How to Find and Follow the Narrow Way

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach™

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From the Treadmill to the Balance Beam

 

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the Matters of the Heart blog and why will it bless you to read it?

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

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Did you know that by the end of Christ’s ministry, virtually all of His followers had left Him? Acts 1: 15 mentions only 120 in the Upper Room. First Corinthians 15: 6 mentions about 500 who still followed Him. What happened to the hundreds–and even thousands–who crowded in on Him as He traveled through the cities and villages?

Sadly, they had determined that the cost of following Jesus was too great. They preferred to return to their old lives and their own ways.

TwoRoadsInterestingly, wherever Jesus went, He presented the high cost of following Him. In fact, on the surface, it could seem that He wasn’t too keen on increasing the number of His followers. The truth was that He wanted to be perfectly honest with His hearers that following Him would not be easy. In fact, it would be very difficult. It would be like trying to go through a narrow gate and then walking, often trudging, on a rough, rugged, and rocky path for the rest of one’s earthly life. Were His listeners willing to pay that price?

Jesus wanted them to have a good idea ahead of time about what they would be getting into if they followed Him. He wanted them to know that the way would be challenging and lonely a good deal of the time. Did they love Him enough to choose that way despite the suffering it would bring? In Luke 14: 28, Jesus warned them—and us—to “count the cost” before assuming any undertaking, especially that of following Him.

He also explained how to enter the path that would lead to life with Him in His Kingdom: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it”  (Matthew 7: 13-14).             

In this passage, Jesus talks about two gates and two ways. The narrow gate leads to the narrow way, and the wide gate leads to the wide way. The narrow gate opens onto the narrow way or path that leads to life. The wide gate opens onto the wide way or path that leads to death. Many find the wide gate and follow the wide way, but few find the narrow gate and follow the narrow way.

So, what is the difference between the two gates and the two paths? Let’s contrast them:

THE WIDE GATE AND THE WIDE PATH

—The wide gate is the gate that represents the gate of lies; for example, the lie that all paths lead to God. Most of the world chooses this gate because it sounds so reasonable. This gate allows one to enter it without repenting, without dying to self, without giving up sin. The wide way is the way of tolerance, inclusiveness, and political correctness.

—The wide gate opens onto the wide path. This is the easy path, the path that requires no sacrifice, no self-denial, no giving up of one’s will and one’s personal agenda to submit to God’s will and God’s agenda.

—The wide path is the path of least resistance. This path does not require giving up anything, most of all sin. The wide path is highly traveled because most people choose this path. They choose it because it does not require that they give up what they want for what God wants. The wide path allows them to do their own thing under the guise that they are free, open-minded, and tolerant. On the contrary, they are in bondage.

—The wide path has no baggage restrictions. In other words, one can bring anything one wants with him as he embarks upon this path: the lies he believes; the bad habits he has developed; the sin in which he continues to live; the selfish attitudes he has learned to embrace. Anything goes on this path.

THE NARROW GATE AND THE NARROW PATH

—The narrow gate, on the other hand, is the gate of Truth. The narrow gate represents the truth that there is only one way to be saved, and that way is through the Blood of Jesus Christ. In John 14: 6, Jesus said this about Himself: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  In Acts 4: 12, the Apostle Peter emphasizes Christ’s words by saying that “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

—-The narrow gate opens onto the narrow path. This is the difficult path, the path that demands total obedience to the Lord, self-sacrifice, self-denial, the surrender of one’s will and one’s personal agenda to the will of God and His agenda. When we choose to follow this path, we become willing slaves of Christ. Henceforth, we constrain ourselves to do only His bidding, not our own. We no longer have the option of sinning if we truly love Christ and are following Him on the narrow way. We no longer can call ourselves Christ-Followers yet continue to lie, cheat on our taxes, speak hurtful words, live with our boyfriend or girlfriend, get a divorce, have sex outside of marriage, commit adultery, gossip, approve of abortion or homosexuality, give in to anger, watch pornography or R-rated movies, take drugs, eat or drink too much, treat our neighbor unkindly, hold grudges, get offended, be bitter and unforgiving—and on and on and on.

