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If God is for me, who can be against me?

He graciously gives all things.

Mercy.

Grace.

His Own Son.

Reconciliation instead of separation.

Once lost, now found.

I am more than a conqueror in Christ.

No weapon formed against me can stand.

The Lord vindicates His servants.

Strengthens and helps.

Gives courage.

His righteous, right Hand upholds.

I will not be shaken.

The Spirit He gives is not fearful.

Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

Power to stand against enemy schemes.

Power to live out faith.

Love like Him power.

God supplies every need – I shall not want.

He gives me armor.

Armor to fight.

Armor to withstand enemy arrows.

The struggle isn’t against flesh and blood but a dark world’s power.

Freewill fight.

Self or Spirit.

It’s a red dawn.

Christ gives me strength to do all things.

Enlisted Savior soldier.

Know His Word and stand my ground.

Stand against accusation and condemnation.

Stand against lies.

Stand against temptation.

Stand against sin that twists, destroys and blinds.

A shield of faith quenches arrows of deception, shame and guilt.

Living shield grows as I trust God’s Word.

Belief becomes action.

God’s promises and Word is an impenetrable fortress.

Daily deliverer.

Mind renew-er, thought captivator.

Praying God’s Word and promises is spiritual ammunition.

Ammunition that breaks chains and sets captives free.

Ammunition releasing God’s angel army.

Life changing ammunition.

A saber of light.

It’s a soul battle with eternity at stake.

The Lord provides all that's needed to find the narrow path.
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Truth.

Love.

Encouragement to persevere.

Instructions in His Word.

Himself.

The wages of sin is death but God’s free gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus.

His house has many rooms.

Place prepared.

Divinely directed.

His Name endures forever.

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

The old is gone, the new is here.

Christ’s love compels.

He died for all.

Ministry of reconciliation creates ambassadors.

God’s appeal now through me.

Temple of truth.

Morning’s joy.

Life everlasting.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you. Thank you that you are faithful, good, true. I trust you and Your Word are the truth, the way and the life. The battle is already won but the enemy blinds and deceives, causing casualties. I pray You keep me on the narrow path and bring me back when I wander and stray. I pray You use me to shine Your light of truth so others see You for who You are – the Savior and Messiah. Thank you, Lord for equipping me for battle – I pray I remember to use the armor you graciously provide. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear what You would say to me. Thank you for the gift of salvation and eternal life. Thank you for your sacrifice and unconditional love – You alone are worthy. In Your precious, Holy, matchless Name, Amen.

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His voice shook the earth and Moses trembled in terror and fear.

The untouchable mountain burned with darkness, gloom and storm.

What was commanded could not be borne.

Then God.

His voice shook earth, water, sky.

Now He promises.

Promises to shake not just earth but also the Heavens.

A kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Mount Zion, city of the living God.

The heavenly Jerusalem.

Thousands upon thousands of angels assemble in joy.

Jesus, mediator of the new covenant.

Sprinkled blood speaks.

Spirits made perfect.

Thankful worship with reverence and awe.

The Lord, my God, a consuming fire.

Burning away sin and inequity.

For He so loved the world, He gave.

Gave His only Son.

Whoever believes gains eternal life.

Once insecure, now secure.

Keys to His kingdom.

He wipes every tear.

No more pain, death or mourning.

The old has passed away, the new has come.

Soul and mind renewal.

A new creation in Christ.

No weapon forged against me can prevail.
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Every accusing tongue silenced.

His love can not be separated.

I am more than a conqueror.

Nothing can snatch me from Holy Hands.

Not death or life, not angels or demons.

Not present or future.

I am a redeemed child of God.

A branch of the true vine.

Justified and restored.

Sin slave no more.

Free from condemnation.

Christ’s fellow heir.

Unconditionally loved.

Blessed.

Chosen.

Holy.

Blameless.

Brought near to God by Christ’s blood.

The good Shepherd gathers lambs into arms of strength.

Carries them close to His heart.

Gently leads beside green pasture and still waters.

Leaves the ninety-nine to go after one who is lost.

One who wandered away.

One who falls into wolf territory.

Lays down His life for the sheep.

Restores souls.

Those in His care hear the Shepherd’s voice.

To Him the gatekeeper opens.

