Men of Redemption

Restoring a Life of Purity – One Day at a Time

Archive for July, 2013

Our Manna for This Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 31, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5

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Our Manna for this Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 30, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:24-34

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Discouragement – The Facts

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 29, 2013

Discouragement

Everyone will have their share of discouragement at some point in their lifetime. However, our approach to managing our discouragement will distinguish us from others.

The dictionary defines discouragement as follows; “a feeling of despair in the face of obstacles; or a state of distraught and loss of sense of enthusiasm, drive or courage.”

Discouragement happens in all areas of life. An employee puts in his best to ensure his department achieves success, only to get a damaging response instead of a good appraisal from his superior. A woman’s marriage dreams end when her husband is unfaithful. She truly feels the pangs of discouragement. A couple suffers their second miscarriage while trying to create a family. These people all deal with discouragement differently, but some may become so discouraged, so distressed and as a result may attempt to take their own lives.

Discouragement – The Signs

The following are some signs of discouragement:

Sleeplessness — the mind and soul is full of worry.
Restlessness — Absent mindedness sets in and weariness results.
Complacency — Loss of interest in food even though you might not have eaten for hours.
Negative Thoughts – The ultimate of this are thoughts of suicide.
If you are feeling the pangs of discouragement and feel helpless in the situation, we encourage you to seek help through counseling.

Discouragement – The Solutions

The question becomes: Why does discouragement plague so many of us?

If we look through the Bible, we see that discouragement has been in existence from Genesis (the beginning of all things) and can be found in many people throughout the Bible. The Devil has learned to attack the minds of people, making them discouraged and ultimately depressed. It is his goal to entrap people and discourage them.

Battling Discouragement

But, Jesus Christ came to deliver us from this onslaught of mind-attacks. Jesus recognized the things that often lead to discouragement — coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride (the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness) (Mark 7:18-23). Jesus told us to keep our minds and hearts clean and to remove those negative influences from our minds. He desires that we have perfect peace.

Jesus does not promise us a perfect life on earth, but He does desire us to have a balance in life and He promises to carry us through the hard times. We will pass through some situations and trials that want incapacitate our joy. And still we’ve been promised victory in this world over them!

Discouragement – Focus on these things

Cry out to God and tell Him of your painPsalm 69:1-2 says, “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.” (See also: Psalm 51:1-18, Psalm 32:3-8)

Give God your anxiety1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (See also Philippians 4:6-7, Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 6:33-34)

Ask Him for peaceJohn 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (See also: Isaiah 26:3-4, Philippians 4:6-8).

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Our Manna for this Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 29, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” – Matthew 6:1-8

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Our Manna for the Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 26, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“A Psalm of David. Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret–it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more. But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword And have bent their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay those who are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter their own heart, And their bows shall be broken. A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the Lord upholds the righteous. The Lord knows the days of the upright, And their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish; And the enemies of the Lord, Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away.” – Psalm 37:1-20

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Our Manna for This Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 25, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“A Psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters. Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face. Selah Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.” Selah – Psalm 24:1-10

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Our Manna for the Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 24, 2013

Manna in the Morning

A Prayer –
Wisdom for Your Children in Daily Living

Heavenly Father, I pray that my children will be filled with the clear knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and understanding. I know that Your will and Your Word agree. I pray that my children will continue to meditate on Your Word so they can know Your plan and Your purpose for this season in their lives. I want them to live in a way that is worthy of You and fully pleasing to You. I believe You will cause their thoughts to agree with Your will so that they may be fruitful in every good work.
Your wisdom is pure and full of compassion. I ask that my children may develop in love and be strong in faith, knowing that Your words contain a wealth of wisdom. Whatever situations they may face in life, I thank You for Your wisdom so that they always know the right thing to do and say. Thank You that they have decided to listen to You. Teach them the way that You want them to go. Thank You for counseling them and watching carefully over them. Thank You for the Holy Spirit; He is their Teacher, Helper, and Guide, and I believe He is active in their lives.
My children will not be afraid or confused, because Your Word brings them light and understanding. Although there are many voices in the world, they will follow the voice of the Good Shepherd Who laid down His life for the sheep.
Thank You for the wise parents, teachers, and pastors You have placed in my children’s lives. They are people You can use to teach and instruct them. I pray that they will seek godly counsel from them. When they need to make an important, final decision, I pray that they will follow the peace that comes from knowing Your Word.
I dedicate my children to You, knowing that their plans will succeed. I trust You with their lives and everything in them. I thank You that to follow after You is to follow after peace in their hearts. I thank You for Your wisdom that causes them to stand and to walk wisely, making the most of their time.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

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The Fear of Failure

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 23, 2013

Fear of Failure

Fear of Failure — Seven Times Down; Eight Times Up

Why do we have a fear of failure? Failure is an integral part of life. It is our trials and sufferings that cause maturity, not our years or our successes, though these latter things bring confidence. The Bible discusses failure:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4).

Fear of Failure – Don’t be Discouraged
“Don’t be discouraged by failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid”(John Keats).

Failure is temporary and event-specific, but it is also recurring. Sir Winston Churchill said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Whenever failure happens to us, we must keep our hopes high, our focus clear, and persist in our goals. We know that “testing … develops perseverance.” Perseverance—persistence—is a muscle only worked through failure. If we never fail, we never learn to persist.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” (Calvin Coolidge).

And the spirit of perseverance, the strengthening of this vital element of our character, leads to maturity. Helen Keller said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Fear of Failure – Consider Trials as Character Builders

The opposite of “fear of failure” is considering our trials and failures “pure joy.” Not because it’s fun to fail, or something to be desired or pursued, but rather “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). If God is working in us, then the things the world sees as failures are simply God’s tools to improve our character and make us more usable by Him.

We must never forget that our purpose in life is to serve God and bring others to Him. God’s goal is to fill heaven—either with us or in spite of us. His definition of success is based upon how many come to Him and accept His free gift of salvation, not by how much money we make or how few times it takes us to pass a given test.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). (See also Matthew 6:25-34). When we understand that our failures bring us closer to God, then we begin to “consider it pure joy” when we fail.

“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstance” (Martha Washington).

Fear of Failure – Ultimate Victory

Conquering our fear of failure does not suggest that we should seek to fail, or consider ourselves somehow better than others because of our failures. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). Or, as Henry David Thoreau said, “Men are born to succeed, not fail.” This is how God created us: to succeed in the things we attempt. Success is our goal and purpose, and it should be unflinchingly pursued. But we are to consider our failures and struggles only “light and momentary troubles” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat” (Theodore Roosevelt).

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Our Manna for the Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 23, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. “Selah” May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. O LORD, save the king! Answer us when we call!” – Psalm 20:1-9

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Our Manna for the Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 22, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The LORD works out everything for his own ends– even the wicked for a day of disaster. The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil. When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice. In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” – Proverbs 16:1-9

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