An Unlikely Gift – A Christmas Tale Part II

Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gift of God is Eternal Life in Christ “by Promise” | Kingdom of Christ

[Narrative]

When I was growing up, I heard stories about you. We were born around the same day in a small town called Bethlehem. I didn’t know it then as an infant, but I heard that you were delivered and placed in a manger because there was no room in the inn. My parents remembered the townspeople chattering about your birth, “The Savior of the world has come; his name is Immanuel.” How can that be? You were just a helpless baby – crying in a trough to be exact.

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I didn’t think you noticed me or even knew my name. You paused…and looked right at me when you were preaching at the temple. Did you know that I had just stolen food and money? Did my nervous energy give it away? Surely that’s the reason! Your eyes were strong, piercing, yet compassionate. At the same time, I heard a dark voice in my head slithering phrases into my conscious: “Who does he think he is? Don’t listen to him! You are filthy and can never be freed from your guilt.” Your eyes spoke of a different story. I’ve heard many teachers, prophets, and religious leaders speak as I walked around the temple looking for something to steal to be frank, but you sounded…different. Yet, the voices convinced me to turn around and walk way. It was easier to continue my life as a thief.

Is that you? I see you coming. Through blood-soaked tears and painful muscle spasms contracting every connective fascia in my body, I see you carrying that cross. What did you do? I’ve watched you over the years, from a distance of course, and I’ve only seen you preach, teach, deliver, and perform miracles. What crime did you commit? What could you have done to receive this type of punishment? I know my sins equal my punishment, but truly what have you done? Why are they nailing you to this cross? I want to feel rage, but I know my crimes. How can you offer forgiveness when they are killing you? Yet, I’m not surprised as this rings true to your character. Seeing you offer forgiveness, love, and zero retaliation began to change my heart. At that time, I couldn’t stand to listen to the insults any longer. You ARE the Messiah and our Immanuel. You don’t deserve this punishment like I do, but please remember me when you come into Your kingdom. Then you said, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” [Luke 23:43]

Sermon Recording- Face to Face, The Thief and Jesus (Luke 23.32-43) |  Revlisad.com

Listen dear child, the unlikely gift this Christmas season is the free gift of Jesus, which brings salvation, wholeness, freedom, healing, restoration, peace, forgiveness, and deliverance. Please do not let the true meaning of this season become overshadowed by worldly presents, trees, and lights. Even while his flesh was dying, Jesus was still in the business of saving lives! Yes, the baby in the manger changes everything, but you still have to accept Him. The two thieves on the cross are truly the perfect example! Jesus did not turn to the other thief and condemn him or harass him for his unbelief and insults. Sadly, Jesus knew where that man would spend eternity, but He did not force Himself upon him even as the other thief was dying. What a lesson!

Do not wait for a deathbed confession! Today is the day for salvation. No matter how old you are, what you’ve done, or how “bad” you “think” you are, Jesus is MORE than able! However, no matter where you are in your life: young, old, or truly in a season of death and dying, Jesus can restore your soul in an instant; you simply have to accept.

~Do you need peace? JESUS

~Do you need healing? JESUS

~Do you need restoration? JESUS

~Do you need joy? JESUS

~Do you need fulfillment? JESUS

~Do you need deliverance? JESUS

~Do you need clarity? JESUS

~Do you need freedom? JESUS

~Do you need salvation? JESUS

Question: Will you accept this unlikely gift? One that offers you EVERYTHING by accepting, repenting, and confessing.

Gift: “You will be with Me in Paradise.”

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Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Faded Joy – A Christmas Tale

James 1:2-3

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Mary, did you know when the angel entered your home and said you were favored by the Lord that there would be many trials?…

Luke 1:28-38

When the angel entered her home, he greeted her and said, “You are favored by the Lord! The Lord is with you.”

29 She was startled by what the angel said and tried to figure out what this greeting meant.

30 The angel told her,

“Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor  with God.
31 You will become pregnant, give birth to a son,
and name him Jesus.
32 He will be a great man
and will be called the Son of the Most High.
The Lord God will give him
the throne of his ancestor David.
33 Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever,
and his kingdom will never end.”

