Tag Archives: spirit

Recovering From Addiction

How far are you willing to go in destroying your life with an addiction?

Written by David on 28/03/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: RepentanceForgivenessNew LifeRestitutionBrokenness


If you have sinned, you should tell each other what you have done. Then you can pray for one another and be healed. The prayer of an innocent person is powerful, and it can help a lot.

James 5:16

The end of the line for an addicted person is a self-made prison with four walls — Terror, Confusion, Frustration and Despair. There seem to be no doors or windows, and fear fills your life as you see that you’ve embraced self-destruction of your own accord. There is no protection for what awaits you in the deepest, darkest, isolated, solitary moment of an out-of-control life of sin.

God’s Word is there to give you hope. But first there must be a "death:" “In the same way, you must think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But Christ Jesus has given life to you, and you live for God.” (Romans 6:11) This is because the hope is not found in yourself: “I know that my selfish desires won’t let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot.” (Romans 7:18)

Apathy Gives the Enemy Power

Do you spend a daily time with the Lord? Make it a daily quest in your life. Many days I falter in this goal to be in the presence of the Lord through His Word. But I know that my mind, left to itself, will wander to a place of apathy. And I know where this leads: shame, anxiety and destruction. This is what the Bible calls evidence of the "natural man:" a sinful nature seeded in our heart. “More than anything else, a person's mind is evil and cannot be healed. No one truly understands it.” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Where are You Looking for Your Fulfillment?

King David allowed his own heart to wander. It threw him into the four-walled prison: Terror, Confusion, Frustration and Despair. “In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war, David sent out Joab, his servants, and all the Israelites. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked the city of Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of his palace. While he was on the roof, he saw a woman bathing. She was very beautiful.” (2 Samuel 11:1-2) King David should have been fighting alongside his men as other kings went out to war. Instead, he stayed behind, allowing his eyes and mind to wander and looking at the beautiful Bathsheba. He fixed his eyes and didn’t turn away. Acting against God’s will according to his own desires resulted in an unexpected sequence of events. His sinful thoughts and pattern of behavior led to a terrible outcome.

Hope is Found in Brokenness Before God

God searches the heart to find what is good in us. The good is what He has planted. It is a seed that yearns to have a true, authentic relationship with Him. You must have a broken spirit, as David eventually expressed: "I know about my sins, and I cannot forget my terrible guilt. You are really the one I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong. So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me." (Psalm 51:5-6)

And Once You Have Confessed and Received His Restoration…

Focus on what is hopeful and favorable. “Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8) True faith continues to take God at His word. “If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful. Christ cannot deny who he is.” (2 Timothy 2:13)

This is the turning point of our conversion: repentance, total acceptance and submission to Him through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit living in us. In spite of this, it’s possible to wander in dissatisfaction, looking to fulfill our lives with worldly pleasures and worthless things. When we do this, we can quickly be distracted from God. Losing our perspective about what is important leaves us with emptiness. So the temporary pleasure ends with shame and self-destructive despair. It’s like falling on the sword of our own actions and desires.

The Path of Restoration for a Broken, Sinful Life

God is the answer for the broken hearted and sinful man. Addiction may have taken you to a place of desperation and even complete destruction of some things in your life. Remember that God is much bigger than any "hopeless" situation. Yet there has to be a complete turnaround. You must confess. Admit your sinful habits. Complete confession means confronting your ways from the moment they led you away from God all the way to the end. You need true, transparent, genuine repentance. God will forgive your sin if you confess. (1 John 1:7-10)


Pray this week:

Lord, keep me safe from the sinful ways of my heart. Fill my heart and mind with your thoughts and keep me in the path of righteousness. Create in me a pure heart and make my spirit right again. Amen


Your story could be complicated, like that of Zacchaeus. (Luke 19:1-10

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Who Am I?

Your Secret Identity in Christ

Written by Dan Lee on 17/10/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: IdentityFriendship


For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Colossians 3:3-4

Literature is full of secret or hidden identities. Many superheroes, such as Superman or Spiderman, spend most of their time disguised as a regular person. In the old fable of Beauty and the Beast, a prince is trapped in the body of an ugly, scary monster. At the end, when all hope seems lost, he is magically transformed back into a handsome prince.

It’s only a fairy tale, right? Yes, but every good story is a a small picture of the great Story, written by our Creator. And for those who know Him, this Story ends with a glorious revealing of our true self, more wonderful by far than the old.

