How To Change

ROMANS 12:2a NLT
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

Many people would like to see change in their life. But how?

To change the way you act, you must first change the way you think. Because you act like the person you think you are.

But to change your thinking, you will need to focus on different information.

Our beliefs are the cause of our actions. So to permanently change behavior, beliefs must be changed.

A belief is a thought you have decided to accept as truth. You choose your beliefs. Then your beliefs determine your actions. You always act on what you believe.

As long as you think something is advantageous for you, you will keep doing it. When you realize something is not advantageous for you, you will stop it.

You may argue with this, thinking that you sometimes do things you know are not good for you. But you only do them if you think you are gaining some benefit from doing them. Usually it is choosing to receive a near-term benefit in exchange for longer-term harm.

Why do people do what they do? Because of what they believe. All people always do what they believe is their best choice at the time in order to get what they think they want. Always!

People normally do not act contrary to their beliefs, except under great pressure. But even when forced to do something against your will, you will only do it if it seems to be the best thing you can do under those circumstances.

When your beliefs change, your talking and your actions will also change. Trying to change your actions without first changing your beliefs will fail because your beliefs govern your actions.

For example, believing that God loves you instead of being mad at you will change the way you act. If you believe God loves you, you will turn to God when you need help. But if you believe God is mad at you, you will be hesitant to seek God’s help.

Our beliefs may be based on incomplete and inaccurate information — in fact they usually are. But our beliefs always determine our actions.

Humans are like a guided missile, programmed to change course when new information is presented and accepted.

So the first step for positive change in your life is to get information that will change the way you think. Read the letters to the Church in the New Testament and find out what Jesus Christ has done for you. Find out who you are in Christ. Find out how God sees you.

SAY THIS: To change my behavior, I must first change my beliefs.

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Does God Supply Only What We Need?

What is a need? Who is qualified to determine what is a need?

Is it something essential? What is essential? Essential to
what? To survival? To health? (Physical health only, or mental
and emotional health, as well?)

Are essentials universal? Or do they vary from person to
person, or from country to country, or from age to age?

Is having more than just my essential, survival needs met proof
of my greed or selfishness?

If God will only meet our needs, why do some Christians have
more than they need? How did they get it? Did the devil give it
to them?

If God only meets the needs of Christians, who will ever have
any extra to give to others?

What is need and what is greed; what is too much and what is
just right? Are you qualified to judge? For yourself? For me?
For someone in a different country? For all people?

Is it wrong for a Christian to accept a job paying more than a
survival wage? Should they only work part-time to stay below
abundance?

Does God play favorites? Did the Apostle Paul say, in
Philippians 4:18, that he had more than he needed? Did God ever
give anyone else an abundance?

Does creation testify to a God of abundance? Why are there so
many shapes and colors of fish? Why do we need flowers?

Can you give scripture clearly saying God will supply only what
we need to barely get by? Are there not many scriptures that
tell us He supplies abundance? Have you ever read the entire
Bible?

What is a need? Are you qualified to judge?

SAY THIS: Has my view of God’s provision been correct?

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How Many Times Should I Ask God For Something?

The answer to this question is that you should ask until you get the answer.

When you believe you have the answer, it would be silly to ask again.

But how should you determine when you get the answer? What evidence will you require to believe you have the answer?

What will God have to do before you will believe He has granted your request? Will God need to send an angel to tell you your request is granted? Will you have to wait until all the circumstances change and everyone sees the answer show up in your life?

Or, will you simply accept God’s Word as sufficient evidence to believe God has granted your request?

Jesus said in Mark 11:24 that we are to believe we receive the answer when we pray. The key to receiving from God is not long praying, but faith. What we believe is what makes the difference.

God gave us the Bible to change what we believe, so we could know His will, pray in agreement with His will, and therefore have confidence that our requests are granted.

MATTHEW 6:7 NKJ
7 “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.

In Matthew 6:7 Jesus warned against using “vain repetition” in prayer, but this probably means more than just making the same request more than once. It cannot always be wrong to repeat a prayer, because Jesus prayed the same words three times in Matthew 26:44. It depends on what kind of prayer it is.

It is appropriate to repeat some prayers, like those found in Ephesians asking for believers to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will with all understanding. That is not a prayer you can just pray once and believe you receive the full answer immediately.

But when we ask God for some material thing, we should not need to ask more than once. We should believe God granted our request when we prayed. So it is not appropriate to ask God again, but only to thank Him.

What is vain repetition? Something that is useless and makes no difference.

