24. March 2017 · Comments Off on ARE YOU READY FOR THE DISRUPTION? · Categories: Action, Change, Choices, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Self Control, Sin, Spiritual Growth

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with h‎im (Luke 5:8-9 NLT)

Beloved, have you ever been where Peter was before? “I know that feeling” was what I said to myself as I read our feature text. This is the point in your life where Jesus shows up and you know exactly what He is asking for and for many, it’s at the time when you are not quite ready for the disruption. At this point, Peter probably knew it was make or break for him. He probably knew that he had to make ‎some major changes in his life where he must have thought; “I can’t be going to those places and hanging out with those people anymore. Yes, I know I am going to have to cut some people and some habits off which I am not quite sure I am ready for.

Also, like most people, he probably felt he wasn’t worth it. He felt unworthy. Looking to himself, he must have said, “knowing me, I am bound to mess this up big time”. He was afraid of this massive change and so he said… Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” However, what did Jesus say to him? …Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus (Luke 5:10-11 NLT).

Beloved, are you prepared for such a disruption in your life? Or, do you keep saying “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you”?

Yesterday, the message was “Don’t be afraid to try again” and though trying again may disrupt your whole world but I am a living witness that it pays. You cannot put a price tag on the life and character transformation. I am not there yet but I am reminded of what Apostle Paul said… dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT).

Beloved, so are you prepared to leave everything that is detrimental to your Christain work and walk and follow Jesus for real?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1 AMP)

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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02. February 2017 · Comments Off on WHO DO WE REALLY SIN AGAINST? · Categories: Jesus Christ, Relationship, Sin

…Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded. But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? IT WOULD BE A GREAT SIN AGAINST GOD.” (Genesis 39:6-9 NLT)

Beloved, I remember as I was reading the story of Joseph again, there was something that caught my attention and it was when the hearts of his brothers were heavily convicted by what they did to their brother. In this scenario, Joseph tried to mess with their heads a bit (my own interpretation).

Joseph told them… you must bring your youngest brother back to me. This will prove that you are telling the truth, and you will not die.” To this they agreed. Speaking among themselves, they said, “Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this trouble.” “DIDN’T I TELL YOU NOT TO SIN AGAINST THE BOY?” Reuben asked. “But you wouldn’t listen. And now we have to answer for his blood!” (Genesis 42:20-22 NLT)

DIDN’T I TELL YOU NOT TO SIN AGAINST THE BOY?…

Beloved, this was what they said as they were contemplating amongst themselves based on their guilt. So, I now went back to compare what they said to what Joseph said when Potiphar’s wife wanted him to sleep with her. Joseph said… HOW COULD I DO SUCH A WICKED THING? IT WOULD BE A GREAT SIN AGAINST GOD.

Now, in the eyes of most people, it was Potiphar that his wife wanted him to sin against but in Josephs eyes, it was against God and this is what makes the difference; when we know that ultimately, we are accountable to God… Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God (Romans 14:12 NLT) and I can just imagine how we may try to argue our corner to a God that sees our hearts; to a God that knows our intentions; to a God that knows our craftiness and manipulation.

The Lord says… I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings (Jeremiah 17:10 NKJV).

Beloved, when we have a reverential fear of the Lord and make Him our focus, it is a game changer. Joseph said… HOW COULD I DO SUCH A WICKED THING? IT WOULD BE A GREAT SIN AGAINST GOD.

Is this also your mindset? How does it affect your decisions?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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20. August 2016 · Comments Off on ‏‏DON’T BREAK THE HEDGE‏ · Categories: Discipline, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Self Control, Sin

He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him (Ecclesiastes 10:8 KJV).

Beloved, last week, I was discussing with a woman of God who happened to have ministered at a funeral service of a teenager who was brutally stabbed to death. It was indeed a very sad story but she said that as she was ministering in the church that held a service for him, the Holy Spirit began to minister to her about the state of the parents; both the fathers and the mothers and so she began to pour out heart as felt led by the Holy Spirit.

She then went on to say that after the service, one of the pastors came to her to confirm what she was saying. These are mothers still attending night clubs and are involved in all kinds of things and as we were talking, she mentioned our feature text; of course, when the hedge is broken, it leaves an opening for the serpent to bite.

