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Archive for January, 2012

Request

 

My husband is a minister who conducts an expanded altar call at the end of his sermon. He asks those who wish to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, as well as those with prayers or other requests, to come forward.

To the surprise and delight of the congregation our three-year-old daughter, without a word to me, got up and made her way forward. She waited patiently while the others ahead of her made a request. When her turn came, my husband leaned down to ask for her request. She whispered, “Can we go to the restaurant after church?”

…..Docs Daily Chuckle (pkaine@roadrunner.com) by way of “Christian Voices” (www.ChristianVoicesWorldwide.net)

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Joy, Joy, Joy
by Ryan Duncan, TheFish.com

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. – Psalm 5:11

I am a pessimist, just ask anybody I know. For me, the cup will always be half empty and whatever’s in the cup will probably be backwash. So you can imagine the concept of joy has always been rather hard for me. The Bible, particularly the book of Psalms, is constantly telling Christians to have joy. Reading about joy is easy though, putting it into practice is a lot harder.   

How are we supposed to have joy when our cars break down, when bills pile up, when bad days just get progressively worse? For me, it’s almost insulting for someone to tell me things like, “count your blessings” or, “things could have been worse” when I’m in the middle of cleaning up a crisis. I’ve often wondered if this makes me a bad Christian. Over time, I did realize my attitude could certainly use some work, but I also learned that our idea of joy has become somewhat skewed.                       

Take a look at these verses from the book of John,

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. John 16:20-22

A pastor of mine once told me being joyful is not necessarily the same thing as being happy. We live in a fallen world, and odds are, we are going to have tough times over the years. So when the bad times come it doesn’t mean we have to dance around and be happy about it, you just have to remember that these moments won’t last forever. The bad things in our life cannot become what define us, instead, we have to trust God and remember the grace he has shown us. He will help us endure and won’t abandon us to sorrow or despair. So take a moment, whatever your situation, to be joyful. No matter how bad things get, God is with us.   

Intersecting Faith and Life

Take moment to pray and search your Bible for scripture that applies to your life.  

Further Reading

Psalm 132

Christianity.com

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This next Bible Verse for the Day is another one that many Christians need to get worked out with the Lord if they are violating it to any significant degree.

I will first give you two good verses on this subject matter, as they both fit perfectly together. Here are the two good verses, and then I will point out a few things to really key in on:

1.  But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

2.   “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12)

When Jesus is telling us that anyone who keeps looking back on their past is not fit for His kingdom, I believe He is telling us that we have to learn how to let the past fully go, no matter how bad our personal past may have been. And the 2nd verse from Paul perfectly confirms this when he tells us that he literally forgets those things which are now behind him, as he now wants to concentrate on pressing forward into the things that now lie ahead of him.

As we have said over and over, we firmly believe that God has a set divine purpose and plan for each person’s life. But many Christians never fulfill all of their divine destiny for the Lord because they could never get over and unbound from all the hurts and injustices of their past. They keep wailing in the misery of their past, and as a result, they cannot keep their eyes forward to concentrate on the present and the future like what Jesus and Paul are telling us to do in these two verses.

If any of you are having a hard time in breaking away from your bad past, we believe God will work with you to help you get a grip on what had occurred to you. He will want you to forgive all of the people who have hurt you. The Holy Spirit will also work with you in healing up any wounds that will need to be healed so the pain and trauma of these wounds do not prevent you from properly functioning in your present.

But after God has taken you back in memory lane for a certain length of time, the time will come where He will then want you to let the past go so you can get back into living in your present again. You cannot properly concentrate and focus on your present with what God will be wanting you to do for Him on a daily basis if you are always looking back and living in your past.

When Jesus says you will not be “fit” for His kingdom if you keep looking back on your past – these are some extremely words being used by Him and we as Christians need to get a grip on this if our past is holding us captive in any way.

Again, we already have another article in our main site just on this one topic if you would like to see some more good commentary on this issue. Here is the title link to the article we have in our main site:

“Letting Go Your Past”

BibleKnowledge.com

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“Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.”

I Thessalonians 5: 19-23a NIV

 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith; meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5: 22-23 KJV

Wisdom from the Spirit: “No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and God destined for our glory before time began.”

I Corinthians 2: 7 NIV

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are the temple.”

I Corinthians 3: 16-17 NIV

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21 NIV

Some Christians have difficulty discerning the difference between the occult, which is to be avoided and through which Satan can easily work, and the prompting of the Holy Spirit. They tend to lump all hard-to-explain, hard-to-understand occurrences into one bin labeled “questionable.” The main test for supernatural or spiritual gifts and transmissions is to realize that good comes only from God, and spiritual goodness is confirmed by God’s Holy Word, the Bible.

A person immersed in living the Christian life, in prayer, in study of Scripture will be less likely to question spiritual gifts and information that comes from God. Faith and obedience are living attributes for the believer and assist discernment. The well springs of living water, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, bring joy and affirmation for the Christian.

