Awake, Oh Sleeper!

Ephesians 5:14

“This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'”

Awake

~I see you spirit of insecurity…yet my God says awake, arise and stand behind the cross of security.

~I see you spirit of apathy…yet my God says awake, arise and stand behind My all consuming fire.

~I see you spirit of confusion…yet my God says awake, arise and bask in My awareness.

~I see you spirit of doubt…yet my God says awake, arise and know I give you peace.

~I see you spirit of worthlessness…yet my God says awake, arise and know that My Son says you ARE worthy enough to die for.

~I see you spirit of fear…yet my God says awake, arise and claim power, love, and sound judgment!

~I see you spirit of pride…yet my God says awake, arise and enjoy a life filled with humility.

Oh evil one, you walk in plain sight. I’m calling you out under the authority of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Eyes have been unveiled; chains have been broken; strongholds have returned to dust. You have lost. Mighty men have declared God’s victory and denounced your power in their lives. Collectively, we reclaim the ground you stole as Christ followers. In the true Spirit of the one and only God, we say – be gone in Jesus name.

[Dedicated to FWSL #27 FEARLESS! 2 Timothy 1:7]

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Arrow

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
arrow.jpeg
[Narrative] – My prayer for my dear friend K.T.
I thank God in advance for this blessing! Thank you Lord for faith.
“For I will form you in your mother’s womb my child, and you will fly like a mighty arrow to accomplish My will for your life,” says the Lord. The child replies, “But Father, here in heaven, there’s such great peace and wonderment as we revel in your glory.” The Lord replies with great authority, “Yes, my child, but much will be required of you as you walk the earthly sod. You will see My face in the mountains. You will hear the call of Yahweh in the rocks. You will smell the sweet fragrance of salvation in the rain. You will touch my heart when you willingly accept my Son, Jesus, as your own, and you will taste a sweetness greater than honey when you experience true faith without sight.”
The child rests upon God Almighty’s shoulder basking in thought. The Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon the child. As the child rests, two young men approach. “Sleep tight my child; we will await your return with mom and dad,” they state without moving their lips. God’s light of familial connection immediately bonded the three before this child was sent into the womb. The eyes of the Lord pierced forward and addressed His target with perfection. The bow did not shake. As the arrow was drawn closer to His face, He kissed the child with protection. The arrow released with God’s speed…and an infant cry was heard as a mother and father held their precious child.
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I am so thankful for God’s purpose! May we never forget that we came into this world with God’s precision as the master Archer. Be blessed this day! No matter how many times the enemy uses his fiery darts to disrupt your course, God will use all things for His good because He created your course from the very beginning. Praise God!
Thankful,
Christian Armetta

“The Puzzling Puzzle! Is Christ Divided?”

~Written by my dear friend Ms. Rita Harris~

1 Corinthians 12

Spiritual Gifts

12 Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

One Body with Many Parts

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:

first are apostles,
second are prophets,
third are teachers,
then those who do miracles,
those who have the gift of healing,
those who can help others,
those who have the gift of leadership,
those who speak in unknown languages.

29 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? 30 Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! 31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.

But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.

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puzzle

Have you ever picked up a single puzzle piece and said, “What an amazingly beautiful work of art?” Probably not! Most of us realize that the beauty of a puzzle can only be accomplished by putting each piece in its proper place.  As a matter of fact, the designer’s intention when making each part was to ensure that each piece would be joined together to become one awe-inspiring picture of perfection.
Once the pieces are connected and each are in their proper place, a masterpiece appears. Even though each piece has a distinct shape and cut in order to fit into the bigger picture, if they remain in pieces (divided) its beauty cannot be displayed.
The Apostle Paul addressed division in his first letter to the church at Corinth.
He asked if Christ divided? In the High Priestly prayer in John 17, Jesus prayed for unity in the body; He prayed that we would be one even as He and the Father are One.
Even though we are different, we are all part of One body in Christ.
In 1 Corinthians 12, we see that each Christian is a unique part of the body of Christ with different callings, gifts and such. We are called to be united, connected and joined…and when we are, we will clairvoyantly bring Glory to God! The Lord looks at His body and He sees His Beloved Son! This is the most beautiful puzzle ever!
Our challenge is to eradicate division in the Body. Romans 16:17 says to mark them that cause division and avoid them. 2 Timothy 3 says to turn away from those who have a form of godliness and deny the power thereof. Remember, we’re not wrestling against people; we’re fighting the invisible kingdom of Satan. Ephesians 6: 11-12, “Put on the whole Armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.”
“We must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace! There is One body and One Spirit, just as you were called in One hope of your calling; One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism; One God and Father of All, who is above All and thru All, and in you ALL.” Ephesians 4:3-6
Let’s put on and keep on the Armor of God and do our part so that the Body of Christ will be a brilliant work of Art for all to see!
Much love and blessings,
Rita

