Friday, July 13, 2018

Magnets Attract

Magnets Attrace
I wonder how many young children are as fascinated by magnets as I was. I didn’t have to understand how it picked up nails or metal filings. I became a believer while watching my grade school teacher demonstrate its power.

By using a small horseshoe shaped magnet, I confirmed what I had readily believed. Magnets attract, drawing other objects to them.

God the Father drew me close. In faith, I responded.
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:44 KJV).”

Why resist the LORD?
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me (John 12:32 KJV).”

As we lift Jesus through word and witness, we exalt his holy name. His lovingkindness and mercy draws me …

I am in agreement with the Psalmist.
“But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation (Psalm 69:13 KJV).”

Friday, July 6, 2018

Made Righteous Through Christ

2 Corinthians 5:21
For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteous of God in Him.

Made Righteous Through Christ
Let us take an in-depth look at our scripture and analyze the "He", "Him" and "us" in today's topical discussion. The "He" is God the Father and the "Him" is Jesus Christ our Savior and the "us" is all humanity. For mankind to be made righteous we must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The work of God the Father and God the Son encompasses John 3:16 because it includes everyone; to receive salvation one must believe in Jesus Christ the Son of the living God.

With that being said, let's look at the love that was on display in that Jesus Christ took on the sins of the world so that all who believe would be made righteous in Him so that when God looks on all believers He sees the righteousness of His Son. Another school of thought is that Jesus Christ willingly gave up His seat in heaven to come to earth as man and be subjected to human limitations and humiliation while knowing that He would have to sacrifice His life in order to meet God's requirements to provide salvation.

Given what God and His Son done for all believers is worthy of all songs of praise, worship and thanksgiving as a way of saying "Lord, I thank You for making me righteous through Your Son's shed blood."

Believers, we are the righteous of God through Jesus Christ. Dr Willie B White

Friday, June 29, 2018

Loving with Forgiving Love

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

Loving with Forgiving Love
I continue revisiting the subject of love because of the hatred that is filling the airways and our lives will cause one to believe and or feel as though there is no love and or good in man. Allow me to say there is godly love that is shown to many and in different formats as the person showing love realizes that we are loved and have been forgiven by God; therefore, we are to love all and forgive in spite of situations and or conditions.

Loving with unconditional love emulates the love of God in that He gave His best to forgive us of our sins. That said, in this life we will encounter situations that calls for forgiving love.

Love conquerors all. Dr Willie B White

Friday, June 22, 2018

Loving the Unlovable

Matthew 5:44 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Loving the Unlovable
We all have met or have people in our lives difficult to get along with. To no avail, every time you come in contact with certain people, your spirits clash. Making you feel less than a child of God. How do you find balance with someone classified as "unlovable" in your life? Well, one thing for sure, it is difficult to love without Jesus. You do not need to do it all alone. When our hearts are open to Jesus, He gives us a more welcoming spirit for the unlovable through His grace and mercy. As hard as it can be, this is what He wants us to sow as well as show; God's grace and mercy through His unfailing love. During Jesus times, He encountered a lot of difficult people. But, He handled them in a Godly fashion. Rebuking them for their wrong and encouraged them when they did right. He showed love towards His enemies. Even if it seemed He was being stern. His sternness was an act of love because their soul was at stake through their eternal destination. Jesus loved His enemies to death, as He died on the cross for their sins. Saying, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34, KJV)

Therefore, in Matthew 5:44-45, Jesus gives us an encouragement concerning our enemies and why we should love them. Stating, "(44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (KJV)"

In these verses, Jesus is not telling us to keep ourselves in harm’s way of hateful, mean-spirited and angry people. But, we can remove ourselves from their presence and pray for them. A lot of times, people are not really taking their anguish and hostility out on us; but, Jesus. It is because Jesus is knocking on the door of their hearts and they are refusing to answer. Therefore, since we represent Christ, this makes us an easier target. Reason, people physically see us and not Jesus. They do not fully comprehend, when they lash out at us; they are really lashing out at Jesus. Humanity hates God and he loathes the simple fact that Jesus is the only way to God.

I encourage you to stand strong through Jesus Christ and be the catalyst for change to those around you that He is calling you to be. You have all the “POWER” of Heaven backing you, so, that your life here on earth can be successful for the Kingdom of God. Jesus thinks it is more important for us to be called "the children of our Father", rather than being labeled as a sinner with the rest of the world. Pray for difficult people and let the Holy Ghost change them.

You have a special purpose in God's Kingdom. Walk in your calling! Wanda Carr

Lord Jesus, I am praying for my enemies. At one time, I too was an enemy of the cross. Realizing, when my enemies lash out at me they hurt You. Have mercy on them; let me show Your grace. Give me Your strength and wisdom to stand to their opposition against You. In Your Holy Name ... Amen.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Loving God in a Deeper Way

'As the dear pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God'. (Psalm 42:1-2)

Loving God in a Deeper Way
How many of us long for God in this way? How many of us seek God with all our heart?

Do you want to know the Lord more and long for a deeper relationship with Him? Then you need to spend time with Him – to seek Him each day.

In our quick fix world we want things now and with little effort, but there is no quick way. You can't pray and expect God to give you an instant deep relationship.

Relationships take time, effort, and have to be built. The more time you spend in God's presence and in His word, the more you'll want to. As you draw ever closer to Him, so will your love for Him and His word. The more you know Him, the more He will reveal His heart and will to you, and the more you will begin to see the plans laid out for you.

I have found this in my own walk with God as I struggled with consistency in my quite times.

I decided it was time to discipline myself and make time each day for God. As the weeks went by I started to notice just how much my love for God and His word had grown; I began to hunger for Him each day. I long for God more and more, passionate for the Father and His Word.

God promises us that the more we draw near to Him the more He will draw near to us. Phil Russ

'Come near to God and He will come near to you' (James 4:8)

Father, how I long to thirst for you and to know your heart. Help me to set aside time each day to draw near to You and Your Word; to love You more and to deepen my relationship with You. Thank You that you promise to draw near to us as we draw near to You. Amen.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Lovest Thou Me?

Lovest Thou Me?
"Do you love Me?"

The Lord Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, asked this question to His apostle Peter.

But so many times we are the ones who ask this question to the Lord, "Lord, do You love me?" When we are going through tough times, we ask Him, "Lord, do You love me?"

And when we are entangled in sin, we ask, "Lord, do you still me?"

Many have been the times when our pillows are wet with our tears or when we are walking about with a smile on our face so that no one may notice that tiny tear at the corner of our eye. Then this silent cry has gone up to heaven, "Lord, do you love me?"

Peter himself was probably asking this question. For all his loud boasting, he had abandoned the Lord when He needed His friends the most. He denied his Lord even when the Lord Jesus could still hear every word he was saying.

After all this Peter was full of doubts and fears, "Does the Lord still love me?"

The Lord Jesus Christ knew all this, but He did not address any of these questions directly. He went straight to the question that really mattered. He said, "Peter, do you love me?"

Like Peter, we also keep asking the wrong question. The question is not whether or not the Lord loves us. He settled that question once and for all on the cross.

He bled and died for us "while we were yet sinners". He suffered silently for our salvation even as our disobedience mingled with the voices of the mocking crowd.

He called us to be His own even when He knew how we would repeatedly stumble and break His heart by our sins and doubts.

The question is not whether or not the Lord loves you but it is, do you love Him? Do you love Him enough to show respect for His sacrifice for you? Do you love Him enough to give up your sin and live for Him instead of making excuses?

After you have stumbled and fallen, do you love Him enough to get up again, brush yourself off of all malice, anger and sin and walk in His grace?

When you are all alone in the valley of the shadow, when your life seems useless and meaningless and death seems like a welcome release, do you love Him enough to trust His promise that He will never leave you and is able to restore all you have lost? Do you love Him enough let His light shine through you in the darkness. Do you love Him enough to go on in His strength which is perfected in your weakness?

But on the other hand, there are so many today who say, "I know that God loves me", and then live their lives any way they please. They live in blatant disobedience to His written Word and lead lives of greed and perversion while claiming to be Christians. And they are actually proud of their lifestyle. They say, "I know God loves me just as I am".

True, God loves you just as you are but He also loves you too much to leave you just as you are. The question now is, do you love Him enough?

Do you love Him enough to respect His sacrifice and give up your sinful lifestyle and let Him change you by His grace and power?

Never ask the Lord if He loves you. He's settled that once and for all. He loves you with an everlasting and unchanging love.

That is why, instead of answering any questions that were in Peter's mind, the Lord Jesus Christ asked him the only question that really mattered.

Even today, He asks us the same question, "Do you love Me?" Alok Sonawane

Friday, June 1, 2018

Loved

Ecclesiastes 5:10, 11, 12, and 16
If you love money and wealth, you will never be satisfied with what you have. This doesn't make sense either. The more you have, the more everyone expects from you. Your money won't do you any good. Other will just spend it for you. If you have to work hard for a living, you can rest well for a night, even when you don't have much to eat. But if you're rich, you can't even sleep ... People leave the world just as they came to it.

Loved
Let me start off with a story:

One day, a rich Dad took his son on a trip. The father Wanted to show him how poor someone can be. They spent time on the farm of a poor family.

On the way home, Dad asked, "Did you see how poor they are? What did you learn?"

Son said ...

    "We have one dog, they have 4.
    We have a pool, they have rivers.
    We have lanterns at night, they have stars.
    We buy foods, they grow theirs.
    We have walls to protect us, they have friends.
    We have encyclopedias, they have bible.
    Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are!"

It's not about money that makes us rich, it's about simplicity of having GOD in our lives.

As they say, we can have everything in the world but still feel incomplete without God ... but if God is all you have, you have all you need.

Blessed are the people who believe that they do not need to be rich just to be happy. Money can bring many problems. Yes, there are problems that the solution is money ... but there are things, like life, that money can't buy. Even how rich Steve Jobs, Dolphy, Cory Aquino, Michael Jackson, and many others were, they still died. And when they died, they just left their wealth here on earth.

They say, nothing is permanent in life. That's not true! Yes, there are certain things in life that are not permanent- even wealth ... everything may pass ... everything may change...still, God's love for us never ceases, never changes, constant, pure, and true.

GOD's LOVE IS NEVER ENDING ... NOTHING IS PERMANENT BUT THE LOVE OF GOD ... it never fails, it never ends, it never ceases ... it has no boundaries, it has no end, it has no conditions ...

Let God be your LOVER, FOREVER. Remember, in every way, in every day, you are LOVED. Angelica Faye Tolosa

Friday, May 25, 2018

Loved by God

Since you are precious and honoured in my sight ... Isaiah 43:4 (NIV)

Loved by God
I enjoy watching sport on television and once heard a swimmer being interviewed. He said that though he spent a lot of time training, it was important to him to maintain his relationship with friends and family, because he wouldn't be swimming forever. I was pleased he realised this because so often it seems that all the athletes know is training/competing, training/competing and this becomes their whole life. When injury or circumstances prevent them from competing they are completely devastated because the source of their satisfaction and fulfilment is cut off.

Other examples of this is when a person, who finds their source of satisfaction and fulfilment in their job is made redundant. Or a person, who is totally dependent on their spouse finds themselves widowed. They are devastated.

As Christians we may feel shaken but we never need to feel devastated because of redundancy, injury or other crises. The reason is that our source of our satisfaction and fulfilment is in the Lord and not in people or circumstances.

If we were to become totally paralysed and never able to do another thing for the Kingdom of God, we would still be precious to Him. We are valued and loved by the Lord for who we are, not what we do.

Let's see ourselves from God's perspective, and know that we are precious and honoured in his sight. We are his beloved children. Accepting this truth, will enable us to seek our satisfaction and fulfilment in him. Susan Barnes

Friday, May 18, 2018

Losing Your Balance? Lean on Jesus

Losing Your Balance? Lean on Jesus
I am sitting here at the keyboard in the position of trying to go in to have a quiet time for over three hours now. I actually got to my QT place once and began praying. Then remembered someone I was supposed to write to on e-mail, which was triggered by my prayer list, and here I am back at the computer again. No, I didn’t follow my own instructions of having a paper and pen in my quiet time place to write down “distractions and things to do” for AFTER the time spent with my Jesus. Can you relate to me here, warts and all? Then I hear His whisper:

My Daughter, guard against being so easily distracted. Know that I love you and am working much on your behalf. Things aren’t often as they appear. Lean on Jesus and you’ll never be off balance for long. Know that I know and rest in that. Stand. I will, I move in perfect, harmonious timing. Be not dismayed nor discouraged. Allow Me to open and close doors. Receive My peace and joy. Delight in My world/work, wherever you are. Selah (pause and think calmly about that)

It seems like I just wrote a devotional about Mary and Martha. Lord, might this mean that I am not too tuned in yet? That I am reading and it is going “in one eye and out the other”, that I am still “Martha-ing” my way through life most of the time. Then please at least help me write addressing this occasion.

In Luke 10:40 it speaks about Martha being distracted. I know there are also places in this same Bible where it talks about Jesus loving Martha. Hum, maybe I should change my middle name from Lynn to Martha. I guess the very best thing to do would be to pray and ask the Lord Jesus to change ME, not my middle name. To help me not be distracted and going like a little ping pong ball from floor to wall to ceiling, to FOCUS and SIT. I wonder if they have obedience training school for us saints. OK. Back to Luke.

Martha was distracted by all the preparations. I can relate. Who else is going to straighten the kitchen, load the dishes and wash, scoop kitty boxes and feet those four legged furry critters? Not Mick, nope, he is off earning money to pay the bills.

Lord, I am RETIRED. How did I ever get it done when we were both working and taking care of my folks in two different facilities and their home before that sold? I am retired and seemingly having less time than I did back then. No we didn’t have teenagers thrown into the mix.

Back to Luke, Lord my sister has left me to do all the work. Well, that didn’t apply to us. My sister and her hubby had his mom and grandmother to take care of, kids and grandkids and they were working more than 40 hour weeks at jobs in Iowa.

Then my attention was drawn to Isaiah 41:10 and I think this is a rhema scripture for me having my own name, Marijo Lynn Martha, stamped upon it. It says basically that I am not supposed to fear, because God (creator of the universe!) is with me, little old Martha-y me. That He is my God, should I doubt like I sometimes do. No, I don’t doubt Him, it is me I sometimes have serious reservations about. He goes on promising that he will strengthen me and help me and uphold me with His righteous right hand. That is where the spotlight should be, not on me and my puniness but on Jesus and His victorious right hand. The right hand of His righteousness, that is quite a relief.

Moving right along we turn to Philippians 4:9 which speaks to whatever we have learned or received or heard to put it into practice (from the writer) and promising that the God of peace will be with me.

John 16:24 goes on and says that until now you have not asked anything in my name (Jesus' name) and that we are to ask and we shall receive and our joy will be complete.

Then Proverbs 3:5 comes into play next. We are to trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not to our own understanding … How many times have I thought I had it all figured out and then in hindsight saw how far off base I was, really. Marijo Phelps

Dearest Lord Jesus, I realize as I pause to pray that in writing this piece I have gotten into your Word and spent time with you. Thank you for the banquet of promises contained within those pages. Thank you that you are so creative in the ways you choose to speak life into our hearts. Thank you that right now I am purposing to stop, close the doors in my over busy mind and talk to you. And may all those reading this do the same. AMEN.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Lord, Is This a Good Time to Call?

Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. (Psalm 55:17 ESV)

Lord, Is This a Good Time to Call?
In the “good old days”, people dropped into our home at all hours of the day and night. Time didn’t matter much back then. The door was always open and the coffee pot was always on the stove. It was not necessary to make a phone call and schedule a visit. Visitors were always welcome. My family thrived on company.

Sunday afternoons used to be a favorite time for visiting. If one was absent from Sunday school or Church that morning, you were bound to get a visit (or two) from church family. It was that extra-special “helping” of love served by caring friends.

Things are different today. So many people work shift-work. Men and women of the home are usually both working. Visits must be prearranged. Phone calls are even made carefully so as not to waken a shift-worker.

It is not so with our Heavenly Father. Praise Him! He says come to Him morning, noon and evening and He will hear our voice. Beloved, He will also recognize our voice.

When I was young we used to have a “party-line” telephone. We had to be careful when we picked up the phone to see if the line was being used by someone else; and we had to courteously limit our time on the line. God is not only available morning, noon and night. His line is always open … no busy signals. He answers every caller personally; no "punching-in" extra numbers to get connected. E.J. Swanson

Father, Help me to realize that You are always available to me…all day and all night. I can cry out to You even in the midnight hour and You will hear. Truly You never leave me nor forsake me. Amen

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