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A Clear Conscience Makes a Soft Pillow

Romans 13:5

Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

A young man came to me not long ago and told me he was having trouble sleeping. I asked him, “Why?” Now to some of you that might seem like the most basic of questions, but it follows my belief that we always know what’s wrong with us. Whether it is conscious or subconscious, we really do know. How? Because the Holy Spirit tells us. John 16:13a: “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” Hebrews 10:16: “First he says: ‘This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.'”
In our passage today, Paul tells us to submit to authorities because of our conscience. Not just to avoid punishment. In other words, regardless of whether we are caught, exposed, and punished, or our wrongdoing remains hidden — our conscience will know. The Holy Spirit will convict us.

The old saying goes, “A clear conscience makes a soft pillow.” Having trouble sleeping. Check out what’s troubling you. Do you have a clear conscience? What do you need to do?

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“I am in deep distress, but I love your teachings.” Psalm 119:143 CEV
 
Wouldn’t it be great if everything was daises and sunshine all the time? But it isn’t and I think we are doing a disservice to ourselves to expect it to be. I think we are also doing a disservice to God. Jesus did not promise us a rose garden or utopia. He warned us many times that it was going to be tough. We only make it harder on ourselves when we act all shocked when things don’t go as we had hoped.There are times when I am in deep distress. It does not come from a lack of faith. In fact, it is actually me working out my faith in Jesus. It is me facing my weaknesses and submitting them to the authority of Jesus. Sometimes there is some wrestling involved until I get to the place of laying it all down and saying “not my will but yours be done”.
Such times do not mean that we love the Lord any less. It is not even saying that we do not have faith. We can be in distress and worship with such a sweet and sincere praise. We can cry out our love from a place of deep agony. We should not feel guilty because of the pain but instead recognize that we are participating in the process. It is one more weakness exposed, to be dealt with by the Spirit. It does not mean our love is weakening but instead growing stronger as we learn to submit more of ourselves.
They only time we need to worry is when the praises stop, when we stop seeking his face, when we start to search for other solutions within ourselves. If we are in distress and we start to resent God, then we are facing a true crisis. If we can walk through the “valleys” knowing Jesus is guiding us and loving him for it, even though we don’t see the solution, then everything is okay.
Praising and trusting Jesus through our tears is a powerful moment of growth.

http://pastorpaulvbsblog.blogspot.com/2013/11/praising-through-tears.html

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In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
John 3:3 (NIV)
 
 

Phil Ware

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

“Fast away the old year passes…” But we can be new and fresh and clean (cf. 2 Cor. 4:17). Kingdom people are those who have been born fresh and new through the power of the Spirit and the grace of God (cf. John 3:3-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 1:11). So as we close out the old year, with its good things and bad, achievements and failures, successes and disappointments, let’s approach the New Year as Kingdom people. God’s mercies are new every morning and our lives can be made new everyday by the Holy Spirit who lives in us. Yes, we have been born again. But each sunrise offers us the opportunity to be made new, to live in a fresh new way, as God’s grace rekindles our hopes and the Holy Spirit makes us new as we trust in Jesus our Lord.

Prayer…

Heavenly Father, you are holy and righteous. I confess that as hard as I have tried and as much as I have wanted to be holy and righteous, without your grace and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, I fail. Thank you for your forgiveness. Please make me new. As I stand on the threshold of a new year, please empower me beyond my weaknesses and besetting sins. Open my eyes to your work in the world around me and use me in your work of grace. Fire my passion to live fully for your Kingdom and my King, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.

http://www.heartlight.org/cgi/todaysverse.cgi

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Jeremiah 29:11-13
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will harken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye search for me with all your heart.”  
Call Him, and He will be there.  Seek after that personal relationship with Him.  Just turn to Him and reach out.  He invites you.
God Bless
recj/LJG

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  • FAREWELL 2013
    SUNDAY EDITORIAL
    What an amazing year.  There have been many major changes in our life’s, throughout it all we have kept our eyes on Jesus.
    Our purpose as it has always been is edification of the Body of Christ.  And that gives us reason to address Phil Robertson. Yes we know many of you are tired of it and want it to go away.  With us it touches much deeper.  We have been censored and removed from sites for writing about Jesus Christ and His Word.  Only a few people noticed.  We prayed and opened new sites.  But being told that we do not have a right to write on the Word of God, touched us deeply.
    Then along comes Phil Robertson, and because of who he is people listened.  Well praise the Lord, it was about time.  When we go on line we see post for everything, and see post of everything.  Why should we not have a right to say how we feel? 
    Get a grip people and look around you.  States vote to allow or not allow bills to past, showing how the majority feels, and it is over ruled.  What really gets us about this is if over a million people vote and say no, how can a smaller group feel they have won. In reality they did not.  But the news continually shows us polls that say no we do not feel this way.  Excuse me we have a problem with this and you should also. 
    Mr. Phil only brought to the light [ we firmly believe he was used by God] what Christians really feel, but did not express.
    Why did we sit back and let the Bible be taken out of school?  Then prayer, now the freedom to express how we feel about any subject.  We think not.  Some one can make us and yes I do mean make us look in the face of Tom and Dick getting married but forbid us to say no it is suppose to be only Mary and Sam. 
    Then we have abortion.   Just this week AOL had posted a baby born in Florida at 24 weeks and this child has survived.  Abortion activists say it would have been okay to terminate that pregnancy.  What about this couple up north suing and winning a settlement because they love the child the hospital forced on them, by not letting them test and terminate the pregnancy. 
    Does this mean if I take a sledge hammer and destroy your car you have to buy me a new one.  Oh and don’t forget pay me for the time I did not have a car.  Reality where are you?
    Now let’s go to this racist issue.  I stand on middle ground having two bi-racial children.  What is the problem.  You like cream corn, I like corn on the cob.  So we do have difference.  What about it.  Please show us one person that is pure, but first you have to figure out what pure is.  Sorry since this country was formed we keep getting more and more mixed.
    Let us not forget this country the good old USA.  Talk to a few Indians about that one.  Really, some of our forefathers came over here and pushed and shoved them into reservations and now we call it our country.  Sorry but some of them stole, killed and destroyed for it.  And people want to get mad at Israel for wanting their land back. Heck it is not where you plant your self, it is what you have allowed God to be planted inside you.
    That to us is the whole thing what we have allowed God to plant inside us, or in some cases not plant inside us.  That said we will not turn from our belief in Christ, we shall not stop writing and talking about it.  And where nobody listened when we said ‘You are closing our sites, why, because we spoke of Jesus?’  So yes we will support Mr. Phil and his family, because they are speaking the truth.
    God Bless recj/LJG

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BE THANKFUL…

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes
to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for
your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

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Experience is a hard teacher. It gives the test first and then the lesson.

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www.mikeysFunnies.com

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The Way of Walking

Romans 13:9

The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Halakha is the body of Jewish religious law, and includes 613 talmudic and rabbinical laws, as well as various customs and traditions. Halakha is often translated as “Jewish Law”, although a more literal translation might be “the path” or “the way of walking”.
In the middle of Paul’s discussion and instruction on government, he pauses for a moment to remind us of love. We might ask, “But what about those who abuse their power? Who corruptly take advantage of the weak?” We are reminded of Luke 18:7-8: “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”
It sounds to me like God has a plan for those who break His laws which is far worse than anything I could envision. I think Paul’s point today is for us to do our job, and let God do His. So what are we to do in the meantime? If we compute, calculate, and tally all of the 613 requirements and conditions of Jewish law, we are left with “the way of walking” — summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. It’s probably the first lesson learned in kindergarten, yet it is as practical for a 50 year old as it is for a 5 year old. How many times have we asked our children, “How would you like it if someone did that to you? Not very much, right?” Are you applying this same lesson in your own life each and every day? Take inventory of your actions, are they consistent with God’s instructions regarding love your neighbor as yourself?

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