Masks

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Masks

~Ashamed NOW Alive

~Worried NOW Worthy

~Insecure NOW Inviting

~Fearful NOW Free

~Bitter NOW Believer

~Stressed NOW Sanctified

~Jealous NOW Joyous

~Cheated NOW Child of the KING!

We all have them. Some are worn, tired, and discolored. Others are adorned with such creativity, beauty, and mystery — MASKS. In full disclosure, it would be a lot easier to talk about the literal interpretation of why people wear physical masks such as for entertainment, protection, performance, or disguise. However, that is not the topic for today’s message. No, we sadly collect and decide to keep emotional masks that are created to hold us down instead of protecting us – key theme in Satan’s deception.

Be empowered by this passage above. God created us for His greater purpose, uniquely. We will never be perfect by human standards (i.e., Who creates those standards in the first place?). Society appears to dictate who is capable of doing great and mighty things. Yet, God makes it very clear that each believer possess the Holy Spirit. The same God that raised Jesus from the grave living in you and me…that makes us MIGHTY…not by our own right but by the virtue of Jesus in us.

You might not be as articulate as a famed orator…neither was Moses.

You might not be mighty in stature and command a room…neither was David.

You might not have the best reputation or clean past…neither did Rahab.

The truth is God can use ALL of us if we simply “get out of His way.” There is no weakness in Father God; therefore, you my dear friend are fearfully and wonderfully made. It’s time to cast your masks into the fire. My new favorite song is most certainly “Fear Is a Liar” by Zach Williams. I strongly encourage you to listen prayerfully and cast your fears into the fire.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

It’s Not Over Yet

Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Psalm 27:1

The LORD is my light and my salvation–so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

strength

I wanted to share two powerful passages that I received from dear friends this morning. In times of uncertainty, we can be sure of one thing – God is always with us. In fact, I’m not even sure I like the phrase, “In times of uncertainty” anymore…because God is always in control and surefooted. As a child of the King, it truly doesn’t matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can be SURE that (A) it doesn’t surprise God and (B) He has a purpose if we just get out of the way! We are afforded many examples of faithful believers in God’s word that exemplify these very principles.

I have learned a great deal about waiting, being still, careful listening, God’s strength, and human limitations already this year. I genuinely desire for you to also understand God’s “Lamp upon my feet.” You too may be seeing darkened walls inches from your face truly unsure where to turn; yet you STEP! You step in the direction of God’s voice. You do not have to know where you are going – thus FAITH. God’s strength propels you despite inner weakness if you rely on Him. I love the visual in the picture above.

My inner strength has nothing to do with me! It has not one thing to do with any human measurable level. My strength comes from the Lord! I pray that in whatever situation I find myself in God will be glorified. I am reminded of wedding vows that state “…For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” We appear to gloss over the negative yet James 1:2-3 clearly states that trials will come.

“2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”

I pray that we all find God’s strength in the seasons that can be described as “worse, poor, or sick.” As believers, we must be Christ’s example on the mountaintop and in the valley. No matter what…HE IS VICTORIOUS! Stand firm on His solid rock and refuse for Satan to steal your joy wherever you are in this life. Seek Godly counsel from fellow believers and find rest under His wing.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Ability

Exodus 4:10-12
Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.”
running
Nothing humbles you more than running long-distance races facing pain head-on. My ten-year old son and I just completed the Houston Half Marathon yesterday, and I always learn valuable lessons along the way. This year, I was overwhelmed with joy observing the different “types” of runners: Men, Women, Children, Young, Old, Disabled. These worldly labels define us according to age and physical ability. However, one thing was very clear during this race – we were all runners facing challenges in order to cross the finish line. Some faced blindness that required guides; some faced knee pain that required trainers; some faced amputations that required prosthetics; some faced paralysis that required wheelchairs – the goal was the same – RUN AND FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED!
The most amazing part about the whole experience is that you are able to witness passion, determination, discipline, and grit. This is why I enjoy the running community so much. There are truly no labels. It doesn’t matter what shape you’re in or what physical limitations you might have, you set your eyes on the prize and nothing will stop you from crossing that line.
In this passage above, I couldn’t help but relate this to my race experience. Moses did not feel adequate based on God’s calling. Yet, we know that God is faithful to equip His children according to His perfect will. There is no such thing as a limitation, disability, or dysfunction when God calls – for who stitched you together in the first place? I urge you to listen closely and follow God’s calling over your life. God promises, even as stated in this passage, to be with us.
Thankful,
Christian Armetta

