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Psalm 139


« Reply #400 on: December 09, 2009, 09:48:12 AM »

Christmas Food for the Soul
By Jim Liebelt
homeword.com

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.”  -John 6:35
   

With Christmastime comes lots of good food. Christmas candy, cookies, cakes, pies, and Christmas dinner are all part of the special nature of our Christmas celebrations. It’s commonly noted that on average, people gain between five and ten pounds during the holiday season. Yikes! But, while we’re enjoying stuffing ourselves with Christmas goodies, how about doing some thinking on our spiritual nourishment?

Christmas is a wonderful time to remember that Jesus is the “bread of life.” It’s a powerful illustration of what Jesus is meant to be to our lives. He’s the source of life. He’s the food our souls need!

This Christmas, make sure your feeding your soul a healthy diet of Jesus.
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« Reply #401 on: December 09, 2009, 02:26:19 PM »

 Smiley
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Psalm 139


« Reply #402 on: December 11, 2009, 07:20:15 AM »

Away in a Palace?
By Jim Liebelt
homeward.com

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  Luke 2:6-7
   

Wouldn’t you expect the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords to be born in a palace with luxuries all around? That makes sense, but wasn’t the way the birth of Jesus took place.

Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here,
The silent Word is pleading.
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
 (from What Child is This?)


Jesus, the Savior of the world, entered this world under the most humble circumstances. No pomp, no palace, just a barn. I’m confident that the God of the Universe could have arranged for at least one available room in the inn. But, He didn’t. Have you ever wondered why? I have to believe it was done in keeping with the humility and gentleness that Jesus would demonstrate His entire life.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

In the Scriptures we never see Jesus forcing Himself upon others. Rather, we find a loving invitation to come and follow. The invitation is still open.

We celebrate Christmas, recognizing the gentle and humble nature of the Savior.
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Psalm 139


« Reply #403 on: February 23, 2010, 11:08:07 AM »

Amazing Grace
By Kelly McFadden
HomeWord.com


“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."  --Luke 7:47-48


John Newton, the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” found faith in Jesus onboard a ship as it was floundering in a storm. This was not just any ship; the ship he was on was a slave ship. In the mid 1700s, Newton’s professional trade was the trafficking of human life.

Newton and his crew would sail from England to Africa where they would pick up men, women and children who had been captured in tribal raids. They would trade arms and other goods for the finest of the prisoners. They would then chain them to prevent suicides, and lay them below deck side by side. As many as 600 people were crammed together on the ship as it made its three week voyage. Due to the inhumane conditions, at times, up to 20% of those captured would die.

After becoming a Christian, Newton left the sea for good and became a priest. He then wrote this hymn. You have probably sung it before, but read these words carefully knowing now why he wrote them.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come.
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.


God’s mercy and grace drastically changed John Newton’s life. He understood God’s unconditional love better than most. When I read those words through the eyes of someone who truly realized he did not deserve grace, I am humbled. Too often I chalk up all the good things I have done and wait for what I think I deserve. However, according to the Scriptures, the truth of the matter is that I deserve judgment. And, I don’t really want that! I am thankful for God’s generosity and that He sent His one and only Son to die for us so that we would not get what we deserve, but His generous love instead. This is truly amazing grace!
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Psalm 139


« Reply #404 on: February 26, 2010, 10:45:27 AM »

Looks Great, Smells Great... But No Thanks!
By Jim Liebelt
homeword.com

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
--John 15:5 (NLT)

   

Imagine that you have been invited to a special meal at a friend’s home. This friend has prepared a feast and you are the guest of honor. All of your favorite foods are sitting around the table. All of the food looks great. Everything smells delicious. Everyone sits down at the table.

“Help yourself,” says the host. People begin to pick up bowls and platters and pass them your way. You hold a bowl and say, “Mmmmm, it smells so wonderful.” Then you pass the plate without taking any food. A platter is passed to you. Again, you comment as you pass the plate on to someone else, “This looks terrific!” You keep passing the plates never taking any of the food.

Imagine the host’s response. “What are you doing? Why won’t you take anything? I’ve worked so hard! Don’t you care for it? I thought these foods were your favorite!” Finally, you reply, “Well yes, they are my favorite foods, but no, I don’t actually eat the food. I just look and breathe in the aromas.”