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Until that great day of revealing, we don’t look different from anyone else. Yet we are new inside.

Here are a few more important identities of a true follower of Christ:

Identity #1: We are his children

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7)

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1a)

American President John F. Kennedy famously allowed his young children to roam around the White House and come to him at almost any time. While civilians and even powerful people often could not approach the president, Caroline and John, Jr. had access to him — not because of anything they did, but just because they were his children.

Having rich and powerful parents is great. But the Bible tells us that we are far more blessed than that. We are beloved children of God, the Creator and Owner of all, with unlimited access to His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). And we are heirs, not just of money and possessions, but of God’s eternal, unshakable kingdom (Hebrews 12:28).

Identity #2: We are a chosen race

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

God’s original chosen people were the Israelites — descendants of Jacob. But now in Christ, we are also the chosen people, adopted by God into His family. Note that this is not for our benefit only, but so that we can tell others about God’s greatness and excellence.

Identity #3: We are God’s friends

Being God’s servant would be a great honor, but Jesus goes beyond that, telling us, “You are my friends, if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his Master is doing. But I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:14-15).

This statement comes with a condition: “if you do what I command you.” That does not mean we are perfect, but it refers to a lifestyle, a pattern, of seeking to know and obey God’s will. A person who doesn't know or care what God wants him to do is probably not even a true believer.

And the result of friendship in this verse is that Christ shares with us, through the Holy Spirit, what He hears from the Father. So the more we obey Him, the more He will reveal to us, and the deeper our friendship can grow.

If you ever struggle with feelings of unworthiness or unimportance, spend some time re-reading and meditating on the passages in this article. Let God’s word renew your mind (Romans 12:2), and ask Him to give you a greater understanding of your great worth — your infinite value — in the eyes of God, the Creator of the Universe. And remember that for those who know and follow Jesus, “happily ever after” is not a dream from a fairy tale, but a solid promise from God.


Pray this week:

Thank You, Father, that because of Jesus, I now have infinite worth and am completely loved by You — as your child and Your friend. Help me by Your Holy Spirit to know and believe this truth more and more, and to live with confidence as a Child of the King, proclaiming Your excellence to others and bringing You glory.


Need more encouragement about your identity in Christ? Connect with one of our caring volunteers to learn more.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God.

WATCH THIS VIDEO:  https://youtu.be/7spkUy2WinM

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God. The life-giving power of the Spirit is seen at creation. We are told in Genesis 1:2 that the “Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters" and that God said, "Let us make man in Our likeness" (Genesis 1:26), demonstrating the equality of the God and the Spirit. We receive the POWER of the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Christ. Romans 8:11 says, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."

"Then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." John 20:22-23

Power to Love and Witness
What kind of power does the Holy Spirit give? Paul tells us two important things. The Spirit gives us the power to love others as God loves us and to be witnesses for Jesus. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

Ask and Receive
Where do we begin to access this power? We begin by asking God to fill us with His Spirit and confessing areas where we have ignored God. Jesus said, "how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13). Ask the Holy Spirit today to help you love others as God does and be a great witness to Jesus in the world. You will begin to experience the abundant life God has for you as you do.

"After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:31

Can we witness to others without God's love in our hearts? Can we truly love others but not share Jesus with them? Do you have fears about witnessing? Talk to a caring Christian about them.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Worshipping God Through your Work

Opportunities to worship Jesus fill our daily lives.

Written by GodLife on 09/03/2013

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: GodJesusWorkWorship


 

"I Am the True Vine, and My Father is the Gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." (John 15:1-5)

 

Opportunities to worship Jesus fill our daily lives. A few years ago I witnessed a great example of seizing the moment to love and honor our Savior through work.

While my son was putting away the dishes, he broke into praises to our King, singing along with the worship music on the radio (or the stereo – whatever it was). He danced around the kitchen, utensils becoming percussion instruments in his hands. His joyful face reflected his enthusiastic heart for Jesus, and for his appointed task.

What an encouragement to me and a great reminder to take advantage of every opportunity given to us, and in every task before us, to lift up worship, praise and thanksgiving to our King!

Jesus asks us to humble ourselves and become like children, for those who do will be the greatest in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 18:1-4) .