He leads them out by name.

Goes before them.

The sheep know His voice and follow.

One flock, one Shepherd.

They shall not want.

His rod and staff comfort and protect.

He never leaves or looks away.

Spirit of truth guides all into truth.

Anyone who follows must deny self.

Take up my cross daily – the one crafted perfectingly for me.

Grace and mercy of God.

Lose to gain.

Living sacrifice.

His Word renews and transforms lives and minds.

The world is heartache, loss and trouble.

He gives peace that passes understanding.

Hope that holds.

The God who never fails, never fails.

I need not fear, for He, Jesus, the Word made Man, the Son of God, has overcome the world.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you. Thank you for doing what I could never do – pay the price for my sin. Through Your sinless life and atoning death on the cross, I am a redeemed child of God. A sheep in Your flock. Amazing grace. Help me to take up my cross daily and live the faith of who You are. Help me to listen and obey. Help me to follow by faith. Walk as You walk. Forgive me for the ways I fall short. Thank You that You love me enough to pursue me and bring me back when I wander and lose my way. Your love knows no end and never fails. I can always count on You – You never lie or abandon me. Thank you that Your word says when I cry out to You, You not only hear me but draw near and answer. Help me to know You and love You better. In Your Precious, Holy, Matchless Name, Amen.

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Liz Petruzzi Blog by Liz - 2w ago

Bright morning sun has me squinting hard as I bend down to peer through the open window of a car now coasted to a stop beside my dog, Lucy.

“What’s going on?” my neighbor asks. I pause considering an obligatory response then plunge forward in a current of honesty. “Walking in anger and unforgiveness.” He doesn’t miss a beat, “That’s all of us.”

Trials are a test – not pass or fail but to improve strength and reveal weakness.

I’ve been walking through a year long trial and what’s revealed is a tangle of sin briers and self around a heart that loves Jesus.

A will that wants and demands it’s own way.

A belief if I am faithful to God He owes me.

A spirit of rebellion revealed through a tantrum of anger and unforgiveness.

Lashing out when wounded or deprived.

A grace girl who fully embraces love, mercy and forgiveness but not giving up and putting down.

A body that worships the cross but refuses to climb up and extend limbs across beams.

Demanding the Creator serve created.

A heart full of wants instead of what He values.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:17

It’s a set up, a conspiracy, a game of kingdom keep away with an eternal price.

God warns about an enemy that prowls like a lion waiting to pounce and destroy.

He warns the battle isn’t against flesh and blood but of spirit.

He asks and reminds – what good is it to gain the whole world yet lose your soul?

I spin my wheels in the muck and mud of self.

I can’t gain traction.

A sitting duck for even the lamest lion.

Until I hold back nothing, give everything and refuse to allow anything to come between me and the Savior, I will continue to strain, strive and struggle.

He wants all of me.

The good, the bad, the ugly.

My love and devotion.

Pain and failure.

Control and people pleasing.

“Come follow Me” is the invitation.

It’s impossible to follow Him and myself.

I must choose who I serve.

Who I listen to.

Who I worship.

Who I go after.

Trade my ways for His.

Obedience isn't legalism - it's God's love language.
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If you love Me, keep My commands. John 14:15

I’m learning through trial and desperate need how desperately I need Him.

To live in His promises and trust His Word.

To wait instead of racing ahead.

Listen instead of decide what I think.

Obey instead of go my own way.

Actions speak louder than words.

What I do reveals what I believe.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18

Heavy burdens of sin and self cause me to sit stuck.

Block my view.

Following requires intention and attention.

Focus and gaze.

When I look away, I lose sight of the one I’m walking behind.

Pursue the pursuer.

Speed of light.

Put down my burden for His yoke.

Heavy for light.

Give to gain.

In freewill I choose His way and will.

Seek Him.

Abide.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16

Stay connected.

In my circumstances.

In my trial.

His strength for my weakness.

Laying down anything opposed to Him.

He is the Lord Almighty.

Creator of Heaven and earth.

Stars and storms.

Waves and whales.

He makes all things new.

When I clench my hands and heart around what I want but don’t receive, it’s an offense to the God who has given so much.

How does an ungrateful heart praise it’s maker?

Anger and unforgiveness contaminate my life’s soul.

