I Put Your Picture Away

I enjoy the intimate, imperfect, transparent honesty of the song “Picture” in the style performed by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow. It speaks about a man far away from his love and cheating, but there is a chance encounter with his love even after the unfaithfulness is clear and known, and an opportunity for reconciliation as they both realize what they really want is to just come “home”.

Sometimes we spend time chasing what feels right “in the moment” and it steals away what we really want and need, sometimes it “compromises” and “puts at risk” what is truly best and right for us. We’ve all made that mistake before, and said and done things with no vision or thought about the consequences or the impact for our future. And sometimes it is a hard lesson to learn when our foolishness costs us so much in the end.

If you are “just having fun” with being unfaithful to your love… if you are “just having fun” with alcohol or drugs… if you are “just having fun” running in your own direction far from God’s purpose and calling on your life… Maybe today is that chance encounter where your ultimate calling and purpose is “bumping into you” with this post.

Maybe you need to wake up and see what is really at risk, not just in your life, but for the impact you are having and could have on so many around you — and yes, even for your eternity.

When we are blind to our own foolishness, there’s no wonder we are willing to throw away what is truly good looking term for something that FEELS good in the moment. It’s in our nature to crave things that appeal to our natural senses — but what we crave is not always what is best. So how do we learn to know the difference? How do we learn to have vision further than this moment, further than this relationship, further than these circumstances, further even than this life?

We’r can set our eyes upon something, even someone, who is eternal. We can listen to His wisdom and guidance, and test it to see if it is true and good and helpful and beneficial long term and not just “in the moment”. His name is Jesus. And yes, He came in the flesh to reveal such beautiful things to us, that are in direct competition with our cravings, but that are perfectly in line with what is best for us.

I wonder if you’ve known this deep down for a long time, but have hidden His name from your heart, pushed away His Word from your daily living, so that you could continue chasing what feels good “in the moment”, not caring what you have been throwing away because you didn’t even realize the value — you didn’t even realize how much you have been shot checking yourself. That’s how it was with me when I only believed in myself and my own way and whatever benefited me “right now” — I would compromise my own integrity and character and purpose, and I would hurt myself and those around me horribly in the end, every time.

But there is a different way, and His name really is Jesus. And I’m not going to invite you to come sit in my church with me so you can become a “religious person”. Nope, I’m going to divide you to truly seek Him out, read what He said — not what some preacher says, but what does the actual Word of God say? And if it sounds like a harsh rulebook to you, then read the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and especially John — and pay close attention to those RED words that He breathed out in the flesh to the lost all around Him while He was here, and they will stay to open your eyes to the fact that He breathed out all of those words in black also for your benefit — and that He bled out red to wash your sins clean as snow — and that His spirit is now able to come live in you and teach you and give you and empower you to start resisting those “in the moment” feelings that rob you of so much, to instead walk in life abundant.

I encourage you, friend. It isn’t too late.

That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the Lord your God as before. Blow the ram’s horn in Jerusalem! Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Gather all the people— the elders, the children, and even the babies. Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room. Let the priests, who minister in the Lord ’s presence, stand and weep between the entry room to the Temple and the altar. Let them pray, “Spare your people, Lord ! Don’t let your special possession become an object of mockery. Don’t let them become a joke for unbelieving foreigners who say, ‘Has the God of Israel left them?’” Then the Lord will pity his people and jealously guard the honor of his land. The Lord will reply, “Look! I am sending you grain and new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy your needs. You will no longer be an object of mockery among the surrounding nations. I will drive away these armies from the north. I will send them into the parched wastelands. Those in the front will be driven into the Dead Sea, and those at the rear into the Mediterranean. The stench of their rotting bodies will rise over the land.” Surely the Lord has done great things! Don’t be afraid, O land. Be glad now and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things. Don’t be afraid, you animals of the field, for the wilderness pastures will soon be green. The trees will again be filled with fruit; fig trees and grapevines will be loaded down once more. Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil. The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced. Then you will know that I am among my people Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other. Never again will my people be disgraced. “Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike. And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth— blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape, just as the Lord has said. These will be among the survivors whom the Lord has called.
Joel 2:12‭-‬32 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/jol.2.12-32.NLT

Daddy is Lazy, Mommy works Hard ???

My daughter told me last night that I’m lazy, and that mommy does all the work, and that she’s a princess to be served.

