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Woman to Woman

In her moment of greatest rejoicing, Mary, the mother of Jesus, sought the maturity and wisdom of her older cousin, Elizabeth, who had also received a miraculous visitation.

But upon Mary's appearance, the older Elizabeth became subject to the younger woman, because of the magnitude of Mary's assignment from God.

These two women's lives were strategically intertwined; they were family, but more. Their relationship was eternally significant. The same would be true of the relationship between their sons--John the Baptist and Jesus the Messiah. read more

Trust God with the Outcome


For most of us, envisioning how God wants to use us is easy. The real work comes in faithfully taking steps each day in the direction of His will.

At times, the way seems clearly laid out for us. But at others we feel confused, unprepared and inadequate.

You've undoubtedly had the experience of ministering to someone and coming away thinking you had utterly failed. But a few days later you encountered that person again, and she told you your ministry was an answer to prayer! read more

Christ's Advancing Kingdom


We should not be surprised when we see tremendous blessing and great evil appearing side by side. As believers today, I think we often look at the spiritual condition of our country and the rest of the world and we're given to think that God's kingdom is not advancing as it should be.

The other day, I heard someone say that the apparent worsening of the world's condition is not the result of our lack of spiritual authority and influence. Rather, the rise in hostility toward Christianity is a response to the power of God making inroads into the devil's domain.

Reading 2 Corinthians 1 in a contemporary version really opened my understanding on this subject. Paul wrote: "We don't want you to be in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn't think we were going to make it. read more

Leading Children into Worship

Children naturally seem to welcome the reality of God. In their innocence, once they are introduced to the Lord, they accept His existence and, unless they are hindered, readily begin to relate to His presence.

Adults need the freedom to worship, sing and dance with the abandon of children. Our natural reserve makes it all the more important that we embrace and encourage the enthusiasm with which our children interact with the Spirit of God. read more

The Requirement of Absolute Surrender

In each of us the ongoing work of the Spirit is the cultivation of a yielded heart, obedient to His most subtle promptings. More than an act of the will, it is a continual dying to self that releases in us the power to overcome the flesh and surrender to God.

Andrew Murray acknowledges our role in willing our lives to be yielded to God's purposes but de-emphasizes it. He stresses instead our dependence on our faithful God to supply both the desire for surrender and the power to activate it. read more

The Heart of a Worshiper

Worship is an attitude of the heart that expresses itself in a lifestyle wholly given to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Only a heart that is yielded to His will and purposes can truly worship Him.

Yet, worship is why we are here. For the Almighty, who created all things, finds pleasure and delight in us when we turn our hearts to Him and away from all that He has made for us to enjoy. read more

Grace in Conflict

Because we aren't thoroughly convinced of God's unconditional love, we place enormous demands on others and ourselves. When the standards of performance aren't met, we have difficulty accepting God's love and forgiveness, and we withhold those things from others.

In order to protect ourselves, we tend to shy away from conflict. Often we choose to forfeit relationships or settle for less than adequate ones rather than risking the unpleasantness of confrontation and change.

But with God's help, we can learn to benefit from the very relationships that seem the most troubling. In resolving difficult issues, we don't have to allow conflict to drive us apart. We can use it as a catalyst for growth. read more

The Praying Life of Jesus

The life of ardent, incessant prayer is one of supernatural power, provision and peace. In essence, it is the life of Christ formed and activated in us.

Jesus, who lived a life of total dependence on His Father, was at all times at rest in God's will and firmly anchored in His purpose. Even when He went to the cross, Christ's life was open to the Father so that He was able to pray that God would be glorified.

The praying life is connected to the divine flow of God's Spirit at every moment. It is an existence in which there is rest and continual access to the supernatural life of God. read more

The Quest for Glory

We were created in the image of God in order that we might respond to Him, fellowship with Him and reflect His love, glory and holiness. As carriers of the Spirit of God, we are to exemplify His nature in our interactions with other people. For this is how we bring glory to His name--by being filled to overflowing with His presence and allowing Him to be seen in us.

But how do we become fit vessels to contain the glory of God? Not surprisingly, God will be pleased to fill us with His glory when we humble our hearts to pray, worship Him and walk in obedience to His will. read more

What's Keeping Your Family from God

Most believers can attest to the difficulty in winning loved ones to Christ. With so many underlying emotions at work, it can be a daunting task that involves great personal risk.

A lover of God has no recourse but to utilize every means of making Him known to others. Any risk is worth it when we consider the calling to follow Christ's command to spread the gospel.

Ultimately, every individual must decide to accept or reject Christ. Each situation requires sensitivity to God and wisdom from Him to communicate the gospel to members of our family. Through Him, we can be effective witnesses and overcome any fear of rejection or loss of relationship. read more

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Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit