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Why can't all followers of Jesus just come together around scripture?

Even IKEA knows humans like comfort. How creative are you at avoiding discomfort?


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Do You See Red When Your Comfort is Compromised?

I have been thinking a lot lately about the spiritual aspect of discomfort, especially when I find myself dripping with sweat in the Cambodian heat, or when I am running low on money,  or maybe even when I can’t find something decent to watch on Netflix.  It’s funny (and wonderful) when I run across a scripture that puts an exclamation mark on my thoughts.

Even IKEA knows humans like comfort. How creative are you at avoiding discomfort?

I believe the majority of each person’s day on earth  is spent in pursuit of comfort…the avoidance of discomfort.   Do you agree?  Babies come into the world howling for comfort.  “I’m wet, I’m hungry, I’m cold, I’m in pain.”  Adults are just as bad.  We like to vocalize our discomfort too.   Did you know that IKEA takes a yearly survey to ask people around the world this question, “What makes a better life at home?” (you can find this information here) In 2018 these were the five results that appeared over and over again:

  • PRIVACY
  • SECURITY
  • COMFORT
  • OWNERSHIP
  • BELONGING

In scripture there is a famous story that illustrates the fact that Jesus requires His followers to step away from comfort in order to prove faith.  Jesus asked the rich young ruler to, “Follow me.”

What He really meant was…

Follow me everyday, every hour, every minute, every second.

Follow me and leave everyone you love behind you, even if they don’t understand.

Follow me with no house, no bed, no pillow.

Follow me and be hungry, hot, cold, and wet.

Follow me with one set of clothing, no soap, and lots of bugs.

Follow me and be cursed, beaten, and tempted constantly.

Oh, and sell everything you own and give it to the poor.

The scripture says that the young man sadly walked away.  (read the story here) It wasn’t just money that Jesus commanded him to leave behind.  His mind saw the reality of discipleship, and he was overcome with fear of a future with Jesus.

But there was a different reaction by the apostles when they were given the same invitation by Jesus to, “Follow me.”  Unlike the rich young ruler, these apostles didn’t care about the deficits they might be facing.  They joyfully stepped out of life as they knew it, into an adventure of a lifetime,  Jesus.

Can you apply a modern day example for your life here?  What is He asking you to do that makes you uncomfortable?  I know there is something, because scripture says Jesus continually asks His followers to deny themselves.

He’s standing at your door and knocking.  Not pounding.  Not yelling.   He’s just knocking and knocking and knocking and knocking…for as long as it takes for you to open the door.  Then the most exciting thing will happen y’all.  Scripture says He will come into your house and eat with you as a friends.  Meals are where we linger, where bonds are made.  Meals are sharing of nourishment, soul and body.  Will you be uncomfortable?  Probably.  Will you cry?  Most likely.  Will He require much?  Yes, He always does.   Will He abandon you when you take a beating?  Never.  Will His love make all the difference?  For sure.

Even IKEA knows humans like comfort.  How creative are you at avoiding discomfort?

This life of following Jesus is hard.  To me though, every bump along the way has seemed like a paper cut compared to the deep, spiritual mentoring I have received from Him. But beware!  The enemy will do everything in  his power to keep your hand off of the doorknob.  If fear presses you to bolt the door, then you will stay comfortable, but sadness will overtake you.  Just like the rich young ruler in this story.  It won’t matter though, Jesus will keep knocking. I love that about Him.

Lord, I pray over the person who reads this post and knows in her heart that Jesus is asking her to step up or step out.  Fill her with courage to move forward with You.

These have been comments on the Words of Jesus in Matthew 19:16-22

Blessings, Alice

The picture used is our Cambodia front doors with flowers from the garden in the foreground.

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Have you had something moderately bad happens to you, but once the shock of it is over, you realize it could have been much worse. I am guilty of forgetting to praise Him about these fleeting moments of rescue.


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It Didn’t Happen

Have you had something moderately bad happen to you, but once the shock of it is over, you realize it could have been much worse?  I originally had these thoughts in my former blog, 365 Days of Praising.  At that time My son-in-law had been mildly injured by a wire stretched between two trees.  The danger went unnoticed in the darkening evening.  Afterward, the family realized that a few cuts compared to something worse was worth exclaiming over.   I think those little moments pass us by without much notice on our part.  We dust ourselves off and keep on living, not giving the gift much thought.  I am guilty of forgetting to praise Him about these fleeting moments of rescue.