Now whenever I am putting away dishes, the image of my little one, who is so precious to our Father, fills my heart. I rejoice in the strength Jesus has given me for the task at hand. I adore Jesus and praise Him Creating me and our amazing Universe. I thank Him for the blessings of day. And sometimes, I too, turn on worship music and sing my praises to our Great Giver of Life.

When I turn work time into worship time, joy fills my spirit. I now look forward to it as a time of intimacy between my Great Counselor and me. Work is a time to honor my Prince of Peace by giving my best. For all I have was given to me by Jesus, and I want to surrender everything I am for His Glory and His Kingdom.

Abiding in Jesus through worship, prayer and His Word brings me in to His Holy Presence. And in His Presence there is fullness of Joy (Psalms 16:11)!

May we bear much fruit for Jesus today by abiding in Him: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). Thank You, Father, for the work and time of worship You have given to us today. May it be a sweet-smelling aroma to You.

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus

The Hebrew term "avodah" combines the words for "work" and "worship." Many people wrongly think of work as a curse; a result of the fall. But work came before the fall! From the beginning, God gave people work to do for Him (Genesis 2:15). In serving God, we are to worship Him. So let us start and end every task by asking God's blessing on it, and thanking Him for the chance to worship him through our work.

This week, we expand our daily prayers to include prayers of blessing on every task we do, as well as thanks when the task is completed. This includes:

•Preparing and eating meals, and cleaning up
•Traveling and commuting
•Each task or meeting at work
•Studying or doing assignments — especially if you are a student!
• Exercise, sport and recreation
• Social activities
•Serving at church or in the community
•Going to sleep

Jesus states clearly in today's scripture that we can do nothing apart from Him. Our work only bears eternal fruit if it is done in fellowship with God. So let us do it!


Pray this week:

God will fill your heart with love for the community you live and work or move in daily.


What is your attitude toward work? How can you worship God while you're working? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Are You Ready to Share the Gospel?

Here’s what you can say when you share the love of Christ

Written by Joy on 06/06/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Evangelism, Gospel
“For God so loved the World that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

What are the most important truths that will help someone have faith in Jesus? Based on John 3:16 there are 4 simple ideas that sum up the gospel:

1. Love
“For God so loved the World…” Let people know God loves them and wants to have a relationship with them! “God proved His love for us in the while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).

2. Sin
Sin separates us from a loving, perfect God. We have rebelled against Him and refused to follow Him. By going our own way, we have missed the perfect plan God had for us. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) So what is the solution so ”we will not perish, but have eternal life?” (John 3:16)

3. Jesus
“He gave his only Son…” Salvation is a gift, not something you have to earn. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:23)

4. Believe
”Whoever believes in Him…” Like any gift, you must choose to accept it. AGREE that Jesus is the only Son of God and ACCEPT that he paid for YOUR sins on the cross and rose again to give you life. Invite people to pray with you to accept Jesus. “To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12)

Focus on Jesus
Be careful not to be distracted by difficult questions or subjects that cause disagreement. You don’t need to know ALL the answers; you only need to know that “Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me.’” (John 14:6).

Be Ready
“If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” (1 Peter 3:15b). Memorize these 4 simple truths and scriptures that go with them. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and power. Remember it is the Holy Spirit who helps people accept Christ; we are just pointing the way.

Pray this week:
That God would give you an opportunity to tell someone these gospel truths

Are you ready to share the gospel?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Restored Sexuality

God’s plan for sex

Written by Joy on 14/06/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Lust, Marriage, Sex, Sin
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.

Ephesians 5:10
God created sex to be a beautiful gift. In Genesis 2, God says it was not good for man to be alone so God created the perfect partner, a woman, so they could become one flesh. The chapter closes with the statement, “they were both naked and felt no shame.” Sex creates a unique relationship that involves physical, emotional and mental unity and completion.

If sex is blessed by God, what makes it immoral?

Blessings Lost
When we forget God has authority to set limits, blessings are lost. “Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.” (Romans 1:28). Your phone works best when you use it the way it was designed. In the same way, God designed sex to work a certain way. Rejecting His design leads to darkness, confusion, secrecy, shame, and judgement.

Blessed Design
God used His infinite wisdom to design sex in the beginning. God does not need to “evolve.” He does not change his mind based on our opinions. Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation give a very clear picture of the kind of sex that pleases God. “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). God approves of sex when it is between one man and one woman who have made a lifelong commitment to marriage. Jesus confirmed this to be an unchanging truth in Matthew 19.

