Are You Walking the Narrow Road?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio


WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, September 14, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #36 in Series 2020 and is titled “Are You Walking the Narrow Road?”

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In the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, verse 13, the Word of God gives a sobering command and warning: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”

What is the narrow gate? One Biblical commentator calls the narrow gate “the gate of true conversion” (Benson).  Many pray the sinner’s prayer and

believe that is all they need to do to be saved. But to pray the sinner’s prayer without turning away from sin, without crucifying the flesh, without obey the Lord’s commands is pointless–and even dangerous.

True conversion means turning away from sin and living a life of holiness. This takes great effort, and few people are willing to put in the effort. It is not easy to say no to the flesh–to greed, to lust, to selfish ambition. Yet, that is precisely what we must do if we want to follow Jesus Christ.

There is a huge difference between accepting Christ as our Savior and accepting Him as our Lord. He Himself said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Accepting Christ as Savior alone has a selfish aspect to it because it is an act of concern only for one’s personal salvation. While this is certainly a good thing, the act cannot stop there. It must go beyond the concern for deliverance from Hell to the love that inspires perfect obedience to the Lord Who saved us.

When Jesus called His twelve apostles, He commanded them to FOLLOW Him.  One definition of the word follow means to take orders from. When we choose to follow Jesus, we choose to take our orders from Him and to put aside our own will and desires in order to accomplish His.

Christians are often accused of being narrow-minded. Well, we are narrow-minded because our minds are continually focused on staying on the narrow road. It is far too easy to fall off the edge of the narrow road into the ditch of sin precisely because the road is narrow.  So our minds must continually focus on this truth—that the road is narrow and we must walk it carefully and not move off of it.

Jesus said, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 19: 23). The sign of true conversion is self-denial. The cross we are to carry daily is precisely this self-denial. It is saying no daily to all those desires that are contrary to God’s Word and choosing, instead, to obey the Lord’s commands as found in His Word.

If you have made Jesus your Savior but not your Lord, I urge you to repent and to complete a full conversion. Turn from your sins and begin to obey the Lord’s commands.

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and Lord, please do so now by praying this prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I want to make you both Savior and Lord of my life. I accept You now as my Savior and as my Lord. Forgive me of my sin. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Give me Your grace to follow you, to deny myself, and to obey you all the days of my life. I ask and receive in Your precious Name. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. I encourage you to visit my website bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table

If you have been blessed by this blog and podcast, I encourage you to share them with others. I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for my patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join. I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. We now reach 26 countries all over the world. I could not do this without your help.

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word.

PLEASE TWEET: “Are You Walking the Narrow Road?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

To subscribe to “Winning with the Word”, click here.

To receive my monthly newsletter, click here.

Now it’s your turn: Have you embraced your race? If not, what is holdiong you back? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you

Please tell your family and friends about “Winning with the Word,” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

Listen to this week’s podcast here:

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Photo Source: Image by Dreampic123 from Pixabay 

Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

__Are You Living on the Level?

__7 Signs That the Tribulation Is at Hand

__The Dangers of Generation Separation

__Are You Thinking Straight?

__How to Deal with the “New Normal”

__What to Do When Your Child Goes Astray

___Are You a Perfectionist?

__Is the World Coming to an End?

__The Coming Global Cataclysm

 Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To subscribe to Winning with the Word, click here.

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Copyright 2000-2020 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 info@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.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

Who Are You Really?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio


WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here. 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

______________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:

 

______________________________________________

Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, August 24, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #33 in Series 2020 and is titled “Who Are You Really?”

 

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We hear a lot of talk these days about self-image, self-esteem, and self-fulfillment. 

All of this discussion has as its goal discovering who we really are. While discovering our true identity is crucial, most of us are going about it the wrong way. We are looking in the wrong place to discover who we really are. We are looking to ourselves.

Let’s take a deeper look. Have you noticed that all of these phrases–self-image, self-esteem, self-fulfillment–include the word “self”? It seems as though the entire goal of life is to find ourselves. We think that in finding ourselves, we will ultimately find the meaning of life and our purpose in life. 