Now before you start thinking that she’s a brat and was being horribly disrespectful, she was being playful with us — but I’m observant enough to know that such comments are usually rooted in some underlying mix of truth, emotion, and perspective.

And when I asked what she meant, she explained that mommy is always on her feet working, but all I do is sit at a desk on the computer all the time. And it stung a bit when she said it, even though she wasn’t saying it to hurt me. And part of me wanted to get offended and “set her straight”, but part of me thought about what she SEES and how that is more powerful than anything I could SAY from a self defensive posture.

Maybe she’s right, I thought to myself. What is the example I’m showing her by coming home, absolutely worn out from work and from so little sleep to the point that I don’t feel like doing much once I’m home? What is the example I am showing her with time spent sitting down so much, even if I’m in the Word, or studying, or counseling someone via text, etc. How often or infrequently does she see me on my feet actually working hard?

It is a sobering thought — and it is especially brought into light when someone else near you is so clearly and obviously working hard. I don’t envy my wife for her strength, and I don’t want her to do less so that I won’t appear so weak and lazy in my daughter’s eyes.

But I do say “appear so weak and lazy”, because I am neither weak nor lazy. I work very hard. I am a top producer at my job. I try to help others the chances that I can. I study and pray and try to provide good counsel and helpful service to my family, my friends, and my community. But I am being outshined by my wife — flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone — the woman I love. And it encourages me, because she is a Proverbs 31 woman, and she spurs me on to be a better man.

And it was her that corrected my daughter and told her that daddy works hard, and I think she might have meant it — even if she too knows there’s some innocent honesty in what Mia has pieced together from her limited perspective.

Garth Brooks has a song that I believe honors my wife in my humble recognition of her strength:

I don’t use the song as an excuse to not lead my family, as an excuse to actually be lazy, but as a reminder that we are in this together and that I need to honor her and Mia with my hard work, with everything that I do — and in doing that, I am honoring God.

I’m reminded of these eyes from scripture specifically:

But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.
1 Timothy 5:8 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/1ti.5.8.NLT

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Colossians 3:23 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/col.3.23.NLT

Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!
Proverbs 14:23 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/pro.14.23.NLT

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
Proverbs 31:10‭-‬29 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/pro.31.10-29.NLT

Happy Birthday Mia!

Today is my daughter’s eighth birthday. And as cliche as it is to say, I can’t believe how fast time is flying by.

There are so many blessings in my life, and so few of them are things. Many of them are people, family, friends. And at the top of that list are my wife and daughter.

Children are a gift from the Lord ; they are a reward from him.
Psalms 127:3 NLT

The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord .
Proverbs 18:22 NLT

We had Mia’s birthday party this weekend, and it was wonderful with friends and family — gifts, cake, singing, celebrating, playing games together.

And today, since Mia is officially 8, and is 4’9″ tall, and sits comfortably with an adult seat belt, we will be doing away with her booster seat. She has no idea, and we will surprise her this morning with this revelation that she no longer has to sit in a booster seat.

Man, I can still remember that first ride home from the hospital with her in the rear facing infant seat as I drove oh so carefully and was amazed at how carelessly others were driving around us. Didn’t they know that there is precious cargo inside these vehicles?

And we want to continue to keep her safe and secure with the proper precautions in place. Just as important as the correct safety equipment in the car, is providing her with the right spiritual protection as well.

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Proverbs 22:6 NLT

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
Matthew 7:13‭-‬14 NLT

So we will have our morning devotional together this morning, and we will praise and worship the Lord with our lives today. And we hope that we aren’t just teaching Mia outward religious mimickery, but that we are introducing her to what it means to seek and find God through the narrow way, to know and love and serve and obey Christ Jesus as her Lord and Savior — not as just a religious title or claim, but as an abiding, real, present and manifested reality of His Holy Spirit alive in us.

And my wife is such a blessing. It is through her that this precious gift of life came into our home 8 years ago. And it is her that bears so much of the child rearing responsibilities — even though I try not to miss out on my opportunities and responsibilities as a daddy either.

These times are precious, and she is at an especially sweet age where we can snuggle up on the couch together to watch movies, go get Krispy Kreme together, play in the Creek together with PomPom, play games, go to movies together, read, sing, pray, and even discuss the amazing things in the Word of God. We have no guarantee of tomorrow, so I hope that I will take these moments together and take them, not waste them on foolish things, not treat them as common or ordinary, but as precious and valuable.

