Friday, September 15, 2017

Living for the Cause of God

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

Living for the Cause of God
Nothing in this world can change the plans that God has for us. Our life, best interest, and destiny are in His control. Our complete trust in this truth and full submission will yield blessings which are far beyond our imagination and human potential.

Our primary life purpose is not to just earn money and have a good life. It is not about worldly matters, trying to care for ourselves or create the perfect social image. The plans of God are great for us, He has assigned us the position of a co-heir with Christ and empowered us as ambassadors of the gospel. This life is about wholly trusting and serving the Lord while leading the lost to the eternal safety we have already found.  It is about giving Him praise and trusting Him for all our needs and wants. When we do the Lord’s will, we do not toil. His grace strengthens us to complete our mission. 

For those who trust and submit wholly to His plan, He faithfully clears the way throughout their journey, leading them to level ground. He uses them to be a blessing, to influence people with His word and to bring souls closer to Him. He establishes the work of their hands and freely gives them the wishes of their heart. He walks beside them scattering blessings and fulfilling their needs and wants by His grace.

Oh, what a wonderful Lord who promises to reward the heart’s desire of the faithful! Trust and faithfully obey to see His miracles happen in your life today. Deepika Emmanuel Sagar

Friday, September 8, 2017

Living Free Comes at a Cost

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 ESV)

Living Free Comes at a Cost
Paul understood something that I think we often forget; he was not saved for his own benefit but to serve God. You see he was zealous for God before he met Jesus. When Jesus brought him to his knees he finally really understood what God had been preparing him for. All the years of training and serving in and around the temple learning all the scriptures, the zeal for God and the determination to serve him was all in preparation for the future.

That is us today as Christians. God has brought us to this place with our wide variety of experiences so that when people we meet have a need we are prepared to witness to them about the difference a life in Christ can make.

Paul never really forgot what he had been saved from or the purpose he had been given. He did learn though to reach the lost he would have to continue living and working among them. Yes he gathered with those who were saved and taught them but he never forgot those who were once just like him and needed to hear the good news.

Verse 21 makes a statement that we must apply; we are as born again believers no longer under the law of God but we are called to live under the law of Christ. Christ gave us two clear commandments that were to love God with all your heart and the second was to love your neighbor as yourself. How many of us are able to say we can live under those two laws?

Paul lived a life loving people and he did it by becoming involved with them no matter what situation they were in. Can we as Christians today say that we love God and others enough to go were the needs are?

I pray you have a truly blessed day as you walk in the light of God’s Word. Rev Brian Mathis

Friday, September 1, 2017

Live From Your Calling

... I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1 NIV)

Live From Your Calling
Before Paul urged the Ephesians to live a life worthy of their calling he spent three chapters explaining "the calling" that God has placed on our lives:

Paul pointed out that through Christ:

  • we are saints (1:1);
  • we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (1:3);
  • we are chosen in Christ (1:4);
  • we were predestined to be adopted as God's son (1:5);
  • we have been redeemed and forgiven (1:7);
  • we are recipients of his lavish grace (1:8);
  • we have been made alive (2:5);
  • we have been raised up and seated with Christ (2:6);
  • we are God's workmanship (2:10);
  • we have direct access to God (2:18);
  • we are fellow citizens of God's family (2:19);
  • and we may approach God with boldness (3:12).

Paul knew it would be in response to knowing and believing all that Christ had done for them that the Ephesians would be able to live a life worthy of their calling.

The same is true for us today. It is only as we live by faith, believing what God says about us is true, that we are enabled to live effective Christian lives. Susan Barnes

Friday, August 25, 2017

Living by the Watch

Living by the Watch
Watch ... watch your weight, watch your calories, watch your temper, watch your back, watch your time. Hmm, it seems that we are very alert people. We do not allow anything to sneak up on us unawares. We diligently use caution and attempt to take control over all things at all times. A night watchman is in the midst of people living by the watch.

Christ commands me to watch. “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the good-man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 24:43-44 KJV)

Jesus will return; He is coming. I am compelled to take heed, watch and pray. “Take ye heed, watch and pray for ye know not when the time is." (Mark 13:33 KJV) Clock watching will be a waste of time; no man knows the day or hour of the Master’s arrival. The sign’s of His coming are many; I will watch the sky and anticipate meeting Him in the clouds! PamFord Davis

Friday, August 18, 2017

Living by Lamplight

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 NAS)

Living by Lamplight
Lamps in Jesus’ time were small bowl-like clay vessels using olive oil as fuel. A burning wick inserted into the oil illuminated a small room. Lamps allow one to see even in darkness and protect from lurking danger. Hebrew families left lamps burning through the night to ward off prowlers. In our modern age, homeowners light their home’s exterior and leave lamps on at night for the same reason … protection.

Psalm 119 teaches that God’s Word is our lamp, the source of all Truth. There you can find answers to every question, solutions to each dilemma. God’s Word used properly produces light, the light of Truth, to illuminate our path AND keep us safe on our journey. However, God’s lamp requires the oil of the Holy Spirit to produce the intended result. When we approach His Word, we must invoke the Holy Spirit to come and produce the needed light, for both the lamp and the oil work together to give us light.

Let us dust off our lamps and pour in the oil. 2 Peter 1:19 emphasizes the preeminence of the Word: “... we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place.” God’s lamp shines with Truth, brightens our path, and protects us along the way. It is a sure guide. Don’t live in fear, doubt, or ignorance. Walk in God’s light and gather faith, peace, and wisdom. You were created to live by lamplight. Karen Pourbabaee

Friday, August 11, 2017

Live In Love

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV)

Live in Love
The New Testament reduces the laws of the Old Testament to one overriding rule: love. If you want to know what true love is, you only need to study God's behavior toward you. God is generous, forbearing, kind, faithful, supportive, nurturing, forgiving, and just. He is everything you want and need.

You exist in God and know God through your own acts of love in the world. He is in the face of everyone you reach out to, no matter from what station in life he or she might come. His love is in your gentle word to a friend in pain, in the simple work of making a home for your family, and in the kindness you show a stranger. When you live in love, you become more and more like God. Faith Daniels

God, fill my heart with love for you and for those whose lives I touch each day. Thank you for first loving me and showing me how to love others. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Live Like a Favored Child

"Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate." (Luke 15:22-23 NIV)

Live Like a Favored Child
The fact that Jesus would die so we could be forgiven is an astounding act of love on God's part, but sometimes we overlook the fact that God then places us in the position of being a favored son or daughter.

This is seen so clearly in the story of the prodigal son. The son would have been happy to have become one of his father's hired men (v. 19). This is reasonable, considering he had prematurely demanded his inheritance, and then wasted it living an unacceptable lifestyle. The son figured the best he could hope for was to gain employment with his father. But the father doesn't just forgive him, he restores him to the position of a favored son.

So often as Christians we act like God's hired men. We know that God has forgiven us, but now we seem to think we have to work in order to be acceptable to God.

The Bible tells us we are not God's hired workmen or women but rather we are his "dearly loved children" (Ephesians 5:1) not because of anything we have done, but simply because God chose to put us in that position.

So let's accept that the robe, the ring and the sandals are really for us, and live like God's favored children, celebrating his amazing grace. Susan Barnes

Friday, July 28, 2017

Living Proof

Living Proof
I was just standing at my sink washing dishes when the thought occurred to me that about 20 years ago, I had completely turned my back on God and was running as hard as I could the other direction. Had it not been for God's grace and my best friend's obedience to Him, I don't believe I would be alive today.

Not only am I living proof of God's patience, forgiveness, love, grace, mercy and redemption, but also of His bountiful blessings to those who love and trust Him. Ephesians 1:7 says, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace."
God's grace abounds. Look at this:

    "Main Entry: abound
    Definition: exist in abundance

    Synonyms: be alive with, be all over the place, be knee deep in, be no end to, be plentiful, be thick with, be up to one's ears in, crawl with, crowd, flourish, flow, have a full plate, infest, overflow, proliferate, swarm, swell, teem, thrive" (from Thesaurus.com).

We are alive with God's grace, knee deep and up to our ears in it, there is no end to it. It is plentiful and thick. It crowds and flourishes, flows and overflows. WOW!! How great is our Father's love for us!!

I said all of that to say this ... if you are running from God: STOP!! He will not stop pursuing you, so you might as well give up and surrender. He loves You so much and just wants the very best for you. Not only will he heal your mind, heart and soul, but He will bless you beyond measure.

If God is telling you to do something: OBEY! Someone's soul may depend on your obedience to Him!

You may not like what I have to say right now ... but I am being obedient to the One who loves me with an unconditional, everlasting love. He has given me the gift of salvation and blessed me with so many things that I cannot count them all. I can never do enough to repay the debt I owe Him, but I will serve and obey Him as long as I live on this earth. Then I will worship Him for eternity when I see Him face to face.

I pray this gets to the person it needs to get to, but even if it didn't, it reminded me of how blessed I am to have everything that I have right now!! Teresa Schultz

Friday, July 21, 2017

Living in God

He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him. (Luke 20:38 NAS)

Living in God
God was living before the “beginning”, lives today, and will live forever. He will still be living after the last grain of sand pours out of the hour glass of eternity. Jesus was with and within God throughout all yesterdays, is with and within Him today, and will be with and within Him for ever more. The Holy Spirit who is our daily guide has been alive and well through all ages, times, and seasons.

God in His various personas has always lived and never died. All of His creation has always existed in one form or another. You and I and all of mankind have been with God forever. When our time on earth ends, we will not die but simply continue living in God.

Abraham first became aware of our Creator: He realized that there is no other God beside the all powerful and loving One. Abraham still lives in God. Moses who spoke with God in the burning bush and atop Mt Sinai still lives in God. Jesus who died on the cross and rose on the third day still lives in God. You and I also live in God and will forever more. God is the God of the living, with death and resurrection being the proof. Arthur Hill

Father, live in us and help us to live in you. Amen.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Listening for the Bell

Listening for the Bell
Clock watching is futile and frustrating; I cannot rush time in my anticipation for an activity to end, or for one to begin. As a young child, and into my teens, I frequently turned my attention to huge clocks hanging on classroom walls. At the beginning of class, it seemed that I had such a long time before I would be allowed to leave. Yet, I remember most the regularity of craning my neck to watch the second hand move at a snail’s pace just before class dismissal. As if an athlete involved in stiff competition, I wanted the clock to run out. I listened for the bell.

“My time has almost run out. Very soon now, I will be on my way to heaven. I have fought long and hard for my Lord, and through it all I have kept true to him. And now the time has come for me to stop fighting and rest. In heaven a crown is waiting for me which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And not just to me, but to all those whose lives show that they are eagerly looking forward to his coming back again (2 Timothy 4:6b-8 Living Bible).” Class is dismissed!
PamFord Davis

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