Clearly, unless someone was on a very special diet, no one would do this! Yet, as Christ-followers, I’m afraid many of us do this very thing, spiritually speaking. We gather around a feast of good things that God prepares for us to strengthen and build our lives, such as the Scriptures, prayer, fellowship with other believers, worship and serving others in ministry. Too often our response is similar to the imaginary story described above. “Mmmm… Boy that mission project sure looks good, but no thanks,” or “Wow, I know that small Group Bible study is so wonderful, but it’s not for me.” And so, we sit at the table of a spiritual feast, and then pass the plates without taking anything.

God wants us to move beyond a safe, mediocre diet of Christianity—to experience all of what God offers in order to build our lives—so that we truly become all that He has created us to be. We need an ongoing connection to Jesus in order to remain healthy and effective as His servants!

Today, whatever spiritual growth opportunities present themselves, be sure to dig in!
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« Reply #405 on: March 09, 2010, 06:45:18 AM »

Those Who Listen
Key Passage: Matthew 13:1-17
Topic: Jesus; Obedience/Discipleship

"For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." (Matthew 13:12, ESV)

How well do you listen?

Or do you just hear? Someone's talking, and it goes in one ear and out the other. You have a vague idea of what they're saying, but it really doesn't matter to you so you tune it out.

But listening--that means focus, concentration, interest, significance...understan ding.

As Jesus spoke to the people around Him and taught them the things of God, He knew some only heard Him. They liked His nice words, good thoughts and cool miracles. But beyond that, they didn't really pay attention.

However, others were listening--soaking in His words, working through every concept, wanting to absorb the truth, even willing to make changes in their lives.

Jesus says this is why He taught in parables or stories. He knew some would listen and understand and act. Other would just hear a story about seeds, weeds and wheat. They'll wonder about it for a minute or two and then go on to the next thing.

When you really listen, it will lead you to a deeper understanding of what Jesus has for you, a sure knowledge of the kingdom of God. And it's a blessing. "But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it" (Matthew 13:16-17, ESV).

What about you? When you read the words of Jesus, do you hear and go your way? Or are you really listening? That's when you'll begin to truly understand what He wants for your life.
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Psalm 139


« Reply #406 on: March 16, 2010, 08:02:10 AM »

Good Fish, Bad Fish
Key Passage: Matthew 13:47-52
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"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad." (Matthew 13:47-48, ESV)

Would it surprise you to hear that not everyone who says they're a Christian is a Christian? Probably not.

The word "hypocrite" seems to be thrown at Christians quite often. And, unfortunately, it's true. There have been many publicized cases of proclaimed Christians not acting like Christians.

But first, we need to realize there's a difference between Christians who make mistakes (i.e. all of us), and Christians who only claim to follow Christ.

The difference is that the real Christian will recognize his or her mistake and come to God for forgiveness. The hypocrite or "fake" Christian isn't concerned about sin in his or her life. Who knows why he or she goes to church or hangs out with other believers? It isn't to draw closer to God.

Sometimes it's really hard to tell the difference between these two types of people, but you know what? That's not your job.

In this parable Jesus affirms that, yes, there will be true believers and false believers. But Jesus also tells us that when this world is over and He comes back, He will sort out the good and the bad.

Assuming you're one His genuine followers, Jesus told us what our job is: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35, ESV).
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« Reply #407 on: March 24, 2010, 06:46:43 AM »

These are good Ro, thanks!
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« Reply #408 on: March 25, 2010, 05:31:03 AM »

God gets all the credit.   Smiley
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« Reply #409 on: March 25, 2010, 05:53:13 AM »

Signs of the Times
Topic: Hope
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He answered them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' And in the morning, 'It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times." (Matthew 16:2-3, ESV)

Why do people search everywhere for meaning and purpose...but refuse to look to God? The religious leaders, Jesus said, were good at reading weather signs and patterning their day around those, but they totally missed the "signs of the times" all around them.

Second Timothy 3:1-5 gives a look at what people will be like "in the last days." It says people will be "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." What about you? What are some of the signs of the times you see around you?

Have you noticed the trend that makes clothes smaller and more revealing? Have you also noticed that sexual activity seems to be more common at younger and younger ages?

Have you noticed how many people reject authority from anyone and everyone--parents, teachers, police, anyone? Have you also noticed that many people seem to be wandering aimlessly, trying to figure out who they are and where they belong in the world?

Have you noticed how easy it is to indulge in movies, music or TV shows that don't offer a positive message, but in fact present a world of degradation? A world where money equals happiness, where sex equals love, where violence equals power and where no responsibility equals freedom. Have you also noticed how hard people try to fill a void in their life they just can't satisfy?

The "signs of the times" say that without Christ, we are lost. Without Him, we have no purpose, no hope, no true happiness. That's not a very popular message. We'd much rather try to do things on our own. We'd rather find that one thing to buy or do, that one cute guy or girl to be with, and then we'll be truly happy. Our search for something new is an attempt to fill the void only God can fill.

You want something new? Check this out. "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV).

God's love, faithfulness, and mercy are never ending--each day is new, and He is right here with you.
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« Reply #410 on: March 26, 2010, 06:43:03 AM »

Which Diet Are You On?
By Jim Liebelt
homeword.com


Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.     1 Timothy 4:7b-8 (NLT)
   
Dieting continues to be a hot topic in our country. In fact, the United States appears to be diet-crazy! Just consider a list of names of some of the different diet plans that are available today: Alli, Atkins, Zone, Grapefruit, Cabbage Soup, Hollywood, South Beach, Beverly Hills, Blood Type, Scarsdale, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Fit for Life, Thin for Life, Exchange Plan, Herbalife, Sugar Busters, E-diet, Slim Fast, Dexatrim, 3-Day, 7-Day, Pritikin, Russian Air Force, Richard Simmons, Zone, and on and on. It seems odd to me that even with all of the national focus on diets, obesity rates have reached epidemic proportions. Regardless of the focus on diet and exercise, as a nation, we still struggle to stay fit.

How about spiritual fitness? The Bible points out that while a focus on the physical has some value, the fitness that really matters is spiritual in nature. Can you imagine what a difference it would make if Christ-followers in the United States reduced the amount of time and energy we place on physical diet and fitness by, let’s say, just ten percent—and placed that focus on spiritual fitness? I think we would be amazed at what the Body of Christ would accomplish if we placed more emphasis on the spiritual and less on the physical. And, of course, this is what the Apostle Paul tells Timothy in the Scripture highlighted above.

What does your spiritual diet look like? I have a challenge for each of us. Today, whenever we partake of food or fitness, let’s commit to also including a few moments for some spiritual exercise, be it reading a Scripture, meditating on Scripture, praying, or serving another in the name of Jesus. Let’s do our best to make spiritual fitness a priority. Truly, it is the only kind of exercise that will make a difference for eternity!
   

FURTHER READING:
1 Timothy 6:6-8; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
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« Reply #411 on: March 30, 2010, 08:11:07 AM »

Who Do You Say I Am?
By Mike DeVries
homeword.com

On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah."  --Mark 8:27-29


In his book The Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer made this insightful comment, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”1 In essence he was saying this: What you and I think about who God is directly influences how we live and interact with our Creator.

If we view God as some sort of judge, overseeing a kind of proceeding in a cosmic court case, doling out “justice” as people deserve, we will oftentimes live in fear, trying to hide our weaknesses and faults. We’ll live hoping and praying that the “judge” does not see who we really are, or we will face His wrath.

If we see God as an eternal ATM of blessings, where all we need to know is the right PIN number in order to “get what’s coming to us,” then we’ll approach our “spiritual life” as a way of “getting it right” so that God will open His account of blessings and shower them upon us.

Sometimes we see God as some sort of benevolent grandfather, whose job is to give us what we want, when we want it. And when things don’t end up working out as we want them to, we blame God, our heavenly grandfather, who has not come through on His job description.

Jesus knows all this. This is why He enters into the discussion with His disciples. First, he asks a broader question, “Who do people say that I am?” But this is not really His point. Like the master teacher he is, Jesus is looking for something much larger than the popular opinion of who He is. “Who do you say that I am?”

And this is the most central question in life, is it not?

Who do you think Jesus is?

Now before you answer that question, consider this: How you answer this question could change the way you live your life. If Jesus really is who we as His followers claim Him to be, it could change everything. In other words, if you could go along business-as-usual with your life, perhaps you may need to revisit who you really think Jesus is.

If Jesus is God, if He truly is God incarnate – then the things He teaches us, as well as the kind of life He lived, are to be emulated. If we truly call ourselves followers of Jesus, then our job is to... well, actually follow Him, orienting our lives around the way He lived and what He taught.

Who do you say Jesus is? What does the way you live your life say about what you truly believe the answer to be?

The way you answer that question could change everything.
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« Reply #412 on: April 09, 2010, 05:33:54 AM »

The Eleventh Hour
Topic: Forgiveness/Unforgiveness
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"Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?" (Matthew 20:15, ESV)

Imagine reading in the newspaper about a death row inmate who, hours before his execution, "found Jesus." Most of us, if we're honest, would be a little skeptical or even angry with the idea that a man like that could be saved at the last minute. "I've lived my entire life for God," we say, "this inmate's done nothing to deserve heaven."

Is it right for God to honor a "deathbed repentance"?

Jesus' parable answers that question. In the parable, the vineyard owner pays a full day's wages to those who only work a single hour. He gives the same amount to those who worked all day. When questioned about it, the owner replies, "Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?" (Matthew 20:15, ESV).

Here Jesus says that God will forgive anyone who wants to be forgiven. Whether they're six years old or six hours from death, the promise given in John 3:16-17 stands. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him" (ESV).

When we arrive in heaven someday, no doubt we'll be surprised by some of the people we see there. But at that point no one will be asking, "Did he deserve to be here?"

On that day it will be very clear that only reason anyone is standing in heaven is because of Jesus our Savior and the kindness, love and mercy of God.
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« Reply #413 on: April 09, 2010, 08:11:33 AM »



When we arrive in heaven someday, no doubt we'll be surprised by some of the people we see there.



And people would be surprised to see us  Embarrassed   Grin
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« Reply #414 on: April 12, 2010, 06:12:28 AM »

And people would be surprised to see us  Embarrassed   Grin
LOL!!!!  I can just see a crowd of heaven-dwellers looking stunned and shocked to see me....."him?Huh"   Grin Cheesy
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« Reply #415 on: April 12, 2010, 06:16:27 AM »

Be Authentic
By Jim Burns

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does.   --James 1:22-25

To make a difference in your world you've got to be real. There is nothing worse than a holier-than-thou Christian who never shares his hurts and sorrows. I don't know about you, but I can't relate to perfection. Authentic people make a difference in the world.

I heard recently of a minister in the Midwest who was going for a walk with a soap salesman in the community who was a real skeptic toward Christianity. They were having quite an active debate while walking through the park. The businessman was getting in some good jabs at the inconsistency of Christians.

As they were walking through the park the soap salesman questioned the minister, "How can you say that Christianity works when even within the inner-city park you see derelicts of every kind, drugs, and prostitutes? Then you have the problems of the family, war, and disease, not to mention the negative problems of the world. How can you say that Christianity works? Just look around-it's not working." They walked in silence for a few moments, and then the minister turned to him and said, "You're a soap salesman, right?" "Yes, of course," was the reply. "Is it good soap?" "It's the best soap on the market!" was the comment of the salesman. The minister turned and pointed to a small child playing in the park who was covered with dirt and grime, and said, "This boy is dirty and filthy from the mud in the park; doesn't your soap help him?" The salesman said, "Well, you've got to apply the soap." The minister's response was, "So it is with the Christian faith. You must apply the Christian faith in order for it to work."
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« Reply #416 on: April 23, 2010, 10:16:54 AM »

Spiritual Self-Evaluation: Friend or Foe?
By Jim Liebelt
homeword.com

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  --Matthew 5:3

Do you ever find yourself comparing the strength of your faith with someone else’s and wonder why you come up on the short end of the stick? A while back, a friend and I were talking on the phone and found that we were both encountering fairly similar life situations. Both of us were looking for a little encouragement and advice from the other. Now, I’m the “professional” minister – and my friend is the “regular” guy. My sage advice to my friend was your average, “Stick with it – it will all work out in the end”. On the other hand, my friend suggested that I gather around myself some friends who would commit to praying for me regularly. Gulp. The comparison monster immediately reared his ugly head. Shouldn’t I have been first to suggest a more spiritual approach? What does that say about me? I immediately felt like a loser!

It’s probably inevitable that these comparisons come. The important issue is what we do with them. Realizations that we aren’t all we should be spiritually can result in different responses. They can either paralyze us or motivate change in our lives.

Spiritual self-evaluation should be a positive experience. We need to maintain a realistic view of where we are in our spiritual journey. Knowing that we fall short of God’s standard is actually a good thing. Jesus said in Matthew, chapter 5, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus is saying that those who understand their state of spiritual poverty and know that they must rely on God for deliverance are in a good spot. They receive the kingdom. Feeling bad after evaluation can produce good results when it drives us to Jesus for His grace and mercy.

No Christ-follower is perfect. We are all in the process of spiritual development. We’re all on the journey together. The next time you hear that inner-voice saying, “I don’t measure up,” admit the truth of the matter. The Apostle Paul (Romans 14:1,4) reminds us, “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on him…to his own master, he stands or falls.  And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” This is the key: God is able to make you stand. Believe it!
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« Reply #417 on: June 02, 2010, 08:01:46 AM »

Is Jesus for Sale?
By Jim Liebelt
homeword.com

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  ~1 Corinthians 3:6-7

I ran across this illustration and it made me chuckle. Perhaps you’ll find it funny – and instructive – as well. 
There was a man who wanted a job in a men’s clothing store as a salesman. The owner didn't want to give the guy a job because he didn't think he would be right for it. Yet, the man came back day after day asking for a job.

One day, because of the man's persistence, the owner decided that he could use a break and it was dinnertime – a time least likely for customers to come into the store. So, the owner told the man, “I'll give you a job on one condition: you must sell this one suit that’s been hanging here on the rack for years. This suit is hideous. If you can sell this suit while I go out for dinner, I’ll give you a job for life because you’ll have to be a great salesman to sell it.”

The owner went out to dinner knowing that nothing would happen. When he arrived back at the store, the owner was shocked! Here stood the man – his clothes were torn, he had scratches on his face and his hands. He was bloody. His hair was all messed up. He looked like a wreck. The owner asked, “My goodness, what happened?” The man replied, “I sold the suit. I've sold it, so now I've got a job for life.” The owner asked, “What do you mean you sold the suit, it looks like the guy didn't like it?” And the man responded, “No, no the guy loved it. But, his guide dog nearly killed me.”

Sometimes as believers, we get so anxious for others to know and embrace the saving knowledge of Jesus, that in our conversations with them we become tempted to act like salesmen, trying to “close a deal” on a sale. Let’s remember that Jesus is not for sale. He is the Lord of life – and his message is good news – great news in fact – but our calling is to “plant and water,” not force sales. We are called to be faithful in sharing who Jesus is and what he has done – and specifically – what he has done in our lives.

Be willing to invite others to consider and to enter into this wonderful story of God’s work in people’s lives. But, don’t try to “force a sale” on someone not yet ready to respond. Remember, God has his own timing and we can trust it to be perfect. In the meantime, keep doing the work of a gardener!
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« Reply #418 on: June 03, 2010, 08:42:05 AM »

He’s the Victim
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“Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day…so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” Hebrews 3
 
The deceitfulness of sin.
 
One of my closest friends recently decided she didn’t believe in God anymore. She, like a lot of people, sees a conflict between God putting us into the world with certain struggles and faults–and then judging us for them. Our faults leak into our society and he does nothing to stop it. In fact, he actually condemns what he created.
 
Because important stuff about God can be hard to remember, we’re supposed to encourage each other as much as we can. To help remind each other who our God really is. It’s easy for me, after being a Christian for so long, to think I remember what the Bible says about most important things. I think I have a pretty good handle on who God is. But there is great danger in ruffling through dust-covered memories in order to find truth, rather than searching where truth can always be found.
 
Sin’s roots are not in God. They are in us. The sins or faults of humanity are NOT a part of its creator. Humanity has allowed filth like genocide and starvation, racism and hatred. Religious corruption…
 
But the devil would have you believe he’s the victim. That sin reigns because God won’t step up.
 
So we turn away. Our hearts settle into his confusion and bitterness. The whole time we were asking our questions, did we really want a response? Did we want to hear, like David, that we are that man? We are the problems we condemn? We are the damage we disgust?
 
That’s the deceitfulness of sin. God isn’t the problem–he’s our only hope.

~June
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« Reply #419 on: June 04, 2010, 06:32:16 PM »

On Human Predestiny

"Humans are predestined, in the distant future, to become as their heavenly Father, to come closer each day to his wisdom, love and power and to manifest these in their life. But along the path leading to this great predestination, humankind must work with small predestinations. Thus the feet are predestined to carry the physical body and to walk in the direction shown by the head; sometimes the foot kicks someone, but that isn't its predestination! The hands are predestined to bring into being, to create, to bless; they can also hurt and destroy, but that isn't their predestination. The eyes are predestined to look, to receive images and light, but if they dart thunderous looks, that isn't to do with their predestination. And so on for every organ. And now, what about humans themselves? They are a synthesis of all these predestinations, and their role is to direct and organize these predestinations, which are there as means to assist their great and distant predestination, that of becoming like God himself."
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« Reply #420 on: June 11, 2010, 08:48:43 AM »

God is Light
nudgesite.com
 
Apparently, there are three Bible verses that contain the phrase “God is.”
 
There’s 1 John 4:8, “God is love,” but we all knew that.
 
Then there’s John 4:24, “God is Spirit.” And that’s pretty duh.
 
But then there’s 1 John 1:5, “God is light,” and that’s a little out of the blue to me. What exactly do you mean, John, when you say that God is light?  We’re quite used to the metaphor of God being like light but when you stop to think about it…really?
 
So, I do some reading. Not to be all Professor Science over here, but if you’ll go back to sixth grade with me for a moment…
 
We’re not sure what light is. Scientists refer to light as a photon, but that’s really just for lack of a better word. Sometimes it behaves like a wave. Sometimes it behaves like a particle. It sets the gold standard for speed in the universe and, really, everything has to adjust its movement relative to light’s. That's (sort of) Einstein's Theory of Relativity–in a nutshell.
 
Essentially, light is an ever-present yet unknown force that, nevertheless, is the inescapable guiding factor of the universe.
 
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5). And that particular light, of course, is God.
 
Good call, John. Very good call.
 
~Joe
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« Reply #421 on: June 18, 2010, 07:02:06 AM »

Please watch the accompanying video after you read this morning's devotional.  I pray that you will know that we ALL have a Father in heaven who is willing to go the distance just for you.  Just for you!  He loves you that much!

The Love of a Father
By Kelly McFadden
homeword.com

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  1 John 3:1


There is a father-son combination that is like none I have ever heard of.  In 1962, Dick and Judy Hoyt gave birth to their son Rick. When Rick was born, the umbilical cord was caught around his neck, cutting off air supply to his brain. The Hoyts were told Rick would be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. The Hoyts disagreed. In 1972, Rick was given a computer that would help him write out his thoughts, and three years later was admitted into public school. A few years later, Rick told his dad that he wanted to participate in a 5k race for a local athlete who was paralyzed in an accident. His father agreed to push his wheelchair in the race. Since then, Rick and Dick – known as Team Hoyt – have competed in over 900 events, including 64 marathons and over 200 triathlons.

So why does this father run, swim and ride with his disabled son through all these events? Because the day they finished their first 5k, his son said through his computer, "Dad, when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore.'' Dick wasn’t a runner, a swimmer or a biker before those words were said. He was simply a father who loved his son unconditionally. He was a father who wanted his son to feel like he could fly. The love of this father is amazing!

We too have a Father who loves us unconditionally and calls us His children. All of us grow up with different situations with our earthly fathers. Some people have fathers who coach Little League. Some have never met their fathers. Some fathers are workaholics, while others are alcoholics. Some people view their fathers as heroes; others view their fathers as villains. But, our Father in heaven is perfect. He loves us unconditionally, cares for us, knows what’s best for us and gives without asking for anything in return. He walks alongside us every step of life’s journey, its joys and its trials, never leaving us alone. Your Father in heaven withholds no good thing from you. And, just like Rick, all you need to do is ask.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPLCaAu_H2U" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPLCaAu_H2U</a>
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« Reply #422 on: June 18, 2010, 07:44:51 AM »

Ro, I have tears streaming down my face...thank you so much for this.  I think a lot of people don't understand how much God loves us...even believers question it sometimes...thank you so much Ro....still crying....thank you.  I am going to send this out to many!
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« Reply #423 on: June 18, 2010, 08:27:11 AM »

This weekend I will have to read this entire thread..

Thanks Colossus, brought tears to my eyes. Like I just learned as I have started going to services for first time in my life. We are designed in the womb, a purpose for everything. Puts EVERYTHING in perspective.

Thanks Stella
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« Reply #424 on: June 21, 2010, 07:34:42 AM »

Ro, I have tears streaming down my face...thank you so much for this.  I think a lot of people don't understand how much God loves us...even believers question it sometimes..thank you so much Ro....still crying....thank you.  I am going to send this out to many!
God gets the glory, Ro.   Smiley  I'm just thankful He puts thinks likes on my heart to share from time to time.  Bless you, my friend.  Smiley

This weekend I will have to read this entire thread..

Thanks Colossus, brought tears to my eyes. Like I just learned as I have started going to services for first time in my life. We are designed in the womb, a purpose for everything. Puts EVERYTHING in perspective.

Thanks Stella
Newmom, bless you.  It's amazing how we begin to see and experience life when God is the owner of our perspective, isn't it?  Smiley  

Welcome home!  Smiley
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