34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be? I’m a virgin.”

35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come to you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy child developing inside you will be called the Son of God.

36 “Elizabeth, your relative, is six months pregnant with a son in her old age. People said she couldn’t have a child. 37 But nothing is impossible for God.”

38 Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”


The response of FAITH and pure JOY!…”Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”

Mary, did you know that trials would engulf your family and attempt to steal your joy when Joseph woke up from a dream and said your family had to flee to Egypt because Herod was plotting to kill all the male children two years old and younger?


Mary, did you know that the trial of misplacing your preteen son, who was also fully God, during the Festival of the Passover for three days would cause you great anxiety?

Luke 2:48-50

48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.


Mary, did you know the trial of watching your son, the Savior of the world, being beaten and crucified would cause anguish and grief?

Matthew 27:55-56

55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.


Mary, did you know that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection would trade pieces of faded joy for a cup overflowing with everlasting life? Just as the angel said decades prior, “Nothing is impossible for God.”

I’m reminded this Christmas season that not everything is jolly and bright. We must be sensitive to those around us and the trials they are going through. In fact, YOU are probably going through some trials of your own! As believers, it is our duty to carry each other’s burdens.

Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Truly, Christ carries us and ALL of our burdens but this passage reminds us to be outwardly focused.

~This Christmas season, there are families that will attempt to cook their family Christmas dinner without a loved one. Tears replace laughter.

~This Christmas season, there are co-workers who are lonely and seeking to fill a great void in their lives that only the risen Christ can seal. Depression replaces peace.

~This Christmas season, there are single parents struggling to pay rent and feed their children while the world continues to spiral out of control. Chaos replaces security.

~This Christmas season, there are neighbors in your community who won’t be able to see their loved ones leaving them all alone for the holidays. Silence replaces chatter.

~This Christmas season, there are foster children begging for a permanent loving home. Sadness replaces contentment.

~This Christmas season, there are souls all across the globe who are either lost, hurt, or struggling. Trials replace hope.


No matter where you see yourself (or others), trials produce spiritual perseverance. Therefore, this Christmas season, we take notes from the greatest overcomer: Jesus Christ. Despite the various trials He experienced, He ACCOMPLISHED what He came to do: To seek and save the lost.

Oh dear child! That simply gives me chills. He seeks you! The eyes of the Lord are upon you even in your desperate time of need. I challenge you to trade your faded joy for Christmas hope!

This type of hope does not come in a pretty package. It cannot be bought, and you will NEVER find it in a store. You will find Him [HOPE] this season wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Do not be dismayed…this baby changes everything!

faith…hope…love…salvation!

I’m thankful for my dear wife, Aimee, for sending me the picture of her coffee mug this morning with the title: faded joy. It is overwhelming to see the Holy Spirit speak and use her as He does.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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Clothed in Christ

Romans 13:14

14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

11-14 [The Message] But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

[Interpretative]

This tree, full of life, is clothed in your beauty.

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

You, Lord, are our place of refuge and safety. I shall not want.

Your vibrance reaches across the expanse from your breath of life as you whisper to all souls.

Yet, death lurks in the distance.

Sin, that so easily entangles, is wagging war for the same space.

Drunkenness, lust, pride, bickering, and greed are the brittle limbs holding the last of your colorful gifts.

These sins have eaten at your soul and lay waste to the ground in lifeless decay.

Your trunk is surrounded by death as you war against: “Whoever finds their life will lose it.”

Yet a still small voice paints a different picture: “Whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

Picking up your cross, daily, leaves deep wounds.

No one promised that this life was going to be easy.

However, consider it pure joy when you go through various trials.

Don’t squander an opportunity…get dressed and clothe yourself in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Your covering drapes over me like a rich anointing flowing from my head to my knees.

As I bow, you cover me to where others only see the Son.

Conversely, sin has a covering.

This veiled sackcloth suffocates the very spiritual breath required for healthy spiritual fruit.

Your vibrant greens are fading to fragile browns.

