Weakness…Strength

Struggles, heartaches, hurdles, storms, distress, health problems and obstacles, seem to be the norm these days. But don’t despair, God has not forgotten us, He has given us these unlovely situations to help us grow and mature in Him. If we lean on Him and seek strength and power through Him, we will become better, we will grow in grace. In 2013 don’t give up and don’t give in. When you fall down, get back up again. Look to Jesus because He will never leave you alone, even when it doesn’t feel like He is theretrust-in-the-lord-2.

In 2 Corinthians 12, the writer, Paul, talks about an infirmity that he has. No one knows exactly what the infirmity was, but it caused Paul some stress to the point where sometimes he could not work. He asked the Lord to remove the infirmity three times but God did not. Paul learned that the limitations from his infirmity caused him to depend more on God for his effectiveness in his ministry. He learned that God’s grace was and is always sufficient. We too must learn to depend more and more on God and not our own strength, efforts, and talents.

2 Corinthians 12:6-10 (NIV)

“Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

 

Reasons to Rejoice

There are many reasons to rejoice. The list is extensive,  but I have chosen just a few reasons that I hope will resonate with you if you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Salvation through Christ – I have the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 2:8-9 (Amplified) – “For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]”

Sins are forgiven – Psalm 103:12 (Amplified) “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Justified through Jesus – Romans 5:1 (Amplified) “Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).”

Access through Jesus – Romans 5:2 (Amplified) “Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.”

There is security in Jesus – John 10:27-29 (Amplified) – “The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand.”

The Lord Forgives – Psalm 130:1-4 (Amplified) “Out of the depths have I cried to You, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice; let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If You, Lord, should keep account of and treat [us according to our] sins, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You [just what man needs], that You may be reverently feared and worshiped.”

The Lord is my Shepherd – Psalm 23:1 (Amplified) “The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 (Amplified)

Birthday Blessings

Image: www.freedigitalphotos.net

Today is my birthday and God said Happy Birthday Betty and because I love you so much Happy Birthday Faye. He smiled at me and told me that I am the love of His life and He gave me another year.

I woke up in good health, breathing, moving, talking, and walking, all without the help of another. My God is an awesome God. He is my friend, my father, and my all.

Birthday Blessings

B = Blessed – I am blessed with all spiritual blessings. Spiritual blessings are eternal blessings. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,…” Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV)

 I = Image of God. – I am created in the image of God. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

 R = Righteous – I am made righteous through Christ. “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:18-21 (NKJV)

T = Thankful – I am thankful for all that God has done and been in my life. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:15-16 (NKJV)

 H = Happy – My joy and happiness are in the Lord. “All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].” Proverbs 15:15 (Amplified)

 D = Day – Psalm 118:24 (NKJV) “This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

 A = An Abundance – God desires us to have an abundant life. He wants us to have an abundance of love, joy, peace, forgiveness, guidance, mercy and grace. John 10:10 (NKJV), “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

 Y = Yoke – God wants our yoke and burdens to be given to Him. “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 (Amplified)

Thank you Lord for a wonderful and blessed birthday!

“Smile God Loves You”

I am constantly overwhelmed by the love that God has for me. There is no one in this world that can love me the way God does. His love is un-conditional, His love is giving, His love is merciful, and His love is gracious. God’s love for me is so strong that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ. For God so loved the world that He gave; He gave the greatest gift. Because He loves us so much we should have a smile on face and a smile in our hearts.

Romans 5:8 (Amplified) – But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

 Images:  www.freedigitalphotos.net

REMEMBER GOD LOVES YOU, SO KEEP SMILING, KEEP GIVING, KEEP LOVING, KEEP HELPING, KEEP CARING, AND KEEP DOING!

I’m Still Here

Do you ever think about how far you have come and that you’ve gone through or all that you are currently experiencing? Marvin Sapp’s,  song Here I Am says that he almost gave up but he’s still standing.  It is by the grace and mercy of God that we are still here.  In the Psalm 23, David concludes the Psalm by saying “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Into every life a little rain must fall but through the rain and the storm we can come out brand new.

Here I am – Marvin Sapp

 

Grace is Powerful

I know that I wrote about grace several post ago, but doing what I usually do (listen to gospel music while driving home from work), I heard this version being sang by T.D. Jakes and the Potter’s House Choir. Listening to Pastor Jakes powerful and dramatic voice makes you really see and feel the grace of God.

I found the song on “You Tube” Published on May 21, 2012 by elderharris3. Elder Harris said: A Revisionary of Bishop T.D. Jakes and the Potter House Choir “Grace”, a homemade video project. A home production with wonderful scenery to go with music.

I hope you enjoy  the song as much as I did.  If it wasn’t for God’s grace where would you be.

 

Thank you Lord for grace.

Image: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

 

 

30 Days Of…Day 20 – “Captive Thoughts”

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a hard time with my thoughts. I was reading one of  my Christian fiction novels and one of the characters was thinking some thoughts about someone she was having difficulty with. Then she thought to her self, “God, you said to take every thought captive unto Christ. How do I do that?”  I have often wondered the same thing. Sometimes I read a scripture and it is clear as a bell to me and there are those scriptures that it takes a little longer for me to interpret and to activate in my life such as this one about taking thoughts capture. My pastor sometimes says we need to “practice the principles”.  In other words, what we learn from the scripture, we must put it into action. We must also be careful about the books we read, the music we listen to, and the television shows and movies we watch. All of these things affect our thought life.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, “ (New King James Version).

So many times I have built up a scenario in my mind about something that I think the another person has said or done and I let my imagination run wild with these thoughts. Most of the time what I am thinking is not reality and never even comes to pass. So the question is how do we take thoughts captive when we they can so easily run away from us?

My research on this topic gives good biblical advice on how to grow in this area. The first thing I found is that taking thoughts captive is a choice. We have a choice to choose right thoughts or wrong thoughts. We have a choice to recognize unhealthy and negative thoughts and turn from them. This goes back to what I said earlier in the post about practicing the principles.  What do we need to practice to be able to take thoughts captive?

  1. We must be diligent in reading and studying the Word of God
  2. We must actively focus our thoughts on God
  3. We must speak the Word of God
  4. Listen to praise and worship music
  5. We must pray and ask God to redirect our thoughts when they go astray

Prayer, faith, hope, God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit are all effective weapons to use in the battle against thoughts that are negative and are not of God.

Philippians 4:8 (Amplified Bible)“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].”

Looks like I have some more work to do in this area of my life. I am a work in progress with rough edges that are being ironed out every day. I thank God for His mercy and grace.

Previous Older Entries