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June 2008
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August 2008

Battle Ready

Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, by their families, by their fathers' households, according to the number of names, every male, head by head from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by their armies.  (Numbers 1:2-3 NASB)

Israel's history has been plagued by war starting back in biblical times.  In Numbers 1, we see the very first census being taken by Moses of all the men who are "battle ready".  We see the phrase "all that were able to go to war"  mentioned 13 times in this chapter (NKJV)".  God told them to take the census.  He knew what they were in for in the days and years to come.

Things aren't much different now in our world.   Yes, we have electricity and lots of other amneties and our fighting tactics are different.  But battles rage on every day across the globe.  Where there is not a physical skirmish going on, a spiritual battle flourishes in our homes, churches, workplaces, hearts and minds as we pit our own priorities with those of what God desires from us.   What battle are you participating in?  Are you battle ready?

God needs "soldiers" who are willing and able to go to "war" for Him.  He prepares us for the battle by character building forged in our trials and sufferings, not in the good times.  It is hard to accept that God is more concerned with our character than our comfort.  No matter what life situation we are in - a financial crisis, a troubled marriage, a chronic health problem - God will use it for his glory.  He will use it to create a fine soldier who is willing and able to lay down his own life for the good of someone else.   Are you ready to enlist?

For further thought:

1) What prevailing circumstance in your life is preparing you to serve God in a greater capacity?  How can looking at your life in this way help you to persevere?

2) Who in your life are you able to help or fight with in the "battle" of life?

3) What do you need to do to become "battle ready" for God?


God Our Healer

Are you in need of a healing touch from God?  Although we don't see as many physical healings of sickness and disease as were depicted in biblical times, God is still very much in the healing business today.  He heals our hearts.

Please stop by Pam's blog, Pathways to Freedom to view the post "My Healer", as she discusses how an intimate relationship with God through prayer and bible reading can provide the healing we all so desparately need.


Being Holy

I am the LORD who brought you out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy. - Lev 11:45 NIV

A tall order was given to the Israelites this day.  God himself ordered them to be holy as he was holy, because he saved them out of Egypt for the purpose of being their God.  He wanted the best for them while also wanting them to set a good example for others because they were God's chosen people.

As Christians, we have the same tall orders.  When we believe on Christ for salvation, God saves us out of our own "Egypt" and gives us new life on earth as well as eternal life in heaven instead of the hell we deserve.  In return, he wants us to live for him so others will be drawn to our God.   He wants us to be holy out of love for him.

Ephesians 5:1-2 says the following:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (NASB)

What does this look like in a believer's life?  We need to look no farther then the next verse:

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.  (Eph 5:3)

Not to have even a hint of immorality, impurity or greed attached to our behavior is a tall order indeed.  It is impossible without God's help and God's word to change our hearts and minds so that our actions follow.  How are you doing at following God's commands?  What one baby step can you take today to imitate God?  Ask him to reveal the answer to you today.

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Evaluating Your Worldview

Have you ever heard the term "Christian Worldview"?  Do you ever wonder what that is or if you really have one? 

If you are unsure about all of this "worldview" stuff, head over to my other blog, "Truth Talks" to discover what it means to have a Christian Worldview and to take a test to determine how biblically you really view the world.  You might be surprised at your results.

Hope to see you there!


Acceptable Offerings

"If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD. Lev 1:3 NKJV

Times may have changed, but God still calls upon us to bring offerings to Him.   Most of us in modern culture do not make frequent trips with our "herds" to an altar.  However, the principle this passage depicts is timeless.  God wants His people to sacrifice for Him because of who He is and what He has done for them.  Consider this verse:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 NKJV

It is our reasonable service to God to offer ourselves - our time, talents & treasure - as a sacrifice for God to do His work.  However, just because we are doing God's work, does not mean that our sacrifice is acceptable to Him.  Looking at Leviticus 1:3, we see the following criteria for an acceptable offering.  An acceptable offering is one given

  • Without blemish.  An unblemished offering is of the highest quality, consisting of the best we have to offer.  Leftovers of our time and resources don't quite measure up.
  • Without attitude.  God wants an offering given to Him out of a heart of love for Him.  When we serve Him out of obligation, whining and complaining as we go, we are not necessarily giving out of our own free will as God requires.

Let's give God our best effort with our best attitude.  When we do, our offerings will be pleasing and acceptable to God and blessings to ourselves and others.

Attitude check:
What activities are you doing for God out of obligation or duty with a bad attitude? Check your motives.  Perhaps God has another plan for you in this season of your life.  Pray that God will reveal to you where He wants you to serve Him.

