Jesus is the only way to heaven. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6
“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness,”
There seems to be news every day of more and more people experiencing hardships in their lives. There are stories of loved ones that didn’t return home. There are stories of weather disasters wiping out cities. There are stories of our young people and teenagers struggling. There are stories of corrupt politics; a crippling economy, job layoffs and firings, and more.
You name it and it’s out there. The daily news is littered with the truth of the sorrow that can penetrate into anyone’s life on any given day; stories that cause one to just shake their head and feel the pang of sympathy for those going through. Nobody wants to experience hardships and nobody wants to see anybody else having to suffer with it either.
It is during these times when we have to fight the most to remember the sovereignty of God. When we have to continually pound it into our heads that He is in control and “His compassions fail not.” Life may seem very, very bleak at times but God is still on His throne and “great is Thy faithfulness!”
Going through the hardships and the disappointments of life are hard enough, but when we start attributing the human characteristics of short-comings to a divine God, we rob ourselves of an unfailing assurance.
It’s hard to keep one’s head above water during times of crisis. It is at that time when we need our safety float the most. Then is when we need to remember that God has never failed and He is not about to start failing today. He is forever faithful!
Even in the book of Lamentations after the people went into captivity and Jerusalem became desolate, Jeremiah penned words that still inspire to this generation. They became words that have resonated God’s faithfulness in song; words that recognize that God is still there with His people.
“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope,” (Lamentations 3:20), Jeremiah writes. This is a made up mind focused on all that God has done through you and for you; seeing how He has moved in times past in your life. Looking back and remembering the prayers that He has already answered brings to the forefront of your mind all the successes He has allowed you to experience. Let that store up for you an arsenal of truth that fights for you and will declare “He is faithful!”
Don’t measure God faithfulness by your present circumstances. God never promised the absence of hardship or adversity in our Christian walk. But, what He did promise, in His faithfulness, to be in it all the way with you (Matthew 28:20). Therefore, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised),” Hebrews 10:23. The pathway we have walked may not have been all peaches and cream, but God was there with us and brought us through to this day because He is faithful.
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“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not that of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9
“I don’t deserve it, but Lord I thank You! I didn’t do anything to earn it, but again, Lord I thank You!” That’s the feeling the word grace evokes in me. It’s like walking on the clouds of heaven while here on earth; experiencing release and freedom in all that Christ has secured for me.
Grace is personal. Though Christ died for all, it has to touch each one on an intimate level. It takes hold of and absorbs in the spirit of man, this wonderful gift of God. It allows the one who follows after it to get a glimpse of what it truly may be like in heaven when all the shackles of this earthly bondage are removed. It is ours, personally and individually, to experience for them that are found in Him.
Isn’t it wonderful – this gift of His? Isn’t it magnificent that no matter our status in life or how hard we work it can never be earned? It can never be put in our repertoire of attainments to salvation. It is a gift!
Gifts are meant to be received. On a number of occasions my husband and even my children have tried to give me something out of the blue. While I am very grateful for the consideration that they want to give me something, I often wind up doing a lot of questioning trying to ascertain the reason for them wanting to give it in the first place. I want to know what I did to deserve it. “Oh, you don’t have to go through such lengths. And, yada, yada, yada . . .” In turn, what was a thoughtful expression is now tainted by frustration in the giver. They become frustrated with me for doing so much questioning instead of just receiving; for implying the only reason I am worthy is become of some work I must have done for them.
Human perception of this kind of outpouring of love has been marred by this sinful world. In it dwells the attitude of “if you do for me, then I’ll do for you.” “If you scratch my back, then I’ll scratch yours.” It is hard for one to believe in a motivation of pure love; to believe that one would give just because they love.
Paul laid the truth out for us. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespass and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lust of our flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others,” (Ephesians 2:1-3). We were “by nature children of wrath.” In other words, we were no good, no goods who deserved absolutely nothing.
Verse 4 steps in and shows the love of God at work. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.” He didn’t do it for us because of some great checklist we marked off as job complete, now I deserve this. His love gave us the gift to receive, “Not of works, lest any man should boast,” (vs. 9). “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus,” (vs. 7).
This is one of those lessons that you really have to let the Word speak for itself, lest mankind try to put their own spin on it. God loves us! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16). When we accept that love and are saved through Christ, then we have an opened door to accept the gift of grace along with it. I depend on His grace daily! I choose to “WALK IN GRACE” today. It’s a choice. Read the entire chapter 2 of Ephesians. See what you were and what He has made you now. See where you were, and now where He wants to take you. Compare what you did to what He has done for you. Now, CELEBRATE! AND, WALK IN THE GRACE HE GIVES.
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.” – Billy Graham
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell
“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christopher Reeve
To you all, the courageously brave with unrelenting service and sacrifice, we say “Thank you.”
“God loves you!” While human love can and will be fickle, God said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you,” (Jeremiah 31:3, NKJV). That’s the tender embrace in action; that strong love that quiets everything else and gives us rest. It’s like stepping into His arms, the arms of love and crying it all out, and feeling nothing but His love. ❤️
“. . . Because the Lord your God loves you,” Deuteronomy 23:5, NKJV
Those last three words, “God loves you,” are a salve for the broken-hearted and for hurting souls everywhere. If nobody else tells you, it’s three little words that God wants you to know, “God loves you.” If nobody else will show you, God said, “I will!”
Human emotions are so fickle. One day we’re up and the next we are down. Depending on which phase of life we are in our perception of reality can be altered by how we feel about the moment we are currently in. If we’re up, then it’s not hard to fathom love coming from everywhere, centering on us and making us feel good about ourselves. But, it is just the opposite when we are experiencing a down-ward phase. We can be living in a whole house full of people, right under…
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Handle with care I wish I could post,
a stick it note to remind of what matters the most.
Distractions, directions unprofitable and robbing;
relentless in their unfocused pulling and prodding.
But my days are few upon this earth,
to make an impact of valued worth.
The reins have to be taken back;
no longer the less valuable plans to detract.
Focus, you only have one life to live.
Frail, is this only life to give.
Here today, and gone tomorrow;
let me cherish each one without resentment and sorrow.
Life is fragile and can break like a dam.
So, Lord teach me to measure my days, that I may know how frail I am.
To gain the worth of each day given.
This time on earth; this limited edition.
Invest in the works, the love and matters of the soul.
To fulfill His glory is our heavenly goal.
“LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am,” (Psalms 39:4).