Faith Messages to build your faith

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spirit or Flesh?

  “I overheard a Christian brother explode in anger at a friend of mine. I was stunned! How could he do such a thing? Anger began to boil up in me as I thought of the gentle spirit of my friend.

  ‘Well, I’ll just set him straight,’ I thought.’ He needs to be told how unchristian his behavior is! In fact, this is a good time to tell him a few more things I don’t like about him. He’ll think twice before he unloads on her again.’

  Oh, no you don’t, the Holy Spirit whispered. ‘But, why not, Lord? You know he’s wrong to do that. Let me set him straight.’ And I stewed in righteous indignation.

  Would you speak to him in the spirit of My love? ‘Well, no, I guess not.’ Do you understand how he feels? ‘I understand I’d like to punch him in the nose. I’m sorry, God. I’m just so angry with him. Don’t You see how hurt she if?

  You can’t see to get the speck out his eye, My child, until you have taken care of the log in your own eye. ‘But he has such a bad attitude, Lord. You know that’s more than just a speck!’

  Mary, you are not responsible to ‘set any one straight.’ You are responsible to me for your attitudes, and your reactions. If you speak to him now, it would be with your flesh, not by My spirit. Do you really want that?

  ‘But… well, no Lord, not really. I guess I’d be sorry later.’ Mary, My child, if you will take care of the correction I give you, you will not have time to try to straighten anyone else out.

  I guess the message I’m trying to share today is if we cannot speak in loving wisdom, it’s best to say nothing.

Written by Mary Carothers   Taken from the Foundation of Praise paper   September, 2011


The following is what I, Jean, wrote in my journal after making this post originally on 10/31/11, of what I believe God said to me…

“That is right, Jean. Dealing with what I show needs changing. should keep all of you busy. My people who are trying to figure out how to deal with someone else’s fault, is not for them to be concerned with. That is My responsibility! I know just how to cause them to see and deal with each one. I’m merciful and tender, remember. I don’t have an ounce of meanness in Me! This is why Jesus was My example. I showed how I deal with people and situations. He demonstrated My Love and kindness. He is your example to follow!”

A note from Jean today is that the e-book, "So You Plan to Marry a Man", is to be published by the end of November. I will let folks know when it is available.


Jean’s e-mail  jowildflowers@gmail.com
Blog:  jean-oathout.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 29, 2011

WHAT'S THE PLAN?



    

Mary Southerland tells us, “I want to be successful – don’t you?

And the awesome news is that God wants us to be successful as well.

When we know and seek God's perfect plan for our lives, we will find success.

Our immeasurable value rests solely in the fact that God created us, that His stubborn love sets us apart and the amazing fact that He designed and empowers a unique plan for each one of us.

Yes, I know that plans are rampant in your life.

God loves you and everyone else has a plan for your life, right?

But the only plan that matters is the plan made for you by the One who formed you - the One who loves you, knows you and has set you apart to be His own.

And it is a great plan!

1.Your life plan is customized.
Psalm 139:16 ‘You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!’


You were born in response to the determined plan of God, not as an afterthought.

Before you took even one breath, every day, every step and every circumstance in your plan was recorded.

God's plan uses your strengths as well as your weaknesses.

We all have strengths - they are part of the plan.

We all have limitations - they are also part of the plan.

We all have seasons of life that are essential to the plan as well.

True success comes when, instead of constantly fighting against or trying to change the plan, we learn to identify and build on our strengths, accept the limitations as hedges of protection from God, and yield to the seasons in life as God's avenue of perfect timing.

God's plan for you is not a ‘one-size-fits all.’ It is customized and just your size.

2. Your life plan is good. Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord,’ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

For some reason we tend to think that God sat down one day and designed a sinister life plan laced with pain and defeat.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. This train of thought contradicts the very nature of God and misunderstands His heart - the heart of a loving Father who wants the absolute highest and best plan for His child. 


It is a good plan!

