Following His Specific Plan…

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Proverbs 20:29-30 (KJV)

28 Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.
29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.
30 The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

God always wants the best for us, and He is committed to showing us how to follow the specific plan He has designed for each of our lives.

He wants us to listen for His voice, to hear what He wants me to do, and how He wants us to do it (see Is. 30:19-21).

When we begin to wander from the courseHe has set for us, He will take all kinds of measures to capture our attention and protect us from harm. He has a variety of ways to help us to take notice, among them:

1 – A Restless Spirit
Sometimes God gets our attention by making us restless.

2- A Spoken Word
God also gets our  attention by using the voice of others.

3-An Unusual Blessing
God may bless us in an unusual way to get our attention.

4-An Unanswered Prayer
Sometimes God will answer a prayer with “NO”.

5- Disappointment
When the nation of Israel refused God’s instruction to take possession of the Promised Land, God judged the people for their unbelief and allowed set backs.

6- Extraordinary Circumstances
Sometimes God will use unusual circumstances to get us to stop and pay attention.

7- Defeat
God may use defeat to show us the truth.

8- Financial Troubles
In the time of the Judges, when “everyone” did what was right in his own eyes, (Judg. 17:6) the nation fell into idolatry and disobedience. God brought judgement through  the Midianites who devastated the land.

9- Tragedy, Sickness and Affliction
We should regard our tragedies and afflictions as reasons to acquire onto the Lord, “What are you trying to say?” When King Hezakiah became prideful, God used illness to alert him to the problem (see 2 Chr. 32:24).

God always knows exactly where you are in your journey of faith and precisely where it what it will take to get your attention.

So stay alert, notice if any of these divine methods  are occurring- or recurring- in your life. If they are, ask Him what He wants to tell you, and then listen, not simply to hear but to obey.

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Practical Way To Bear Burdens…

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1 Thessalonians 5:14 (KJV)

14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

There are hurting people everywhere, but at times we just don’t know what to say or do to ease their pain.

Here are six practical ways to bear someone else’s burden.

Be there.
At times the best “method” of helping is simply to be present. During our darkest hours, we don’t need someone who tries in vain to fix everything; we just need a friend.

Listen.
Don’t attempt to give answers or tell people what to do next. Injured souls frequently want simply a listening ear so they can express what’s on their mind.

Share.
Never parade yourself as someone who has all the answers. Instead, allow your own pain and failures to help others.

Pray.
There is power in speaking people’s names before the Lord. When they hear someone talk to Jesus on their behalf, healing often starts taking place.

Give.
Sometimes helping others involves more than a handshake or warm hug. Maybe they need something financial or material. One of the best measures of sincerity is how much we’re willing to give to others.

Substitute.
You may know an individual who bears the burden of caring for someone else. If you step in and take his or her place for a while, you are emulating your Savior–He, too, was a substitute.

Because we were unable to do it ourselves, Jesus bore all of our sin and sorrow, even unto death. As a result, we can live happily and eternally in communion with our Father.

If Christ did that for us, how can we ever say, “I’m too busy to bear someone else’s burden”?

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Our Areas Of Weakness…

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1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (KJV)

12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Some Christians see a fellow believer fall into sin but fail to acknowledge that they, too, could stumble.

That’s dangerous. Satan has them right where he wants them: deceived by a false sense of confidence. Three enemies are constantly at work trying to bring us down: the Devil, his world system, and our own treacherous flesh.

Even though believers have a righteous standing before God, we must each, like Paul, acknowledge an internal problem: “sin which dwells in me” (Rom. 7:20). Satan takes full advantage of this weakness, luring us with fleshly and worldly temptations. He stokes our pride so we’ll be blinded to our own vulnerability to stumbling.

Christians need to be continually on guard. Since ignorance–of the nature of sin, the strategies of the Enemy, and our own areas of weakness–sets us up for failure, we cannot afford to be careless in our thinking. Anytime you find yourself excusing, redefining, or rationalizing sin, you’ve lost your sensitivity to the Lord. God’s Word must always fill our minds and direct our steps.

If you’ve drifted from the Lord, turn back to Him by acknowledging your sin and accepting full responsibility for it.

Repentance simply means changing your mind and going in a different direction–toward God instead of away from Him.

The next step is harder. Respond with gratitude for the Lord’s chastisement. Every time believers fall into sin, God lovingly works to bring them back into a fellowship with Him.

His discipline may be painful, but it’s always good because it brings us to our senses and reconnects us with our Father.

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A Soldier…

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A Soldier

There is discipline in a soldier
you can see it when he walks,

There is honor in a soldier
you hear it when he talks.

There is courage in a soldier
you can see it in his eyes,

There is loyalty in a soldier
that he will not compromise.

There is something in a soldier
that makes him stand apart,

There is strength in a soldier
that beats from his heart.

A soldier isn’t a title any man
can be hired to do,

A soldier is the soul of that man
buried deep inside of you.

A soldier’s job isn’t finished after
an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week,

A soldier is always a soldier
even while he sleeps.

A soldier serves his country first
and his life is left behind,

A soldier has to sacrifice what
comes first in a civilian’s mind.

If you are civilian –
I am saying this to you…..
next time you see a soldier
remember what they do.

A soldier is the reason our land
is ‘Home of the free’,

A soldier is the one that is brave
protecting you and me.
If you are a soldier –
I am saying this to you…..

Thank god for every soldier
Thank god for what you do.

by Summer Sandercox

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Eager and Capable Of Meeting Your Every Need…

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Matthew 6: 32-34

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Do you really believe that God is able and eager to meet all of your needs?

Some people ask, “If God is all powerful and all knowing, and if He loves me unconditionally– and therefore He is not only capable of meeting all my needs but also desires to meet all my needs– then why doesn’t He just meet all my needs right now?

Why do I still have unmet needs?

Others say, ” I know God is capable  of meeting my needs, but since I still have them, God must not want to meet them.”

Still others question sincerely, “Why didn’t God meet all my needs the moment I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior?”

These are excellent questions worthy of close examination.

At the onset, let me assure you that God is committed to meeting all of your needs. Jesus told us  in Matthew 6 that we are not to worry about getting our needs met, for God has promised to take of them.

“but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

He said, “and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). He had in mind “things” like food and drink and clothes. This is a promise, a commitment, a pledge of action.

The value of any commitment is based upon two things:

1-The ability of the promise maker to fulfill the promise.

2- The integrity of the promise maker, whether he has the character to follow through on the promise.

God certainly qualifies on both accounts.

He has all the wisdom, power and ability necessary to fulfill His promises to us. He also has proven integrity– He has always done what He dais He would do. God is utterly faithful to His word.

He is holy and immutable; He is unchanging. His commandments, statutes, and promises have not changed; they reflect our unchanging God.

He is in fact the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Do you want your needs met?

Tell God today that you completely trust Him and that you understand that your timing is not His timing. Continue to obey God and you can expect that He will deliver on His promises.

 

 

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Receive The Good News…

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John 3:1-21 (KJV)

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Faith isn’t something we can lay claim to because we were born to believing parents or have citizenship in a Christian
country.

Nor can we attain it by attending or even teaching Sunday school, though I’ve often heard such incorrect assertions.
Instead, the following should be true of genuine believers.

A clear understanding of the gospel is essential for a person to believe and receive the good news of Jesus Christ.

His death  on the cross was the only sacrifice required to remove our sins. God offers His grace as a gift to anyone who will receive it.

A definite decision at a particular point in time serves as a sort of landmark of the heart and mind. People do not just slip
into Christianity; faith in Jesus must be chosen. Believers are those who have made a deliberate decision to trust the Lord
and follow in His ways.

A blessed assurance follows the clear-cut decision so that believers can be certain of their salvation.

God wants confident, assured children (1 John 5:13).

A visible symbol of what happens when someone receives the Savior–namely, baptism–illustrates dying to one’s old ways and
rising to new life in Christ Jesus. Believers are to take this step as a public way of identifying with Him (Matt. 28:19).

A man or woman of faith chooses to surrender to Christ, embraces the Word of God, and lives fully for the Lord.

True believers  no longer muddle through the practices of religion out of habit, but instead worship and rejoice in a vibrant personal
relationship with the Lord.

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He Breaks You To Change You…

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2 Corinthians 12:9-10

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Someone once said, “A soul is converted in a moment in time, but to become a saint takes a lifetime”.

Conversion happens instantly; maturity takes many years. To bring us to maturity, God has to break us over and over again.

So often Christians struggle to get to what they perceive as being to the top. They gather and accumulate and arrange and amass – all the while forging their long list of accomplishments, perhaps with the hope that that they will one day be able to hand their resume to God and say, “See what I’ve done for You?”

God’s work through brokenness calls us not to accumulate, but to discard. He calls us to get rid of this, to toss that, purge ourselves of this trait and that habit, repent of that desire and that goal, and finally strip ourselves of all self until we can truly say, “All that I am and all that I have is God’s. He is in me and I am in Him, and that’s all that matters.”

What is God stripping away from your life?

What comes to mind when you think of being broken?

What have you put between you and total surrender to God?

What do you trust more than you trust God?

What do you love more than you love God?

If you allow Him to do so, God will break you, change you, and cause you to grow until you reach spiritual maturity so that he might use you as his tool in bringing others to wholeness and spiritual maturity.

 

 

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Good But Not Good Enough…

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Matthew 9: 16-26 (KJV)

16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.
20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
23 And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,
24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.
26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.

In Matthew 19:16, a rich young ruler went to Jesus and asked, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

What he was really asking Jesus was, “I’ve done so many good things- haven’t I done enough to earn eternal life?”

Like so many people, the rich young ruler  was asking the wrong question.

Now, remember that eternal life is more than just life without end- eternal life is also a quality of life.

It is the  life of God. When you receive the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior, you receive Him by faith.

You believe that Jesus Christ  is the Son of God, who went to the cross and died for your sins in order to reconcile you to God (see Col. 1:20).

Then, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you- and He is the life of God in you (see Rom. 8:9-11).

You see the rich young ruler’s emphasis was on what he could do to earn salvation.

Unfortunately, this is the great deception.

Eternal life cannot be earned (see Gal. 2-16, Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9).

We’ll never perform in a manner so good that God will see what we’ve done, approve of us, and give us eternal life.

Sadly, that’s the way most people approach God.

So when people think, “I’ll do better in a few areas of my life, surely God will accept me”, they don’t realize that “doing better” does  not take care of the real problem.

We all need to understand, good work does not erase sin.

 

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