MATTHEW 6:7 ERV
7 “And when you pray, don’t be like the people who don’t know God. They say the same things again and again. They think that if they say it enough, their god will hear them.

Successfully praying to receive things is not a matter of wearing God down with repeated requests until He finally gives in and grants your request.

Jesus taught that what we receive through prayer is a matter of what we believe. Mark 11:24 tells us that when we pray we are to believe we receive our answer when we pray.

If we believe we receive the answer to our prayer, there is no need to continue asking for that request. There is no need to keep asking for something we already have.

We don’t have to believe we are in possession of what we requested, but simply that God has granted our request and the answer is on its way to us.

How many times would you ask a friend to do something for you? Unless you are forgetful or crazy, you would only ask them until they said yes. Once they said they will do something for you, if you trust them, you know they will do it. Continuing to ask them to do something after they already agreed to do it would be rude and disrespectful.

MATTHEW 21:22 NKJ
22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

The key factor is what you believe. If you don’t believe God heard and answered your prayer, then you need to pray again. But you need to recognize that the fault is not with God, but with you.

Jesus taught that to receive from God we must ask in faith. If we are not prepared to believe we receive the answer when we pray, then we are not ready to pray for that request.

We have no business praying for something we do not believe is God’s will. But if we pray in agreement with God’s will, then we should know we have the answer.

1 JOHN 5:14-15 NKJ
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

“What then am I to pray about? What do I say tomorrow during my prayer time?”

If you believe you received the answer “yes” from God today in regard to your request, then tomorrow when you talk to God about it, you should say “Thank You!” “Thank You that You are working and the answer is coming. Thank You for answering my prayer. Thank You that things are working out good.”

“But,” you say, “nothing has changed yet!”

If you think that, it shows you are basing your beliefs entirely on the information coming from your circumstances. You are not accepting God’s Word as worthy evidence. You have not believed that God granted your request and the answer is on its way. With this approach, you cannot expect very good results in prayer.

SAY THIS: There is no need to ask for something after it has been granted to you.

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Plead The Blood

Pleading the Blood of Jesus is not begging — but a legal term.

REVELATION 12:10-11 NKJ
10 . . . the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before
our God day and night, has been cast down.
11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the
word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to
the death.

The devil is our accuser. The only successful plea is the Blood
of Jesus. Pleading our ignorance, our innocence, or our merits
will fail. Only relying on the Blood of our substitute
sacrifice, the Lamb of God, will win our case before God the
Judge.

When we pray, we should base our prayer on the Blood of Jesus
— the price paid for our needs to be met — instead of on our
need or our worthiness.

When we resist the devil, we cannot resist him based on who we
are or what we have done, but only on the price paid for our
complete redemption — the precious Blood of Jesus.

Faith in Jesus’ Blood, released in testimony against the devil,
will always cause him to flee. We must resist him, steadfast in
faith, for as long as it takes.

Our enemy can always be overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and
the word of our testimony. We have victory over every evil
because of Jesus’ shed Blood.

PSALM 107:2 NKJ
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed
from the hand of the enemy,

We must SAY we are redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. Here are
some example statements you could use in pleading the Blood.

In the Name of Jesus, I plead the Blood of the Lord Jesus
Christ against this problem.

I cover my home with the Blood of Jesus to protect all
occupants and possessions from all evil.

Especially in times of violence we need to cry out for the
protection of the Blood for all our household. Parents can put
the Blood on their “door” — taking in all that pertains to
them — and claim salvation and protection for their entire
family. The Blood is the one thing that will keep your family
safe in these perilous days.

When we awaken in the morning we should call for the Blood to
be upon us and all that belongs to us. Before we sleep we
should, in the same way, call for the protection of the Blood.

SAY THIS: I plead the Blood of Jesus over all my household and
all our possessions.

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God Will Provide

GENESIS 22:14a NLT
14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the LORD will provide”).

One of God’s names is Yahweh-Yireh (also spelled Jehovah Jireh) which means, “the Lord will see to it,” that is, “the Lord will provide.” The Lord sees ahead and provides. That is one of His names! God cares for you, and plans for your provision, even before you know you need it.

There will not be one day in your entire life that God has not seen ahead and made provision for you. It may require some searching for you to find it. It may even be difficult to obtain. But God’s provision is always there!

MATTHEW 6:26 CEB
26 Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are?

Jesus said God provides food for the birds, implying that God provides for every creature. Yet, if a bird sits still, instead of gathering the food God has provided for them, they can starve. God does not carry food to their nest and put it in their mouths.