3. Your life plan is guaranteed. 1 Thess. 5:24 "The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it."

God always empowers what He calls us to do. With the plan comes every resource that we will need to accomplish that plan.

For many years, my life mission was really quite simple. I tried and often succeeded in filling every waking moment with activity.

Oh, it was wonderful activity filled with good things - but they were not the best things or the highest things for my life.

I did many of those things in order to feel worthy and important, hoping they would bring my life into balance and under control.

I hoped that doing good things would provide a purpose and plan for the restlessness in my soul.

While sitting at the bottom of a deep, dark pit named ‘Clinical Depression,’ I discovered a truth that has redefined who I am and altered my soul perception of God.

I now realize that the most powerful life flows from a clear life plan not to it!

How do we discover our life plan?

At first glance, that question may seem complicated and almost impossible to answer, but when we spend time with the Plan Maker, that question is easily answered as we step out in obedience to God.

When we begin to saturate daily life with His truth and continually turn our hearts to conversation with God, His plan naturally unfolds as we take every 'next step' in obedience.


 Consider the following questions when praying about and asking God to reveal His plan for your life: 

  • What are your spiritual gifts?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are your natural abilities?
  • What is your personality type?
  • What are the spiritual markers in your life?
  • What do others see in you?

After a two-year battle with clinical depression, I realized that I had lived a great deal of my life based on the wrong plan.

I began to ask these questions, looking for the gifts He has given me instead of the ones I thought I should have or wanted to have.

I began to accept my limitations knowing that He had woven them into the seams of my journey for my good.

I began yielding to the seasons of life, trusting Him to lead the way through this foreign land called life.

Guess what? I looked around one day to find myself smack-dab in the middle of His life plan for me.

It was suddenly so simple and amazingly clear!

I am learning to say 'no' to those things that do not fit into that life mission.

Certainly, I fail and have to begin again. And sometimes I am misunderstood because I have chosen to follow God's plan instead of someone else's.

But I would rather be misunderstood than disobedient.

I had to choose a new audience for this race of life and so must you.

I had to make a decision about the One I wanted to please and so must you. Don’t waste another minute on anything but God’s very best plan for your life.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to know and live out the plan You have for me. Sometimes my faith is weak but I really do want to please and honor You. Guide my steps, Lord. Give me Your strength to be obedient. Thank You for giving my life purpose and meaning. Today, I choose Your plan above all others and celebrate the joy I find in knowing You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen."

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart!” Jeremiah 1:5, NIV.

Mary Southerland with Today’s Truth from Girlfriends Friend to Friend 8/17/11


[Bullets and Google image added]












Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Broken Way





Gwen Smith asks, “Do you feel like God has led you through the desert?

Do you trust that He can and will make a way for your broken paths to be made straight when you call on Him?”

“Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today ... the LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” Exodus 14:13-14, NIV

             " While at a football game of my son Preston’s, I had a moving conversation with another team mom. 

It was the first time we’d ever dialogued beyond socially expected niceties.

 Between cheers that went up to our football-playing boys, she stumbled upon the fact that I was a Jesus-loving girl and was excited to share about how God has intimately drawn her heart to his over the past five years. 

How He met her where she was, ministered to her through the hands of others. How He sparked life into her soul through His Son Jesus Christ.

 She was radiant and she spoke with excitement, joy in every sentence, praise on her tongue for the God who gives her strength and life. This dear lady opened her heart and told me of her grueling battle with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

              She was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 35 – as a wife and mother to three small children. 

Initially, she was angry with God for allowing a disease to ravage her body, furious that her husband and children might have to live without her. 

Though she fought to understand the “why” of it all, she confidently testifies that God used the pain-filled journey on the broken road of cancer to lead her to saving Grace. She is now grateful for the broken way that God breathed new life into her soul as she battled death in her body. As she spoke, the troubles of my life faded to a humble corner of my heart. Her words reminded me that God really can and should be glorified through each hard place we find ourselves in. I was freshly reminded to trust God.

