In Times of Discouragement
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8 NLT).
We have so much to be thankful for, no matter our circumstances. Just look around today and see those who are in far worse shape than you. Notice the smile on their faces and the joy that blooms from their very soul. Be thankful that our God supplies our needs and will never leave us, no matter our circumstance.
Today's world is going crazy. The news is horrible with political junk, murders, fires, and natural disasters. My challenge, to each person today is to look for the good that is going on and put the bad behind you. Look at the many blessings that you have. Search for something that you can do to help another person. Ask someone if you might help them do something or maybe just a smile and a greeting such as “have a blessed day” or “may God bless you today.” Little things go a long way in healing a troubled soul. By reaching out to others, our very souls will benefit and our spirits will leap for joy.
But most of all, read Philippians 4:8 and as the Apostle Paul states, “Fix your thoughts” on the goodness of our Lord.
Thank You, Jesus, for saving us from ourselves and blessing us beyond all measure. Help us to be a blessing to others. Amen.
God's Way, Or…
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10 NLT).
Life full of contentment or life full of disruption.
Life full of satisfaction or life full of searching for satisfaction.
Life full of love or life filled with hate.
Life with God or a life with the Devil.
It's your choice. Your choice has a direct effect on your life on Earth as well as your eternity. Stop running from God and turn away from Satan. It will change your life.
Lord God, thank You for loving us so much. Amen.
By His Design
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5 NLT).
We are designed by God. We have a need for Jesus.
Like the main trunk of a limb or vine, He supplies our needs. We are dependent on Him to nourish us. With His nourishment, we will prosper and grow. Without Jesus, we will wither and die, producing nothing.
Today's Scripture concerns what it means to be in connection with God.
Lord God, thank You for speaking plainly and to the point so that Your church might understand the structure of its relationship to You. We pray in Your holy name. Amen.
He Laid the Foundation
The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me (Psalms 138:8 NLT).
Created by God. Formed by God. He gives us free will which gives us the right to choose. Choice is not always a good thing for our human condition. He has a plan for each of us, and we have our own plan. Are we going to choose our plan or His plan? If we choose our plan over His, let me know how that works out.
His love for each of us is greater than we can comprehend on this side of heaven. Thanks be to God.
Dear Father, I praise Your mighty name. Thank You for all things. Thank You for being a righteous, just and loving God. Without Your justice, all we would have is anarchy of the heart. Let us be thankful for Your correction and direction for our lives. May we live a life that is beneficial to ourselves and others. With Your love, we will never know being unloved or lonely. Lead the lost back to You, Father, so that they might have a good life and a secure eternity. Help us, Lord, to be bold and proclaim the truth of salvation. I pray this in the mighty and matchless name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
A Full-Time God
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31 NLT).
Sometimes we get news that we just don't want to hear. Sometimes God's plan isn't what we want it to be. Sometimes there is loss that seems impossible to deal with. Sometimes we have to understand that through trials and loss God makes us stronger. Sometimes our faith is rocked and we are tested to the brink of despair. Sometimes after many years of diligent prayer, we see that God's will was not our will. Sometimes we just have to cry. Sometimes we must realize that we are humans and have no control over things that God is in control of. Sometimes we just need to trust in our Creator. Sometimes there aren't words.
But God is God all of the time. He is not a sometimes God. Those who trust in Him will soar to new heights. Those who know Jesus will never taste the bitterness of death. Those who are walking with Christ on this earth will walk eternally with Him in heaven.
Dear heavenly Father, no matter what we go through, we can trust that You are in control and You will pull us through the fire. Help us to be strong and trust in You. Lord God, You have never failed us and will never fail us. We know that You are God and You love us. Give us the strength to remain faithful as You are always faithful to us. Thank You, Lord! We pray in the mighty name of Jesus, our Savior and King. Amen.
But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave (Matthew 20:25-27 NLT).
If we were to learn nothing else from Christ's walk on Earth, we should learn to be a servant to others. We must first serve.
Our leaders have forgotten that they are our servants and have taken on the role of royalty without a thought of being a servant. Until we gain leadership that understands the principles of the Gospel, we will continue to flounder like a fish without water. It's about serving others without thinking of what someone will gain. It's about giving of ourselves.
Lord, please save us from ourselves. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
A Person's Life Is Judged
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart (Luke 6:45 NLT).
How many people continually pull out God's word when it's convenient for them to make a point? Even though they don't truly understand the Scripture that they are quoting. People are quick to pull out a simple one-line verse from the Gospel of Matthew: Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.” They fail to understand the full context of what Jesus is saying.
In Matthew 7:1 Jesus is making several points. We are not to judge someone’s salvation or their relationship with Him. We are also reminded that before we point fingers, we should look at our own transgressions. Point 1 - We don't have a clue to anyone’s final destination. Their eternal soul is in God's hands. He will choose what He will do with their lives. It’s not up to us, nor should we judge their fate. Point 2 – We are all sinners, broken, and undeserving of God's grace. We need to take a hard look at our own hearts and see how we are failing God. It should not be “I'm better than him/her” type discussion. We should concern ourselves with our own soul’s neediness.
However, Jesus does tell us specifically to examine the fruit of people that we associate with and determine whether they are living a life that is God glorifying or one that supports evil or worldly ways. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:6 we are not to waste what is holy on those who are unholy. Thus, this is judging others by the way they live their lives. We are to be “fruit inspectors.” A good tree produces good fruit, a bad tree does not.
So, how do we determine what is holy or unholy? By reading God's word. It’s the only pure truth that is available to us. God's word is the guide for life, currently and eternally. When we open God's word, ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes, mind, and heart to what He is wanting us to learn. God will provide for our inability to understand His roadmap for life. He will give us what He wants us to focus on at that particular time. His word is a living word and we can expect that the same passage will speak differently to us at different readings and times. Open your heart to Him and study His word.
Thank You, Lord, for loving us enough to give us a detailed guide for our lives. Let us seek You and Your truth through Your word and through prayer. We pray and ask in Jesus' mighty and matchless name, Amen.