EVERY hero of the Bible

EVERY hero of the Bible, old and new testament, went through tremendous struggle. Their stories always identify with us. It is through those struggles their faith truly came alive. Just because we live over 2000 years from their lifetime, in a modern age does not mean the principle has changed. If we want God to use us in full capacity, we must go through brokenness in order to produce the faith to move mountains and restore His people. So be glad during the struggle that God cares enough for you to give you your heart’s desire to serve Him and His people.

You are blessed and it is in His blessing that you struggle. It’s a Biblical principal which we are unworthy of, but He calls us anyway.

The struggle always needs to lead us to Jesus in order for the principle to serve it’s purpose.


Job’s Prayer

“Job answered God:

“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
made small talk about wonders way over my head.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”

– Job 42:1-6 (MSG)

This is Job’s prayer after all the trouble he went through. I hope I am brave enough to keep this prayer close to my heart, “Regardless of where life leads me”. God, I will follow You. I will trust You. I will submit to You. I will give You my all.”

©2017 MARK BLAIR GLUNT – USE ONLY BY PERMISSION.  Please repost, but don’t plagiarize.
Give credit where credit is due, always.

Armor of God: Shield of Faith

“With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
– Ephesians 6:16 (NRSV)

Faith is the ability to trust that everything is going to be OK. We are going to survive. Nothing evil will overtake us because we trust that God has us in the palm of His hand. This does not mean we won’t be attacked, bad things won’t happen to us or some days we just won’t have things we feel we need. To have faith means we know God will walk us through those times, providing for our needs, caring for us, protecting us. During those times He will restore us and draw us to Him. We have faith to believe He is- or as the Old Testament calls God “I AM”. I AM is the the all sufficient.

The Shield of Faith is used both as a protective and combative instrument. Faith protects us. As the world ruthlessly spreads it’s lack of compassion, it’s foulness and it’s self-centered ideologies; we have a weapon called Faith. Faith leads us to know God is in control no matter what happens. Faith believes, hopes and loves regardless of the situation. It empowers us to be men and women of God no matter how much stress and difficulty we are going through. We can choose how we are going to respond through the power of faith.

I often envision myself in a round camping pop tent. Inside the tent with me is brother Jesus. The storm is raging outside. The enemy is shooting flaming arrows. The war is going on in the worst weather conditions, but I am protected by this tent. Everything is bouncing off the outside of this tent. Believe me I am frightened, but I am protected. This tent is Faith. But it’s not my faith really, it’s the faith of Jesus who is in the tent with me. I don’t have that kind of faith to believe everything will be OK, but He does.

Faith is the tool we have access to in order to manage life and get through the hard times. As with all the Armor of God, it is His faith that we live under. Our faith to believe is not much, but if we combine with His faith, then we can not only survive the storm but we can move mountains in the middle of it.

Faith restores us regardless of how broken we are, or from where brokenness originated- the world, natural disaster, from the enemy’s attacks, the attacks of another person or our own flesh and sin. Faith will give us the strength to recover from sin and truly repent of our actions. It keeps us from returning to sin. I pray all those who trust in our Father will experience true God inspired, God breathed faith.

“Father grant us your faith – the faith to truly believe you love us and you will always be with us no matter what we go through. Help us to know in our heart of hearts that we will be ok, even in the darkest trials. We want Your faith God. Thank you. In Jesus’ name.”

©2017 MARK BLAIR GLUNT – USE ONLY BY PERMISSION.  Please repost, but don’t plagiarize.
Give credit where credit is due, always.

Book Notes & Quotes: Harry Emerson Fosdick “The Secret of Victorious Living”

Harry Emerson Fosdick is one of my favorite modern writers. A few years back I was at a conference and this powerful preacher got up and spoke. Being a young ministry student I wanted what he had. His advice was simple, “Read everything you can get your hands on by Harry Emerson Fosdick”. Fosdick was an influential Pastor in New York City who often spoke on the social elements of the Gospel (i.e. feeding the poor, clothing the needy, etc…). He believed the Gospel had a relational and social aspect which demanded more than a simple acceptance in words and thought of salvation. He was the Pastor of Riverside Baptist Church. Most of his writings are his sermons put to print. This is the second collection of his printed sermons. If you haven’t read this book I encourage you to. If you have read it or want to discuss the quotes, feel free to comment. Just keep it positive. I will be adding notes & quotes as I continue to read.

All quotes come from Harry Emerson Fosdick’s book “The Secret of Victorious Living” published by Harper & Brothers: New York & London. Copyright 1934 by Harper & Brothers
A PDF version is available free at http://dli.ernet.in/handle/2015/167149 as well as many of his books.