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Truth According to Tolle

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I would be pointing out some of the troubling aspects about Eckart Tolle's "A New Earth" on this blog.  Today, I'd like to share with you how Tolle defines Truth in a section of that book entitled "Truth:Relative or Absolute".  From p. 71, here is Truth according to Tolle:

The Truth is inseparable from who you are.  Yes, you are the Truth.  If you look for it elsewhere, you will be deceived every time.  The very Being that you are is Truth.  Jesus tried to convey that when he said, "I am the way and the truth and the life."  These words uttered by Jesus are one of the most powerful and direct pointers to the Truth, if understood correctly.  If misinterpreted, however, they become a great obstacle.  Jesus speaks of the innermost I Am, the essence identity of every man and woman, every life-form, in fact.  He speaks of the life that you are.  Some Christian mystics have called it the Christ within; Buddhists call it your Buddha nature; for Hindus, it is Atman, the indwelling God.  When you are in touch with that dimension within yourself-and being in touch with it is your natural state, not some miraculous achievement- all your actions and relationships will reflect the oneness with all life that you sense deep within.

Dear fellow Christians, I pray with all of my heart that the segment above stirs you to seek ways to stand up for your faith and the truth of the Bible.  Can't you just here the hiss of the Serpent somewhere within these words saying "Has God indeed said...?"  How would you respond if someone said these words to you directly?  What does Jesus really say?

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NOTE: Rather than post all of the false teaching myself on this blog post, I'd like to challenge you to think on your own and leave your answers as comments on this post.  I'd love participation here to see how many false teachings you can identify.  Happy digging & commenting!

For more resources and articles to help you understand the Christian faith, visit my other blog, Truth Talks, where I partner with speaker/author Sharon Houk.


Try God's Word

“ For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
  And do not return there,
  But water the earth,
  And make it bring forth and bud,
  That it may give seed to the sower
  And bread to the eater,
  So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
  It shall not return to Me void,
  But it shall accomplish what I please,
  And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."  (Isaiah 55:10-11 NKJV)

A common practice in coaching, which would also be beneficial in day-to-day living, is to ask someone what they've tried before in solving a particular problem, before offering solutions.  If we offer a solution that has already been tried without success, we are really offering no solution at all.  We could be contributing to insanity, as I've heard someone say "Insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results."   

How are you about trying something new to achieve the results you desire?  Sometimes it is difficult to try something new.  But what if that new "something" would be the solution to your problem?  A fellow Christian I know is having difficulty in a relationship but refuses to try the one thing guaranteed to help--spending daily devotional time in God's Word.   As little as 15 minutes a day could make a huge impact on this person's life circumstance. 

God's word is powerful and life changing.  I know from personal experience.  It deeply saddens me to see how many people forsake the Bible's life changing power in order to continue doing things their own way.  Just as the water from heaven brings life to earth, the Living Water of God's Word will bring life to your life.  All we've got to do is drink it regularly.  Try God's Word.  You'll be glad you did.   

To ponder:

1) What is really holding you back from a devotional time with God through His word?

2) How would your life be different if you could use God's power to make changes?

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


His Grace Is Sufficient

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:9-10)

I recently attended a church different than my own and received a timely message from God that I can't get out of my mind.  I'm thankful that I can't.  Once again as I sat in a church service, feeling frustrated with a particular life situation, our compassionate God delivered a sermon to me to provide me with hope.  Through a pastor whom I didn't know, I was instructed to pray deeply the simple prayer "I can't, but You can" throughout the next week. I'm still holding on to that prayer.  Nothing is impossible with God.

It is hard to understand sometimes, especially when we are in the middle of something bigger than ourselves, how God's strength can be all that we need.  However, sometimes it is all that we have.  When we wonder how we can take that next step, He is there to guide us. When we fall down and skin our knees, He offers His gentle hand to help us up, kisses our wounds and tries to make it all better.  When we fall down humbly on our knees in prayer with nothing else to give, we finally see His power and strength as He lifts up our head, looks us in the eyes and tells us that we can make it.  His strength and love is perfect.

What are you trying to survive?  Remember, God can pull you through.  Take some time today and recount the times He has done it in the past.  He will be there for you today and tomorrow too.  Count on it.  His strength is perfect.  Even when we can't, He can.


Abundant Life

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. - John 10:10 NKJV

Abundant life.  Do you have it?  Jesus said that He had come so that His followers could have life and have it more abundantly.  What does that mean to you?

In addition to the eternal life we have through believing on Jesus Christ for salvation, we can also have a life on earth much richer than we can ever expect without Him.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives we can possess the qualities of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).  These qualities alone would affect so many people in our lives for good.

But what about the eternal impact for good we can have through a life of service to Christ?  When we minister to others in service to God, we not only reap blessings on earth, but we reap an ability to experience eternal life to the fullest.  (Gal 6:8)  And the good thing is, God is right beside us to help us serve Him.

When was the last time you reached out to serve God with your talents and abilities by enriching the life of someone else?  Do you feel that God is calling you to be a blessing?  If He is, knowing that He will help you in anything He asks of you, what are you waiting for?  Abundant life is yours for the taking.

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.