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.

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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, 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.

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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. 

How to Enter the Rest of God

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, March 30, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #13 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Enter the Rest of God”.

Most of us have heard the quote that “desperate times call for desperate measures.” It is believed that the quote originated with the Greek physician Hippocrates. Regardless, it is a quote applicable to our day.

With the rapid global spread of the Corona virus, and with no cure yet, it can be said that we are, indeed, living in desperate times. Desperate not only physically, but also financially, emotionally, and psychologically.

So, what is a body to do?

While the problem may be complex, the solution is simple. What are we to do? We are to rest in the Lord.

What does it mean to rest? An Internet search discloses the following definitions for the word “rest”:

1.  To be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position; rest on/upon.
2.  To be based on or grounded in; depend on.

How do these definitions relate to resting in the Lord?  Well, using the first definition as a model, resting in the Lord means to be supported by Him, to lean on Him, so that we can stay in the position of peace. Using the second definition, resting in the Lord means to be grounded in Him and to depend on Him.

Resting in the Lord may be easy to do when things are going well, but when things are going crazy, it is far more difficult to rest in the Lord. 

You see, when things are going well, we become self-reliant. We feel as though we are in control of matters and that nothing can change without our changing it. But the experience of recent days proves that such thinking is a delusion. We are no more in control of our lives than we are in control of the universe. God is in ultimate control, and He ultimately calls the shots.

At the same time, God does not leave us powerless. He wants us to draw our power from Him. In short, He wants us to rest in Him. To trust that He will be there for us, even in the worst of storms.

In Hebrews 4: 11, the Bible commands us to enter into God’s rest. Listen to what it says: “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” This verse instructs us to “labour” or “work” to enter God’s rest. This sounds like a contradiction, but it is not. It takes effort to enter God’s rest. That effort involves getting to know God and His character so that we can grow in trusting Him. 
 

The rest of God is the peace of God. It is the place of total, unwavering trust in God. How do we get there? By getting to know God. You see, trust comes from knowledge. We do not trust people we do not know. The people we trust the most are the people we know best.

So it is with God. Our level of trust in God will correspond to our level of knowledge of God’s character. So if you want to enter into God’s rest, get to know God intimately.
 
How can you get to know God? By accepting His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to get to know God the Father. Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father” (John 14: 9). Jesus also said, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14: 6).

If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, I urge you to do so now by praying this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I need You to save me. I cannot save myself. I repent of my sins and ask You to forgive me. I invite You into my life to be my Savior and my Lord. Lead me to the place of perfect rest in You. I pray, believe, and receive in Your 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 relationship with Jesus Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every day, starting in the Gospel of John, which is in the second half of the Bible. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In it, He reveals Who He is. In it He reveals His infinite love for you. In it, He reveals His rest.

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

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about some of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. As a token of my deep appreciation for all of you who follow this blog and podcast, I want to give you a FREE ebook copy of my popular novel, The Madonna of Pisano, the first book in my trilogy titled The Italian Chronicles. To receive your FREE ebook copy, please go to the link listed at the end of this post. For those of you who are listening, the link is: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/705659

Note that this offer is valid only until April 30th, so get your free ebook copy now before you forget!


I also invite you to visit my website at https://www.maryanndiorio.com/book-table. There you will find a complete list of the novels, novellas, and short stories I have written about characters with problems like yours.

On my website, you will also find additional resources, articles, non-fiction books, and podcasts to help you grow in your walk with Christ.

If you have been blessed by these messages, 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. This podcast is being sponsored by my wonderful husband and patron, Dr. Dominic Diorio. Thank you, Honey, for faithfully supporting the work of the Lord through this podcast.

And to all of you wonderful listeners out there, 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.

 

Listen to the podcast here:

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Now it’s your turn: Have you entered the rest of God? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

PLEASE TWEET: “How to Enter the Rest of God!” 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!

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. 

__You Are ALREADY HEALED!

__The Dangers of the Enneagram

__Is the World Coming to an End?

__The Coming Global Cataclysm

__Is Your Tongue Ruining Your Life?

__A Parent’s Promise from God

 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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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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How Free Do You Want to Be? – Week 2

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

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!

And now, on to this week’s post! 🙂

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Welcome to Week 2 in our discussion on freedom.  Did you know that the Bible is the story of the violent conflict between two kingdoms? These two kingdoms–or governmental jurisdictions–are the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan.  

Did you also know that your whole life is a wrestling match between these two kingdoms–or, to put it in other terms, between these two governments? In fact, every decision you make will promote the rule of either the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Satan in your life. There is no neutral ground.

For example, if you make a decision in obedience to God, His Kingdom and its blessings will reign supreme in your life, but if you make a decision in rebellion to God–in other words, by giving in to your carnal nature–then Satan’s Kingdom and its curses will reign supreme in your life.

Each kingdom has its own set of laws by which it operates. Before we are born again, we operate by default in the laws of the Kingdom of Darkness because the sin nature is the default setting of humanity. We are born into this world spiritually separated from God and, consequently, in spiritual darkness. When we are born again, however, God gives us a new spirit that allows us entrance into the Kingdom of God. Holy Spirit then begins to teach us the Laws of the Kingdom and how to operate in them. 

But even after we are born again, we must choose to operate by the laws of the Kingdom of God. It is critically important, therefore, that we know what those laws are and how to enforce them.

Pearly gates of heaven opening to a high altitude sunrise between two layers of clouds in a landscape orientationThe Kingdom of God is the place where God originally intended for us to live. But sin moved us out of that place and into the Kingdom of Satan.

The Kingdom of God operates by laws that produce the Blessing. The Kingdom of Satan operates by laws that produce the Curse. 

In Matthew 16: 19, Jesus made an astounding statement: “And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”  What exactly did He mean?

The Amplified Bible translation sheds a good deal of light on the meaning of this verse: I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have [already] been loosed in heaven.”  Several important truths are revealed in this verse:

1–Keys represent authority. The keys of the Kingdom of Heaven represent the authority of the Kingdom of Heaven.

2–God has given those keys only to us who are born again. To qualify for the keys, we have to be citizens of the Kingdom.

3–The Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven are to be used for a particular purpose. That purpose is to block the curse of Satan from spreading in the Earth and to enforce the blessing of the Kingdom of Heaven in the Earth.  With the keys, we bind the curse and loose the blessing.

4–The Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven lock and unlock, bind and loose. The authority (the keys) God has given to us will unlock the blessings of Heaven for us. The authority (keys) will also lock up the curses and keep them from operating in our lives. In the Kingdom of Heaven, certain things are forbidden (sin, sickness, pain, death, poverty, sorrow, etc.), and in the Kingdom of Heaven certain things are permitted (holiness, health, well-being, life, wealth, joy, etc.). As Christ-Followers, we have the authority to forbid on Planet Earth everything that is already forbidden in Heaven (e.g., sickness, disease, poverty) and to loose on Planet Earth everything that is already loosed in Heaven (health, peace, prosperity). Not only do we have the authority to do this; we have a mandate from Christ Himself to do this. It is called “the Great Commission” and is found in Mark 16: 15-18.

5–Christ-Followers are Ambassadors of Heaven temporarily assigned to Earth. We are first and foremost spirit beings who have a soul and who live in an earthly body. I like to call it our “earth suit”. 🙂 We are citizens of Heaven who temporarily live on Earth. Our job while on Earth is to enforce the Laws of the Kingdom (the Laws of Heaven) on the Earth in our given sphere of influence. We are spiritual military people on assignment at different locations (bases, posts) in the Earth.

6–That portion of Earth to which we are assigned–our circle of influence–is our spiritual domain and subject to the Laws of the Kingdom of God.  Just as every US Embassy belongs to the United States and operates under its laws, so does the “embassy” where God places us belong to the Kingdom of God and operates under its laws. But we as earthly ambassadors who represent the Kingdom of Heaven must exercise and enforce that dominion–those laws–in our assigned post.

7-The keys of the Kingdom of Heaven work only by faith. And faith works only by love. In other words, we must have faith, motived by love, in order to unlock the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven and bring them to Earth and in order to block the curses of Satan from operating on Earth.  

Next week, we will explore how to enforce the laws of the Kingdom in the earth. We will then touch on reasons that we Christ-Followers are not seeing more of Heaven’s blessings manifested in our lives but are still experiencing many of Satan’s curses in our lives, such as sickness, lack, and strife. Until then, meditate on today’s teaching and let it sink deep into your spirit. As you do, Holy Spirit will reveal to you who you truly are in Jesus Christ and the power and authority you possess because He lives in you and you live in Him.

To help you better understand the power and authority you have as an Ambassador of Christ in the Earth, I wrote YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS!. Get your copy now!

greatness-ebook-cover-072516Learn about your power and authority in the Kingdom of God! Discover who you truly are in Jesus Christ!

YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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If you missed Part 1 of this series, posted last week, you can read it HERE.

Remember this: You will be as free as you choose to be!

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

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Where are you serving as Christ’s Ambassador to Earth? Are you aware of the power and authority He has given you to carry out your duties?

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 How Free Do You Want to Be? – Week 2 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:

How Free Do You Want to Be? – Week One

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Contolling Spirit

Embrace Your Race

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