Friday, November 25, 2016

God's Love, Endless and Certain

      God’s Love, Endless and Certain
 
                                        Romans 8:35
               Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

George Matheson, known for the hymn, “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go” wrote this beloved hymn in the midst of great sorrow. George, as a young man was already experiencing poor eyesight and in the years to follow, would leave him totally blind. He was determined to finish his education and at the age of nineteen enrolled in the University of Glasgow. There he would study Christian ministries but unfortunately, during his graduate studies, became permanently blind. To add to his saddened plight, his fiancee was unwilling to be married to a blind man and broke off their engagement returning the ring.

George never married because of his broken heart and severe pain of total rejection. His two sisters, who loved him dearly, stood beside him learning Greek and Hebrew along with him to help with his studies for ministry. When one of the sisters came to George with the joyous news of her plans to be married, he of course was elated for her, but was reminded of his own heartache. He consoled himself with the thoughts of Christ’s love for him and was reminded, God’s love is never conditional, never withdrawn, and never uncertain. Out of this difficult experience it is said, George penned this great hymn.

                        “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go”

                              O love that wilt not let me go,
                              I rest my weary soul in Thee.
                              I give Thee back the life I owe,
                             That in Thine ocean depths its flow,
                             May richer, fuller be.

                             O joy that seekest me though pain,
                             I cannot close my heart to Thee.
                             I trace the rainbow through the rain,
                            And feel the promise is not vain,
                            That morn shall tearless be.



We need not fear life or death, things present or things to come, because Jesus Christ loves us and has given us the victory. Therefore, nothing in life’s path can separate us or remove us from God’s powerful  and magnificent love.

Lord, thank You for Your undeserving love.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Thanksgiving

                      Thanksgiving
 
                                I Thessalonians 5:18
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
 
Well, Thanksgiving Day is almost here! Will our gratitude last beyond the afternoon nap? Is Thanksgiving—a one-time, get-it-out-of-the-way holiday that forces us to reflect on how blessed we are? Too quickly people resort back to being ingrates and complaining about what they don’t have. God’s will for us is to be thankful all the time and in all things. If we’re a believer that loves God with all our heart, soul and mind, then follow God’s will and be thankful!

“In every thing” carries an unlimited stipulation. It refers to everything that may take place in one’s life, except of course, personal sin. No matter what struggles or trials God will direct or indirectly allow into our lives, there is always a reason for thanking Him. I Peter 1:6-9 tells us that we are to rejoice when we have been grieved by various trials. These trials test the genuineness of our faith which is more precious than gold and results in praise, glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ. Even though we don’t see Him now, we do believe in Him and we will have joy that is inexpressible because the outcome of our faith is the salvation of our souls.

Gratitude should come naturally to believers for all that He has done for us. But, because of our hardness of heart, God encourages us to be thankful with commands that are essential and necessary. “Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). Joni Eareckson Tada, who was involved in an accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down, writes, “Giving thanks is not a matter of feeling thankful, it's a matter of obedience.” God wills our being thankful in all things because thankfulness is the ultimate expression of  love.

Lord, thank You for giving me the gift of eternal life.

Friday, November 11, 2016

When Life Hurts

                      
                     When Life Hurts
                                       Galatians 6:2
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.                                          
What does it mean to fulfill the law of Christ? Most Bible teachers say that the law of Christ is what Jesus stated in Mark 12:28-31, “. . . love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . soul . . . mind and . . . strength.’  . . . ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Are there things that you wish others knew and could understand when life brings real heart wrenching pain and your grief overpowers every dream you hold dear?  Sometimes people with good intentions say foolish and harmful things to those suffering. Words can wound an already broken heart to the point of devastation instead of giving hope and strength in an ongoing crisis.

Someone in sorrow needs for you to come along side and give them encouragement through a touch of compassion, and a tearful, tender heart (Romans 12:15). Even though the question, “How are you doing?” seems like the right thing to ask, it can seem to the wounded and distressed that they need to give a report of their actions, thoughts, or emotions. There’s not a time limit on grieving and people from all walks of life suffer differently.

Expressing an impatient attitude towards a hurting person is jarring to the senses. It can cause despondency; the loss of hope, and despair; the feeling that no favorable outcome will ever exist.  Be thoughtful in quoting Scripture such as, Romans 8:28, most likely, things are not good for them right now, nor does it seem like there will ever be anything positive come out of their circumstances.

Helping someone who is in deep sorrow to recognize the sovereignty of God in death is what they need most. Knowing that He is in absolute authority over all things brings peace and reminds them to “be still” and rest in the knowledge that God is their Refuge and Comforter, always (Psalms 46:10; 91:1,2; John 14:16).

Lord, may I fulfill the law of Christ, bearing another’s burden.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

I Think on These Things

            I Think on These Things
 
                                  Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

                    Is There An Intruder?
 Is there an intruder in your house? Has he crept in unaware?
He’ll steal your joy, your peace, your love;
And rob you of blessings from above.

Is there an intruder in your heart?
He’s not welcomed there, nor entitled to any part.
He’ll try to move in and not let go,
Once you’ve given him the slightest control.

Is there an intruder in your mind?
He’s taken up occupancy and stolen your time.
What you thought about was neither lovely nor true;
“Being anxious for nothing,” has no meaning to you.

Is there an intruder you’ve allowed to come in?
Can it be the flesh you’ve no confidence in?
“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”
Put on the whole armor of God, so you’re ready to fight.

When that intruder tries to invade;
Seek the Lord and His purpose for which you were made.
Walk worthy of the life Christ has given you;
Bringing glory to God in all that is honest, lovely and true.

                                                   
by Dianna Moffitt Carroll

Thought:

“You’ve got stinkin, thinkin!” That’s a phrase I use to hear my husband say when I was not thinking right. My wrong thoughts produced a bad attitude in me and I knew it. A bad attitude resulted in a disregard for the things that honored God–––that’s disobedience. Habits of “right thinking” create character and character fashions a godly reputation. I needed my husband’s loving rebuke and then to reexamine what I was thinking. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Philippians 2:5).

The things we think or the things we’re advised to think through books, media, TV, etc., can bring us to a point of resisting the mind of God. We’ll begin to believe the lies Satan has imposed upon us and accept them as truth. What we think is crucial to a Christian’s spiritual well being. Sometimes people don’t believe that “right thinking” is important in their lives. But, that’s a lie! “Right thinking,” goes beyond our opinion, it’s spiritual warfare. The mind is a battlefield that each of us approaches with some caution and then we have to face the hard situations and circumstances of the heart. If Scripture is not considered and heeded, one will give admittance to false reasoning and harmful philosophies that can destroy lives.


 "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" (2 Corinthians 10:5).