Unfortunately, the deceased teenager happened to be a member of a gang who after killing him left with a threat saying; “two down, two more to go”. And so because of these threats, the mother of the deceased teenager decided to take her other sons out of the country. However, I couldn’t help but think that as parents, we ought to do more than that. We ought to be held accountable for our actions.

As part of my preparation for our yearly youth event, I came across something someone said which is that it is a parent’s role to provide for the safety, security and protection of their children but this isn’t just in a show of power. They also protect you by what they say and expose you to. You can’t be going about drinking, entertaining all sorts of questionable guests in your house, holding all kinds of parties and watching all sorts in front of your children and expect them to turn out differently. I heard the deceased boy had said something of that nature about his mum.

I once heard someone say this to their step dad when he was about to tell them off. They said; “Don’t even dare, we are partners in crime!”. That shut the step dad up.

Beloved, can you imagine that?

I was listening to someone say gone are the days when we had praying mothers that dedicated their lives to praying for their children. Now, we have mothers who struggle to fit into the same clothes as their children so they can enter the same night clubs. They went on to say that a twelve-year-old is not a murderer but just a misguided and lost child.

I’ve been studying about father and mother wounds recently and it’s not necessarily physical wounds but it refers to the way the neglect or misdirection of parents can have a lasting effect on their children and I believe it’s time we start asking the question; what hedges are we breaking that’s allowing the serpent to bite our children?

SELAH!

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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15. August 2016 · Comments Off on ‏‏EXERCISING SELF-CONTROL · Categories: Choices, Discipline, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Self Control, Sin

Like a conquered city with no walls, so is a man who has no self-control (Proverbs 25:28 Voice) … Those who do not control themselves [are unrestrained in spirit] are like a city whose walls are broken down (Proverbs 25:28 EXB).

Beloved, what does SELF-CONTROL mean? Self-control is the ability to control one’s emotions, feelings, desires, actions or reactions. It is the ability to say to yourself… though they’ve said something about me that isn’t very nice, just let it go… No, you don’t have to respond… You don’t really need to react… You shouldn’t be offended … You shouldn’t do that or think that anymore… Or go there anymore…

The Message Translation says – A person without self-control is like A HOUSE WITH ITS DOORS AND WINDOWS KNOCKED OUT… This means anything or anyone can gain access to you without restraint… one is open to all sorts of attacks by the enemy. He sends all kinds of temptations your way; “Go get that one right there. Say something that’s bound to push her buttons and watch her react because she has no control over her emotions”… and that person could be your spouse, child, work colleague, neighbour. He sends that very attractive lady or gentleman to seduce you and with no walls up… it’s easy access.

Beloved, people naturally don’t like to be restrained. We think self-control limits you but it’s necessary for your defence and protection and most importantly, it is a fruit of the spirit and a sign that you’re growing spiritually… the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and SELF-CONTROL… (Galatians 5:22-24 NLT)

It’s interesting that Peter, the disciple known to act on impulse; the one that would say things without thinking (Mark 9:2) would eventually write a letter to Christians about growing in Faith. He said… make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with SELF-CONTROL, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness… The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. So, dear brothers and sisters, WORK HARD TO PROVE that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away (2 Peter 1:5-10 NLT).

Beloved, if you truly belong to the Lord WORK HARD TO PROVE it… put up those walls of SELF-CONTROL… against temptations… quick outbursts of anger… lust… Everybody knows that area they struggle with so let’s ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to give us the strength to overcome. You may think it is hard but we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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05. April 2016 · Comments Off on BUT PAUL GREW… · Categories: Change, Choices, Discipline, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Self Control, Sin, Spiritual Growth

But [like a boxer] I STRICTLY DISCIPLINE MY BODY and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service]. (1 Corinthians 9:27 AMP)

Beloved, our feature text was made by Apostle Paul where he gives us a clear picture of someone that deliberately put in the effort to discipline his body.

