If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 1:4

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.

Famine, war, captivity…these are all the consequences of rebellion the people of Israel experienced. The Old Testament has example after example of the Lord turning his hand against those who did not obey him. It can be easy for us to judge these Old Testament citizens, but if we look closely at our own hearts, we will see that there have been times when we have disobeyed and rebelled against the Lord’s commandments. Rather than judging the Old Testament body, we should use their experiences as a guide. Rather than continuing in sin and having God subject us to his wrath, we should seek his face.

The early Christians were known by the example they showed in how they loved one another. In this short passage, we learn that they shared what they had so that no one went without. If we read further in chapter 4 we hear of how they sold their possessions and turned in their monies so that the apostles could distribute it according to one’s needs. Does this sound like the Christians of today?

Actually, it does describe Christians living in the poorer countries of the world. Many missionaries have described the welcome they have received and the good will of the people in the poor countries where they have served. I experienced the same on a mission trip to Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world. In the wealthier countries, keeping what they have seems more important than sharing with others. People are willing to donate what is not longer useful, clothing they have outgrown, furniture they need to replace, other items they no longer have room for, even cars that no longer work. But, are they willing to rent an apartment at a lower rate so that a poor family can live safely? They might rent to a low income family but usually with a government subsidy so they don’t lose any money. The rich can seem to feel that it’s their right to keep whatever they’ve earned – which is not actually wrong, but what of their responsibility to help the needy?

In the Gospel, Jesus points out clearly talks about our responsibility to the poor and the vulnerable, a preferential option for the poor. What about us?

Often we focus on the great, unearned, unlimited mercy God has shown us. Now we need to consider how we have shown mercy to others – and maybe even to ourselves! Where do you have a problem with being merciful? It could be with forgiveness, compassion for those who suffer from addictions, or who beg, or we might not be welcoming to the stranger. Each of us has a problem with someone or something. I worked in retail during high school and college and then married into the world of retail. One of my problems is having patience with store salespeople who are rude or who don’t have a clue about the products they are selling. I try. There are members of my family who don’t speak to one another. I know people who are so unforgiving that it interferes with their relationships.

God is merciful to us when we don’t know what we’re doing. He sends us help when we are lost. He forgives us over and over again. I also know people who continue to carry their past mistakes with them to the point where they can’t move forward in their lives. God has forgiven them, why is it that they can’t forgive themselves? Today, think about the areas of your life where God has shown you mercy, and then look at the areas where you need to pass that mercy on to someone else – or maybe decide that it’s time you put down your own baggage and forgive yourself. With God’s help, we can grow in our ability to share the mercy we have been shown with others and so relieve them of some of the pain they may be carrying.

Each time the Lord saved them, they poured out their thanks and let everyone know what God had done for them. It is now the Easter season, and we need to be just as enthusiastic in our thanks and praise as the Israelites. If they were grateful for the victories won for them, how much more should we be for Jesus winning the victory over sin and death. This is a battle that has won a victory for all people for all time. Never again will this battle have to be fought, and we didn’t have to fight it, Jesus did it all. There is a hymn that I’ve sung every year at the Baptist church during the celebration of the Seven Last Words on Good Friday that is called just that: “Jesus Did it All.” Not only did he do it all, but by his resurrection he let us know that the victory was won, the gates of heaven were opened and the power of Satan had been defeated. All we have to do is live each day following in the footsteps of Christ and accept the gift we have been offered. Why do we hold back? Do we take our faith so for granted that we no longer feel the need to say thanks? This year, let it be different and let those around you know of your gratitude for the victory won for you and for them.

Isn’t it amazing that God has the power to do great things through us? He pours His Spirit out and through Him alone, men and women are able to do things that they could never do apart from God. God can do anything. He has the power to move mountains, to speak His words through Humans, and to do great works in and through us. God is truly amazing!

