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Welcome 2012!

Faith and Hope for a ‘New’ Year

JESUS My Lord and Savior  © All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond                                    

How often we celebrate a New Year thinking, and yes, praying…Please let this year be better than the last one.

No matter our beliefs, we all want to let go of the pressures, sorrows, disappointments and stress of the old…in hopes of revival, renewal, refreshment for the new. Though we know there will be challenges, we press forward in renewed hope that the New Year will bring resolve, peace, solutions, reconciliations and new beginnings.

What distinguishes Christian hope from worldly hope?

Christian hope is intricately connected to faith in God and His perfect will in all things. Worldly hope is in people, circumstances, and luck.

My New Year prayer for you, and for me…

May 2012 bring a year of new beginnings in the depth of your hope and faith in God’s promises, purposes, and perfect will for you and your loved ones. May you not be conformed to this world, but choose to be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. May His anointed word truly be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. May He continually sanctify you, making you holy by His  truth and teaching you His word. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. May you wait upon Him with renewed strength; mount up with wings as eagles; run, and not be weary; walk, and not faint. May you always seek His face, and in all things submit to the leadings of His indwelling Holy Spirit, who He placed in your heart. May you grow in purity, understanding, patience and kindness. May you love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your strength. May your New Year be blessed with an overflowing abundance of His  love, wisdom and discernment. May you glorify His Name and praise Him in all things. And…may you finish well dear one.

**Click links below for more NEW YEARS related posts on this blog**

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JESUS my Lord and Savior Anastasia Diamond

I am a ‘Faithful Blogger’. A couple of weeks ago we started a new group writing project based on 1 Thessalonians 5:18.  Twelve other bloggers and I participated in this project.

Courtney Chowning  complied all the entries into a FREE downloadable Special Report… just in time for your inspirational Thanksgiving  reading…and to offer on your blog or social network as well.

  • Hoping you will enjoy this Special Report as much as we do. If so, please take a moment to visit the Author’s websites and leave them a note telling them you enjoyed their contribution. 
  • If you would like to be notified of future group writing projects and special reports, please visit http://faithfulbloggers.com/ to sign up for the newsletter.
  • May you have many continuing blessings of thankfulness in all things. –Anastasia 

**Just click on the beautiful Ecover below for your FREE download**

Faithful Blogger Contributors:


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Be Thankful and Praise HIM in All things

JESUS my Lord and Savior

Anastasia Diamond © Copyright 2011

I have submitted this post to Faithful Bloggers Group Writing Project at  http://faithfulbloggers.com/blogging/group-writing-project/in-every-thing-give-thanks/comment-page-1/#comment-3335

First Thessalonians 5:16 -18 tells us…“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for it is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

You might be thinking…Can that be true? Am I actually supposed to be joyful forever, pray continually, give thanks in everything, and trust that everything is God’s will for me? 

This scripture encourages us to joyfully call-upon and glorify God throughout our life; continually, without stopping or finishing. We are to draw near to God and seek His face in prayer daily…little by little, over and over again. It also reminds us to be thankful in everything because it is God’s will for us who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, in unity with God the Father, through our relationship with Him.

Why would we thank God in the midst of our problems?  James explains it this way, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-4

In 2 Corinthians 7:4 Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation”. He knew, even though he was going through trials, that God was working all things together for his good. –Romans 8:28

Perservance in tribulation brings about the process of sanctification; which consecrates, dedicates, blesses, makes holy, purifies, approves, and sets apart believers due to accepting a relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Is everything concerning me truly the will of God ?

What about the death of my child, my illness, my loved one’s terminal illness, natural disasters, divorce, abandonment, financial debts I can’t pay, job loss, the murder of my loved one, being robbed, being raped, my homelessness, my addiction, imprisonment, unfairness in my life, other’s lies about me, the fright of global turmoil…and on, and on?

What about all those dreadful human conditions we encounter that bring pain, suffering, anxiety, loss, and grief? Can we truly approach God with a thankful heart, mind, and words while deep in the midst of worldly adversity?

It is easy and right to praise God on the good days and for all the good things in our lives and the lives of those we love. We are ever so willing to give Him thanks for our home, good health, happiness, finances to meet our needs, food  to quench our hunger, employment, position, children, and so on.

However, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 appoints us to give thanks in all circumstances that He allows, and to know that everything is His will in Christ Jesus in relation to us.

All is the opposite of nothing; it means every part of every thing.

What about the bad days? What about the days filled with complaints, hissy-fits, deep sorrow, and the ugliest circumstances of our life when it is clearly not easy to praise the Lord? One test of  our faith is learning to praise Him in all things…no matter how difficult the circumstances. That’s a tall order.

Praise Him in the midst of your circumstance. Though He does not promise an earthly life of continual bliss and happiness, He does promise His comfort and perfect peace in the midst of the storm. He wants us to allow our life circumstance to become a sacrifice of praise…all to His glory.

Giving Him thanks in all things leads to believing and understanding that we are to praise Him in all things! We are to glorify Him, worship Him, honor Him, applaud Him, and exalt Him…be truly thankful to Him in all things.

Step out of the boat…take His hand…in trust, faith and thankfulness. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete…not lacking anything.

If we are not thankful and praising Him in the midst of our difficulties, we must ask this profound question: Who is getting the glory in the midst of my storm… if not God?

The answer is difficult…and one we don’t like to consider.

The evil one is always waiting in the wings…lying, conniving; nay saying; working overtime to convince us that life is terrible, there is nothing to be thankful for, and that God does not care for or love us; if He did, He would not allow the pain, not only in our life, but throughout the world for all time. Part of the evil one’s mission is to plant questions and doubt so we will not praise God and be thankful in the midst of our brokenness, which gives him a toe-hold into our minds, hearts, and body.

However, God has a plan for our lives that is often worked out through adversity. Are we willing to trust God and let Him mold and shape us according to His will? Are we willing to be led; willing to go, to be, to do, and to accept everything God might choose for us?

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 

Oh, that every day would be a Thanksgiving Day; that we would  be thankful, cheerful and glad; praising and exalting Him in the midst of our problems; trusting His perfect will in all things.

Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”

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With True Patience Comes Humility

Jesus my  Lord and Savior

Anastasia Diamond – © 2011 

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us there are nine ‘Fruits of the Spirit’:

Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-controland Patience.

Most of us expect patience from family, friends, God, and others. However, we usually do not go out of our way to pray patience for ourselves.

Though we often lament in frustrated desperation, ‘Lord, give me patience’, we tend to seek and cherish the other eight fruits on that spiritual tree far more than we do patience.

So…why do we dread receiving this precious Fruit called patience?

Some how, we inherently know that patience takes time and comes with a price that will mold, shape, stretch, and grow us. Though we truly appreciate and desire the ultimate end product, we are often fearful of the process.

Our human nature functions in the instant gratification of now. However, God designed our spiritual nature to function in patience. The old English word for patience is ‘longsuffering’, which is a scary proposition for most of us. Did Jesus endure long-suffering? Indeed, in Him patience had its perfect work!

God is patient with us because He loves us, and fully knows us just as we are, flawed and imperfect. He has purposefully chosen to offer us the blessed Fruit of patience that we can be more fully like Him; more fully know Him, and more fully love Him. We can then more fully know and love others and ourselves…with His precious Fruit of patience.

With true patience comes humility…and submission to God’s perfect will for our life.

 

 

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Happy Birthday America!

Jesus my Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved 2011 – Anastasia Diamond

The 4th of July is ‘Independence Day’ in the United States.

Happy 235th Birthday and may God bless America! Yes…I am an American. I still get that lump in my throat and catch in my heart at the sight of our flag, or singing our national anthem; The Star Spangled Banner. I love my country and know that I am blessed to live in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Today I also want to talk about a another kind of independence…

Long before America declared independence from England…God, the Creator of all that is, our heavenly Abba Father, gave us the free will to be independent in the thoughts of our mind, words of our mouth, and actions of our body. Though He knew some would stray and some would cleave…He gave us that choice.

However, He also  gave us the opportunity to become His blood-bought children when we repent of our poor choices and accept His Son, Jesus as our Lord and Savior  Additionally, when we realize this is only our temporary earthly home, we can choose to relinquish our passport to worldly things, submit our will to His…and through faith, become more dependent on Him.