“What life in the long run does to us depends on what life finds in us.” opening statement pg 1 Chapter 1 “The Secret of Victorious Living”

“Nobody ever finds life worth living. One always has to make it worth living. All people to whom life has been abundantly worth living have made it so by an interior, creative, spiritual contribution of their own, and such people commonly are not in fortunate circumstances.” Pg 3 Chapter 1 “The Secret of Victorious Living”

“Despite the accumulated experience of the ages and the insights of the seers, many think of an untroubled life as the ideal and of trouble, therefore, as an intruder to be resented, to be removed if possible, and, if not, to be endured.” pg 11 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“Adversity, then, far from being a mere nuisance or cruelity, is one of constuent elements in all great living, to be finely used… When you and I have faced a personal calamity and have handled it well, we have always added a new dimension to our character.” pg 12 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“It is nonsense to call an untroubled life the ideal. What can an untroubled life know about living? How can that help anyone?” pg 15 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“Let every man say to his own soul: If you have had any experience with trouble use it now. Let it carry you out beyond the barricades which too commonly shut our understanding in, and make for you roads of insight into the life of people. Translate anything you know about trouble into such constructive care for individuals and for the social welfare that somebody will have cause to thank God that once you yourself faced adversity, so you can understand.” pg 16 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“Again, consider that trouble finely used can serve our intellects as well as our characters and can cleanse us of some dangerous illusions. In particular, it ought to cleanse us of the vain illusion that life is always just, or that we ought to expect it to be just, to the individual.” pg 16 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“No, the beginning of great character, like the beginning of deep wisdom, lies in renouncing the expectation that life will be just.” At any rate, without that there is no possibility of being a disciple of Jesus – “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” pg 17 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“Of all the shining instruments that life put into the hands of Jesus with which to change the world, nothing remotely compared with the cross.” pg 18 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“Finally, trouble nobly used can open up within is deep interior resources of spiritual power.” pg 18 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“The fact that desperate trouble falls on multitudes does not indicate that the world is crazy. But what if a man could break all the laws of health and yet be healthy, break all the moral laws and still be loved and trusted – would not that indicate a crazy world? Well, our western civilization has broken all laws of social health, transgressed the principles of civilized society and the fact that in consequence we are now in trouble does not indicate that the world is crazy but, rather, that the foundations of the world are laid in moral law so that whatever a civilization soweth, that shall it also reap.” pg 25 Chapter 3 “The Cure of Disillusionment”

“Much of our disillusionment springs from self-pity. We feel sorry for ourselves so that we do not hear from others the call of help. Life is not fair to me, we say; life is not just to the individual. To which I answer, of course life is not just to the individual. The scales of God come level in the end, but seldom within the individual’s lifetime. Not since the day Christ was crucified has Christianity been able to teach that life is just to the individual.” pg 27 Chapter 3 “The Cure of Disillusionment”

“The tragedy of Christianity repeatedly has lain in the persistent, ingenious endeavor to make it costless. But that essentially ruins Christianity. The very charter of Christianity is difficult: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” pg 31 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

“Above the cross of Christ this superscription might well have stood : “He took it on Himself.” Without that principle of action no great thing has ever been done on earth – vicarious sacrifice where some one, who did not need to, voluntarily assumed a heavy task. Florence Nightingale did that for the wounded, John Howard for the prisoners; our mothers did that for us many a time; Christ did that for the world. The quality of spirit and mode of action exert the most tremendous, moral lifting power that the world has ever known, and if we are calling ourselves Christian without having a share in exercising it, we are making our Christianity too easy.” pg 32 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

“Some of you, I can imagine Jesus saying, are making your Christianity too easy. You build beautiful churches; you have glorious music; with loveliness you stimulate your souls to worship. So far, so good! I too loved the flowers, and when, swinging round the brow of Olivet, I saw the temple with its golden dome, I was moved to the depths. But to be a Christian is more than that.” pg 35 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

“Wherever one looks, this is a soiled and desperate world, where a merely aesthetic Christianity is of no more use than rose-water.” pg 35 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

Fosdick quotes Henry Ward Beecher “Religion means work. Religion means work in a dirty world. Religion means peril; blows given, but blows taken as well. Religion means transformation. The world is to be cleansed by somebody; and you are not called of God if you are ashamed to scour and scrub.” pg 35 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

“Again, some of us, especially we who are religious liberals, make our Christianity costless by watering down and thinning out our faith. We have tried to formulate our Christian ideas in easily credible forms, and, so doing, we have attenuated them so that hardly anything is left to believe at all… The woods of liberal religion are full of people whose faith is so vague and indefinite that nothing could be easier than to believe it. There lies the trouble of it – it costs nothing.” pg 36 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

Book Notes & Quotes: Joyce Meyer “The Approval Fix”

I am very grateful to my good friend Angie who gave me a copy of this book to read.  Joyce Meyer is not an author I read much, but this one came in a timely moment.  I knew it was something I needed to read as soon as she suggested it.  If you haven’t read it I encourage you to.  It is a very short book which can be used as a devotional of sorts.  If you have read it or want to discuss the quotes, feel free to comment.  Just keep it positive.  I am now finished reading the book so no more notes or quotes will be added.  Enjoy!

