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Winning with the Word
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Winning with the Word

Author: MaryAnn Diorio

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Manuals. We have them for our cars, our washing machines, and our fitness equipment. But did you know there is a manual for living a successful life? It's called the Bible, and it holds the answers to every problem you will ever face in life. Check it out! You will be amazed!
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How to Have Faith

How to Have Faith

2021-05-1016:37

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 subscribe to this blog, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast, click here. If this blog and podcast have blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ t  Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_05_10_21_How_to_Have_Faith.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 May 10, 2021, and this is Episode #14 of Series 2021. This episode is titled “How to Have Faith." _______________________________ Have you ever wondered why your prayers have not been answered despite your begging and pleading with God to answer them? Perhaps the problem has something to do with faith. Let's take a look today at what faith is and what faith is not. First, let's take a look at what faith is NOT. __Faith is not an attempt to make something exist that does not exist. Faith always rests on something that does exist. We place our faith in a chair as we sit down. The chair exists. We place our faith in God. He also exists, although we cannot see Him. __Faith is not something we need more of. In Romans 12: 3 KJV, the Bible says that "God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith" (underlining mine). This means that every person receives from God the same amount of faith when that person is born again. Just as we all receive the same number of bones and muscles when we are physically born, so do we also receive the same amount of faith when we are born again. __Faith is not something which some people have more of and some people have less of. The Bible makes clear that God is not partial toward people. He treats us all with equal love. The Bible reveals this truth in Acts 10: 34 NKJV: “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ’In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.’”  Now that we've looked at what faith is not, let's take a look at what faith is. __Scripture defines faith as follows: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  This verse tells us that faith presupposes hope. No hope. No faith. Hope is the blueprint on which faith builds. Hope is the inner picture in one's imagination to which faith gives substance. If we have no hope, we can have no faith. In other words, faith transforms hope into reality. Faith makes what we hope for a reality as long as what we hope for is based on God's promises. For this reason, we must know God's Word! __Faith is the currency of the Kingdom of God. It is the medium of exchange between God and us and between us and God. God gives us the promise--whether it be of healing, or provision, or peace--we give Him our faith in exchange for the fulfillment of the promise in our lives.  Faith receives the promises of God. Faith reaches out to the spiritual realm and brings the promises of God from the spiritual realm into the natural realm. __________________________________ Faith makes what you hope for a reality. __________________________________ There are two kinds of faith: Natural Faith and Supernatural Faith. What is the difference? Natural faith believes only what the five senses tell it. In other words, natural faith believes only what it can see, hear, touch, smell, or taste. Natural faith is also called "sense faith."  An example of natural faith occurs when we sit down in a chair. We place faith in that chair to hold us up.
How to Be Healed

How to Be Healed

2021-05-0316:31

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 subscribe to this blog, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast, click here. If this blog and podcast have blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ t  Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_05_03_2021_1_How_to_Be_Healed.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 May 3, 2021, and this is Episode #13 of Series 2021. This episode is titled “How to Be Healed." _______________________________ I frequently receive prayer requests from around the world and am always honored to pray for people. Significantly, the request I receive the most is the request for physical healing. Perhaps you, too, today need a physical healing. If so, this message is for you. Today I'd like to share with you what the Bible says about healing and how you, too, can be healed if you only believe. Sickness is a plague that has afflicted mankind since the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Sickness entered the world through sin. When Jesus came to earth to die for us, He paid the price not only for our sin but also for our sickness. In other words, He redeemed us not only from sin but also from sickness. Sin and sickness no longer have dominion over the born-again child of God unless we allow them to. The defeat of Sin and the defeat of Sickness are the two parts of the Atonement. This is the reason we use both bread and wine in Holy Communion. The bread represents the broken body of Jesus as He took 39 stripes on His back to pay for our sicknesses. Interestingly, there are 39 official categories of disease recognized by the medical profession. So, the 39 stripes that Jesus took covered all 39 categories of disease. The wine in Holy Communion represents the Blood He shed to pay for our sins. That Blood washes us clean and makes us righteous before God. Hebrews chapter 9, verse 22, referring back to Leviticus chapter 17, verse 11, says that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission" of sin. In other words, forgiveness of sin requires the shedding of blood. In the Old Testament sacrifices, animals were killed every year on the Day of Atonement, and their blood was shed so that the people's sins would be forgiven. When Jesus died, He was the final Sacrifice. He was the Passover Lamb Who fulfilled the Old Testament law and established the New Covenant or New Testament. He was the One Who forgave our sin and healed our sickness once and for all.  Both sin and sickness were paid for by Jesus on Calvary. Forgiveness and healing are part and parcel of the New Covenant into which we enter when we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord.  As born-again believers, we should expect to walk in health just as much as we expect to walk in forgiveness. But the reality is that most Christians do not walk in healing and health. Most Christians are sick. This should not be the case, but, sadly, it is. The chief reason for this state of affairs is, I believe, a lack of knowledge. In Hosea chapter 4, verse 6, the Word of God says this: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." The lack of the right kind of knowledge will bring destruction. So, what do we need to know about healing in order to receive it and to stay healthy?  Here are some key truths that we must believe in order to receive our healing: 1___God CAN heal.
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 subscribe to this blog, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast, click here. If this blog and podcast have blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ t  Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_04_26_How_Close_Are_We_to_the_End_.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 26, 2021, and this is Episode #12 of Series 2021. This episode is titled “How Close Are We to the End?" _______________________________ Any thinking person realizes that things are not what they used to be in this world. We not only sense that something isn't right, but we wonder if things will ever return to normal. Well, let me encourage you today. Not by promising you that things will return to normal, because I personally do not believe they will. But let me encourage you with the wonderful news that, no matter what happens in the world, if you follow Jesus Christ, you have a great future ahead of you! You might be asking, "Dr. MaryAnn, how can you say such a thing? Is your head in the sand?" No! Not at all. My head is very much above the sand. I'm continually looking around, observing current events, and comparing them with what the Bible says about our day. And, yes! The Bible has a lot to say about the day we're living in.  Yes, the Bible. That ancient book that most people have never read. That ancient book that God gave us as our life manual. That ancient book that provides the answer to every situation we will ever face in life. So, what does the Bible say about the days we are living in? The Bible says that when certain things begin to happen in our world, we can know that the return of Jesus Christ is near. For those of you who do not know, Jesus Christ came to earth the first time two thousand years ago as a man in order to die for our sins, to rise again from the dead, and to restore man to God's original intent for man. After Jesus accomplished His amazing victory over sin and death, He returned to Heaven for a time, promising that He would one day return for those who follow Him. That return will take place in a cataclysmic event called the Rapture, which means an instantaneous "catching away" or removal from the earth of all of His true disciples. At the Rapture, Jesus will appear in the sky and take from the earth all those who are born again and follow Him. Only those who know Him will see Him. All others will be left behind to endure the most horrific period in human history known as the Tribulation. In the past year, since Covid came on the scene, the world has had a small taste of what it will be like during the Tribulation. Our freedoms will be increasingly taken from us as the New World Order takes over the world. Here are some signs predicted in the Bible of what we would witness in the earth shortly before the Rapture: 1. Talk of "peace and security." Hardly a single day goes by that we don't hear or read the phrase "peace and security" or "peace and safety."  Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 3, says this: "For when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape."  Pay particular attention to how many times you hear or read the phrase "peace and security" or "peace and safety" during your ...
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 subscribe to this blog, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast, click here. If this blog and podcast have blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_04_19_21_Your_Authority_and_Power_in_Christ.mp3 ______________________________________ 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” _______________________________ 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?
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 subscribe to this blog, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast, click here. If this blog and podcast have blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today's blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_04_12_21_Have_You_Lost_Your_Hope_.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 12, 2021, and this is Episode #10 of Series 2021. This episode is titled "Have You Lost Your Hope?" _______________________________ It is no secret that we have been living in times that pose a great challenge to our hope. Hopelessness, depression, and despair are widespread, particularly among our young people. So, what can we do not to lose hope? As always, the Bible gives us the answer. In the Apostle Paul's first letter to Timothy, he writes, "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope" (1 Timothy 1: 1). Notice that Paul calls Jesus Christ our Hope. Jesus is our Hope. We not only put our hope in Him. He is Hope itself. Let's take a look at the nature of hope. What is it, and why is it so essential to life? In his 1828 dictionary, Noah Webster defines hope as follows: "Confidence in a future event, the highest degree of well-founded expectation of good; as a hope found on God's gracious promises." Webster continues his definition of hope by quoting the Scripture verse in Joel 3: 16: "The Lord will be the hope of His people." __________________________________ "Jesus Christ, our Hope" (1 Timothy 1: 1) __________________________________ So, according to Webster's definition, the Lord God is our Expectation of Goodness. When we consider the Lord, we can always expect goodness from His hand. When we place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are expressing confidence in the truth that goodness from His hand always lies ahead. This is hope. So, how does hope operate? Now, please pay close attention to what I am about to explain, as it is very important to receiving what we need from God. This truth transformed my life. I know it will transform yours as well if you grasp it and apply it to your own life. Just as the soul is comprised of the mind, the will, and the emotions, the spirit is comprised of the conscience, the intuition, and the imagination. Hope is a function of the imagination. Hope is the blueprint that resides in our imagination. That blueprint is the inner picture we have of ourselves and of our situation in life. So, we can say that hope is a blueprint. This blueprint or picture of ourselves inside ourselves is what faith turns into reality. Let me give you an example: Years ago, my husband and I built a house. Before the house was built, the architects gave us the blueprints of the house. When family and friends would come over to visit, we would show them the blueprints and say, "This is our house." Now, the blueprints were not the actual, physical house. They were the picture of what the house would eventually be. They were, in other words, the hope of the house. When we looked at the blueprints, we were exercising the hope that one day that house would be a physical reality.  When the physical house was actually built, it was the substance of our fulfilled hope--the physical, material reality of what we had seen on the blueprints.