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

Here Jesus talks to His Father one of His final prayers on this earth. In this verse, He refers to the work He has completed. He knows that His time on earth has come to an end. He has reviewed His life and He says, essentially, “Father, I’ve done the best I can. There is nothing more for me to do here. I’ve prepared them as well as possible. It’s time to do this thing I came here to do.” And with that, it begins. The greatest act of love known to mankind is about to unfold.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

One of Kari Jobe’s most famous songs is “You are for Me.” Based on this passage, the song emphasizes the love of a God who is faithful on our side. No matter what goes on in our lives, He is there. Paul makes an important argument here: God gave His own Son for us. How can He not be on our side? He chose us. Every decision we make, every step that we take, God is with us. He sees our going out and our coming in. He sees when we fall and when we fail and He still is on our side, with unconditional love. It doesn’t matter what the world has said about us. It doesn’t matter what we sometimes say about ourselves. He, the Lord of All, is for us. He’s in our corner and with God in our corner, who dares to be against us.

Lord, I thank You for what You did for me at Calvary. You gave Your life for me. You loved me unconditionally. You suffered and died for me. Help me to be worthy of Your sacrifice. Amen.

Dear God, you are holy and you are jealous. When we are tempted to disobey your commands, remind us of the Israelites and the ways they suffered because of sin. Remind us that sometimes we must be disciplined to learn a lesson, but help us to learn this lesson from those who went before us rather than having to walk through it ourselves. Forgive us for our sins, O Lord. Do not turn your hand against us. Please extend mercy on your children. In Jesus’ name, amen. Lord, I believe that You have the power to do mighty works in and through me. I believe that You work through Your Church in mysterious ways. I give my life to You to do whatever You want in and through me. You are mighty and wonderful. Your ways are mysterious, and I praise You for Your great works. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Father, I know that You are for me. I know that You have my best interest in Your heart. You gave up Your own Son to give me life and I thank You. If You are for me, then no one can be against me. Amen.

The Fathers Glory! Lord, may You always be glorified. Help me to reveal Your glory in all that I do, so that not only Your glory, but the glory of the Father is made known to the world. Amen.

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

When Paul preached at Thessalonica, many believed and came to Christ. This included a number of Greeks and a number of prominent and influential women. The Greeks would have had a completely different religion, believing in multiple gods, and yet they believed. Paul himself said that he was not a good preacher. It seems unlikely that these Greek men and women would believe, and yet they did. Maybe you’ve wanted to try something for God but it seems impossible. God works in miracles and all things are possible through Him. Give it some thought and prayer, and then have courage.

In His final hours, Jesus asks His Father to allow the world to see His glory. Not because of who He is, but because of who God is. His glory is God’s glory. He asks that God allows His glory to be revealed through the sacrifice of His son, who will shortly give His life for the lost. He asks God’s glory to be revealed so that everyone will know the incredible nature of the sacrifice, and experience hope for a new life.

Once I was working with a group of teenagers and had given them a project where they needed to make a picture to illustrate one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and they needed to work on it in teams. One of the teams had a young man who never wanted to get involved, didn’t contribute to the class and was not particularly liked by the other kids. This day, however, his artistic ability made him the hero of the team! The team came up with such a wonderful poster that the both his attitude and that of the class towards him changed for the rest of the year. It’s easy to miss something of value that’s right in front of our eyes. Peter is talking to the chief priests and scribes about their ignorance of Jesus’ true nature and mission. We may also overlook someone who could be a leader if we looked more closely at the individual and didn’t judge on appearance. I’ve become a fan of applying for jobs online as long as they don’t ask for a picture. Of course there will always be a face to face interview before the final hiring, but at least competent people won’t be overlooked because the picture doesn’t match the image the boss had in mind. Not that long ago, women were told they weren’t capable of doing many jobs they now have – doctors, mechanics, military personnel, etc. And men were seldom hired to teach young children. Just as the Jewish leaders were blinded by their own preconceived ideas, we can be too if we’re not careful.

Heavenly Father, I want to serve You. Lay on my heart how You want me to serve You. I will go where You want me to go. Stay where You want me to stay, and speak what You tell me to say. Lord, give me confirmation and then courage. Things may seem unlikely or impossible, but I know all things are possible with You. Lead me by Your Holy Spirit. I will follow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lord, Thank you for caring for me, for providing for my needs, for making me feel safe and protected. In You I see my true worth. I am treasured by You and Your love gives me confidence. In You, I am everything. Amen.

