Broken…Again

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TODAY’S DAILY PRAYER

Pebbles and shellThen I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more…And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:1, 5, RSV

Lord our God, our Father, we look deep into your mighty Word and see the glory of the new world you will create according to your justice and truth. We thank you for giving us this joy on earth in the midst of all our toil and striving. We look deep into your Word. You make all things new. To this hope our lives are directed, to this hope you have called us, and we want to be faithful forever. Praise to your name, for you have already done great things for us! Keep us in your Word. Let many find the light, for in this light they may look to you in simple faith and constancy until the end, when throughout the world we may see your glory and your grace. Amen.

 

Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Psalm 23:5

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

While the enemy of the righteous may flourish for a season, God will lavish his love and show his favor on the righteous. As the apostle Paul reminded his dear friends in Philippi, their prayers and the work of the Holy Spirit guaranteed his deliverance: he would either be delivered from prison and death to serve them, or he would be delivered from prison through death to go be with the Father (Phil. 3:19-21). Either way, God’s righteous will get a banquet, a place of honor, and a royal welcome that will vindicate their faithfulness before those who oppose them.

My Prayer…

Father, King of the ages, I do believe that you will throw a party in my honor and treat me as one of your royal children. Thank you for this promise. Thank you for the assurance of ultimate vindication. Thank you for making my life overflow with your love and grace. In Jesus’ name I praise you! Amen.

 

 

Daily Dig

Caffeine for your conscience

starfishDying is not the end, it is just the beginning. Death is a continuation of life. This is the meaning of eternal life; it is where our soul goes to God, to be in the presence of God, to see God, to speak to God, to continue loving him with greater love. We only surrender our body in death – our heart and our soul live forever. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not yet come; we must live each day as if it were our last so that when God calls us we are ready, and prepared, to die with a clean heart.

 

 

BIBLE STUDY BUDDY 

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Read 2 Chronicles 25:1-16…

Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan; she was from Jerusalem. 2. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly. 3. After the kingdom was firmly in his control, he executed the officials who had murdered his father the king. 4. Yet he did not put their children to death, but acted in accordance with what is written in the Law, in the Book of Moses, where the Lord commanded: ”Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor children be put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.” 5. Amaziah called the people of Judah together and assigned them according to their families to commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds for all Judah and Benjamin. He then mustered those twenty years old or more and found that there were three hundred thousand men fit for military service, able to handle the spear and shield. 6. He also hired a hundred thousand fighting men from Israel for a hundred talents of silver. 7. But a man of God came to him and said, ”Your Majesty, these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the Lord is not with Israel not with any of the people of Ephraim. 8. Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow.” 9. Amaziah asked the man of God, ”But what about the hundred talents I paid for these Israelite troops?” The man of God replied, ”The Lord can give you much more than that.” 10. So Amaziah dismissed the troops who had come to him from Ephraim and sent them home. They were furious with Judah and left for home in a great rage. 11. Amaziah then marshaled his strength and led his army to the Valley of Salt, where he killed ten thousand men of Seir. 12. The army of Judah also captured ten thousand men alive, took them to the top of a cliff and threw them down so that all were dashed to pieces. 13. Meanwhile the troops that Amaziah had sent back and had not allowed to take part in the war raided towns belonging to Judah from Samaria to Beth Horon. They killed three thousand people and carried off great quantities of plunder. 14. When Amaziah returned from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought back the gods of the people of Seir. He set them up as his own gods, bowed down to them and burned sacrifices to them. 15. The anger of the Lord burned against Amaziah, and he sent a prophet to him, who said, ”Why do you consult this people’s gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?” 16. While he was still speaking, the king said to him, ”Have we appointed you an adviser to the king? Stop! Why be struck down?” So the prophet stopped but said, ”I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”

Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional
2 Chronicles 25:9

11/30/AM

“And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this.”
2Ch 25:9

A very important question this seemed to be to the king of Judah, and possibly it is of even more weight with the tried and tempted O Christian. To lose money is at no times pleasant, and when principle involves it, the flesh is not always ready to make the sacrifice. “Why lose that which may be so usefully employed? May not the truth itself be bought too dear? What shall we do without it? Remember the children, and our small income!” All these things and a thousand more would tempt the Christian to put forth his hand to unrighteous gain, or stay himself from carrying out his conscientious convictions, when they involve serious loss. All men cannot view these matters in the light of faith; and even with the followers of Jesus, the doctrine of “we must live” has quite sufficient weight.

The Lord is able to give thee much more than this is a very satisfactory answer to the anxious question. Our Father holds the purse-strings, and what we lose for His sake He can repay a thousand-fold. It is ours to obey His will, and we may rest assured that He will provide for us. The Lord will be no man’s debtor at the last. Saints know that a grain of heart’s-ease is of more value than a ton of gold. He who wraps a threadbare coat about a good conscience has gained a spiritual wealth far more desirable than any he has lost. God’s smile and a dungeon are enough for a true heart; His frown and a palace would be hell to a gracious spirit. Let the worst come to the worst, let all the talents go, we have not lost our treasure, for that is above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Meanwhile, even now, the Lord maketh the meek to inherit the earth, and no good thing doth He withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Battlefield Baggage…

If you’ve recently experienced a great spiritual victory, take a minute to check your luggage. You may have returned from the battle with something you definitely don’t need.  Amaziah, King of Judah, followed the advice of a man of God before he went to war, and the Lord gave him a great victory (2 Chr. 25:7-12). Then, incredible as it seems, Amaziah brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them (v.14).