Birds don’t sit in the spot where they found food yesterday and wait for food to show up there today. They keep looking, obviously confident that food is available somewhere.

If you accept lack, you may have it. But if you have as much faith as a bird you will keep looking for your provision until you find it, because you know that God has made provision for you.

You may have to look in a different place than you found your provision yesterday, and you may have to look longer than you did yesterday, but if you keep looking you will find it.

SAY THIS: I can trust God to always provide what I need.

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You Have Guaranteed Provision

1 TIMOTHY 5:8 NIV
8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and
especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is
worse than an unbeliever.

Now that you have received Jesus you are a child of God. God
will never be worse than an unbeliever — He will always
provide for His own family. That includes you. Stop and think
about this fact!

LUKE 12:22,24,27-32 NLT
22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I
tell you not to worry about everyday life — whether you have
enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear.
24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store
food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more
valuable to him than any birds!
27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or
make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not
dressed as beautifully as they are.
28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here
today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care
for you. Why do you have so little faith?
29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink.
Don’t worry about such things.
30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over
the world, but your Father already knows your needs.
31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you
everything you need.
32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father
great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

In God’s kingdom there is no lack. A kingdom is a king’s
dominion, where a king rules. When you allow King Jesus to rule
in your life, you are part of His kingdom.

COLOSSIANS 1:13 NLT
13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and
transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,

When you receive Jesus Christ you become a citizen of His
kingdom, so He is responsible for your welfare.

MATTHEW 6:31-33 CEB
31 Therefore, don’t worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’
or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to
wear?’
32 Gentiles long for all these things. Your heavenly Father
knows that you need them.
33 Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s
righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as
well.

Instead of worrying about your provision, your focus should be
God’s will. This passage mentions two things: being in God’s
kingdom and having righteousness (which means right standing
with God).

Everyone who believes on Jesus is now in God’s kingdom, and has
been given righteousness as a free gift (Romans 3:22, 5:17). So
you have God’s promise that if you are in His kingdom and in
right standing with Him, you need not worry about provision,
for God will provide for you.

This promise of God is not based on what you deserve or what
you are able to do. If you belong to God, He will provide for
you. No matter where you are, or what you are facing, this is
God’s promise of basic provision for you.

If necessary, God will multiply food or have ravens bring it to
you, like He did for Elijah (1 Kings 17:2-6).

But if you refuse to believe God will provide for you, your
doubt will open the door for the devil to steal God’s provision
from you. Then, even though God was faithful to provide for
you, you may not receive it.

If there is any lack, it is because the devil has stolen your
provision through unbelief. God’s will is always for you and
your family to have more than enough.

This basic provision is not the maximum blessing you can live
in, but even if your faith is weak, this is God’s guarantee for
you. If you trust God and obey Him, He will provide for you
even more abundantly.

SAY THIS: God promised to provide for me!

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What are Alms?

“Alms” are not some kind of tree, but something you should know about — and do.

The Greek word translated alms in the New Testament originally meant mercy or kindness, then came to represent the kind deeds caused by mercy and kindness. So it came to mean charitable giving to the poor — or giving motivated by love.

Many times this word is translated as “charitable deed.”

LUKE 12:33 NKJ
33 “Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.

Jesus often spoke of giving alms. But He made it clear that our motives are important.

MATTHEW 6:2-4 NRSV
2 “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.
3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

The Bible tells of Cornelius, “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:2), who had an angel deliver this message:

ACTS 10:4 NKJ
4 . . . he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.

God was impressed with this Roman soldier’s giving to meet the needs of the poor. What he did got God’s attention.

Alms are not offerings to worship God, or support His ministers. Alms are charitable deeds — gifts to the poor and needy. Helping people who are in trouble.

Alms are important to God. They are an act of love. We are not made right with God by giving, or any works we do, but only through what Jesus did for us. But as children of God we should help care for others who God also loves.

SAY THIS: Alms are gifts of love to help people in trouble.

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You Are Rich Because of What Jesus Did

2 CORINTHIANS 8:9 NLT
9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
God placed the first humans, Adam and Eve, in a garden paradise where all their needs were abundantly supplied, with never a thought of lack.

But through disobedience to God mankind fell, and a curse came on the earth. After man sinned then the devil had access to people and brought in stealing, killing, and destruction.

All poverty and lack in the earth today is the result of that curse, and the devil is behind it.

Jesus came to redeem us and set us free from this curse. It cost Jesus His life, shedding His blood to free us.