This tree, full of life, is clothed in your beauty…your love ran red and cleansed me.

When others look at me, they can only see your skillful creation and handiwork.

So with fresh spiritual eyes, awaken O sleeper.

The time is near and He is calling.

Cast off all the sin that so easily ensnares and clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Reclaim what the locust have stolen and take your rightful place.

Stand firm with your trunk unwavering on the cornerstone of Christ.

Don’t sway or turn to the ways of this world.

Remain in the light and He shall cover you with His wings.

The time is now…don’t wait or linger.

You were called for such a time as this but don’t go at it alone.

Putting on the full armor of God protects you in this spiritual battle.

He promises to protect you from the fiery darts of the enemy with the shield of faith.

He waters your soul because He is living water just as the moss helps hydrate the tree.

Remain refreshed by filling yourself with all things just, fair, noble, and true.

Clothe yourself in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Cast off everything else you’re not meant to wear or carry.

Wake up! It’s time to get dressed!

Challenge: What or who are you wearing? This is not a question about designer clothing. This is a spiritual matter.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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Destination

Psalm 37:5

 5  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

Your destination does not mean that you’ve arrived! Arrival is set for when you meet Jesus face-to-face. It’s what you do in the middle that matters. From the time that I was a child, my wise aunt always said, “The train keeps moving if you’re on it or not so you might as well get on the train.”

I come from a long line of both intellectual and spiritual warriors so this adage stuck with me. Following high school, I climbed aboard and have ridden the rails between vast cotton fields of northeast Louisiana, through bright city lights in the heart of Texas, and on country back porches in the “Heel of the Boot.”

All of these destination stops were God-designed, God-ordained, and God-breathed. Yet the journal was not easy! Through many years of hard work and dedication, I am stepping off my fourth train and looking forward to this next season/destination of life. These trains may have awarded me more credentials and degrees on my “rail ticket” or “life’s passport,” but I’ve gained something more valuable as I watch the train leave the station: contentment, peace, love, joy, appreciation, and servant-leadership.

Simply put, I’ve spent twelve years in post-secondary education…climbing up; can you hear the sound of the train’s whistle as it climbs? Yet, the entire time, God was teaching me to kneel and wash the feet of those He placed in my care. Let’s just say, the ride wasn’t always easy, and some years felt more like a rollercoaster versus a scenic ride through the mountains. Pride’s fuel results in an erratic and unpredictable terrane. Whereas, humility’s fuel brings smooth rides through lush landscapes.

Don’t forget…your destination, wherever you are, is NOT your arrival. These are two separate and distinctly different words. Will there be another train ride? As my wise aunt stated, “That depends on the Conductor [Jesus Christ]. He has delivered you [and all of us] through all the high mountains, low valleys, deep waters, and stormy weather. So whatever He plans for your life, we trust in His direction for your future.”

As I turn and wave goodbye to this faithful ride, I never want to forget the sounds of the wheels that remind me of the roughness of life. The “clickety-clack” is a constant reminder that we will face MANY trials in this life, but we are to consider them PURE JOY for the testing of your faith produces perseverance [James 1:1-3]. I want to hear the blast of the train’s whistle one more time, which reminds me that Jesus will send out his angels with a LOUD trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other [Matthew 24:31]; therefore, we must be intentional about sharing and SHOWING the gospel EVEN outside the walls of the church. Finally, I want to hear the roar of the engine, which reminds me that when God is in control of YOUR vessel…NOTHING can stop you because even the winds and waves obey Him [Matthew 8:24-27].

God has a high-level view of your life! As I walked away from my final train station, He allowed me to see that all four stations represented His Son, Jesus Christ. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?! Therefore, wherever you are, please be encouraged!

(1) God may be telling you to get on the train (whatever that train represents for you). Remember, “The train keeps moving if you’re on it or not!” Where might the Lord want to “take” you next in your spiritual journey. Time to let go and climb aboard!

(2) He may also be trying to fill you with courage to leave the station and finally begin your new journey/destination. You weren’t meant to stay at the station forever. It’s time to go make an impact for Him. Get off the bench; pick up your bags, and make the first step. He will honor your faithfulness.

