament times people understood full well what a sacrifice was. Devout Hebrews would go out to their barns, look over their flock, and take the very best, kill it and offer it to God. This was no small deal. That meant taking the very thing that would make you the most money and simply destroy it. No monetary compensation. No physical profit. Yet they realized that the value far outweighed the cost. What was at stake couldn’t be bought. What they received was forgiveness and peace with God.

Jesus became our sacrifice. He paid a debt I could not pay. Paul calls us to be living sacrifices. He calls us to give all we have to God. Not to earn his favor. Jesus did that. We give God all we have in gratitude for what He’s gives us. The problem with living sacrifices is they tend to crawl off the altar when the fire gets too hot!

Father help me to stay on the altar; to give all I have especially when times are tough. Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me the example of sacrifice. Holy Spirit, empower me to stay true. Amen.

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