—The narrow path allows no baggage. In other words, all sin—all personal ambition, materialism, and self-centeredness—must be left behind because the narrow path is difficult and such things would be an encumbrance.

—-The narrow path is the path of utmost resistance. It requires giving up everything that displeases the Lord. It is filled with thorns and thistles and all kinds of dangers. It requires wearing the whole armor of God, praying without ceasing, crucifying the flesh, and walking in total obedience to the Master. It demands continual pruning of our flesh–a process that is both painful yet purifying. The narrow way demands that we live in holiness and not contaminate ourselves with the world. It requires that we change our thinking to agree with God’s thinking. It demands that we make the Word of God the final authority in our lives, not our feelings or the word of man. It requires not leaning on our own understanding but trusting in Holy Spirit’s leading. The narrow path is sparsely traveled because few people are willing to pay the price to follow this path.

WHICH PATH ARE YOU ON?

How can you tell if you are on the narrow way? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1) Am I depending on anyone or anything else to save me other than the Blood of Jesus Christ? Am I depending on my good works or the fact that I think I am a “good person” to get me to Heaven? Do I believe that all methods of salvation are valid and that all religions can lead to Heaven?

2) Am I living like the rest of the world, or am I different? Am I expecting to live any way I want and then ask God’s forgiveness at the last minute of my life? Do I believe that because God has not caught up with me yet because of my sin, that He will never catch up with me? That He is looking the other way?

3) Am I considered narrow-minded and intolerant by others, even by other church members?

4) Do I believe that a good God would not send anyone to hell?

5) Do I believe that truth is whatever I define it to be and that there is no absolute truth?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not on the narrow way but on the wide way. What should you do? Turn around and go back to the two gates. Then choose the narrow gate that will lead to the narrow way. It will cost you much, but the reward of following the narrow way is the everlasting joy of being united with Christ for all eternity.

Jesus spoke the following sobering words in in Matthew 7: 21-23: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

These are words none of us want to hear. But the only way not to hear them is to find and follow the narrow way.

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  Have you been deceived into thinking that you were on the narrow way to Heaven? If so, has this post changed your thinking? Please leave a comment in the box below.

TWEETABLES:

“How to Find and Follow the Narrow Way” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CICK TO TWEET).

Photo Source: http://www.coachbrown.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/TwoRoads.jpg. Used with permission.

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts are:

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Contolling Spirit

“Embrace Your Race”

—”Don’t Let Satan Play Your Pipes!”

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog if you are on Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or if you prefer to subscribe via another venue, you may do so by using any one of the other subscription options listed under the Networked Blog section in the sidebar on my website: www.maryanndiorio.com/blog. Thank you!

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daystar-devotional-hardbackcoverstanding_885x1298The Daystar Devotional is a compilation of weekly devotionals I wrote for almost six years. At popular reader request, I have compiled these devotionals into a single volume for your convenience. I trust this book will encourage you in your walk with Jesus.

Available on Amazon for only $3.99. To purchase your copy, click here.

Post Footer Content

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Join my Team and get a free copy of my ebook on balancing your life.

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If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
________________________________
AFFILIATE LINKS

NOTE: I am an affiliate of the marketing venues below. This means that I earn a commission from sales you place through these links. Thank you for your kind participation.  A percentage of all sales goes to support orphans and widows.

Amazon.com

Christian Book Distributors

Kobo U.S

Dove Channel

________________________________
Copyright 2016 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for adults and children. She is also a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant.  You may reach her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com or via one of her social media venues below:

Website: www.maryanndiorio.com
Blog (Matters of the Heart): http://www.networkedblogs.com/blog/maryanndiorioblog
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Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/maryanndiorio
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How to Become an Expert at Loving

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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Free EBOOK
Subscribe to my newsletter to receive
your own FREE copy of my EBOOK
From the Treadmill to the Balance Beam

 

Book Cover
Free EBOOK
Subscribe to my newsletter to receive
your own FREE copy of my EBOOK
From the Treadmill to the Balance Beam

 

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the Matters of the Heart blog and why will it bless you to read it?

