0 comments on “Character/Integrity, Temptations, the Full Armor of God”

Character/Integrity, Temptations, the Full Armor of God

Matthew 5:28 ‘Do not let your heart turn to her ways [the adulteress]’

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 7: 1-3 My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

There is a big connection between heart and mind. It’s said that desires and ambitions stem from the heart. But aren’t those concrete thoughts? And our thoughts on the other hand can have a big impact on the health of our hearts. Like literally.

I believe that God wants His children to operate from the heart, knowing that Jesus is in there. When we accept His Son we accept Him with our minds, but we accept Him into our hearts. And when He is nourished in our hearts, our spirits are lifted, and we can also begin to see things from His point of view. Our minds then adopt His perspective and character/integrity is built in us.

The bridge between heart and mind is character/integrity. When this is more prominent than personality, righteousness is the result. Righteousness is always something to receive no matter how many years a Christian has been following Christ, otherwise it would never have been paid for on the Cross.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Who or what is at the center of your heart? Is it Jesus or is it something else that may be causing you a lot of confusion?

Open the eyes of my heart LORD,

Open the eyes of my heart,

I want to see YOU

I want to see YOU…

 

This song by Michael W. Smith speaks to me a lot. As a Christian it’s so important to realize the connection between Father and Son, and not just once but several times a week. It’s not enough as knowledge in the back of your head. It must be a realization, a rediscovering, a habit to remember again and again.

In my perspective, this song is sung to God, the Father. When I sing it, I am asking HIM to open Jesus’ eyes in my heart. I’m basically inviting Jesus into my heart all over again because I trust His perspective on things. Then in total surrender, when I am aware that Jesus is very well alive and awake in me, I can see through His eyes and He is looking straight to God. I find peace and oneness with HIM here as I am humbly reminded that my righteousness is only there because He made this connection with HIM possible. I am nothing without my relationship with HIS Son.

Is your relationship with Christ making you aware of your temptations?

James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Temptation becomes sin at the moment when the spirit is quenched because the flesh is fulfilled by our participation to commit. As long as you’re battling temptation with your own strength, they will always seem too great for you to overcome. The secret to faith is finding strength not in ourselves but in Christ’s confidence in God. Armoring yourself with the LORD’S Truth is your weapon for warfare. So what is God’s Truth and how can we overcome one temptation at a time?

In matters of temptation, God’s Truth is found in Ephesians 6:10-18. It talks about putting on the full armor of God, which is the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

The breastplate of righteousness is the righteousness Christ paid for on our behalf, so putting it on (receiving it) is what will protect our heart. Self-righteousness is not good enough to protect ourselves; we must put on Christ’s righteousness. This is that realization/rediscovering I was talking about earlier; we have righteousness only because of the relationship between God and Jesus.

The shield we must have with us is faithfulness…the same faith He had in God, which strengthened Him with confidence. During those 40 days and nights when Jesus was tempted in the desert, He responded to Satan’s schemes by referring to God’s truths (Matthew 4:4, 5:7, 4:10, Deuteronomy 8:3, 6:13, 6:16). The faith He had as He relied on the Father helped Him to resist temptation.

Then there is also salvation that we must not forget. I believe it is called the helmet of salvation since our righteousness in Christ protects our hearts, our salvation in Christ must protect our minds. Salvation is not a one time deal just like righteousness. Salvation is nothing without righteousness, vice versa, and since what is in the heart must match what it is in the mind, it is our salvation in Christ that reminds us of this connection. With the helmet of salvation, we can “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Last but not least, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) is something we must carry with us at all times. A doubled edged sword can pierce any heart. This is true just as with God’s Word, and if we deliver His wisdom with humility and righteousness, it is the ultimate Truth that convicts and protects against anything that threatens our relationship/oneness with Him. It is the righteous weapon we have which means we must use it to convict and not condemn.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:

  1.  Is my character/integrity mostly made up of convictions or condemnations?
  2.  What thoughts and feelings am I allowing my character to be built on?
  3.  Is my righteousness Jesus at the center of my heart or is it something or someone else? If it is not Him, could it be the reason why I feel miles away from Him if I give in to temptation?

Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

Christian Faith   Health & Nutrition  Portrait Art

@godfirstgodalways  God first God always  @god_first_god_always @sheelaleigh  @sheelaleigh

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0 comments on “30 Journal Prompts for the Sinful Heart (September)”

30 Journal Prompts for the Sinful Heart (September)

From time to time God shows me there are quite some very distraught spirits here. I know our hearts can sometimes be very unclean, so I have put these affirmative questions together to help your weary soul. I have been for a very long time a perfectionist at heart only to discover nothing I can physically do can wipe away my sins because Christ has already paid that debt for me. But as a Christian I know there are plenty that still live in deliberate disobedience, and if you can relate to beating yourself up for “not being good enough in God’s eyes”, I urge you to take a few minutes of your day to make reflections. I hope and pray these questions strengthen your bond with Christ. These journal prompts are more of an assessment, a reevaluation for the heart and soul….but anyway, this is for the Christian struggling but still love Jesus. <3

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James 1:13-18 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

* IF YOU EVER TAKE TIME TO ANSWER ANY OF THESE DAILY QUESTIONS, I’D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS WERE. LEAVE ME A MESSAGE.

