Monday, November 26, 2012
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of
Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and
humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of
Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to
the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and
prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many
and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an
opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their
safety and happiness": Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign
Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people
of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is
the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will
be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and
humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this
country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and
manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in
the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of
tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;
For the peaceable and rational manner in which we have enabled do
establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness,
and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil
and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have
of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for the
great and various favors which He has been please to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers
and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech
Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all,
whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and
relative duties properly and punctually; to render our national
government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a
government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and
faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns
and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to
bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the
knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase
of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all
mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
A little boy named Johnny used to hang out at the local corner market.
The other boys teased him constantly, saying that Johnny was two
bricks shy of a load or two pickles short of a barrel. Puzzled about
their behavior, the store owner eavesdropped on their conversation one
day. Johnny stood silently as the boys offered him a choice between a
nickel or a dime. Johnny took the nickel. The boys immediately
laughed, saying he was too dumb to know that the bigger coin was
worthless. The store owner took him aside and said, "Johnny, those
boys are making fun of you. They think you don't know a dime is worth
more than a nickel. Are you really grabbing the nickel because it's
bigger?" Johnny turned to the store owner and with a big grin on his
face, he said, "Well, if I took the dime, they'd stop playing the
game. And so far, I've saved twenty dollars!" The other boys in the
neighborhood may not have had any faith in Johnny, but Johnny
certainly had faith in his own abilities!
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Even if no one else around you trusts God as you do, don't stop
trusting Him. In the end, your wisdom will prevail. Anything is
possible if you have faith. Mark 9:23 TLB
Friday, November 16, 2012
Sometime back I heard of this interesting example. A small fish lived
in a stream in which water was exceedingly decreasing. The fish felt
worried that as the water was steadily going down if the stream would
dry up altogether all of a sudden. So it complained to God out of
anxiety. God asked the fish whether it had enough water to swim. The
fish answered that it had; God asked whether there was enough water
for the fish to drink. It said there was; Again God asked whether it
had enough water to breather and the fish answered that it had. Then
God asked the fish, why it was so anxious when it had everything it
needed? Many of us are worried in this way. If you set your faith on
God, you can live in joy. His mercy will never dry up. It will be
poured on us continuously. If you have lost faith in prayer, resume
praying. For God's mercy endures forever!! "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
Thursday, November 15, 2012
I was reading some modern slave stories when I came across the story
of a boy named Rakesh who lived in a village in India. He was sold
into slavery by his own parents to pay off a debt, Rakesh and many
other children worked in a place where yarn was woven into rugs that
were exported to wealthier countries like the United States. The kids
were forced to weave rugs all day, squatting down with their backs
against the wall. The slave masters wanted children because they have
little fingers that can weave the intricate patterns that bring a lot
of money in rugs stores. If Rakesh didn't show up to work on time, he
was beaten with the iron claw used to separate threads. The claw was a
heavy metal device with teeth (like a comb's) on one end and a curved
handle on the other end.
Rakesh worked in this situation for a long time until an organization
called Free the Slaves [www.freetheslaves.net] joined with local
rescuers to free Rakesh and the other children. The rescuers built
little thatched schools for the freed children where they could learn
to read and write and begin to build a brighter future. Rakesh is now
head of the disciplinary committee at his school. If students get in a
fight, he calls them to the front of the classroom and makes them
apologize. He says, "You were beaten before by your slave master. Take
advantage of this opportunity to make something of yourselves." Kind
of ironic, isn't it? God took this young slave boy and gave him a
leadership position. It reminds me of the Bible story of Joseph, whose
brothers sold him into slavery, but God honored him by putting him in
leadership. God has a way of using unlikely people to do great things,
and he can take a bad situation and turn it into good.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
God wants to give you a breakthrough — a sudden burst of His favor; an
explosion of His goodness. He wants to release His power in such a way
that it overwhelms you and drives out your enemies! Maybe you've been
praying about a relationship for years; and suddenly, things get into
place. That's a breakthrough. Or, you were trying to get a certain
job. They said there were no openings; but suddenly, they call you
back and you get the job. That's another breakthrough. Perhaps you've
struggled with an addiction for a long time; but then something
happens, and it's not a struggle anymore. Those are all breakthroughs.
No matter what you've been facing, no matter how impossible things
look, know this: the God of the breakthrough wants to visit your
house. Get ready! Look for His favor and goodness. Remember, God
rewards the people who seek after Him. So keep expecting, keep
believing because the God of the breakthrough is ready to overwhelm
you with His goodness today! "...the Lord has broken through my
enemies before me, like the bursting out of great waters..." (2 Samuel
5:20). Father in heaven, today I am expecting Your goodness. I am
looking for Your favor. I'm trusting that You, the God of the
breakthrough, are working mightily on my behalf. Help me to live a
life pleasing to You as I wait for Your hand to move mightily in my
life. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
There was this museum laid with beautiful marble tiles, with a huge
marble statue displayed in the middle of the lobby. Many people came
from all over the world just to admire this beautiful marble statue.
One night, the marble tiles started talking to the marble statue.
Marble tile: "Marble statue, it's just not fair, it's just not fair!
Why does everybody from all over the world come all the way here just
to step on me while admiring you? Not fair!"
Marble statue: "My dear friend, marble tile. Do you still remember
that we were actually from the same cave?"
Marble tile: "Yeah! That's why I feel it is even more unfair. We were
born from the same cave and yet we receive different treatment now.
Not fair!" he cried again.
Marble statue: "Then, do you still remember the day when the designer
tried to work on you, but you resisted the tools?"
Marble tile: "Yes, of course I remember. I hate that guy! How could he
use those tools on me, it hurt so badly?"
Marble statue: "That's right! He couldn't work on you at all as you
resisted being worked on."
Marble tile: "So???"
Marble statue: "When he decided to give up on you and start working on
me instead, I knew at once that I would be something different after
his efforts. I did not resist his tools; instead I bore all the
painful tools he used on me."
Marble tile: "Mmmmmm......."
Marble statue: "My friend, there is a price to everything in life.
Since you decided to give up half way, you can't blame anybody who
steps on you now." Isaiah 64:8; And yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your
Friday, November 9, 2012
There's a story about a proud young man who came to Socrates asking
for knowledge. He walked up to the muscular philosopher and said, "O
great Socrates, I come to you for knowledge." Socrates recognized a
pompous numbskull when he saw one. He led the young man through the
streets, to the sea, and chest deep into water. Then he asked, "What
do you want?" "Knowledge, O wise Socrates," said the young man with a
smile. Socrates put his strong hands on the man's shoulders and pushed
him under. Thirty seconds later Socrates let him up. "What do you
want?" he asked again.
"Wisdom," the young man sputtered, "O great and wise Socrates."
Socrates crunched him under again. Thirty seconds passed, thirty-five.
Forty, Socrates let him up. The man was gasping. "What do you want,
young man?" Between heavy, heaving breaths the fellow wheezed,
"Knowledge, O wise and wonderful..." Socrates jammed him under again
Forty seconds passed. Fifty. "What do you want?" "Air!" he screeched.
"I need air!" "When you want knowledge as you have just wanted air,
then you will have knowledge."
Look at the promises of God – He promises everything to us. Some
struggle with the idea that God's will could be man-focused. Some go
so far to say that we are irrelevant and that God's pleasure is the
only thing that matters. This is not what God has shown us in the
scriptures. God is very man focused – in fact; we are the primary
focus of God. The Bible calls us the apple of God's eye. Set your
heart on asking God to accomplish His plan in your life and rest in
the confidence that God already has provided for your satisfaction.
Seek God's kingdom and His righteousness and He will prove His
promises to you.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
You may be reading this tonight, worried about some health problem.
Maybe you are overweight, or your blood pressure is too high, or the
doctor is warning you that you are a likely candidate for a heart
attack. Well, as serious as those matters might be, God is leading me
to share with you now an important question... a question that could
be the very root cause of your physical illness. Ask yourself tonight,
"How's my heart?" I'm referring not to your physical heart, but your
spiritual one...the one that determines how you respond to the world
around you. If this heart is ailing, then often other problems, such
as high blood pressure, lack of energy, etc.
Manifest themselves. Here is God's prescription for a healthy heart:
"As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience" (Colossians
3:12, NIV). Let that Word speak to your spirit tonight. Take your mind
off your physical problems as you start to sleep tonight, and instead
prayerfully ask God to give you the healthy heart mentioned in
Colossians 3:12. You will have sweet dreams tonight, and a much
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, a Great Spirit (God!) is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him. MORAL: Just because you can't see God, doesn't mean He is not there. For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2Corinthians 5:7.
Monday, November 5, 2012
When our day is filled with plans...we must remember to stay in His hands. We must remember that only He can know...how our day will really go. We must not yield to our own way...but abandon our will to Him and pray. He alone is who we must trust when we feel the urge to rush. When we're tired and feel alone...we must take refuge at His throne. So often things tell us to rush...while there's a gentle voice saying..."just trust" His love in us yet abounds...through all our ups and all our downs. So when you leave your house today remember to ask yourself "Did I pray?" Remember when life presses you to rush...
Take a coin from your pocket and read the words that say "In God We Trust" Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7 (New King James Version). David knew what kings and their people usually trusted in – human strength and the ways it is often expressed (in chariots and in horses). In 21 century human can say something like, "Some trust in nuclear weapons and some trust in tanks or bank balance." It is part of human nature to put our trust in such things. But David put his trust in God almighty. He didn't carry the name of the Lord as a magical incantation; rather the name speaks of the comprehensive character of God and is an expression of His faithfulness to His covenant with His children.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. When we are in the point of asking, "God, how can you do this to me?" we can find the answer in prayer. Like Job we need to turn to God and speak to Him. Let us recommend ourselves to God for His mercy and compassion. We may not understand what's happening to us right now, but let us believe God knows what is best for us. Helen Steiner Rice once said, "Whenever we are troubled, and when everything goes wrong, it is just God working in us to make our spirits strong." Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground--it just may be a smoke signal that summons The Grace of God.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Last summer I was fishing and caught a fish too small to keep. It had swallowed the hook completely, and I knew that to pull it out meant certain death for the fish. My companion, a veteran fisherman, advised, "Just cut the line. The fish won't die. The acids in its stomach will dissolve the hook in a few days, and our little friend here will be as good as new." As the fish swam away after I cut the line near its mouth, my fishing companion turned to me and said, "Isn't it wonderful how God has given animals the power to get well from their hurts?" Yes, it is wonderful. In fact, one of those miracles we cannot understand. In his infinite wisdom our heavenly Father provides for his wild creatures. He gives them food. He heals their wounds. He gives them skills of flight and escape. Their instincts direct them in building nests and mud houses, and digging caves against the winter's cold. As he cares for them, God cares for us even more.
With each discovery of a new medicine a new way of operating on sick people, or a new way of preventing disease God opens another door into the world of healing. Our doctors, nurses, and hospitals are dedicated to making us well and keeping us well. Yes, God loves his wild creatures. He provides for their health. With man's help he provides for ours too. Psalm 84:3-4; Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven's Armies, my King and my God! What joy for those who can live in Your house, always singing Your praises.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
An Artillery Regiment of a State Militia applied to the Governor for wooden guns to practise with. "Those," they explained, "will be cheaper than real ones." It shall not be said that I sacrificed efficiency to economy," said the Governor. "You shall have real guns. Thank you, thank you," cried the warriors, effusively. We will take good care of them, and in the event of war return them to the Arsenal.
Beloved, the thrust of our message today is that our inner weapons are not been used. In Ephesians Chapter 6, Paul addresses employers and employees and then instructs about the spiritual weapons God has given and how to use them. Unlock your inner power by recognizing your true nature as a Gods child. You are Not Just walking alone; the Mighty One is with you. Stop Resisting Your Own Abundance; Allow His power to work in you and You Will Manifest Anything You Can Imagine.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Walk and not faint
Hardships are like labor pains. They can come at you all of a sudden, without notice and without warning. We suffer hardships at all times in varying degrees. Children of God suffer hardships during obedient and disobedient times of our lives. There are hardships in raising a child with autism. Hardships do not discriminate. They can affect anyone at any time of any ethnic background and any age. Hardships hurt, build character, annoy you, but bring Godly wisdom. Hardships send you on an emotional roller coaster and cause pain, but through Christ you have hope. Hope develops perseverance. With God hardships are bearable. Without God hardships cannot be tolerated without great negative consequences. Hardships will come into our lives but nothing can separate us from the love of God. Acts 14:22; Where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.
Father, thank You for allowing me to be co-heirs with Christ and share in his sufferings, As I keep my hope in You, thank You for renewing my strength so I can soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not faint. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!
Friday, September 21, 2012
Your Life is Like a Camera
Your life is like a camera; you have got to focus it right, to get the right results and right picture of your life. Having the right focus brings four results:
(1) It simplifies things. When you're not clear as to your purpose, you try to do too much-and that causes stress, inner conflict and confusion. You have only enough time and energy to do God's will. Not getting everything done may be an indicator that you're doing far more than God ever intended. Focus leads to a simpler lifestyle and saner schedule. Only when you keep your focus can you keep your peace: "You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm."
(2) It gives you direction. If you want your life to have impact, consult God, and then do what He tells you. Don't confuse activity with productivity. Diffused light has limited impact, but when light is focused like a laser it can cut through steel.
(3) It energizes you. It's meaningless work, not overwork, which wears you down. George Bernard Shaw wrote: "This is the true joy of life: being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."
(4) It determines your legacy. When people recall your name, what will they associate with it? "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold" (Proverbs 22:1 NIV). Ultimately, what matters isn't what others say about you, but what God says. So focus on the end result.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school... I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits." Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned.
He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides - a burned biscuit never hurt anyone!" Life is full of imperfect things.....and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship. And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burned biscuit isn't a deal-breaker! We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship! "Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep it in your own." God Bless You.
Monday, September 17, 2012
The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. "There are 5 things you need to know," he told the pencil, "Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be." One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God's hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess. Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems in life, but you'll need it to become a stronger person. Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make. Four:
The most important part of you will always be what's on the inside. And Five: On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties. Allow this parable on the pencil to encourage you to know that you are a special person and only you can fulfil the purpose to which you were born to accomplish. Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make a change. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)
Friday, September 14, 2012
The Courage to Go On
So are you going to give in? Give up? Wave the white flag of surrender? Throw in the towel? Call it quits? Are you going to lay down and let the Devil have his way with you? David goes to his God and it's in God's presence where his spirit is revived. He receives comfort and encouragement from his God. Literally, in the Hebrew, he gets his strength back. Weakened by his loss, he finds strength in his God. Brethren, the Devil wants you to be all wrapped up in your troubles because he wants you to stay sorrowful. He's hoping that if you stay focused on your troubles long enough you'll lose faith and hope. You'll be demoralized so that you can't fight him, chase him, and recover everything he's taken from you. He's hoping you'll remain in the dumps and be depressed because he knows that the joy of the Lord is your strength, Nehemiah 8:10.
