Faith Messages to build your faith

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Christian Benefits




Jean Oathout continues her thought of what's in it for you as a Christian. The following is a partial listing of the benefits:

1)  The LORD loves us for who we are now, but once we've 
admitted we're a sinner, received the free gift of salvation 
offered us through Christ, and have been filled with His 
Spirit, GOD will give us complete, exclusive, all-sufficient 
LOVE for the rest of our lives. (see John 14:27)

2)  When Jesus has forgiven us our sins, He will do that each time we sin, when we repent, and ask for forgiveness! We can be assured that our sins have been FORGIVEN through Christ's sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary. We'll be acceptable to Him and going in the right direction!

3) Our following Acts 2:38, and being baptized in Jesus' name for the remission/forgiveness of our sins, speaks of our being raised up from the dead by his Spirit dwelling in us. (see Romans 8:11) Read the whole chapter of Rom. 8. There's so much there for us!

4)  
 GOD will give us the confidence of ETERNAL LIFE through the death and resurrection of His only begotten son, JESUS CHRIST. (see John 14:6).

 5
Jesus Christ will give us His HOLY SPIRIT, (Acts 1:8; 2:38), the one who comforts, leads, guides, corrects, directs, and protects us all the days of our life.  (see John 7:38; 14:16; 14:26).

6) GOD has given us access to the greatest library of His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding found anywhere in the world- His word, the Bible; His manual for us to live by. He grants us fresh revelation of His word daily if we are willing to listen.

7)  God offers us a full armor to wear, as we battle against 
principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness  of this world, 
against spiritual wickedness in high places. (see Eph. 6: 
11-18) Listen to Pastor Rick Sinclair's audio message 
on our armor!  http://www.cfconline.org/sermons/?detailView=653 

8)  JESUS will give us a family of believers in a local church.


9)  The Holy Spirit will correct us in love, and will not hurt us with words of rejection.


10)  He'll never leave or forsake us, for He's on 24 hour 
watch. He is the only One who will not abandon us. 
(see John 14:18).

11) The LORD will give us His names, which will meet all our needs.....





You can be so blessed today, to know without a doubt, that 
He knows you by name. (see John 10:14)

He has your best interest in mind at all times.

HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD! 


Won't you surrender to Jesus today, and make your salvation sure?

Open the Bible to the book of St. John in the New Testament and begin reading about Jesus' life and mission. He will meet you there and reveal the Father to you, my friend. (see John 5:39)

God waits to prove His Reality to you. Ask Him to do that! 

He is closer than your own hand. Confess your sins, ask for forgiveness, and surrender your life to Him. Find a Bible-believing church, listen to faith messages and seek to know Christ in His fullness. 

Once you've made peace with the Father, you can begin your life-walk of submission and new life in Christ Jesus.


Ask God to lead you to
a Bible-centered church 
or a small group near you, 
where you can be taught 
how to live a godly life.

I will look forward to rejoicing around God's throne with you! 

That's what's in it for you, my friend!

Let’s pray:

   Father, I ask for grace
to receive all that Christ
provided for me.

   Open my eyes to what
You're telling me here.

   I repent of my sins right now, and ask for Your cleansing of my soul's rebellion to You over my life. 

   Help me understand the truth You've made plan through Christ's sacrifice, and what my immediate need is.

   Speak to me through your Word, so I'll be encouraged to trust You completely for my New Life in Jesus.

   Lead me to a group of committed Christians who are dedicated to You, and who can help me walk a life that pleases You.

   I'll need to prayerfully ask the pastor to follow Acts 2:38, and use Jesus' name in my baptism. 

   I ask this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Dennis Fisher – “Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can now approach God without fear. God’s penalty for sin has been satisfied, and we are invited into God’s presence: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace” Heb. 4:16.

Today’s Bible verse: 2 Cor. 5:21 "For he hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

Today’s quotes: Our Daily Bread – “A change in behavior begins with Jesus changing our heart.” 6/5/13

Some thoughts today: We are saved by faith in Christ's death, burial, and rising again through other believers' sharing the truth of God's Word. 

- Do not reject the wisdom of tried and true folks, who have faith to believe for God's intervention in your life.

- Allow God's Spirit to work through your hurts, to give you life and health.





9/2- Tuesday's post:  Longing For Thee
James Cagle

4th- Thursday's post:  The Wedges of Sin
Michael Brooks

6th- Saturday's post:  Behind the Song: O How I Love Jesus
Diana Leagh Matthews

7th- Sunday's post:  How to Glorify God at School
Raquel Wroten

A popular post:  Automatic Assistance  Denise Loock tells of her experience: Attempting to move a large box, I knocked a stack of boards down. When they hit my unprotected foot, my whole body reacted to the pain. 

Believers gather
for prayer
and mutual support.




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Saturday, August 30, 2014

What's in it for You?

Jean Oathout asks this question to help us with our relationship with God.

Do we know that He is holy and perfect?

Has there been a time we've realized our need to seek God, and to find out what would please Him?

The questions for us then are,

    Can we honestly say we've been as perfect as His 
    Son, Christ Jesus, who was His image for us?

    Were there thoughts, words and actions that we know 
    of that were displeasing to Him?
    
When we consider what we're guilty of, can we be assured of eternal life in heaven with the Father? 

What about the payment that you owe for your sins, my friend, when according to Rom. 3:23,

    "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"?

Are you aware of what He offers you? 

     He has provided a way for your forgiveness!

If you'll look to God's Son, Jesus, you'll see that He suffered and died to take your punishment for sins. (see Romans 5:8

This forgiveness is available to you so you can have inner peace about your stepping into His presence at death, and being accepted. (see Rom. 3:24-28; John 14:27).

Jesus spoke to 500 people at one time after He rose up from the grave, to let them know He'd made a way possible for them back to the Father through his sacrificial death on the Cross. 

He took your punishment for sin. He could accomplish this, as He had never sinned. (see 2 Cor. 5:21).

    What do you think His message is for you today, some 
    2,000 years later?

Jesus asks us to believe in what He did, and to repent of our sins. We're to invite His Spirit to abide within us, (see Acts 2:38) and He'll give us His wisdom and power through reading and hearing messages from the Bible, His Word.


This book, The Bible, was written for us to give us hope and guidance in our 
daily living. 

Once you surrender to God, repent of your sins, and accept the sacrificial death of Christ Jesus as payment for your sins, you can be acceptable to this just and holy God. (see Rom. 5:8, 9)

Being baptized in Jesus' Name cleanses us from our sin (see Acts 2:38), and declares our faith in Christ to other believers. (see Romans 6:3-11)

Believe it or not, all people everywhere are offered this free 
gift through faith in Christ, regardless of background, race, 
sex, size, or any other distinction!  God is no respecter of persons. He loves us all. (see John 3:16-18)

So, What's in it for you?  Come to Jesus and find out! He'll meet you with love and acceptance. Surrender to Him, and see what's in store for you, my friend.

I hope you'll check tomorrow's Faith Message
Christian Benefits. There'll be several reasons 
given, as to what are some advantages of being a Christian.

Today’s quote: Dennis Fisher – “Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can now approach God without fear. God’s penalty for sin has been satisfied, and we are invited into God’s presence: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace” Heb. 4:16.

Let’s pray:

    Father, when we look to You for our salvation, may we understand what it is
that Christ accomplished for us.
    I know that His sacrificial death made it possible for us to get right with the Father.
    I give You my life right now, not holding anything back from You, and ask You to forgive me of my sins, create within me a new spirit, and give me new life in Christ.

   I claim that I'm a new creature in Christ, and that I'll 
endeavor to live for His glory. (see 2 Cor. 5:17)
   I speak this, trusting Jesus to make it a reality for me. In His Name, I pray. Amen!

Today’s Bible verse: Mark 7:20 "Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee."

Some thoughts today: Cut off non essential things that tend to hold you back from loving and serving God.

- Don't settle for anything less than God's best for you. You cannot be who you were, and who you are now at the same time. When there's a "game" change, there's a name change. (see Matt. 6:31-34)


31st- Sunday’s post:  Christian Benefits
Jean Oathout

9/2nd- Tuesday's post:  Longing For Thee
James Cagle

4th- Thursday's post: The Wedges of Sin
Michael Brooks

6th- Saturday's post:  Behind the song; O How I Love Jesus 
Diana Leagh Matthews

 

A popular post: Love Covers a Multitude 
of Sins 

Lynn Karlsen shares with us, "The thought struck me as I contemplated how I tend to excuse certain behaviors in people I love … things I’d never condone if the actions were done by someone else..."






Thursday, August 28, 2014

Visibility - Zero


Cessna172_1
Andrea Merrell  shares with us, "There we were, 8,500 feet in the air and all we could see below us was a thick layer of white. 

The fluffy clouds looked like vanilla frosting or snow that stretched as far as the eye could see. 

It was beautiful, but it was also dangerous. 

One small dip beneath those clouds in the wrong spot and we could have crashed into the side of a mountain.

We were on our way to Tennessee to visit friends and, at that time, my husband Charlie was not certified to fly without ground visibility at all times. 

Governed solely by Visual Flight Rules (VFR), he had somehow managed to get his Cessna 172 above the cloud bank into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). 

He now had to depend on radio communication with the local control towers to get us back to safe territory.

Because there was no break in the clouds all the way to our destination, we had to turn back. It was disappointing, but we had to trust the voice on the radio. That voice was our lifeline.

I’ve found that walking by faith is much the same. 

Most of the time we can’t see where we’re going—can’t see our way clearly—visibility is zero. 

That’s why God instructs us to seek His face, trust His hand of protection, and listen to His voice.

God has promised to supply us with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. 

He is ready to light our path, direct our steps, and guide us through the rocky, uncertain, and (sometimes) treacherous terrain we call life. The best part is that He will be right there with us all the way.

When the Prophet Jeremiah needed Him most, God said, 

"Call to me and I will answer you". 

When we depend on Him and ask for help, He will show us hidden dangers and reveal things to us that we don’t recognize or understand.

If you’re in a tough spot today and don’t know which way to go or what to do, call on the One who loves you and has all the right answers. 

With Him, the lines are always open and nothing is impossible. He will always get you back to safe territory. 

All you have to do is ask—then follow the instructions from the heavenly control tower.

Remember . . . our life is a matter of faith, not of sight. Follow the instructions from your heavenly control tower."

"For our life is a matter of faith, not of sight." II Corinthians 5:7 TEV


Visibility - Zero - Andrea Merrell

(Google images added)

Photo courtesy of youngeagles.org photo gallery.

Andrea Merrell is a freelance 
writer and editor, living in the 
beautiful upstate of South Carolina. 

She is a staff writer and Associate 
Editor  and Associate Editor for 
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. 

Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and online at CBN.com, PEN PointsThe Write Life, and The Write Conversation

{Below, is her book, "Spirit & Heart" a Devotional Journey}

For more information, visit her website at www.andreamerrell.com.


Spirit&Heart


Used by permission by  Andrea Merrell  
www.andreamerrell.com.  

Let’s pray:

   Father, I see the truth that our
ability to know what to do is not
reliable. 


   It is important to ask for Your 
direction in our lives, so we can 
have the guidance that's needed 
to help us have fruitful lives that honor You.

   I'd appreciate knowing the best way to do everything I undertake, so please remind me to ask for Your guidance, and to prayerfully go to someone who has proven to be a reliable counselor.

   Help me hear their advice and to follow it. In Jesus' name we ask this, amen.


(Google image added)

Today’s Bible verse: Ps. 27:14 "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the LORD."

Today’s quote: Jill Savage “There’s nothing fancy about prayer. It’s just talkin’ to God. No perfect conversations, just heartfelt dialogue with God lifting up known needs and listening for His voice either through His word, other people, or that still small voice that whispers truth to our ears.” (http://jillsavage.org). 

Some thoughts today: Church leaders are to help fit the believers together so present needs can be taken care of. Each member of the local Body is important and needed. If we can work together in love, nothing can stop the Church.

- It's true that we tend to compare ourselves with others, but our gifting is unique, and we are to develop it the best we can with God's help.

 Remembering that Satan wants to divide us, let's not allow pride and arrogance to take hold of us. Unworthiness can also be used against us, when we doubt we can compare to someone's giftings with ours.

- Be the best you can be at what you are asked to do! When we stand before the Lord someday, we want Him to say, "Well done, good a faithful servant".

30th- Saturday's post: What's in it for You?
Jean Oathout
  
31st- Sunday's post: Christian benefits
Jean Oathout

9/2- Tuesday’s post:  Longing For Thee
James Cagle

4th- Thursday's post:  The Wedges of Sin
Michael Brooks


Man and Woman 4 WebA popular post:  OffenceTake It or Leave It  Brenda K. Hendricks- But what do the not-so-easily-offended people have that the rest of us seem to lack? 

