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12/21/16 - God’s love cannot compare to any love on earth

The following verses are only a few that describe God’s love for us. As you read these verses, ask yourself if you could love someone else as much as God loves you. Your answer will have to be no, because God’s love is perfect, unfailing, and is better than life itself. God’s love cannot be put into human terms…His love is beyond our finite minds. I do not know about you, but I am glad that His love for me is beyond comparison. In other words, there is nothing I can think of that would preclude God’s unconditional love for me. He loves you just as you are!

12/14/16 – Every Christian suffers through devastating events in their life

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1Peter 1:6-7

Do you live your life based on faith? I think it is extremely difficult for Christians to easily call on their faith to sustain them during very trying times in their lives. Financial problems, health issues, aging parents, sick children, and the death of loved ones are some of the most heart wrenching times in a person’s life. How can a person suffer such devastating incidents and maintain their faith? Without some glimmer of hope, depression and despair will consume the life of a person going through rough times. 

12/7/16 - Are you a tent peg carrier?

As part of all their service at the tent, they are to carry the frames of the tabernacle, its crossbars, posts and bases, as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their bases, tent pegs, ropes, all their equipment and everything related to their use. Assign to each man the specific things he is to carry. Numbers 4:31-32

 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:3

There is an understanding that most men are not to change baby diapers or clean up baby throw-up.  Where did that ever come from?  The verses above are clear about what Christians are suppose to do when it comes to what the world would call as “dirty work.”  These verses taught me about what I should do in the world if confronted with the ugly side of the world.  The background of these verses from Numbers is the assignment of tasks required to move the Tabernacle. 

12/30/15 – Purpose: God works everything for the good of those who love Him

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Many believers are aware of this verse and have used it in times of trouble for encouragement.  It contains a powerful truth about God.  When there are problems in our lives, we become so inwardly focused on our selves that we forget about doing God’s work, even though God continues to work within our lives to make us more Christ-like.  God has never promised the “good” life that we envision should be ours just because we are God’s.  God’s work is to reveal Himself to everyone on this earth through every good thing possible including you.  I am astounded at the power and sovereignty of God to take anything negative and work it out to the good of our lives. 

12/23/15 - Your Life: Quietness in your soul

“My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.  But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.  Psalm 131:1-2

These are powerful words to calm your soul.  Read through them slowly.  Think about your soul reaching a state of stillness and quietness.  We all need this.  It is something that every human being should experience.  God designed us to have this need to quiet our soul.  Otherwise, pride and arrogance will live continually in our soul negatively impacting our relationship with others. The verses above will, hopefully, bring a soothing effect to your soul.

12/16/15 – Relationship: Always be near God

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  James 4:8

Many of you have felt the longing to be near someone when separated by long distances.  More times than I like, I had to be separated from my family for business reasons.  These separations ranged from a few days to 3 months.  I really did not like it.  God desperately desires to have a strong and personal relationship with you, where the distance between you and God becomes shorter and shorter.  God has placed inside all of us the desire to be close to Him.  He has and will do anything to bring you closer to Him.  It stands to reason that, as Believers, we should have the longing to be near God.  However, that longing does not occur in the life of many Believers.  Why? 

12/9/15: Faith is a make or break in your relationship with God

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  Hebrews 11:6

Everything that concerns your relationship with God and other people draws its strength from the amount of faith that you have. There is an illustration that I have found very useful in explaining a person’s position in this world and in the spiritual realm.  Although an over-simplification, below is an illustration of the two aspects of your life: the world and the Spirit.

Spirit

World

This illustration is very useful for plotting where you place your faith: in the world or in the Spirit.  You can also use it to help you see God’s perspective on critical parts of your life versus what the world says.  For example, you can define “love” in the world (romantic) as compared to the Spirit (unconditional with no feelings involved.)  Is your life centered on the spiritual or the worldly definition of “love”? 

12/2/15: Only the Holy Spirit can explain Spiritual Truths

But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.  Job 32:8

The verse above summarizes how to grow as a Christians.  It is through the Holy Spirit and only the Holy Spirit.  When you accept Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, God gives you the Holy Spirit to live in you.  He does this because the only way to grow spiritually is through the Spirit.  No one can grow spiritually using his or her own mind or intellect.  I have tried it, and it quickly becomes obvious that there is no power and no opportunity for me to become more Christ-like.  If anything, I grow less Christ-like and more flesh-like.

12/31/14: The Lord is Watching You

And the Word of the Lord says:

The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.    Psalm 121:7-8

This is a very comforting Bible passage.  The Lord is watching over you.  He will keep you from all harm.  Many of us know people who have had to go through some rough times, and it would be fair to ask what “harm” does God keep you from.  Christians experience much physical harm on this earth.  But, God is always concerned about your spiritual health.

12/24/14: Immanuel - God with us

And the Word of the Lord says:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

This prophecy occurs in the Old Testament over 700 years before the birth of Christ from Mary, who was a virgin.  It was given as Jerusalem was under attack, and God was trying to encourage the leaders at that time that He would save Jerusalem.  There are some differences in Bible translations with the word “virgin”.  The Hebrew word used for virgin could also mean a young woman old enough to be married.  Therefore, some Bible translations will use “young woman” as opposed to “virgin”.  I have difficulty accepting “young woman”, because of the following verses from Matthew.

 

12/17/14: Praise the Lord whenever you can: He deserves all of our praise

And the Word of the Lord says,

 

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—

who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,

who satisfies your desires with good things

    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103:1-5

 

These are such comforting words coming from the Creator of everything we could possibly think of.  Think about allowing your soul to praise the Creator.  The soul is who you are: your personality, your mind, your emotions, and your will.  All of these characteristics are your inmost being.  Do not think of anything else besides the Lord.

 

12/10/14: Love Your Enemies When It Does Not Seem the Right Thing To Do

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Luke 6:35

Of all the Bible passages, this is one that we would all agree should be removed from the Holy Scriptures. Or, maybe not! When God put it in is Word, He must have had a good reason to make such outlandish claims. As a sense of balance of judgment, this passage sends the needle way past the rule that says to be nice to your enemies. This is one command that Jesus makes it clear that as a Believer your behavior is to be dramatically different from those in the world.

12/3/14: Spiritual Battles are Being Waged all Around You

Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.  Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:  He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; Psalm 37:1-7