But is this really true? Is it really true that when we find ourselves, we will discover who we really are? That we will discover the meaning of life and our life purpose?

The answer to this question lies in God’s Holy Word. What does God say about finding ourselves? In Matthew 10: 39, God says this about our search for ourselves:  “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Hmm. Now that’s the exact opposite of what the world has taught us, isn’t it? The world has taught us that we need to find ourselves in order to discover the meaning of life. God says that if we focus on finding ourselves to discover the meaning of life, we will eventually not only lose ourselves, but we will also miss the meaning of life. On the other hand, if we focus on finding God, we will find ourselves and the true meaning of our lives.

Why does finding ourselves depend on finding God? Because God is our Maker.

To expect the self to know the purpose for which it was made is like asking a car to know the purpose for which it was made. The car is incapable of knowing its own purpose. Only the maker of the car can tell us the purpose for which the car exists.

Likewise, the self is incapable of knowing its own purpose. Only the Maker of the self can tell the self the purpose for which the self exists.

While this may be a weak analogy, I think you get my point. 

You see, my friend, we were made in God’s image. Precisely for that reason, our true identity lies only in Him.  if we ignore or deny that truth, we will miss the very meaning of our lives.

The world’s emphasis on the self takes our eyes off the true source of our identity, and that source is God Himself. When we look to ourselves to define ourselves, we will be deceived and go astray. We will lose our bearings.

But when we look to God to define us, we will discover who we really are.

To seek our identity outside of this truth is to end up with a false image of who we truly are. Yet, this is exactly what Satan tempts us to do.

Liar that he is, Satan tempts us to believe that we can know ourselves by ourselves. He tempts us to isolate ourselves from our Maker. 

But isolation leads to desolation. And that is precisely the goal of the enemy. The Bible says he comes only “to steal, kill, and destroy.”

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10: 39)

There is only one way that you can discover who you really are. That way is through Jesus Christ. He Himself said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  So, if you want the truth about who you really are, follow Jesus. Only in Him will you discover your true identity.

Let me ask you: Have you been looking to Jesus Christ for your identity? Or have you been looking to yourself? If you have not sought your identity in Christ, repent and begin to do so now by accepting Him as your Savior and Lord. Pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I’ve been looking to myself to discover who I am. No wonder I’ve been going around in circles. Only You can tell me who I really am because You made me. So, I come to You now and invite You into my life. Reveal to me who I am. But most of all, reveal to me Who You are, for it is only by knowing You that I will begin to know myself. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast.  I encourage you to visit my website bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table

If you have been blessed by this blog and podcast, I encourage you to share them with others. I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for my patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join. I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. I could not do this without your help.

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word.

PLEASE TWEET: “Who Are You, Really?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

To subscribe to “Winning with the Word”, click here.

To receive my monthly newsletter, click here.

Now it’s your turn: Are you prepared for the return of Christ? If no, are you willing to get prepared? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

Please tell your family and friends about “Winning with the Word,” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

Listen to this week’s podcast here:

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Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

__The Dangers of Passivity

__Are You Majoring in the Minors?

__Are You Living on the Level?

__7 Signs That the Tribulation Is at Hand

__The Dangers of Generation Separation

__Are You Thinking Straight?

__How to Deal with the “New Normal”

__What to Do When Your Child Goes Astray

___Are You a Perfectionist?

__Is the World Coming to an End?

__The Coming Global Cataclysm

 Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To subscribe to Winning with the Word, click here.

_____________________________________________________________

Copyright 2000-2020 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 info@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.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

CHANGING YOUR MIND FOR A BETTER LIFE

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

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

Change.  For a while now, it’s been a buzzword across various social and academic strata. The word means different things to different people. But today let’s explore what it means to God.


In God’s Lexicon, at the place of the word change we find the word repent. According to God, to repent is to change, specifically to change one’s way of thinking. 