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 subscribe to this blog, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast, click here. If this blog and podcast have blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today's blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_03_29_21_Are_You_Being_Deceived_.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 March 29, 2021, and this is Episode #8 of Series 2021. This episode is titled "Are You Being Deceived?" _______________________________ Nearly every day someone says to me, "I'm so confused. I don't know whom or what to believe any more." Does this sound like you? If so, then listen up. Deception is rampant today and is destroying many people. What is deception? Deception is believing that something false is true or that something true is false. The Greek word meaning deception is the same word used to mean roaming or wandering around. This Greek definition implies that a deceived person has gone off course from the truth and is wandering around. Deception occurs through seduction. One is seduced--or drawn away from the truth--through deception. The dangerous thing about deception is that the deceived person does not know he is deceived. If he did know he was deceived, he would no longer be deceived. In other words, deception hides itself from its victim. Deception takes a truth and manipulates it by taking something away from it or by adding something to it. The result is a falsehood that sounds true or logical or even loving. But it is false, nonetheless. When we believe that something false is true, we fall into bondage. Deception carries within it a hook that catches us when we believe the deception. This hook is one of the ways Satan draws us from truth. The Bible warns us in several places not to be deceived. One such major warning given by Jesus Himself is found in Matthew 24: 3-13. In this passage, the disciples asked Jesus what would be the signs of the end times. Let's listen in on this conversation. and hear how Jesus replied to the disciples' questions: "While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. 'Tell us,' they said, 'when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?' Jesus answered, 'See to it that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These 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." I find it extremely significant that the first sign Jesus gave as to what would signal the last days was the sign of deception. Now, in order to be theologically balanced, what Jesus described in Matthew 24 are events that have happened throughout history. There have been wars and rumors of wars throughout history. There have been nations rising against nations throughout history. There have been famines and earthquakes throughout history. There has been deception throughout history. But, what is different about our day is that all of these things that Jesus mentioned are converging. In other words, they are all happening with greater and greate...
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 subscribe to this blog, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast, click here. If this blog and podcast have blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today's blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_03_22_21_Are_You_Struggling_with_Performance_Syndrome_.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 March 22, 2021, and this is Episode #7 of Series 2021. This episode is titled "Are You Struggling with Performance Syndrome?" _______________________________ The natural inclination of man is to perform in order to be approved. As we observe the many religions of the world, we notice that, except for Christianity, every religion teaches its followers that they must earn their salvation by doing good works. Only Christianity teaches that we can never earn our salvation. That is the reason Jesus Christ earned it for us and gave it to us as a love gift. The only thing we must do is accept His gift. In the Book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul addresses this topic of trying to earn our salvation. After teaching the Galatians how to be saved through faith in Christ, Paul now finds them going back to their old ways of trying to earn God's approval through their good works. Let's listen in on what Paul says: "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes, Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" Paul was distressed that the Christians of Galatia had reverted back to their old ways of thinking and acting.  When we are born again, we receive God's approval because of what Jesus did for us on Calvary, not because of anything we did. This is called grace. The first chapter of the Book of Ephesians, verse 6, reveals this truth to us: "He [God the Father] made us accepted in the Beloved {Jesus Christ]." (Brackets mine).  Yet, so often, after we are born again, we find ourselves falling back into trying to earn God's approval through our good works. I call this the performance syndrome, and I would venture to say that we have all been guilty of it at one time or another, especially those of us who grew up in particularly legalistic environments. Most of the time, we are unaware that this happened. Hence, Paul's use of the word "bewitched." "Bewitched" means to be under a spell. Strong's Concordance defines "bewitched" as follows: "to bring evil on one by feigning praise or an evil eye; to fascinate by false representations; to lead into evil doctrine."  When one is bewitched, one is taken mentally captive and is unaware of his mental captivity. When we are bewitched, we are unaware that motives other than God's love have begun to corrupt our thinking. We begin to strive to earn God's approval. We become tense and fear-filled, wondering if we've measured up. We often feel condemned when we mess up.  So, Paul calls the Galatians "foolish" not in the sense that they lacked intelligence, but in the sense that they should have known better than to revert from a grace mentality to a works mentality. Paul Himself had taught them the truth about salvation,
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 subscribe to this blog, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast, click here. If this blog and podcast have blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today's blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_03_15_21_What_s_the_Condition_of_Your_Heart_.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 March 15, 2021, and this is Episode #6 of Series 2021. This episode is titled "What's the Condition of Your Heart?" _______________________________ Did you know that the condition of your heart determines the course of your life? I'm not talking about your physical heart. I'm talking about that intangible part of you that includes your mind, your will, your emotions, and your conscience. The Bible says this about the heart: "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."  Now that's a pretty heavy statement, don't you think? So heavy, in fact, that we would be foolish to ignore it. Yet, many people do ignore it, and they ignore it to their own peril.  