Your Authority and Power in Christ

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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Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post.

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

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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 April 19, 2021, and this is Episode #11 of Series 2021. This episode is titled “Your Authority and Power in Christ”

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Have you had trouble getting some of your prayers answered? If so, this week’s post and podcast may explain why.

One of the key reasons we do not get answers to our prayers is that we ask God to do something that He has told us to do. Something which He has already given us the power and the authority to do.

God is a God of law and order. He has established spiritual laws, and He will not violate those laws. Indeed, in cases relating to man’s dominion on the earth, God has chosen to limit Himself.

Brother Kenneth Hagin, who is now with the Lord, told of the time that Jesus appeared to him. While Jesus was speaking, a demon got between Him and Brother Hagin and started creating such a ruckus that Brother Hagin could not hear what Jesus was saying.

As you can imagine, Brother Hagin was getting quite frustrated because he needed to hear what the Lord was saying to him. Finally, Brother Hagin blurted out, “Lord Jesus, please send this demon away. I can’t hear a thing You’re saying!”

To Brother Hagin’s great surprise, Jesus said, “I can’t.”

Brother Hagin was astounded. “Lord, what do you mean You can’t. You’re GOD!”

“Yes,” Jesus replied. “But I have chosen to limit My power and authority on the earth because I have given it to man. You have to command the demon to leave.”

So, Brother Hagin commanded the demon to leave in the Name of Jesus, and the demon immediately left.

As born-again Christ-followers, we have that same authority and power residing in us. A simple illustration will explain how the authority and the power of Christ in us work.

Most of us have electricity in our homes. If you walk into a room in your house and it is dark, do you call the electric company to ask them to turn on the lights? No, of course not. You turn on the lights yourself. Why? Because the electric company has already supplied the electric power to your home, but it is up to you to flip on the light switch. If you don’t flip on the switch, all the power coming into your house from the electric company will do you no good.

Well, the same principle applies to us believers. God has given us the power and the authority to fulfill His Great Commission as He commanded us to do in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 16. That power is on the inside of us. God is the Electric Company. But we have to switch on the power inside us in order to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons. In other words, we have to flip on the switch of that power to get it flowing. If we do not switch on the power switch, nothing will happen, even though all the power we need is inside us. 

How do we flip on the switch? By faith.

To expect God to flip on the switch is a wrong expectation. His job is to be the Electric Company, to supply the power of the Holy Spirit. He will not flip the switch for us.

Why not? Because in His wisdom He has chosen to limit Himself in this regard. He has made us co-laborers with Him. Therefore, we have a part to play in the grand scheme of things. Our part is to flip on the switch of the power that resides within us and to use that power to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead.

So, if we ask God to do something He has told us to do, we will not get answers to our prayers.

God is a God of order. He establishes a principle and He sticks to it. But many believers are ignorant of this truth. When they pray, they start from a position of powerlessness.

For example, we often hear the statement that God is sovereign. Yes, God is sovereign in that, in the end, all things will be under His rule and dominion. But God chose to limit His sovereignty by giving man dominion over the earth. 

If we do not understand this, we will develop the attitude that what happens must happen because God is sovereign. But this is not true. Man plays a big role in what happens and what doesn’t happen on the earth because God gave this authority and power to man.

In Matthew 10: 1 NKJV we read: And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. God not only gave us the power over demonic spirits, but He also gave us the authority to use that power. In Matthew 10: 7-8, the Word of God says this: “And as ye go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.'”

Who is supposed to heal the sick? We are, not God. Jesus said, “Heal the sick.” He already defeated sickness. Now He calls us to enforce His defeat in the earth. 

When we beg and plead with Jesus to heal someone, we are implying that He did not already do it. We are waiting for Him to do something He has already done, when all the while, He is waiting for us to enforce what He has already done.

Sometimes believers are afraid to use their authority because they feel doing so is making them out to be greater than God. But it is God Himself who commanded us to use His authority.

Jesus is now back in Heaven. But He left us the Holy Spirit—the Electric Company, as it were—to provide the power for us to do what God commanded us to do in Mark 16.

Jesus did not say pray and ask me to do it. He said YOU do it.

Of course, we are not preaching the Gospel in our own strength, or healing the sick in our own strength, or raising the dead in our own strength, or casting out demons in our own strength. It is the power of the Holy Spirit within us that is behind it all, that backs us up. We are simply instruments of that power. We are the light switch.

John 15: 5 NKJV says this (and it is Jesus speaking): “I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

So, without the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do nothing. But with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do anything God calls us to do. It is our job to enforce the Word of God in the earth. It is our job to flip on the switch of God’s power that we already have inside us.

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The Church is called to enforce what Jesus Christ has already done.
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Not only did the Lord give us the authority to use His power, He also commanded us to use His power. A command is not an option.

But how many Christians do you see preaching the Gospel, casting out demons, raising the dead, laying hands on the sick to heal them? How many demons have we ourselves cast out? How many sick people have we healed with the power of Christ in us? How many dead people have we raised back to life? If we have not done any of this, we have been disobedient to the Lord’s Great Commission. 

God is not going to do for us what He has told us to do. Plain and simple.

Consider this: If we used God’s power as He commanded us, we would turn the world upside down as the early Christians did. We need to do the same. We need to stop asking God to do what He has called us to do. 

Imagine this: If churches stopped having bake sales in their parking lots and, instead, put up signs for healing services and invited the public to come in to be healed–and if those same churches would, in the power of God, heal the sick, those churches would grow instantaneously. The news of the miraculous healings and of the miraculous casting out of demons would spread like wildfire throughout their towns and cities, and people would flock to Jesus Christ. 

Remember: It is God’s power, but it is our responsibility to put it to use. It is the Electric Company’s power, but it is our responsibility to turn on the switch. God will not rescind the power He gave us. In Psalm 89: 34, He says this: “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”

When the Church steps into the full authority and power we have in Christ, we will see miracles like never before in our lifetime. When we lift up Christ through our exercise of his authority and power, He will draw men to Himself, and we will witness great revival in the earth. 

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If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, I urge you to do so now. He is coming back soon for those of us who follow Him. Those who do not follow Him will be left behind to go through the worst time in human history, a seven-year period of horror the Bible calls the Tribulation. Do not be one of those left behind. Accept Jesus Christ now!

Just pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I need You to save me. I am a sinner in need of Your mercy and grace. I ask You now to come into my life. I receive You as my personal Savior and the Lord of my life. Forgive me of my sin. Thank You for welcoming me into Your family. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer sincerely, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a free e-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 teaches 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. It is critically important in these last days to fellowship with other believers who are mature in Christ and can guide you as you grow in Him.

If you are not yet a subscriber to the Winning with the Word blog and podcast, I urge you to click on the link below to subscribe now so you will not miss a single weekly episode:

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/w4q0z

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

PLEASE TWEET: “Your Authority and Power in Christ” (CLICK TO TWEET)

Now it’s your turn: Were you aware of the authority and power you have as a born-again believer? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you.

Photo Source: Jan Alexander (Pixabay)
Additional Resources: Andrew Wommack Ministries
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For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. My latest novel, Miracle in Milan, will be released in June. But you can pre-order a copy now on Amazon.com for only $0.99. I also encourage you to visit my website bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table . 

This podcast is funded by listeners like you. If you have been blessed by Winning with the Word, I invite you to become one of my special patrons on Patreon.com. For only $1.00, $3.00, or $5.00 a month, you can help me proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

Winning with the Word now reaches 44 countries on six continents because of your faithful support. So please help me to keep Winning with the Word on the air by becoming one of my valued patrons. Your patronage helps to cover the costs of producing, hosting, and distributing Winning with the Word to the four corners of the earth. Patrons receive special benefits, including free books, short stories, podcasts, and videos. So, join my wonderful team of Patrons and be part of something great!

