Audio Bible Scriptures

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Renewing My Spirit

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Renewing my Spirit
I remember a video of music I used to play for my daughter when she was a toddler. One of them had the song, “Oh Be Careful Little Eyes.” It was such a simple little song, but it had such powerful truth to it! And that truth isn’t just for young children; it is for all of us!

I know that if I find myself ‘vegging’ on Netflix, my spirit will dry out very quickly. If I’m watching the news for very long, I become anxious and stressed out. There are times when I notice the effects of it on my sleep because I start having nightmares.

I have also noticed that if I spend too much time on social media, I begin to feel irritated, angry, and emotionally drained.

I have learned through the years to be very cautious in what I allow my eyes to see and my ears to hear. The difference is amazing! When I take a more positive approach by spending free time reading the Word or listening to praise music while going about my daily tasks, I feel joy and peace, which energizes me.
© 2017, Stacy R. Miller

Transformed Thoughts

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Transformed Thoughts
Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us that God’s thoughts and ways are not our ways. I have found this scripture to be so true in my own life. If I neglect the Word and refuse to hide it in my heart, my attitude becomes very negative, and thus, my thoughts are not the true, honest, just, and pure thoughts mentioned in Philippians 4:8. And because my heart is negatively affected, what comes out of my mouth is often less than godly. (Luke 6:45)

However, when I take the time to be in the Lord’s presence, whether it be through praying or reading and meditating upon His Word, I find my thoughts are transformed into His thoughts.

I hate to admit this, but it’s the honest truth. I started cussing when I was in third grade, and I’m now in my fifties. Though I’ve been saved for over thirty years, cussing is a nasty habit that has remained a struggle for me. Yet I have noticed a huge change when I remain faithful in reading the Word – I am transformed from one who frequently cusses to one who sees things through the filter of the Word of God. It changes my entire outlook, my heart, and thus, my words. Things that used to set me off lose their power when I’m daily living in the power of His Spirit within me.

I have noticed that when I’m spending quality time in the Word, really digesting it, the nightly news doesn’t cause me to become depressed. Rather, I see it through the lens of scripture. I turn to the Lord and pray when I see something distressing, such as the cruel death of two teenagers in a county near me. When I see wickedness abounding, it saddens me, but at the same time, I know that this must happen before our Lord returns. Knowing that, I can rejoice that His coming is even nearer.
When we spend that quality and quantity time with the Lord, we will find it easier to hear His voice speaking to us in the midst of the busy daily grind, in the middle of our trials, and above the noise which tries to drown out the gentle sound of His voice.

Most everyone I speak with these days believes we are in the last days. If that is true, why would we not want to spend time with our gracious Lord, who alone can prepare us for what may come our way?
© 2017, Stacy R. Miller

Wrestling Our Thoughts

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Wrestling Our Thoughts

I often find myself playing situations over and over in my mind.  I will either think, “I should have said….,” or “If it comes up again, I am going to say….”  It is a vicious cycle.  One in which I find myself at this very moment.  In fact, I commented to my husband that I sensed I was in a real battle with my thoughts.

 

We are told in Second Corinthians 10:5 to take our thoughts captive.  In verse four, it talks about the weapons we are to use.  The very mention of the word “weapon” suggests that we are to be actively engaged in warfare.  Taking control of our thoughts is not to be passive, but aggressive.

 

It reminds me of watching Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, when he was getting ready to wrestle a crocodile.  Steve was not passive in his efforts, but very aggressive in his pursuit.  It not only required physical strength and alertness for the task, but also diligence and wisdom.  Steven had to be diligent to hold onto the crocodile until it was subdued.

 

It is the same with us when our thoughts want to run amuck.  We need God’s insight to know which plan of attack to use.  We need to be diligent to stay alert to when our thoughts go wayward.  It is imperative for us to maintain our spiritual strength so we can endure the battle until we come out victorious.

 

Just as Steve Irwin wrestled numerous crocodiles unscathed, we can wrestle our thoughts and come out unharmed, for we are MORE than conquerors!  (Romans 8:37)
© 2007, Stacy R Miller

What’s Playing?

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What’s Playing?

If someone were able to view what is going through your mind at any given time, what television show would it resemble?

Fear Factor – always fearing what is to come.  II Tim. 1:7; Mt. 6:27
Survivor – looking out for number one at all costs, even if it means you must be conniving and deceitful about it.  Mk. 4:19; I Pet. 2:1
Jeopardy – planning and thinking of things that could put your spiritual life, your marriage, your family, your church, or your job in jeopardy.  James 1:1-13-15
Beat the Clock – always running your schedule through your mind, trying to beat the clock so that you can move on to the next adventure, forgetting to take the time to be still and know that He is God.  Ps. 46:10
Who’s the Boss? – always playing scenes over in your mind on how you plan to assert yourself over your husband.  I Pet. 3:1-6
Judge Judy – playing judge and jury toward other people.  Mt. 7:1
Divorce Court – planning a strategy for divorcing your mate. Mal. 2:16;  Mt. 19:3; I Cor. 7:11, 27
Temptation Island – what temptations play through your mind? Mt. 6:13, 26:41; I Cor. 10:13
QVC – Are you always planning your next shopping excursion because you are a compulsive shopper?  Tit. 2:12
Storm Stories – having the constant trials of life playing over and over, without end.  Jas. 1:2; II Pet. 2:9

If someone were able to view the scenes in playing through your mind, would those scenes line up to what Phil. 4:8 tells us?  Do you think upon that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy?  You may think that no one sees, but God sees all things.  Do you need to sit before Him, allowing Him to cleanse your heart and mind?  Is it time to allow God’s Word to saturate your being, causing your mind to be renewed?  Rom. 12:2
© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

What’s Eating You?

