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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

GOD’S LOVE GIVES US CONFIDENCE

 

                                                                        GOD'S LOVE GIVES US CONFIDENCE

In this (union and communion with Him) love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment (with assurance and boldness to face Him), because as He is,

so are we in this world.  1JOHN 4:17

 

To be bold actually means to be courageous in the presence of fear.  To be confident does not mean we never feel fear; it simply means that no matter how we feel, we magnify God above all else and step out in faith to do whatever he asks us to do.

 

We never have to be afraid of God.  We should have reverential fear, meaning a respectful awe, of Him, but He does not want us to lack confidence when we face Him.  The Bible tells us to come "fearlessly and confidently and

boldly" to the throne of grace and make our requests known (Heb. 4:16).  We cannot operate in boldness and fear at the same time.  We may "feel" fear, but we must not bow down or give in to it; we can approach God with confidence. 

 

In our society today we have an epidemic of insecurity.  The world is full of people who lack confidence.  Our confidence is to be placed in Christ alone and in His love for us.  We are to put no confidence in the flesh, but to be

bold and courageous in Christ.  Begin to believe today that from now on you will step out in faith to do whatever He asks you to do.  Don't draw back in fear and timidity, but go all the way through to the finish of each task.

 

                                                Love God Today; "Father, deliver me from insecurity and a lack of confidence.  Help me be bold and courageous."

 


 

SIGNS THAT GOD IS WORKING

                                                                                    SIGNS THAT GOD IS WORKING

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter til the full light of day.    PROVERBS 4:18 NIV

 

One thing that excites God is to see us making progress in life.  And our progress should cause us to be excited, too.  I spent way too many years mourning over my faults and weaknesses.  I was taught to grieve

over my sin, but nobody in the church world ever told me to celebrate my progress.  If you have missed this important lesson like I did, then today I am telling you to celebrate, celebrate and then celebrate your progress

some more.

 

I am not where I want to be in terms of holy behavior, but thank God I am not where I used to be.  I have made a lot of progress in the years I have had a serious relationship with God.  God has changed me so much that

truly I am a new creature just has His Word promises in 2Corinthians 5:17.  My husband probably thinks he has been married to several woman during his journey with me, because I certainly am not like the one he

started with!

 

Today’s Scripture says that the path of the righteous grows brighter and brighter ever day.  If you can look back and say, “I’ve improved over the last year.  My behavior is a little bit better” then you can celebrate!  If you feel you

have made no progress at all, then the devil is probably lying to you.  I believe you want to improve, and the truth is that anyone who wants to improve will improve.

 

                        Love God Today: Your path is growing brighter and clearer every day, and celebrating your progress is one way of saying, “Thank You, God.”

 

 

 

Stay warm and be safe driving in this weather

 


 

Patience is the companion of wisdom

 

                                                                                    PATIENCE, PATIENCE

Patience is the companion of wisdom.  St. Augustine

 

One of the greatest ways to show love to others is to be patient with them.  Sometimes we talk about being patient in very general terms, so today I want to call your attention to some specific everyday life situations in which you can express love through being patient. 

 

Be patient with people’s different opinions.  We all have people in our lives who have personalities that are hard for us to handle.  That’s an opportunity to exercise patience. 

 

Be patient with someone tells you a story for the third time, even though you mentioned in the beginning.  “Yes, you told me that last week.”

 

Be patient when people interrupt you.

 

Be patient when people call you before you’re really awake and say, ‘Oh you’re not up yet? I’ve been up for a couple of hours.”

 

Be patient when people goof around and act silly when you’re trying to be serious.

 

Be patient when people push in front of you in line or take a parking space when you’ve been waiting for it with your blinkers on.

 

Be patient when a clerk has to change the receipt tape in the cash register before she can complete your purchase.

 

There are lots of ways to demonstrate patience with others. When you do, you are showing them love.

 

 

                        Love Others Today: Help me, God, to be patient with others in every possible way.

 


 

Choose a new attitude toward yourself.

 

 

 

                                                                                                            A NEW ATTITUDE TOWARD YOURSELF

Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people to be peculiarly His own, people who are eager and enthusiastic about living

a life that is good and filled with beneficial deeds.              TITUS 2:14

 

In today’s verse Paul writes that Jesus gave His life so that we could be people who are “eager and enthusiastic about living a life that is good” and a life that is full of actions that benefit others.

 

We are not to spend our lives moping around, thinking about all our faults and failures so much that we lose our hope and zeal for living.  God is not honored when people have bad attitudes toward themselves; in fact,  that is downright insulting to Him.  If  you loved and valued a group of people so much that you were willing to die for them so they could enjoy their lives, how would you feel if they refused your gift?  God wants you to enjoy your life and enjoy yourself.

 

Paul knew he was not perfect, but he pressed on to lay hold of the quality of life Jesus wanted him to have.  Paul knew that he did not deserve it, but for Jesus’ sake he was determined to have it.  Likewise, we do not deserve “the good life,” but Jesus died to give it to us, so we honor Him when we receive it with eagerness and enthusiasm

 

If you struggle with negative attitudes that hold you back from the good things of God in your life, I urge you to make a change today.

 

            Love Yourself Today: Choose a new attitude toward yourself.  Paul had to make that choice; I had to make it; and you have to make it, too, If you want to love yourself and glorify God with your life.

 

 

 


 

Suffering can make you bitter or better; the decision is yours.

WHERE IS GOD

 

(After all) what kind of glory (is there in it) if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering (which results) when you do right and that is

underserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God.     1 PETER 2:20

 

Suffering is one of the most difficult things to understand in life and in Christianity.  We know that God is good, and we know that He sees everything and is all-powerful, buy why does He allow us to suffer especially unjustly?

 

God does not delight in our suffering, but He is honored and pleased when we endure it with a good attitude, according to our Scripture for today.  Trust requires unanswered questions.  If we knew all the answers, faith would not even be necessary.  We must remember that even Jesus suffered unjustly.

 

Some people become angry with God when tragedy or extreme difficulty comes their way.  After a man watched his only son die of cancer, he bitterly asked God, “Where were you when my son died?”  God replied, “The same place I was when Mine died.”

 

God gave his only Son and allowed Him to go through unspeakable suffering He did not deserve, and He did it for us.  The true test of faith is how we behave during trials and tribulations.

 

                                                            Love God Today: Suffering can make you bitter or better; the decision is yours.

 


 

SHOW GOD YOU’RE SERIOUS

                                                                                    SHOW GOD YOU'RE SERIOUS

 

So we fasted and besought our God for this, and He heard our entreaty.                        EZRA 8:23

 

In today's Scripture we read that Ezra proclaimed a fast to show his desperation to God when the Israelites required protection and needed to know what to do.  Fasting is still powerful and relevant today.  It causes us to deny ourselves and focus on God.  Missing a few meals and taking that time to seek God is not a bad idea; if you can't fast food, you might fast television or some form of entertainment.  Spend the time you would normally give to these things with God.

 

Ezra and the Israelites sought God.  When we seek God we pursue, crave and go after God with all our might.

 

We need to seek God all the time, not only during times of difficulty or desperation.  I believe the reason so many people have problems so often is that they only turn to God when all else has failed.  I have wondered if they would spend any time with Him at all if He were to remove their problems.  IF we will seek God as though we are always desperate for Him, we won't find ourselves so "desperate" in reality on a regular basis.

 

Make a habit of spending time with God, and in moments when you're facing a critical situation, consider some kind of fast and concentrated prayer to demonstrate to Him that you are willing to sacrifice your own desires in order to seek His direction, help, and strength.

 

                                    Love God Today: What can you sacrifice for a while in order to seriously seek God and spend time in His presence?

 


 

Come as you are

                                                                                    DON’T BE AFRAID OF YOU!

He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.  PASLM 33:15 NKJV

 

God created everything about you to be unique, and He wants you to build an honest relationship with Him based on who you really are, not who you think you should be or who other people say you should be.

 

We relate to God as individuals.  When we talk to God, we are not supposed to check our individually at the door of the prayer closet.  We need to go before Him just the way we are and give Him the pleasure of enjoying the company of the “original” He has made each one of us to be.  God  enjoys meeting us where we are, developing a personal relationship with us and helping us grow to become everything He wants us to be.

 

Our verse for today teaches us that God has fashioned our hearts individually.  As we develop our individual styles of communication with God, we can learn from people who may be more experienced.

 

Most people are afraid to not be like everyone else; many are more comfortable following specified rules than daring to follow the Spirits leading.  When we follow man-made rules, we please people, but when we step out and follow God’s spirit, we please Him.  So remember, come as you are.

 

                                                Love God Today: Don’t think your relationship with God has to look like someone else’s.  He made you to be unique, and He wants to relate to you just the way you are.


 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy International Day of Happiness!

 

I received this from a friend earlier today and I’m forwarding to family, friends and colleagues, and hope to spread a little more happiness.  If you have a few minutes, watch some of the videos here … and be prepared to smile a little: http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Pharrell-UN-Celebrate-International-Day-of-Happiness-251186571.html

 

You can choose to be happy today, and every day!

 

In 2012, the United Nations (UN) declared March 20 to be observed as the International Day of Happiness.

Aim

The day recognizes that happiness is a fundamental human goal, and calls upon countries to approach public policies in ways that improve the well being of all peoples.

By designating a special day for happiness, the UN aims to focus world attention on the idea that economic growth must be inclusive, equitable, and balanced, such that it promotes sustainable development, and alleviates poverty. Additionally the UN acknowledges that in order to attain global happiness, economic development must be accompanied by social and environmental well being.

Background

The initiative to declare a day of happiness came from Bhutan – a country whose citizens are considered to be some of the happiest people in the world. The Himalayan Kingdom has championed an alternative measure of national and societal prosperity, called the Gross National Happiness Index (GNH). The GNH rejects the sole use of economic and material wealth as an indicator of development, and instead adopts a more holistic outlook, where spiritual well being of citizens and communities is given as much importance as their material well being.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

attitude of gratitude

 

                                                                                    THANK GOD

I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.                     PSALM 9:1 NKJV

 

Throughout the Bible we see people celebrating progress and victory in a variety of ways.  One way was to specifically take the time to give an offering to God and to thank Him.

 

Noah had been in the ark one year and ten days when God told him it was time to go forth and begin a new life.  I cannot even imagine how happy he and his family were to see dry ground.  The first thing Noah did was build an altar to the Lord and sacrifice various animals to Him.  God was pleased, and He pronounced a blessing on Noah and his sons (see Gen. 9:1).

 

Abram (later renamed Abraham) regularly built altars to God and sacrificed, giving praise and thanks to God for his progress as he journeyed through the land.

 

We would quickly add a lot of celebration to our lives if we would take time to give thanks and perhaps some other type of offering when God does amazing things for us.  An attitude of gratitude shows a lot about the character of a person.  We should never have an attitude of entitlement, but we should have one that says, “I know I don’t deserve God’s goodness, but I am sure grateful for it.”

 

            Love God Today: “God I never want to take Your goodness for granted, so please help me celebrate all You have done, are doing, and will do in my life.”

 

 


 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

START A BLESSING BOX

 

 

                                                                                                START A BLESSING BOX

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.  DEUTERONOMY 15:15 NIV

 

Here’s an idea: Get yourself a big box and start going through your possessions, asking God to show you what you have that you can use to bless others.  Fill it up with things that are nice but that you no longer need.

 

Look in cabinets, drawers, closets, the basement, and the garage.  You will fill up your box quickly.  Don’t keep something for years in case you ever need it – if you’re anything like me, by the time you need it, you will have forgotten that you have it and go buy another one anyway.

 

Take the clutter that is frustrating you and turn it into blessings.  Keep the box in a handy place and start asking God to show you who needs to be blessed.

 

One woman I know, who is a radical giver, got all the things together she wanted to use to bless people and displayed them on her kitchen table.  She invited several friends over and told them to take anything they wanted from the table.  She urged them to keep on taking until everything was gone.

 

I encourage you to be a giver and look for ways in which you can use what you have to be a blessing to others.

 

                           Love Others Today: I challenge you to start a blessing box before you go to bed tonight.  Even if you only put one to two things in it, get it started.

 


 

Monday, March 10, 2014

BE HUMBLE

I know we are all struggling in some way or another – personally and professionally.  Stay strong and positive.  We are all here for each other!
BE HUMBLE
·         Don’t think you know it all. See yourself as a life-long learner who is always seeking ways to learn, grow and improve.
·         See everyone as a teacher and learn from everyone you meet.
·         Be open to new ideas and strategies to take your life, school and work to the next level.
·         When people tell you that you are great don’t let it go to your head. And when they tell you that you stink, don’t let it go to your head.
·         Be kind to everyone and let people know that they matter.
·         Live with humility because the minute you think you have arrived at the door of greatness it will get shut in your face.
·         Humility doesn’t mean you think less of yourself. It just means you think of yourself less.

 


BE HUNGRY
·         Follow your passion, continuously improve, and continue to dream.
·         Seek out new ideas, new strategies and new ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
·         Invest the time, energy, sweat and dedication to be your best and let God do the rest.
·         Be willing to pay the price that greatness requires. Don’t be average. Strive to be great.
·         Become the hardest worker you know.
·         Love the process and you’ll love what the process produces.
·         Decide to leave a legacy. Even at a young age it’s important to think about what legacy you want to leave because knowing how you want to be remembered helps you decide how to live today.
·         Don’t focus on where you’ve been. Focus on where you are and where you are going.
·         Make your life and work a quest for excellence. Every day ask how I can be better today than I was yesterday?
·         Make your next work your best work.
 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Don't Run




                                                                                    DON'T RUN

Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.   PSALM 55:6

 

David prayed that he could fly away from trouble and be at rest, but running from trouble is not the answer.  We must face our enemies and defeat them in God's power, just as David defeated Goliath.  God has given us a

"going through" power.  He has given us a spirit not of fear, but a calm, well-balanced, disciplined mind (see 2 Tim.1:7).  God's will is for us to confront challenges head on, knowing the battle is not ours, but God's!

 

God can't help people who run.  He gives us power and wisdom to deal with situations, not to try to escape them.  Avoidance is not a godly trait. 

 

Elijah tried to run and hide, but God made him go back and continue to the work he'd been called to do.  After God gave him some food and some rest, He confronted him about his attitude.  He asked why he was

hiding, Elijah answered with a bitter attitude.  He said that he alone was left to serve God and people were seeking to kill him.  He told God that all the Israelites had forsaken His covenant and once again, Elijah was filled

with self-pity as he told God that only he was being faithful.  God told Elijah that He had seven thousand prophets left who had not bowed their knees to Baal; He also told him to get back to work.  Sometimes we want

to run away from responsibility, but as we can see with Elijah, God will not allow us to do that because escape is never the answer to life's challenges.

 

                                    Love God Today: Face up to your challenges and responsibilities, knowing that God will give you power and wisdom to deal with them.