To become a patron, go to https://www.patreon.com/winningwiththeword 

This week’s podcast is being sponsored by patron Sharon Lamson. Thank you, Sharon, for being a valued patron and for choosing to become a part of something great! 

I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. I could not do this without you!

Finally, be sure to check out my latest book, The Iron Saint. This book talks about the coming persecution of the Church in America and how you can prepare for it. The Iron Saint is available on Amazon and on my website at maryanndiorio.com/book-table. Get a copy for your pastor as well. 

Until next time, remember 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

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

To receive my monthly newsletter, click here.

To become a patron of Winning with the Wordclick here.

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Now Available for Pre-Order: Dr. MaryAnn’s latest novel, Miracle in Milan.

When a young, female auditor discovers evidence that the man she loves is an embezzler, she must choose between ruining him or ruining herself.

Amy Torelli, Chief Auditor for New York City-based Enson Pharmaceuticals, is assigned to audit the books of Enson’s Italian branch in the enchanting city of Milan, Italy. Having made an inner vow never to trust a man again because of her father’s betrayal, Amy finds herself falling in love with Enson Italia’s American-born Vice-President, Ted Masters. Will Ted be the one to cause her to break her inner vow?

Ted Masters is on the run. A run from rejection. From himself. From God. Having been wounded by a father who made him feel worthless, and having been dumped by the woman he wanted to marry, Ted is determined to keep all women at bay. But will Amy be the reason he changes his mind?

Available now for pre-order at:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0929FZKDS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0929FZKDS&linkCode=as2&tag=mardio-20&linkId=a4b29acefb5e65c788815922c814b2f2

Featured Book of the Week:  THE IRON SAINT by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

The Church in America is on the verge of a tremendous spiritual awakening, an awakening that will first be fueled by persecution unlike anything we have ever seen before in this land. Indeed, a prophetic word given in my home church during the month of November gave this warning to the Church: “Prepare for the fire of persecution!”

But the Church is not ready for this persecution. For the most part, the Church in America has been weak and lukewarm. Flabby and lazy. Consumed with the world and not with the things of God. As a result, the Church has been deceived and has subverted the divine order of things.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. MaryAnn Diorio seeks to help equip the saints for the work of true, integritous, and effective ministry. As a teacher in the Body of Christ, it is her burning desire to help correct this devastating error.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. Diorio has outlined a plan of action for strengthening the Church through uncompromising obedience to the Word of God. This plan of action is based on her own 50 years of walking with the Lord and being led by His Holy Spirit.

If you are a born-again believer and member of the Body of Christ, make this book a top reading priority.

PRINT FORMAT

E-BOOK FORMAT

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Check out these 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. 

__Have You Lost Your Hope?

__When Your Prayers Don’t Seem to Be Answered

__Are You Being Deceived?

__The Privilege of Persecution

__How to Think like a Winner

__7 Signs That the Tribulation Is at Hand

 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 Wordclick here.

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Copyright 2000-2021 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.

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“Are You on the Level?”

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!

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

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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, July 20, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #29 in Series 2020 and is titled “Are You Living on the Level?”.

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During the 50 blessed years my husband and I have been married, he has become an expert at hanging pictures. But sometimes when he hangs a picture, I think it’s leaning to the right, and he thinks it’s leaning to the left. So, in order to avoid an argument, we get out our trusty level. My husband places the level under the picture, and the level tells both of us when the picture is straight.

The cool thing about the level is that it ALWAYS tells the truth.

So, when my husband and I trust the level, it settles the issue, because both of us believe and trust the level and set ourselves in agreement with it. As a result, we remain unified in our picture-hanging situations.

God has given us a level for life that always tells us the truth as well. That level is called the Bible, and it is Absolute Truth. If we use the Bible every day and in every situation we will ever face, the Bible will keep our lives straight—and on the level. If we use the Bible when facing conflicts in our relationships, believing, trusting, and acting on what the Bible commands will keep us unified and reconciled in our relationships.

But the sad thing is that most people use themselves as a level instead of the Bible. They measure the straightness or the crookedness of their lives by their own opinions and their own perceptions of what is true. This is called relativism. And relativism NEVER tells the truth. In fact, relativism ALWAYS leads to a messed-up life, broken relationships, and, eventually to destruction and death.

We live in a world that has become relativistic. It is a world in which each person has chosen to be his own level. Our world today is not only ignorant of the Bible, but it also despises and denigrates the Bible. All we have to do is look around us to see the results of not using the Bible as a level. Confusion. Hatred. Division. Lawlessness. Violence. Death. These are the tragic results of using the Satanic level of relativism instead of the God-ordained level of absolute truth.

Why? Because the level of relativism cannot be counted on since it changes from day to day and from person to person. We’ve all heard comments like, “Abortion may be right for you, but it’s not right for me.” This is relativism. This is each person formulating his own morality. Writing his own bible. When this happens, we have no level by which to measure whether something is straight or not. Whether it is true or not.

Imagine if I had one level for measuring whether or not a picture hung straight and my husband had another level—and each level said something different. How would we ever know if the picture hung straight? We wouldn’t know, because we were using different standards of straightness and crookedness.

The level my husband uses to hang pictures always tells the truth. We can count on it every single time. In all of our 50 years of marriage, that level has never been wrong.

The Bible also tells us the truth. It is the only standard that tells us the truth every single time.

And it will always tell us the truth because it is the Word of God, and God cannot lie and God never changes.

So, as we go about our daily lives, let us always bear witness to the Level of God, the Holy Bible. Let us always bear witness to the Truth, no matter what the cost.

And there will be a cost. Often a huge cost.

Bearing witness to the truth may one day cost you your job, your career, your reputation, your relationships, and, yes, perhaps even your very life. Will you be prepared to stay true to God’s Level? Only if you make a quality decision now to love and trust the Level—the Holy Bible—with every fiber of your being. For the Bible—the Word of God—is Jesus Christ Himself.

And Jesus Christ alone is Truth. He Himself said in John 14: 6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Truth is a Person, and Jesus Christ is that Person!

Jesus is TRUTH!

 Let me tell you four things about Truth:

1) TRUTH NEVER CHANGES. (Malachi 3: 6 – “For I, the LORD, do not change.”)

 2) TRUTH APPLIES TO ALL PEOPLE IN ALL PLACES AND IN ALL GENERATIONS. (Acts 10: 34 – “God shows no  favoritism.”)

3) TRUTH OFFENDS. (1 Corinthians 1: 23 – “So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.”)

4) TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. (John 8: 32 – “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”)

So Truth never changes; Truth applies to all people in all places and in all generations; Truth offends, and Truth will set you free.

But unless you make the quality decision once and for all to accept the Truth and always to bear witness to the Truth—unless you draw the red line in the sand to make the Truth your level for living—you will falter and compromise the Truth. You will bend it to fit your own agenda. And if you bend the truth, you will be deceived and destroyed.

So I urge you to accept truth today. Accept Jesus Christ Who is Truth. If you do, you will live a life that is always on the level, keeping you from destruction. Pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, my life has been crooked. I want it to be straight. I want to live on the level of Your Word. So I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. Straighten out my life and put me on the level. 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. My latest novel, In Black and White, recently won First Place in Historical Fiction in the 2020 Christian Indie Book Awards Contest. It is the page-turning, compelling love story between a white woman and a black man as they face the wrath of family and society in order to preserve their love. This book was written for such a time as this, in which we are facing very serious issues of racism and hatred in our society. To discover the only real answer to racism, get your copy of IN BLACK AND WHITE now at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, or other vendors of your choice.  If you are reading this blog post, you can also purchase IN BLACK AND WHITE at the link below or on my website at maryanndiorio.com. Just click the bookstore tab at the top of the page.