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This is a praise of joy in the Lord. The writer of this Psalm rejoices in the Lord. So should we. We should exalt in the Lord, the Highest. He is all things to us. We should praise His Holy name forever. He is worthy of all praise. Praise is one of the most powerful weapons against the enemy that we possess. When we praise, we affect ourselves, God, the enemy. When we praise, walls fall and troubles disappear. The lack of praise conversely affects everything in your life. While almost everyone would agree that praise is a good thing, many people don’t see the responsibility to praise God even when we don’t feel like it. When we give this “sacrifice” of praise unto God, we are overcomers. Praise comes naturally when we recognize the goodness in our lives. We should make it a point to praise Him every day.

The Christian life is a wondrous adventure, full of twists and turns, good times and also difficult challenges. Through all of it, God’s Word is our greatest resource for insight, wisdom, hope, and guidance. Every problem we face has its solution in the Word of God. Where there is a need for comfort, peace, or courage, He provides it. To find His wisdom, there is simply no substitute for spending time alone with Him in prayer and the study of His Scriptures. Each year I receive countless letters from people who ask if there is a way for them to know God’s will for their lives. The answer is yes. But before He will reveal this to us, we need to get to know Him—the way He thinks, acts, and demonstrates His love for us.

Are you tired of trying to overcome sin on your own? Are you worn out from trying to be perfect, in your own power? Have you tried to be righteous on your own and found yourself seriously wanting? Here is the good news: you don’t have to do this on your own. Jesus Christ paid the price for us, so that we could be saved from our sin, and so that we could also be partakers of the Father’s inheritance. The life of Christ is an unburdened life, filled with rest and blessed assurance.

Dear God, I thank you for the rest and peace I have in you as a result of what your son, Jesus Christ, did for me. Lord, I have struggled with my sin and I have grown weary from trying to be perfect on my own. Thank you, Father, for removing the burden from my shoulders and helping me overcome my struggles. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Even Jesus rested, and He encouraged his apostles to rest. He wanted them to take breaks and rest. To take the time to go away and eat. There is nothing wrong with needing rest. God meant for us to take a Sabbath just as He did. He created the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh. You are not greater than God; take a rest.

Even Jesus rested, and He encouraged his apostles to rest. He wanted them to take breaks and rest. To take the time to go away and eat. There is nothing wrong with needing rest. God meant for us to take a Sabbath just as He did. He created the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh. You are not greater than God; take a rest.

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. Father God, Thank You for Hearing Our Prayers In Jesus Name Amen

A good husband is a jewel. A woman is blessed if her husband not only loves her and provides for her, but also treats her well and protects her. A good husband treasures his wife. He makes sure that her needs are met. He is her friend and her confidante. He makes her feel safe and he makes her feel confident. Through his eyes, she sees her own beauty and worth. This passage compares God to a husband. He cares for his Bride in the same way that an early husband cares for his wife. We can take comfort in the fact that we are safe in the arms of our husband who is our Maker and Redeemer. We have nothing to fear. We are loved and cherished by a kind and loving God.

Lord, Thank you for caring for me, for providing for my needs, for making me feel safe and protected. In You I see my true worth. I am treasured by You and Your love gives me confidence. In You, I am everything. Amen.

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

God did not appoint us to wrath but to obatin his salvation in Christ, through faith. Therefore, whether we be alive physically or not, we are still alive spiritually. We are always with Christ, for wherever we are, we are in spiritual union with him.

We were all once the children of wrath as all others (Ephesians 2:3), O Lord, for in that state we were born. But you appointed us to escape that wrath and obatin salvation through your Son. We know we are not deserving of anything good and can make no demands upon you. Help us, therefore, to ever present our prayers to you in true humility as those seeking mercy and grace.

The first thing I think of on this date is that 9 months from today it will be Christmas! But this is not what we should be reflecting upon. Imagine what it must have been like for Mary. Here she was, a simple girl in a small town, betrothed and getting ready to be married and now she is told that she has been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. What must have gone through her mind! What will Joseph say? Will he still want to marry her? What does it mean to be a mother to a Savior? Joseph will answer the first two questions, but the rest she will have to learn, as most mothers do, day by day.