I can’t speak for the vast majority since I’m just learning the better way myself. 

But I can share with you some of the lessons I’m putting into practice...


Self control...

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My book in paperback

Kindle eBook $1.99 Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

God's Intended Purposes


April Estes shares with us: Two
months ago I cheated.

I had jumped back on the Eat Right bandwagon after Thanksgiving, but just 
two weeks in I couldn’t take it anymore. 

Despite the fact I was eating "right", my flesh still wanted sugar. 


A few days later I was driving when I heard a preacher on the 

radio say,

  "Good things sometimes cross over into sin when we 

   begin using them for purposes God never intended."

The question rang in my head, What is God’s purpose for food?


The answer was instant: To sustain and promote growth and good health


My next thought was convicting: The things I WANT to eat do not promote good health. 


Having an occasional dessert is not a sin, but eating a diet of fatty foods definitely is not using food for God’s original purpose. 


I realized my lack of joy was not what was going into my mouth, but what my mind was thinking. I needed a new mindset.


"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. THEN you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2 NIV.


Romans reminds us not to conform to what the world insists of us, but to be different. Strong in what God wants for us. 


Applicably speaking, I was being called to put down the ho-hos and grab a salad (April Estes version). 


The way I was thinking had to change. I had to renew the way I was looking at food . . . not through fleshly eyes, but through godly eyes.




So now, before every meal, 
I say to myself: This is a chance for 
me to get foods in my system that are going to make me strong, 
smarter, fight cancer, etc.

I started focusing on the BENEFITS of the healthy eating, instead of the NEGATIVES. 


My new mindset made eating the healthy foods seem like a blessing. It made me focus on the joys of healthy eating. 


Over time, I was even able to not only not miss the bad foods, but also see that eating healthy was reaping good things in my life.


Look at the things in your life and ask if you are using them for the purposes God intended? It might open your eyes, as well as shrink your waistline.


(Google images and emphasis added)

God’s Intended Purposes - April Estes


April Estes lives in Knoxville, TN, with her hubby and four children. When not running the kids around, she enjoys writing, scrapbooking, and paddle boarding.





Let’s pray: 

   Father, am I taking time to consider what Your take is on my eating habits?
   Help me consider the reasons why I should be concerned as to what is best for me to eat.
   I can see that I'll need to re-think why I eat what I do, and to allow You to show me a better way of addressing my thinking about it.
   I want to have a healthy body that speaks of good habits. It won't be easy to adjust my thinking, but when I do think Your thoughts, I know I'll be happier with myself.
   I ask for Your enablement in this matter. In Jesus' name, amen.

Today’s Bible verse:  Ps. 17:5 "Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not."

Today’s quote:  Max Lucado - “I choose gentleness… Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.”

Some thoughts today: The very thing that has hindered you, God wants to use that to make you a "new" person. He is with you.

- If you have been called out of darkness, you have a call on your life.

- God has given you the mind of Christ so you can be used by Him to help folks accept His love.


28th- Thursday's post:  Visibility Zero
Andrea Merrell

30th- Saturday's post:  What's in it For You?
Jean Oathout

31st- Sunday's post:  Christian Benefits
Jean Oathout

9/2 Tuesday's post:  Longing For Thee
James Cagle


A popular post: How to Stay Young   Mary Southerland shares these suggestions with us today: "1. Throw out non-essential numbers such as your age, weight and height. 2. Keep only cheerful friends..."





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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Too Young or Too Old?

Michael Brooks A few years ago, my daughter Amanda (who was seven years old at the time), came home from school one day and told us, 

"I accepted Jesus today as my Lord and Savior." 

Her mother and I were shocked to say the least. 

Sure Amanda has been raised in a Christian home and has been taught about Jesus since birth, but come on -- accepting Jesus at the age of seven! Could she really be old enough to understand her commitment?

So we quizzed her, 

"Who is Jesus?" Amanda: "He is the Son of God." "How many sons does God have?" Amanda: "Only one." "Why did He come to earth?" Amanda: "To show us how to live and to die for our sins." 

"What does that mean?" Amanda: "He got nailed to a cross." 