Deadly toxin toxifies.

Poisons me and others I love.

A silent killer.

“It’s just me…it’s how I am”

I am….a distortion of the Great I AM – self attempting to be God and rule the life He gave.

It got Lucifer evicted from Heaven.

An attempt to replace Father with finance, love, worldly acceptance.

Control people and circumstaces.

Take His glory for my own.

Make Him the middle man.

God will not be mocked or ruled.

Love lets go.

Lets go of what I want for what He has.

Lets go of expectations and my own design.

Lets go of the need to be right and valued by people, places and things.

Worships the Creator not the created.

Bows before the King.

Goes low discovering a servant’s heart and childlike faith.

Placing my hand in His.

Going wherever He leads.

Looking to Him for provision, approval and love.

Following His footsteps – daughter after Dad.

Trusting the wait – that desert of now and not yet.

Complete instructions contained in His Word.

When I seek with a heart that’s sincere, He always shows up and gives me all I need – even extras I didn’t ask for – He calls it blessing.

The Lord, my God goes before me, walks beside me, never leaves me.

Makes a way where there is no way.

Binds up broken hearts and repays what locusts ate away.

Gives hope and futures.

Takes me home, debt paid, life everlasting.

Tetelestai – it is finished.

but I gave them this command: Obey Me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. Jeremiah 7:3

Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you. Thank you for Your great love that never fails. Thank you for Your patience and compassion. Forgive me for going my own way and seeking my will over Yours – for being demanding dust. Thank You that You are slow to anger and offer forgiveness when I turn back to You. Thank you for Your perfect plan – a plan and way so much better than my own. I trust You. You are good and mighty to save. Thank you for Your faithfulness. Thank you for your care, protection and provision. You are God Almighty and You, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, come after me when I wander away. Thank you for Your unending love. I want to live Your way and will, not mine. Lead me, Lord. I surrender who I am for what you have – my greatest desire is to serve and follow You. In Jesus’ Holy, matchless, saving Name, Amen.

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The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18:10

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Grace and peace multiplied.

In His great mercy, He allows us to be born again.

Living hope.

Resurrection from death to life.

Imperishable inheritance kept in Heaven.

Unfading.

Faith guarded salvation.

Joy in trials.

Steadfastness produced through testing.

Glory to God.

His Word lights my path.

Labor of love.

Hope that holds.

Chosen and loved.

In my weakness He is strong.

Delight in the Lord’s law.

It strengthens and roots.

Yields fruit.

Obedience is His love language.

There is no rock like our God.
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His Name is a fortified fortress.

A refuge from foes.

My shelter and shield.

Horn of salvation.

The Lord Most High is just.

Light and salvation.

Whom shall I fear?

He protects me from danger.

My strong tower.

He hides me in His sanctuary.

Places me out of reach.

God of my salvation.

Trust and wait.

Be brave and courageous.

Wisdom and strength.

He goes before me.

Walks beside me.

Never leaves.

The Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, Word made Man, the Great I AM.

Author of life, perfecter of grace.

Mystery reveal-er.

He is Emmanuel, God with us.

El Shadid, All sufficient.

El Roi, the God who sees.

Sees me.

The Universe displayed.

Stars and Galaxies.

Planets and plains.

Mountains may shake and hills disappear, but His everlasting love never fails.

Faithful blessing.

Unbroken covenant.

Mercy and grace.

He is worthy.

Worthy of lives laid down and crosses picked up.

Worthy of honor.

Worthy of praise.

He draws me out of deep waters.

Keeps my lamp burning.

Turns darkness to light.

It is no longer I who live, but Christ in me.

Flesh becomes faith.

Living sacrifice.

For God so loved, He gave.

Sacrificial lamb.

Mighty to save.

Kingdom and glory.

Life eternal.

Gift of God.

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you that you are faithful – You promise to never leave me. You are my refuge and strength, my help in times of trouble. I can count on You to show up, have my back and lead me to higher ground. Thank you for the circumstances and situations that lead me closer to You. Though I don’t enjoy difficulty, I recognize it is often through hardship You grow my faith and relationship with You. Give me courage and strength to persevere through trials that drag long. I pray to praise You in the storm and walk in ways that honor and glorify You – You are worthy. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for calling me out of darkness and calling me Your own. Thank you that You are my refuge and strong tower. I love You Jesus – In Your Precious, Holy Name, Amen.