God has a plan for each of us as well. His plans are not made known in quite the same kind of grand announcement, but he does tell us. What do you enjoy doing? What gifts do you see in yourself? God doesn’t ask us to do or be anything other than what he has prepared us to do. He doesn’t ask one who gets F in science to be a doctor, for example. And since Jesus tells us that he has come to bring us joy, he’s not going to lead us to a vocation that will make us miserable. But the one vocation all the baptized have is to bring the message of Jesus to others. We do this by example as well as by word. He has planted the seed of faith in our hearts; all we have to do is live it.

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Solomon instructs his son to establish his paths ahead of time (verse 26) and then to not turn aside one way or the other, “to the right hand or to the left. ” We should be people of purpose who ponder our path of life, not people who wander aimlessly and are drawn ultimately into evil deeds.

Lord, help us to consider our ways and to ponder the path of our feet. Give us a clear vision of what we should do and where we should go and then keep us focused on doing your will, not distracted by the allurements of the world. The world’s “Vanity Fair” offers the pleasures of sin for a season, but lies in the heart of the “City of Destruction. ” Let us seek the pleasures of God instead and hunger and thirst after His righteousness.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

You may have heard the old Yiddish saying “Man plans, God laughs.” This saying is intended to illustrate the futility of man-made plans. The Bible doesn’t say that God laughs at our attempts to plan our own way, but it does say that He directs our steps. Goal setting is desirable. It is important to have a plan for our lives. We all need to “devise our own way” to an extent. More important than having a plan, however, is understanding that without God, no plan we devise will come to fruition. Without His direction, any plan we make will fail. It is imperative that we understand that every gift, every good thing that allows us to succeed, comes from God. Until we understand that and accept that fact, our plans will be fruitless.

Father, I know that every good thing comes from You. You have blessed every gift and skill I possess. Any success I have is because of You. I need You in every aspect of my life. I need Your strength and Your guidance. I need You to guide my steps in every facet of my life. As I make goals, I ask You to direct me in the way I should go. I trust Your plan for my life and I put myself into Your hands. Amen.

Correction Is A Blessing, My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

One of the most difficult parts of parenting is disciplining children. It’s no fun making rules, putting kids on restriction, taking away cell phones or other electronic devices. It’s just not fun but we must do these things because we want to correct behavior. We love our children and we don’t want them to grow up being irresponsible. We want them to grow up to be responsible citizens, so when they misbehave, we have to correct the behavior. They don’t like it. We don’t like it, but it’s necessary and sometimes when our children don’t understand. As children, we never really understood our parents’ corrections either. We would hold grudges against our parents when they took away our stuff or restricted us or wouldn’t let us go to inappropriate parties. In this passage we are reminded that we shouldn’t despise it when God corrects us. We shouldn’t be upset when he disciplines us. He does this because he loves us. This passage says “for whom the Lord loves, He corrects.” God is compared to a father who loves his son and corrects his son. Even though it’s difficult to be corrected by the Lord, to be chastised by the Lord, we need to learn how to bear it and we need to see it for what it is: the correcting hand of a loving God who only wants what’s best for us, who loves us and is trying to get us to walk on the right path.

Father even though sometimes I may not enjoy being chastised by You or being corrected by You, I do understand why You have to do it and I do know that You love me. I ask You that You will help me to be able to see past my own selfishness to the lesson that You are trying to teach me and help me to be able to pass this to my own children. Help me to be able to correct them with love in such a way that they will also appreciate one day what I’ve tried to do for them. Amen.

Help us to appreciate those who minister the Word to us, Lord, and to submit to the Word instead of opposing it, which amounts to “opposing ourselves” (2 Timothy 2:25). Help us to discern between true and false teaching and teachers and to respond in faith and obedience to all genuine Biblical teaching.

Ministers of the Word, pastors and missionaries in our churches, are duty-bound to preach Christ in such manner as to labor “till Christ be formed in” their hearers. (Galatians 4:19) For Christlikeness is the ultimate rule of maturity and, in the next life, of perfection. God uses Biblical teaching and Bible-based warnings delivered by men of God in the pulpit and classroom and elsewhere to accomplish this.

Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Think of the people you know. Who do you trust? Who makes you feel good to be with? When you find out that someone has lied to you, how can you know when they’re telling the truth? If you lie, how can people trust you? The people we feel good to be with are ones we can trust, who are kind. They are the ones who follow through with their promises, who are always ready to help out, who go out of their way to do acts of kindness. And, when we are with them, we want to treat them the same way. If we want to be treated well, we need to be those people! When I taught, it wasn’t always easy to get through the hallway crowded with teenagers trying to get in their lockers and make their way to the next class. One day in the faculty lounge, one of the teachers was complaining about the rudeness of the kids who never even bothered to hold the door. I commented that I didn’t have that problem. The kids usually held to door for me, and of course I would hold it for them if their arms were full. She just shrugged her shoulders and said that she wouldn’t hold a door for those ruffians. The way we treat others does matter. If you are judgmental, don’t be surprised if you find yourself judged. If you gossip, you may find yourself the object of gossip. The reverse is also true. If you are forgiving, you will be forgiven. If you are kind, you will be treated with kindness. It’s your choice and mine.

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

Paul, of course, does not excuse sin here and supposedly assert that sin is not sin if you do it not thinking it to be sin. In truth, we all have a conscience given us by God that reveals to us the dictates of his holy law, convicts us with guilt when we violate it, and approves of our actions when we follow that law of God written on the heart of every man. But sin is sin because of the impure motivations and attitudes that necessarily attach to it and from which it flows. To the impure, whose very hearts and minds are defiled, everything is twisted into perverseness; but a pure mind will see the good in the things God has put in the world around us.

May our minds be purified day by day, being renewed by your Word and your Spirit. May our hearts be made singel in purpose, with the purpose to honor you in all things. May our consciences be kept active and healthy, and may we not ignore them to our own peril. As Martin Luther said, so may it be our motto as well, “To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. “

Not easy to love our enemies, especially when the faults of our enemies are often being placed in front of us by well-meaning friends or the media! But who really is our enemy? Usually the term enemy refers to someone we fear and fear usually comes from a lack of knowledge. This isn’t to say that there aren’t people who have enemies, who have been threatened or harmed by others. There are countries that attack other countries and violence under any circumstance needs to be stopped. But I don’t think that these are the enemies Jesus is talking about. Just because we disagree with the attitudes of others doesn’t mean that we have the right to hate. The best way to deal with enemies is to pray for them. In order to end hate in this world, we need to replace it with love and the author of love is God. I wonder what would happen if the entire Christian world prayed for an end of violence and hate every day for a year. An interesting thought, isn’t it! Perhaps all who are reading this today might make a vow to begin this Lent to pray each day, either in the morning or at night for an end of violence in our homes, our neighborhoods and our world.

I find this passage interesting. Hate goes against God’s laws. God is love, so there is no hate in God. Even in the story of Cain and Abel, God marks Cain so that no one will kill him. So how can we hate? It’s okay not to like someone, we all do that, but hate implies that we wish someone evil. That’s not okay.

To love our neighbor means that we don’t wish him any evil. This doesn’t mean that we have to approve everything our neighbor does. No, not at all, in fact this passage tells us it’s okay to rebuke someone, even a friend or family member and not get involved in behavior contrary to God’s law. Going back to Cain and Abel, revenge is also contrary to God’s will for us. So much violence would be avoided if people didn’t seek revenge.

As I mentioned the other day, today, a person who feels disrespected often gathers friends to “get even” with that person. This leads to a larger group of friends getting even with the others and so on and so on. Feuds of this sort have become commonplace among many groups of young people as we have become such a “them” and “us” society. Some feuds seem to last one generation to the next and often people don’t even remember when the bad feelings began, nor do they know the cause. How do you want to be treated? How do I? If I want to be treated kindly, with respect, then it is my responsibility to treat others the same. It’s not always easy to love those we don’t like, but that’s what God not only expects of us, but commands.

This passage from Isaiah talks about the purpose of God’s Word. Scripture isn’t written down and passed down to each generation because it’s a nice story. God’s Word has purpose just as the snow and rain do. It’s our job to discover what the purpose is for us. The overall purpose was to let us know of God’s love and saving power; that he was sending his son into the world to earn for us eternal life. His word would help us understand the forgiving nature of God and keep reminding us our responsibilities to ourselves, God and others. Lent is a perfect time to listen to this comparison of the nature of God and the elements of nature for Lent is the season of spring. We are hoping for the end of the snowy season of winter and looking forward to the rains of spring which will reawaken the earth so it will produce both beauty and food for us to enjoy. God’s Word can reawaken our joy which can become dormant during a cold winter season, and it is important that we take advantage of this season. Baptism has planted a seed in us, but unless it is nourished, it will not grow and we will not experience the joy and power that God wishes for us. The Scriptures will provide the water to nurture this seed, help it bud and bring it to fulfillment. May God’s Word in us not return to him void.

This psalm of David is considered to be his plea to God to forgive him for his sin in taking the wife of Uriah the Hittite because he lusted after her and then making sure that Uriah was killed in battle. I’m sure that none of you are guilty of such a crime. But, even if one of us were, God can forgive us. David was king of Israel at this time, and his reign did not end because of this offense. In fact, even though the child that he had conceived through his sin died, Bathsheba becomes the mother of Solomon and the Davidic line continues. Although we might not be guilty of such serious sin, who of us can say we have never sinned? David recognized his sinfulness and pleaded with God for mercy and forgiveness. We, too, need to recognize our sins, take responsibility and beg God for mercy and forgiveness.

Lent is a good time to add an “examination of conscience” to your nightly prayers. This gives us a daily review of how we are doing. What opportunities have I taken advantage of in which I could show God’s love? What chances did I miss, or totally reject? We need to remember that sins can be of omission too! The more aware we are of our behavior, the more the chance is that we will do the right thing. In college, I studied Russian and from the first month our teacher made us write down a sentence in Russian, even if it was only to say “it’s cold!” But, the need to do the assignment meant that every day we needed to think in the little bit of the language we were learning. It’s the same with the rest of our lives. If we are watching for opportunities to do the right thing, we are less apt to do the wrong.

Who has the right to boast? Someone who is a gifted artist, a musician, the top student in class, the wealthy man or woman, the top model, the award winning actor? That’s a partial list and you might add a few more. But what right do any of them have to boast? Who gave them the artistic ability, the musician’s ear or voice, the intelligence, the looks, the opportunities? The answer of course, is God. We didn’t earn the right to be born with any of these gifts. Nor are people who have fewer advantages being punished. As St. Paul says, if we are to boast – glory – let it be in the Lord. All that we have is gift! We didn’t earn it, we don’t deserve it, but we do have a responsibility to use and develop our gifts. The artist didn’t just get up one day, pick up a paint brush and bring the first attempt to the museum to be welcomed with open arms.

I have known intelligent people who sailed through high school and flunked out of college the first semester because he/she never learned how to study. We also have been gifted with faith. But faith, like any other gift needs to be practiced. I might sound like a broken record, but we do need to take advantage of this wonderful season to check and see how well we are doing. Let us show our gratitude for the gifts we have been given by thanking God and using them to the best of our ability.

Dear God, it is easy to be enticed by the things of this world. When I am tempted by earthly goods or earthly status, remind me that they are not eternal. The only thing that is eternal is your love. Help me to do your will and to follow the path you’ve laid for me. Give me the courage to turn away from the things of this world and follow you with my whole heart. Thank you, O Lord, for the gift of eternal life. May I spend my days following you and serving you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

What can the world offer you that lasts? Nothing. Everything in this world will pass away. Therefore, it is hopeless to cling to material possessions or earthly status. In the end, none of these earthly things will matter. However, those who love God and do his will shall have eternal life. Rather than invest in earthly goods, invest in the Lord. Where your time and money are, there your heart will be. Spend your time and money investing in doing God’s will and you will never be separated from him.

Let’s read this again. It gives lie to the attitude present in Jesus’ time, and sometimes in our own, the children should bear the shame of a parent’s transgression or that the parent should be blamed if a child does something wrong. It also lets us know that there is always room to change the direction of our lives and that God will gladly welcome us back. We are not always as generous as God. Families can be ruined if a member is sent to prison. Parents can be blamed because a child turns to alcohol or drugs. The woman who suffers a miscarriage is often asked what she did to cause it. For a long time, anyone who was HIV positive was thought to be condemned, and isolated along with either parents or children – a modern day leper. In Jesus’ time it was the man born blind who was asked whose sin had caused it, his or his parents’. If we steal and are fired, that’s reasonable. If we steal and our children are fired, that’s not reasonable. If a child goes to jail, the parents need to be consoled, not blamed. Our sins are our own, our punishment is our own. At the same time, God waits. God doesn’t want to lose any of his children. He pursues us with his grace and gladly welcomes us when we repent and return. May we do the same.