              Life is filled with challenges. The struggles we endure often leave our hearts breaking and our minds aching for reprieve. 

I’ve not battled cancer, but I have experienced my fair share of times when I’ve been crushed by circumstances that are beyond my control … just like her.

  As a wife, mother, daughter, and friend, I’ve learned that hard times are inevitable and that they hurt.            

              Toward the end of our conversation about her cancer and faith, my new friend confided that fear still tries to invade her days. 

She said that she constantly has to choose faith and to trust God instead of dwelling on the possibilities of another future diagnosis.

 Every one of us doubts at times. We all fail to trust. But Scripture assures us that even when we are faithless, God remains faithful. 

As we walk broken paths that challenge our faith, the truth remains that God does deliver in and through the pain. 

Though there are struggles that we might take to the grave with us, God is still good. Each hard place is an opportunity for Jesus to show His power in and through our lives.

              When we find ourselves on the broken way, we often feel like we are wandering in the wilderness. In Exodus 13:17-14:31, we see a dreary desert drama of the Israelites. Stop here to read the full account now if you can.

              When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said,‘"If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea (Exodus 13:17-18a, NIV).

              As God moved through the leadership of Moses to bring His people from captivity to freedom, from poverty to inheritance, the Israelites were not led the easy way. 

They didn’t get to take the “paved” road – even though it was shorter. They had to walk through the desert.

 God led them the harder way because He knew it was best for them in the long run. Sometimes we are led the harder way too. The broken way. Even though our minds conceive an easier solution, He knows what is unknown to us, He sees what is unseen to us, and His ways are trustworthy and best.

              "By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 

Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people." (Exodus 17:21-22, NIV)

"Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel's army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel.

 Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

              Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left" Exodus 14:19-22, NIV.

              God has given us his Holy Spirit to lead us by day and by night, to be our Strength, our Power, and our Direction in the deserts of life. Just as God made a way for the Israelites when they called on Him as they faced a seemingly impossible Red Sea situation, He will make a way for you. Call on His name. Trust His plan. Reach for His hand.

Let’s Pray

              Dear Lord, forgive me for the times when I try to navigate the broken path of life on my own. When my heart is heavy with burdens, please give me Your strength and remind my soul to trust You. I need Your guidance and power today.

              In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

              Do you feel like God has led you through the desert?
              Do you trust that He can and will make a way for your broken paths to be made straight when you call on Him?

              Grab a journal (if you’re a journal (person). Spend a few moments contemplating the circumstances of your harder way. Then lift your eyes from your situation to your Savior. 

Call on God, and say to your soul: "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today...the LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still"  Exodus 14:13-14, NIV.


Today’s Truth by Gwen Smith   from The Girlfriends  October 14, 2011




Monday, October 24, 2011

Guest Blog with Ginny Merritt



“It’s always an honor to share time with friends.”   Posted on by Lift the Cross of Jesus!