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

_______________________________________________________________

Love. The word conjures up all sorts of emotions. To some, those emotions are positive. To others, they are negative. How we respond to the word love depends less on our experiences with love and more on our understanding of the real meaning of love.

Today, we use the word love quite indiscriminately and, I might add, rather flippantly. We speak of loving ice cream, loving a car, loving a style of house, loving a person, and loving God–all in the same breath. No wonder we are confused when it comes to giving and receiving genuine love.

Bible verse God is love in red with hearts

Genuine love begins and ends in God. Scripture reveals to us that God is Love (1 John 4: 8). The Word does not say that God has love; it says that God IS Love. The very nature, or essence, of God is love. If we want to understand love, we must seek to understand God’s nature.

Why is this so important to our well-being in this life? Here are some thoughts for you to ponder:

1–We are made in God’s image. God’s nature is to love. Because He made us in His image, He designed our nature to love. But sin marred, corrupted, and perverted our original nature so that the nature of humanity, in its unregenerate state, is to hate. Moreover, when we do not believe that we are made in God’s image (as evolution teaches), we can never experience the well-being that comes from knowing God loves us.

2–To know God is to know Love. Since God and Love are one and the same, to know one is to know the other. An apprentice becomes an expert at a trade by spending time with his master, observing how his master works, and then applying what he has learned from his master. We become experts at loving by spending time with God, observing how He works, and then applying what we have learned from Him.

3–Love is the ultimate healer. Every physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual disease responds positively to love. We’ve all heard stories of healing wrought by the power of love. Love is essential to our well-being in every area of our lives.

So, how do we learn to love? And how do we become experts at loving?

Love Himself has given us the plan of action for loving. It is found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. Let’s take a look at what love in action looks like:

  • Love is patient.
  • Love is kind.
  • Love is not jealous.
  • Love is not boastful.
  • Love is not proud.
  • Love is not rude.
  • Love does not demand its own way.
  • Love is not irritable.
  • Love keeps no record of being wronged.
  • Love does not rejoice about injustice. Instead, love rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
  • Love never gives up.
  • Love never loses faith.
  • Love is always hopeful.
  • Love endures through every circumstance.
  • Love will last forever.

How do you square up with God’s description of love? If you’re like me, you have to admit that, at times, you fall short.

But don’t get discouraged. We are all learning to love. Our life on this earth is a course in learning how to love as Jesus loves. We have not yet finished the course, but we are covering more ground every day.

So, as we move into the new year, let’s make it our goal to learn to love as Jesus loves. I believe that when we stand before our Lord, He will judge us not by all that we accomplished for Him but by how well we have loved.

To help you further in learning to love as Jesus loves, I invite you to listen to my very brief podcast titled “Have You Learned to Love?” (See the link below). It is the first podcast in my new weekly podcast series titled A Moment with MaryAnn. I trust it will bless you. If it does, please pass it on. Thanks!


Now, it’s YOUR turn:  What has been your greatest struggle in learning how to love as Jesus loves? How have you addressed that struggle? Please leave a comment in the box below.

TWEETABLES:

“How to Become an Expert at Loving” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts are:

“Embrace Your Race”

—“How to Deal with Difficult People”

—”Don’t Let Satan Play Your Pipes!”

Older, but very popular posts, include:

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Contolling Spirit

Seven Keys to Successful Parenting

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog if you are on Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or if you prefer to subscribe via another venue, you may do so by using any one of the other subscription options listed under the Networked Blog section in the sidebar on my website: www.maryanndiorio.com/blog. Thank you!

____________________________________________

daystar-devotional-hardbackcoverstanding_885x1298The Daystar Devotional is a compilation of weekly devotionals I wrote for almost six years. At popular reader request, I have compiled these devotionals into a single volume for your convenience. I trust this book will encourage you in your walk with Jesus.

Available on Amazon for only $3.99. To purchase your copy, click here.

Post Footer Content

____________________________________________

Join my Team and get a free copy of my ebook on balancing your life.

