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The Nature of True Devotion

Devotion is neither private nor public prayer; but prayers, whether private or public, are particular instances of devotion. Devotion, in the fullest sense of the word, signifies a life given, or wholly devoted, to God.

The devout man, therefore, is one who lives no longer to his own will or the way and spirit of the world, but to the sole will of God; who considers God in everything, who serves God in everything, who makes all the parts of his common life parts of piety, by doing everything in the name of God and under such rules as are comformable to His glory.

Healing Life's Scars

Scars are not evidence of imperfection; they are evidence of healing. Your scars glorify God.

In his book A Few Things I've Learned Since I Knew It All, Jerry Cook tells the story of his open-heart surgery. When he had his heart attack, Jerry was pastor of a large church in Oregon that believed in and practiced healing. During his recovery, a woman in his church asked him, "Were you embarrassed to have a heart attack?"

Jerry replied that he was not embarrassed. But the woman was. She was unable to handle the totality of life's experiences--including the fact that pain and suffering are real.

Worship Is More Than a Song

Worshiping our Savior, Jesus Christ, is fundamental to living a faith-filled, Spirit-led Christian life. There are multiple worship methods, plans and styles that vary among cultures and geographic boundaries.

The Lord enjoys the diversity of sincere worship when expressed through His Spirit and in truth. Worship should be a way of life, with many facets of expression.

Some worship leaders declare that a certain defining style of worship is the only correct way to worship the Lord, but that is a narrow view of His inexhaustible riches. Music and song are ways we can praise God's name, but the Word says we can worship God with feasting (see Ps. 22:29) and with sacrifices and offerings (see Is. 19:21), among other means.

Your Calling Will Find You

Let no woman dream that the question of what career to pursue will ever be adequately answered except by her own heart. No time is more uselessly employed than in listening to advice on this subject. Ralph Waldo Emerson declared, “The soul’s emphasis is always right,” and I would add that the emphasis of any soul, the decision of any mind except one’s own is far more likely to work disaster than to bring satisfaction or success.

Yet every girl wants a career that will bring success. The difficulty is in determining what that means, for to scarcely two people in the world would it be represented by the same thing.

Let Go of the Lie

Too many of us are walking around with an empty bucket in front of us begging for love. Don’t let the lies of man define you. Stop listening to the lies about yourself and instead focus on God’s Word and what He says about you.

His Faith and Our Faith

For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." —Romans 1:17

 It is one thing for us to believe it once and be electrified and be thrilled, to have our world turned upside down, but quite another to keep believing it. The devil will come alongside and tell you that it can't be true, and he appeals to our natural reasoning. He appeals to what we know to be true about ourselves, that we are sinners. If he can, he will bring us right back to our bondage.

Don't Bury Your Gifts

I believe the present era holds great opportunity for the daughters of America. But in order to lay hold of this opportunity and obtain success in this wonderful battle of life, there is one thing you must do: Keep to your specialty, to the doing of the thing that you accomplish with the most satisfaction to yourself and the most benefit to those about you.

Keep to this, whether it be raising turnips or tunes; painting screens or battle-pieces; studying political economy or domestic receipts; for, as we read in a great author who has a genius for common sense: "There is not one thing that men ought to do, there is not one thing that ought to be done, which a women ought not to be encouraged to do, if she has the capacity for doing it. For wherever there is a gift, there is a prophecy pointing to its use, and a silent command of God to use it."

Know the Fitness Basics

NOW IS THE TIME TO TURN YOUR HEALTH ASPIRATIONS INTO REALIZED GOALS. BUT BEFORE YOU GET STARTED, MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE FUNDAMENTALS WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING FIT.

Many people think that as long as they work on their spiritual relationship they are caring for God's temple. But our physical bodies, our emotions and our minds must be in good shape, too.

Besides owing it to ourselves to strive toward a healthier life, we owe it to God. Having good health will ensure that our time on Earth is more enjoyable and effective for Him.

Getting fit requires that you have some basic knowledge of how your body works. If you are going to achieve your fitness goals, you must address all three aspects of your health--cardiovascular capacity, muscle strength and endurance, and flexibility.

Praise Him in the Storm

If you choose to focus on the Lord during the dark times, praise will turn your worries into wonders.

It was the dead of winter in Yarmouth, Maine. Discouragement was trying to wrap itself around my neck like ivy twining around a house. My husband was out of work and depressed. Day after day he interviewed for jobs and didn’t get them.

Normally optimistic and able to encourage him, I was struggling now. I felt tired, anxious, burdened by stress. I didn’t see how we could pay our bills. Joy seemed gone from our lives, and hope seemed far away.

Be an Encourager

One of the easiest ways to fuel a “love revolution” is to decide to make others feel valuable. Mother Teresa said: “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody: I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

I have discovered that most people we meet or come into contact with in our everyday lives don’t have a sense of their infinite value as children of God. I think the devil works very hard to make people feel devalued and worthless, but we can neutralize the effect of his lies and insinuations by building up, encouraging and edifying people.

 One way to do this is with a sincere compliment, which is one of the most valuable gifts in this world. Offering a sincere compliment may seem like a small thing, but it gives tremendous strength.