Are you willing to trust God’s wisdom and love and follow his guidelines?

Blessing Restored
“He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.” (Colossians 1:13-14). We no longer have to sit in the darkness of shame and confusion. Jesus has made us children of light! (Ephesians 5:8-11)

“You cannot say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies…If we belong to Christ our body is not our own but a temple of the Holy Spirit and therefore we should honor God with our body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13, 19-20). Obedience to God’s plan for sex is a choice we make when we want to please God, not ourselves (Colossians 3:1-17). God has given every Christian the Holy Spirit to teach us truth and empower us to obey it.

Are you going to find out what pleases the Lord and choose to live by it?

Pray this week:
Show me, Lord, where I am not pleasing you in my attitudes and actions regarding sex.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Restored Sexuality- God’s plan for sex

God’s plan for sex

Written by Joy on 14/06/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Lust, Marriage, Sex, Sin
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.

Ephesians 5:10
God created sex to be a beautiful gift. In Genesis 2, God says it was not good for man to be alone so God created the perfect partner, a woman, so they could become one flesh. The chapter closes with the statement, “they were both naked and felt no shame.” Sex creates a unique relationship that involves physical, emotional and mental unity and completion.

If sex is blessed by God, what makes it immoral?

Blessings Lost
When we forget God has authority to set limits, blessings are lost. “Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.” (Romans 1:28). Your phone works best when you use it the way it was designed. In the same way, God designed sex to work a certain way. Rejecting His design leads to darkness, confusion, secrecy, shame, and judgement.

Blessed Design
God used His infinite wisdom to design sex in the beginning. God does not need to “evolve.” He does not change his mind based on our opinions. Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation give a very clear picture of the kind of sex that pleases God. “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). God approves of sex when it is between one man and one woman who have made a lifelong commitment to marriage. Jesus confirmed this to be an unchanging truth in Matthew 19.

Are you willing to trust God’s wisdom and love and follow his guidelines?

Blessing Restored
“He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.” (Colossians 1:13-14). We no longer have to sit in the darkness of shame and confusion. Jesus has made us children of light! (Ephesians 5:8-11)

“You cannot say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies…If we belong to Christ our body is not our own but a temple of the Holy Spirit and therefore we should honor God with our body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13, 19-20). Obedience to God’s plan for sex is a choice we make when we want to please God, not ourselves (Colossians 3:1-17). God has given every Christian the Holy Spirit to teach us truth and empower us to obey it.

Are you going to find out what pleases the Lord and choose to live by it?

Pray this week:
Show me, Lord, where I am not pleasing you in my attitudes and actions regarding sex.

Do you really know what Scriptures say about sexual sin? I

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How To Avoid Sexual Temptation

Guard Yourself

Written by Dan Lee on 11/07/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Lust, Pornography, Sex, Temptation
“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light.” Matthew 6:22

These words of Jesus tell us how important our eyes are, and how diligent we must be to watch what goes into our mind through our eyes. God’s word shows us several ways to do this:

1. Be Careful What You Look At
Jesus said, “anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). The first step to sexual temptation (and sometimes the sin itself) is looking.

Today’s world can be full of temptations for the eyes. Advertisements, movies and television, and things on the Internet can all lead us to sin. You must carefully choose what you watch and where you go. If seeing women in bathing suits makes you think lustful thoughts, then you need to stay away from the beach. If Internet pornography threatens to trap you, then stop surfing the web when you’re alone. (Matthew 18:8-9)

2. Guard Your Heart
King Solomon instructs us, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23).

What is this verse telling us? That what we THINK about determines who we are, and what we do. Lustful thoughts lead to lustful actions. On the other hand, if you read, speak and think about God’s word often, he will renew your mind and your heart. (Also see Romans 12:2, Colossians 3:1-3)

3. Don’t Be Proud
“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). If you think you will never fall victim to a particular sin, that’s the time to be extra careful. Or, as Solomon again says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

Remember above all that we don’t rely on our own strength, but on the Holy Spirit. God alone can give the power to make the right decisions and keep our lives free from sexual sin.

Pray this week:
Lord, I confess that it is so easy for me to sin sexually. I know that I am powerless to change, and that only You can give me victory through Your Holy Spirit’s power. I surrender this area of my life to You and trust that You will glorify Yourself through me as I walk closely with You. Amen.

Are you struggling with sexual temptation? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member