Amanda stopped for a moment as tears formed in her eyes. Sherry asked, 

"What's the matter?" Amanda: "I love Jesus so much!" 

The conversation went on a while longer, but Sherry and I had already made up our minds: She is saved!

In the first part of our passage today, Paul tells us faith comes from hearing the message. It doesn't matter whether we are seven years old, seventeen or seventy-seven. 


In the second part, Paul tells us how we hear the message -- "through the word of Christ." Amanda heard the word of Christ spoken and read at home, at school, in church, with her brother and sisters, with our friends, and throughout our activities. Is it any great wonder she wanted Jesus for herself?

The next day Sherry and I met with her teacher Mrs. Kimh who had led her to Christ. We asked, 


"How did the subject come up?" Mrs. Kimh said, "We were reading and talking about the difference between the baptism of Jesus Christ and the baptism of John in Acts 19, and Amanda started to cry. 

I asked her, 'What's wrong?'
She asked, "Why can't I be baptized?" 


From all of my experience with Amanda I knew how much she loves the Lord. I asked her if she would like to accept Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior. 

She said, "Yes, so I thought it was appropriate to lead her in the Sinner's Prayer." 


From Sherry and my perspective, the timing was right and very "age appropriate."

Amanda was baptized by Sherry and me the following Sunday 

morning before the entire church body as she made a joyful and public confession of her faith. However, she was saved the afternoon she prayed with Mrs. Kimh and gave her life to Jesus.

Questions to Ponder:

I have read and studied a lot about the "age of maturity". How old does one need to be before they are mature enough to make a decision for Christ? 

The conclusion I've come to is this -- God can lay claim to anyone's life at any age He chooses. Whether young or old, sick and dying or healthy and vibrant, youthful innocence or caught up in the most heinous sin imaginable. 


Who am I to question God's authority? Does someone you know need to be introduced to Jesus? Will you do so today? Faith comes from hearing the message.


Too Young or Too Old? Michael Brooks of  The Pocket Testament League

(Google image of young girl added; not Michael's daughter. Emphasis added)

Let’s pray:

   Father, it is good to
know that You can call
anyone at any age!

   One of my sons, at the age of 4, gave his heart to You at a revival service, and he's faithfully serving You today! He's been a pastor, deacon, and recently was asked to be the Town Judge! I think they want a man of integrity this time.

   Thank You for reaching out to our children at such a tender age. May the teachers of the youth realize the opportunity they have in bringing their charges to Christ.

   When folks are older, there often is a resistance to Your urging them to surrender to Your Plan of salvation. This makes it hard to convince them that You love them, and that there's forgiveness available for them through Christ Jesus' Atonement on the Cross of Calvary.  

   Help us do what You lead us to do to win souls at all ages. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Today’s Bible verse: 2 Chron. 34:27a "Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God...I have even heard thee."

Today’s quote: Cindy Sproles – “As parents, all we can do is raise our children beneath the wings of Christ. Train them up in the ways of God and then, when the babies spread their wings … pray. Pray fervently, continually, and with deep passion. When they wander, pray. When they falter, pray. When they sin, pray. When, when, when … just pray.   


When you worry about your kids and you suffer at their pain, lay them at the feet of Jesus. And then trust He will take them into His arms. Let Christ ease the suffering and lessen the pain of childbirth.”
http://www.facebook.com/CindySproles
mountainbreezeministries@gmail.com

Some thoughts today: Ask God to enable you to minister in love to the broken, rebellious people you meet.

- Your songs before the lord brings down Satan's scheme against what God wants you to accomplish.

- Let your ministry be born out of your integrity before God. Seek God how to be used to minister to the hurting.

26th- Tuesday’s post:  God's Intended Purposes
April Estes

28th- Thursday's post:  Visibility Zero
Andrea Merrell

30th- Saturday's post:  What's in it for You?
Jean Oathout

31st- Sunday's post:  Christian Benefits
Jean Oathout


A popular post: Compelled to 
Tell  Butch Dias shares the 
following-


This day I am compelled to tell,
That Jesus died to save us from hell.
He paid the price for my liberty,
To break the chains of sin for me.




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Kindle $1.99

Bridal Shower Devotional: Bridal
Wisdom for Women

My book in paperback $7.95
(Check out the Reviews on the
Kindle page of my book)