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Showing posts from August, 2018

No Good Work Is Ever Wasted

Morning Inspiration: So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
1 Corinthians 15:58 There are things we do for the Lord that are fun, exciting, & even exhilarating. Many other duties can be lonely, difficult or painful. Paul the Apostle knew this all too well. His encouragement here is important, because it comes from his personal experience. We won’t always be able to see the purpose, or the results of our efforts. Often, it will seem as if we have failed in our assignment. Yet it’s critical that we maintain an ongoing enthusiasm for whatever it is Jesus has placed in our hearts to do. God has plans & purposes that He doesn’t always allow us to understand. We can trust Him to know that when we are being obedient to the Lord, nothing we do or say is ever wasted. Even what seems like utter defeat or devastation today, often leads to positive results that we can…

Am I Ashamed of Jesus? Are You?

Morning Inspiration: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Jesus, quoted in Mark 8:38 Most serious Christians would never imagine that we could be ashamed of Jesus. Yet this Scripture warns us to take a deeper look at our behaviors. Do we ever refrain from mentioning His name in mixed company, because we’re afraid of the response from others? Do we skip the prayer before meals in public places? Are we hesitant to say what the Bible teaches, when we discuss current events with those we work, play & live with? An answer of yes to any of these, indicates that we are embarrassed by our faith...& that’s the same as being ashamed of Jesus! While nothing says we must stand on a corner, shaking our fists at unbelievers, we are told to share the Good News of Jesus with the world. I find that gently stating my beliefs (or quoting Scrip…

Perfect Discipline

Morning Inspiration: For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in His holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:10–11 A good parent disciplines their children out of care, concern & love. We want them to avoid danger, develop good character & learn right from wrong. Try as we might, parents make mistakes. We can over punish, or let poor behaviors slide by uncorrected. God, as our Holy Father, disciplines His children perfectly. We usually don’t like it while it’s happening, but can trust we will be better for having gone through it. Know that the purpose of our being disciplined, is to learn to become more like Jesus. That helps us accept it in the right way, & to look toward some very positive results.

What Happens When You Give More

Morning Inspiration: Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2nd Corinthians 9:6-8 We are often afraid we won’t have enough for ourselves, so we hesitate to give our money away to those in need. God’s word shows that when we plant more seeds (as in giving away our wealth), we grow more of a harvest (increasing income, resources, wealth). It works in amazing ways on this earth, & will greatly multiply our reward in paradise. We can give away our riches to churches, ministries & individuals in need, with great joy, knowing that our money will return to us in even greater numbers. When we give, our wea…

Living Though We Are Dying

Morning Inspiration: Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. 2nd Corinthians ‪4:16-18‬ Paul reminds us the ‘trash’ we have to deal with now, is building the treasure we are promised in the near future. We can’t allow things like rejection, pain, loss, illness or even deadly disease to wear us down, and make us think of quitting. We are all in the process of dying, yet Jesus wants us to live life to the fullest each day! Paul learned to focus the power of the Holy Spirit on the great reward that is still to come. That renewed his enthusiasm and commitment...and it will do the same for us! “Lord Jesus, give me your strength to …

The Enemy Within Us

Morning Inspiration: But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
Galatians 5:15–16 This Scripture applies to all aspects of our lives; family, friends, work, community, government & yes, especially the church. We often do more damage to ourselves from within our walls, than the enemy could ever do from the outside. Stop criticizing, complaining, gossiping & backbiting. Even when you disagree with someone, pray for them in a positive, sincere way. Focus on their good qualities & do your honest best to understand why they feel as they do. Remember you are here to love & serve them, not to be their judge. Even Jesus didn’t judge the first time He came (though He will on His return). Share His words. Show His love. Through your relationship with Jesus, give others the love & acceptance you yourself crave.

Using Freedom Wisely

Morning Inspiration: For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:13–14 In one way, freedom is a lot like money. Spend it only on yourself & you will be miserable. Use it for the good of others, & your life will be blessed on multiple levels. “Lord help us each to clearly see, that the blessings you give us, are not to be used selfishly. Help us to magnify & multiply your love, by showing others that all great things come from You above.”

Jesus Set Me Truly Free

Morning Inspiration: So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
Galatians 5:1 These two simple sentences go deeply into the clear understanding of our faith. Jesus sacrificed His life for our freedom. Freedom from sin, & from the long list of detailed & cumbersome rules of the law. Both used to enslave us, & rule our lives. Now, through our faith in Jesus, we are truly free! Not free to do whatever we want, because that would only lead us back into the slavery of our previous habits & behaviors. This freedom allows us to live our lives unselfishly, in accordance with the laws that matter most: To love God with everything we have; & to love others as much as we love ourselves. Any other man-made ‘church rules’ are useless attempts to bring us back under the old system of the law, which was impossible to live up to. So Christ died to free us from an endless list of useless exercises, which bec…

Amazed God Can Use Us!

Morning Inspiration: I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:12–14 I could never even begin to compare myself to the amazing Apostle Paul. Yet, I see I have a lot in common with him, & I bet you do too! We who are driven to do God’s work, clearly understand that the strength required to do so, comes from the Lord Himself, not from ourselves. We’re not only grateful Jesus chooses to use us, but stunned He would...considering our past! It hurts me to recall the things I said & did against the faith & the ones I called “Those Jesus Freaks”! Now I am one! Remembering what terrible sinners we used to be, ma…

Finding The Comfort & Strength We Need

Morning Inspiration: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, Who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
2nd Thessalonians 2:16–17 God Himself, through His grace (forgiveness) to us, promises Believers peace & comfort for eternity. As we learn to trust in His Word, we grow into this wonderful hope of all the amazing things that we know are coming soon. It is this hope in His Truth, that gives us the comfort & strength to ‘get through’ the difficult days ahead. This allows us, even encourages us, to continue doing & saying the many good things planned for us by Jesus, for others he places in our path.

What Could Possibly Be Better?

Morning Inspiration: A single day in your courts
is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.
Psalm 84:10–11 Even just one day in the presence of God, is worth more than a lifetime of luxury spent with those who don’t know Jesus! In God’s economy, it’s better to be a servant to the Lord, than to rule over others. God provides for & protects His children. A close relationship with Jesus brings us everything He knows we need.