7/25/14

Proverbs31 Ministires

Open my eyes, Lord, so that I can see how You want to use me this day. Give me the ability to see the world through the lens of Your heart, to recognize Your divine appointments and to have the courage to say, "Yes." In Jesus' Name, Amen
WENDY BLIGHT

Choose To Love

Over two thousand years ago, the obstacle was our sin. Man created a division in the Garden so devastating that it separated us from God. The fruit was eaten. The sin obstacle was placed. And God made it clear: Heaven’s holiness couldn’t be tainted by our broken state. He could have punished us forever. Drawn the line in the sand. Set the stakes in place.
But instead He made a choice to love.
Oh, it meant sacrifice. It meant crossing the line and bridging the gap and taking the blame. But Jesus took on the cross with humility and grace, initiating the first step, because of obedience to the Father and because of His love for you and for me. And when we accept the gift of grace extended to us, the obstacles are removed, and He has the power to reconcile us to a right relationship with God.
Beautiful, matchless grace, all because of God’s pursuing, redeeming, everlasting love.
God’s love changes everything. It changes the critical fate of our eternity, all the way down to how we love our neighbors on the most inconvenient, unfair days. It has the power to change me and to change you, if we’ll let it.
Love is the foundation for redeeming the world back to our precious Father. But God chose normal human beings to be the ones who would make His love known. He loved us, and we are blessed and redeemed by that healing, comforting, always present love. And then, out of gratitude, we choose to be that kind of love to the world in which we are living. ~ Sally Clarkson – You Are Loved, pg. 127
We don’t have to have it all figured out, and all of the world’s problems won’t immediately disappear. But God’s love is the foundation on which we start. Life is short. Will we choose to love God and love people with all that we have, before it’s too late?
{You Are Loved}.
Now it’s time to remove the obstacles and LOVE back.

Whitney~ Good Morning Girls

the bedrock

Exodus 17 reveals that God’s provision isn’t tied to natural circumstances. He’s the God of the supernatural (v.6). As Moses struck the rock, following God’s instructions, life-sustaining water came gushing forth. But this miraculous story is not only a testimony of God’s faithfulness to His people in the wilderness, it’s a foreshadowing of the power of the cross. As Paul wrote, the water from the rock was symbolic of the living water that flows from Christ: “All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:3-4).
The psalms speak continually of God as our Rock (Psalms 61:2, 95:1). Truly He is the source of our strength and our sure foundation. But He’s also the provider of our salvation, based in Jesus, made possible by His death on the cross. He brought the living water of new spiritual life to us, replacing the dryness of our spiritual death.
Moses struck the rock and the people were “able to drink” (Exodus 17:6). Jesus was struck down so that you and I might be able to drink deep of His grace.
 —Regina Franklin
read›
Exodus 17:1-7
I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink (v.6).
more›
Read Psalm 62:1-12 and consider what it says about God and His work in our lives.

7/23/14

Encouragement For Today

"People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray."
Proverbs 10:17
The Lord loves you too much to let you go too far astray, so he will discipline you. It may be through someone's direct rebuke, a Scripture that convicts you, or some other means. Today, be open to God's correction of any area of your life that is not right. God doesn't bash you over the head and scream, "Shape up!" His correction is gentle…and thus easily missed. But it's meant to keep you on the pathway to life. Seek his correction! With God, it's always done in love.

by Diane Eble

7/22/14

Where More Loving Relationships Begin

"But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control." Galatians 5:22-23a (TLB)
Change, like love, is a matter of the will. But it also involves the heart. And heart-level change doesn't happen overnight. It takes time.
Disillusionment and broken dreams may have caused many of us to wrap our hearts in thick, self-protective layers of armor, closing them off from our husbands for years. Hurt and resentment may have grown deep roots. We may long for more loving relationships with our husbands, but before we can truly open our hearts again, the armor needs to be stripped away, and our stony hearts need to soften.
For many of us, letting down our guard and softening our hearts may seem impossible. Thankfully, we belong to a God who is a heart specialist. Just as He alone can change the hearts of our spouses, He alone can change our hearts.
An amazing thing happens when we allow God to change our hearts. He fills us with His unconditional love and enables us to reach out to our husbands wholeheartedly without demands or preconditions.
Romans 5:5b reminds us, "God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit" (NIV-1984). As we focus on becoming more like Jesus, the fruit of His Spirit will grow in our hearts, and His love will flow through us to influence our marriages and our spouses

He Enjoys Us!

Zephaniah 3:17 says God “will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song.” (NLT)
Sometimes it's hard for me to understand how God can enjoy me. So many Christians have done truly remarkable things for His Kingdom. My contributions are so small. Then I think about how much I enjoyed my children and grandchildren before they offered anything in return, and I realize that's how God loves me.
Take that thought with you today--you're His beloved child, and He enjoys you!
1-Minute Bible Love Notes

Encouragement For Today

"Who is the King of glory?
  The LORD, strong and mighty;
the LORD, invincible in battle.
  Open up, ancient gates!
Open up, ancient doors,
  and let the King of glory enter.
Who is the King of glory?
  The LORD of Heaven's Armies—
he is the King of glory."
Psalm 24:8-10
 
What battles do you face today? Financial, relational, health, spiritual, weight issues, addiction, doubt? We do enter so many battles. Yet we are not meant to fight them on our own. Lean on the God who is described here: strong and mighty, invincible in battle. Let him enter your life, and he will fight your battles! It gives him glory to do so.
—Diane Eble

7/21/14

Beyond Understanding

Have you ever thought: "Why pray? If God wants something to happen, it will happen whether I pray or not."

C.S. Lewis said that's the same as saying: "Why wash my hands? If God wants them clean, they'll be clean whether I wash them or not."

Although we can't fully understand prayer with our finite minds, God still tells us to "Never stop praying" (1 Thessalonians 5:17NLT).

And Scripture assures us there are many benefits in prayer. For example, prayer brings a peace that is beyond our understanding.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 

If we can't understand the peace prayer brings, we shouldn't be surprised that we can't understand prayer itself.

Obviously, understanding prayer is not as important as simply doing it.

1-Minute Bible Love Notes


7/18/14

No Laughing Matter

"Hopefully, the movie is one that makes people feel confident in who they are and the choices that they make." ~ Elisabeth Holm, producer of "Obvious Child"

"Obvious Child" is a recently released "romantic comedy" about drunken sex and abortion.

Because I've known women who deeply regretted abortions, I can't imagine a movie that finds the subject laughable.

Of course, Satan laughs when sacred things are mocked because his purpose is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10).

Christ, however, came to give life and give it abundantly--to all men and women including women with unplanned pregnancies and their unborn children.

That's why I was shocked and saddened by a Christianity Today review of "Obvious Child" giving it 3 out of 4 stars!*

Please, Christians, let's not amuse ourselves with abortion or anything else that saddens the heart of God (Matthew 5:13-16).

1-Minute Bible Love Notes

7/16/14

Encouragement For Today

The godly are showered with blessings;
  the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.…
The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain;
  the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions."

Proverbs 10:6, 11
Such contrasts! The godly are "showered with blessings." They have the ability to recognize God's goodness and to enjoy it. They are showered upon, they fill up like a fountain, and they give of that fullness to others through life-giving words. The wicked, however, are mired in deception and violence. One way to discern the character of a person is to observe how open she is. Does she have an open spirit and good words, or a closed spirit and deceptive words? Pay special attention to words; they reveal the heart.
—by Diane Eble

Why People Reject the Bible

What about those who don’t accept the Bible? Scripture is equally plain as to why this is the case:
  • “Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:25–27).
  • “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. . . .This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (Matt. 13:11–15).
  • “And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this [that Jesus is the Christ] to you, but My Father who is in heaven”” (Matt. 16:17)
  • “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil” (John 8:43–44).
  •  “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God” (John 8:47).
  • “you do not believe because you are of My sheep” (John 10:26).
  • “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot” (Rom. 8:7).
  • “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Cor. 2:14).
  • “Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing” (2 Cor. 4:3).
  • “We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).
While non-Christians may provide many explanations as to why they discard the Bible, the actual reason they don’t believe is that God hasn’t spiritually awakened them (yet). The objection of not having enough proof fails to hold water because (1) there is plenty of evidence that attests to the Bible’s validity; (2) people act contrary to evidence all the time, as I point out in my article that discusses evidence and hard core unbelief.
http://blogs.christianpost.com/confident-christian/author/robin-schumacher/

John 5:31-47

Jesus said:
31"If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid. 32But someone else is also testifying about me, and I assure you that everything he says about me is true. 33In fact, you sent investigators to listen to John the Baptist, and his testimony about me was true. 34Of course, I have no need of human witnesses, but I say these things so you might be saved. 35John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message. 36But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me. 37And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, 38and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you.
39"You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.
41"Your approval means nothing to me, 42because I know you don't have God's love within you. 43For I have come to you in my Father's name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. 44No wonder you can't believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don't care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God.*
45"Yet it isn't I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. 46If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. 47But since you don't believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?"

Holy Spirit

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/CBNTeachingSheets/promises_holyspirit.aspx

I Will Fall At His Feet

VeggieTales: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything

Is Jesus the Only Way to Salvation?

"You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." -- C. S. Lewis

A Cheering Gleam

by Berni Dymet
Mark 12:30 "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength."
I just want to share something with you today, that I read a few years back in AW Tozer's book, the Pursuit of God. He writes:
"In this hour of all but universal darkness one cheering gleam appears. There are to be found increasing numbers of people whose lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself.
They won't be put off with words or shallow logic. They won't be content to busy themselves with nervous activity and yet to feel this inner emptiness. They are athirst for God.  And they won't be satisfied until they have drunk deeply from this fountain of living water. They desire God above all other things.
They want to taste, to touch with their hearts, to see with their inner eyes the wonder that is God.
I want to deliberately encourage this mighty longing after God."
Jesus waits to be wanted. It's too bad that with so many of us He waits so long, so very long in vain.

Calm the storm

Calm the storm
Jesus was not moved by people who rejected Him, He was not moved by people who accepted Him, He was moved by the Holy Spirit!