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What’s Eating You?

Have you ever heard someone ask, “What’s eating you?”  Often times, it’s easy to discern when someone is really upset over something.  But, there are times when we are pretty good at putting on masks, and trying to cover how we feel about things.  We may even think that we can hide these things deep in our heart, where nothing can touch them, where nothing can see them.  There are two problems with that kind of thinking.  #1 God still sees it.  #2 The problem is still touching us — eating away at us, bit by bit.

What kinds of things can eat away at us?  There’s jealousy, envy, bitterness, anger, hurt, betrayals, and fear, just to name a few.  We may have held onto these feeling for so long that we feel as if we can never be rid of them.  In fact, we may not WANT to be rid of them.  Sometimes we have to forgive the one who offended us or violated us in order to be rid of these feelings.  We can mistakenly think that if we forgive the offender, we are saying that what they did to us was OK.  What forgiveness does is frees YOU, not the offender.  It is setting YOU free from those things which may have been eating away at you for many years.

In Proverbs 14:1 it tells us that a wise woman builds her house while a foolish woman will tear hers down.  There is one major difference between these two women.  Miss Foolish keeps her thoughts patterned after this world.  She will defend herself at all costs, always looking out for numero uno.  She will walk over others to get where she wants.  To protect those hidden places in her heart, she may resort to treating others with disdain.  While it may get her what her flesh desires, she doesn’t realize that it also leads her into further bondage, thus causing things to “eat away” at her.

The wise woman has trained herself to be godly.  (2 Tim. 4:7)  She has made the choice not to follow after the ways of this world.  Instead, she is transformed by the renewing of her mind.  (Rom. 12:2)  She allows the Holy Spirit the freedom to renew her mind, and it has led her to a place of peace, contentment, and freedom.

So, what’s eating you?  The choice is yours:  Will you follow after Miss Foolish, or will you follow the path to wisdom?  Wisdom’s path may lead you to a freedom like you have never known before.

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Wasted Energy

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Wasted Energy

Do you struggle with worry?  Do you ever get really agitated? Are you ever disturbed by something which has taken place between you and another person?  If you are like me, you can go to bed at night and continue to “play” the situation over and over in your mind.  It is hard to turn it off.  Yet, all that worry is nothing more than wasted energy.

Jesus tells us in John 14:27 to “stop allowing ourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.” (AMP)

There are a few areas where women allow themselves to be agitated and disturbed.  One is by being a people pleaser.  By trying to please everyone, we end up in emotional turmoil.  What we need to realize is that we cannot please everyone all the time.

Another situation that leads us to be disturbed is the belief that everyone has to like us.  Dear one, there is always going to be somebody who doesn’t like you.  Guess what?  That is OK!  While God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to die for us, I am certain there are some people in this world He just doesn’t like!  Think ISIS members, Charles Manson, or even child molesters, just to name a few.

Another area that causes us to end up in distress is our failure to learn to say “no.”  Anytime I am asked to take on a commitment, if I do not immediately know what my answer should be, I will ask the person to give me time to pray about it.

I have learned to say no over the years.  It is a wonderful freedom to be able to say no, and to do so without guilt!  Recently, I was approached by a lady from church who wanted me to help with something during one of the upcoming services.  I immediately felt I was not to commit.  On the day I would have been committed to assisting her, I received a phone call from our music director, asking if I could teach her class that morning.  Had I said yes to the earlier request, I would not have been in a position to agree to teach the class when asked.

One last area I would like to address is that of disobedience.  Several months ago, I was feeling enormously stressed.  I could not understand why until I got before the Lord.  He clearly showed me that I was holding on to a place of ministry where He had not called me.  I immediately repented and stepped down from that position.  My stress level dropped immensely.

Now if this does not help you to overcome your own wasted energy of worrying, perhaps the following information will help you in making necessary changes.
© 2007, Stacy R Miller

We “live” on stress.  It is a daily part of our lives, an every-day-burden we bear.  There is actually a chemical reaction which takes place when we feel stressed.  It releases something in our body that can actually give us a “high” of sorts.  When we allow this cycle to continue over and over, it can be very destructive to our bodies, leading to:  memory loss, loss of sleep, a compromised immune system, auto immune disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, heart trouble, fibromyalgia, hypertension (high blood pressure), and cancer.

Dear sister, is it really worth your health to allow yourself to be constantly agitated and disturbed?  Ask the Lord to help you number your days and to realize how fleeting life is. (Psalm 39:4-6) Determine to set your mind on things above. (Colossians 3:1) Train your mind to think on things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8)

Keep in mind that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Is that how you want to treat the temple of the Living God?  When you start to worry, or get agitated and disturbed, ask yourself if the issue is really worth the toll it will take on your physical body.  I don’t know about you, but I want to be around for a long time – even if there are people who don’t like me!  (See the previous devotion if you don’t follow the humor in that last statement.)
© 2007, Stacy R Miller

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