(3) He may be trying to OPEN your eyes to your surroundings and others and stop focusing on life’s negativities. Again, wherever you are, I can guarantee you one thing…He will always be with you!

In the last year and a half, we have seen extreme suffering and loss. The world AND OUR neighbors are hurting. Don’t let the enemy stifle God’s purpose for your life. You have a choice. Let today be your day to make an impact for the Kingdom.

Goodbye for now faithful engine…

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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In a Blink…

1 John 2:17

17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Dreams & Visions – God=Love

Psalm 39 describes it quite well, “Everyone is but a breath.” This world and everything in it is truly passing away, but that is not the end of the story. Whoever does the will of God lives forever. In order to do the will of God, you must first know God! Yet, knowing God is more than mere knowledge. The space between your brain and heart is approximately eighteen inches. However, eternity hangs between this minuscule space. In a blink of an eye, eighteen inches will become the most important measurement you’ll ever make – not how much money you made, how many cars you had, how many stocks you had, or what position you held on this earth. No. The distance you travel from your head to your heart will determine your eternity.

I know someone who spent decades operating out of the heart of God and is now walking alongside Him on streets of gold. In a blink, she traveled from pain to praise. I would be seriously remiss if I didn’t share her mission, which proves God’s ripples cannot be stopped!

From foreign missions to neighborhood soup kitchens, a servant’s heart she most certainly possessed. She never met a stranger because she saw the image of Christ in all human beings collectively. To some, spiritual anomalies bring about surprise and extreme wonderment. Yet, our friend would say, “Isn’t that what we were expecting?”…with a beautiful smile and confident laugh to follow.

She taught us all to respect one another and to love deeply. She praised with her whole spirit across all settings, and she wouldn’t think twice about praying for someone in need. Some call her teacher as she spent countless years shaping our children into the strong young men and women they are today. However, those precious ears didn’t know it at the time, but she was planting seeds for a harvest decades later through the planting of His Word embedded in her curriculum, songs, encouragement, and prayers.

We often referenced this life as a race and used Hebrews 12 as our guide. Our friend was the best spiritual pacer, and it was most certainly a challenge to keep up to her “6-min./mile spiritual pace.” The best way to explain this reference is to copy a reference definition from the world wide web concerning this type of “pace.”

“A 6-minute mile is kind of the unofficial threshold of fast endurance running. Casual runners are not likely to run a 6-minute mile on accident, but it’s an achievable – if not high – bar for an aspiring new runner who is training hard.” http://www.quora.com

You see, our friend was not running by accident! She trained her whole life for this type of spiritual endurance race and she expected you to run alongside her! She was definitely an elite spiritual runner, and she expected you to be as well through encouragement and prayer! Trust me…it was a challenge and you often left pouring sweat! Yet, it was the best experience of your life. You left fulfilled and full of the Holy Spirit because you served, loved, gave, prayed, listened, laid hands, taught, and discipled.

Fear never got off the starting line as that spirit had no room around her. Power, love, and a sound mind flanked her at all crossroads in her life. Even though she beat me and crossed the finish line, I will continue the mission we started from the very beginning, which was to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ in all the nations. I pray that my words will travel across the globe and touch many lives. Even more, I pray that multitudes will come to the Father through Jesus Christ even through this message. I pray that every single one of you love hard and always keep your eye tuned to the needy and hurting. Serve as often as you can, and leave more than you take. Come and go quietly but leave a massive impact wherever you go – remember it’s not about you; it’s about the Lord.

Well done, good and faithful servant! You touched heaven from the other side of your eyelids. The Word prayed over you is now the flesh standing before you. His hands, His feet…that smile!! Oh how He’s waited for this day to show you the Father, the indescribable beauty, and the angelic choir.

Until we meet again my friend…there is work still to be done (as you would say) so we will go for now, and we will always be looking for those Jesus opportunities everywhere we go.