And if time with her is too be considered precious and valuable and not to be taken for granted, shouldn’t the same be said for time with the Lord?

Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful opportunity to spend our special day with you. Watch over us, give us, protect us, and lead us in your way. Amen.

It’s A Wonderful Life

We recently saw the play “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Greenville Little Theater, where George Bailey spends his whole life helping others and not being very concerned with his own financial gain, just the needs of others, and in the end, facing possible financial because of the shortcomings of someone close to him, he contemplates ending his life because of the financial shame he has brought upon his family. But he is taught the true value of the relationships he has built, that far outweighs any financial struggles, and that is the source of a beautiful outpouring of love towards him and his family in the end.

It’s a beautiful story of undeserved mercy and grace, that George showed towards others, and that is repaid to him as well in the end — and what “A Wonderful Life” grace and mercy produces!

This morning’s Word:

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12 NLT

A Look Inside: Personal Application

We are facing a real life situation where we have been wronged, where we are facing significant financial burden by someone who did not provide the services that we paid for, and that the work already completed has serious issues. The costs for remedying these issues may equal as much as a whole year’s gross income for our household (we aren’t sure yet at this point). And the man responsible for this came to our house last night after a long period of avoidance and no communication to tell us that he isn’t going to be able to resolve it and that it is all on us, even though he knows that it is wrong, and that we are not the only ones he has put into this same situation.

His head was hung low in shame, and he was probably expecting us to lash out at him. But all we could do was try to encourage him and counsel him to trust in the Lord and seek the Lord in this dark time. We were more concerned about his family, his mental well being, his marriage, his faith… and it isn’t because we are independently wealthy and can afford to “eat it”. It’s just that I know how many times I have wronged others and let them down in my past, and that I have been forgiven so much, that I just can’t kick a man when he is down.

Good legal counsel would tell me to go after this man, that he is responsible and should pay, and that I should squeeze whatever is possible from him and his family in order to “protect me and my own”. They would tell me that I should “seek justice”.

But what does our counselor tell us?

When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers ! Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers! Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated?
1 Corinthians 6:1‭-‬7 NLT

You see, we know and believe that Jesus died to forgive our sins and is resurrected to prove that His victory is complete over sin and death — and because of this amazing grace and mercy extended towards us, we are compelled to extend mercy and grace to others — not because it is what they deserve, not because it will gain us anything in return, but because it is BEST, because it defeats evil and testifies to the victory of Jesus Christ over things like fear, shame, guilt, pride, greediness, unfaithfulness, lying, stealing, bitterness, unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, and so many more”true enemies”.

And when we see someone who has hurt or wounded us because those familiar demons have been clinging to them and influencing their thoughts, and words, and actions towards us and towards others in a way that is wrong, is unjust, is not loving and fair — we seek to remind that demon that their time is near, that they must flee when resisted, that it is us, the children of God who will judge angels and demons, and that they have no authority or dominion over us, but only serve to try us, prove us, and for their evil plans to be turned to good for the glory of God!

So that’s exactly what we did once our friend confirmed to us that he believes and that Jesus Christ is His Lord and Saviour. We spoke live to him, not death or condemnation — we encouraged him that he is loved and welcome in our household, we explained how much what he did for us (even in its imperfections) had already been a blessing to so many, and that we trust our God to provide the solution, because no problem is too great for Him!

We didn’t do this because we are “really devout Christians” — NO!!!! This wasn’t a burdensome “Well I guess we have to forgive him because we’r have been forgiven” moment — NO!!!! This was a joyful, excited, tearful moment where we shared with this man the beautiful opportunity for grace and the glory of God to shine through this moment. We encouraged him that he is right in the place of the prodigal, where he can run back and be welcomed in, and so that he can be forgiven much so that he might love much like the woman at Jesus’s feet. We told him that there is a testimony in the making, and even though he wasn’t fully ready to accept it (because of ther guilt and shame he had not yet laid down), we told him that his pushing against God was not strong enough to overcome the all sufficient grace of Jesus Christ to save him and make him a new creation of he is willing to surrender all over to the Lord.