Dear God,I come before You to lay my panic and anxiety at Your feet. When I’m crushed by my fears and worries, remind me of Your power and Your grace. Fill me with Your peace as I trust in You and You alone. I know I can’t beat this on my own, but I also know that I have You, Lord, and You have already paid the ultimate price to carry my burdens. For this I thank you, All of us struggle with anxiety and stress. For every person living on earth there are life situations outside of our control that lead to worry and fear. If you are in the middle of an especially stressful situation such as financial burdens, troubled relationships, or health issues, you know that it can become easy to let worry take over. This can lead to physical symptoms, insomnia, and more. We encourage you to memorize some Bible verses that overcome worries and stress so that you can speak to yourself, say it out loud, or write it out when you have an anxiety attack. Amen.

. Give a Tithe Unto the Lord”Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse (of Israel), so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” Malachi 3:10

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.”

Matthew 28:18-19 (NIV)

One thing is made very clear in Scripture: God wants you to tell people the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. In fact, some of the first and last recorded words of Jesus were about sharing the hope you have in him.

In Matthew 4:19, at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus gathered a small group of fishermen and carpenters—just ordinary people—and said, “Follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” (NLT) These were some of the very first words Jesus spoke to his followers.

Do you see Jesus’ logic in that verse? If you’re not fishing for people, then you’re not really following him. The proof that you are truly in God’s family is that you’re bringing other people into the family.

Later in the book of Matthew, Jesus talked again about sharing your hope. This passage is called the Great Commission. Jesus said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-19 NIV). These were some of the very last words of Jesus before he went back to heaven.

Why does Jesus have “all authority in heaven and on earth”? Because he created the universe, so he’s been given all authority over it. Jesus authorizes you to go make disciples. This means you are God’s agent!

Is anyone going to be in heaven because of you? Have you ever led anybody to faith in Christ? Follow the first and last words of Jesus, and people will one day say to you in heaven, “Thank you! I’m in heaven today because of you.”

What Are the 4 Spiritual Laws that Every Christian Should Know?

What Are the Four Spiritual Laws in the Bible?

The term “Four Spiritual Laws” does not appear in Scripture, but the principles do. CRU’s goal was to create an outreach tool that would organize biblically based steps for salvation into a straightforward, easy-to-understand format. The introduction included in the little booklet states that “Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws that govern your relationship with God.”

This four-point evangelistic model has been used by Believers for decades to introduce the plan of salvation to anyone who hasn’t yet heard about Jesus. What makes this method different than similar witnessing tools is that the steps begin on a positive note.

Law #1 of the Four Spiritual Laws focuses on God’s nature and his intent toward humanity. Using John 3:16 as a reference, this first law describes God’s love for the world, as demonstrated through the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus. This law also emphasizes God’s favorable plans for mankind through salvation. “I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Many believe this biblical representation of God is an essential part of effective evangelism. The idea that our Creator loves us and has good plans for the world may seem like a no-brainer to Believers, but it’s likely a foreign concept to many who were raised in other religions. God’s loving nature and benevolence also may come as a surprise to an increasing number of unbelievers who have only seen and heard about God through warped representations in secular media and cynical culture.

The first section of the pamphlet concludes with the question, “Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life?”

Law #2 answers the question with a definitive statement. “Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life.” 

The pamphlet cites Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” then expands upon the Scripture’s truth by defining sin in real terms and explaining the consequences associated with sin. According to this law, humanity was created to experience a close and loving fellowship with our creator. But because we preferred our own will to His, our rebellion caused a rift in the sacred relationship that ultimately led to a death sentence (Romans 6:23).

A simple diagram in the pamphlet illustrates the first law by depicting God’s holiness as opposed to humanity’s sinfulness. The gulf between the two points seems impossible to bridge because man has no means of reaching God through any human effort.

Law #3 shows the reader that the only way fallen mankind can ever reunite with a Holy God is through Jesus. “Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him, you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life.”