Brethren, when bad news comes, don't let your bad news end with bad news. Go to God in prayer. You'll find the comfort, courage, and strength you need. Let God speak to you. Let His words fill you with hope, peace, and rejoicing. May your bad news end with good news from the Lord! That's my prayer for you. May God bless you. Dear God, When I am lonely and, Perhaps I feel despair. Let not my ailing heart forget, That YOU hear every prayer. Remind me that no matter what, I do or fail to do, There still is hope for as long, As I have FAITH in YOU. Let not my eyes be blinded by Some folly I commit. But help me to regret my wrong, And to make up for it. Inspire me to put my fears, Upon a hidden shelf, And in the future never to be sorry for myself. Give me the restful sleep I need, Before another dawn, And bless me in the morning with The Courage To Go On.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
How to Pray in GOD's Way
Please teach me, Lord, I want to know exactly how to pray. I need some words, Which ones are right? Please tell me what to say. I've bowed my head, I have knelt down, But... should I be upright? I've closed my eyes, I've raised my hands or should I fold them tight? Do I stand up? Should I sit down? Dear Lord... what do you like? Are lights turned on or are they off? Maybe... candle light? Wear my glasses? Take them off? Be at my desk or table? Should I whisper? Speak out loud? Do I quote the Bible? What do you think about the time? Do You prefer the dawn? Should I pray fast, Or keep it slow? Better short... or long? What are the rules? I want to do it right. How do I know You will even hear, That I am in Your sight? And while I sat there quietly, Waiting for some sign, I heard a gentle voice say, "Oh, dearest child of mine...
Do you think I really care, About the time of day, Or whether you are standing up, Or kneeling when you pray?" "I don't care about your posture, Or about the place you choose; Just open up your soul to Me, I have no other rules. Tell me what is in your heart, And tell me what you seek; Tell me of your sorrows, And of those things that made you weak." "Speak to me in private, About what concerns you most; I know about your good deeds... You have no need to boast. My child, you don't need lessons, Just talk to me each day; Tell me anything you want, dear child, Anyone can pray." You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. Psalm 65:2.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Trust in God Always
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly! I asked for Strength, And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong. I asked for Wisdom, And God gave me Problems to solve. I asked for Prosperity, And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work. I asked for Courage, And God gave me Danger to overcome. I asked for Love, And God gave me troubled people to help. I asked for Favours, And God gave me Opportunities. I received nothing I wanted, I received everything I needed! Trust in God. Always!
Monday, September 10, 2012
Do You Have The Gift Of Encouragement?
Francois Arago, a 19th-century French astronomer, attributed his success to words he found written on the paper cover of his book at a time when he was greatly discouraged. These words, written by French mathematician and philosopher Jean d'Alembert, were, "Go on, sir; go on! The difficulties you meet will resolve themselves as you advance. Proceed, and light will dawn and shine with increased clearness on your path." Following these simple words made Arago the first astronomical mathematician of his age. God knew that Joshua would need encouraging words as well. Moses had become so discouraged with the grumbling people that he himself sinned against the Lord and lost his opportunity to enter the Promised Land (Num. 20:8-20). Therefore, God instructed Moses to challenge all the people to encourage his young understudy. If Joshua were to fulfil his mission, the monumental task of leading Israel into the land of Canaan, the people needed to support him with their encouragement.
You and I are much the same. We need encouragement, too, whether we're a leader or a follower. George M. Adams observed that "encouragement is oxygen to the soul." If we plan to go on living, we need oxygen; if we plan to go on serving the Lord, we need encouragement. Do you have the gift of encouragement? Whom can you comfort today? What simple word can you say that will go a long way in motivating your friends or family? Make it your ministry to lift the spirits of those around you so that they can serve the Lord more effectively. If you want to be encouraged, encourage someone else.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Strategies for Getting Promoted
Paul desired a career in the building industry. Early in his career, he was working with a large ministry to help direct several of their construction projects. As the projects were completed, Paul was asked to stay on for future projects. To keep him busy he was given a number of jobs - one of which was cleaning toilets. He recalls getting down on his knees each day and complaining to the Lord, "Lord, I'm a college graduate!" Discouraged, Paul told the Lord, "I will not leave here until You promote me. Please give me contentment with my circumstance." Paul felt totally forgotten by God. A few months later, Paul received a phone call from a man in the Midwest who owned five successful businesses who wanted to interview Paul for a job. This came as a total surprise to Paul. As he drove to the interview, he told the Lord, "I only want your will in my life, nothing else. I am content to remain obscure for the rest of my life if I have You.
You must override my lack of experience for me to get this job." The owner of the company asked Paul a surprising question: "If I asked you to clean a toilet, what would you do?" Paul sat there, stunned. He wanted to burst out laughing. Paul assured him that he would simply pick up a sponge and start cleaning. Amazingly, Paul was hired even though other candidates were more qualified. After several months of success Paul asked his boss why he hired him. His boss replied, "Paul, I still have a large stack of applications from people who wanted this job. Do you remember the first question I asked you in the interview? I asked each one the same question. You were the only one who said he would clean the toilet. Paul, I am a wealthy man, but I grew up dirt poor. I clean my own toilets at home. I can't have people running my businesses who are too proud to clean a toilet." Sometimes God places us in situations to see if we will be faithful in those before He is willing to promote us to greater things.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Give, and it will be given to you
AN ANT went to the bank of a river to quench its thirst, and being carried away by the rush of the stream, was on the point of drowning. A Dove sitting on a tree overhanging the water plucked a leaf and let it fall into the stream close to her. The Ant climbed onto it and floated in safety to the bank. Shortly afterwards a bird catcher came and stood under the tree, and laid his lime-twigs for the Dove, which sat in the branches. The Ant, perceiving his design, stung him in the foot. In pain the bird catcher threw down the twigs, and the noise made the Dove take wing.
