Ditch the Baggage

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    by Nancy Alcorn

    Think of the habits and patterns that define your daily life. Would you have the courage to make a sudden break when you saw that freedom was possible on the other side of your choice?

    Each one of us has a bag full of old stuff. This stuff becomes such a part of our lives that we think it’s normal. We know how to get along with it, and we don’t want to let it go.

    But when God reveals to you that something is getting in the way of your commitment to Him, it’s time to let it go. Not some of it—all of it. God has given you a choice between life and death, captivity and freedom.

    Each one of us has a bag full of old stuff. This stuff becomes such a part of our lives that we think it’s normal.

    What baggage are you carrying around? If you find yourself wrestling with the following thoughts, renew your mind by meditating on the facts and related truths from Scripture.

    Baggage belief: I’m not worth much. I don’t deserve anything good.

    Fact/Truth: I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. Because I am a child of God, I have an eternal inheritance in heaven. “Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay” (1 Peter 1:3–4, NLT). “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ” (Ephesians 1:3, NLT).

    Baggage belief: God is going to have a hard time forgiving me for the things I have done and wrong choices I have made that hurt people.

    Fact/Truth: God delights to show grace. His forgiveness is endless, and His mercies are new every morning. “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy” (Micah 7:18, NIV). “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NIV).

    Baggage belief: I will never amount to anything because I was used and abused.

    Fact/Truth: I am more than a conqueror through Christ and have overcome the shame of my past. God has an amazing plan and purpose for my life, and He will give me the strength I need as I press toward it. “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world”(1 John 4:4, NLT). “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).

    Baggage belief: I am doomed to live in fear that someone will take advantage of me again.

    Fact/Truth: God is my protector and is with me wherever I go. I will be confident because God will take care of me. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT).“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:17, NLT).

    Baggage belief: These emotions are so overwhelming I can’t imagine ever getting over them.

    Fact/Truth: God cares how I feel, and He has great compassion toward me. I can rest in knowing that He will carry my burdens. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7, NLT).“For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones” (Isaiah 49:13, NIV).

    Baggage belief: I have been hurt so badly that I can never trust anyone again.

    Fact/Truth: God loves me, and I will trust Him no matter what. God will bring safe people into my life to love and encourage me in healthy ways. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5, NLT). “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices” (Mark 12:33, NIV).

    Baggage belief: No one will ever want me. I am “damaged goods.”

    Fact/Truth: God has taken my shame and restored me to wholeness. I have confessed my sin to Him, and He has forgiven me and cleansed me. I have been set free to enjoy my future! “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor” (Isaiah 61:1–3, NIV).

    Baggage belief: I must hold myself together and not share how I feel.

    Fact/Truth: God wants me to be real about how I feel so He can provide comfort and healing. It is when I am healed and whole that I can comfort others who have been through the same things I have. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4, NIV). “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4, NIV).

    Baggage belief: If I act like nothing ever happened, the memories and emotions will eventually go away.

    Fact/Truth: I will speak out what is right, and I know God will be my refuge. I receive healing so that I no longer live in fear but can experience true peace. “I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security” (Jeremiah 33:6, NIV). “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11, NIV).

    Baggage belief: Even when I do my best, it’s not good enough. I can never meet the standard.

    Fact/Truth: I am fully loved, completely accepted, and totally pleasing to God. Regardless of how much I do or fail to do, I will remain fully loved, completely accepted, and totally pleasing to God. I choose to surrender to Him, trusting my faith in Him and His ability to sustain me. I will seek to be a God pleaser, not a people pleaser. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NLT). “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33, NLT).

    Baggage belief: My life has always been full of turmoil. Some of my best years have already been wasted.

    Fact/Truth: God will restore all the time I have wasted or lost by my choices or the choices of others. God gives me peace. “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust” (Joel 2:25, NKJV). “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, NKJV). That old baggage doesn’t belong to you anymore. Everything you need the Lord has supplied. You are free!

    Baggage belief: My life has always been full of turmoil. Some of my best years have already been wasted.

    Fact/Truth: God will restore all the time I have wasted or lost by my choices or the choices of others. God gives me peace. “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust” (Joel 2:25, NKJV). “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, NKJV). That old baggage doesn’t belong to you anymore. Everything you need the Lord has supplied. You are free!

    Baggage belief: My life has always been full of turmoil. Some of my best years have already been wasted.

    Fact/Truth: God will restore all the time I have wasted or lost by my choices or the choices of others. God gives me peace. “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust” (Joel 2:25, NKJV). “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, NKJV).

    That old baggage doesn’t belong to you anymore. Everything you need the Lord has supplied. You are free!

    Nancy Alcorn

    It was during and after college that Nancy Alcorn, a native Tennessean, spent eight years working for the state of Tennessee at a correctional facility for juvenile delinquent girls and investigating child abuse cases. Working for the state on a daily basis gave her direct encounters with secular programs that were not producing permanent results that exemplified changed lives. Nancy saw many of the girls pass the age of eighteen and end up in the women’s prison system because they never got the real help they needed. After working for the state and recognizing that true transformation would never come as the result of any government system, she was appointed Director of Women for the Nashville Teen Challenge program where she worked for two years. Through her experience, she began to realize that only Jesus could bring restoration into the lives of girls who were desperately hurting and searching for something to fill the void they felt in their hearts. Nancy knew God was unfolding a plan prompting her to step out in faith to help hurting young women.

    In January 1983, determined to establish a program in which lives would truly be transformed, Nancy moved to Monroe, Louisiana to start Mercy Ministries of America (now Mercy Multiplied). She knew that there were three principles to which she must always remain faithful: (1) accept girls free of charge, (2) always give at least ten percent of all donations to other organizations and ministries, and (3) do not take any state or federal funding or any money that interferes with the freedom to share Christ.

    Several years and many changed lives later, Mercy has established locations in Monroe, Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; and Sacramento, California. The organization has grown beyond the borders of the United States, including locations in the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand. In addition, plans are underway for more sites in America as well as internationally.

    Order your copy today! http://mercymultiplied.com/ditchthebaggage

    SOURCEmysolutionsmagazine.com
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    Nancy Alcorn, Founder and President of Mercy Ministries Nancy Alcorn established Mercy Ministries of America in January 1983. God had called Nancy Alcorn to help hurting young women find freedom and have their lives transformed. With her experience to assist her and God to guide her, Nancy Alcorn prayerfully made a giant step of faith to help hurting young women. Nancy Alcorn was determined that the Mercy Ministries program would bring about true-life change in the lives of young women. Nancy Alcorn committed that Mercy Ministries would accept girls free of charge, that Mercy Ministries would donate ten percent of all donations to other organizations and ministries and that Mercy Ministries would never accept any state or federal funding. For nearly three decades, Mercy Ministries under the leadership of Nancy Alcorn has seen exponential growth and impact.