Hebrews 12:1-3

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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Waiting in Silence…

Redeeming by Death on the Cross | CASK
“It was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

Acts 2:24

24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

—————————————————————————————————–

Don’t mistake my silence for anger! As I listen to your accusations, I am not sitting silent in bitterness; it’s not my character. I’m actually thinking about how I held you when you were born and your parents disowned you. It was me kissing your head and breathing life into you as you fell asleep. I am the one who comforted you as you grew older and couldn’t find your way. I will always chase after you because I love you. You can spit on me, but I came to set you free.

Don’t mistake my silence for weakness! As you beat me, I am not sitting silent in rage; it’s not my character. I’m actually thinking about how I healed you when someone prayed for you. I smile when I look into your eyes because you are fearfully and wonderfully made. I see the image of my Father in the flecks of your eyes. I remember the conversations we had as we spoke life over you. You can beat me, but I will always love you.

Don’t mistake my silence for unforgiveness! As you nail me to this cross, I am not sitting silent in revenge; it’s not my character. I’m actually thinking about how your world is going to change when you accept me and I live inside of you the rest of your life. I know everything about you, and you will change the world for me! “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” You can lift that hammer and slam nails into my skin, but I will always see you as mine.

Don’t mistake my silence for pity! As you gamble for my clothes, I am not sitting silent in sorrow; it’s not my character. I’m actually thinking about the joy of fulfilling my Father’s will. I long to please my Father who sent me, and I long to be with you for eternity. I am going to prepare a place for you so don’t be sad for I have overcome this world. You can have my clothes…they are meaningless to me because I have come for your heart.

Don’t mistake my silence for death! As you pierce my side, I am not sitting here in defeat; it’s not my character. I’m actually walking in victory as we speak for I crushed the head of the enemy and took back the keys of death. Satan’s false, temporary rule is over because the King of kings and Lord of lords sits at the right hand of the Father. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. Your false reign is over. You can believe you are greater, but you and I both know how the story ends!

Don’t mistake my silence for failure! As you roll the stone over the tomb entrance, I am not sitting here in darkness; it’s not my character. I’m walking out in light three days later, and you will not find me here! This is not my grave because the grave cannot hold me down. The Father has found no fault in me. I gave my body as the final sacrifice for the world. My shed blood freed all of humanity and is alive even today. I breathe renewed life onto all of humanity and offer the Holy Spirit for those who believe.

So…waiting in silence is really rejoicing in victory!

Happy Easter friends and family. Behold the Lamb of God on the cross – walks out like a lion three days later.

NEVER underestimate a season of silence!…for a lion is coming!!!!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Jesus Lion And Lamb The Perfect Combination Canvas Lion Of image 0
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Bandaids

Jeremiah 18:1-6

At the Potter’s House

18 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”

Repairing Concrete Cracks Using Epoxy

I remember as a child walking along many broken sidewalks repeating the old saying, “Don’t step on a crack, or youll fall and break your back.” This phrase has been repeated and even edited to many different versions. Either way, it was not uncommon to see innocent children holding their mother’s hand, big smiles, head down with intense investigation, and sidestepping cracks along the way. Oh the innocence of childhood!

Yet, I just cannot help but think those same children, who grew up playfully avoiding cracks, now live in bondage full of heart/soul cracks due to a life of regret, abuse, unforgiveness, pride, and fear to name a few. These cracks are invisible to those around you. Therefore, a broken soul is most certainly worse than the proverbial “broken back” once avoided as a child.

The miracle is that our Father in heaven takes our marred clay and shapes it into what is best to Him. When I meditate on that, I think of pure perfection because everything the Father touches, breathes upon, and makes…is perfect and good. I am overwhelmed that He produces vessels that look differently yet they are all produced in perfection; thank you Lord.

So, I say…take the bandaids off your heart/soul cracks. They don’t belong there anymore. You were not meant to put them there. You still hurt because that bandaid wasn’t designed to hold/cover your wound. God sees you and He knows. Open your heart unto Him and let Him transform you from the inside out. Place yourself into His hands and allow Him to make something new…yes, out of you.

~Your cracks become your creativity.

~Your tainted heart becomes your testimony.