Paul said… I STRICTLY DISCIPLINE MY BODY…but this is the same Paul that once said… Listen, I can’t explain my actions. Here’s why: I am not able to do the things I want; and at the same time, I do the things I despise… I’ve lost control—sin has taken up residence in me and is wreaking havoc. I know that in me, that is, in my fallen human nature, there is nothing good. I can will myself to do something good, but that does not help me carry it out. I can determine that I am going to do good, but I don’t do it; instead, I end up living out the evil that I decided not to do. If I end up doing the exact thing I pledged not to do, I am no longer doing it because sin has taken up residence in me (Romans 7:15-20 VOICE).

So, what’s the difference between the person that made the first statement and the person that made this second statement? The person obviously grew up. He knew he had a part to play in his transformation and so he had to train himself appropriately.

In another place, Paul said… I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I HAVE LEARNED the secret of living in every situation… For I CAN DO everything THROUGH CHRIST, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:12-13 NLT).

I remember listening to someone say that before the ‘THROUGH CHRIST’ is the ‘I CAN DO’. This means that Christ would strengthen you to achieve the steps you take. Paul said… I HAVE LEARNED…

Beloved, we too have to do our best to learn how to grow. Talking about the promises of God, Peter says… In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of MORAL EXCELLENCE, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with SELF-CONTROL, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness… THE MORE YOU GROW LIKE THIS, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But THOSE WHO FAIL TO DEVELOP IN THIS WAY ARE SHORTSIGHTED or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins (2 Peter 1:5-9 NLT).

Beloved, unfortunately, we have a lazy generation that think that growth and transformation will just fall from the sky but it’s not so. With DISCIPLINE and SELF-CONTROL, Paul grew and we too must do our best to grow… through Christ, who gives us strength.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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01. March 2016 · Comments Off on ME AND MY BIG MOUTH · Categories: Jesus Christ, Prayer, Self Control, Sin, Words

The more you talk, the more likely you will cross the line and say the wrong thing; but if you are wise, you’ll speak less and with restraint (Proverbs 10:19 VOICE).

Beloved, yesterday, as I looked up my One-Year Bible planner to read the allocated chapters for the day, there was none because we are in a leap year and the planner didn’t have the 29th of February. However, there was one verse that I hadn’t read from the previous day which happened to be our feature text and funnily, the last prayer I made before opening my Bible planner was that the Lord should help me control what I say during my upcoming radio interview so I don’t say anything out of line, so perhaps the Lord’s answer was… ‘speak less and with restraint’.

I remember buying a book by Joyce Meyer titled ‘Me and my big mouth’. That was in 2011 and till date, I haven’t finished reading the book because she was all up in my business.

Beloved, when the Bible says… let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up… (Hebrews 12:1 NLT), hmmm… the sin that so easily trips me up is TALKING and if there’s one battle I’ve constantly had to fight, it is learning to keep this big mouth of mine shut. You know when you’re rehearsing the words in your head and though you can hear the Holy Spirit say just zip it, however, before you know it, everything just pours out and you’re like “Lord, please, forgive me” and isn’t it funny when the “forgive me” comes before you talk? You are like… “Lord, please forgive me for what I’m about to say. (LOL)

Having said that, I’ve come a long way and though I’m not where I need to be, I’m definitely not where I used to be and there are times when I’ve had to avoid some environments, settings and even phone calls just because I know it’s a setup for that sin that so easily trips me up. And you definitely won’t find me where there’s an argument.

Recently, a friend sent me something controversial and in response I said… “Hmmm… No comment” and then sent them the following verse… O Eternal One, my heart is not occupied with proud thoughts; my eyes do not look down on others; I don’t even begin to get involved in matters too big, matters of faith, state, business, or the many things that defy my ability to understand them (Psalm 131:1 VOICE).

They laughed and said lovely verse. It’s a lovely verse indeed because we all have something to say but there are times when you just have to zip it because like our text says… the more you talk, the more likely you will cross the line and say the wrong thing.

So, beloved, perhaps this is also a tip for you going forward; ‘control your lips’, ‘speak less and with restraint’

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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21. February 2016 · Comments Off on DON’T JUST BE ENTERTAINED‏ · Categories: Change, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Repentance, Sin

…Herodias hated [had a grudge against] John and wanted to kill him. But she couldn’t, because Herod was afraid of John and protected him. He knew John was a good [righteous] and holy man. Also, though John’s preaching always bothered [disturbed; puzzled; perplexed] him, HE ENJOYED LISTENING TO JOHN (Mark 6:19-20 EXB)

HE ENJOYED LISTENING TO JOHN… As I read this, I got the picture of when one gets hooked on good ‎messages but it does not seem to change you. Many of us have people we like to listen to but have fallen just for the entertainment of it all.