Luke 6:38 ESV, Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Along the sea-coast of most lands there can be seen some very useful buildings, built upon rocks or lofty hills near the shore. Some of these are called lighthouses, and others beacons. The first are chiefly intended to guide ships into harbor, or to point out the course they should steer; the latter are to warn of rocks and sands, on which vessels may be wrecked. Such buildings may have been seen by only a few of our young readers, but there are other kinds of "lighthouses" and "beacons" with which they may become more familiar, and they are found in God's Word, the Bible. The Bible is a "lighthouse" to guide us in the right way that leads us to a blessed life on earth and to everlasting life in Heaven.
The Bible is also a "beacon" to warn us so that we may avoid becoming shipwrecked. These "lighthouses" and "beacons" in the Bible are not built of brick and stone, but of the clear instructions and commands of God and the examples we have in the actions and conduct of people who lived many years ago. As we look at these short sketches of young people in the Bible and observe their behavior, may the Holy Spirit teach us to watch and pray that we may be guided safely over the voyage of life, live lives that are pleasing to the Lord, and may be saved from dangers more fatal than pointed rocks and hidden sands.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Knowing God's Will
A young man facing the future and unsure of what the next year would bring, concluded, "Nobody knows what God's will is." Is he right? Does a lack of certainty about the future translate into not knowing God's will? The concept of knowing God's will is often limited to discerning what specific situation we will be in at some future time. Although seeking God's specific leading is part of it, another aspect that is just as vital is to follow the clearly defined elements of God's will each and every day.
Only by staying in God's Word, seeking strong godly counsel, and maintaining inner peace can a Christian avoid traps regarding His will. If a believer finds himself or herself outside of God's will and is experiencing a lack of peace, he or she must be willing to abandon everything and seek God's path again. "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead" (Philippians 3:13).
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Victim or Victor
A woman lamented losing $50,000 worth of heirlooms dating back to the Civil War that were stolen from her home last July. The nineteenth century antiques were discovered missing after a new maid cleaned out more than she was hired to do.1 We all treasure earthly heirlooms. But God has given a promise to believers that are far more precious than any keepsake--and it needs protection. Prowling around, discouragement creeps inside the safe haven of our Christian homes. When we close the door at night, drained from life's unceasing activity, discouragement can rob us of the full and joyful life God wants to give us: "...for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart [italics added]" (Galatians 6:9). So how do we bolt the doors and keep the bandit of discouragement from stealing God's promise?
As a Gods child, we have the right to claim God's promises. When discouragement sneaks in and you don't feel like reading the Bible--go to the Word. When you're frustrated with life's circumstances and are tempted to quit--go to the Word. Protect your heart from discouragement. Open the Bible. Claim His promises. And that old desperado named discouragement will be driven away. Fear knocked at the door and faith answered. No one was there.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
How to Pray in GOD's Way
Please teach me, Lord, I want to know exactly how to pray. I need some words, Which ones are right? Please tell me what to say. I've bowed my head, I have knelt down, But... should I be upright? I've closed my eyes, I've raised my hands or should I fold them tight? Do I stand up? Should I sit down? Dear Lord... what do you like? Are lights turned on or are they off? Maybe... candle light? Wear my glasses? Take them off? Be at my desk or table? Should I whisper? Speak out loud? Do I quote the Bible? What do you think about the time? Do You prefer the dawn? Should I pray fast, Or keep it slow? Better short... or long? What are the rules? I want to do it right. How do I know You will even hear, That I am in Your sight? And while I sat there quietly, Waiting for some sign, I heard a gentle voice say,
"Oh, dearest child of mine...Do you think I really care, About the time of day, Or whether you are standing up, Or kneeling when you pray?" "I don't care about your posture, Or about the place you choose; Just open up your soul to Me, I have no other rules. Tell me what is in your heart, And tell me what you seek; Tell me of your sorrows, And of those things that made you weak." "Speak to me in private, About what concerns you most; I know about your good deeds... You have no need to boast. My child, you don't need lessons, Just talk to me each day; Tell me anything you want, dear child, Anyone can pray." You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. Psalm 65:2.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
God's Mercy Will Never Dry Up
Sometime back I heard of this interesting example. A small fish lived in a stream in which water was exceedingly decreasing. The fish felt worried that as the water was steadily going down if the stream would dry up altogether all of a sudden. So it complained to God out of anxiety. God asked the fish whether it had enough water to swim. The fish answered that it had; God asked whether there was enough water for the fish to drink. It said there was; Again God asked whether it had enough water to breather and the fish answered that it had.
Then God asked the fish, why it was so anxious when it had everything it needed? Many of us are worried in this way. If you set your faith on God, you can live in joy. His mercy will never dry up. It will be poured on us continuously. If you have lost faith in prayer, resume praying. For God's mercy endures forever!! "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
Monday, August 20, 2012
You are God's beloved
Studies have shown that in the heart of every child is a cry for his father's approval. Something happens when a father says to his boy, "Daddy is so proud of you." Or when a father says to his girl, "You will always be Daddy's favorite girl." You can catch such a similar special moment in the Bible when God the Father displayed His approval of His Son — "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17) The Bible shows us that Jesus' ministry began with the approval of the Father, even before He had performed any miracle.