I’ll be the first to admit that this testimony is quite a different perspective than I have had towards some “enemies” in my past, and that I don’t always get it right. So I must give God all the credit, all the glory, and all the honor for having my heart and mind right during this critical moment with this man who needs joy, love, forgiveness, and reassurance poured into his life right now to build up his wounds, and to equip him for the road ahead. Please pray for him and for us, as we deal with both the all important spiritual battles that are being waged, and even for the physical restoration and correction of things that aren’t yet righted that have been wronged.

Having said that, for any of you that read the above, and conviction has fallen on you — for someone you have not yet forgiven — or you said “I just can’t do that” — or you think “he’s just a sucker that’s being run over by the world” — or you think “that’s just him showing off his own self righteousness” — I encourage you to repent and continue reading to decide whether or not you truly are fully prepared to surrender your life to Christ Jesus today!

Why do you long to see your enemies (who really are your brothers and sisters) crushed, defeated, destroyed — when you have done the same things to others?

Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
1 Peter 3:9‭-‬17 NLT

Why do you hold a grudge against someone, or judge them for their shortcomings, when you need forgiveness yourself?

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Matthew 6:15

But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Yes, this is a battle! But:

Is it better that a man destroy all of his nearby enemies so that he thinks he has nothing left to fear, or for a man to show kindness to those who have wronged him so that they might choose the way of brotherly love and peace and unity? Because which is better when powerful invaders come from far off that he didn’t even know about — to destroy your enemies, or to build strong and true alliances?

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Ephesians 6:10‭-‬18 NLT

Undefeated

No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
Joshua 1:5 NLT

We read this scripture, that is spoken to Joshua at the death of Moses — and while we don’t want to read the Word of God proudly (putting ourselves into the “starring role” of every passage) instead of being humbly in awe of how the Lord has revealed himself in times gone past — we do need to understand that since the Lord does not show preference and loves all of His children, we can hope, even trust, in this same commitment from our God in our lives.

Do we believe that no one will be able to stand against us all the days that we live? Shouldn’t that be a sobering thought? If they can’t stand against us, then isn’t our responsibility to bear that authority properly vitally inportant? At least, it should matter to us if we care about them and don’t want to see them crushed by their coming against us.

I wonder how many times we have foolishly been fine with the idea of someone who comes against us being crushed, being “paid back” for what they have brought against us? But wouldn’t that only be true of us if we thought the was a risk of their “attacking us” be successful?

What if we truly believed God’s promises and had a perspective like this instead:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
Genesis 50:20 NLT

Wouldn’t that position of victory and authority being us into a totally different perspective about those who come against us? If we believe, if we know, “They are bound to fail” — and our focus is no longer on having to beat them (because we trust that their defeat is already written in God’s promises) — shouldn’t we hope for the opportunity to reconcile with them, to help them come into agreement — rather than look forward to their destruction?

Do we understand a Godly perspective towards enemies?

As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord , I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?
Ezekiel 33:11 NLT

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Romans 5:6‭-‬11 NLT

We see that the Lord doesn’t long for the destruction of His enemies — He loves that they will turn and be friends — and He takes the initiative to show them forgiveness, love, and compassion first so that they might choose it instead of opposition. And if we are new creations, called by His name, made in His image, and casting the Holy Spirit of Christ in us, shouldn’t we be seeking to do the same towards those foolish enemies who do do not yet understand that they cannot stand against us because God is with us?

The question then becomes, do we actually believe, have we actually received, are we truly His?!!!!

What an important question!

Let’s see what scripture has to tell us about such amazing things:

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
Romans 10:9‭-‬15 NLT

Declare and believe! Call upon the name of the Lord!

Read these particular verses,

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:9‭, ‬13 NLT

And decide to believe right now. Decide to declare right now. Call upon the name of the Lord right now, and know that none will stand against you when you are humbled at the foot of the cross, when you are clinging to the hem of his garment, when his arms with nail pierced hands are wrapped around you!

I don’t care if you’ve “said it before”. I don’t care if you’ve “gone through the motions before”.

I’m asking you today, that if you are not fully trusting in the Lord, if you are still trying to fight your own battles, if you have been struggling and losing against your temptations, your thoughts, your words, your actions, your desires that are not holy, righteous, and in line with the Word of God, if you have been fostering unforgiveness, or bitterness, or envy, or jealousy, or ill will towards someone else — I’m asking you to lay it all down at the foot of the cross, DECLARE, BELIEVE, AND CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD!

HE WILL NOT FAIL OR ABANDON YOU!!