Virtually every problem we will ever face in life will result from wrong thinking. Wrong thinking proceeds from a lie, and a lie can never provide a solid foundation to life. Only Truth can do that.

So, when God commands us to change, He means for us to stop thinking the way the world thinks.  And how does the world think? It thinks contrary to the way God thinks.

Well, then, how does God think? We discover the way God thinks by studying His Word, the Holy Bible. In this best-selling book of all time, God sets forth His modus operandi, His M.O., for everything that pertains to our lives. I call the Bible God’s Manual for Man. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to study it and apply it to our lives?

So, back to the concept of change. When we study God’s Word, we realize that our thinking needs changing. As we begin to learn the way God thinks, we begin to understand that our thinking is so inferior to His.  He Himself says as much in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 55, verses 8 and 9:


For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are My ways higher than your ways
    and My thoughts than your thoughts.

 

God Himself tells us that our thinking is off base and far inferior to His. So, what are we to do to get our thinking on track so that we can live more successful, fulfilling lives?

THREE KEYS TO CHANGING YOUR MIND FOR A BETTER LIFE:

The LORD gives us the quintessential formula for success in Joshua 1: 8-9. Look at it carefully:

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

In this single verse, we have all that we need to live a successful life. It all boils down to three points: 

1–Meditate on God’s Word.

2–Memorize God’s Word.

3–Decree and Declare God’s Word.

Let’s consider each of this points one by one.

MEDITATE
Success starts with meditating on God’s Word. To meditate means to mull over, to think about, to repeat over and over.  The word meditate comes from the Latin word meditor, which literally means to chew, as in the way a cow chews its cud. By extension, this word means to think about or reflect upon, as in “He’s chewing on the pros and cons of his decision.” 

So, when we meditate on God’s Word, we are chewing on it, mulling over it, thinking about it, and reflecting upon it.

MEMORIZE
Memorizing God’s Word means hiding it in our hearts where no one can steal it from us. Why do we need to meditate on God’s Word? David the Psalmist gives us the reason in Psalm 119: 11: I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Some translations say “stored up” instead of “hidden.”  

So, the purpose of memorizing the Word is to store it in our hearts so that we will not sin against God. When we store the Word in our hearts by memorizing it, the Word will rise to the surface of our minds when we need it to keep us from temptation and to resist Satan.

DECREE AND DECLARE
The third point for living a better life is to decree and declare the Word. Well, how can we readily decree and declare the Word unless we have hidden it–or stored it–in our hearts? Once the Word is stored in our hearts, we can decree and declare it aloud because it is at our finger tips, ready for use.

Why do we need to speak the Word aloud over our circumstances? Because there is supernatural power in the spoken Word of God. Just as God created the universe by speaking, so do we create our lives by speaking. We are, after all, made in His image.

So we had better be sure that the words we are speaking over our lives are God’s words taken straight from His Word. Far too often, we speak negative words and those negative words will result in an unsuccessful life. If you–as.I have been–are guilty of speaking negative words, repent now.

And so, we come full circle to the word repent. To repent means to change. It means changing our thinking so that it aligns with God’s thinking. When we do, we will be renewing our minds. And isn’t this precisely what our Lord commands us to do in Romans 12: 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. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good
and pleasing and perfect.

Indeed, it is!  And why does our Lord command us to renew our minds? The answer lies in the second part of the verse: Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Does that excite you as much as it excites me? God wants us to change our thinking (our minds) so that we can experience His will for us, “which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

There is no better formula for achieving a better life.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you struggled to change our thinking to align with God’s thinking? If so, in what ways? How have you handled your struggle?


TWEETABLE: “Changing Your Mind for a Better Life” 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

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Make Change Your Ally

Are You Playing the Blame Game?

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

NOTE: If you are struggling to know your purpose in life, I can help you! As a highly experienced Certified Life Coach, I will help you set priorities in line with your God-given purpose. For more information or to set up a phone appointment, please send me an email at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. You’ll be taking a major step toward fulfilling your destiny!

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!
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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.

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