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Jan 22, 2011

"Your Own Worst Critic?"

DAY #22 - "A Woman of Faith" Devotional
Verse: "A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God." 1 Timothy 6:6 MSG
NIV - "But godliness with contentment is great gain."
KJV - "But godliness with contentment is great gain."
NLT - "Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth."

The definition of 'devout' according to dictionary.com is;
–adjective, -er, -est.


1. devoted to divine worship or service; pious; religious: a devout Catholic.
2. expressing devotion or piety: devout prayer.
3. earnest or sincere; hearty: He had a devout allegiance to the political regime.
—Synonyms
1. worshipful; holy, saintly. See religious. 3. intense, serious, fervent, ardent.

We are to live our lives devoted to God, as worshipful, faithful, loyal Christians. We have all the wealth in the world that we need living for God. We need to live with godliness, and with contentment knowing that He is our provider, and the lifter of our heads. ("Many are saying of me, 'God will not deliver him.' But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the LORD, and He answers me from His holy mountain." Psalm 3:2-4 NIV) Godliness is not a means to financial gain, but God can, will and does provide exactly what we need. We do not need to 'hoard' anything! We live in the faith knowing


Usually in life, we are our own worst enemy, or our own worst critic. When we look at ourselves in the mirror, when we compare ourselves to other's, when we look at the things that we do (ie; things we make with our hands, a job we have done, etc.) We need to understand ourselves more, and who God has created us to be. We are not meant to all be 2nd rate Angelina Jolie's or Mother Teresa's. You are created to be 1st rate ___________. (insert your name in the space)


There are so many self-help books, websites, programs, conferences & workshops out there, and yet the only one we need is the Bible itself. "The Bible affirms the importance of self-acceptance by teaching Christians to love others as they love themselves (Matthew 22:37-40). God accepts us just as we are. And, if He accepts us-- faults and all -- then who are we to believe otherwise?" ('A Woman of Faith' Devotional. Day 22. ©2007 Freeman-Smith, LLC. Nashville, TN. 37202) The Bible is indeed the answer to all our problems. God has created you to be unique and with the gifts, talents and characteristics you need. We shouldn't be striving to do or be like someone else. We can look to other's for mentoring, etc, who've been there, or who are in a place where your giftings might take you... but we shouldn't strive to be 'them'. We should be striving to 'be like Jesus'.


We need to maintain a healthy self-image, as the devil is deceiving and scheming to attack us in any way he can. The devil can use our thoughts and imagings as we speak them into the air... he is the prince and power and ruler of the darkness of this world.  "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12 KJV) When we speak out about our failures (or what seems to us to be failures), the devil and his schemers are listening and will run with those to use them against us. For if we see ourselves, or our giftings as insignificant (or as failures not to try again) that allows him to keep us from doing God's work that God has planned for us to do. God wants to use our failures and mistakes as learning experiences for ourselves, and so that we may possibly also help others who may be in the same mindset or problems as well. (IE: If you self-inflict wounds (or have in the past) to remove pain, and God has healed you of it - the scars still remain, yet the healing has gone much deeper to your heart. We can't always see what God does on the inside, yet the changes are there. And now, you can be a living example and mentor to other young girls in that predicament. Sometimes you can catch them, before they begin. God has a plan for you!)
{Editor Note: If you, or someone you know is suffering with this, check out this site, 'To Write Love on Her Arms' -- http://www.twloha.com/index.php)


We also need to remember that 'God has to change your heart, before He can change your shirt' -- those words are found in a song by Casting Crowns - 'What This World Needs'. (Here is the video with lyrics added.)


This world does need a Saviour, and that Saviour is JESUS! He is God the Father's Son, He is not just a prophet and He is God! He is the Word! He is the WAY, the TRUTH & the LIFE! (See John 1:1 and John 14:6)


I'm going to post the lyrics here as well, because as I am writing this devo' and listening to the song, they are so super true. What this world needs... is not us, but JESUS!

What this world needs is not another one hit wonder with an axe to grind

Another two bit politician peddling lies
Another three ring circus society
What this world needs is not another sign waving super saint that's better than you
Another ear pleasing candy man afraid of the truth
Another prophet in an Armani suit

What this world needs is a Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love them in their time of need
A Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love
That's what this world needs

What this world needs is for us to care more about the inside than the outside
Have we become so blind that we can't see
God's gotta change her heart before He changes her shirt
What this world needs is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance
Blending in so well that people can't see the difference
And it's the difference that sets the world free


Jesus is our Savior, that's what this world needs
Father's arms around you, that's what this world needs
That's what this world needs

What we need to remember is that God does look at the inside, and it is much more important than our outer appearance. We can have implants, lifts, tucks, etc on the outside to try and improve on God's creation (why? who knows, because everything God made is 'good')... but we cannot fake what is going on inside of us, the change that we allow God to do. "But God told Samuel, 'Looks aren't everything. Don't be impressed with his looks and stature. I've already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.' " 1 Samuel 16:7

Keep your heart diligent, devout and pure! Be Yourself! Again, 'A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God.' -- Read the chapter of 1 Timothy 6 in the MESSAGE translation... WOW! (right-click the link, and open in a new tab or window) -- Put your name in, in place of the name 'Timothy', and let God reveal Himself to you in a new way as you try to "...Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to..." (1 Timothy 6:11-12 MSG).

...and stop being your own WORST critic, and be the BEST you that you can be! Be the M.E. that God has called you to be. (M.E. = Your 'Maximum Effectiveness'!)

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!


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