Wednesday, January 29

~ Whatever the devil says about you...            the opposite is always the truth! ~

Satan is desperately wanting to prevent you, and me, from discovering the wealth that God has placed in us!

Why??

            How many times have you heard that God cannot make a mistake?  Have you ever been convinced that you are the one rare case - that one mistake - that slipped past God?  I can tell you that I have, and not just a few times.
  
            When I eventually realized just how insanely jealous the devil is of God, a light went on in my spirit.  What I saw was the reason why we, as believers, experience negative thoughts (the fiery darts of the enemy).  It has everything to do with the devil desperately wanting to prevent each us from discovering the wealth of talents and abilities that God has placed in our stewardship.
  
            Why?  Because we become a devastating threat to the enemy of our souls, when we use our talents for the purpose for which God gave them to us.  God's purpose, ultimately, is for each of us to lead others, who are bound by the chains of poor life choices, out of bondage and into the waiting arms of their LOVING Heavenly Father.

              It is for that reason the devil and his hoards work diligently to convince those who love God that they have, not only been forgotten by God but, no good thing is in them. By whispering these false things to us repeatedly, if we believe them, the devil knows he can hinder our ability to discover God's passionate love for us.  In turn, he then robs us of true fulfillment, wholeness, and the sweet rewards enjoyed only by those who love God wholeheartedly and diligently pursue  Him for His purpose for which He created us.
  
            Yes, the devil knows that, if he can hit us hard enough and often enough with his lies against us, he'll have a good chance to fill our hearts with hopelessness, that could turn into depression, that could lead us into overwhelming weakness, that would make our finding the strength to discover who we truly are, all but, impossible.
  
            If we do not study God's Word, under the tutelage of the person of the Holy Spirit, we will stay blind to the fact that the devil is the father of lies.  In turn, we will be destined to go through this life crippled, never realizing who we are or WHOSE we are, orphaned by our not knowing the difference between the voice of our Heavenly Father and a big-mouth con man.

            On the other hand, if each of us will fix this truth in our heart that: "Satan is a habitual LIAR", and understand that he is the father of lies, when you hear words of condemnation ringing in your head trying to convince you that you are:  worthless instead of *WORTHY*, weak instead of *STRONG*, abandoned instead of *LOVED*, or anything of the sort, it will remind you just how much the  o-p-p-o-s-i-t-e  of anything the devil says to us is *true*.  

            If he says you are unimportant, it's because *God equipped you for greatness*!  If he says... well, A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G ... tell him to just ZIP IT!!!!


Speaking of the devil, Jesus writes, "...
 he was a murderer from the beginning, and did not abide in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44)

~ Tell us your thoughts. Also, follow our "Keith Shealy & Toward The Mark" on Facebook & make a request, by donation, for your TTM Resources.  We look forward to learning more Scripture-based truth with you, and also encouraging you to conquer the devil and his ploys, and live a whole, fulfilled, truly happy life in Christ Jesus.~

Monday, January 20

True Happiness - The Secret to a Happy Life

  What if you were to randomly stop people on the street and ask each of them, "What is true happiness?"  We can anticipate that, with very few exceptions, the responses would include such answers as...
  
.

"Happiness is :

-- being independently wealthy";
-- having a new house, boat, or car", 
-- finding, marrying, and settling down with the person of my dreams"; or
-- achieving success and fame in business, sports, music, school or even church."


  However "good" all of these things might seem, they simply can NOT produce true happiness.  They may bring temporary pleasure, or even elation for a time, perhaps, but never TRUE happiness.



TRUE happiness is the product of the following 5 SECRETS TO A HAPPY LIFE!  From the very start, we want to encourage you to read and re-read each of the five secrets slowly and intentionally for detail.  Also, take time to print out several copies to post in places where you'll regularly see them, as well as, to have handy to pass on to others in a moment's notice.  Lastly, and as importantly, begin praising God, in advance, for developing in you the personal experience of "Pressin' In" and putting these secrets into action, step by step.  And, as you do, watch what remarkable things He will do as He moves and blesses you! 



~The Secret to a Happy Life is printed in its entirety, with 11 additional messages in Keith's book "XII SMOOTH STONES". Be armed and ready for battle against the giants in your life with your book copy available for a tax-deductible contribution to the ministry at 
Keith Shealy & TowardTheMark books 
 Remember, every gift helps, is tax-deductible, welcomed, and much-appreciated!~




#1: BE RECONCILED TO GOD. You must be born again! This requires true repentance: the turning away from all sin in your life. Sin is anything that separates us from oneness with our heavenly Father. So, sin is not limited to overt vices such as illicit sex or abuse of drugs- those are simply examples of ways we are prevented from being one with our Creator. Sin is anything that builds a wall between us and God. A wall that can only be torn down as we turn our back on our old way of life, find new friends who love Jesus, and seek God with our whole heart.

#2: BELIEVE THE WORD OF GOD. This step is crucial to achieving the happy life, yet it is one few believers take. Remember, the Word tells us that we reap what we sow. If we sow of the Spirit, then we shall reap of the Spirit. So what is a new-born believer to do to sow of the Spirit? “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” (1 Peter 2:1-2) So, fall in love with God's Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to tutor you. And don't become frustrated if you can't figure something out where the Scriptures are concerned. Just READ, RELAX, and ENJOY, and especially remember this, God requires, not that we figure out His Word, but that we do it. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves!" (James 1:22)

#3: BE THANK-FULL. It is one of the hallmarks of the truly happy life, and as such, is a major indicator of walking in the Spirit. For how can we enter His gates and go into His courts except it be by the Spirit? Conversely, the absence of thankfulness should be regarded as a warning sign that repentance is in order, because departing from iniquity includes departing from un-thankfulness. A heart that is full of thanks will express gratitude freely, both to God and to others. The un-thankful heart will not. Finally, the thankful heart is a place of joy. "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." (Psalm 100:4) As a crucial side-note, remember this: praise is not what we do; praise is a "result"... A result of what? Praise is like a sweet-smelling, invisible smoke that goes up before God's Throne from a heart that has become filled, to overflowing, with gratitude for Who He is, more than for what He does. This "sweet-smelling fragrance" is pleasing to God. So, be thankful or, as we like to say, be filled with thanks.

#4: BE IMMERSED IN THE JOY OF THE LORD. Why is this? When we walk with God, it fills His heart with joy unspeakable and full of glory. He, in turn, bestows the same upon us (1 Peter 1:8). It is when we actually see Him happy that we experience for ourselves what true happiness is. Without the joy of the Lord, we will never experience a truly happy life. Moreover, the joy of the Lord makes us strong. “For the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:9-10) In other words, when we are blessed to see God happy, it results in our being made strong.

#5: RECOGNIZE THAT THE PLEASURES OF SIN ARE SHORT-LIVED LEADING TO LONG-TERM SUFFERING, WHILE THE TRIALS OF GODLINESS ARE SHORT-LIVED LEADING TO EVERLASTING HAPPINESS! Trials are a necessary part of the happy life. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:2-4) “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.” (Job 5:17) While not all trials are the Lord’s chastisement, both chastening and trials are used by God to work the character of Christ into our souls. As James wrote, “the trying of your faith works patience”; but only if we “let patience have her perfect work.” Why? When we allow patience to have her perfect (aka: complete) work, then we will be complete, wanting (or "lacking") nothing. Such is the state of godly contentment which is yet another sign of walking in the Spirit. If there has been one thing that I would place at the very top of the list of reasons why so many Christians today are not happy, it would be that, when the trials of life come, they run. The trials of life, and "the baptism of fire" as Scripture refers to it, are *priceless gifts* from God. Without them, dying to our sinful ways would not be possible. So remember, when the trials of life come, resist the temptation to run away from or escape them. Let them do their perfect work. You'll be *happy* you did!!




We invite you to check out the short summary of Keith's 2nd most-requested book "XII SMOOTH STONES" on page #67 of TTM Magazine online.


Consider "XII SMOOTH STONES"  for  your next classroom group or Bible study; It's an excellent resource for church leaders and those who aspire to become leaders in the body of Christ."


We accept financial contributions that help support the work of the ministry, and your tax-deductible gifts are as you feel led to give. We will be eternally grateful for your support and sponsorship!



Keep PRESSIN' IN! 

 

As you listen in to "The Secrets for a Happy Life" podcast, which is also, like this blog message, based on Chapter 12 of Keith's Book XII SMOOTH STONES, you'll hear Keith's original song, "I'm Gonna Follow You" as well.  From Keith's newest CD entitled "Between The Lines," here is a sneak preview of a few of the lyrics:

"I don't wanna do it if it ain't right;
 I just want to stay well in Your Sight.
 I don't even care what they might say-ay;
 I'm just gonna follow You... anyway! " ...

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

(Philippians 3:13-14)   #PressTowardTheMark




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      We thank you for joining together with us for this message! We hope this, and each of our blog posts, helps fan the flame in your heart for Christ Jesus, His wonder-full ways, plan, and purpose for you in this life. To ask questions about our work and organization, to make a special tax-deductible donation to help in this work, to place an order for our special offer of "Keep the FAITH, Keep Your VISION" or another Keith Shealy & Toward The Mark Inc. book or CD, or to share a testimony or prayer request with us, please click here to e-mail us. If you prefer to write a letter, mail it to the address found below & on our website.


We pray God bless you greatly in carrying this message in your heart. Thank you for taking part in this blog, and in each of our blog posts that have been made possible by the faithful support of our loving Toward The Mark, Inc. Family of sponsors!

Your friends & servants in Christ,




To Show GOD BIG in a World that Sees Him small… 
sums up the reason Keith stepped out in faith to focus on reaching the lost and strengthening believers everywhere, through Toward The Mark, Inc.  Our constant prayer is that you will be encouraged and edified by the Secrets from God's Word that we recounts in our written and recorded products.  The complete collection of original podcasts, music, blogs, books, CDs, and other resources of Toward The Mark, Inc. has been made possible by the prayer and financial contributions of the faithful family of Toward The Mark, Inc. We'd like to welcome you on-board, as a family member also!  Join TODAY!


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Thursday, January 9

*This one thing I know ... People don't brag
on those they don't love!*
Keith Shealy

Know this, the devil's greatest fear is that Christians will uncover WHY their testimony has such destructive power over him!  Just what is the one little Bible verse that the devil and his hoards fear the most?  Our February TTM Teaching will reveal what scripture text that is, and how "rightly dividing" its three parts, will overcome the devil's strongholds whenever we apply it.

As for me and my house, we WILL BRAG ON GOD!!!

The Peanut "MUD" Festival in Suffolk, Virginia
Why were we called to be there?
We traveled to Suffolk, Virginia where Keith had been scheduled to do a concert at the annual Suffolk Peanut Festival.  If you are "nut" familiar with Suffolk, Virginia, it is the peanut promise land.  Though it was a secular event, Keith performed his original songs and preached his love for Jesus!
It is so cool seeing the looks on people's faces when they realize that his songs are full of loving and glorifying Jesus. The opportunity to minister to folks was such a joy. But there was one instance that stands above the others from that event. 
Brenda had the opportunity to meet a lady who had recently lost her husband to cancer. The doctors had told her and her husband that he would have about another year or so.  Instead, he died just months later!  It threw her into a wave of different emotional struggles- greatest of all, anger. 
After hearing Keith sing, she went up to the stage next to Brenda, picked up a copy of our "Between the lines" CD and began looking down the songs list on the back cover.  She pointed to song # 10, showing it to Brenda, and, looking intently at Brenda, with tears in her eyes, she asked, "Can Jesus really do this?"  The song title was "I'll Fix Your Broken Heart."
Hearing pain and sorrow in her voice, Brenda said, "Yes! He can!  He fixed mine, and He can, and will, fix yours as well!" Seeing that her little boy was heading away from the stage toward the outside of the tent, Brenda hugged her and handed her our phone number, and let her know she could call any time for a listening ear, prayer, or more about Jesus and how much He loves her.  It was one of those moments that God spoke, and He let us know ... "I sent you all the way out there, through the rain, mud, and mess, because I had a very special message of love to be delivered, especially for her."  We still have her on our prayer board and keep her in our prayers, whether we hear from her again, or not.

"Jesus says, "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that [sheep], than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:11-14)


In continuing our discussion of telling our power-filled testimony, by which, strongholds are indeed being broken. Would you publicly share your testimony with us here and on our new Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/towardthemarkwisdompackedwednesdays ?



Monday, January 6

What does the devil NOT want you to know?
Reaching the lost... it's easier than you think!
@http://pressingintowardthemark.blogspot.com/2014/01/what-does-devil-does-not-wantyou-to.html 
             
            In this time when so many are making new year's resolutions, we would suggest you add one more to your list, preferably at the top.  Make this the year that you write down your testimony, make copies, and begin passing them out to others, especially to those who you may have been a bit too intimidated in years past to share it with.  With each passing day the door of opportunity we have to show God big in the eyes of those who see Him small is closing. If we are going to take advantage of what little time we do have to lead those who are bound by the chains of poor life choices, and help them onto the path leading to oneness with God, it is going to take every one of us sharing "the word of our testimony."  John reveals this vital three-part combination to us in one of his passages in Revelation.  He writes, "And they overcame him (the devil and his minions) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."  (Revelation 12:11)  The written and spoken accounts of our cherished encounters with God, whether He knocked us off of a horse as He did Saul, or moved on the heart of someone to slip us some money just as a bill came due, you have a testimony.  A story that can provide to the skeptics the substantive evidence of an unseen God. 


In a paragraph or two, what's your story??