Friday, February 16, 2018

Love One Another

Love One Another
What would happen if for one 24-hour period everybody got along? I mean what if for one 24-hour period we actually lived by John 15:12-13?

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

I’m not speaking to the world, those that have not accepted Jesus Christ, I am addressing the blood bought born again believers! 

Jesus didn’t say if you feel like getting along, or if it is convenient, nor did He say love only those that agree with your doctrine, or attend your denomination. No, He said, this is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

So what would it look like if the Christ Followers loved each other in spite of our differences? 

Here’s what I imagine it to look like: 

The world we’ve preached to for years would be speechless!
There would be breaches in the wall!
There would be no gaps in the hedges!
We would be a united front!

As the days grow darker, we need to be a unified body more than ever! We need to realize that we are one, or at least should be behaving one!

As the world grows darker and we face more and more tribulation, let’s lay aside our petty differences and squabbles over doctrine – stand shoulder to shoulder, representing the body of Christ! Jounda LaMance

Dear Jesus, You gave the commandment and walked out the perfect example for us! Forgive us Lord for wounding our own and not loving those around us! Help us Lord to walk in Your Word, and to set aside our differences. We want to be a united front in this dark world, and to be a testimony of Your amazing LOVE! In Jesus Name, AMEN!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Love Never Fails

Love Never Fails
First Corinthians 13:8 has as its opening sentence the phrase, "Love never fails." I was struck by the power of these simple three words; it hit me like a load of bricks.

Love never fails. On several fronts love never fails to amaze me. In the course of my life, I thought I was in love several times. Each time it was exhilarating. That was until the truth came out; all those other feelings were not love after all. 

My idea of love was shaped by my disappointments. I have been disappointed many times, but despite the disappointments; I looked for that perfect love. That perfect love written in children's fairy tales. Soon I realized that there is no perfect love out there, except God's.

God loves me, even when I disappoint. It amazes me sometimes how patient God really is. Often times I have done things that are down right hateful to God and still He was there. He was there, waiting for me to profess my love and ask for forgiveness.

The romantic in me wants to believe that those other loves will never fail. I know that it is not true, despite my best efforts. 

I never found that perfect love, until I let God's love fill my heart. Now I know that His love never fails.

Dear Lord,
Help us to remember that all things are possible through your love for us. We put our hearts in your hands and have faith that your love will never fail. Help us to share your love with each person that we touch in our daily lives. Help us to live the life that you have shown us through your son. Amen.


Closing Thought
God's love has really helped me to have a better relationship with my wife and my children. I know that in my daily interactions with them I am sharing His love; a love that never fails. Kevin Hartford


Friday, February 2, 2018

Long, Hard Look

Long Hard Look
Are you a bird watcher? 

Bird enthusiasts wish for more than a sneak peek. When catching a mere glimpse of a bird on the wing, they wish it had not flown away so soon. Given ample time, they could have gazed at the bird.

Jesus wants me to look, to take a long hard look at birds. I don’t need to record their color, markings, or to know their habitats or migration habits. The Lord wants me to look for all the ways that he meets their every need. 

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature (Matthew 6:25-27 NKJV)?” 

Jesus did not sugar coat his words. When a sermon convicts a church member, they frequently accuse their pastor of stepping on their toes. Jesus is not stepping on mine; he is applying gentle pressure to my mind. Why? Worrying reveals a lack of faith. PamFord Davis

Christ Jesus, forgive me for wavering in faith. I have felt both conviction and comfort through your bird creatures. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Love Demonstrated

But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Love Demonstrated There are two ways that God demonstrates His Love toward us. The first way was when He sent His sinless Son to die on a cross for sinful humanity. The second way that God demonstrates His love for us is through people.

And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5)
Why did God put His love in us? Because the Bible calls us ambassadors, or representatives of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).

God told Israel in Leviticus 23:22, "And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reap, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God."

God has always demonstrated His love for humanity through humanity. The prosperity that God bestows upon His people requires them to care for the poor. God has not changed. Jesus preached to multitudes of people daily, and when they needed food He fed them.

Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses. And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal. And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert on the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them. (1 Samuel 25:18-20)

When David and his mighty men needed food Abigail provided more than what was needed, after the death of her husband, David sent for her and they were married. Have you demonstrated the love of God that has been shed in your heart by the Holy Ghost? Dr Bernard Jones

Father help me love people with the love that you gave me, Father continue to love through me. Amen.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Love Endures All Things

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV)

Love Endures All Things
The first fruit of the spirit is love (Galatians 5:22). Love is so essential that without it we may mature into unemotional, hard and callous beings. The Bible tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16). Jesus endured being bruised, beaten, battered and humiliated. On the Cross, full of love and compassion, he cried out “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

Joseph’s brothers did not know what they did. Joseph endured the humiliation and anguish in their selling him off to itinerant traders (Genesis 37:28). In Egypt to escape the advances of Potiphar’s wife, he endured a thirteen-year prison sentence (Genesis 39: 14-20). Because God favored Joseph his interpretation of dreams brought him to Pharaoh’s court as Prime Minister. The gift of visions with which God endowed him permitted him to prevent the seven-year famine that would have swept over Egypt (Genesis 41: 14-41).