Herod had imprisoned John in the days before Jesus began His teaching. John had preached to Herod that he should not have married his own brother’s wife, Herodias, for so it is written in the Hebrew Scriptures: “It is not lawful for one to marry his brother’s wife.” (Mark 6:17-18 VOICE)

So, Herold knew what he was doing was wrong. He liked to hear John the Baptist preach about it and I’m sure if John had a blog or had messages on YouTube, he would log on frequently to listen to him but it didn’t make a difference. The Message Translation says… Whenever he listened to him he was miserable with guilt—and yet he couldn’t stay away. Something in John kept pulling him back… The Voice Translation says… John taught hard truths, and yet Herod found he usually liked hearing them.

Jesus told about the sower and the seed… some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm. But there is such shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it (Mark 4:16-17 MSG).

Herod had nothing to show for it. He allowed people influence him. Because of his wife and the people that were watching, he did the unspeakable. Rather than change for the better, he beheaded the man that he used‎ to enjoy listening to.

Beloved, how do you respond to preaching? Apostle Peter preached and what was the people’s reaction?… Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Act2.37-38 NLT).

Beloved, that’s what preaching is for and not for entertainment. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you should be able to see a difference in your life as you hear the word of God because God’s… powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to LISTEN and OBEY… (Hebrews 4:12 MSG)

Beloved, let’s not get carried away by the entertainment of it all. Is what you are hearing or reading changing you?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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20. February 2016 · Comments Off on LORD JUST HELP ME PLEASE‏ · Categories: Grace, Help, Humility, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Relationship, Sin

PETER: Lord, maybe everyone else will trip and fall tonight, but I will not. I’ll be beside You. I won’t falter.
JESUS: If only that were true. In fact, this very night, before the cock crows in the morning, you will deny Me three times.
PETER: No! I won’t deny You. Even if that means I have to die with You!… (Matthew 26:33-35 VOICE).

Beloved, maybe you’ve never been deceived by your own high opinion about yourself but if you’re true to yourself, there are some things you read in the Bible where you just have to stop and say “Lord please help me. In this scenario, Peter said, Lord, maybe everyone else will trip and fall but I won’t falter and I’m sure he really, really meant it with all his heart however, have you ever found yourself in a position where you say “Never! Not me!” But then you find yourself doing that same thing you said never to?

Jesus told Peter… IF ONLY THAT WERE TRUE…

Here, we find that Peter was a little bit full of himself and prideful and there are times when the Lord may just have to humble you by showing you what you are capable of doing and I’m reminded of the scripture that says…. let the one who thinks he stands firm [immune to temptation, being overconfident and self-righteous], take care that he does not fall [into sin and condemnation] (1 Corinthians 10:12 AMP).

I remember counselling someone who was shocked to find themselves in a position that they never ever dreamt of and I said the same thing… there are times when the Lord may just have to humble you by showing you what you are capable of doing so we don’t take His grace for granted.

We are told that… Cursing and swearing, Peter denied Him again. I do not know Him! As the exclamation left his mouth, a cock crowed. And Peter remembered. He remembered that Jesus had looked at him with something like pity and said, “This very night, before the cock crows in the morning, you will deny Me three times.” And Peter went outside, sat down on the ground, and wept (Matthew 26:74-75 VOICE).

Dr Luke tells us that… the Lord turned toward Peter, and their eyes met. Peter remembered Jesus’ words about his triple denial before the rooster would crow (Luke 22:61 VOICE)

What do you have to say for yourself now Peter? Jesus went the extra mile to reach out to Peter, if not, I don’t know whether he could have recovered from this self-discovery and this is because… Jesus is not some high priest who has no sympathy for our weaknesses and flaws. He has already been tested in every way that we are tested; but He emerged victorious, without failing God. So let us step boldly to the throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help when we need it most (Hebrews 4:15-16 VOICE).