HEBREWS 2:14b NLT
14 For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.

Jesus died not only so your sins would be forgiven, but also to free you from the the devil and the curse sin produced.

Jesus’ death legally frees you from all the curse. But you have to stand up for what belongs to you. You have to assert the rights Jesus paid for you to enjoy.

1 JOHN 3:8b NLT
8 But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.

Prosperity was purchased for all by the sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary. The reason we don’t have it is because we either don’t know it belongs to us, or we are allowing the devil to steal it from us.

On the cross Jesus suffered true poverty and lack. It was not because of anything He did wrong, but for our redemption. By His sacrifice, provision was made for our finances. On the cross Jesus took the curses we deserved, so that we might receive as a gift the blessings Jesus deserved.

ISAIAH 53:5 AMPLIFIED
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

Jesus paid the price necessary for you to obtain peace and well-being. The word translated as peace is “shalom.” It means well-being in every way, not just inward peace, but what can be seen by others, and definitely includes material prosperity.

Jesus died so that you could always have enough. His death purchased prosperity for you. Jesus died that you might have life, and have it in all its fullness (John 10:10).

GALATIANS 4:7 NLT
7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

After you receive Jesus, you are no longer a broke beggar, but a child of Almighty God (John 1:12).

Just like a well-loved child of a billionaire can say, “I am rich!” even when they have no money in their pocket, you can say the same thing and tell the truth.

Your heavenly Father is rich beyond compare, and He chose to make you His heir, and give you everything!

When God gave us Jesus, He gave us everything because everything belongs to Jesus (Romans 8:32, Hebrews 1:2).

You should not have to wait until you have money in your hand to believe what God said. You can have confidence that He will always provide for you abundantly. So you will always have a full supply, and that is one definition of rich.

SAY THIS: Because of what Jesus did for me, I am truly rich in every way.

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Pay Your Teachers

GALATIANS 6:6-7 NLT
6 Those who are taught the word of God should help their teachers by paying them.
7 Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!

A law of human behavior is that you will get more of what you reward, or support. If those who teach the Bible are not supported, less people will teach the Bible. This is not the will of God!

If we expect to keep learning, we must support teachers. Otherwise, without support, there will be no teachers. Then who will be left to teach us? Basketball players? Movie stars?

1 CORINTHIANS 9:11-14 NLT
11 We have planted good spiritual seed among you. Is it too much to ask, in return, for mere food and clothing?
12 If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? Yet we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than put an obstacle in the way of the Good News about Christ.
13 Don’t you know that those who work in the Temple get their meals from the food brought to the Temple as offerings? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings.
14 In the same way, the Lord gave orders that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.

God’s plan is for us to support those who teach His Word. This will insure an ample supply of people ready to continue teaching you, and others, the things of God. How valuable is that to you?

(God is not pleased when we do not value His Word highly. It is disrespectful to God, and not very smart.)

SAY THIS: I will honor God and His Word by supporting those who preach and teach the Bible.

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God’s Word Is Like A Seed

LUKE 8:11 NKJ
11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

A seed is powerful.

As a seed begins to grow, it will push up dirt, rocks, etc. Whatever the obstacles are, God’s Word planted in your heart will push them out of the way.

A seed begins its growth in secret (underground).

The only way to tell if a seed is growing is to dig it up, or wait for a plant to appear. If you dig up a seed, you may kill it.

A seed takes time to produce.

No one expects a seed to produce a harvest the same day that seed is planted.

Sometimes the Word of God seems to spring up and bear fruit immediately. Yet, if we knew the details, we would understand that the fruit of the Word grew in that person’s life over time.

A seed is persistent.

A seed never gives up, but works day and night. Even when you are sleeping, the seed you have planted is working to grow and express itself in a fruitful harvest.

A seed is not affected by other seeds.

Whatever happens to other seeds does not make any difference to a specific seed. Each seed sticks to its own task. One wheat seed planted in a corn field will still produce wheat. Seed does not become discouraged, or quit, even if other seeds die.

A seed will stop growing without nourishment.

Planting a seed is not enough to assure a harvest. Seed must be protected and taken care of until harvest time. A seed which is dug up, or not watered, will not produce.

More seeds planted produce a larger harvest.

2 CORINTHIANS 9:6 NKJ
6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

Think on these truths about seeds. Allow the Holy Spirit to help you apply them to the role of God’s Word in your life.

SAY THIS: God’s Word is the most important seed. I will diligently plant it in my life, so God can be glorified in my life.

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