Words To Live By – “Rest In Jesus!”

“THAT’S IT, I HAD IT!!!” We have all had those moments in life. Don’t lose your cool, lose your problems instead. Jesus invites us to “CAST” everything on Him because He “CARES” for us! Take that encouragement with you as you go through this day. Make it up in your mind that whatever irks you, gets under your skins or makes you want to wash your hands of it all, give it to Jesus and let Him help you with this day!!!

Father God, thank you for Your Sovereign hand at work in my life today. Thank You that you are willing to be my burden bearer and my heavy load sharer. Thank You that you are concerned enough about me to lend me Your ear to hear my prayer requests that come up before You. You are an awesome and amazing God. Time and time again You work to pull me through. I am ever so grateful for every drop of Your love, Your peace and Your anointing in my life. Apart from You, I can do nothing and without You I am nothing. Into Your hands, I commit every prayer request. In the name of Your dear Son, Jesus Christ, I pray – AMEN!!!

Text Free Photo: Pixabay

Simple words of encouragement… “God is for YOU!”

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Has discouragement tried to enter where God has placed you today? Has confusion tried to make you feel less than; as if God is not for you today?  Has your day already started off on the wrong foot?

Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation. . .,” John 16:33a. He knew that there would some days where we face trouble and discouragement; there would be times when we feel like we are in this alone. In those times, He wants to reassure us that He is for us. He has never left us. He has never forsaken us. His plans for us have a glorious end so don’t let any circumstance make you believe that God doesn’t have your back because He does. He’s here and He is for you!

Jesus went on to say, ” …but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,” John 16:33b; and if you are in Him and stay with Him and believe in Him, you will too. Because God is for you!

Community of Believers | We are here for one another!

 

Races can take you through many terrains.  Running uphill, it’s hard.  The more you go, the steeper the incline, the harder it gets.  Breath after breath your chest heaves for relief.  Push after push your muscles cry out for mercy.  And, just when you thought you had no more in you; just when you thought you couldn’t go any farther, from behind there comes these hands out of nowhere that steadies your stride and helps propel you forward some more.  On the side of you comes smiling faces with encouraging words grabbing hold of your arms and help pull you up that incline that you might finish your race.  They want to help you make it.

The Apostle Paul often described our Christian life as a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).  We run it.  We press for it.  But, sometimes the way gets hard and if it had not been for the grace of God, we would not have made it.

As the community of racers pushed and pulled the struggling runner uphill, so God will minister to us to help us go through our race.  Often this is done through the community of believers that will come alongside the one that needs support.

In this world the struggle is real.  May we, as a community of believers, recognize the support that each one needs.  May we join up with our fellow Christian race runners and offer the help and encouragement they need to make it.  May we see beyond our own race and allow God to use our hands and smiling faces to help bolster someone’s faith as they are striving to make it up the inclines of this life.

We all have the same goal in mind: to finish the race.  We need each other to do it.  As a community of believers, our job goes beyond spreading the gospel and being a light in this dark world, and all the other spiritual stuff it entails.  Our job is also to seek the welfare of one another.  We need to be there for one another.  We need to be present and involved in the process of what they are going through “that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it,” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).  

More encouraging verses and quotes:

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow . . .” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a

“God has chosen us to help one another.” Smith Wigglesworth

“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo Source: Pixabay

What Would It Have Been Like? | “In the Garden with God”

One of my favorite times of the day is waking up.  Not the actual waking up part (sometimes that’s a little hard 😉 ), but when I finally get up, I get to draw back the curtains and see the new day.  It’s untouched.  It’s filled with hope and promise.  Whatever happened yesterday is not here for this is today.  It’s that freshness that draws me in and gets my soul stirred for the possibilities ahead.

When we go on vacation one of the places we stay at is a condo in the mountains.  It’s so peaceful.  With coffee in hand in the morning, I head out onto the balcony and sit to admire the new day.  The only thing I hear is the birds singing their song.  The deer as they break twigs and rustle leaves when they walk.  Sometimes you see the groundhogs and other animals eating their meals for the day.  You get this sense about you that this is the way it was meant to be.

And it makes me wonder about a time when all days were meant to be like this.  When there was a time when all days started in innocence and nothing was yet corrupted.  When there was a time that man walked freely in the Garden with God.

I love gardens and I declare one day I will have a nice one.  We were meant to live the garden lifestyle.  We were designed to reign in innocence and peace.  The world we live in today contradicts the fellowship we were created to have with God.  We were to have an up close relationship with Him, “And they heard to sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…,” (Gen. 3:8, NKJV).

Let your mind go back, not to the sin but to the experience of being with God in the garden.  Adam and Eve experienced God on a level that no other being will have the privilege to.  Surely this was not the first time God had paid them a visit for they knew what it sounded like when they heard Him walking.  They had a realistic divine view of the Almighty here on earth.

What would it have been like to have the Sovereign of the universe, day by day to come and see about me?  What would it have been like to see the mouth that spoke things into existence speaking to me?  What would it have been like to hear those footsteps with my own ears and know it was the Lord?  What would it have been like to see the hands that fashioned me from nothing standing there, willing to clothe me, Gen. 3:21.  What would it have been like?

There, before the Fall, fellowship with God was uninterrupted by evil.  There the beauty of all God is could be seen by those He created.  There, peace was the predominate feeling because the shaker of peace had not come on the scene.  There, God spoke to man face to face unhindered by fleshly desires.  There, it’s hard to imagine, but life was nothing but good because man knew nothing but God.

Imagine the best backyard barbeque.  We sit around laughing and enjoying the company of others.  In the garden with God, can we even imagine Adam and God chit-chatting about the day, about the animals or about life in general?  Can we imagine the way Adam’s heart must have felt assured every time He heard the voice of God speak to him?  Can we imagine that when Eve was presented to her husband there was no fear, only love, because that’s all they ever received was love on the earth?  Can we really imagine?

It may be hard for our mind to fathom such an age of innocence and honesty.  It’s hard for us to see what this must have been like because now our view has been corrupted by sin.  But I imagine it was glorious.  It was nothing like we’ll ever know here on earth.  In that garden, during that time, beauty is all that was seen with our eyes and with our hearts.  God was all that was known.  Oh, imagine.

It’s hard to put into words when everyone was right before God.  It’s hard to describe from one’s soul a place of longing but never viewing.  It’s hard to capture the essence of what being with God was like there, and yet my heart still yearns to know what would it have been like?

What do you think it would have been like to see the world at its best?  What do think it would have been like to fellowship with God at your best?  Where we live in the mid-Atlantic region we are expected to have rain most of the day.  Even in this dreariest of settings, I’m looking at the trees swaying outside my window and imagining the beauty of that time.  I guess that’s what it would have been like, beautiful because everything was in harmony with God.  Beautiful represents their relationship with God and it represents the surrounding that God created for them.

One day we will experience that garden lifestyle again, that age of beautiful unbroken relationship with Him when we meet Him in our heavenly home.

Text Free Photo Credit: Pixabay

Community of Believers | We are here for one another!

 

Races can take you through many terrains.  Running uphill, it’s hard.  The more you go, the steeper the incline, the harder it gets.  Breath after breath your chest heaves for relief.  Push after push your muscles cry out for mercy.  And, just when you thought you had no more in you; just when you thought you couldn’t go any farther, from behind there comes these hands out of nowhere that steadies your stride and helps propel you forward some more.  On the side of you comes smiling faces with encouraging words grabbing hold of your arms and help pull you up that incline that you might finish your race.  They want to help you make it.

The Apostle Paul often described our Christian life as a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).  We run it.  We press for it.  But, sometimes the way gets hard and if it had not been for the grace of God, we would not have made it.

As the community of racers pushed and pulled the struggling runner uphill, so God will minister to us to help us go through our race.  Often this is done through the community of believers that will come alongside the one that needs support.

In this world the struggle is real.  May we, as a community of believers, recognize the support that each one needs.  May we join up with our fellow Christian race runners and offer the help and encouragement they need to make it.  May we see beyond our own race and allow God to use our hands and smiling faces to help bolster someone’s faith as they are striving to make it up the inclines of this life.

We all have the same goal in mind: to finish the race.  We need each other to do it.  As a community of believers, our job goes beyond spreading the gospel and being a light in this dark world, and all the other spiritual stuff it entails.  Our job is also to seek the welfare of one another.  We need to be there for one another.  We need to be present and involved in the process of what they are going through “that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it,” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).  

More encouraging verses and quotes:

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow . . .” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a

“God has chosen us to help one another.” Smith Wigglesworth

“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo Source: Pixabay

“Be Hopeful!”

“For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth.  By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.  My praise shall be continually of You,” Psalm 71:5-6, NKJV

Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all.  And so today I still have a dream.”   Life goes on and dreams fade.  Aspirations and ideas that were once prevalent, now sit in a dusty corner of our sub-conscience only to be peeked at from time to time.  But, what we are learning is today, that does not have to happen.  Today we can remain hopeful that it’s not too late.

Hopelessness kills this world.  It’s like a ravenous disease spreading from individual to individual, house to house, community to community, city to city until everywhere we look all that is seen is what looks like people drowning in the distresses of this life.  Barely holding onto a fading thread of what could be in order to make it through another day.  There is no vigor for or in life.  It’s just a daily trudging through, each step getting harder and harder.

No wonder so many give up and are found sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else go by.  An individual can attend a thousand motivational seminars but if he walks away without true hope then nothing was accomplished.  No real help can come of it because without real hope, as Dr. King stated, “you lose the vitality that keeps life moving.”  But, when one can begin to get a glimpse of what could be, through faith, through the eyes of God, they can begin to see that there can be a greater tomorrow, or better yet, a greater day today for them.

I believe this psalmist knew the secret.  As dismal as life can be sometimes he knew that there was a reason to believe that this all will get better.  All he had to do was view the evidence of the working hand of God that was already performed in his life.  He said, “You are my hope. .  . my trust from my youth.”  The fact that we have made it this far from way back then is proof of His sovereignty over our lives.  By His strength, we have been blessed to be here today to tell of His goodness; to say, “I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.”  So, “my praise shall be continually of You.”

You have a reason to remain hopeful.  This is not the final chapter.  There is more to your story than this.  I don’t believe God brought you through this far to not complete what He has in store for you.  “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ,” (Phil. 1:6, NKJV).  It is not over yet.  We still have hope!

You can declare, “Today can be different.  Today I make the choice to ignore all the negative stuff that’s trying to override the promises of God.  Today, I turn my back on my problems and turn my eyes to Jesus, ‘the Author and Finisher of our faith,’ (Heb. 12:2).  I have more important things to occupy my mind with rather than all of these trials and tribulations.  All I have to do is remember how He has kept me thus far.  Remember, how He has brought me through to see this day.  Then, I can have hope that what He did once before, He’ll do it again.”

Hope!  Stay anchored in Him, “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,” (Heb. 6:19).  He shall not be moved.  Since He is not moved and I am in Him, I shall not be moved.  Hope!

Never stop being hopeful for with it comes possibilities.  Believe what you can’t see.  Grab hold of what you can’t touch, and hope!  If you still have a dream then there must be hope to feed it.  Who knows what you will be capable of doing unless you give yourself a chance and remain hopeful.

Photo Credit: Pixabay