“My new friend, Ginny Merritt, saw a cross that made an impact on her. She’d like to share her story below. (If you have a cross picture and/or story, please let me know!) Here’s Ginny:
Along the Erie Canal in central New York is a town called Clyde. My husband and I have a fix-it-up-house there. On a recent work-visit, I asked my son to remind me how to get to a nearby canal park
He said, “It’s easy: it’s down the road by the pond where that huge white cross is.
“What huge white cross?”
“That huge white cross by the pond. You know. It’s imposing. You can’t miss it.”
Well, I had obviously missed it, but he had piqued my interest. That evening after dinner, I hopped on my old blue Schwinn and pedaled a couple of miles over the canal bridge, out-of-town, past farms and fields. At a bend in the road more than two miles out, I saw the cross, nestled on a small hill against a grove of pines. Huge, white, imposing. Just as my son had said–I couldn’t miss it.
You couldn't miss it. Huge, white, imposing . . . just like my son said.
As I biked another half mile, the cross loomed larger. I came to a stop at the pond
near the end of a Dead-End road, straddled my bike and looked at the reflection in the water. A grassy bank sloped up from the far side of the pond. The cross stood silently, white arms
outstretched, against dark green. I wondered why it was there. Whose property was this? Who had erected it? Why?
The questions went unanswered that evening, as dusk was setting in and I had three miles to pedal back home.
The following day my husband and I were out and about in our blue Saturn. I asked him if we could take the time to go in search of the canal park again. We found it – just beyond the cross, around the bend at the end of the Dead-End dirt road that curved around the pond. And as we curved around that bend, a few feet beyond where I had paused the
I was humbled by this family's testimony. Photographer Ginny Merritt
evening before, was a sign that answered all my questions. The cross was a tribute to
members of a family for their faith in Jesus Christ and their lives lived out in light of that faith. I was humbled by this testimony marked by the huge white cross. Faith interwoven with works.
Don’t miss it
.
Photographer, Ginny Merritt
Ginny Merritt is a sawed-off hippie homemaker, writer, photographer and pastor’s wife living in New York with her husband Ray. They have two grown children and two growing grandsons. They all love to garden with specialties ranging from Brussels sprouts to morning glories.




Jean’s email  jowildflowers@gmail.com
Blog: jean-oathout.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Heart-Shaped Leaf: A Sign of Hope and God's Love


My child's gift gave me the ability to go on—and ultimately find healing.

By Diana M. Amadeo, Merrimack, New Hampshire


Desiree, my six-year-old daughter, kicked the autumn leaves along the sidewalk into a neat pile as we walked to the school bus that morning. I should have accompanied her in my wheelchair, but opted for my crutches instead. I have multiple sclerosis, and my neuropathy was acting up.

Still, like Desiree, I loved the satisfying crunch of leaves underfoot. Autumn is magical here in New Hampshire. I can't think of any sight more breathtaking than the mountains cloaked in the blazing yellows, fiery reds and burnished golds of the birch, oak and maple leaves.

My daughter skipped along in the crisp air. I tried to keep pace, but couldn't. I didn't want her to see how much pain I was in. She bent down, scooped up an armful of leaves and sent them flying into the air. They cascaded down around us, and Desiree giggled. "Brown, yellow, orange, green! Red is my favorite. Is it yours too, Mommy?" Her smile faded as she looked into my eyes. "Mommy, are you okay?" She reached out to hug me.

      I embraced my baby as best I could. "Your hugs always make me feel better," I said. It was true: For the first time that morning, I had a brief respite from the pain.

     But as soon as we got to the school-bus stop, the spasms resumed. I need to go home and take some pain medication, I told myself. I wouldn't be able to wait much longer. The pain was intense, like thousands of sharp, thin needles piercing my legs. Desiree played in the leaves. I paced, groaned and prayed for relief. Where is that bus?

     I forced myself forward, wondering how I would make it back to the house when my whole body was in spasm. Then I felt myself lurch to one side. I nearly toppled. Damp leaves had attached themselves to the rubber tips of my crutches, making them slick and dangerous. I picked up one crutch and shook the leaves free. Then I stabilized myself against the clean one so I could shake the leaves off the other crutch. They all fell off except one. The leaf stubbornly held on.

     "I'll get it," Desiree said. She knelt down and pulled the offending leaf off the crutch. "Mommy, look!" she gasped.

     In her hand was a bright crimson maple leaf. Around its center vein was a perfectly shaped, unmistakable heart. The school bus's brakes screeched. Flashing me a big smile, Desiree handed me the leaf. I bent down and gave her a kiss, then she waved goodbye and got on the bus.

     I gingerly held on to the crimson leaf with the perfectly shaped heart as though it were fine porcelain. I hardly remember walking home. I often wonder if I floated back. All I can recall is feeling totally enveloped in God's love, and in awe of the beauty all around me.