What is meant by guarding your heart? To guard means to protect from harm. The Bible commands us to protect our hearts more than we protect anything else? Why? Because our heart is more precious than anything else. Our heart determines where we end up at the end of our life. So, how can we determine the condition of our heart? A good way is to consider the different types of heart conditions the Bible talks about and then evaluate your own heart by these conditions. The Bible describes six heart conditions. Let's take a look at each one. 1. The Double Heart. The Double Heart is also referred to as the Deceitful Heart. I call it the Forked Heart, as in forked tongue. Scripture alludes to the double heart in Psalm 12: 2 NKJV: "They speak idly everyone with his neighbor: With flattering lips and a double heart they speak." The double heart is a two-faced heart. It speaks out of both sides of its mouth. It says one thing and means another. It is double-minded. In James 1: 8, we read that "a double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways." So, a double heart is an unstable heart. What happens to things when they are unstable? They fall. 2. The Hard Heart. In Proverbs 28: 14, we read this warning: "Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity." What is a hardened heart? A hardened heart is a heart that has lost its sensitivity to the things of God. In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 8, verses 16-21, Jesus reveals that a hard heart has lost its ability to see, understand, and hear God. It is a heart that has also lost its ability to remember. Let's enter this passage in Mark chapter 8, verses 16 through 21. The disciples are out on the lake in a boat, and they realize they have forgotten to bring bread to eat. So, they're discussing what to do. Let's listen in on what Jesus says: "Aware of their conversation, Jesus asked them, 'Why are you debating about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Do you have such hard hearts? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of broken pieces did you collect?” “Twelve,” they answered.
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 subscribe to this blog, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast, click here. If this blog and podcast have blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today's blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_03_08_21_The_Privilege_of_Persecution.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 March 8, 2021, and this is Episode #5 of Series 2021. This episode is titled "The Privilege of Persecution." _______________________________ You may find the title of this week's message a bit disconcerting, if not downright frightening. If so, I hear you! But the truth is that the Body of Christ here in the United States will undergo persecution. Indeed, it has already begun. Thus far, it has been only "soft persecution" in the form of censorship, reviling, mocking, and ridicule. But in the days ahead, we will witness more severe persecution, as is happening to our brothers and sisters in countries like China, Iran, and, most recently, Myanmar.  Given the degeneration that has been occurring in America over the last five decades, it will not be long before the same type of persecution hits our shores in full force. Why we in the American Church think that we are immune to persecution is a mystery to me, especially since we have opened the doors to persecution because we have not been salt and light in our nation. We have allowed the forces of darkness to take territory that we, the Church, should have protected. Instead of overcoming the world, we have become like the world. We have embraced ideologies blatantly contrary to the Word of God, and yet, we expect God to bless us. This is deception at its most basic level. Let the truth be told: the buck stops with the Church. Always! When the Church fails in its duty to stand up for righteousness, corruption always follows. As goes the Church, so goes the Culture. Back in November, a prophetic word came forth in my church. The message was, "Prepare for the fire of persecution!"  The same prophetic message has come forth from other places in the Body of Christ. It is a warning from the Lord to get ourselves ready to face severe persecution for following Him. As goes the Church, so goes the Culture. How do we do that? Here are some steps we can take to ensure that when full-blown persecution comes to Christ-followers here in the United States, we will be able to stand against it: 1. Cultivate your relationship with Jesus Christ. Be intentional about doing so. Cultivating a relationship with Jesus Christ means spending time in His Presence, worshipping Him, communing with Him, studying His Word.  2. Obey what the Holy Spirit tells you to do. Hearing the Word without obeying it leads to deception. James 1: 22 makes this clear: "Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves." 3. Pray continually. Prayer is an ongoing conversation with God. It is the means by which we remain in contact with the Lord, the means by which we abide in Him. When we commune with God throughout the day, we receive a continual supply of all that we need to remain strong in the face of persecution. Persecution is not a pleasant topic, but it is a topic we must address and a situation we must confront. We often quote Philippians 3: 10,
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 subscribe to this blog, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast, click here. If this blog and podcast have blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today's blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_03_01_21_Unless_You_Become_Like_Little_Children.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 March 1, 2021, and this is Episode #4 of Series 2021. This episode is titled "Unless You Become like Little Children" _______________________________ In a very telling story in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 18, Jesus called a little child from the crowd and placed the child in the midst of the people. Then Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 18: 3). This is a pretty serious statement made by Jesus Himself. It behooves us, therefore, to take strict heed. What does it mean to become like little children? Let's take a look at some of the characteristics of children: 1. Children are naturally humble. They don't have to try to be humble; they just are. They don't act as though they are better than anyone else. They are accepting of others, with no strings attached. When we are proud and boastful and think the world owes us something, we are not acting like children.  2. Children are not intimidating. We are not afraid of them. They are approachable, and they invite relationship. When we become threatening to others and unapproachable, we are not acting like children. 3. Children are free of guile. That is, they do not pretend to be what they are not. They do not put on airs. With children, what you see is what you get.  Is the same true of us? 4. Children make poor liars. They are open books. If a child lies, he is easily found out because his facial expression and guilty mannerism reveal the lie. Are we open books to others, or do we try to hide and deceive? 