____________________________________________

Do you like a good story? Then check out my stories for both adults and children. Click on cover to order.  

a-christmas-homecoming

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If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
________________________________
AFFILIATE LINKS

NOTE: I am an affiliate of the marketing venues below. This means that I earn a commission from sales you place through these links. Thank you for your kind participation.  A percentage of all sales goes to support orphans and widows.

Amazon.com

Christian Book Distributors

Kobo U.S

Dove Channel

________________________________
Copyright 2016 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for adults and children. She is also a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant.  You may reach her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com or via one of her social media venues below:

Website: www.maryanndiorio.com
Blog (Matters of the Heart): http://www.networkedblogs.com/blog/maryanndiorioblog
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/author/maryanndiorio
Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/maryanndiorio
BookBub.com: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maryann-diorio
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/DrMaryAnnDiorio
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/DrMaryAnnDiorio
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Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user46487508
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/drmaryanndiorio/

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

 

 

 

Are You Missing the Most Important Link to a Successful Life?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Book Cover
Free EBOOK
Subscribe to my newsletter to receive
your own FREE copy of my EBOOK
From the Treadmill to the Balance Beam

 

Book Cover
Free EBOOK
Subscribe to my newsletter to receive
your own FREE copy of my EBOOK
From the Treadmill to the Balance Beam

 

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the Matters of the Heart blog and why will it bless you to read it?

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

_______________________________________________________________

Missing Link Draped Chain Clean

For years I struggled on the road to success, never seeming to get very far, despite my best efforts. In fact, it often seemed that–as the old saying goes–“the harder I worked, the behinder I got.”  Perhaps you can relate.

One day, as I was studying the Bible, I came across these words in Proverbs 18: 21 that rocked my world: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” The verse gripped my spirit, turned my soul on its head, and put me on a course toward a life of continual blessings–a course from which I have never turned back.

Let me share with you what I learned so that you, too, can experience a life of continual blessings. As you apply these principles, you will stand amazed as you literally watch your life turn from failure to success.

Principle #1: God created the universe with His words. Throughout the first chapter of Genesis, we find this repeated pattern of words: “And God said . . . and there was . . . And God said . . . and there was . . . And God said . . . and there was.”  Clearly, then, the Bible tells us that God created everything in the entire universe through His words. He literally spoke the universe into existence.

Principle #2: We are made in God’s image. Since we are made in God’s image, then we function or operate as God does. Since God created His world with His Words, so do we create our world with our words.

Let me give you an example–a true story.  A woman went to her doctor complaining of a continual pain in her neck. The doctor ordered every possible test related to neck pain, but every test he ordered showed that nothing was physically wrong with the woman.

Perplexed, the doctor had a flash of insight. “Is there something going on in your life that is upsetting you emotionally?”

Immediately the woman responded. “Yes, my mother-in-law is a pain in the neck. She keeps trying to interfere in my marriage.”

The doctor smiled. “How often do you use the phrase ‘pain in the neck’?”

“Every chance I get,” the woman replied, half-smiling. “My husband is tired of hearing me call his mother a pain in the neck.”

The doctor looked his patient straight in the eye. “Well, there you have it.”

“Have what?” the woman asked, visibly irritated.

“The source of your problem.”

“My mother-in-law?”

“No, not your mother-in-law. The words you repeatedly say to yourself about your mother-in-law. You keep telling yourself she is a pain in the neck, and she has literally become a pain in your neck.”

The woman stared at her doctor in disbelief.

The doctor smiled. “I’m going to give you a prescription.” He took out his prescription pad and wrote these words on it:  Speak positive words about your mother-in-law three times a day.

To her credit, the woman followed her doctor’s orders. Instead of calling her mother-in-law a pain in the neck, the woman started calling her mother-in-law a blessing and a friend. Within a short time, the pain in the woman’s neck was gone and never returned. And the bonus blessing was that her mother-in-law did, indeed, become a blessing and a friend.

Oh, the power of our words!

Principle #3: Your words create your future. The words you speak today are creating the life you will live tomorrow. Now, before you think I’ve gone off the deep end, let’s do a little analysis to see if there is a connection between your words and your life.

—Take a close look at your life. Do you like what you see? Is your life full of peace, joy, and love? Or is your life full of strife, dissatisfaction, and discord? Are you struggling financially? In your health? In your relationships? If so, keep reading.

