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Graceful Perseverance: By His Authority - 12/16

Posted December 16th, 2018 @ 09:12am

Welcome to this week's blog. This week let's focus on God's authority over the heavens, and on earth and in our lives. The words I write are my personal interpretation that are supported and backed up by scripture.

Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. - Matthew 28:18-20.

Do you know and follow the commands of Jesus, Lord and Savior? By His authority, we are to obey His biblical instructions all the days of our lives. His commands are clearly laid out in scripture and apply to all people of all colors and of from all nations. Keep in mind, He asks this of us because He is the ultimate creator of heaven and earth and everything in it. Every man, woman and child is subject to God's leading authority. And, if anyone shall resist His authority, they will incur judgment. By obeying His commands, we will find comfort and knowledge that as we fulfill His commandments, He is always with us. There should be no fear of doing wrong or to fear our enemies because He is by our side. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. - Luke 10:19-20.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, or he is God's servant for good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience . . . - Romans 13:1-7.

When Jesus left his disciples, He left them with a very important set of instructions during His absence that they were to fulfill until His return. Two thousand years ago the disciples were under the authority of Jesus when they were told to go and make more disciples. These historical instructions still apply to us today. All of us are to go out and baptize when we've been given authority to do so, and teach everyone why and how to obey God's commandments. The historical instruction was worldwide then, and remains the same today.

Whether we are traveling to our next-door neighbors or down the street or to our neighboring cities, states and countries, we are to make disciples just as Jesus' disciples were instructed too two thousand years ago. This is not an option, but a command for those of us who call Jesus Lord and Savior.

Just as God gave His son Jesus authority over heaven and earth, Jesus has instructed the same upon all believers. Draw them near. Lead them to me.  When Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged he said to Jesus, Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you? Jesus answered, You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin. - John 19:10-11.

Who has authority to forgive sins or heal each other? Not even the Pope has authority over God to forgive sins or perform miraculous healings unless the authority has been given to them from above. It's easy to tell someone their sins are forgiven, but it's a lot more difficult to miraculously heal someone. It is only through Jesus' words and actions that He has the power to forgive and heal. As humans, our words lack meaning if our actions cannot back them up or we haven't been granted the authority to do so by God. We can say we love God or others, but if we are not taking practical steps to prove our love, our words are unfulfilled and pointless without actions or instruction from God to do so.

But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So He said to the paralyzed man, Get up, take your mat and go home. Then the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man. - Matthew 9:6-8.

Blessings until next week,

Debra M. Pauli

Unstoppable Believer

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Graceful Perseverance: The Witness - 12/09/2018

Posted December 9th, 2018 @ 09:12am

Welcome to this week's blog. Who is the "witness"? As I always do, let's turn to the authority on the subject together. Open your bibles and turn to Isiah 43:10-11. You are my witnesses. Who is the Lord referring to in His word? . . . You are my witnesses, declares the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. - Isiah 43: 10-11.

I  believe you and I were both created in God's image. From inception we were designed and predestined to be His witnesses. We are to live out our lives by example for others. The means by which we fulfill this responsibility is by sharing our faith, His miracles, His blessings and His light. As far as the north is to the south and the east is from the west, we are to reach all. Whether you are a Christian and you believe in an eternal life or whether you haven't found the true meaning of your life; henceforth, you have no hope in an eternal life beyond this life, we are all still His witnesses. This is not my declaration, but His undeniable promise throughout His word.

As a witness today, my greatest joy is to share who God is and what He has done in my own life with the world. As Christians, we all share the same responsibility of being God's witness through our life experiences, our words, our actions and to live by example. You may not see God today, but nor do I, but if I am a true witness, you will see Him reflected in me. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven. - Matthew 5:16.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light, he came only as a witness to the light. - John 1:6-8.

We live in an unbelieving world. But the promise of scripture leaves no confusion with God's intent for His believers, His witnesses. Jesus Christ is the true light, believers or witnesses are mere reflections of His light. We are to present ourselves as the light to others, even in the midst of darkness. We are to point others to Christ, the light. As witnesses, we have received the power of the Holy Spirit, the helper who lives in us and will remain in us to the end of this life. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. - Acts 1:8.

I am honored to be a witness to the light. My heart honors Christ the Lord as holy. I am always prepared to defend Him with kindness and reverence against anyone, for any reason, who may or may not know the light. For you will be a witness for Him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. - Acts 22:15. 