Beloved, do you need to ask for help today?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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11. February 2016 · Comments Off on NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS‏ · Categories: God's Plan, Humility, Jesus Christ, Repentance, Sin

…I was given A THORN IN MY FLESH, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me (2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NLT).

A THORN IN MY FLESH… Beloved have you ever read this and wondered what Paul was referring to when he said he was given a THORN IN MY FLESH? Many theologians have come up with suggestions of what this could be. I read somewhere that some have said it could be… “temptation, a chronic eye problem, malaria, migraines, epilepsy, and a speech disability. Some even say that the thorn refers to a person, such as Alexander the coppersmith, who did Paul “a great deal of harm” (2 Timothy 4:14)”.

Hmmm… so they say but what about this one… “none of your business!” I was praying a few days ago and ‘none of your business’ was impressed on my spirit. I even had to stop to jot down a few lines and then did a full write-up later but then as I was hesitating to post it thinking this must just be me, a friend sent a confirmation and to which I said the Lord has just used you to check me.

Isn’t it funny how we tend to focus on people and wonder what’s up with them. Why is the Lord not answering their prayers? We then try to come up with all kinds of explanation. However, you can wonder all you like but there are times when the Lord would deliberately keep things between Him and His child and ask you to focus on your own issues.

King David was quick to pass judgment on someone else when his sin was camouflaged and played back to him. He was told that a stingy rich man who had everything to his name took a poor man’s only lamb away from him (2 Samuel 12:1-4) and on hearing this… David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “YOU ARE THAT MAN! … (2 Samuel 12:5-7 NLT)

YOU ARE THAT MAN! Isn’t it interesting how other people’s issue seem so outrageous to us until the Lord shows you that though different, this is how I also see your own issue?

So, beloved, what is the thorn in your own flesh?

Why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?… Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye (Matthew 7:3-5 NLT).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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09. February 2016 · Comments Off on THE DEVIL IS ONLY TRYING TO SEE IF IT WORKS · Categories: Discipline, Jesus Christ, Self Control, Sin

The devil had no more temptations to offer that day, so he left Jesus, preparing to return at some other opportune time (Luke 4:13 VOICE).

Beloved, do you know that when the devil sends you a test, he’s just testing you to see if it would work? When he sends trials your way, he’s just trying you to see if it will work and when he sends temptations your way, he’s just attempting again to see if it would work. He’s not sure of how you would respond and like someone said, he’s probably shocked when we fall for some of his attempts. “Oh, so it worked?”

There’s no better way to illustrate this than to reflect on what he did with Jesus… Since You’re the Son of God… Just tell this stone to transform itself into bread… If You just worship me, then everything You see will all be Yours… Since You’re the Son of God, just jump…You keep quoting the Hebrew Scriptures. They themselves say, He will put His heavenly messengers in charge of You, to keep You safe in every way (Luke 4:6-7, 9-10 VOICE).

In all three cases, satan was just testing, trying and attempting but it didn’t work so he left hoping to return at some other opportune time to test, try and attempt again.

We also see this with Eve… And the serpent (Satan) said to the woman, “Can it really be that God has said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1 AMP). He was just trying to see if Eve would fall and because she gave him an audience, he was able to move to the next level and entice her.

A young lady recently did a beautiful illustration to show the difference between an obstacle and a trap. An obstacle is something you can get around but a trap is different. A cheese is put on a trap to try and entice its target and its target may try to outsmart the trap by looking for ways to get the cheese without getting trapped but before you know it, you are trapped. She said the Lord shown her that this is what many of us do thinking we can outsmart the devil by trying to find ways to get the cheese without getting trapped.

Beloved,… each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires (James 1:14 NET Bible). You say let me see how far I can go without getting into trouble. Once he starts saying this or she starts rolling her eyes, I’m out of there. Hmmm… You say after all, it’s only a harmless invitation. I’ll just have a bottle of… or one glass of… hmmm…

On all accounts, Jesus defeated satan and knowing how much Jesus has deposited in us, could satan be shocked when we fall for some of his attempts?

If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small (Proverbs 24:10 NLT).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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