Using Romans 5:81 Corinthians 15:3-6, and John 14:6, the third law not only shows the reader the Way to God, but also explains the Truth about the cost of our salvation, and the Life it required—all pointing to Jesus.

The diagram accompanying this law illustrates Jesus as the only bridge for the eternal gulf that separates God from man. His Son died on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

Law #4 is the action step that provides readers with practical instruction to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This law uses John 1:12Ephesians 2:8-9, and John 3:1-8 to explain what it means to receive Christ through faith and what it means to be born again.

Next, the fourth law reveals Christ’s invitation for salvation (Revelation 3:20). Through the use of another diagram, repentance and surrender are emphasized as crucial prerequisites for salvation, and a clear warning is issued about emotion-based or half-hearted decisions. “Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, it is an act of the will,” the pamphlet explains

For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

Who has the right to boast? Someone who is a gifted artist, a musician, the top student in class, the wealthy man or woman, the top model, the award winning actor? That’s a partial list and you might add a few more. But what right do any of them have to boast? Who gave them the artistic ability, the musician’s ear or voice, the intelligence, the looks, the opportunities? The answer of course, is God. We didn’t earn the right to be born with any of these gifts. Nor are people who have fewer advantages being punished. As St. Paul says, if we are to boast – glory – let it be in the Lord. All that we have is gift! We didn’t earn it, we don’t deserve it, but we do have a responsibility to use and develop our gifts. The artist didn’t just get up one day, pick up a paint brush and bring the first attempt to the museum to be welcomed with open arms.

I have known intelligent people who sailed through high school and flunked out of college the first semester because he/she never learned how to study. We also have been gifted with faith. But faith, like any other gift needs to be practiced. I might sound like a broken record, but we do need to take advantage of this wonderful season to check and see how well we are doing. Let us show our gratitude for the gifts we have been given by thanking God and using them to the best of our ability.

Throughout the New Testament, we see examples of Jesus giving water to those who are thirsty. While this holy water is symbolic for the water of life that only comes from believing in Jesus, Jesus also tells his followers that if they give actual water to those who are thirsty because they follow him, they will be rewarded. Those serving Jesus should not just be sharing the Gospel with others, but also giving to those in need of food and drink. We are called to help those in need – sometimes it begins with offering a cup of water.

Dear God, allow me to see those who are in need and show me how to meet their basic needs as well as their spiritual needs. Help me not to overlook how serving in simple ways shows the love of Jesus. Give me opportunities to love others following your example. Thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to not only save me from my sins, but to be an example of love for all mankind. May I live a love of love that brings others to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Support Our Enemies in Pray, Revenge Belongs to the Lord.

Prayer for your enemies is one of the deepest forms of love, because it means that you have to really want that something good happen to them. You might do nice things for your enemy without any genuine desire that things go well with them. But prayer for them is in the presence of God who knows your heart, and prayer is interceding with God on their behalf. It may be for their conversion. It may be for their repentance. It may be that they would be awakened to the enmity in their hearts. It may be that they will be stopped in their downward spiral of sin, even if it takes disease or calamity to do it. But the prayer Jesus has in mind here is always for their good. Our hearts should desire their salvation and desire their presence in heaven with us and desire their eternal happiness. May God give us grace to pray like the apostle Paul for the Jewish people, many of whom made life very hard for Paul.

Therefore, in view of Your mercy, transform me by renewing my mind with Your word. Cause me to see (name of person) as you see them, to have a heart of love for them as you love them to understand them through Your eyes and to have speech seasoned with wisdom when I speak to them. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

Father, Help me see myself as your workmanship, crafted on purpose with love by You. I am not less than. I am not worthless. I am a work of art that You chose to create and that makes me special. Amen.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

God made me and God don’t make no junk! This slogan found its way to t-shirts several years ago. It may not be grammatically correct, but it’s true, nonetheless. Paul tells us in this verse that we are God’s “workmanship”. We are made by His hands. We are not “accidents.” We are works of art, crafted by His loving hands. Therefore, we have value. Nothing can take that away from us. Ugly words, insults, snide remarks…they are meaningless in the face of the fact that we are His workmanship. If we could only truly believe that about ourselves, there wouldn’t be a bully anywhere with any kind of power over us.

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