5. Children are unassuming. They don't care about social status, the impression they make, the clothes they wear. They don't care about skin color or financial status. They freely accept others for who they are and do not judge them. When we ascribe value to others based on their financial status, their looks, or their skin color, we are not acting like children. Jesus taught that becoming like a little child requires conversion. In other words, it requires a turning away from pride and embracing humility. It is not in our human nature to be humble. We naturally gravitate toward pride. But in order to become like a little child, we must renounce pride and embrace humility. In Matthew 18: 4, Jesus also said that whoever humbles himself like a little child would be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. I believe that what Jesus was pointing out here is that whereas pride is the foundation of destruction, humility is the foundation of greatness. There is only one way to become like a little child, and that is, to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. In His life we see exhibited every one of the beautiful qualities that comprise the heart of a child. When you receive Him, you receive the qualities of childlikeness.  If you have not yet accepted Christ as your Savior and Lord, pray this simple prayer with me now: Lord Jesus,
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 subscribe to this blog, click here.  To subscribe to this podcast, click here. If this blog and podcast have blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today's blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_02_22_21_How_to_Receive_from_God.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 February 22, 2021, and this is Episode #3 of Series 2021. This episode is titled "How to Receive from God". Most of us Christians spend our lives going after something we already have. We ask God to do something that He has already done for us ((e.g., heal, deliver, provide) or to give us something that He has already given us. We rightly believe that God CAN do anything, but we don't believe that He HAS ALREADY DONE everything. When we study the Book of Ephesians, however, we notice a critically important truth: Everything has already been accomplished in Christ and given to us. Ephesians 1: 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." This verse tells us that God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings and that those blessings are found in heavenly places in Christ. These heavenly places signify the spiritual realm, So, all of the blessings that God has already given us are located in the spiritual realm. Well, where is the spiritual realm? For the born-again believer, the spiritual realm is the realm of his spirit because the Holy Spirit lives in the born-again believer's spirit. The job of the Christ-Follower is to retrieve the blessings that are in his spirit--in other words, in the supernatural, spiritual part of him--and bring these blessings out into the natural, physical realm.  But how do we do that? Here are three simple steps that will help you to bring the blessings Jesus died to give you--the blessings that are already in your spirit--out into your daily life. Notice, I said these steps are simple, not easy. BELIEVE that what God says about you is true. SPEAK what God says about you. That is, speak His Word. ACT as though what God says about you is true.  Let's unpack each one of these. 1__BELIEVE that what God says about you is true.   Here are some things God says about you in His Word:  __Luke 10: 19 NLT: "Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you." If you are a born-again follower of Jesus Christ, He has given you all authority over the power of Satan. Using the Name of Jesus, you can drive Satan and all of his demons out of your life.  Do you believe this? __Romans 8: 37 - "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." If you are a born-again follower of Jesus Christ, you are more than a conqueror in every situation. This means not only that you have the authority and power to overcome Satan, but you also can take back what he has stolen from you. __1 Peter 2: 24 - "By the stripes of Jesus, you were healed." If you are a born-again follower of Jesus Christ, He gave you healing in exchange for your sickness when He took the stripes on His back just before His crucifixion. Do you believe this? __Galatians 3: 13 NIV - "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the ...
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! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today's blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_02_15_21_HELP_I_m_Worried_about_the_Future.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 February 15, 2021, and this is Episode #3 of Series 2021. Do you sense that something scary is going on in the world? That something ominous is about to happen, and you have no control over it?  If so, you are not alone. Millions of people throughout the world know that something is drastically wrong in the world, but they don't know what it is. For this reason, they are afraid. Today, I'd like to ease your fear by explaining some of the things that are happening, why they are happening, and what to do about them. 1. WHAT is happening? Did you know that you can learn everything you need to know about what is happening in our world today by reading the Bible? Particularly the following passages: Matthew 24 (Parallel accounts are found in Mark 13, Luke Luke 21 and Luke 17:20-37) Revelation 13 2 Thessalonians 2 Jeremiah 50-51 Ezekiel 38-39  Book of Isaiah 1-66 Daniel 2, 7-12 Book of Joel 1-3 Book of Zechariah 1-14 Book of Zephaniah 1-3 Thousands of years ago, Old Testament prophets, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, predicted the events that are taking place today--events we are reading about in our morning newspapers, hearing about on the daily news, and living out in our daily lives.  So what is happening today is the fulfillment of Bible prophecy right before our very eyes. The events the Bible predicted thousands of years ago are now coming to pass in our lifetimes. And they are coming to pass very quickly. 2. WHY is it happening? It's happening because God said it would happen. In the Book of Numbers, chapter 23, verse 19, the Bible says that "God is not a man, so he does not lie." Not only does God not lie; He cannot lie because His very nature is Truth. So, when God says something, He says what He means and He means what He says. You can stake your very life on God's every word. This is the reason the Bible is such an amazing book. Every word in it is the truth! Take for example the following passage from Matthew 24: 3-8 NLT: Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world? Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come." Are we not witnessing the beginning of all of these things now? Indeed, we are. And Jesus warned us that there is more to come. What is this "more to come"? It is a seven-year period of the most horrific events the human race has ever suffered. For it will be the period when the AntiChrist, who is Satan personified, will seize power and enforce the tyrannical government of the New...
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! Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post. ______________________________________ Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today's blog post on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_02_08_21_How_to_Control_Your_Thinking.mp3 ______________________________________ 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 February 8, 2021, and this is Episode #2 of Series 2021. In my last blog post and podcast, I talked about how to think like a winner. We explored certain principles from the Bible that, if applied, will help us to win in life. If you did not listen to that podcast, I encourage you to go back and listen to it. Today, we're going to discuss  strategies for thinking in a way that will ensure that our thoughts will lead us to success. By success, I do not mean only financial success. More importantly, I mean peace of mind, good health, and joy in living. The strategies I will discuss always work if we work them, because they originate in God's Holy Word, the Bible. And the Bible is Truth in written form. So, let's begin. Principle #1: Our life is shaped by our thoughts. This is a law established by God, a law that we cannot change, just as we cannot change the law of gravity.  Because this law cannot change, we can either adapt to it or rebel against it. If we are wise, we will adapt to the law and allow it to work in our favor.  Several Scripture verses teach this principle that our thoughts shape our lives. For instance, in my last podcast, we unpacked Proverbs 23: 7: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” We saw that the way we think in our hearts will determine the way our lives turn out. We also learned what the Bible means by the heart. The second principle in controlling our thinking is found in Romans 12: 2 NKJV: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." In this verse, we learn that in order to prove--or experience--God's perfect will, we need to be transformed. In order to be transformed, we must renew our minds. Renewing our minds means training them to think in a new way, a way different from the way we have been thinking up until now. But the key here is that the new way of thinking we must choose is God's way of thinking as found in the Bible. Any other way of thinking will not give us the desired result of a successful life. So, Principle #2 can be summarized as follows: We experience God's perfect will for our lives by changing the way we think and aligning our thinking with the Bible. So many of us have believed lies all of our lives. We have embraced these lies as truth. Consequently, we have experienced the negative effects of those lies. For example, we may have been told as children that we would never amount to much or that we were clumsy or stupid or fat. We may have been told that we were unwanted or an accident or a mistake. Whatever the case may be, we accepted those lies as truth, and those lies have controlled us all of our lives. Yet, we may not even be aware that we are being controlled by lies. Instead, we suffer silently the emotional pain of broken relationships, damaged careers, and other failures, totally unaware that all of this suffering is caused by the lies we believe. But I have great news for you!
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 on podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_02_01_21_band-How_to_Think_like_a_Winner.mp3   ______________________________________   Have you ever wondered why some people are more successful in life than others? Is it a question of so-called "luck"? Or is there something more to this thing called success? The answer, as always, is found in the Bible. In this best-selling book of all time, God has clearly outlined the principles of success. The problem is that, sad-to-say, most people don't read the Bible. Or they read it after the fact. After the problem has arisen and nearly devastated their lives. Yet, the Bible contains the answer to every single situation you will ever face in life. In fact, the Bible is God's Manual for Life. It is the book He gave us to navigate our time on this earth successfully. Isn't it a tragedy that most of the world neglects it? The Bible is all about winning. Not only winning in this life, but, far more importantly, about winning in the life after this one. The life that will last forever.  In the Bible, God has set in place certain principles, or laws, that govern success. If we live according to these principles, we will experience a wonderful, blessed life. But if we don't, we won't. It's as simple as that. So, what are these principles of success? And how can we apply them to our lives? One of the fundamental principles is found in Proverbs 23: 7: This verse reads as follows: "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Let's unpack this verse to discover what it means and how it can affect the entire course of our lives.  First of all, this verse clearly connects the way we think in our hearts with the way we are: "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Note the phrase in his heart. The verse does not simply say as a man thinks, but as he thinks in his heart. Well, what is meant by the heart?  The word heart as used here does not refer to the physical heart, the organ that pumps blood throughout our bodies. No, the word heart as used in this verse implies that intangible entity within us that we all recognize but cannot adequately define. Yet, the Bible gives us a picture of what this intangible entity called the heart really is. The heart is that part of us that connects our soul with our spirit. We are made in the image of God, and we have a spirit, a soul, and a body.  Each of these three parts is also made up of three parts. The spirit is made up of the conscience, the intuition, and the imagination. The soul is comprised of the mind, the will, and the emotions. The body is made up of bone, fluid, and soft tissue.  The heart is the bridge between the spirit and the soul. In other words, the heart is connected simultaneously to the spirit and to the soul. On the one hand, the heart is connected to the conscience part of the spirit. On the other hand, the heart is connected to the emotions, the will, and the mind parts of the soul. The Bible makes many references to the heart. Each of these references gives us a partial definition of the heart. For example, in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 9, verse 4, we read this: “And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, 'Why are you thinking evil things in your hearts?'” The act of thinking occurs in the mind. But in this verse, Jesus connected thinking with the heart as well. "Why are you thinking evil things in your hearts?
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:   https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_09142020_Are_You_Walking_the_Narrow_Road_.mp3 _______________________ Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, September 14, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #36 in Series 2020 and is titled "Are You Walking the Narrow Road?" _______________________________________________ In the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, verse 13, the Word of God gives a sobering command and warning: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." What is the narrow gate? One Biblical commentator calls the narrow gate "the gate of true conversion" (Benson).  Many pray the sinner's prayer and believe that is all they need to do to be saved. But to pray the sinner's prayer without turning away from sin, without crucifying the flesh, without obey the Lord's commands is pointless--and even dangerous. True conversion means turning away from sin and living a life of holiness. This takes great effort, and few people are willing to put in the effort. It is not easy to say no to the flesh--to greed, to lust, to selfish ambition. Yet, that is precisely what we must do if we want to follow Jesus Christ. There is a huge difference between accepting Christ as our Savior and accepting Him as our Lord. He Himself said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Accepting Christ as Savior alone has a selfish aspect to it because it is an act of concern only for one's personal salvation. While this is certainly a good thing, the act cannot stop there. It must go beyond the concern for deliverance from Hell to the love that inspires perfect obedience to the Lord Who saved us. When Jesus called His twelve apostles, He commanded them to FOLLOW Him.  One definition of the word follow means to take orders from. When we choose to follow Jesus, we choose to take our orders from Him and to put aside our own will and desires in order to accomplish His. Christians are often accused of being narrow-minded. Well, we are narrow-minded because our minds are continually focused on staying on the narrow road. It is far too easy to fall off the edge of the narrow road into the ditch of sin precisely because the road is narrow.  So our minds must continually focus on this truth---that the road is narrow and we must walk it carefully and not move off of it. Jesus said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 19: 23). The sign of true conversion is self-denial. The cross we are to carry daily is precisely this self-denial. It is saying no daily to all those desires that are contrary to God's Word and choosing, instead, to obey the Lord's commands as found in His Word. If you have made Jesus your Savior but not your Lord, I urge you to repent and to complete a full conversion. Turn from your sins and begin to obey the Lord's commands. If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and Lord, please do so now by praying this prayer with me: Lord Jesus, I want to make you both Savior and Lord of my life. I accept You now as my Savior and as my Lord. Forgive me of my sin. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Give me Your grace to follow you, to deny myself,
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:   https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_08312020_Taking_the_End_Times_Seriously.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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 31, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #34 in Series 2020 and is titled "Taking the End Times Seriously". _______________________________________________ For the past several years, my husband and I have been what the Bible calls "watchmen on the wall." For those of you who do not know, according to the Scriptures, a watchman is a person who studies current events in relation to Biblical prophecy. To read the morning headlines today is to read Bible prophecy being fulfilled.  So much that was predicted by the ancient Hebrew prophets thousands of years ago is now coming to pass before our very eyes. What are some of these prophecies? Here are a few highlights: There will be an increase in natural disasters, pestilence, and famine throughout the world. We are already seeing this prophecy being fulfilled in the Covid-19 pandemic, the increase in earthquakes, vicious storms, and the devastating loss of crops, resulting in food shortages. Matthew 24: 7 talks of these things: " . . .  and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” There will be a coalition of nations in Africa and the Middle East that will align themselves against Israel (Psalm 83:2-8; Ezekiel 38:2-16).  We see this happening now with the big three--Iran, Turkey, and Russia--joining together with the smaller nations of Libya, Ethiopia, and Sudan to align themselves against Israel. There will be a global economic collapse followed by revolution, war, and, possibly, martial law. Several passages in the Book of Revelation prophesy of this economic collapse (for example, Revelation 6:2-6; Revelation 13:16-17). We are seeing the beginnings of economic distress in the closing of businesses due to the pandemic, the drop in the value of the dollar, and the growing shortage of coins. There will be a great falling away from the faith. Hardly a day goes by that we do not hear of a Christian leader turning away from God and denouncing faith in Christianity. Thousands--if not millions--are turning away from righteousness and embracing wickedness. People are calling wrong right, and right, wrong, as 2 Thessalonians 2: 3 prophesies. These are only a few of the indications that we are in the end of the last days. All believers have been given the assignment to be a watchman in these last days, but, sadly, very few are fulfilling it. What about you?  Perhaps you don't know how to be a watchman. Here are some suggestions: 1. Pray. This is the first order of business. Watchmen get their orders from our Commander-in-Chief, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. These orders come as the result of prayer. 2. Witness. Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ at every opportunity. Souls hang in the balance. 3. Act. Fulfill the Great Commission by healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. God has given us the power and authority of His Name to fulfill His Great Commission. If we fail to do so, the blood of the lost in our circle of influence will be on our heads. Only those born again in Jesus Christ can fulfill the Great Commission a...
Who Are You Really?

Who Are You Really?

2020-08-2407:08

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:   https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_08242020_Who_Am_I_Really_.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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?"   _______________________________________________   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,
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:   https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_080320The_Dangers_of_Passivity.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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 3, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #31 in Series 2020 and is titled "The Dangers of Passivity." _______________________________________________ God hates passivity.  But the devil loves it. What is passivity? Passivity is the trait of holding back and letting someone else act in a given circumstance. Passive people avoid resistance and confrontation and give in to external influences.  Noted Bible teacher Francis Frangipane calls passivity "Satan's secret weapon," a tool to render Christ-Followers ineffective. As Frangipane further notes, "There is no room for a passive spirit in God's army."  There are times when passivity is warranted among Christ-followers, such as in submitting to God. But there are many more times when passivity is unwarranted and harmful both to the passive Christian and to the Body of Christ.  We are living in times in which passivity on the part of righteous people is causing the destruction of our nation. Demonic forces are taking down our country while far too many Christ-followers are sitting back and just watching.  Jesus warned us of what would happen in the last days. But He also commanded His Church to occupy until He comes. With what are we to occupy ourselves? We are to occupy ourselves with preaching the Gospel. But why is it that so many Christians are failing to preach the Gospel? Why is it that so many Christ-followers are simply allowing the enemy to encroach upon the Church? Why are they being passive? Here are some insights on passivity: 1) Passivity is a learned behavior.  It has psychological roots in rejection, abandonment, and fear.  Passive people are often self-centered rather than other-centered. They are afraid of speaking out because they are afraid of being rejected. Sadly, many Christ-followers fall into this category.  2) Passive people do not see themselves as passive. They will often object to accusations of passivity, replying that they work very hard and make many sacrifices in their families or ministries. While this may be true, it is an out-of-balance perspective.  Provision has many facets to it, and one facet is also bold leadership.  3) Passive people see themselves as victims, not as victors. This is contrary to what God says about us. Scripture tells us that we are more than conquerors through Christ Who loved us. This perspective is not the perspective of a passive person. The opposite of passivity is boldness. While passivity holds back, boldness pushes ahead. While passivity refuses to get involved and take action, boldness jumps at the opportunity to get involved and to take action.  Interestingly, Scripture rarely requires passivity but most often it requires boldness. In order to obey God's commands, we are often required to get out of our comfort zones and to speak out. For example, it is impossible to obey the Great Commission while being passive. In his excellent book, THE SPIRITUAL MAN, Watchman Nee writes this about passivity: "God has not called us to be passive. He has called us to fight. We are engaged in a spiritual battle of intense proportions,
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:   https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_07272020_Are_You_Majoring_in_the_Minors_.mp3   ______________________________________________ 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 27, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #30 in Series 2020 and is titled “Are You Majoring in the Minors?". _______________________________________________ In the first of his three letters, the Apostle John wrote: "Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever." The problem today is that most people are not obeying this command not to love the world. They are so attached to this world and to what it can offer them that they are not paying attention to what is really happening in this world and to where they are headed. To love the world is to major in the minors, for this world will soon pass away. And so will you! So, perhaps it's time you shift your perspective and start majoring on the majors. But what are the majors? And how can you know if you are majoring in them? Here are some clues: 1. Is the word "busy" the most often used word in your vocabulary? Are you constantly saying you're busy? Too busy? Are you focusing on your to-do list to the exclusion of your relationships, especially your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you even have a relationship with Jesus? One of Satan's chief tactics is to keep us too busy for a relationship with God. Don't fall into that dangerous trap. 2. Has distraction taken over in your life? Have you become too distracted to think about spiritual things, like where you will go after you die? Does that even matter to you? When the thought of death comes, do you brush it off?  3. Are you following the false teaching that your main goal is to create a great life for yourself here on earth? That your best life is now? What about success after you leave this earth? Do you think about that at all? And do you know what success after this life is all about? 4. Do you refuse to listen when Christ-Followers warn you of what's coming ahead? Do you find that kind of discussion too overwhelming, so you tune them out, branding them as crazy alarmists?  Denial of reality is one of the ways human beings cope, but we cannot and must not deny the truth of what Jesus predicted would happen in the last days. We must prepare for it. In fact, we have already begun to live it through the current lockdown and increasing assault on our Constitutional rights and religious freedom.   5. Are you attending a church where the pastor never talks about the end times? Does your pastor avoid the Book of Revelation? Does he avoid preaching on sin? Is his goal only to make you feel good when you leave the service? If so, beware.  6. Are you obsessed with social justice here on this earth? Are you focused on saving the planet? It sounds so good, yet it keeps you focused on this world and not on the next.
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: https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_07202020_Are_You_Living_on_the_Level_.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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?". _______________________________________________ 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.
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