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For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Beloved, do not fear.

He wipes away every tear and death is no more.

Mourning, crying and pain are gone.

Former things passed away.

My Father’s house has many rooms.

He’s prepared one just for you.

It’s beyond imagination.

Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.

He is Lord of all.

Riches bestowed.

Angel guide reveals river of life, bright as crystal.

Flows from the throne of God.

Tree of life yields its fruit.

Leaves heal the nations.

Night is no more.

Servants worship the King.

His face revealed.

The Lord God is their light.

Treasure secure, city prepared.

Twelve gates of pearl, street translucent with pure gold.

No temple needed.

Promises fulfilled.

God’s dwelling place now directly with man.

All things made new.

New Heaven, new earth.

The sea is no more.

Jesus, Word made man, came to make a way where there was no way.
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Break, bleed, die.

Love’s bridge to life everlasting.

All who believe gain entrance.

Belief evidenced in how I live and love.

Love God, love others.

Listen and obey.

Keep His commands.

Mercy and grace.

Patience and provision.

Book of life, veil torn.

Heaven’s door opened.

Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you for the gift of salvation. Thank you for making a way home. Thank you that in You, loved ones are not lost and separation is temporary. You alone are the way, the truth and the life. Help us to know you and love you better. Help us to persevere and run our race well. You are my King, Jesus and nothing in this world compares to You. You make all things new. You turn mourning into dancing and restore what locusts ate away. You work all things for good and provide hope and a future. Thank you for your faithfulness. I put my hope and trust in You. In Jesus precious, matchless Name, Amen.

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Today, I give you a gift in the form of a post written by guest blogger, Sam Renee Bartee. God connected Sam and I through Instagram where I discovered her blog and devotion to Christ. Reading her writing humbles and inspires me – I pray I live my faith boldly and proclaim Him fearlessly the way Sam does. This is a post you want to read and share.

I hated myself – every part and portion down to the last cell.

I believed I was disgusting, repugnant, and despicable every time I wrestled with same sex attraction.

As my lust for the same sex grew, my spirit waned.

I witnessed myself – someone who was once zealous to serve an almighty God, shrink into the shadows.

How could I worship knowing what was in my mind?

How could I pray knowing my flesh was sown into homosexuality?

I believed my very words were offensive to God.

I was an outcast to His family and His friendship was debatable.

How could a good God accept someone He labeled an abomination?

There was no place at God’s table for someone like me – or so I believed.

In my world, same sex attraction often became a synonym for shame.

When it came to my own personal struggle, shame was such a familiar feeling I forbade myself from seeking a life outside of it.

I didn’t want to believe in a life where shame didn’t exist.

As a Christian, I learned my sin was more grandiose than others.

I had no place at God’s table because my sin was who I was and not what I did.

I often witnessed the church agree with this philosophy causing me to feel even more despicable.

Shame had a grip around my body, and the enemy often strangled me with it.

I lived in secret with my sin for many years, ashamed.

Who was I really to God?

Was my shame telling the truth – that I am an outcast?

It took me awhile to recognize the truth of the Lord, but the reward and the freedom from shame were worth it.

Turns out, I wasn’t serving the God I thought I was.

The God I serve doesn't believe in outcasts
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The God I serve believes in righteousness bought by the shed blood of Jesus Christ – no condemnation.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

In knowing the truth about God, my shame dissolved.

Instead of swallowing the lies of the enemy, I dug into scripture.

Yes, God blatantly condemns homosexuality but He never identified me as the sin.

If there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, why was I condemning myself in shame?

1 John 1:9 says If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If my God has cleansed me of all unrighteousness, then why was I ashamed of my same sex attraction?

1 Corinthian 6:9 speaks against those who practice homosexuality – separating the practice from the person.

Shame occurs when we confuse what we do with who we are.

I confused my same sex attraction with my identity in Christ.

John 1:12 tells me those who believe in His Name He gives the right to become children of God.

If I am a child of God, what is there to be despised?

How can a good father despise His own child?

The final conclusion is He doesn’t.

Shame is a liar.

Sam Renee Bartee is a writer and devoted follower of Jesus Christ who is dedicated to shining the light of God’s truth and dispelling darkness. She is currently writing her first book, Are You It? The Tag Game Between Light and Sexual Darkness.

Sam blogs about the challenges of same sex attraction on her website, http://www.thestrugggleblog.com She welcomes connection, comments and questions through her blog and e-mail, Samrbartee@gmail.com You can also follow Sam on Instagram and Facebook.

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“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Be.

Still.

Know.

Be still and know.

He is God.

Stop striving.

Come to Me.

Trade worldly burdens for easy and light.

Everlasting love.

Broken hearts bound.

Soul’s rest.

Captives set free.

Life eternal.

Tears wiped away.

Pain no more.

Come, all who labor and are laden heavy.
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The enemy kills, steals and destroys.

Christ gives peace, hope, love, joy.

Breaks chains.

Renews, restores.

Redemption and new life.

Robes of righteousness.

Sin slave no more.

Former things pass away.

Water to wine.

Mourning to dancing.

Blind eyes now see.

All sufficient grace.

Mighty to save.

In my weakness, He is strong.

Rejoice in truth.

Love as He loves.

Hope.

Endure.

Believe.

Jesus makes all things new.

Lives transformed.

Strongholds destroyed.

Belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness.

Unity bound in love.

Gospel of peace, shield of faith.

Earthly nature exposed, erased.

Gratitude filled heart.

Mind set on things above.

Holy and dearly loved.

Bonds broken.

Ransom released.

Freedom frees.

Spirit of life, prisoner now prospers.

Light and momentary trouble.

Stand firm.

Resist lures and ploys.

Vomit return.

Repent.

Self or Savior?

Walk in light.

Obedience is love’s expression.

Freewill offering, crucified flesh.

Rest in His peaceful Presence.

Be.

Still.

Know.

Be still and know.

Faith’s freedom.

Hope everlasting.

Self slave no more.

Father God, Lord and Master Jesus, thank you that in You, I am more than a conqueror. Thank You for fighting for me – I need only to be still. Forgive me for my unbelief – for striving in my own will and way to achieve results apart from You. Thank you for your great love – for never giving up on me. Thank you that You break chains and make all things new. Be my rest and refuge. Help me to know, love and serve you better. Thank you for calling me Your own – for calling me out of darkness into light. There is no one like You, Jesus – Your love never fails. Help me to serve others with the fruits of Your Spirit, grown in me as I trade my ways for Yours. I love You Father God, Lord Jesus – In Your Matchless, Saving Name I pray, Amen.

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“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” –Jesus, John 10:27

It seemed like a good idea – friends cheered me on.

I was ten and agreed to walk my neighbor’s giant dog.

The neighborhood fraternity wanted to go roller skating – right that second.

“Just put your skates on….he can pull you.”

A plan destined for disaster.

Within minutes I was cruising down the blacktop – until the dog saw a squirrel.

He went left, I went down.

Bloody hands and knees.

In my ten year old mind, it seemed like a good idea.

It never occurred to ask my mom or dad.

Sometimes in my Christian life, it’s not so different.

I lean on my own understanding.

I pray after the decision – after the disaster.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

I’m praying for re-wiring, a transformation from my default that says, “it’s up to me.”

An operating system of self.

Life presents situations, circumstances and problems and instead of proclaiming God or His promises, I go straight into figure-it-out mode.

I look to my own wisdom and when I come up short, I worship the problem through worry.

Problem focused instead of promise focus.

He promises to go before me and never leave me:

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

He promises to never let me fall:

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Psalm 37:23-24

He promises to strengthen and help me:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

He promises hope and a future:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Faith or fear, Word or world – I get to choose.

I can give my situation to the Lord, rest in His peace and promises or I can focus on the problem, run scenarios and try to manipulate the outcome I want apart from God.

He makes wine out of water.

Parts seas, brings dead things back to life.

Creates beauty from ashes.

Christianity, following Jesus, isn’t “religion” it’s a way of life.

A freewill offering, a freewill choice – trading my ways for His.

When I claim His promises with thankfulness, I pray in power.
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“Lord, I’m scared, I don’t know what to do – thank you You never leave or forsake me. You make a way where there is no way. You promise hope and a future. Thank you I can trust you – you are working all things for my good. Thank you that You fight for me – I need only to be still.”