—What have you been speaking about your life? Have you been saying that you are broke? That you will never get well? That your marriage is hopeless? What you see in your life got there through the words you’ve spoken about your life. If you have been speaking negatively about your life, then you have been speaking curses on yourself. On the other hand, if you have been speaking positively about your life, you have been speaking blessings on yourself.

Interesting, no? Through your own self-analysis, you’ve discovered that what you say directly affects how you live.

So, now that we’ve discovered the missing link to success–the words we speak–you may, if you’re like me, need to change the words you speak. Start paying close attention to your words. You may be surprised at what you are actually saying, Moreover, what you say comes directly out of your heart, and what is in your heart directly affects the course of your life.

As you may have noted, the foundational Scripture verse for this blog is Proverbs 4: 23: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”  We guard our words first and foremost by guarding our hearts, for what is in our hearts is what will come out of our mouths. And what comes out of our mouths sets the course of our lives toward failure or success.

The choice is yours.

As the new year begins, purpose in your heart to guard your heart. In so doing, you will be guarding your mouth and speaking only words that bring you a life of success. Then share with your family and friends this amazing missing link to a successful life so that they, too, can experience a life of blessing during the new year and always.

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  Have you missed out on success because of the negative words you’ve spoken? How will you change your words so that you can change your life? Please leave a comment in the box below.

TWEETABLES:
“Are You Missing the Most Important Link to a Successful Life?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” – Proverbs 18: 21 (CLICK TO TWEET)

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts are:

“How to Get Free of the Secret Sorrow of Loneliness”

“Embrace Your Race”

—“How to Deal with Difficult People”

—”Don’t Let Satan Play Your Pipes!”

Older, but very popular posts, include:

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Contolling Spirit

Seven Keys to Successful Parenting

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog if you are on Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or if you prefer to subscribe via another venue, you may do so by using any one of the other subscription options listed under the Networked Blog section in the sidebar on my website: www.maryanndiorio.com/blog. Thank you!

____________________________________________

daystar-devotional-hardbackcoverstanding_885x1298The Daystar Devotional is a compilation of weekly devotionals I wrote for almost six years. At popular reader request, I have compiled these devotionals into a single volume for your convenience. I trust this book will encourage you in your walk with Jesus.

Available on Amazon for only $3.99. To purchase your copy, click here.

Post Footer Content

____________________________________________

Join my Team and get a free copy of my ebook on balancing your life.

____________________________________________

Do you like a good story? Then check out my stories for both adults and children. Click on cover to order.  

a-christmas-homecoming

italian_book1-3d-wo

a-sicilian-farewell-cover-rf-w-o-shadow-series-_2_3d_a2

 

 

thinpaperback_795x1003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Copyright 2016 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Dr. Diorio is an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for adults and children. She is also a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant.  You may reach her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com or via one of her social media venues below:

Website: www.maryanndiorio.com
Blog (Matters of the Heart): http://www.networkedblogs.com/blog/maryanndiorioblog
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How to Get Double for Your Trouble

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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From the Treadmill to the Balance Beam

 

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Free EBOOK
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From the Treadmill to the Balance Beam

 

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the Matters of the Heart blog and why will it bless you to read it?

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!
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double-for-your-trouble2Are you tired of the enemy’s attacks? Do you feel as though you barely get up from one assault and another one hits you before you are fully standing? Do you desperately need some R & R?

If you nodded your head at one or all of these questions, you are in good company. The Body of Christ throughout the world has been assaulted with the enemy’s right hooks and left hooks, one after another, without relenting. His goal is to knock you down so that you will not fulfill your destiny.

But, before you collapse in defeat, let me encourage you. The LORD promises to give you double for your trouble. The LORD promises to restore to you what Satan has stolen from you.

The LORD promises to render justice on your behalf!

One of my favorite Scripture verses is Zephaniah 9: 12: “Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.” For every blessing the enemy has stolen from you, God will restore it two-fold. Hallelujah!

God says what He means and means what He says. You can stake your very life on His Word to you: The LORD will give you double for your trouble!

So, is there anything we need to do to receive double for our trouble? Yes. Here are some actions we need to take:

1 -Be forgiving. Our trouble has usually come from someone’s wrong actions toward us. God wants us to forgive those who have hurt us. When we forgive, we open the door for God to restore what the enemy stole from us. When we do not forgive, the door of God’s blessing remains closed.

2 – Be patient. God’s ways are not our ways. He works out our situations according to His purpose and in His timing. While we do not know when God will give us double for our trouble, we can trust that He definitely will.

3 – Be thankful. Thank God for His justice. Satan will not get away with stealing from us. At the same time, pray for God’s mercy upon the people who allowed Satan to work through them to hurt you.

4 – Be expectant. Expect God to make good on His promise to give you double for your trouble. You may be surprised at the way by which He restores to you what the enemy has stolen from you.

As I look back on my own life, I can vouch for the fact that God has given me double for my trouble many times over. And He will do the same for you.

Meditate on these promises of our great God, and rejoice in His goodness toward you:

Joel 2: 25 NLT: “The LORD says, ‘I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.'”

Isaiah 61: 7 MSG:  “Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, Your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever.”

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you been repeatedly knocked down by the enemy?  How have you handled his attacks? Are you expecting “double for your trouble”? Please leave a comment in the box below.

TWEETABLES:
“How to Get Double for Your Trouble” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.~ Zephaniah 9: 12 (CLICK TO TWEET)

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts are:

“How to Get Free of the Secret Sorrow of Loneliness”

“Embrace Your Race”

–“How to Deal with Difficult People”

Don’t Let Satan Play Your Pipes!

Older, but very popular posts, include:

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Contolling Spirit

Seven Keys to Successful Parenting

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daystar-devotional-hardbackcoverstanding_885x1298The Daystar Devotional is a compilation of weekly devotionals I wrote for almost six years. At popular reader request, I have compiled these devotionals into a single volume for your convenience. I trust this book will encourage you in your walk with Jesus.

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If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
________________________________
AFFILIATE LINKS

NOTE: I am an affiliate of the marketing venues below. This means that I earn a commission from sales you place through these links. Thank you for your kind participation.  A percentage of all sales goes to support orphans and widows.

Amazon.com

Christian Book Distributors

Kobo U.S

Dove Channel

________________________________
Copyright 2016 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for adults and children. She is also a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant.  You may reach her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com or via one of her social media venues below:

Website: www.maryanndiorio.com
Blog (Matters of the Heart): http://www.networkedblogs.com/blog/maryanndiorioblog
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/author/maryanndiorio
Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/maryanndiorio
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How to Get Free of the Secret Sorrow of Loneliness

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, The Virtual Life Coach

Book Cover
Free EBOOK
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From the Treadmill to the Balance Beam

 

Book Cover
Free EBOOK
Subscribe to my newsletter to receive
your own FREE copy of my EBOOK
From the Treadmill to the Balance Beam

 

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the Matters of the Heart blog and why will it bless you to read it?

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!
_______________________________________________________________

Before my children left the nest, I used to tell myself (and others) that I didn’t expect to feel “empty” when they finally left because I had a full life with my husband, my writing ministry, and my friends and family. Although I would certainly miss having my girls around, I could manage well not having them around. Besides, I felt confident that I had prepared them well to be wise, discerning, and valuable contributors to society. I knew they knew God and that, with His help, they could manage their own lives with confidence and success.

Well, pride comes before a fall, and I fell. Really hard. After my children left home to establish their own lives, I fell into a depression from which I found it difficult to extricate myself. In fact, my soul filled with such sorrow at not having my children around that I began to wonder if something was seriously wrong with me.

As I sought the Lord and searched for answers to the reason I felt as I did, Holy Spirit taught me a few things about how to deal with the sorrow of loneliness. I offer you what He taught me in the hope that it may help you, too, if you are experiencing loneliness, especially during this Christmas season:

Image of lonely woman waiting for somebodyPhoto Source: Fotolia.com #83794545 Copyright Photographee.eu.

