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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

God Owes Us Nothing

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

Today, I found the song by Phil Cross entitled, "You Do Not Owe Me" and was struck by the powerful message contained in the words.  Truly, God does not owe us anything because He has already given us His Son, Jesus.  Instead, we owe Him everything--our hearts, lives, thoughts, actions, time, and a desire to live for Him all of our days.  As the song progresses, it is comforting to see the faces of the singers who accompanied Phil. What a wonderful testimony in song to the freedom that only God can give us.  The peace that only He can bring to our hearts truly does surpass all human understanding. 

Prayer:  Dear God, thank You for the freedom You have provided through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Please help us to live each day with Your purpose in mind.  Help us to remember Your goodness and trustworthiness, and to rest in the knowledge of who You are.  Quiet our minds as we wait on Your peace to surround us.  We pray these things in the matchless name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

Note:  The song, “You Do Not Owe Me” is posted below this article.  Please watch it and reflect on the words and the spirit of the song.

Phil Cross - You Do Not Owe Me - Official Video


Sunday, August 28, 2011

He Will Carry You - Scripture and Comment

"The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in Him." Nahum 1:7

The song posted below, "He Will Carry You", has been running around in my head since yesterday's writing.  Simply put, God will carry you through the tough times.  Be encouraged today and look to Him for the answers you need.  Think on the words to the song.  Lynda Randle is such a wonderful woman and singer.

Be blessed today.

Prayer:  Dear God, heal the hurts of each one of Your children.  Help us to depend on You to carry our burdens.  From Your Word, You have promised to meet us at the point of our need, so we ask You to do this according to that promise.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.

"He Will Carry You" By Lynda Randle


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Burdens

"Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. I, even I, am He who comforts you."  Isaiah 51:11-12

Sensing the burdens of others and hurting along with them, I thought of the song entitled, "I Will Sing", which is posted below.  Today, may each of us choose to sing and honor God because He is always there to provide comfort and peace. He is there even in our darkest hour when we do not see that our situation will change.

I am praying for friends and family members who are hurting--that they will rest safely in the Shepherd's arms and know that He is there to give them peace.  If you are hurting and feel there is no answer for the things you are facing, look UP.  There is a God who loves you and wants to walk beside you.  He waits for you to give Him complete control of your life. 

Prayer:  Father, God, during times when we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders, we are thankful that You are there to comfort us as we lay our burdens at the foot of the cross.  Please help us to keep our eyes fixed on You and to rely on Your strength to see us through the tough times.  Thank You for Your love and care even on days when we can't feel Your presence.  We ask for Your help as we pray this prayer with humble hearts and complete sincerity in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

I will sing with lyrics Don Moen


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Distinct Purpose


"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."  Jeremiah 29:11

In a few months, our family will be blessed with another grandchild.  We are so excited that a little bundle of joy is coming our way!  Although this news was a big surprise to us, there is no doubt in my mind that God knew this baby before he/she was ever formed.  Based on Jeremiah 29:11 above, we know that God has a plan and purpose for this precious child. That fact alone, gives peace and keeps us free from anxiety over the "What ifs?"

I love the following quote from Anne Graham Lotz: "The crowning jewel of Creation was man himself. He was created for a distinct purpose. If the purpose is lived out, life is fulfilling. If the purpose is rejected or ignored, life will never be what it was meant to be. We need to fit into the Creator's original design, plugging into the power source - our relationship with Him - if our lives are to be what they were meant to be."

My prayer for our new grandchild and for each one of us is that we would intentionally and purposefully plug into the power source God made available for us through our relationship with Jesus Christ, and that we will be able to live out His purpose in our daily lives.

As children of a Creator who has great purpose for us, and loves us more than we will ever know, are we living purposefully for Him each day?  Do we fit into His original design for us?  Good questions to think about and more importantly, to pray about.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

God's Word Stands Forever

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8

"He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young." Isaiah 40:11

According to the verse of scripture in Isaiah 40:8, the only thing that will stand the test of time is God's Word. While we are here on this earth, let us remember that God's Word is the one thing we can believe in that will never change, because God Himself never changes. In our time, everything else will fade away, rust, or ruin.  Even these bodies that we live in will not last because they are not made to last.  But, our spirits are made for eternity.  It is important to believe that there is more than what we see or experience here in this life; that God has a plan for each of us here and hereafter.

I love the following verse of scripture as Jesus brings us the hope and assurance of His plan for our eternal home in heaven. In John, Chapter 14, verses 1-4, Jesus says the following: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know."  (KJV)

Oh, how God loves you and me. He is our Creator.  He knows our name and knows every thought that we have and ever will have.  He hears us when we call.  Allow His love to overflow into your hearts today.  This is my prayer.  He loves us so much not because we are good, but because He is!

He Knows My Name by Maranatha Singers


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A New Thing

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now, it springs up;  do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."  Isaiah 43:18-19  (NIV)

What a wonderful scripture!  Being human, we have all made mistakes and still do make them.  However, as the above referenced scripture says, we are to forget the former things and not dwell on the past. Oftentimes we tend to let circumstances and trials of our past get in the way. In spite of this fact, God wants to do a new thing in our lives even today. I find it very humbling that He is always there to re-make us and mold us into the people that He intended us to be in the first place.  How exciting to know that He loves us that much! 

Based on this scripture, my prayer is that each of us will allow God to do a new thing in our lives; that we will lay aside the past for a life filled with peace, hope and joy; that we will not harbor negative attitudes or resentments, exhibit unattractive behavior or be blind to the needs of others; and that we will take every opportunity to tell others about Jesus and what He has done for us and wants to do for them.

We never know what someone else is going through.  There are many circumstances in our lives and the lives of others around us that require prayer and encouragement. May we live each day intentionally sharing the light and love of Jesus with others, and may we know with total assurance that He walks with us through each valley or mountain that we encounter. Our God is an awesome God and He is present to meet our needs on a daily basis. Please listen to the words of the song below entitled, "I've Been Changed", by the Southern Gospel group, Legacy 5. Once we let go of our past and let God begin to do a new thing in our lives, nothing is ever the same.

Prayer:  Father, please help each one of us to begin anew with You today, putting aside things of the past that would prevent us from going forward in the way you plan for us. In Your strength and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may we make a difference in the lives of others as we go about our day. Thank you for your love, mercy, and forgiveness when we fail to live according to your Word.  Thank you for the peace that only You bring to our hearts. We ask You to do a new thing in our lives today. We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

"Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning."  Lamentations 3:23 (NLT)

I've Been Changed-Legacy Five


Monday, August 15, 2011

Wonderfully Made

Where something is made matters to us. Look at the tag on most any product and you'll likely see a line like these imprinted on it:
MADE IN CHINA
MADE IN MEXICO
MADE IN AMERICA
And if you could see the line imprinted on your heart,
it would read, MADE IN HEAVEN.
The word made usually conjures up visions of factories and impersonal production lines, but the way heaven creates is entirely different. Every part of you was carefully and intricately crafted by God. Of course, that creation was carried out physically in your mother's womb, but the idea of you started in the heart of heaven itself and He declared it was good....
God longs for His children to embrace the worth and value He's given them and then use it to bless others.
When we know who we are and whose we are, we're free to love, live with joy, and make a difference in the world.
-Holley Gerth

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Christian Music

By now, I think the readers of this blog understand the significant role that Christian music plays in my life. It comforts and encourages me, soothes my soul, and lifts my spirit when I am in need of God's love and care. Truly, some of my greatest blessings have come after periods of sorrow and trials. It is then that my faith has been made stronger.

Depending on Jesus Christ to see us tough times will bring us closer to Him if we allow that closeness. The song below by Laura Story blessed me today in our church service. The words are so powerful. Hope you are blessed by it, also.

Laura Story - Blessings


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

He Is Able

Tonight, I am praying for so many dear loved ones and friends who have tremendous needs in their lives. Because of the circumstances they find themselves in, their faith has been weakened by fear and the inability to trust that God will take care of their needs as He has done so many times before.  
  
To each person who reads this post, I want to assure you that whatever you may be going through, God is able to meet you where you are. He will walk beside you and carry your heavy load. He is definitely more than able to handle anything that comes your way.  How do I know this?  How can I say this with assurance?  Because many times when I was weak in my faith and did not feel that I could go on, He has given me the strength to believe that  He is able.  He has shown me that He is able and has proved Himself over and over to me, even though He didn't have to. Through His love and care for me, God has worked out things in my life that seemed insurmountable at the time.  Each time that I have been a recipient of His love and care, the result has been a strengthened resolve on my part to trust and believe that He cares for me more than imaginable. 

Whatever your needs may be at this moment, please listen to the song below and know that God loves you with an everlasting love; that He will never leave nor forsake you; and that He walks with you through your tough times. You are not alone.  He is there and I am praying for you.  I may not know your name, but God does and we are assured in His Word that He hears and answers our prayers.

My prayer tonight is that God will bring you comfort, peace, and the assurance that He cares for you and sees each need that you have. Furthermore, He stands ready to do the impossible for you and the other special people that I am praying for. Believe and trust.  Have faith. He will do the rest.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." I Peter 5:7

"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."  2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

He is able more than able