     That afternoon I met Desiree at the bus stop. I had the leaf with me. "I have an idea," I told her. "I never want to forget this wonderful day. Let's go have the leaf laminated at the copy shop so we can keep it forever."

     Desiree is in high school now, and my MS is in remission. And the maple leaf? It still hangs on the glass door of our breakfast nook, its perfect heart a reminder of that perfect autumn day, and of God's restorative promise—bright, beautiful, holy."

 As appeared in  Guideposts
Jean’s email  jowildflowers@gmail.com 
Blog:  jeano-athout.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 22, 2011

When God Says No

“Are there some prayer requests that God has said “no” to that you don’t understand?”

From Girlfriends  by Sharon Jaynes  on Crosswalk.com

Today’s Truth   October 13, 2011

              “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5, 6, NASB).

Friend to Friend

              "Like any good parent, God’s answers to our requests are not always “yes.”  When God says “no,” we must accept the fact that our Father knows best.

              In my own life, my desire was to have three or four children. I conceived my first child with no problem. Little did I know at the time that Steven would be my only child. For years my husband and I prayed for more children. We traveled down the road of infertility doctors, diagnostic procedures, and timed intimacy which is anything but intimate. As hard as it was for me to accept, God said “no.”

             Do I understand God’s decision completely? No, I do not. But I’ve come to realize that He doesn’t owe me an explanation. God is God. He does what He pleases and I must trust Him. When we can’t see His hand, we must trust His heart. I so know this: “One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving,” (Psalm 62: 11,12). God is strong – He can do anything. God is loving – He will always do what is in our best interest.

              Have you ever considered that God said no to His own Son, Jesus? Just before His arrest, Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me,” (Matthew 26:39).  And yet, God said “no.”  Jesus went to the cross. God knew it was the only way. He loves you and me that much.

              We can be assured that if God does say “no” to our requests, it is for the same reason – He loves you and me that much.

Let’s Pray

              Dear Lord, I am so glad that You have not answered “yes” to every one of my requests. When I think about what my life would be like if You had given me everything I had ever asked for… oh my, I shudder.  Thank You for loving me enough to say “no.”  Thank You for answering each and every prayer with Your infinite wisdom. I trust You.

              In Jesus’ name,
              Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

              Make a list of some prayer requests that you are glad God said “No” to.

              Are there some prayer requests that God has said “no” to that you don’t understand?

              Are you willing to trust that God knows best?”

info@girlfriendsingod.com      www.girlfriendsingod.com

Jean’s email   jowildflowers@gmail.com
Blog  jean-oathout.blogspot.com




Friday, October 21, 2011

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together!



“Lay down your limited life arrangement and look for God to meet you at the point of surrender-“

Mary Southerland  on Crosswalk.com

Selections from Today’s Truth    October 20, 2011

             “ Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare” (Psalm 40:5, NIV).

              “God has a unique plan for each one of us that is beyond human understanding or expectation. It is called His will. God has been making His will known from the very beginning of time. In the Garden of Eden, God revealed to Adam and Eve His will or plan for their lives. 

It is important to note that with the revealed plan He also gave them the choice to obey because He is a loving Father and a gracious God. Knowing that His way was right, God still allowed Adam and Eve to choose the wrong way. They blew it by making the wrong choice - but He still loved them and forgave them. He will do the same for you.

              The Bible promises that God’s plan is the best plan; the one for which we were created.  Psalm 32:8 “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.” God agrees to not only show us the plan, but He promises to provide all of the strength and resources needed to carry out that plan. His sufficient and constant power is unleashed by our choice to accept and follow His blueprint for victorious living.

              We were created by the One who knows us best and loves us most. There are no accidents with God. He never has to say, “Oops!” Before we were ever conceived in the heart and mind of man we were conceived in the heart and mind of God - wanted, loved and planned since before the world began. He had a plan in mind and lovingly, purposefully created us in response to that plan.

              I know that there are days when the will of God seems completely wrong and we simply do not understand. Every moment is pregnant with darkness and our hearts are numb, paralyzed by fear and doubt. We are treading water in the storm tossed sea of life, desperately longing to see Him walking on the treacherous waves toward us, rescue in His hand. 

It is in those shadowed moments that we must choose to trust the Plan Maker even though our faith is small and we cannot understand the plan. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. And one day, every one of our question marks will be yanked into exclamation points as we see that high plan as He sees it – perfect!

               Lay down your limited life arrangement and look for God to meet you at the point of surrender - power and victory in His hands.  Now that is a great plan!

Let’s Pray

              Lord, I want everything you have for me in this life! I don’t want to settle for anything less than Your best. Teach me how to seek and follow You with my whole heart and how to fully trust You to direct my steps. Thank You for Your love and grace that completes me and fills my life with hope.

              In Jesus’ name,
          Amen.”


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Temptations Do Christians Face?

     “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”  (Heb. 4:15)


As taken from “Devotions for MORNING and EVENING DEVOTIONS with Oswald Chamber”


September 17  


   “The temptation fits the nature of the one tempted, and reveals the possibilities of the nature. Every man has the setting of his own temptation, and the temptation will come along the line of the ruling disposition. Temptation is a suggested short cut to the realization of the highest at which I aim—not towards what I understand as evil, but towards what I understand as good. Temptation is something that completely baffles me for a while, I do not know whether the thing is right or wrong. Temptation yielded to is lust deified, and is a proof that it was timidity that prevented the sin before. 


   Temptation is not something we may escape, it is essential to the full-orbed life of a man. Beware lest you think you are tempted as no one else is tempted: what you so through is the common inheritance of the race, not something no one ever went through before. God does not save us from temptations; He succours us in the midst of them.” (Heb. 2:18 pg. 538)


September 18   ( pg. 540 )  HIS TEMPTATION AND OURS  (Heb. 4:15)


    “Until we are born again, the only kind of temptation we understand is that mentioned by St. James—‘Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.’ But by regeneration we are lifted into another realm where there are other temptations to face, viz., the kind of temptations Our Lord faced. The temptations of Jesus do not appeal to us, they have no home at all in our human nature.


     Our Lord’s temptations are ours move in different spheres until we are born again and become His brethren. The temptations of Jesus are not of those of a man, but the temptations of God as Man. By regeneration the Son of God is formed in us, and in our physical life He has the same setting that He had on earth.

      Satan does not tempt us to do wrong things; he tempts us in order to make us lose what God has put into us by regeneration, viz., the possibility of being of value to God. He does not come on the line of tempting us to sin, but on the line of shifting the point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil. Temptation means the test by an alien power of the possessions held by a personality. This makes the temptation of Our Lord explainable.


     After Jesus in His baptism had accepted the vocation of bearing away the sin of the world, He was immediately put by God’s Spirit into the testing machine of the devil, but He did not tire, He went through the temptation ‘without sin,’ and He retained the possessions of His personality intact.

 Gwen Smith   September 12th, 2011     Take My Heart Captive


The devotion today is about the itchy pest of temptation. In order to be strong when we face temptations, we need God’s help. We are able to resist and refocus when we align our hearts and desires to the heart and will of God. That’s what this song is about. Hope it blesses!




Yes, Lord. Please take my heart captive. Amen
Amen?
Where does this song find you today?
Blessed to be doing life with you,
                                                                            Gwen


 jowildflowers@gmail.com  jean-oathout.blogspot.com

Monday, October 17, 2011

Healing From Heaven




 

“Blessed be… the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” 2 Cor. 1:3


   “Thomas Moore (1779-1852) was an Irish songwriter, singer, and poet. 

   His talents brought joy to many who saw him perform or who sang his music. 

   Yet, tragically, his personal life was troubled by repeated heartaches, including the death of all five of his children during his lifetime.

   Moore’s personal wounds make these words of his all the more meaningful: ‘Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish; earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.’

   This moving statement reminds us that meeting with God in prayer can bring healing to the troubled soul.


   The apostle Paul also saw how our heavenly Father can provide solace to the hurting heart. 

   To the believers at Corinth he wrote: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation’ (2 Cor. 1:3-4). 

   Sometimes, though, we can be so preoccupied with an inner sorrow that we isolate ourselves from the One who can offer consolation. 

   We need to be reminded that God’s comfort and healing come through prayer.


   As we confide in our Father, we can experience peace and the beginning of healing for our wounded hearts. 

   For truly ‘earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.’


              Prayer is the soil in which hope and healing grow best.”

“Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blessed.” –Cushing


From Our Daily Bread for Personal and Family Devotions   Oct. 3/11

Read 2 Cor. 1:1-10


“The new life in Christ has begun---
        The past with its darkness is gone;
   Look closer to see what the Savior has done,
      For change is beginning to dawn.—Hess


A change in behavior begins
 with a change in the heart.”                             
                               October 14

Saturday, October 15, 2011

EXCHANGING THE OLD FOR THE NEW *

    And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”  (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).

Exchanging the Old for the New by Sharon Jaynes

in Girlfriends in God   www.girlfriendsingod.com    September 22, 2011
         
The following are excerpts from Today’s Truth

             “When God warned Adam and Eve not to eat of fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, He told them that their punishment for disobedience would be death.  They did eat - and immediately their spirits died- their zoe life was taken away and they were cut off from God.   As a result, every person after that time has been born with a dead spirit, including you and me.

              But God didn’t leave us that way.  God demonstrated His love toward us, that while we were still a sinner (cut off, dead, rotten to the core), Christ died for us and made it possible for us to be grafted onto the living root – Himself (Romans 5:8, Romans 11:17).   At the very moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we receive a new living spirit (zoe life) to replace our old dead spirit.  In the twinkling of an eye - in the time it takes for us to say, “I believe,” we become a spiritually new creation.  However, God’s process of shaping and molding us into the image of Christ, takes a lifetime.  That process is how to become spiritually beautiful.

Let’s Pray

              Dear Heavenly Father, I know I became a new creation in Christ when I became a Christian.  But sometimes, I just feel like the same old me.  Please help me to become more conformed to the image of Christ today.  Take away whatever needs to be taken away to reveal the beauty of You that is in my heart. Help me to be spiritually beautiful today and always.
              In Jesus’ name,  Amen.”

Some words from Devotions for MORNING and EVENING with Oswald Chambers”:

        For Sept 27  “The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt or offend. Jesus Christ has not tenderness whatever toward anything that is ultimately going to ruin a man in the service of God. Our Lord’s answers are based not on caprice, but on knowledge of what is in man. If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you may be sure that there is something He wants to hurt to death.(pg.558)

       “The Sermon on the Mount produces despair in the heart of the natural man, and that is the very thing Jesus means it to do, because immediately we reach the point of despair we are willing to come to Jesus Christ as paupers and receive from Him. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’—that is the first principle of the Kingdom. As long as we have a conceited, self-righteous idea that we can do the thing if God will help us. God has to allow us to go on until we break the neck of our ignorance over some obstacle, then we will be willing to come and receive from Him. the bed-rock of Jesus Christ’s Kingdom is poverty, not possession; not decisions for Jesus Christ, but a sense of futility. ‘I cannot begin to do it.’ then, says Jesus, ‘Blessed are you.’ That is the entrance, and it takes us a long while to believe we are poor. The knowledge of our own poverty brings us to the moral frontier where Christ works.” (pg. 559)

       “Every element pf self-reliance must be slain by the power of God. Complete weakness and dependence will always be the occasion for the Spirit of God to manifest His power.” (pg.260)


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