~Your hurt becomes someone else’s healing.

~Your pain becomes your praise.

~Your wounds become your worship.

The enemy loves to remind you of your cracks (i.e., past failures, sins, abuse, hurts, etc.). Not only that, he is the dealer supplying you the bandaids; they will never work! Yet, God chooses to forgive, heal, and remember no more. Do you know how that’s possible? He sees a new creation in you! Have you ever thought of that? Once the Potter finishes His work, you ARE a new creation. You are no longer what and who you used to be. Therefore, the Father/Potter cannot see the old you even if He wanted to. The new vessel has replaced the old one. You are new, valuable, and worthy. Have you heard the enemy speak that over you? Of course not!! It’s time to throw away the bandaids…submit yourself onto the Potter’s wheel and be comforted in His hands of healing, change, and renewal.

Challenge: Meditate on this passage this week and commit to worshiping on the Potter’s wheel. Allow Him to do whatever He wants, in/through you. Just as the passage states, He will only do what He sees as BEST! Oh what a blessing over you!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

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Pick Up Your Authority

Exodus 4:1-5

Signs for Moses

4 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied.

The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

Grayscale Photo of Hand Reaching Out Against Black Background · Free Stock  Photo

~You entered with deceit and poisoned humanity. Punished to your belly – you slither lower with each tick of the clock; your time is running out. Striking fear, your forked tongue seeks to kill, steal and destroy. What was once peaceful in communion is now thorny and separated. You struck me while my soul sank into the fruit. Leaves covered my shame and my hands covered my impelled heart. Two bleeding holes represent your surgical-strike. The very breath given to me now fleeing from my lungs – replaced by your toxicity. The garden, a withered soul, longing for rivers of living water. The very Spirit of God called my name, but I hid. As tears roll down my face, they scream, “He knows my name…!” But I hide. You’re already in my head, “God Almighty can’t be seen with someone like you!” My tongue feels dry…what did I do?

~Parched…my soul cries out when the pills are gone and the drinks are empty. Lying in bed, my slowing heartbeat reminds me of a thorny garden and a shameful past. Your darkened shadow reminds me I’m sadly not alone as you cheer for just one more swallow. For all of humanity, you have haunted thoughts and hunted countless. When all seems lost, a different presence appears. His light has you startled, evil one. In apparent reflex, you strike His heel, but He crushes your head! His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I take His hand, and His eyes sparkle with garden-walk talks. His love and sacrifice erase all threads of shame. The chains are gone. Praises fill my lungs and worship rushes over my tongue like a roaring waterfall…what did I do?

~Accepted…my soul cries out in healing reverence. I didn’t do anything but receive. Once an empty soul now filled with redemptive love. Tears roll down my face, they scream, “He chased me from the garden to the grave…! But He arose with the keys to my soul and all authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth. Before the enemy could slither away, my God says, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” The enemy’s evil look grips fear into my heart as I recoil…what did I do?

~Faith…my soul cries out in pure surrender as I stare down the one who stole my life from me. Through my Savior’s nail-pierced hands, I see you trembling. I reach, slowly, then a boldness overcomes and…

~I take shame by the tail and watch the staff of the Lord turn it into service for others.

~I take regret by the tail and watch the staff of the Lord turn it into redemption.

~I take anger by the tail and watch the staff of the Lord turn it into achievement.

~I take unforgiveness by the tail and watch the staff of the Lord turn it into unity.

~I take lust by the tail and watch the staff of the Lord turn it into true life everlasting.

~I take pride by the tail and watch the staff of the Lord turn it into preaching.

His staff is always by my side as a constant reminder of my authority in Him alone. May God bless you, and I pray that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to your true calling in Him. No matter what you’ve gone through or what you might be facing currently, God’s power is mightier than any situation you could ever face. I pray that you receive encouragement, this very day, to kick out the evil one and reclaim your rightful place. Walking with a staff of authority often means facing your fears or past. Grab freedom by the tail!