Have you had something moderately bad happens to you, but once the shock of it is over, you realize it could have been much worse. I am guilty of forgetting to praise Him about these fleeting moments of rescue.

Go deeper by contemplating the  ultimate rescue and the things that didn’t happen when Jesus made the decision to sacrifice. Jesus deliberately made choices that set forgiveness of sins in motion.  

Jesus didn’t give into temptation in Gethsemane.

He didn’t run from prolonged suffering.  

He didn’t call His army of angels.

He didn’t use His power against humiliation.

He didn’t reject the nails. 

He didn’t go against His Father’s will. 

He didn’t hate the sinner that separated Him from God.

He didn’t hold a grudge against the Apostles for leaving Him.

He didn’t give into the devil.

He didn’t escape that final breath. 

He didn’t stay in the grave. 

“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.  So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”  Hebrews 4:15-16 NLT

Have you had something moderately bad happens to you, but once the shock of it is over, you realize it could have been much worse. I am guilty of forgetting to praise Him about these fleeting moments of rescue.

  Blessings, Alice

I took this background picture when visiting a very ornate church building in Little Rock, Arkansas during one of my sister’s doctorate ceremonies before her graduation.

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Bible Journaling has become a part of my private worship time with God. This is what the Holy Spirit brought to mind as I worked on Matthew 28:18-20...it was the word GO. It's time to MOVE y'all.


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It’s Hard to Make the Bed if Someone is Still Sleeping in it.

This title is an exact quote of what I said to my husband the other day when he slept late.  I thought it would be perfect for this post.  🙂

Bible Journaling has become a part of my  private worship time with God.  It gives me a moment to really focus in on the scripture I am illustrating…to closely listen to God speak as I lovingly caress the Word of God with my pencils and pens.

Bible Journaling has become a part of my private worship time with God. This is what the Holy Spirit brought to mind as I worked on Matthew 28:18-20...it was the word GO. It's time to MOVE y'all.

This is what the Holy Spirit brought to mind as I worked on Matthew 28:18-20…it was the word GO.  It’s time to get out of the bed you sleeper.  Put your feet on the floor.  Splash the sleep from your eyes and GO!    If not to the world, then at least to your world.  It’s time to MOVE y’all.

Bible Journaling has become a part of my private worship time with God. This is what the Holy Spirit brought to mind as I worked on Matthew 28:18-20...it was the word GO. It's time to MOVE y'all.

This is one reason I write… to encourage movement among the church, physically and spiritually.  It is hard to GO when your body and your mind is overweight and sluggish from poor eating choices, and from lack of exercise.   Inactivity causes thoughts of sleep.  Why even bother making the bed?

Let Jesus energize you O sleeper.  Awake and Go. Baptize and Teach.

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So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.


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Fight Like a Boss, Against Unseen Forces

Before you read my post, check out my video below where I walk on the Texas Inter-coastal Canal.  Click below to hear about the time I went DOWN 🙂

Spiritual Disciplines- Reading and Memorizing Scripture

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love that Jesus fought Satan with scripture while He was being tempted in the desert.  There He was…weakened and hungry,  and the only thing He spoke, besides “No” and “Get out of here!” were  “It is written…” followed by  a scripture.    See Matthew 4 

So really, if I want to fight like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy, pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:13-17 NLT

Now here’s where those pesky distractions come y’all, at least for me.  In order to swing the sword, I must train.  Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.  There are three ways to handle the Word of God:  you can read it, study it, and memorize it.

So really, if I want to fight like a boss,  like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy.   Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me.  In order to swing the sword, I must train.  Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

Read

Reading scripture is not all that hard.  Instead of checking Facebook during the many times I am required to wait in the course of my day, I like to use the app from Gateway.com to read the Word on my phone. One idea is to read the same section of scripture each day for a week, listening to the Spirit target specific areas of your life.  I guarantee the Spirit will help you use this same passage on behalf of a friend, while you use your voice to speak a counter attack against the enemy.This idea is great to use with your children too.  The strategy of repetition infuses the Word into your mind and heart so it can be pulled up and spoken at a moment’s notice.

So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

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Study

Studying the Word is more than just reading it, but might include doing research, thinking about context, embracing the figurative language, word study, cross reference, and relating your experiences.    Study is digging deeper.  Study is lingering in the Word.  I love to participate in Bible study groups, but I also wanted to learn to study on my own, so  I developed a Bible study guide for myself that I would love to share with you.

So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

The Deeper Study Guide is meant to be stapled on the front of a composition book. Look at the end of this post to find out how to get one for your personal study.

Memorize

To a brain on overload, sometimes it just can’t seem to hold anything else.  That’s what the enemy wants you to think.  Shove the trivial to the side and make room for POWER.  Because that’s what God’s Word is.  A sharp sword.  So sharp it can slice the head off of your enemy with one swipe.  So sharp it can surgically remove that dark stronghold that clings.  So sharp it can expose that which is hiding, maybe even from the one who wields it.  A sword is no good if it can’t be drawn quickly.  By the time you have accessed your Bible app, or Googled a verse, the perfect moment may have passed.

So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

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One of the first scriptures I memorized was Philippians 4:4-7.  On a bumpy flight this fall, I sat next to a woman who was outwardly expressing everything I was feeling on the inside…terror.  I comforted her by reciting my memory verse, “Do not be anxious about anything…”  Not only did it calm her, but it did me also.

So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too..

Look below to see how you can sign up to receive this MEMORIZE cover, and the table of contents template, along with instructions.

 

In conclusion, I want to offer one last reason why you should be in the Word.

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.  They will reject the truth and chase after myths.  2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT

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Please click the photo below or in the side menu to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive the DEEPER study guide, the MEMORIZE Cover, the table of contents for both and other great PDF files like templates for my Prayer Door, all for use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines. They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter. Sanctified Tourist publishes once or sometimes twice a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month. I know your inbox is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward to the encouragement from Sanctified Tourist.

So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

click the photo to sign up

Check out the first post in the Spiritual Discipline Series:

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

Pictures:  +taken at Gilchrist Beach in Texas, ++original picture taken from  the window of our car as we drove through California on the way to Los Angeles.

 

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Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.


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Why Spiritual Pajamas are not a Good Idea for the Wedding Banquet

Spiritual Discipline Series- LOVE

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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Time is of the essence to me.  The enemy is a robber, a thief of time.   Because there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, and that “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future,” as the Steve Miller band sings so prophetically, I have chosen the word URGENCY to define my year.  Urgency to be dressed in spiritual depth,  suitable clothes for the wedding banquet.  It boils down to this equation:  days left on earth+spiritual depth desired=URGENCY.

Look y’all, church buildings are filled with people like me doing their best spiritual impressions…glancing occasionally beyond the surface…content with their spiritual pajamas…never time to go diving into spiritual disciplines…the word later climbing up on center stage and demanding an audience.

So now is later.

I have defined my own set of spiritual disciplines, and encourage you to create your own list.  This begins a blog series that I hope you will find useful for your own battle for time.  These include:  love, prayer and meditation, reading and memorizing scripture, private praise, fasting, and resting.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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My anchor scripture that will guide each discipline will be Luke 10:27.  Every urgency, both internally and externally, will be directed away from self and toward fulfilling this scripture.

….“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 NLV

Dealing with my selfish self causes my urgency to be sluggish, and my love for Him to become unfocused.  Spiritual depth for the Bride of Christ is what I am after, and it starts with love for my Father.  Loving him with all.

All.

All your heart.

All your soul.

All your strength.

All your mind.

If I am honest with myself and if you are too,  what that means is that there is no room for empty longing in my heart…no vacancy in my soul…no strength training with feathers…and  the eyes constantly protecting the mind from the fake.  Then and only then can I serve my neighbor the way the rest of the passage suggests  as myself…a self filled to the brim with Yahweh.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

More in the Spiritual Disciplines Series you might like:

 

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. See how I created a space on the back of a door and sign up for free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God.

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click the link below or in the side menu to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines.   They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter.  Sanctified Tourist publishes once or sometimes twice a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month.  I know your inbox is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward to the encouragement from Sanctified Tourist.

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Pictures:

+  Closeup of my daughter-in-law’s wedding dress,

++  A beautiful church window found on a Hawaiian excursion.

+++  I love this gate I found in Key West, Florida

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads.

copyright 2016 Alice LeBlanc, Sanctified Tourist