 

There seems to be a critical time following every spiritual victory when we are particularly vulnerable to our own foolish mistakes. We may become proud, thinking we won the battle on our own. We may withdraw in a wave of depression and fear, wondering how we can possibly sustain the spiritual advance that has been made. We may suddenly reach out to embrace the very evil we set out to destroy.

 

Amaziah brought back the gods of the people whose army he had just defeated. Who could imagine it? And yet his battlefield baggage led to his downfall as king.

 

We need to follow up every spiritual triumph with a humble recommitment to the almighty God who gave it.

 

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September 25

Ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.–DEUT. xii. 7.

Sweet is the smile of home; the mutual look
When hearts are of each other sure;
Sweet all the joys that crowd the household nook,
The haunt of all affections pure.
J. KEBLE.

Is there any tie which absence has loosened, or which the wear and tear of every-day intercourse, little uncongenialities, unconfessed misunderstandings, have fretted into the heart, until it bears something of the nature of a fetter? Any cup at our home-table whose sweetness we have not fully tasted, although it might yet make of our daily bread a continual feast? Let us reckon up these treasures while they are still ours, in thankfulness to God.
ELIZABETH CHARLES.

We ought daily or weekly to dedicate a little time to the reckoning up of the virtues of our belongings,–wife, children, friends,–contemplating them then in a beautiful collection. And we should do so now, that we may not pardon and love in vain and too late, after the beloved one has been taken away from us to a better world.
JEAN PAUL RICHTER.

 

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Quote of the Day

“Imagine the disciples’ surprise when the Son of God put Himself in the role of a lowly servant and knelt to wash their feet.”

– by Charles Stanley (from A Lesson in Washing Feet?)

Today’s Answer

We Must Forgive Others?

James MacDonald

Forgiveness is a decision I’m making. In Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus said, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, [don’t miss this] if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Now, sometimes a passage of Scripture seems complicated as soon as you read it. That’s not the case when we realize what Matthew 6:14-15 says. Jesus’ words are stunningly clear. Read them again above.

Do you get it? I mean, those are pretty serious verses, right? Not hard to understand—just hard to undertake. You read them and think, “That’s gonna leave a mark! I’m going to have to look again at how forgiving I am.” That’s nothing you want to be messing around about, or sort-of getting it right. The verses aren’t complicated—but they will definitely complicate your life if you are an un-forgiving person!

And it’s not saying that you get saved by forgiving. It is saying that people who are really are saved are forgiving people, increasingly so. Not perfectly, not entirely, but increasingly we are more and more forgiving. As the love of Christ penetrates our hearts more and more deeply and more and more genuinely, we just become more forgiving people. Forgiveness is one of the expected by-products of genuine salvation.

You ought to be the most forgiving person that you work with. Out of all the people, when they talk about you, they’re like, “Man, he’s not a guy who holds grudges. He’s just not someone who finds fault.” “She doesn’t try to make people pay, she just lets it go. She just moves on. She’s not petty.” “He’s not a scorekeeper. He’s just not like that. He’s forgiving; that’s what he is.” That’s what people ought to be saying about you. The more you get to know Jesus, the more it ought to be true in your life that you choose forgiveness.

Taken from “The Choice to Forgive” by Walk in the Word (used by permission).

 

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WHICH ARE YOU?

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”Philippians 4:13

A young woman went to her mother and told her how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked. “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. After being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Or are you an egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Do you have a fluid spirit, but after a loved-one’s death, a relationship breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have you become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside you are bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or are you like a coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If I am like the bean, when things are at their worst, I get better and change the situation around me through Christ-likeness.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?

RESPONSE: Christians are like carrots, eggs or coffee beans. They don’t know how strong their response is until they get into hot water. Which are you?

PRAYER: Lord, help me realize that every experience You gives me, every person You put in my path, is the perfect preparation only You can see.

 

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Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul, linebacker Ryan Anderson and linebacker Chris Carter kneel with teammates.
Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul, linebacker Ryan Anderson and linebacker Chris Carter kneel with teammates. ( Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

On Sunday evening, the lead story on the Huffington Post announced, “FOOTBALL TAKES THE KNEE” while the lead story on the Drudge Report proclaimed, “NFL TAKES KNEE.” Left and right both agreed on the major news of the day. Beyond that, there was little agreement to be found.

NFL owners expressed their solidarity with the protestors and their disappointment with President Trump.

In the words of NFL team owner (and previous Trump supporter) Robert Kraft, “Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”

In contrast, NASCAR owners made clear that such protests had no place in their sport.

And so, when NASCAR team owner Richard Childress was asked “what he would do if one of his employees protested during the anthem,” he replied, “Get you a ride on a Greyhound bus when the national anthem is over. I told them anyone who works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people have gave [sic] their lives for it. This is America.”

Earlier in the week, the president had referred to NFL players who knelt in protest during the national anthem as [expletives] who should be fired, also disinviting the NBA’s Golden State Warriors to the White House. In response, LeBron James calledPresident Trump a “bum.”

Is there a right and wrong in all this? How do we sort things out?

Kevin Durant commended the NFL players for bringing a unified and unifying message, writing, “… I think our NFL players are doing a great job of sending a great message, and we stand behind them as athletes, and we support them as well.”

In contrast, conservative Joel Pollack wrote, “President Donald Trump called out former 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick and other NFL players on Friday for protesting the national anthem, expressing what millions of football fans have already registered by tuning out.

“But NFL officialdom, Hollywood, the mainstream media, and left-wingers in all quarters have distorted what he said, to the point where entire teams felt obligated to protest—something.”

How, then, do we sort things out? Is there really a right side and a wrong side?

Here are six points to consider (with the hope of bringing some clarity and with the risk of getting everyone mad at me):

1. The American flag is associated with sacrifices made for our national freedom, and it represents the best of our nation. Therefore, protesting during the national anthem should be avoided since it is perceived as unpatriotic.

In this light, it would have been better if Colin Kaepernick had found a better way to express his concerns about alleged social injustice.

It’s true that he launched a national movement of sorts, but his actions (and those of others in past weeks) drew more attention to the man than to the message, bringing more division than awareness.

2. If we want to celebrate America’s greatness, we can’t ignore America’s faults.

I agree with those who blame President Obama’s identity politics for much of the racial division in our country today, but I also agree with those who say that there are systemic problems in our justice system, with rich and poor not being treated equally (and, in many cases, blacks and white not receiving equal treatment).

We can stand for patriotism and justice together. Don’t they go hand in hand? Don’t they support and complement each other?

3.The debate about the protests is not a debate about race. It’s true that most NFL players are black and that most of Trump’s Alabama crowd was white. And it’s true that most of the Golden State Warriors, who are not going to the White House, are black, while most of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, who are going to the White House, are white.

But the ultimate issues here are not black and white issues, unless we want to claim that no blacks are patriotic or that no whites care about social justice. To make this into a race debate is to play into the hands of the race baiters.

4. Incendiary rhetoric begets more incendiary rhetoric.

Speaking to a conservative crowd in Alabama, President Trump knew he was on solid ground when he ripped into protesting NFL players, calling them expletives who should be fired.

To paraphrase, “How dare these spoiled brats despise the blood that was shed for their freedom!”

But as president, his role is not only to appeal to his base. He must also rally the nation around important causes. Comments like this have the opposite effect.

And when America’s commander in chief derides others in such terms, he only stokes the fires of division, also opening the doors to outrageous comments like LeBron’s “bum” remark.

Can you imagine what the liberal response would have been if a famous white athlete had called President Obama a bum? Conversely, can you imagine what the conservative response would have been if President Obama had referred to MLB’s Albert Pujols and Tony LaRussa as expletives for attending a Glenn Beck rally in Washington, D.C.?

6. Most Americans want sports to be sports.

It’s likely that ratings will continue to drop as games continue to be politicized and Americans feel our flag is being disrespected. Must everything be politicized?

Why can’t athletes entertain their loyal fans while finding ways to raise awareness of important causes outside the playing field? They have instant media audiences and, with their large followings, they could recruit rather than alienate.

6. Once again, this is about President Trump.

No political figure in memory has been able to drive the news like Donald Trump drives the news, shifting our attention from North Korea to the NFL in the blink of an eye. He even sets the parameters for debate and discussion, virtually setting up the talking points for both sides in advance.

And so, what was a fairly minor issue in the NFL (in terms of numbers of players protesting) became a massive issue overnight, with several hundred players involved in making a statement one way or another. The response even trickled into a Major League Baseball game.

As one professional athlete commented to me in private, the protest on Sunday was a response to the president’s attack more than it was a statement about social justice issues.

Mr. Trump now has a fresh set of enemies, and, unfortunately, the race card is being played against him.

But there’s a silver lining to all this. If our president recognizes the sacred entrustment that has been given to him—he has been elected to lead the entire nation—he can use his marketing genius to unite, rather than divide.

Let’s pray that he’ll find a way to tweet constructively rather than destructively (I know that’s a tall order, but that’s why we pray!) and that those who oppose him would take the olive branch and put their own weapons down.

I honestly believe that those standing for patriotism and those standing for justice are seeking one and the same thing: an America that is truly great. And in the end, what everyone desires is the same: to be treated with dignity and respect.

If each of us acted that way today, treating with dignity and respect even those we differ with, we could start a movement of our own. Shall we?

Dr. Michael Brown(www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

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Those who feel like the least are the very ones God wants to use. (Pixabay/blueMix)

Have you ever felt like you were too small to be used by God? If so, you are in good company. God is in the business of taking infinitely small things, mixing them with his amazing nature by the power of His Spirit and then making something extraordinary. No matter where you’ve come from or how small your beginnings, God wants to grant you discernment to receive revelation from Him and then bring the kingdom to bear on the time and place in which you live.

Scripture is full of people who felt they were too small to be used of God. Even the Apostle Paul, who wrote more of the Bible than any other author, felt this way. In one verse he writes, “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” (1 Cor. 15:9), and in another he says, “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the incomprehensible riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8).

Small Beginnings

I often refer to myself as being like the prophet Amos, due to my similar obscure background and the nature of my prophetic calling. I grew up in Cowgill, Missouri, which had a population of 259 at that time and is now even smaller. My family was not prestigious. No famous person has ever come from Cowgill, and there are no mega-churches or institutions of higher learning there. It is a community in farm country, where people work hard for a living. In other words, absolutely nothing in my geographical, familial or social background could have prepared me for the prophetic commission I have been pursuing for my entire adult life. But as prophet Cindy Jacobs likes to say, “God knows!”

Back in Old Testament Judah, Amos started out as a “nobody,” too—his family was not part of the nobility, he had never been associated with any school of the prophets, and he didn’t grow up in urbane surroundings but in a rural setting where he took care of sheep:

“But Amos answered Amaziah: ‘I am no prophet, and I am no prophet’s disciple. Rather, I am a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore trees.  But the Lord took me away from the flock, and the Lord said to me, “Go, prophesy to My people Israel”‘” (Amos 7:14-15).

Amos had never expected to hear God’s voice, and he had not anticipated becoming a prophet. However, he obeyed his prophetic calling, and he applied himself to learning what he needed to know to be faithful to that calling. He is best known for making public a word about how God was setting a “plumb line” in the nation of Israel to measure the truth and righteousness of the people and their rulers. The Spirit of God gave him this vision:

The Plumb Line of the Word of the Lord

The Lord was standing by a wall made using a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. The Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?”