Now, you may think that God would naturally say that of Jesus, but not of us. My friend, the truth is that Jesus came for us and as us. He died for us and as us. He received the approval of the Father for us and as us. He came as our representative. And if that is not enough, God tells us in His Word that we are "accepted in the Beloved"!Why did God specifically say "accepted in the Beloved" and not simply "accepted in Christ"? I believe that it is because He is calling to our remembrance what had happened at the Jordan river where He said, "This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." God wants us to know that we are His beloved and that He is well pleased with us.
God sees us as His beloved because He has made us accepted in the Beloved. He wants us to wake up every day knowing that we are His beloved, unconditionally loved and wholly approved. The more we know how much we are loved and treasured by God, the more we can expect good things to happen in our lives. We can expect to be healthy and whole. When we realize that we are the objects of God's love, instead of becoming easily frightened or threatened by anything or anyone, we become confident that we will win every fight of life. That, my friend, is how your heavenly Father wants you to live. So live life today confident that you are God's beloved!
Friday, August 17, 2012
More Blessed To Give Than To Receive
A wise woman, who was traveling in the mountains, found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveller who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveller saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveller left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. "I've been thinking," he said. "I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone." And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35,
It's important to remember that "God prospers us not to raise our standard of living, but our standard of giving". Jesus says that it is "more blessed to give than to receive". Isn't it a blessing to know that you've helped out someone in need? Doesn't it make you feel good? I think it feels a lot better to give to help someone else than when someone gives to us, even though that's great too. It's always rewarding when you help feed a homeless person or someone in poverty who can barely feed themselves. I think it's rewarding to go on a trip to a third world country and just help those in need and pour into their lives. Isn't that what Jesus did for us? To feed the hungry and help those in need? We should follow Jesus' example of service in everything we do. We need to have an attitude of a servant.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Gods Given Wisdom
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5). When we think of wisdom, we tend to picture a composer or an artist at work on a masterpiece. But wisdom is simply a new approach to anything. Earle Dickson, an employee of Johnson & Johnson, married a young woman who was accident-prone. Johnson & Johnson sold large surgical dressings in individual packages, but these were not practical for small cuts and burns. Dickson put a small wad of sterile cotton and gauze in the center of an adhesive strip to hold it in place. Finally, tired of making up these little bandages every time one was needed, he got the idea of making them in quantity and using crinoline fabric to temporarily cover the adhesive strip. When the bandage was needed, the two pieces of crinoline could easily be peeled off, producing a small, ready-to-use bandage.
The firm's president, James Johnson, saw Dickson put one of his homemade bandages on his finger. Impressed by its convenience, he decided to start mass-producing them under the name Band-Aids. Dickson had been looking for a way to handle a small problem, and in the process he invented a useful new product. True, Gods given wisdom will lead you in peace and prosperity.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
No job is greater than the next
There was an Old Persian fable of a hen, a mouse, and a rabbit that lived together in a little house in the woods. They shared all the work and lived in harmony. The chicken found the firewood, the mouse brought the water from a nearby brook, and the rabbit cooked the meals. All the three did their own work faithfully and contentedly. One day, while the hen was out in the forest looking for wood, a nosy crow approached her, and asked what she was doing. When he heard, the crow began caw, telling the hen that she did the hardest part of the work, and that rabbit and mouse were taking advantage of her. The chicken continued to do her work, but she couldn't stop thinking about what the crow said. These feelings festered and festered, and by the time she got home, she was so upset that she burst out in tears, screaming, "It's not fair! I do the hardest work of the three of us! That's it! I'm not going to gather this heavy firewood anymore!" Immediately the rabbit and mouse also continued to argue that they had been doing the hardest work until they were tired, and finally decided to switch jobs.
From now on the rabbit would gather the firewood, the hen would bring the water, and the mouse would cook. As the rabbit hopped into the forest for wood, a fox trailed him, caught him, and ate him. The hen put the pail into the creek, but current pulled the pail down under, and the hen with it. The mouse, while sitting on the edge of the big pot of soup, lost his balance and fell in. Discontentment not only destroyed their happiness, but even their lives. We all have a job to do here. No job is greater than the next — no person is greater than the next, no matter what those crows might tell you. We are all working for the same King, and we can worship Him even while gathering firewood, if that's what He's called us to do! "Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for He has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Let's throw it out
A couple travels so much that it seems like the wife is always packing suitcases. With the luggage laid out on the bed, she begins: This "little thing" and that "little thing." She never thinks she is packing much until she tries to pick it up. It weighs a ton! Walking with it seems impossible; running with it would be absurd. Yet that's exactly how "weights" of pessimism and negativity which block your relationship with God, are established. Bit by bit, this "little thought" and that "little thought" that isn't of Him gets shoved into the "suitcase" of your mind. Each small act of choosing your own negative or pessimistic thoughts over His thoughts of faith and hope add one more weight. Soon your soul is so oppressed that fellowship is lost.