Love Is…

1 Corinthians 13:7-8

“It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease;

as for knowledge, it will come to an end.”

love is

Most of us know this chapter well – The Love Chapter. I use the word “know” cautiously because do we really understand it? The type of love referenced in this chapter is agape love – selfless and sacrificial. As believers, have we allowed society to taint our call to love selflessly and to act sacrificially?

We are bombarded daily with multi-modal means to destroy and deceive our spiritual understanding and joy. For example, it would be considered acceptable to shun your fellow man out of revenge according to the world’s standards. Yet, God provided the greatest example of love by sending His Son, Jesus, to take upon the sins of the world. He died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). Even more, He rose victoriously three days later to restore a broken relationship. Yes, this is our faith and cornerstone – all wrapped around love.

Ephesians 5:1 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

I cannot get this beautiful picture out of my mind. Satan continues to convince the world that he is in control as he wreaks havoc in and around our lives. Yet, faith tells me differently. Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

So what is love? The Son of God who came down in full obedience to the Father to give His life as a sacrifice for the world – a world full of sinners! Therefore, we must see everything and everyone through the eyes of Christ:

-But my friend really hurt me!

[I died for him too.]

-But my body is failing!

[I created your body, and I’ve ordained your days so it’s perfect and exactly as I planned.]

-But my neighbor seems to get all the blessings in life!

[I work everything out to its proper end – Proverbs 16:4]

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Challenge: Dear friends, its time to refocus on the cross!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

 

I Shall Not Want

[Part Two: Continuation from yesterday’s post: “So I’ll Wait…”]

Psalm 23:1

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

psalm 23

From a world that teaches egocentrism…

-I shall not want.

From a flesh that rises up against all things holy…

-I shall not want.

From a weak mind allowing Satan’s playground…

-I shall not want.

From fellowship filled with dishonesty and lies…

-I shall not want.

From the word impossible…

-I shall not want.

From a life filled with worldly treasures…

-I shall not want.

From the feelings of inadequacy…

-I shall not want.

From the veil of confusion and division…

-I shall not want.

Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

Dear Lord, the shelter of the Most High is sweeter than honey on our lips. The strength in your mighty right hand is strong enough to protect us from evil yet gentle enough to wipe away our tears before they fall. We find rest in your arms. You alone are the great Shepherd and we praise you.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

So I’ll Wait…

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the LORD; be strong and courageous. Wait for the LORD. 

waiting

Lessons while I learn to wait!

W – Worship God Almighty because He alone is worthy

A – Armor of God is firmly in place to prevent the enemy from attacking my mind

I – Intercession from the Holy Spirit as He groans in my absent language

T – Truth is my foundation as I rebuke the lies of Satan

Adding to my 2018 spiritual goals:

  1. Discernment
  2. Teachable Spirit
  3. Waiting on the Lord

These all have a common theme – relinquishing control and allowing Christ to have His way! What are you learning early on this year?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Uncertainty

Psalm 23:2

“He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.”

peaceful meadow

During times of uncertainty, I am reminded that our faith champions God’s peace and tranquility. Granted, I didn’t say that we become exempt from trials. In fact, James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” We are instructed to lean upon God’s perfect understanding (not ours) as he gently leads us by peaceful streams and allows us rest.

I have been reminded several times today through providential occurrences that we are not exempt from trials of any kind…but nothing surprises God as all things must pass through His hands before it reaches you or me.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Earlier today, I was also challenged by a passage sent from my accountability group. Philippians 1:20, “My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”

This added to my 2018 God-honoring goals. No matter what is happening around me or within me, I pray that Christ will be highly honored…it’s always about a testimony!

Challenge: As you begin a new year, challenge yourself to fully submit to Christ and live boldly for Him.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta