Sometimes we allow people and situations to drive us into the proverbial “dark place” of depression or a state of complacency that does nothing but keep us weighed down with unnecessary worry and doubt (ouch). It’s not criminal, it’s human and it is detrimental to our relationship with the Lord.
I was reading from Dr. Charles F. Stanley’s “Life Principal” workbook and was immediately spoken to by the Holy Spirit. That is why I am sitting here now. It’s not like I have not been reminded before to come here, I was stubborn, okay rebellious (double ouch). I’d like to share just a little of what Dr. Stanley wrote from Life Application #24, “To live the Christian life is to allow Jesus to live His life in and through us.” When we do that, we will experience all of the peace, joy, confidence and assurance that are rightfully ours in Christ Jesus.
Everything that concerns us is Christ’s responsibility to care for and not ours … we are simply to obey Him. David’s Psalm, 138:7-8 says “Though I walk in the midst of trouble – Your right hand will save me. The LORD will accomplish what concerns.”
We serve an awesome God. He IS able to accomplish what concerns us because He has all power to defend us, wisdom to direct us, mercy to pardon us, grace to enrich us, righteousness to clothe us, happiness to crown us and love to save us. There it is, everything He promised and is readily available to us …… All we have to do is ask, believing and trusting.
You are not far from my thoughts and prayers. Remember …..
You are Loved,
We all face numerous and various challenges throughout our lives. Some as devastating as suffering the loss of a loved one to death, losing a job through a layoff or shutdown, deciding if the person you are in love with is “marriage material” or even accepting a job promotion. While making a marriage proposal or accepting one does not sound like a challenge, we have to be careful that we are not “blinded” by love and offer or accept a proposal that could lead to an unhappy life. And while accepting a promotion could mean more money, there could be other issues – like more responsibility that could take you away from church and family, even demands on your integrity or moral stance.
The Israelites faced a dangerous challenge in 2 Chronicles 20:1-29 when they were faced with a huge number of Edomite warriors coming against them. King Jehosaphat realized his only option was to seek divine counsel from God, so he called the people of Judah together to fast and seek God for help. He prayer in (v 6): “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” In v 12b, he prayed: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
The Lord heard Jehosaphat and told him to appoint a choir to march in front of the Israelite army, directing the worshipers to sing “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever” (v. 21). When the Israelites began to sing, the Lord confused the opposing enemies and they began to attach and destroy each other.
The Lord is no less able to do the same for us when we are facing the enemy in our daily lives. We serve the same God that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Before creation, He was! We have seen time after time throughout the Bible God’s provision and protection of His children. We are of no less value to Him and our challenges are no less critical to us than any of the saints of old and what they faced.
When you don’t know what to do, look to the Lord, let’s march into our challenges worshiping God is spirit and truth, praising Him for what we know He is already doing in our lives and knowing that we have the MONUMENTAL VICTORY through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Be Encouraged My Friends, You ARE Loved
Paul’s prayer in Colossians is appropriate for every person and every situation. Because it fits perfectly with God’s will, we can make these requests in confidence – both for ourselves and for others:
PRAY to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding: Not only do we need to know God’s plan for our lives; we also require discernment to distinguish His guiding voice from our own self-directed notions
PRAY to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in all ways: Our lives should be patterned after the One we follow, with a goal of glorifying and delighting Him
PRAY to bear fruit in every good work: Instead of being wrapped up in our own jobs, possessions, pleasures, and plans, we should be contributing to others’ lives.
PRAY to increase in the knowledge of God: By reading His Word, applying it to our lives, and observing His ways, we will gain a deeper understanding of the Lord
PRAY to be strengthened with His power so we remain steadfast: The Christian life can be lived only with the Holy Spirit’s power
PRAY and joyously give thanks for all that He has done for us: Believers should be characterized by joy and gratitude
Too often, the focus of our requests is on “important” temporary needs and we miss seeing the deeper spiritual work God wants to do. Take a moment to think about and consider how effective our prayers will be if we shift the emphasis of them to the Lord’s desires. God will transform you and the people we intercede for.
Dear Lord, thank you, yet again, for showing me how to pray. Forgive me Lord if my requests have been focused more on temporary things instead of those things that are eternal – your will and your kingdom. Holy Spirit, please come into my prayers and “fix” them so they are in line with the will of God, His work and they will be acceptable in His sight. In Jesus Name, Amen
Be Encouraged ~ You Are Loved
When David was in his greatest distress, in this Psalm it is when Saul is pursuing him to kill him; he did not pray and seek out his own petition for rescue. Instead he prayed to God to glorify himself and his own great name.
“Whatever becomes of me and my interest, be thou exalted, O God! above the heavens, be thou praised by the holy angels, those glorious inhabitants of the upper world; and let thy glory be above or over all the earth; let all the inhabitants of this earth be brought to know and praise thee.” Psalm 57:5
If God’s glory lies nearer our own hearts, shouldn’t we be more concerned for it, than for any interests of our own? Like David, we face distress, struggles and uncertainties in our own lives, should our first inclination be to pray that the Lord will exalt us above all those trials that lie before us?
When the Son of David’s soul was troubled as he faced eminent crucifixion and death and he prayed, “Father, save me from this hour,” he immediately withdrew that petition, and presented instead “For this cause came I to this hour; Father, glorify thy name,” John 12:27.
Our best encouragement in prayer is taken from the glory of God. The first petition in the Lord’s prayer sets the standard and directs all the rest, “Father in heaven, hallowed by thy name.” Luke 11:2.
When we glorify the Father, He will extend His glory to us and respond favorably to our petitions.
I pray that God’s glory will extend grace, love and mercy to you until we meet here again.
Be Encouraged, You Are Loved
- Prayer: connecting the finite with the infinite (scottstrissel.wordpress.com)
I encourage you to walk into the new year with boldness. Move forward in your God-given authority. Persevere in your calling. Trust God and have faith that He will be with you throughout the new year as He has been in years past.
**HAPPY NEW YEAR**
Be Encouraged ~ You Are Loved
God’s Word tells us: “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ.” [2 Corinthians 5:17-18a NLT]
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Isn’t it awesome to know that when we commit a sin – no matter how heinous or seemingly unforgiveable – that God is not waiting to strike us down with lightning or shake His finger at and berate us? Instead He is there to welcome us back like in the parable of the prodigal son or welcome us when we receive His gift of salvation.
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The Bible says all of us were dead in our sins [Ephesians 2:4 & 5]. Although “all things were created by him, and for him:” [Colossians 1:16], we all sinned and forfeited the relationship we had with Him in the Garden of Eden. God didn’t give up on us because of that. Instead, He gave us Christmas. He gave the world the ultimate gift … He gave us Jesus.
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When we accept His gift, we are reconciled back to Him. Isn’t that reason to pause during this auspicious time of celebration? Isn’t it cause to shout praise and give thanks to God every day of the year and not just at Christmas?
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It’s a good time to read, or re-read, the Christmas Story [Matthew 2:1-23, Luke 2:1-38] – as part of your Christmas celebration. Try to imagine all the magic and wonder and awe surrounding the birth of our Savior. The world of believers were seeing and experiencing the Coming of the King that would save them from their transgressions. We can see and experience that wonder now, we can be freed from the slavery of sin and one day be caught up in the Second Coming of the King.
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I pray that your family experiences an awesome expression of God’s love during your Christmas celebration and that your hearts and homes are filled with the Spirit’s peace and joy to the fullest!
Be Encouraged ~ You Are Loved!
- A Christ-Centered Christmas (childrens-kingdom.com)
- Merry Christmas And A Prosperous New Year In Christ Jesus (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- The Reason For The Season, Evans Olang (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)
- Letter: Christmas is about giving of ourselves (courierpress.com)