All quotes come from Joyce Meyer’s book “The Approval Fix: How to Break Free from People Pleasing” published by FaithWords: Hatchette Book Group.  Copyright 2014 Joyce Meyer – All rights reserved   ISBN: 978-1-4555-4715-9

Order a copy of the book at Joyce Meyer’s website – https://www.joycemeyer.org/ProductDetail.aspx?id=6PRM12000010060

“The first step to understanding and breaking free from approval addiction is to understand fear, because fear of some sort is at the root of an unbalanced need for approval.” pg 5 Chapter 1 “God Loves You”

“If our job were to achieve, we would be called achievers, not believers. We often want to emphasize what we do, but our focus should be on what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. We have a choice: we can concentrate on our sin and be miserable, or we can concentrate on God’s forgiveness and mercy and be happy.” pg 6-7 Chapter 1 “God Loves You”

“We must learn to trust His Word more than our own feelings. We often bow down to our feelings without realizing how fickle and unreliable they are.” pg 8 Chapter 1 “God Loves You”

“Many times in our lives, the circumstances we face or the decisions we make cause us to feel we have been dropped, crushed, or ground into the dirt. We feel worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, we will never lose our value in God’s eyes. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, we are still priceless to Him.” pg 16 Chapter 2 “You are Valued”

“Give God not only what you are but especially give Him what you are not. Don’t hold anything back; give Him everything! Offering God our strengths is easy, but we should also offer Him our weaknesses, because His strength is made perfect in our weakness. The Lord doesn’t see only what we are right now, He sees what we can become if He is parent with us. He knows the plans He has for us, and they are plans for progress and success, not for defeat and failure (see Jeremiah 29:11).” pg 23 chapter 4 “God is on Your Side”

“But because you have been made right with God, you can stop comparing yourself to others and competing with them. Your acceptance is not found in being like someone else but in being who you are through faith in Jesus Christ. Don’t find someone who seems to have it all together and then try your best to be like they are. Be the best “you” that you can be!” Pg 30-31 Chapter 5 “You’ll Become What You Believe”

“The world may say you need to be like this person or that person, but God’s will is for you to be yourself.” Pg 31-32 Chapter 5 “You’ll Become What You Believe”

“When someone turns on a light in a dark room, we can see the dirt in it. God is light (1 John 1:5) and when His light begins to shine in our lives, it exposes things (see 1 Corinthians 4:5). When He gets involved in our lives, He begins to show us things we may prefer not to look at, things we have kept secret. even from ourselves. We are frequently deceived, especially about ourselves.” Pg 54 Chapter 9 “Turn the Light On”

“We cannot always please people if we want to please God, but He will give us favor with the people with whom He truly desires us to be in relationship.” pg 61 Chapter 10 “You Don’t Have to Live with Approval Addiction”

“God will never help us be anyone but ourselves.” pg 62 Chapter 10 “You Don’t Have to Live with Approval Addiction”

“Once you develop a pattern of pleasing people, you will need to take a genuine step of faith to break that cycle. Give people their freedom, but stand up for your right to be free as well.” pg 68 Chapter 11 “Establish Good Boundaries”

“Righteousness, or doing right, is a fruit that brings peace to our lives. Nothing feels better than simply knowing we did what was right.” pg 73 Chapter 12 “Don’t Let Your Feelings Stop You”

“When confronted by pain, we have three choices: 1) press past the pain now, 2) press past the pain later, or 3) keep the pain forever.” pg 73 Chapter 12 “Don’t Let Your Feelings Stop You”

“We must press past our lack of desire to do things we don’t enjoy. In the same way, we must also press past the emotional pain of abuse, rejection, disapproval, betrayal, judgment, guilt, shame, anger, unforgiveness, and criticism in order to be set free from them.” pg 74 Chapter 12 “Don’t Let Your Feelings Stop You”

“Don’t allow your past to ruin your future. God shows us in His word how we can be free, but we still have to make choices that may not always be easy or even seem fair. Doing so can be difficult, but once you do what you need to do, you will find blessing and reward.” pg 74 Chapter 12 “Don’t Let Your Feelings Stop You”

“Doing right when our feelings don’t support those actions builds strong character.” pg 74 Chapter 12 “Don’t Let Your Feelings Stop You”