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. - 1 Peter 3:15-16.

I am always willing and prepared to share with others what Christ has done in my life. My testimony is miraculous, exactly why I am a witness today. I believe our lives take many different twists and turns, depending on our choices and then the outcome. I know at times in my own life, I have made a mess when I've taken control while anxiously awaiting my prayers to be answered. I've proven it over and over again in my life that when we take matters into our own hands, rather than entrusting the grace and strength of our Lord, Jesus Christ, our creator, and the Holy Spirit our helper, we experience a greater level of suffering.

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. - 2 Timothy 2:1-3.

What falls from my lips is the truth. This truth lies within my own life experiences and the faith I've acquired through trusting my creator. He promises to never leave me or forsake me, but to see me through the pain and suffering of this fallen world. Let my role as a witness help teach you that until you've established and pronounced a holy relationship with the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords, your face will continue to turn away in deception. A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful. - Proverbs 14:25.

Blessings until next week,

Debra M. Pauli

Unstoppable Believer

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Graceful Perseverance: Deliberate Brokenness - 12/02

Posted December 2nd, 2018 @ 09:12am

Welcome to this week's blog. The most powerful blog topics are our real life experiences that are occurring in the moment, our real time situations.

How can any of us gain understanding of what is happening to us in our lives? Why does God allow suffering, hardships, pain and sickness in our lives? Many believe if there is a God, none of us would suffer, experience hardships or sickness and pain in this life.  In order to understand what God is doing in any area of my life, I first need to understand His convictions whether I like them or not. Why does suffering, hardships, pain and sickness continue to repeat themselves in my life, in your life? This question applies to all of us.

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again - 2 Corinthians 1:8-10. 

Many of us continue to live a self-life independent of God and His will for our life. We believe if we pray daily He will answer our prayers. We believe if our prayers aren't being answered in our timeframe, then we must take matters into our own hands, independent of God's plan and purpose for our lives. Many people desire to live independently of God's plan for their life. Many people tend to run from His process of breaking us down to build us back up for His purpose. Our characteristic tendencies are to avoid His process of reducing us to ashes at all costs. His plan is to simply build us back up for His glory, not ours. We were never created for our own personal gain, but for His glory, for His purpose.

In order to try and understand what God is doing in each of our lives we often find ourselves arguing with God and asking the same repetitive question "God, if you claim to love me why do you allow this hardship to keep happening in my life?" Why can I not stop this vicious cycle in my life? The good news is, God does have a purpose for our suffering, our repetitive hardships. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert - Isaiah 43:19. His ultimate purpose is to bring every area of our lives, not just some areas, to submission of His will so that we learn to fully trust in Him and His plan for our lives. He desires us to live in full trust of Him and not of our own understanding of this world. This brokenness is the path to His blessings. I am a witness to this.

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in thee Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Are there certain areas of your life in which you refuse to surrender self-control? Is it this area of your life that has God has targeted for brokenness? Surrender the inner desire to control your life and stop living independently of God.

The Holy Spirit, the spirit of God, indwells in me. In my life, He continues to target all areas of my life. For many, many years I have hindered God's purpose and design for my life. Until I truly surrender my "self-will" control to Him, He will continue to allow hardships to be repetitive in my life. I know today what areas of my life I need to surrender body, soul and spirit to Him. He promises to live out all that is within me, because He is living through me. He has shown me what it means to "die to the self" to "lose this life" and submit to His will for my life.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us - Romans 5:1-21.

Remember who you were made for? Christ, not self. He desires all of us to become living, walking expressions of Christ. Not just Sunday reflections. By this we to learn to no longer respond to "self-will" but submit to His will. Surrendering means you will be renewed day-by-day with momentary light afflictions that will bring great joy and peace to your life. I am a witness to this. Surrender and let God have His way with you! You will discover that God's ultimate plan for your life supersedes your independent streak from Him. He will break us over and over again, in order to make us more like His son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Today I remain the master's art, who molds me, shapes me and breaks me down to build me back up until I become more like His son. I no longer fear the loss of things of this world that are temporary compared to what God has willed for my life. I won't allow myself to miss out on His blessings in this life or my eternal life with Him. I am totally and completely dependent on Him and His will for my life.

Blessings until next week,

Debra Pauli

Unstoppable Believer

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