  BUY NOW!

 

You will also find additional resources on living the abundant life in Jesus Christ on my website at maryanndiorio.com.

If you have been blessed by these messages, 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. It is now reaching numerous countries throughout the world with the message of the Gospel. 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.

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 TWEET: “Are You Living on the Level?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

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. 

__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. 

Are You Thinking Straight?

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:

 

 

 

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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, June 1, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #22 in Series 2020 and is titled “Are You Thinking Straight?”

You might be wondering, What a strange question to ask? Am I thinking straight? Yet the truth is that my question is one of the most important questions you may ever be asked in your life. Your answer to that question will determine whether your life turns out well or turns out badly.

Okay, Dr. MaryAnn. Aren’t you getting a little melodramatic here? After all, how I think is how I think. What difference does it make how I think, if the thoughts are my own?

The fact that you made that statement and asked that question is proof that you are not thinking straight.

So, before we go any farther, let’s define what is meant by “thinking straight.” Thinking straight means thinking in line with Truth. But then we have to ask another question: What is Truth? You may remember that a Roman governor of Judea, named Pontius Pilate, asked that same question of Jesus just before Jesus was crucified (John 18: 38). 

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is Truth. He Himself said of Himself in John 14: 6, “I am the Truth.” Jesus is the Word of God, and so is the Bible. This makes Jesus and the Bible one and the same. So, logically speaking then, if Jesus is Truth, and if Jesus and the Bible are one and the same, then the Bible is Truth.

So, if the Bible is Truth, and if thinking straight means thinking in line with Truth, then thinking straight means thinking in line with the Bible.

Let me ask you another question. Are you thinking in line with the Bible? Do you even know what’s in the Bible? If you don’t, then how can you think in line with Truth? 

We must know Truth in order to think in line with Truth.

Truth is a Person. Truth is Jesus Christ. If we don’t know Jesus Christ, Who is Truth, then we cannot live in line with Truth.

So, the first order of business is to get to know Jesus Christ. How? By accepting Him as your Savior and Lord. When you do, you will be born again, and you will begin to comprehend Truth.

We live in a world in which most of the information we receive is controlled by people who do not know Truth. People who do not know the Bible. People who do not know Jesus Christ. Indeed, people who are blatantly opposed to Jesus Christ and, therefore, to Truth.

The information we receive from such people is contrary to Truth, yet most of the public believes their lies. When we believe a lie, we will suffer the consequences of believing a lie.

To believe a lie is to put ourselves in bondage. To believe the Truth is to experience freedom. Jesus Himself said, “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.”

We are fast losing many of our freedoms today. Have you asked yourself why? The reason is that, as a culture, we have chosen to embrace the lie instead of embracing the Truth.

We will be free to the degree that we embrace the Truth.

Do you want to be free? Then embrace the Truth. Embrace Jesus Christ. He is waiting to set you free.

Pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You now, just as I am. I want to know Truth. I want to know You so that I can be free. I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. Make of me what You created me to be. 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 and for He will help you to come to Him and to grow in Him and to become all that He created you to be. 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. My latest novel, In Black and White, recently won First Place in Historical Fiction in the 2020 Christian Indie Book Awards Contest. It is the page-turning, compelling love story between a white woman and a black man as they face the wrath of family and society in order to preserve their love. Get your copy at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, or other vendors of your choice.

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For additional resources on living the abundant life in Jesus Christ, visit my website at maryanndiorio.com.

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The War on Christmas

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Check out my 2018 Christmas Catalogue to Simply Your Christmas Shopping

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

“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 examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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

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What happened to the expression “Merry Christmas”?

Worse yet, what happened to Christmas?

In case you aren’t aware of it, there is an all-out war against Christmas. And this war is being waged by none other than Satan and his demon cohorts.