The famine brought Joseph’s family to Egypt and Joseph wept loudly on recognizing them. The brothers “were dismayed in his presence” (Genesis 45:2), but he calmed their fear of reprisal telling them that God meant their actions for good. God had a better plan for Joseph than his brothers’ wicked scheme. We can trust God because He knows His purpose for us. Whatever storms and stresses you endure, take heart, knowing that God is love and has a better plan for you. Phyllis M Inniss

Friday, January 12, 2018

Loss for Words

Loss for Words
Most of us, if we’ll admit it, are seldom at a loss for words. We seem to find, at least a word or two, on just about anything. Comments, become discourse, until conversations gradually cease, leaving us in the spotlight for monologues. Yes, we do ramble. Yet, at times, in critical situations, we find ourselves groping for words from thin air. We find ourselves at the fork in the road and don’t know where to go with the topic next …

Jeremiah reached a pivotal point. He had heard God’s call to serve as a prophet. “Then I said, ‘Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth (Jeremiah 1:6 NAS).” He felt ill equipped and inadequate. God promised His presence, and to provide the message. (Verses 7-8) “Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth (Jeremiah 1:9 NAS).” 

God’s word, in our mouths, is personal, passionate, and powerful!

“Lord, fill my mouth for ministry.” PamFord Davis

Friday, January 5, 2018

Love God and People

But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 ESV)

Love God and People
Love for one another is the mark of a Christian but what does that love really look like? Well we read here that Paul, Silas and Timothy related their care and love for those in Thessalonica as if they were their children and they cared for them as a mother does her children. Now this is a great example if you were a child whose mom was a loving and caring person. Sadly to say that is not always the case and many children throughout history have grown up not being able to understand that because they never knew the love of a mother. Yet I love the way the Bible always address those issues that might come up.

Paul goes on to explain that they desire to see them grow closer to God and as a body of believers that while they were with them they gave of themselves not just sharing the gospel with them but also whatever else they might have need of, not out of empathy or trickery but out of love for them.

You know today in our churches we often are very busy doing all sorts of things we have clubs and organizations we have small groups and Sunday school classes all of these are designed with the idea that we will come together as a group to learn more about Jesus and grow to be more like Him but to be honest don’t know that it is working all that well. Too many of those in charge of these classes and social gatherings are lacking one thing and that is a desire to reach the lost and dying world.

We come together in a particular place at a particular time and often we are afraid to try something different. We can come up with all sorts of excuses why we can’t do something but the real underlying issue we lack a love for those who do not yet know Jesus and in some cases we lack a love for those who do. We would almost rather be hermits living a life worshiping Jesus and God without dealing with all the other people and stuff that comes with the life of a Christian.

I want to challenge you to step outside of yourself today loving others is a scare thing it requires us to put the needs of others before our own. It can and does cost you in the beginning and yet the rewards are unbelievable. You see Jesus actually gave us the best example of what love really looks like; when He accepted the responsibility for my sin on that cross 2000 years ago. Not that I was deserving of any of it but out of the love He had for God and the love He had for us He suffered and died so that you and I could be forgiven.

Today in the world people are suffering and dying for the testimony of Jesus; they do not do it because of money, fame or fortune; they don’t do it for the recognition, they are doing it because they love God and they love people. How about you?

Have a truly blessed day as you walk in the light of God's word. Rev Brian Mathis

Monday, January 1, 2018

Blessed New Year 2018

Wishing You a Blessed, Fruitful and ...

Blessed New Year 2018

Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; 
Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway
in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19 (NAS)

Blessed New Year 2018

Friday, December 29, 2017

It's a New Day!

“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

It's a New Day!
It’s amazing how some things never change! As I was cleaning my library, I came across my old journals way back from the 80’s, and read my goals and intention to be a better person. Always the first on my list was to grow in my spiritual walk. Not only that, I listed among my goals to lose weight, learn new skills, and to make a difference before I die. I just have to shake my head knowing how hard I’ve tried to change, how much I strived to accomplish, yet unable to finish what I started.

There’s one great lesson that I learned though. Those things that I aimed to do and wished I could be were seemingly unattainable when I relied on my own ability, talents, skills and knowledge. Desires, determination and self-will were not enough when I tried to rely on myself alone. Five to 10 years from now, if God will give me more years and opportunities, the new goals that I will set now will just leave me oblivious if I don’t rely on the Power greater than anything and anyone else, including myself.

Growing up must be a moment by moment walk with God. It’s holding His hands with stronger grip, letting my Master walk before me, instead of me walking before Him. It’s allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest His fruit in my life. It’s learning to deflate my pride and ego and kneel down in humility, asking God what He wants me to do, instead of telling Him to do the things I planned to do.

It’s a new month again! The past is gone. Today is here, a fresh new day to start anew. The present time shapes our tomorrow. No matter what the future holds, I’m confident that God is doing amazing things in us if we allow Him, even if at times there are valleys and hills along the way.

It’s a new day! My prayer is that we will choose to move forward, instead of looking back and doing the same old things over and over again.

Keep moving on … but forward in Christ.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

Here’s to new beginning! Gloria Laroza T

Monday, December 25, 2017

Blessed Christmas 2017

Blessed Christmas 2017

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Luke 2:14 (NAS)

Blessed Christmas 2017

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