“God’s Word has inherent power in it. When we release our faith in His Word, that power is released into our lives and circumstances to help us. I want to encourage you to replace one addiction with another addiction: I want you to become addicted to Jesus and to the Word of God! They are what you need more than anything else.” pg 79 Chapter 13 “Press Past the Pain of Disapproval”

“There are times when we must do things even when afraid. In other words, we must do what we know we should do even though we fear. When God says in His word, “Fear Not,” He means for us to keep going forward, taking steps of obedience to carry out His instructions. He is in essence saying, “This is not going to be easy, but don’t run away from it.” pg 81 Chapter 13 “Press Past the Pain of Disapproval”

“…the good news is that you are going through – and that means you will ultimately come out the other side with a victory that cannot be taken away from you.” pg 83 Chapter 13 “Press Past the Pain of Disapproval”

“People pleasers may think asking for help will make others feel obligated to them. Although they do most of what they do out of a sense of obligation, they don’t want others to feel obligated to them. Most people pleasers have such a poor self-image that they believe people would not want to do anything for them anyway. They don’t value themselves, so they think no one else values them, either.” pg 93 Chapter 15 “What Do You Need”

“God has given you authority first and foremost over your own life. If you don’t except and exercise that authority, you may spend your life blaming others for things you should do something about. Make your own decisions according to what you believe is God’s will for you; don’t let others make your decisions for you. On Judgment Day, God will not ask anyone else to give an account of your life; He will only ask you (see Romans 14:12).” pg 101 Chapter 16 “Take Authority Over Your Life”

“God has placed certain people in each of our lives to help us. If we do not receive their help, we become frustrated and overworked, and the feel unfulfilled because they are not using their gifts… You cannot be all things to all people all the time. You have legitimate needs. It is not wrong to need help and ask for it. However, needing help and being to proud to ask for it is wrong.” pg 101 Chapter 16 “Take Authority Over Your Life”

“God is a God of purpose. We may not always understand His Purpose, but we can be sure He definitely has one. Something may initially look terrible to us, and yet all the while God intends to show His glory by working something good from it.” pg 128 Chapter “Put Your Pain to Good Use”
– I don’t think God is the author of pain caused by others or ourself, but He certainly uses it to help build faith, character & strength. – Brother Sasquatch

“God has a purpose for you, too. No matter what you have been through, he is healing you and making you ready to help others.” pg 129 “Put Your Pain to Good Use”

What Has Changed?

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

– Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

Early on when all this turmoil began in my life I would get frustrated because my adversary would say and do things towards me to try to get a reaction out of me. My emotions were so up and down. Every time something would happen I thought they were happening to me and I needed to do something about it. In the middle of the storm God spoke to me. He said, “What has changed?” I examined my heart and situation and I realized what had changed was me. Although, my situation was the same. God was still in my life. He was still active, protecting me, loving and standing firm by my side. My trust in Him did not change either. Those words calmed my soul. I realized I didn’t have to bounce around in my emotions and mind, I could rest in His security and His loving arms. When I sense my emotions starting to flow up and down. I try to ask that question, “What has really changed?” He is our rock, our all in all.

©2017 MARK BLAIR GLUNT – USE ONLY BY PERMISSION.  Please repost, but don’t plagiarize.
Give credit where credit is due, always.

Armor of God: Gospel of Peace

“As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.”
– Ephesians 6:14

For many years I have been involved in peace and social justice issues. The call on my life has always lead me to the poor, the suffering, the rejected, the outcast. I still feel very strong about these issues, but new light over the word “peace” has developed as I have been meditating and praying the armor of God passages over this past year (Ephesians 6:10-18).

We, the children of light, are men and women of peace. There are many scriptures speaking of this. This peace is something internal, which is projected on to the external. Peace is not the absence of struggle, but a frame of mind, a paradigm. We can be under much stress, even suffering but still have peace.

Peace is the presence of God. The only way to truly have peace is to be conscious of our walk with God. Conscious of His goodness no matter what we are walking through. It is His peace which I want in my life- to lead me, to comfort me and to use me to comfort others. Away from God, my peace is not much. In fact it is well tainted with my agenda. But His peace will break hearts, mend hearts, heal lives and bring about the faith, hope and love we all desperately seek.

So let’s prepare our feet for battle with the Gospel of Peace. Let His peace rule in our lives. Submit to God’s peace.

“Father it is Your peace we want today – the quiet which gets us through these stressful, anxious, overly busy days. We want to be filled with Your peace so greatly that those around us sense Your presence and want to rest with us. Help us to take Your peace into all the world, proclaiming Your goodness, Your mercy and Your truth. In the name of Jesus.”

©2017 MARK BLAIR GLUNT – USE ONLY BY PERMISSION.  Please repost, but don’t plagiarize.
Give credit where credit is due, always.