* IF YOU WOULD LIKE JOURNAL PROMPTS ON A SPECIFIC TOPIC, DON’T HESITATE TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS FOR ME.

* IF YOU ENJOYED THIS & WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE FREE CONTENT LIKE THIS, THE SIGN UP IS A POP-UP WINDOW.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

Christian Faith  Health & Nutrition  Portrait Art

@godfirstgodalways  God first God always  @god_first_god_always @sheelaleigh  @sheelaleigh

0 comments on “KEEP WALKING”

KEEP WALKING

I remember being 12 years old and thinking “When I’m 16, I’ll have my first boyfriend and I’ll get my driver’s license, when I’m 25 I should be married, and when I’m 30 I should have my first child.” Okay, so none of my predictions came true. By the time I turned 25, I still couldn’t figure out what I wanted to be in life. There’s a one hit wonder by 4 Non Blondes and it goes….

       Twenty-five years and my life is still

Trying to get up that great big hill of hope

For a destination

………

And I try, oh my god do I try

I try all the time, in this institution

And I pray, oh my god do I pray

I pray every single day

For a revolution

………

And I say, hey hey hey hey

I said hey, what’s going on?

………

That was my song. I sang it quite well actually. I was one of two vocalists in a cover band performing weekly at a bar not far from the Vegas Strip. I didn’t pick the song, the members chose it for me but they didn’t even have a clue I was only a few months away from turning 25. I remember that year clearly. I thought I had a very good standing relationship with God, but I look back and I was actually more on the self-righteous side blinded by my own self-confidence, yet I didn’t have a clear focus on how God wanted to use my skills and talents and I was still chasing after worldly gains.

I always believed having a goal meant that you’re counting on yourself to achieve it one day. YOU SET IT, YOU GET IT. And it confused me so much because the Bible says that God establishes a man’s steps, no matter how much he plans his own life (Proverbs 16:9). So what did He want from me?!? Why did He give me so much passions and interests and I can’t even focus on one to set me for life?

He brought me back to square one. And not just once, but quite a few handful of times. Square one was a corner as I had always pictured it before. And whenever I came back to this place, I always lost hope and complained “Well, I’m going to have to work extra hard now just to gain back all the strength I just lost, because now I have to start all over again.” It might have been the hundredth time of returning to this place that I finally realized it is not a corner but the center of where everything begins. It is now the place where the LORD always reminds me I am nothing without Him and have nothing without Him. And I have no complaints but praises and thanks. I have to make sure I’m still on the path. He brings me here to remind me it doesn’t matter how much I have been pushing myself just to walk a little faster than before because at times I felt I was so behind. What matters is that I’m walking in faith. What matters is that God is my ultimate Goal.

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“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.”

Earl Nightingale

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:6

“God is my Goal.”

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

0 comments on “31 Journal Prompts for Boosting your Confidence (August)”

31 Journal Prompts for Boosting your Confidence (August)

Confidence is something I thought I always lacked. And then I realized all I had to do was let life happen. Confidence is something you get because of experience. Whether the experiences are good or bad, how we deal with life can ultimately help us gain more confidence. But how we deal with life absolutely depends on what types of questions we ask ourselves. Here’s a detailed list of questions to give you a boost in yourself because we all need it from time to time.

 

1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Click here to view

* IF YOU EVER TAKE TIME TO ANSWER ANY OF THESE DAILY QUESTIONS, I’D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS WERE. LEAVE ME A MESSAGE.

* IF YOU WOULD LIKE JOURNAL PROMPTS ON A SPECIFIC TOPIC, DON’T HESITATE TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS FOR ME.

* IF YOU ENJOYED THIS & WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE FREE CONTENT LIKE THIS, THE SIGN UP IS A POP-UP WINDOW.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

0 comments on “A Psalm of Sheela”

A Psalm of Sheela

My heart it aches, I suffer in my youth,

My groans and moans speak for me the truth

But if my grief is caused by Satan’s lies,

What reason have I to cry and cry?

My heart it grows faint within me,

My spirit is far from free

But if my agony should lead me back to Your glory,

Lord, let my restless soul rest in Thee!

 

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

P.S. No worries, I am not depressed. Just felt like writing this for anyone who might be going through something heart wrenching. I’ve been there friend.

 

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

 

0 comments on “He Gave Me Gladness”

He Gave Me Gladness

At His feet I cried, I came empty handed, 

He bled for me and died so violently, broken hearted

I said, “I’m sorry I have nothing to give You my Lord, 

I’ve squandered it all for this world;

What good am I to be redeemed and restored?”

He said, “Give Me your heart, give Me your truthful words, 

Give Me your praises, and every hurt you hoard; 

There is nothing I AM not able to do and afford.”

At His feet I cried, full of joy, full of sadness,

He bled for me and died, took my all and gave me gladness.

 

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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4 comments on “UPDATE”

UPDATE

It’s been so long. I know I’ve abandoned my blog. Forgive me. I just edited my About Me too explaining this. I sound redundant. But I’m back. If you care. Or if you don’t I really don’t mind. 🙂 I started this years ago and I just can’t not use it ever again. It’s always nice to have something to call your own. I think I’m finally starting to think more like a mom, even though I don’t have any kids. This is my baby. I need to nurture it. I think God would really like that. He was the one who prompted me to start this anyway. So yes, Im back. I’m alive or at least trying to survive. Life got busy. Reading some of my old posts makes me crack up. I’ve gone and deleted ones that just sound immature. Err. I’m still growing and every year gets better and better. What matters is I keep walking in faith and part of that is keeping up with this blog. I’m so glad 2018 has been great towards me so far. I’m learning to expand in ways I only dreamed in the past. And having this blog will push me to share the Lord’s goodness. I’m grateful. And so should you, for whatever circumstance you might be in, know that it only takes gratitude for the things you already have, because with God all things are possible. While I’ve been gone, on my free time, I would read so much on health because I knew I wasn’t living my best. I’m always led to the cold truth that my relationship with Christ is directly related to my overall wellbeing, and the topic of health has definitely stepped up on my list of values. So I’ve been doing a lot of independent research, specifically concerning women’s health. If you are only following this blog because of the Christian-based content, you might want to unsubscribe. I would just like to warn you that I’m incorporating all things related to diet/weight loss (recipes, tips, and health in general). I will be sharing my weight loss journey in hopes of helping many other women struggling to lose unwanted weight. Lastly, I am a portrait artist who has committed to using my talent not just when I feel like drawing or painting. I’ve been blessed to appreciate detail in everything and with this gift, how can I suppress it? I’ll be posting all my artwork here. Check out my GALLERY. So that’s me for now. I hope you all are doing great this year. And I pray you receive blessings every day. BE BLESSED! 🙂

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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8 comments on “My Peace of Mind”

My Peace of Mind

View this painting in my ART GALLERY.

Original art. 20″ x 24″ Oil on canvas.

I painted this lovely scene in 2009, except it was much gloomier and quite depressing. Just last year, I decided it wasn’t finished and added colors that I believed my heart belted out if it wasn’t for joy. Then I decided it isn’t nearly done if I don’t add a poem. 🙂 I’m probably going to work on this again, because I already see some things I need to touch up on. Always happens after taking a picture. But anyway…..

There exists a beautiful place

Of a blue river flowing with grace

It’s nowhere found on Earth’s face

Not the sight of man can be seen or traced

I walk here when peace is hard to find

I lay here to have that peace of mind

I pray here when the world seems deaf and blind

I return here for a heart that was left behind

 

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Fitness  Portrait Art

 

1 comment on “When I Stray Away from You”

When I Stray Away from You

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When I stray away from You…

I become prideful and arrogant

I become rude and spiteful

I become greedy and selfish

I become jealous and possessive

I become two-faced and a loud-mouth

I become lazy and irresponsible

When I stray far away from You…

I become gullible and naive

I become lonesome and withdrawn

I become doubtful and worrisome

I become over-emotional and pitiful

I become misunderstood and easily led

I become forgettable and rejected

I become a walking dead

When I stray far, far away from You…

I become hungry for love

I become desperate for balance

I become humbled by Your mercy

I become surrendered and obedient

I become sensitive and patient

When I walk with You…

I become beautiful and strong

I become confident and trustworthy

I become peaceful and loving

I become grateful and rich

I become alive, joyful, and excited for life

I become a leader, an ambassador of truth

I become mature and more faithful

I become complete and one with You

James 1: 2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Romans 5: 3-5 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Psalms 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Fitness  Portrait Art

 

3 comments on “I Praise His Name”

I Praise His Name

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I say His name, the mighty name of Jesus,

I shout His name in all the Earth!

I sing His name, He’s worthy of all praises,

I seek His name, how great its worth!

I worship His name, my Lord most glorious,

I receive His name, as I come forth!

I lift His name, before the sun rises,

I pray in His name, I honor His birth!

 

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Fitness  Portrait Art