God doesn’t forget what He promises – in naming the promise, I root myself in His Word.

I choose to view my circumstances through spiritual lenses of truth and trust.

It reminds me there is power in His Name.

In His Word, I discover who I am.

Beloved.

A new creation.

A child of God.

An heir.

God’s friend.

His masterpiece.

More than a conqueror.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control. 2 Timothy 1:7

I want to live in the refuge of His rock.

The shelter of His Word.

The power of His promises.

Choose this day whom I will serve.

The choice is mine – self or Savior.

Me or Messiah.

Problem or promise.

God gives love, life, grace, guidance.

Jesus came to bridge the gap between a Holy God and sinful man.

Through Him, I have access to the kingdom.

I approach the throne of grace with confidence.

I get to live in His protection, provision and promises.

He tells me to fear not – I believe Him – He never lies.

God’s ways are counter-intuitive.

The last is first, the rich poor.

Lose to gain.

Freedom through obedience.

Strength in weakness.

I don’t have control over the people, places or things in my life – but I am deeply loved by the One who does.

Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you. Thank you for your Word – You have given me all I need to navigate life – it’s all in there. Thank you for loving me. Thank you I can trust you because You are faithful and Your promises are true. Help me to rest in You. To stop striving and trying to figure things out based on my own abilities. You came to free me from self and all that keeps me from You. Help me to know You and love You better. Help me to stay focused on You and who You are. To live in Your Word and Your promises – it is there where I find Your refuge and rest. I love You Father God, Lord Jesus – In Your Holy, Matchless Name I pray- Amen.

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Liz Petruzzi Blog by Liz - 1M ago

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

The Lord is my strength and my song.

My salvation.

The God I praise.

Night presses long.

He promises joy in the morning.

Walks with me through shadows and valleys.

Upholds me with His righteous, right Hand.

He is my strength and shield.

Help in time of need.

Rock of salvation.

He rejoices with gladness.

Quiets with His love.

Exalted exalts with loud singing.

Praise Him for His mighty deeds!

Mind set on things above.

Melody made with heart songs of thankfulness.

He is worthy.

Mighty to save.

Soul magnified love.

Mountains move and Hills depart but His steadfast love never leaves.
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Covenant of peace remains.

Weeping may stay for the night, but the morning brings joy.

God so loved the world He gave.

Love

Peace

Joy

Forgiveness

Redemption

Old things made new.

Water becomes wine.

Wilderness tamed.

Desert rivers provided.

Heart of stone removed.

Sin condemns no more.

Spirit renewed.

Hope and a future.

Steadfast love.

Never-ending mercies, new every morning.

Wailing turned to dancing.

Former things forgotten.

Abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

My heart sings your praises, silent no more.

Fear not.

Beloved, be held.

Held in perfect love.

Love that’s patient, kind.

Love that keeps no record of wrongs.

Love that never fails.

Hope that holds.

Shelter of the Most High.

Refuge and fortress.

Still waters.

Green pastures.

Life everlasting.

World overcome.

You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:11-12

Lord Jesus and Father Most High, I cannot in my humanness comprehend your great love. Your Name literally means “The Lord Saves” “The Lord is My Help” “God with Us” “The Great I AM” Thank you for who You are – Rescuer, Redeemer, Deliverer, Savior of the world. Thank you for loving me – for calling me out of darkness and calling me Your Own. Forgive me for getting consumed by my cares and worries – by “my” life – You are worthy to be praised. Thank you for forgiving my sins. In Your great love, You made a way where there was no way. Transform my heart into one of praise and thankfulness. Let my life be worship and a testimony to who You are. Help me to know You and love You better. I love You Father God, Lord Jesus – In Your Precious Name I pray, Amen.

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And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. Genesis 3:22-23

It was the shot heard around the world.

A moment that changed everything – one with eternal consequences.

Paradise eviction.

He is the Lord Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.

Abundant in power.

Formed humans out of dust.

By His breath, we breathe.

Is there anything He does not know?

In Him all things are held together.

Either God is in control or He isn’t.

And the Lord God commanded man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16-17

He knew.

He always knew.

He knew what Adam and Eve would choose before they chose it.

Was it all a cruel joke, a set up?

There is no love without freedom.

God is love – in Him there is no darkness.

Love is not control.

The very act of choosing demonstrates who and what I love.

To truly love and worship requires choice.

Freewill.

God gave us the ability to choose because we are created to give and receive love.

Love is demonstrated and transported through my choices.

A gift I choose to give or withhold.

God gave humanity the gift of freewill and choice even knowing what we’d choose.

Knowing we’d choose our will over Him.

He knew given the ability, humanity would choose to set themselves apart, be their own god, attempt to know what He knows.

It cast angels out of Heaven.

A God coup.

Jesus wasn’t Plan B.

Nothing happens outside of God’s sovereignty or knowledge.

We didn’t surprise Him or mess up His plan.

He always knew the price of love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

There is no love without freedom.

In order to choose God, we must also have the ability to not choose Him.

Reject Him.

Walk away from Him.

Rebel against Him.

But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8

He knew what we’d choose – then and now.

He was always willing to bear the cost.

Love lets go.

It doesn’t coerce or control.

Rules of men masked as religion promotes the lie of condition and omission.

I’m okay, you’re okay.

Us and them.

God so loved the world, He gave.

While we were soaked in sin and self, He left Heaven’s throne to deliver us.

A rescue mission of redemption.

Jesus wasn't Plan B
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God knew what we’d do – He made a way where there was no way.

A body bridge.

Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace.

Word made man.

The Great I am.

Humbled unto death.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

Jesus wasn’t Plan B.

The Author of life gave love through freewill.

He always knew the price of that gift was Himself.

He loves me enough to let me choose.

His ways or mine.

Do I obey His commands or go my own way?

Am I willing to make the sacrifices real love demands?

Love that is patient and kind.

Love that does not boast or envy.

Love that isn’t rude or easily angered.

Love that keeps no record of wrongs.

Love that protects, trusts, hopes.

Perseveres.

Outs others first.

I must choose it.

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow Me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Matthew 19:21-22

I can’t serve two masters.

Loving and serving involves sacrifice.

Losing to gain.

What good is it to gain the whole world yet lose my soul?

Choose this day whom I will serve.

More often than not, I choose me.

My ways seem so harmless and after all, I’m under grace – God understands.

“If you love Me, obey my commandments.” –Jesus, John 14:15

I want to believe it doesn’t matter.

God doesn’t really expect me to follow His commands.

Jesus died to set me free.

Twisted grace.

Relationship rape.

The world misses the Messiah because many who claim Him look and live the same.
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I seek and ask yet His Word has already answered.

Love your enemies.

Forgive seventy times seven.

Give to the poor.

Preach the gospel.

And He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:15

Die to live.

His life for mine.

Living sacrifice.

Sin is taking the good gifts of God and twisting them for purposes not intended.

• Love

• Sex

• Financial blessing

• Intellect

• Creativity

• Beauty

• Freewill

In His love and mercy, God allows me to use the gifts He gives as I choose.

He allows me to worship the Creator or the created.

It began in the Garden.

A choice, a decision to take and eat.

Rebel and step out of God’s boundaries.

Self service.

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:25

The battle continues today.

The remedy remains.

Jesus, the way, the truth and the life.

No one returns except through Him.

Garden’s gate.

Love is in the choosing – revealed in what I seek.

He delights in unveiling Himself to those who search with sincere hearts.

Love of God, not rules of men.

Judge not, lest I be judged.

God broke and bled to give.

Give choice.

Give love.

Give life everlasting.

Father God, Lord Jesus, I’m overwhelmed by Your great love. You love me enough to let me choose – even knowing many of my choices will hurt You. Deny You. Separate myself from You. Thank you for not leaving me in the muck and mire. No matter how far I walk or run, because of Jesus, it’s one step back. In my weakness, You are strong. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your mercy, new every morning. Grow my heart and longing for You. Help me choose things that bring me closer to You. Help me to make choices that bring you honor and glory – choices that set captives free. Thank you that in times of difficulty and trouble all I need is to be still – You fight for me. You are good, mighty, faithful – the one true God. Help me to know you, love you and serve you better. I love you Father God, Lord Jesus. In Your amazing, matchless, Holy Name I pray, Amen.

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