In the night you doom the next day by deciding, Things won't get any better. Tomorrow will be just like today. What's the use? God wants to set you on the road to freedom tonight. He wants you to start throwing off those weights of pessimism and get back in the race! He's telling you, "let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." (Hebrews 12:1-2, NKJV). Before you sleep tonight, think of one "weight" (pessimistic attitude) that you will refuse to carry anymore. Then call on the Lord for His strength and throw it off and you will rejoice in freedom from oppression.
Monday, August 13, 2012
God is at work in our lives
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers.
"We saw your smoke signal," they replied. It is easy to get discouraged when things are going badly. But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. When we are in the point of asking, "God, how can you do this to me?" we can find the answer in prayer. Like Job we need to turn to God and speak to Him. Let us recommend ourselves to God for His mercy and compassion. We may not understand what's happening to us right now, but let us believe God knows what is best for us. Helen Steiner Rice once said, "Whenever we are troubled, and when everything goes wrong, it is just God working in us to make our spirits strong." Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground--it just may be a smoke signal that summons The Grace of God.
Friday, August 10, 2012
The Brooklyn Bridge
In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat . Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built. Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. His son Washington was injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to walk or talk or even move.
He touched his wife's arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again. For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife's arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man's indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.
Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal. Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realised with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
The deeply religious South African runner, who prays each time he prepares to take to the race track- Oscar Pistorius
For six or seven hours in July, Oscar Pistorius lay face down in an American tattoo parlour as 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 was inked across the length and breadth of his back.
Each time he knelt in his blocks at the recent World Athletics Championships in Daegu, parts of the Bible excerpt could clearly be spotted peeping out of the side of the running vest of the biggest draw of the championships aside from Usain Bolt.
The message is a poignant one for the deeply religious South African runner, who prays each time he prepares to take to the race track.
"It's something important to me," he says, speaking during a week-long visit to London in the days after his historic displays in Daegu. "It was something that I read and I really liked it. There's different things I like - the reference to putting your body through its paces and subjecting yourself to hard work, the aspects about preaching to others."
Pistorius is clearly at peace with the message, so much so that he fell asleep while the tattoo artist emblazoned the words over his back.
They are the words of St Paul, whose ultimate goal was to seek the approval of Christ while Pistorius's, at least from the outside looking in, appears to be more simple - approval by the Paralympic and Olympic movements and the ability to compete at both events.
Friday, August 3, 2012
The Greatest Worker Makes The Least Noise
Don't we usually connect loud noise with work? What a racket our great machines make! Perhaps you've seen highways being built. Great earthmovers, concrete mixers, power shovels, and ditch diggers with their big diesel motors make a terrific rattle, clackety, clack, rumble, and groaning. And when rock is blasted to make way for the highway, what a big boom or go in a busy factory. In some you can't hear yourself talk. Or stand by a busy street crossing when all the cars and trucks start up as the light turns green. The very earth shakes with the racket. So we might easily believe that work and noise must always go together. But the world's greatest worker does most of the world's work in complete silence or with very little noise. We are so busy listening to man-made noises we don't take time to think that all about us God is causing great changes right under our noses and with absolutely no sound whatever or with very little. Consider the important ways His work is done.
The grass under our feet, in the cow pastures, on the prairies of the West and the plains of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America—this grass that covers millions of square miles—is the food for all grazing animals. Without it we wouldn't have milk on the table. All this grass grows without a sound. So do the other crops on which human life depends grow—tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, beans, squash, peaches, apples, and the hundreds of other crops that give us life. The work our human minds perform—how silent that is! The brain sends signals to our muscles, telling them what to do or not to do. And without the faintest whisper of noise, God works through our brains. I could go on to list the silent works done by man, too, and show how most of our best work is done silently. But let's save that for another time. So don't mistake noise for power or work. Don't mistake man's noise for God's voice. For he speaks and works quietly, And we should stop and listen more often. Now stand here quietly before the Lord as I remind you of all the great things the Lord has done for you and your ancestors. 1Samuel 12:7.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Victory Over Every Giant
Ever wonder why two people can hear the same thing and yet have very different responses? For one, what is said makes him afraid and discouraged. For the other, his heart is so filled with faith that he dares to come against the devil and what he is doing. In the Valley of Elah, Goliath the Philistine giant taunted the armies of Israel for 40 days. When David came on the scene, he heard the same mockings of Goliath that the rest of the Israelites heard. But somehow, those same words which caused fear in the soldiers angered David. What did David know or see that the others failed to see?
What is the new covenant? It is the covenant of grace. And grace means unmerited, undeserved, unearned favor. God wants us to know that He has cut this covenant with us through Christ our representative. And according to the covenant, we have His undeserved favor. We are blessed because Jesus took our beating. Because of what Jesus has done on the cross, we have victory over every giant. Isn't that good news? Today, God wants you to stand before your "giant" and declare that in spite of what you are going through, in spite of what is happening, you believe that God is for you because of what Jesus has done for you. And then, before your very eyes, you will see the giants of accusation, intimidation, condemnation, disease and debt fall flat before you!
Monday, July 30, 2012
Character Always Counts
Bobby Jones was one of the greatest golfers to ever compete, uniquely known for winning the "Grand Slam" of golf winning all four major tournaments in the U.S. and Britain in a single year. In 1925, early in his career, having reached the final playoff in the U.S. Open, at a certain point in the match, Jones was setting up to strike his ball which was in the rough just off the fairway. His iron accidentally touched the ball. He immediately became angry with himself, turned to the marshals, and called a penalty on himself. But the marshals had not seen the ball move, so they left the decision to Jones, whether to invoke the penalty — a two-stroke penalty. Bobby called the penalty on himself, not knowing that he would lose the tournament by a single stroke. When praised for his honesty, he replied, "You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank!" Jones may have lost the tournament, but his character was legendary and today the United States Golf Association's award for sportsmanship is known as the "Bobby Jones Award." It's been said, "Character is what you do when nobody is watching.
Character is how you treat people who can do absolutely nothing for you. Character is how you react when the pressure is on. Character is deciding beforehand that you are going to do the right thing." Every day we're faced with decisions — many of which are made when no one is watching, at least no one we can see. But let's purpose in our hearts to do the right thing — because character truly counts. We may not see the dividends immediately — but be assured that God is keeping track of our decisions, and He will make good on every one!
Proverbs 11:3; The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
Friday, July 27, 2012
God Helps The Helpless
Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. Psalm 63:7. I have had people tell me, "Pastor Prince, please pray for me. I can't see a way out of the mess I am in. I know that this whole thing is my fault. Right now, I don't even know whether God will hear my prayers." If you think about it, a whole lot of our troubles are of our own making. But it is when we deserve the punishment and not the blessing that we can receive grace — the undeserved favor and unmerited help of God!
When we stop trying to be deserving of God's help, we find God more than willing to be our Savior. But when we continue to try to work things out, we are trying to be our own saviors. God will say, "Save yourself because I can't help you when you don't need My help." If you say, "My problem is that I am weak." God says, "That is not a problem. I am your strength." If you say, "Lord, my face is the problem. I am ugly." God says, "My face will shine on yours. I am your glory." If you say, "Lord, I am the problem. I am a nobody." God says, "I will make you a somebody."
Unfortunately, many of us are still trying to help ourselves, thinking that for certain matters, we don't really need God. But God says, "Without Me, you can do nothing." (John 15:5) Do we really believe that? Or do we believe that without Him, we can still do some things to help ourselves? Only when we realize that we can do nothing, and are nothing in and of ourselves, can we do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13) Then, we will see the undeserved, unmerited help and favor of God deliver us from every evil!
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Your Advocate Always Wins Your Case
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1
If you want a glimpse of some real-life celestial drama, picture this: God the Father sits as Judge of the universe with Jesus Christ at His right hand, who is not only your High Priest, but also your Advocate. When your accuser, the devil, comes along and says, "You have done this wrong and you have not done that right," Jesus says, "Father, the devil is right, but My blood has paid for what the devil is accusing him of." Then the devil adds, "You have also not been reading the Bible or praying enough. And this morning, you told a lie." Again, Jesus will say, "Father, the devil has indeed reported correctly, but My blood has paid for all these failures." God the Father will then slam the gavel on the sound block and say, "Case dismissed! Next!"
You need to understand that God can justly declare you innocent and completely righteous because Jesus took your place at the cross, and shed His blood to pay for your sins and condemnation. (2 Corinthians 5:21) God is simply being faithful and just to what Christ has done. Jesus went through great sufferings for you and paid with His own life so that you can receive all the blessings of God. As your Advocate today, Jesus ensures that what He died and suffered to give you, you get! In heaven today, He defends and represents you to ensure that the healing, wholeness, protection and other blessings that He died to give you are enforced in your life. Beloved, have confidence in and rest in the ability of your Advocate!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
We have been having some crazy weather here in our city. The other day, for instance, started out beautifully with a sunrise that could make the heavens' sing. The air was warm and the breezes gently kissed your cheek as you walked outside. The shining sun filtered through the leaves and lit up the world in a thousand different places. Just being outside lit up my own soul as well and I thanked God for another great day to be alive. By afternoon, however, the weather had turned hot and muggy. The skies had become partly cloudy and the distant roar of thunder was in the air. As I went to run an errand it started to rain. Driving down the road I could still see the sun behind me but thick, grey clouds lay ahead. After only a few miles a gentle sprinkling of rain became a torrent that rolled down the roads and turned every pothole into a puddle. I stopped to go into a store but was drenched before I got three feet. Lightning flashes could be seen over the hills and I wondered if the storm would ever end.
As I drove back home, though, the clouds parted and the sunshine reappeared. I arrived home soaked but safe and looked up to see the most glorious rainbow bridging the sky. I stopped in my dripping clothes to take in the sight and store it safely in the memories of my soul. Life too can give us some crazy weather at times. Clear days can suddenly turn stormy in an instant. Sunny skies and gentle breezes can give way to pounding rains and lightening for no reason. Problems, troubles, and frustrations can soak you to the skin and you can find yourself wondering if the storm will ever end. When this happens take heart in knowing that God loves you through every type of weather and that you have enough sunlight in your soul to ride out any storm that life throws at you. Let that rain help you to grow and remember that the storms always end, the clouds always part, and sometimes you even get blessed with a rainbow.