Time was when everybody loved Christmas—both Christians and non-Christians alike. Did you know that some of our most famous Christmas songs were written by non-Christians? For example, “White Christmas” was written by Irving Berlin, a Jew.  One of the writers of “Winter Wonderland,” Felix Bernard, was also a Jew.  Two other Jews, Sammy Cahn and Jute Styne, wrote “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let it Snow.” And there are more.

So, why did these people–who did not even believe in Christ—love and respect Christmas? Because the general social consensus in those days was a Christian consensus. People as a whole respected the Judeo-Christian principles on which our country was founded. Morality was still important, and those who did not obey the Ten Commandments were punished, if not outright ostracized. Peer pressure in those days was in favor of righteousness—exactly opposite of what peer pressure is today.

Make no mistake about it. The movement to eliminate “Merry Christmas” from our vocabulary is intentional and perverse. You see, Satan still wants to be God. So, as always, he has instituted counterfeits to lure people away from truth.

Take Santa Claus, for instance. Who would dare denigrate Santa Claus, that kindly old man who brings gifts to children? Yet, Santa Claus has been a deceptive means of drawing people away from the true focus of Jesus Christ, the true and rightful focus of Christmas.

From our children’s infancy, my husband and I taught them that Christmas is about Jesus, not Santa Claus. One day, when I was shopping at the local mall, a kind lady came up to me and to my daughter, who was then a toddler in a stroller. The lady asked her what Santa Claus was going to bring her for Christmas. Confused by the question, my little girl looked at the lady and then looked at me and said, “Mommy, doesn’t she know the truth about Santa Claus?” You can imagine the expression on the dear lady’s face!

Some will protest that Santa Claus has his origins in St. Nicholas, a monk born toward the end of the third century, A.D. This is true. But the St. Nicholas of history is a far cry from the Santa Claus of today who has replaced Jesus as the center of Christmas. 

Today, parents are criticized if they do not allow their children to go along with the Santa Claus myth. But what happens when children learn that parents did not tell them the truth about Santa Claus? Could this be a reason that, later on, children believe that their parents lied to them about Jesus, too?  A sobering thought!

You see, sometimes what we think is minor is really major.

The Holy Bible says that Satan presents himself as an “angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14). This means that he uses things that look good to entice us into things that are evil. In 1 Peter 5: 8, Scripture commands us to be continually on the alert against his devices. 

As we approach Christmas this week, let us remember that it’s all about Jesus Christ Who died for our sins when we ourselves should have died for them. Christmas is all about remembering the One Who loved us so much that He gave His very life so that we could spend eternity with Him.

Merry Christmas!

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Please share your questions and insights in the Comments box below. Thank you!

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

“How to Destroy Mental Strongholds”

“Convergence: Clear Sign of the End Times”

“The Rise of Wicca, Witches, and Warlocks” 

“Don’t Let Satan Play Your Pipes!”

“How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit”

“Sex and Soul Ties”

Please 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. 

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WILL YOU ENDURE TO THE END?

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

During his famous Olivet Discourse, Jesus gave us a powerful and sobering warning: “The one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24: 13).

What does it mean to stand firm to the end? And how can we be sure we do?

If you are paying attention at all to what is happening in our world, you will agree that it is NOT business as usual. Instead, insanity besets us on all sides. Insanity in our thinking. Insanity in our behavior. Insanity in our beliefs. To the follower of Christ, this insanity should not come as a surprise. Rather, it should come as a reminder that the time is short before the return of our Lord.

There is no question we are in the last days. But do you know that the last days, or end times, actually began with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the conception of the Church at Pentecost? Since then until now, we have been living in the last days. Despite scoffers who taunt that Christ hasn’t come yet so why should we think He’s coming at all, Scripture tells us that a day with the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day (2 Peter 3: 8). So, according to Scriptural interpretation, we could say that only two days have passed since the Lord’s prophecies about what would happen in the latter days of earth as we know it.

Jesus warned us that as the time of the end draws closer and closer, the signs of the end would accelerate and converge. Here are His own words in response to the disciples’ questions, as recorded in Matthew 24: 3-14:

“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’

Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.'”

Although these signs have been occurring since the conception of the Church, they are now increasing in frequency and intensity. Moreover, they are occurring simultaneously–a phenomenon called convergence

SIGNS OF THE END

What are these signs of the end times?

–Unusual natural phenomena.
 Earthquakes are increasing in frequency and intensity (Yellowstone National Park, Cascadia Subduction Zone, New Madrid Fault, Italy, Greece, South America, among others). Volcanic eruptions are becoming more frequent and intense (Mt. Aetna, Vesuvius). Unusually violent storms and floods (tsunamis in Asia, increasingly severe hurricanes). The heavens are shaking as meteors fall toward earth and nearly miss striking it. Signs are occurring in the Heavens through which God is speaking to a world that isn’t listening (Blood Moons, Solar Eclipses, and the upcoming September 23, 2017 sign).

–False Messiahs. People who claim to be Jesus Christ (Alan John Miller, Moses Hlongwane and Phetole Selepe in Africa, Jett Simmons).

–Growing Apostasy (falling away from truth). This is occurring in alarming proportions among those who call themselves Christians. Many pastors are preaching a distorted, unbalanced, “warm and fuzzy” Gospel that focuses only on the love and grace of God and not on sin, repentance, and uncompromised obedience to the Word. 

–Increasing tolerance and acceptance of sin and all of its perversions (adultery, fornication, pornography, pedophilia, homosexuality, transgenderism, bestiality). Lawlessness is rampant as people become more and more self-centered, more and more rebellious, more and more depraved. We have only to turn on the news or even look out our windows to see this happening now all around us.

–Increasing Ridicule and hatred toward Christians. Christians and Christianity are being increasingly ridiculed, maligned, and condemned. Hatred and intolerance toward Christians is multiplying geometrically.

–Increasing persecution of Christians (Verbal attacks; legal attacks; physical attacks: beheading, murdering, and torture of Christians). Have you been hated recently for being a Christian? Have you been arrested? Persecuted? Do you know of any brothers and sisters in Christ who have been killed for following Jesus? If none of this has happened to you yet, it will. It is only a matter of time.

A few years ago, a Christian writers’ organization I directed was denied the use of a meeting room in a public library because our organization was “religious.” When finally confronted by a Christian attorney hired by the writers’ organization, the library backed down, claiming that it had given us the wrong information. The truth was that the library had not expected to be confronted by our Christian group and backed down out of fear of adverse publicity.

Today, however, persecution is even more blatant and more brazen. Are you ready to handle it? Have you asked yourself what you would do when persecuted? Not if, but when, for you will surely be persecuted.

Have you asked yourself if you would stand firm in the face of death simply because you follow Christ? This is not far-fetched. Just look at our brothers and sisters who have been beheaded and tortured unto death in foreign countries simply because they loved and followed Jesus.

This could happen to us, too. We think that because we live in the United States, we are immune to persecution. This is a dangerous mindset that could cost us not only our lives but also our eternal salvation.

So, I urge you, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, stand firm to the end, no matter what. But in order to do so, you will have to keep yourself strong day by day by fervent fellowship with our Lord. Spend time in His Presence. Read, study, and obey His Word. Pray without ceasing. Fulfill the Great Commission to preach the Gospel wherever you go, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead. 

Most of all, love! Love God! Love one another! Love your enemies! Bless those who persecute you, for thereby you may snatch precious souls out of the hands of Satan. 

One day, when all is said and done, we long to stand before our Lord and hear Him say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy I have prepared for you!”

But we will hear these words of His only if we endure to the end!

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you been persecuted for following Jesus Christ? If so, how? How did you handle the persecution?


TWEETABLE: “Will You Endure to the End?” 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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