Yes, of course we will still make personal choices. However, when we ask for His daily guidance and direction…our choices are tempered by His indwelling Holy Spirit, and the process of sanctification. Therefore, we will have more of Him and less of us in the choices we make.

He enlightens us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. He teaches us that we cannot go to some of the places we used to go; We cannot look at some of the things we used to look at; We cannot think about some of the things we used to think about; We cannot listen to some of the things we used to listen to; We cannot say some of the things we used to say; We cannot wear some of the things we used to wear…and we cannot do some of the things we used to do.

Then, if or when we do make poor choices, His Holy Spirit lovingly, yet persistently, convicts our heart…teaching and reminding us of who were are in Him; our righteousness in Christ, that we will learn to make better choices…all to His glory.

Is the loss of our spiritual independence a negative?

I don’t think so. Rather, it is an opportunity to partner with our Creator, who has known us since before we were formed in our mother’s womb. It is such an amazing opportunity to live life in agreement with His perfect plan.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

We exchange spiritual aloneness for a precious blood-bought relationship with the only begotten Son of God…and are promised life in eternity with Him.

We receive spiritual wisdom, guidance and discernment from His most Holy Spirit.

We are healed, sealed, and blessed with the anointed blood of Jesus; giving us a covering and protection from the evil one.

Our sins are forgiven and covered with His divine grace and mercy.

Do you find it difficult to trust an unseen God with your life? Yet, you trust man and governments you can see with your life…and they fail you daily.

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it? or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”  –Numbers 23:19

Declare and celebrate your personal Independence Day. Use your God-given free will…and give it all back to Him! He will take the broken pieces of your life that may have been meant for evil…and use them for good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28

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I AM the Resurrection…and the Life

JESUS My Lord and Savior

©2011 All Rights Reserved

Anastasia Diamond

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Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. John 11:25-26

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very heartbeat of Christianity. However, though most Americans view Easter as a religious celebration, many do not know why.

A recent Barna Group study asked adult Americans what Easter means to them…

While 67% consider Easter a religious holiday, there was some serious confusion: 2% of those said Easter is about the “birth of Christ”; another 2% indicated it was about the “rebirth of Jesus”; and 1% said it celebrates “the second coming of Jesus.”

An additional 3% said Easter is a celebration of spring, or a pagan holiday.

Of the 67% who acknowledged Easter as a religious holiday…only 42% rightly identified the resurrection of Jesus as the true meaning of Easter!

HE is Risen

Dear one, do not be confused…our salvation depends on faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9 tells us, “if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

In 1 Corinthians Paul states, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen sleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”

Then Paul victoriously announces, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ secured our justification; He died for our sins and was raised for our justification.

Resurrection Sunday Blessings

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:10-12

May your Resurrection Sunday be blessed with the truth, knowledge, light and life of the resurrection of Jesus in your heart…and in your life.

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Read More Prayerful Reflections on EASTER:

Easter…I Prefer RESURRECTION SUNDAY

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

Walk in Faith

Anastasia Diamond
©All Rights Reserved
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Fear and faith are like opposite sides of the same coin. God requires our faith, while satan requires our fear.

Faith gives God access to our lives through grace…allowing Him to work in, through, and for us. Fear gives satan access to our lives mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually or financially…allowing him to work against us.

Fear cannot grow where faith is firmly planted on a sound foundation, and faith cannot blossom where fear grows wild and untamed.

Psalm 118:6 says, “The Lord is on my side I will not fear; what can man do to me?” If God is on our side, and helping us, why should we be afraid?

Hebrews 2:15 tells us people are in bondage because of fear of death. The fear of death is possibly the root of all fear…and takes the biggest covering of faith because death is the ultimate unknown.

Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Interestingly, fear also comes by hearing…but hearing by the word of the world. Remember, satan is not a creator. He can only distort and attempt to mimic that which God in heaven created. Therefore, it is important to understand that fear is satan’s primary means of destroying our faith. Every issue of fear that torments our heart has a root that can be covered, destroyed, and renewed with faith.

Fear that we will not have enough allows satan to deprive us of what we need. However, faith in God’s provision allows God to provide for us.

Which one governs your life…fear or faith?

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Luke 12:32

©-Anastasia Diamond

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