And I said, “A plumb line.”

Then the Lord said, “See, I am putting a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel. I will forgive them no more” (Amos. 7:7-8).

God’s plumb line is all-important, not only for aligning crooked human life with His perfect uprightness, but also for discerning His voice in the first place. Amid all the noise of the world, we need to be able to distinguish God’s voice clearly. God wants you to know what He is saying, even if you never need to wear a prophet’s mantle in public.

Like Amos, I work hard to bring a plumb line that can help the people of God do everything according to the word of the Lord. Whether I write books or conduct seminars or lead prayer gatherings, I endeavor to operate to the best of my ability according to what He has taught me. My primary resource, of course, is the Word of God, the Bible. But years of personal experience have made a huge difference in how I have learned to apply the Word. The Holy Spirit is always active, and I try always to remain on the alert for His stirrings. The Spirit is our best teacher, and even as I present what I have learned about receiving and discerning what God reveals to His people, I want to be sensitive to new insights and new ways of communicating the truth.

Learning to Receive and Discern Revelation From God

I want to pass down to you the keys that have been passed down to me. You too can learn how to receive revelation from God through your natural senses, such as sight and hearing, and how to open yourself up to supernatural senses through which you can know even better what God wants to show you. You can also learn discernment—what to do when Satan tries to infiltrate God’s message, and how to live a healthy, balanced, dynamic, discerning life of faith.

Each of us needs to become a discerner—no matter what our personal background or specific gift or function in the body of Christ. Although some believers are especially gifted as prophets, every follower of Jesus receives the gifts of revelation and discernment. And every believer needs to use them. In fact, without discernment and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, we cannot progress in our use of any of the gifts and callings.

In the final analysis, developing discernment is not so much about knowing the future as it is about bringing the kingdom of God to bear on the time and place in which you live. The gospel of John begins with the words, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us … full of grace and truth” (John 1:14), referring to the coming of Jesus Christ to earth. In a very real way, you and I bring God’s Word to dwell in the midst of the world as we remain sensitive to the flow of His Spirit. Through our relationship with God, we receive revelation. And as we bring that revelation to the world around us, we incarnate His Word in our very ordinary lives—just as Amos did.

God Wants to Do Something Extraordinary Through You!

No matter what your current station in life, or where you’ve come from, you can receive revelation and grow in spiritual discernment. God wants to use you powerfully as a plumb line of God’s word to everyone around you. Just as he has done in my life, the life of Amos and that of the apostle Paul, God will mix his Spirit with your smallness and make something extraordinary!

Dr. James Gollis the founder of Encounters NetworkPrayer Storm and helps carry on the work of Compassion Acts. For information on his online school visit: geteschool.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.

 

 

TODAY‘S

Christian Quote

“Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. ”
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– Luke 12:15 (Revised Standard Version)

 

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10 Things Real Christian Women Shouldn’t Do

  • Cindi McMenaminAuthor

I’ll never forget the day my daughter, Dana, opened my eyes to what the world at large believes about Christians.

When Dana had visited Kosovo for a missions project during college, she and other believers on the trip were instructed not to identify themselves as Christians. They were, instead, to refer to themselves as Christ-followers.

“In some countries, the term Christian is synonymous with American and carries with it negative connotations – it says more about one’s political beliefs and excesses than personal values,” Dana told me. “The term Christ-follower describes a Person and a lifestyle.”

Upon hearing that, I was convicted through the years to make sure that my life resembles a Christ-follower, and that I follow a Person, not the rules and expectations of a political association, a religious denomination, or a long-held tradition. So, in an attempt to share with you my own convictions, let me give you this list I’ve come up with on the 10 things real Christ-following women shouldn’t do, so we aren’t living out the negative stereotypes others have of Christians.

1. Ignore the Needs of Others

Here in America it’s easy to be comfortable and live in excess even though people are suffering around us — whether it’s across town or across the world. In James 2:15-17we are warned against being all talk and no action: “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” 

Furthermore, when a rich man asked Jesus what good thing he must do to get eternal life, Jesus told him to obey God’s laws including “love your neighbor as yourself.” When this man claimed to keep all of these laws, Jesus challenged that love and said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”(Matthew 9:21). It’s a pretty tall order – one that few of us (myself included) can follow. But to be a Christ-follower, we have to be willing to lose it all to gain Him.

2. Prioritize Your Possessions over People

Jesus warned us about the lure of material possessions and how they could interfere with our priorities. He wanted His followers to be investing in their eternal home, not amassing huge collections here on earth to horde and keep to ourselves.

In Matthew 6:19-20 Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” A Christ-follower invests in kingdom work, eternal priorities, and the things that will outlast this earth, like souls rather than stuff. For you and me that means if all of our investments are this side of heaven and our homes are so nice we don’t want anyone dirty or smelly sitting on our new couch, or we can’t stand the thought of getting our freshly manicured nails dirty in order to help someone, we are not living – and thinking – like a Christ-follower.

3. Worry and Stress about the Unknown

Have you ever seen a well-loved child worry about his next meal, or his physical protection or his future stability? Jesus wanted His followers to be secure in His love and care for them like children who have no worries because they know they are loved and protected. Yet women are experts at worrying about the unknown. Even Christian women.

Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear… Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”(Matthew 6:25-26). When you stress and worry you are saying to others that you have no one acting on your behalf, no one to help you through your ordeal, and no one who can move mountains to come through for you. When you exercise faith and trust in a sovereign God who can take care of the details of your life, you are living like a Christ-follower.