Living in God's Presence

The heart of your life as a Christian is contained in God’s words to Abraham, “Walk in My presence, and you will be perfect.” God’s presence calms your spirit, gives you restful sleep and quiets your mind. But you must give yourself completely to Him.

It does not take much time to love God, to renew yourself in His presence and to adore Him in the depths of your heart. The kingdom of God is within you, and nothing can disturb it.

When outward distractions and a wayward imagination hinder you from having a peaceful inner life, then you must, by an act of will, bring yourself before God. Not that you can force yourself into God’s presence, but even the desire to come into God’s presence is, in itself, a powerful aid to your spirit. Cultivate a pure and upright intention toward God.

It's Scary to Be Us

Are you having a hard day? A hard week? A hard life? Are you facing difficult circumstances that seem to have no solution?

If so, I have good news for you: God is thinking about you right now. He knows what kind of day you are having. He knows your greatest burdens and your deepest dreams. He cares.

What Are Your Kingdom Priorities?

When your priorities are out of order your life is filled with confusion.

My first word of counsel to every leader is drawn from biblical wisdom—"seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33). When a person's priorities are out of order, his life will be filled with confusion and God's given purpose will not be fulfilled.

Is There a Rebel in Your House?

I raised a strong-willed child—and survived. Here are some tips from a mom who lived through the teenage years.

There are few situations that grieve a parent more than having to deal with a rebellious child. In my travels around the world, I’ve met many heartbroken parents who have shared with me the depths of their sorrow over a prodigal son or daughter. It always amazes me to see how many believers have children who have strayed from God.

The attack on the children of godly parents is fierce. Satan is out to steal, kill and destroy (see John 10:10) the seed of believers to stop them from becoming a righteous generation who love God.

Who Are You Trying to Please?

People-pleasers are everywhere. They can parade as successful pastors or as top-of-the-corporate-ladder executives. The most easily identified are the passive, co-dependent types.

All pleasers are out to prove they are valuable people—trying to quiet the voice within that says they aren’t. People-pleasers play a tape that says, “People will love and accept me if I please them.” Their myth says, “You are somebody when you please others.”

Pleasers believe that a failure to please will result in rejection and the false assumption that they are not valuable. As a result, they go about trying to make everybody but themselves happy.

Are You a Target for Seduction?

WE ALL HAVE UNSEEN WEAKNESSES THAT COULD MAKE US VULNERABLE TO THE ENEMY'S ATTACK. HERE'S HOW TO BE ON YOUR GUARD.

Many people who by the grace of God have never been "had" by the devil wrongly assume that all departures from godliness are nothing but rebellion and proofs of inauthenticity. They have no idea of the suffering involved when someone with a genuine heart for God slips from the path.

I don't know how many times I've repeated the statement I'm about to make, but I'll keep saying it until at least one skeptic hears, "Not everyone in a stronghold of sin is having a good time."

Waiting for God's Guidance

If you haven’t noticed, God’s not really on our timetable. He’s never been on our timetable. Part of the frustration we often have in hearing God is that we want to hear God now.

Are Your Words Loaded With the Spirit?

There is an indescribable quality about words, even when they are printed, but more so when they are spoken. Words are chariots in which the quality of the heart and mind ride forth to other souls.

The dominant heart-quality of a person will possess and accompany his words with absolute precision. If the spirit of a man is superficial, or narrow, or timeserving, or selfish, or trifling, these qualities will pervade his words, in spite of all the seriousness or sanctity he may try to put into them.

If, on the other hand, his heart is large and filled with the broad, tender love of Jesus and compassion for others, then the simplest expressions, which may seem commonplace, will be freighted with these qualities. All words are loaded with the quality of the soul out of which they proceed.

Step Out in Faith

Don't spend your life in so much fear of making a mistake that you never do anything.

There are critical times in our lives when we especially need to know we are hearing clearly from God. It isn't always easy to know His voice from that of our own emotional reasoning. But I know from experience that God can open doors of opportunity that no one can close, and He can also close doors that we cannot open.

The apostle John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said, "These are the words of the Holy One, the True One, He Who has the key of David, Who opens and no one shall shut, Who shuts and no one shall open" (Rev. 3:7, Amplified Bible).

Learn to Celebrate Change!

It seemed like a dream—but it was all too real. I remember walking down the long center aisle at First Church of God in Inglewood, California, the faces of hundreds of people on my right and on my left flashing past me as if in a movie. I remember hands reaching out to touch and hold me; the black limousine; the long ride to Forest Lawn Cemetery; the prayers, the hymns, the folded flag of the United States of America; the silence as the impact of the death of Wayne Sylvester Davis sunk in.

Wayne—my husband and my friend, the father of my children, the pastor of my church, beloved bishop of World Won for Christ Ministries. Now he was resting eternally in the arms of Jesus.

"Oh God, what will I do?" I remember crying. "Somehow in the Spirit You whispered to me that this day was coming. But in my flesh, in my denial, I ignored Your voice and thought, No, just keep believing. The Lord is going to heal Wayne and raise him up as a witness that nothing is too hard for God. Instead, you chose to set Wayne free from sickness and pain by taking him quickly to Yourself.

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