1) Recognize that loneliness is a form of grief.  And grief results from a sense of loss. When my children left home, I experienced great loss. The loss of their presence; the loss of their laughter; the loss of their companionship. I had convinced myself that this would never happen to me, but it did. Part of the pain of the sorrow I felt was the fact that I had presumed I would not experience such sorrow. Notice I said “presumed”.  My expectation had been a presumptuous expectation, also known as pride.

2) Recognize that loneliness is a symptom of separation from human contact. That said, the cure for loneliness is human contact. While our loneliness may stem from lack of contact with particular persons, we can assuage loneliness by focusing on bringing joy to others who cross our path. As we take our eyes off ourselves and put them on others, loneliness turns to joy. As I applied this principle by reaching out to others, I found that my loneliness lifted.

3) Be gentle on yourself during periods of loneliness, but do not indulge in self-pity.  While I did not feel sorry for myself, I was hard on myself for feeling lonely at my children’s departure. I did not understand that fulfillment in my professional life did not necessarily translate to fulfillment in my personal life. Being a mother has been one of the greatest joys of my life. So, why shouldn’t I feel sad when that responsiblity wound down? Why shouldn’t I feel lonely when my children left home forever to build their own lives? I did not understand that my feelings were normal for the situation and that, with time, I would adjust to my new life. And adjust I did. Now I enjoy the quiet times of refreshing that enable me to spend much more time with the Lord in worship and prayer and much more time writing stories for His glory.

“He who has God will never be lonely.”

4) Share your feelings of loneliness with someone you trust. Keeping the sorrow of your loneliness a secret will only worsen the loneliness. When we carry our burdens alone, they seem heavier than they truly are. But when we share them with a trusted family member or friend, the burden greatly lessens. As I shared my loneliness with trusted members of the Body of Christ, they prayed for me and spoke words of encouragement to me that played a major role in delivering me from the sorrow of loneliness.

5) Worship the Lord continually. Scripture commands us to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. As I spent more time worshipping God and simply being in His Presence, my loneliness lifted.

As I look back on that time of sadness in my life, I realize that God was teaching me a powerful lesson. He was teaching me that I was never truly lonely at all because He was always with me.

And He is always with you, too. He will be your comfort. He will be your peace. And He will take away your loneliness by filling you with Himself. He who has God will never be lonely.

Today I have adjusted to my new situation. Moreover, I get to see my precious daughters far more frequently than I thought I would. God blessed me by moving my husband and me to the same area where our first-born daughter lives with her husband and our five grandchildren. Our second-born daughter lives only about 30 minutes away, and we get to see her often as well.

Your loneliness may not be related to empty nest syndrome. You may be lonely because of the recent death of your spouse, a child, a parent, or a dear friend. You may be lonely because your son or daughter was deployed, or you’ve just moved to a new state and don’t know anyone, or your family has disowned you. Whatever the reason, God knows.

And God cares!

Just as He promised, God has turned my loneliness and sorrow into great joy. And He will do the same for you.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you been secretly lonely? How have you handled your loneliness? Please leave a comment in the box below.

TWEETABLES:
“How to Get Free of the Secret Sorrow of Loneliness” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

“He who has God will never be lonely.” ~ Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

a-christmas-homecomingFor a heartwarming, compelling Christmas story on the power of forgiveness, you may wish to read my novella titled A Christmas Homecoming. It is available in electronic format for your Kindle, Nook, or iPad. 

To view the beautiful book trailer of A Christmas Homecoming, click here.

To purchase a copy of A Christmas Homecoming, click here.

Last, but not least, may you forge happy memories this Christmas season as the power of forgiveness sets you free!

Copyright 2012-2016 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reproduced without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com.

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following recent posts:

Deck the Soul with Boughs of Forgiveness

Why Getting Offended Is Dangerous

Don’t Let Satan Play Your Pipes!

How to Think Like a Winner

Older, but very popular posts, include:

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Contolling Spirit

Seven Keys to Successful Parenting

Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts are:

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog if you are on Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or if you prefer to subscribe via another venue, you may do so by using any one of the other subscription options listed under the Networked Blog section in the sidebar on my website: www.maryanndiorio.com/blog. Thank you!