4. Obsess over Anything Other than Christ

Okay, I’m guilty. Over the years, I’ve obsessed over makeup, skin care products, my weight, working out, pink clothing, cute shoes, Cinderella dolls, should I keep going? I have run after many things, all the while attending my Bible studies and being a good Christian girl. It isn’t until the last couple of decades that I have had to take Christ’s words seriously: “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). If we’re not supposed to love our own family more than God, then certainly we aren’t to obsess over things or activities either.

Women are experts at obsessing. We can obsess over neatness, over cleanliness, over avoiding germs, over our looks, or our houses, or our husbands, or our children. Whatever we pour our hearts into, whatever occupies our thoughts and desires, whatever becomes a priority in our lives over than that of loving God, is something we obsess over. This is also considered unfaithfulness because putting anything (food, causes, friendships, dating relationships, fiancée or husband, children, job, career, success) higher than God on our list of desires turns that thing (or person) into a god that we seek. God is a jealous God. He hates when we run toward, obsess after, or seek for anything above Him (Matthew 6:33). A Christ-follower is just that – one who follows hard after Christ, not anything or anyone else.

5. Refuse to Forgive Someone

Through the years I’ve received emails from Christian women telling me the circumstances of their hurt or betrayal and asking for justification to not forgive. I can’t find it anywhere in the Word of God and certainly not in the words of Jesus.

Christ said the world would know His followers by their love. And the greatest evidence of love is forgiveness – even when we feel wronged, betrayed, and taken advantage of. Even when someone doesn’t specifically ask for our forgiveness or show remorse. Even when we don’t feel they deserve our forgiveness. In Matthew 6, Jesus taught us to pray “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (verse 12). True Christ-followers realize they are personally not worthy of Christ’s forgiveness, but because they are so grateful for it, they freely extend the same forgiveness to others. Christ-followers forgive – without exception – as they have been forgiven.

6. Gossip about Others

It happens. We gossip about others in the form of “sharing a prayer request” or voicing our concern about another person’s “fall from grace.” But a Christ-follower is burdened by the sins and frustrations of others and lifts them up in prayer, without hanging them out to dry. Scripture instructs: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”(Ephesians 4:29).

Jesus said the second greatest commandment, next to loving God with all your heart soul, mind, and strength, was to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Love doesn’t gossip. It doesn’t run down another’s reputation. Instead “it always protects”(1 Corinthians 13:7, NASB). A Christ-follower speaks words that Jesus would. And Jesus didn’t gossip.

7. Judge Non-Believers for Not Acting Like Believers

I was guilty of this just after I married. Thankfully, I married a man studying for the pastorate who quickly set me straight. “Why expect an unbeliever to act like a believer?” Hugh asked me. “When someone is apart from Christ, they are under the slavery of sin. It is our job to make sure we are living under the mastery of Jesus Christ.” Then he shared with me Romans 6:20-22“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness… But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” 

A Christ-follower doesn’t point the finger at sinners and judge them. She recognizes that Christ will judge them and she prays that their eyes will be opened and their heart surrendered to a new master, the Lord Jesus Christ.

8. Expect Other Christians to Live by Your Convictions

My husband isn’t the only one who points out to me when I act unbecoming of a Christ-follower. My 25-year-old daughter will call me on “judging” even when I make what I consider “verbal observations” about others. “That’s judging, Mom,” she says. And annoying as it is to hear her say that, 98 percent of the time she’s right.

Just because I have personal convictions that prevent me from going certain places, drinking certain substances, and succumbing to certain fashions, doesn’t mean others are wrong – or less Christian – who exercise their liberties in Christ and choose to do things differently than me. The Apostle Paul told Christ-followers in Galatians 5:1“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (a set of laws you believe you must follow in order to earn God’s approval).”

If you were raised in Sunday School like me, this is a tough one to kick when you’re an adult. But Christ showed grace to the sinner, to the new believer who was ignorant, and to the follower whose heart was right before Him. The only people Jesus didn’t show grace and patience toward were the “religious” people who were proud of themselves for keeping “the rules” and looked down on others whom they didn’t believe were as holy as themselves. Ouch!

9. Fill Up Social Media Platforms with Self

Okay, I know I’m going to step on some toes here and lest I sound judgmental and become guilty of number 8 which I just told you NOT to do, please hear me out. I’m sorry if you see it as a healthy self-esteem, but posting selfie after selfie on social media says “I’m all about myself.” Scripture says when we follow Christ we become all about Him. John the Baptist said “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30, NKJV). For me to decrease, my selfies must decrease, too.

Showing no selfie-control means we haven’t yet grasped the truth of Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Put other people in those pictures with you and make it about the good time you are sharing with someone else. When people see you, they should see Christ, not a bunch of pictures of just you.

10. Get Easily Offended

The spirit of offense is alive and well in churches today. It looks like this.

  1. You are hurt by something someone said or did to you.
  2. You refuse to talk to that person who has hurt you. Or, worse yet…
  3. You share your wound with another person who then sides with you and also alienates the person who hurt you.

Not only does Scripture tell us that “it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11), but the Apostle Paul told the First Century Christ-followers “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God”(Colossians 3:1-3, NASB). To be hidden with Christ is to identify with Him so completely that our personal feelings don’t dictate our actions, and we don’t care about our image or reputation anymore. It is a form of complete surrender. And it is what will tell the world you are not merely a Christian but a Christ-follower.  

Cindi McMenamin is a Bible teacher, pastor’s wife, and national speaker who helps women and couples strengthen their walk with God and their relationships. She is the author of 16  books, including the best-selling When Women Walk Alone(more than 125,000 copies sold), When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts,When God Sees Your Tears, and  her newest book, Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You.  For more on her speaking ministry, books, or free articles to strengthen your soul, marriage, or parenting, see her website www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

Seeing Is Disbelieving

READ

Deuteronomy 1:6-8,19-33

For we live by believing and not by seeing (2 Corinthians 5:7).

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true,” said philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. The story of the Israelites illustrates how easy it is to be fooled into believing what’s false and to disbelieve the truth.

Two months after they left Egypt, the Israelites arrived at Mt. Sinai where God gave them the Law (Exodus 19:1). After eleven months there, God ordered them to move to the Promised Land, and they traveled to Kadesh-barnea—its southern border (Deuteronomy 1:6-8,19).

God assured them He had given them the land (vv.20-21). But the Israelites wanted to explore it and gather military intelligence to help them take possession of it (v.22; Numbers 13:17-20). God, however, had already told them that Canaan was a “fertile and spacious land . . . flowing with milk and honey,” and also about the people living there (Exodus 3:8). He had even set out a fail-proof military strategy for them (23:20-30): He would “fight for [them]” (Deuteronomy 1:30), protect them, and bring them safely into the Promised Land (Exodus 23:20).

The Israelites saw that Canaan was “indeed a good land” (Deuteronomy 1:25). But they also saw that “the people of the land [were] taller and more powerful . . . their towns [were] large, with walls rising high into the sky!” And giants were roaming about (v.28). Based on what they saw, they concluded they wouldn’t be able to take possession of the land. Worse, they said God had brought them there “to be slaughtered”! (v.27).

Because they were living by sight instead of faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), what they saw led to fear, not faith (Deuteronomy 1:32). May we instead live by faith and trust in God and His promises.  —K.T. Sim

MORE

Read 2 Corinthians 4:18, 5:7 and Hebrews 11:1, 12:2 to see how you can learn to live by faith, not by sight.

NEXT

How does God’s promise in Deuteronomy 1:30-31 encourage and prepare you to fight for what’s true? How has “the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness”?

 

Are You Suffering from the Jonah Syndrome?

We all know that Jonah was the prophet who tried to run from God’s call. But do you know the reason he tried to run? Jonah was afraid that if he preached repentance to the people of Nineveh, who were Israel’s arch enemies, God would forgive them.

In other words, Jonah had a problem with the goodness of God.

He would have been much happier if God simply wiped out the people of Nineveh rather than had mercy on them, and he actually complained about this at the end of the book.

But as shocking as it is to see the wickedness of Jonah’s heart, many of us are just like him. I call it the Jonah Syndrome, and in times past, it has affected me too.

Let me explain exactly what I mean.

We see from 2 Kings 14:25 that Jonah had no problem prophesying that the Lord would expand the borders of Israel, but when it came to going to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, to warn the people that destruction was coming, he looked for a way out, knowing that the Lord was a merciful God and that if the Ninevites repented, God would forgive them.

Did Jonah care about his personal reputation, not wanting to look bad if the prophesied judgment didn’t come to pass? That could definitely be part of it. But what we do know is that he had a real problem with the mercy of God.

The Scriptures state that after the people repented in sackcloth and ashes, “When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it” (Jonah 3:10).

And how did Jonah react? This was the greatest response to any message preached in human history, the greatest altar call ever given (to put it in contemporary terms).

Did Jonah rejoice? Not one bit. In fact, the Word says, “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry” (Jonah 4:1).

How remarkable! Jonah was terribly upset that God had mercy on more than 120,000 people.

“And he prayed to the LORD and said, ‘O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ And the LORD said, ‘Do you do well to be angry?’” (Jonah 4:2-4)

But it gets worse. God caused a plant to shelter Jonah from the heat, but then it died quickly, and the prophet got even angrier.

The Lord said to him, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” (Jonah 4:10-11)

You might say, “Well, Jonah’s attitude was miserable, but certainly none of us have attitudes that bad.”

Are you sure?

Have you ever gone through a church split and found yourself upset because God still blessed the people on the “other side” (of course, the “wrong side” from your perspective)?

Have you ever been hurt by a ministry and grumbled when the Lord continued to bless them and even work miracles for them?

Have you ever been glad (rather than grieved) to see a colleague fall, as if this vindicated you? (If a brother or sister’s failure is your success, you do not have the heart of the Lord.)

These are all symptoms of the Jonah Syndrome, and the sooner we recognize them, the sooner we can repent and ask the Lord for a transformation of heart.

A number of years ago, I was involved in a very difficult split, one which brought pain and confusion to many people, as much as we all tried to avoid it. Yet God sustained both of the entities involved, to our mutual surprise.

“Lord, how can you bless those people when they treated us so poorly?” we thought to ourselves.

“God, surely you won’t sustain them when they are so wrong in this matter!” those on the other side thought to themselves.

Yet the Lord blessed and sustained us both while we struggled to find common ground in order to reconcile.

The key that unlocked the door for reconciliation was the recognition that God was for both entities involved in the split, since He cared for both equally, loved the sheep involved in both groups equally, and wanted to bless all of us equally. (It’s also important to realize that none of us are ever perfectly righteous, whichever “side” we are on.)

I remember well the night of reconciliation and the hugs and tears and laughs and renewed fellowship, and I remember well how we smiled at one another and said, “I bet you were surprised to see how the Lord came through for us and sustained us!”

Yes, both “sides” were surprised to see that the Lord was for both of us….

Let’s remember the Lord’s words in the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, where he rebukes those who had a problem with the owner’s goodness, asking, “Are you envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:15)

And let’s remember the words of Jacob (James), that “judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (James 2:13)

As we have received mercy, let us show mercy, never forgetting there are not different “camps” or “sides” in the Body of Christ–even if we use those terms descriptively–but just one family with one Father, and He desires to do good to all his children.

Can we share his heart?


Content provided by OnePlace.com.

 

 

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Where to find encouragement when you’re weary

September 25

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Hebrews 12:1

I went to a retirement party for a friend of mine awhile back. Now, one thing I love about retirement parties is the fact that so many people gather together to reflect on one person’s impact. Stories were shared of how this person had encouraged and inspired others and helped them to not just be better workers, but better people.

As I sat and listened to story after story of how this man had inspired others, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the great cloud of witnesses described in today’s passage – those believers who’ve gone before us who cheer us on and encourage us as brothers and sisters in the faith.

One very clear example of this in my life is my pastor from years ago, Dr. W. Fred Swank. Dr. Swank is now in heaven, but every time I think about him, I’m encouraged by the example he was, and is, to me today. It’s his example that very often gives me the encouragement I need when times get tough.

As we think about the believers who’ve gone before us, cheering us on and encouraging us in the great race of life, that should encourage us. So reflect on those examples of faithfulness, whether you knew them personally or not. They’re there to give you hope and strength to run the great race of life!

FIND ENCOURAGEMENT TO RUN THE GREAT RACE OF LIFE BY LOOKING TO THOSE WHO’VE GONE BEFORE YOU AND FOLLOWING THEIR EXAMPLE!

 

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From More Than a Bucket List

DON’T LET AGE BE AN EXCUSE

Don’t be fooled. Many people—of all ages—are walking around alive, but that in no way means they are truly living. Do you, for instance, live as if your best years are behind you? What dreams have you written off? What are you sitting around not doing? If you have stopped your own clock or moved up your expiration date, you are living contrary to God’s good plans for you—and frankly, you stand in direct opposition to His authority over you.

If you woke up today with your heart beating and your lungs pumping, remember that God has a purpose for this day as well as for your life. He is the Author and Finisher of everything that is you. To live on less than that miracle is to go nose-to-nose with the Creator of the universe (not a good plan). It may be time to recharge the engines and do some serious CPR on your life, your perspective, and your dreams! Never allow age be your excuse for not doing anything.

Consider what these silver successes accomplished in the second half of people’s lives:

  • Benjamin Franklin played an instrumental role in drafting and signing the Declaration of Independence. He was seventy.
  • Leonardo da Vinci drew sketches even in his sixties.
  • Leo Tolstoy was writing novels into his seventies.
  • Michelangelo sculpted until he was eighty-nine.
  • Mother Teresa ministered to the poor and dying until she was eighty-seven.
  • Famed American folk artist Grandma Moses began painting in her seventies after abandoning embroidery because of arthritis.
  • Colonel Sanders was sixty-five when his chicken finally caught on.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first Little House book at sixty-five.
  • Julia Child published Mastering the Art of French Cooking at fifty.

Japanese businessman Momofuku Ando invented instant ramen noodles. He was forty-eight.

REAL-LIFE CHALLENGE:Find the most active peers youknow, and hang out with them. Ask them their secrets to staying young physically and mentally.

Order your own copy of More Than a Bucket List

 

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Guilty or Not Guilty

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” – Hebrews 10:22
When I was twenty years old I fell into a deep depression. I began taking antidepressants and felt as old as a grandfather. My doctor diagnosed me with eighty-three ulcers and said I would have to make some serious life-style changes or have part of my intestines or colon removed. At the time I had no idea what was causing me such misery. Then I learned that guilt was literally eating away at me.
My guilt was a merciful wake-up call from God, showing me that I’d strayed into dangerous territory–my decisions we’re not only hurting me but they were hurting others.
Guilt can be a merciless taskmaster, that drives us far from God, or it can gently lead us back to a right relationship with Him.
Do you struggle with guilt? Don’t ignore it, but respond to the inner witness of the Holy Spirit.
“Guilt is the source of sorrow, ‘tis the fiend, Th’ avenging fiend, that follows us behind, with whips and stings” – Nicholas Rowe (1966 –      )

The Daily Word of Hope Devotional

Bible Fun Fact: When Moses lead the people out of Egypt, he took the bones of Joseph with them (Ex 13:19).

Justice

Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful. Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Set free, and you will be set free. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. Luke 6:36 WEB

Once I heard an elder at our church, who was about about 75 years old say: ‘Everything that I said I would never do, I have now done.’ Then he went on to explain that every time that found himself looking down on others, he later found himself in the same situation.

This is something that I wish I had known when I was much younger: When we judge others, or look down on their circumstances, we open the door for the very same thing to happen to us. Perhaps when young and youthful we look down at someone overweight’ then years later it is us.

Jesus told us: ‘As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them’ (Luke 6:31). On the surface it means ‘Treat people like you would like to be treated’ but it goes far deeper than that. The way that you treat others now, is how you will be treated in the future. How is that for poetic justice?

You will reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7). That is the pattern Jesus gave us: Don’t judge, and you will not be judged. Don’t condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you.

God’s laws are like the law of gravity, they work invisibly, silently, and affect everyone. All those are still true when reversed: Judge others, and you will be judged. Condemn others, and you will be condemned. Refuse to forgive others, and you will remain unforgiven. Don’t give to others, and it will not be given to you.

If you know of an area of your life where you have criticized or frowned on another, do yourself a favor and repent of it now before you get to take a walk in their shoes.

Prayer: Heavenly Father please forgive me of being critical of others, or passing judgement on them. I realize that is Your job. Help me to see the world through Your eyes, help me break this cycle and to become the best version of myself, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

 

 

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

Our Justification

Just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:26

Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. Conscience no longer accuses. Judgment now decides for the sinner instead of against him. Memory looks back upon past sins with deep sorrow for the sin, but yet without dreading any penalty to come; for Christ has paid the debt of His people to the last jot and tittle and received the divine receipt. Unless God can be so unjust as to demand double payment for one debt, no soul for whom Jesus died as a substitute can ever be cast into hell.

It seems to be one of the principles of our enlightened nature to believe that God is just; we feel that it must be so, and this terrifies us at first. But is it not marvelous that this very same belief that God is just later becomes the pillar of our confidence and peace! If God is just, I, a sinner, alone and without a substitute, must be punished. But Jesus stands in my place and is punished for me; and now, if God is just, I, a sinner, standing in Christ, can never be punished. God must change His nature before one soul for whom Jesus was a substitute can ever by any possibility suffer the punishment of the law.

Therefore, Jesus having taken the place of the believer-having rendered a full equivalent to divine wrath for all that His people ought to have suffered as the result of sin-the believer can shout with glorious triumph, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?”1 Not God, for He has justified; not Christ, for He has died, yes, has risen again. My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, He is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am or shall be or feel or know, but in what Christ is, in what He has done, and in what He is now doing for me. Hallelujah!

1) Romans 8:33

 

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Today‘s Scripture

“As the Scriptures say, ‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.” Ephesians 5:31-32 NLT

Thoughts for Today

In Ephesians 5:22-33 we see the apostle Paul presenting Christ and the Church as a pattern for marriage. God shows the importance and high standing of marriage by using Christ and the Church as a pattern to follow.

As you look at Christ and the Church as the model for marriage, the principles involved can take your union with your spouse to another plane of living. A Spirit-filled marriage, one controlled by the Holy Spirit and patterned after these scriptures in Ephesians, can become a miracle relationship. You can experience marriage as “the best thing this side of heaven.”

The atmosphere in a Spirit-filled marriage involves more than exercising spiritual gifts or having Scripture verses plastered on the walls. It is a husband wife sharing a daily walk with Christ in prayer, meditation, and Bible reading–communion with God and with each other.

Consider this …

Marriage according to God’s plan is a union of unconditional love, forgiveness, and service to each other . . . all leading to intimacy. The partners continually draw closer to each other. They know each other. They are truly “one flesh.” There is no hidden agenda–they can share openly with each other about everything.

Every marriage faces challenges. This kind of union does not happen easily, and it does not happen overnight. It takes a lifetime of learning and building. But if you both commit fully to God’s way . . . you can be united as one and lead your entire family into the blessings of God’s family plan.

Prayer

Lord, help us to grow in unconditional love, forgiveness, and service to each other. Help us find the kind of intimacy you planned for marriage. And help us lead our children according to your plan. In Jesus’ name . . .

 

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A Shoe Salesman
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
September 25, 2017

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'” Matthew 19:26

Dwight L. Moody was a poorly educated, unordained, shoe salesman who felt God’s call to preach the gospel. Early one morning he and some friends gathered in a hay field for a season of prayer, confession, and consecration. His friend Henry Varley said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.” Moody was deeply moved by these words. He later went to a meeting where Charles Spurgeon was speaking. In that meeting Moody recalled the words spoken by his friend, “The world had yet to see!…with and for and through and in!…A man!” Varley meant any man! Varley didn’t say he had to be educated, or brilliant, or anything else. Just a man! Well, by the Holy Spirit in him, he’d be one of those men. Then suddenly, in that high gallery, he saw something he’d never realized before. It was not Mr. Spurgeon, after all, who was doing that work; it was God. And if God could use Mr. Spurgeon, why should He not use the rest of us, and why should we not all just lay ourselves at the Master’s feet and say to Him, “Send me! Use me!”

D.L. Moody was an ordinary man who sought to be fully and wholly committed to Christ. God did extraordinary things through this ordinary man. Moody became one of the great evangelists of modern times. He founded a Bible college, Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, which sends out men and women trained in service for God. Are you an ordinary man or woman in whom God wants to do extraordinary things? God desires that for every child of His. Ask God to do extraordinary things in your life. Begin today to trust Him to accomplish great things for His Kingdom through you.

 

GettingPersonal

Today, I’m feeling down, again…..and, yes, this was caused by the same people…….I guess I now have been given proof of my suspicions…….I should have listened to my fella and to my two sons here…..they told me all along that the people up in Pennsylvania don’t REALLY care about us down here and that they think of us as “hillbillies and outsiders”……this truly hurts!

Broken1

It all started over President Trump and what he said about the NFL players disrespecting our flag….because yesterday, setting a first-time precedent, the Steelers refused to even come out during the National anthem…..so, I posted my opinion of this disrespect, and then got into it with my one daughter-in-law, Cindy, and some of her friends……well, during it all, I discovered that she now has the same opinion of me as my daughter and granddaughters do…….she told me that I MUST move back to “civilization”…..well, what does THIS mean?  Does she think I live in outer space?  Because, believe me, the people HERE are FAR MORE civilized than anyone up there!!  At least, the people here have RESPECT for each other’s feelings…..and they give aid without expecting to be PAID for it!  People up there are stuck on thinking that WHAT they have means more than what they ARE…….morals and values up there are screwed up……..

Then, my one granddaughter, Mariah, had to pipe in and have her say, too……her comment: “OMG, ‘this woman’, anything so she has reason to hate on someone.”  “This woman”, and not “Nana” anymore?  Why does she hate me?  I felt it my entire visit up there……it’s the main reason I won’t ever go back…….why I couldn’t make much of an effort to go to Mindy’s wedding….hell, they didn’t want me there anyhow, my daughter practically said as much!  

Well, I UNfriended all of them….next, I’ll block them all…..AFTER I have MY say, at long last!

Broken2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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