Matters such as these are hard to discuss and hard to word correctly. Young and new believers perhaps struggle with these insights and determinations more than others, but at any stage of our Christian walk we can suffer doubt and lack of understanding. Prayer is a constant source of strength and direction. Guided by the Bible, faith, and the Holy Spirit, each of us must work out these understandings and messages for ourselves.

…..Mary-Ellen Grisham (meginrose@gmail.com) (eternal_ink@associate.com) by way of “Christian Voices” (www.ChristianVoicesWorldwide.net)

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Psalm 8:5
Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

There are not many days that go by where I feel very holy. As much as I might like to be a reflection of Jesus Christ, I am afraid that my image is a very dim one at best. For each success I have at walking in the footsteps of Christ, I have a dozen failures where I have strayed from the path. And through it all, God still loves me totally. In my imperfection, God still reveres me and thinks I am good. It boggles the mind to realize that human beings are God’s pride and joy. Despite the grief and frustration we must be, God believes in us and helps us to be the best people that we can be. He loves His children and rejoices in their victories. Our Lord created us just lower than the angels; the most perfect of His creations.
 
Despair not. No matter how inadequate we might feel, we are considered beautiful by our Creator, and in the end it is His opinion, not ours, that makes all the difference in the world.
 
Prayer: Grant me spiritual wings that I might soar as an angel on this earth, O Lord. Help me to live up to the intention You had at my creation. Let me wear my crown wisely and proudly, to Your glory. Amen.
 
CHRISTIANITY.COM

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Today’s ReadingGenesis 36-38Matthew 10:21-42

Your Thoughts on Today’s Passage: A Believer’s Peace

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things where with one may edify another. Romans 14:19

Today, believers and unbelievers alike are looking for peace. But how do we follow after the things of peace?  Since everyone is longing and searching for peace, let’s first define the difference between the peace of the unbeliever with the peace of the believer.

The unbeliever is looking for peace in the outer circumstances of their lives. “If only the world was a peaceful place to be, if only we had a leader that would establish peace, if only everyone else would be kind to one another….then we would have peace” are the hopes and thoughts of the unbelievers. So, they look for leaders who could bring this kind of peace to their environment. We all agree with this kind of thinking to some extent. Wouldn’t we all be happy with world peace and conflict free circumstances? But Jesus tells us that in this world you will have tribulation and the Bible teaches that the only leader who will bring world peace is the spirit of the antichrist. World peace cannot last under his reign for Satan is the master of division, destruction, disaster and death.

A believer’s peace is different. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you.” The kind of peace Jesus gives is peace of heart. Christians should have great peace knowing that they are unconditionally loved and that God has a purpose for them. There is great peace seeing prayers answered and understanding the things of God. As a believer begins to meditate upon the things of God, the peace they receive in their hearts starts training their minds to think differently. We start hearing praise songs going through our minds and thanking God for His lovingkindness and goodness towards us. Finally, this peace of Christ is lived out through the believers’ behaviors. Their attitude is not negative and they smile for no reason. They are focused but not self centered. And their behavior starts reflecting a trust in God that all things will work together for good because they love God and know God loves them. A believer understands that it is not about conflict-free circumstances that bring peace but about Jesus who brings peace in the midst of all kinds of circumstances. So, we follow after the things of peace leading us to follow the Author of perfect peace Himself.

 

Daily Disciples Ministries, Inc.

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This next Bible verse for the day should be one that is not only memorized by all of us, but it is one that should also be kept front and center in our walk with the Lord so we never, ever forget to abide by the revelation that is in this extremely important verse.

This next verse will tell us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Just stop and think for a moment what kind of important revelation is being given to us by the Lord just in this one-line verse alone.

Bottom line – what words we choose to speak out to other people in this life can either bring them life or bring them death. As a result, we should all learn how to clean up our speech and how we express ourselves to others.

We need to build up others as to who they are in Christ with good and positive words of encouragement and edification, not tear them down with words of condemnation, harshness, and criticism.

Parents with their children, spouses with one another, and friends with one another all need to abide by the revelation that is in this most important verse. If we do, we can then bring true life, peace, happiness, joy, and harmony in the environments we are now currently living in and working in.

Once again, here is this extremely vital and important verse straight from the Word of God that can literally change the atmosphere in the environment you are currently living in:

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)

To those of you who are having a hard time in abiding by this verse, simply go to God the Father in prayer and ask Him, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to help clean up your speech life and how you express yourself to all of those around you. If you do, the Holy Spirit will then move in to help clean up your speech and how you talk and express yourself to others.

This is a deeper sanctifying type of work the Holy Spirit can do with each born-again believer if they will just simply go to God the Father in prayer and ask Him for this kind of help.

For more good verses and commentary on this topic, we have an article in our main site that has become one of our more popular articles with many of our readers. Here is the title link to this very good article we now have on this topic:

“Death and Life are in the Power of the Tongue”

 

BibleKnowledge.com

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