I truly believe there are many people out there who needed to hear this message. What are you taking by the tail (e.g., shame, regret, anger, etc.)?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry

Wanted

John 17:22

22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—

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The alarm clock abruptly awakens you. You instantly feel dread as your swing your feet around touching the cold tiles beneath you. “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” chases after you like a child longing for his mother. With shoulders slumped and head hanging low, a quick splash of cold water rushes over your face tingling your sleepy senses. Time stands still when your eyes lock intently with the stranger in your room. Your autonomic nervous system rushes adrenaline into your heart and muscles. You instantly ponder fight or flight. Your heartbeat gallops faster than a mighty rushing river. You can’t catch your breath as it appears to have disappeared ahead of you. Your voice is hiding behind your trembling lips and refuses to call for help. Fear begins to set in as the stranger eerily follows your every move and appears to be closing in on you. You consider the consequences of capture and begin to smell defeat until…you realize the stranger is you!

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Your mirror reflection revealed the warfare inside. Years of masquerading caused unrelenting pain. Shame, condemnation, anger, unforgiveness, resentment, legalism, religionism, traditionalism, fear, and anxiety traded God’s glory for the corruptible. The enemy’s lies altered your very presence; however, he can never alter your Spirit. When the original man sinned, he forfeited the glory of God. Yet, Jesus came to restore and redeem God’s glory over His people – praise God.

Yet you say, “I’ve done too much, hurt too much, and have too much anger to ever experience the glory of God!” This type of restoration is not dependent upon your worthiness my friend. In fact, the Greek word for glory in this passage is Doxa, which means the following:

Doxa: “The honor, praise, and glory that comes from a good opinion. It’s an appearance commanding respect, excellence, and magnificence. This term is used to describe God’s nature and actions in self-manifestation.”

Oh dear child, let your APPEARANCE reflect the very presence of God, which is respect, excellence, and magnificence. Let His very nature clothe you in these promises; you ARE WANTED BY THE KING! This is His opinion of you; it’s His good opinion! As a child of the King, you are granted certain rights that the enemy cannot take away. One of these rights includes being clothed in God’s glory. Let this radiate around you as the Holy Spirit fills you up completely. This glorious circle changes how you see yourself and how others see you! You WILL attract others because they are drawn to the sweet aroma of the Spirit. God is able to use His glory circle around you to bring honor to Himself!

The enemy cannot take this away but he can do two effective things: (A) change how you see yourself which decreases your effectiveness for the Kingdom (B) keep you bound up in past sins, hurts, or pains which cloaks you in darkness. He cannot take away your light but he can surely diminish or dampen it by cloaking you. Put on the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and walk in your glory circle because you are wanted!

Challenge: How do you see yourself today?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry

The Space Between

Revelation 3:11

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

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[Interpretive Narrative]

He ordains your steps even though your footsteps are met with resistance. The ungodly rise and place chains around your wrists. You are silenced yet refuse to remain quiet. Your mission never changed – to seek and save the lost…deliverance doesn’t occur just on Sunday mornings!

He calls from unlikely sources to remind you that you are worthy and wanted so don’t grow weary of doing good. Only God knows what your future holds. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and you will surely succeed in all that you do. Be still and listen to His sweet and still small voice in the space between. He is drawing you closer through the whisper. He surely can speak through the powerful winds and blistering fires, but His voice is the clearest in the whisper. Lean in…what do you hear?

The clutter surrounding you is simply that…clutter. For God is not the author of confusion. As diagnoses roll off the medical teams tongue and loss reaches for your throat, God says, “I am here!” He is the God of the hills and the valleys. He carries you along stormy waters and leads you to safety. When you’re standing in the space between, simply worship! There’s no need to rush His love. The sounds of praise will guide you as the notes carry you closer to Him.

The space between can be both deafening and exciting, depending upon your perspective. Do not allow the enemy to speak lies to you while walking to your next destination. This spiritual period offers growth, perseverance and endurance. You don’t turn into a precious gem without intense pressure, heat, and time. Therefore, hold on to what you have and remain on His course!

~The Lord is coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

Will Christians Earn Crowns in Heaven? Understanding the Bible

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry