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Sunday, January 31, 2016

How are we Christians to spend our Money and Time?



How are we Christians to spend our Money and Time?

God has given us our lives and our intelligence, our abilities, talents, health, and our ability to make money. Every good gift that we have, has been given to us by Him.   Scripture says: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father…” (James 1:17a) God encourages us to pray and ask for what we need and He promises to provide for us.

 God has given us the power to live our lives.  But that God given power is on loan.  And the greatest power we have is the power of compassion and of love.  We can keep our focus narrow and just on our self.  We can put all of our power and our life into things that impress others and build up our reputation and help make ourselves richer.  Or we can invest or give our lives to God and to what is eternal by broadening our life’s’ concerns and giving to others and caring about others as well.  The choice is ours as to how we invest this one life of ours.  We have been given the freedom to do what we want. This is our life and our time.  But let’s not miss this time or waste our life.

Christ calls us to invest our lives in what is eternal.  We see Jesus in His sermon on the mount calling the crowds to invest their treasures in heaven.  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal:  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is: there your heart will be also.”  (Matthew 6:19-21)   What we do with our life and our money is important to Christ.  He cares deeply about whether we give our life to Him or we keep it just for ourselves. Sixteen out of the thirty-two parables Jesus told had to do with money and how we should handle it!

Jesus was asking his followers, and He is asking us, not to selfishly invest our time and money on useless things. Things that won’t last.  Or greedily keeping everything for ourselves.  But Jesus is calling us to invest in the kingdom of heaven.  To invest in what is durable and in what lasts.  Have a purpose for living. Scripture tells us that our generosity to the poor is a lasting investment!  Giving to the needy is a way of investing in the kingdom of heaven.  Our love and concern for the welfare of others pays dividends.  Jesus calls us to be His hands and feet and feed the hungry and visit the sick.  To take care of orphans and to spread the gospel.  He says that giving to the needy is the same as giving to Him. He calls us to a generous joyful way of being together.  To a loving life of sharing and giving and looking out for others as well as ourselves.  (Matthew 25:35-40)

We are caretakers of all that God has given us.  But how does God want us to live our lives in caring for ourselves and others?   How do we handle the time and money we have? Keep it selfishly for ourselves or keep what we need and give generously to a favorite cause?  And there are so many needs and causes.  Where is that place in our lives between “enough” and “excess”?   Each of us has to, with prayer and searching, find where that place is in our lives.  What is right for one Christian may not work for another. 

What does giving mean in our lives?  Are we givers or are we takers?   Do we keep everything for ourselves or do we reach out to make our world a better place?  Do we volunteer our time and talents?   Or do we work just for ourselves and our own benefit? Grasp for as much as we can get and turn our backs on those who have problems?  How do we handle money and how do we handle the stuff in life? 

 And how do we cast our vote as to how our society will live together and share resources?  Should our vote be in favor of our country raising taxes to provide opportunities, health care and a safety net for all?  Or should we keep taxes lower to help individuals and struggling business owners?  Should our taxes be given to people who don’t try to help themselves and live in ways we don’t approve of?  God calls us to struggle with many issues that are sometimes confusing.  We don’t always know which way we should go!  I believe that there are Christians on both sides of these issues. As Christians I believe that God calls us to love and cooperate with one another and work together as we try to follow Him.     

  Jesus warns that money is a terrible task master.  He says: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and money.”  (Matthew 6:24)   This statement of Jesus’ makes us ask ourselves, Is the accumulation of wealth in the driver’s seat in our life or is God in the driver’s seat?  

 And Jesus also warned: “Whoever finds his life will lose it and whosoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”  (Matthew 10:39)   I picture one Christian we knew who was a big show off and spent his time and money on himself.  His vision for his life was that of having as much pleasure as possible and making a name for himself.  He bought the priciest seats at sporting events, wore the most expensive name brand clothes, watches and jewelry, and drove only the fastest and snazziest cars. And he sued anyone who got in his way. He bragged about being a  spiritual Christian professor but rejected an offer to teach at a Christian university because he felt he was worth much more than this institution could offer him in a paycheck.  When this man died he left millions of dollars in his bank account but few showed up for his funeral! Do you think he was the loser or the finder of the life that Jesus talked about?

 The other person Jesus speaks of, the one that loses his life for Christ’s sake but finds it, this person sounds like another dear friend we knew who died a few years ago.  This friend was a dear Christian minister who loved people and served as a pastor to a large influential church for twenty-five years. As time went by he became concerned that his denomination was changing and slipping away from the gospel of Christ and was not serving God the way it once had.  He prayed and believed that God would have him move to another denomination.  But moving to another denomination would be costly for him and for his family.  He was not allowed to keep the money he had saved for retirement and he had to take a much smaller pay check.  He went ahead and moved to the other denomination and was again able to serve God the way he felt he should as pastor.  He lost money by changing denominations but he gained a better witness in his ministry. He died a poor man with little earthly goods, but many hundreds attended his funeral since he had loved and changed so many lives over the years.  Do you think he was one of the ones Jesus spoke of who would find his life?  I think so.

Jesus knew a secret that many of us may not have grasped.  When we give Him our lives, He never lets us lose.  We are always winners with Him. Always victors in Christ. We may lose money or friends or reputation.  It may seem that we are losing so much according to worldly standards.  But we are victors and winners according to heavenly standards.  If Jesus fed the five thousand people with that one small lunch the little boy gave Him, what will Jesus do with what you give Him?  I believe God will take what you give Him and multiply it beyond your wildest expectations!  He will expand your work in ways you can’t possibly imagine now!  Not until you reach the other side will you understand how glorious your life has been in Christ!  



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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016


This Psalm Foretells Christ's Suffering, Death and Triumph Psalm 22




 The Psalm that Foretells Christ’s Suffering, Death and Triumph

Psalm 22

 

Psalm 22 describes and pictures Christs’ future sufferings on the cross. It even tells us what Jesus was thinking and feeling and how He was praying!  Intricate details of Jesus’ suffering and death are spelled out here. This amazing Psalm was inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by David a thousand years before these things ever happened!  This is indeed a prophetic Psalm.

 

The ridicule that Jesus received from the religious leaders is predicted here in Psalm 22 verse 7-8.  “All those who see Me ridicule Me.  They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying. ‘He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him:  Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!’”.   Those very same words of ridicule were actually spoken by the chief priests at the cross.  (Matthew 27:36-44)   

 

Second, in verse 16 b of this Psalm we read that Jesus’ hands and feet would be pierced.  “They pierced My hands and My feet.”  This prophecy was fulfilled at Jesus’ death.  (John 20:25)  Also the casting of lots for Jesus’ clothing was predicted in Psalm 22, verse 18.  “They divided my garments among them and for My clothing they cast lots.”  This was fulfilled at Jesus’ death and recorded here. (John 19:23, 24) 

 

Perhaps the most significant statement in Psalm 22 is the very first verse. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”  Jesus cried out these very words from the cross as He was dying.  (Matthew 27:46)   When Jesus in agony was calling out to God, we see God turning away from His beloved Son who is bearing the sin of the world.  Jesus is bearing our judgment and also He is bearing our separation from God because of sin. 

 

Let’s read Psalm 22 now. 

 

Psalm 22

 

1)      “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?  Why are You so far from helping Me.  And from the words of My groaning?

 

2)     My God, I cry in the daytime but You do not hear:  And in the night season, and am not silent.

 

3)     But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.

 

4)     Our fathers trusted in You.  They trusted, and You delivered them.

 

5)     They cried to You, and were delivered.  They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.

 

6)     But I am a worm, and no man:  A reproach of men, and despised by the people.

 

7)     All those who see Me ridicule Me:  They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

 

8)     “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him:  Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him! 

 

9)     But You are He who took Me out of the womb:  you made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts. 

 

10)  I was cast upon You from birth.  From My mother’s womb You have been My God.

 

11)  Be not far from Me.  For trouble is near:  For there is none to help.

 

12)  Many bulls have surrounded Me: Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.

 

13)  They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion.

 

14)  I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint:  My heart is like wax:  It has melted within Me.

 

15)  My strength is dried up like a potsherd.  And My tongue clings to My jaws:  You have brought Me to the dust of death.

 

16)  For dogs have surrounded Me:  the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.  They pierced My hands and My feet:

 

17)  I can count all My bones.  They look and stare at Me.

 

18)  They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.

 

19)  But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me:  O My Strength, hasten to help Me!

 

20)  Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog.

 

21)  Save Me from the lion’s mouth And from the horns of the wild oxen!  You have answered Me.

 

22)  I will declare your name to My brethren: In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.

 

23)  You who fear the Lord, praise Him!  All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him.  And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! 

 

24)  For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted:  Nor has He hidden His face from Him:  But when He cried to Him, He heard. 

 

25)  My praise shall be of You in the great assembly, I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.

 

26)  The poor shall eat and be satisfied, those who seek Him will praise the Lord.  Let your heart live forever!

 

27)  All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord.  And all the families of the nations shall worship before You.

 

28)  For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations. 

 

29)  All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship.  All those who go down to the dust shall bow before Him.  Even he who cannot keep himself alive.

 

30)  A posterity shall serve Him.  It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation.

 

31)  They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this.    

 

God speaks about Christ’s future sufferings through David in this Psalm and God also speaks through Isaiah about Christ being our suffering Servant.  (Isaiah 53.)  Psalm 22 is similar to Isaiah 53 describing Israel’s future Messiah as a Man of Sorrows as well as the Savior and God the Son. The religious leaders who ridiculed Christ at the cross must have overlooked those passages of Scripture describing their future Messiah.  They didn’t recognize their Messiah when He came to save them.  Are there religious leaders today who fail to see their Savior and persecute Him instead?  Do we always recognize Jesus today in some of His disguises?

 

In verse 21b of this Psalm it says: “You have answered Me.”   This is saying that God came and answered Jesus’ cries on the cross.  This great evil – the cross – was turned around to be the salvation for all who would not refuse. The resurrection of Jesus was an answer to Jesus’ prayers on the cross and to the prayer of every sinful human.  Christ has paid the price and triumphed over sin and death through the cross.  He is victorious over death!  And we are victorious in Him!  Because He lives, we shall live also!  Five things are spoken here of the satisfaction and triumph of Christ in His death. 

1)     That He should have a Church in the world.  The Church is called the “Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16)

2)     That God would be honored and glorified in Christ by that Church.  He foresees this with pleasure.   As His Church, we are called to praise and glorify Him in verse 23.

3)     That those who seek Him will praise Him and live forever.  Verse 26

4)     That the Church of Christ will extend itself to all the corners of the earth. (verses 27-28)

5)     And that the Church of Christ should continue through all the ages of time. 

Those last verses of Psalm 22 read: “All those who go down to the dust shall bow before Him.  Even he who cannot keep himself alive.” (Verse 29b)  We will all die because none of us can keep ourselves alive past a certain point.  But we commit our souls to Jesus Christ who is able to save us and keep us alive forever!

 

And Psalm 22 closes with: “A posterity shall serve Him.  It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation.  They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will yet be born.  That He has done this.”  (Verses 30-31)  We are part of this glorious universal Church which is the body of Christ, and which will continue on through all time.  Many of us heard the gospel of Christ from Christians who lived in our parent’s generation.  And we accepted Christ as Savior through their prayers.  And now our privilege is to pass on this precious gospel to the next generation. The Church of Christ will continue through all the ages of time. 

 

 

    

 

 

 


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Rules for Living the Christian Life




Rules for Living the Christian Life

 

John Wesley (1703-1791) was used by the Lord to reform England. He was one of the founders of the Methodist Church which was an offshoot of the Anglican Church of England. Wesley’s Methodist followers became a national force.  He rode around England preaching the gospel to all who would listen.  John Wesley wanted everyone to know Jesus as their Savior.  And wherever he preached, lives were changed.

 

In 1739 a group of Wesley’s followers came to him and asked that he give them some rules about how a Christian should live.  Wesley taught his followers to live a Spirit filled life and to allow the Holy Spirit to guide them and to pray and read the Bible.  But they begged him for some simple rules to follow. So John Wesley came up with what he called the “General Rules.”  And here they are:  1) Do no harm.  2) Do good of every sort.  3)  Stay in love with God.

 

These rules sound simple enough but watch out because they are not always so easy to follow.  And John Wesley’s rules agree with what Jesus had to say about how we are to live our lives.  When Jesus was asked what God’s Law calls on us to do, He also kept it short and simple and answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength, and all your soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)  

 

 John Wesley’s “General Rules” for living are really similar to Jesus’ simple rules.  If we love our neighbor as our self we will do him/her no harm.  And when we love God first of all and our neighbors as ourselves, our great love will fill our hearts to overflowing and drive us to do good of every sort everywhere we go. 

 

Wesley’s first rule, 1) “Do no harm” is probably the hardest rule to keep.  We are to do no harm to ourselves or to our neighbors or to the people who do harm to us! There are so many ways to do harm.  Cutting a person off in traffic or not speaking to a person.  Being rude or making an unkind remark. Gossiping and passing on destructive rumors and listening to negative gossip. Being passive in a destructive relationship. Insulting or making fun of another person or persons.  Lying about others.  Robbing another of their possessions or their reputation or their life.  Tearing apart a family by committing adultery.   Dishonoring one’s parents.  The list goes on and on.  We need to keep track of ourselves to see that we are doing no harm. To love others, even our enemies.  God will help us do this. If we can’t say something good to say nothing at all.  Pray that God will show us where we are sinning and where we need to change.  

Actions speak louder than words.  If you want to lead people to Jesus but you are un-kind towards some, your witness for your Lord will be a poor one, if you have any witness at all.  Some Christian groups today are so constantly mean spirited and critical of our nations’ leaders at the same time that they are insisting that they know Jesus that I fear they drive people away – people who are searching for God.  It’s heartbreaking to watch!

 

We are called to be fishers of men. (Mark 1:17)  To bring people to Christ. Many people are looking for the right way. They have a void in their lives that only Christ can fill.  These people go to church and find that the Christian folk who can lead them to Christ and show them the Way are also the same folks who are doing harm to others!  These Christians who have the light have hidden their light under a bushel.  Their anger and hate have covered up the light they have.

 

People will notice when they can trust you to do no harm. They are searching for what is right and good, searching for light in a dark world.  And Jesus is the Way and the Light. And if we believe in Jesus we have His light in us.  Jesus calls us to hold our light up high and let it shine for all to see.  To not hide our light under a bushel.  Scripture says: “Let your light so shine before other people that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)  This Scripture in Matthew 25 goes on to tell us what Jesus warned would happen to those who refused to feed the hungry and help the poor. One of the ways we can let our light shine for Jesus is to be a person who does no harm to others.

 

The second of Wesley’s general rules is:  2) “Do good of every sort.”  Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, take in the stranger (immigrant), visit the sick and the prisoners, give to the poor, and help the hurting.  He says that when we do these things we are doing it to Him.  (Matthew 25:35-40)   When we help others we enliven our own faith.  And we will be blessed too. To have faith but to not put it into practice is to not have much of a faith at all.  Scripture says: “Faith without works is dead.”  (James 2:14-26)  Let’s not have a dead faith!

 

 We can do good in small ways, as well as large ones.  A smile, a kind word, a helping hand.  I believe that our Father in heaven will multiply the good that we do. That’s the kind of heavenly Father we have!  We serve a loving, forgiving, generous and merciful God!  With God our good deeds will increase and expand and bear interest in ways that we may never imagine.  It’s exciting to serve such an amazing God!  Yes, one of the ways we can let our light shine for Jesus is to do good of every sort.

 

John Wesley’s third general rule for living the Christian life is to: 3) “Stay in love with God.”  In any relationship, in order to keep the flame burning brightly we need to be faithful and work at it.  And it is the same in our relationship with our heavenly Father.  Scripture says: “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  (James 4:8)  We will be drawn to God by the Holy Spirit.  But we need to do our part and keep our faith in Him active.

 

 By staying close to God we need to guard our precious faith and never let anyone water it down or take it away.  Stay away from those false

teachings and build up your faith by believing God’s Word, the Bible. Staying in love with God means recommitting ourselves to Him each day.  Obeying Him. Confessing our sins and turning from them. Staying in communion with God. Praying, singing praises to God, worshipping Him, studying the Bible and joining a group of fellow believers.  Our faith and joy in the Lord will grow by getting involved.  We need to find a loving, Bible believing church and then join it.  Help support it with financial gifts or teach a class, usher or sweep floors.  Each believer has something to offer

 

. When we are in love with God we will hear His Voice.  There will be a cross to carry but we will also have a life of joy and adventure. We will hold our light up high and our light will shine brightly for all to see when we always keep staying in love with God.       

 

                   


Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Book of Psalms, the Book of Praises




The Book of Psalms, the Book of Praises

 

The Hebrew title of the book of Psalms is “Sepher Tehillim”, which means the “Book of Praises”.  The book of Psalms in our Bible, is a collection of ancient Hebrew songs and poetry which were used in ancient worship services to commune with God in prayer and praise.  Some of the psalms may have been written as early as 1400 B.C. but they were compiled into a musical praise and worship book between the years of 1,000 to 300 B.C.  These psalms reflect the worship, devotional life, and religious sentiments of Israel’s history in ancient times.   

 

Some of the Psalms are poems which would be accompanied by a stringed instrument. Instead of poems being a rhyming of sounds, Hebrew poetry and song were marked by parallelism – or a rhyming of thoughts. But most of the Book of Psalms or the Psalter, contains temple songs, praise songs, laments, personal and national prayers, petitions, and meditations.

 

 The Psalms have a rich history of liturgical and congregational use.  King David, who wrote some of the Psalms, organized choirs and orchestras with skilled conductors and composers to lead the worship. The first Christian churches incorporated the singing of the Psalms (Colossians 3:16)  And down through the centuries, in most of the major Christian denominations, hymn books were composed mostly of psalms set to music.  Only recently did the Church replace singing of the Psalms with singing more modern rhyming hymns.

 

But the book of Psalms is not just an ancient hymnal.  They are a product of the work of the Holy Spirit.  Nearly half of the Old Testament references that reveal the future coming of Jesus the Messiah, are from the Book of Psalms.  Jesus’ own words in Luke 24:44 mention that the Psalms foretell details of His life.

 

For the next few weeks we will perhaps go over several of the many Psalms.  Let’s read Psalm 125 today and send in your favorites if you wish for blogs in the future written around a Psalm. 

Psalm 125

 

Those who trust in the Lord, are like Mount Zion.  Which cannot be moved, but abides forever. 

 

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the Lord surrounds His people.  From this time forth and forever. 

 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest.  On the land allotted to the righteous.  Lest the righteous reach out their hands to iniquity.

Do good, O Lord, to those who are good.  And to those who are upright in their hearts. 

 As for such as turn aside to their crooked ways, The Lord shall lead them away with the workers of iniquity. 

Peace be upon Israel!

 

This short Psalm might be summed up in the words of Isaiah 3:10-11 “Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.  But woe to the wicked!  It shall be ill with him.  For the reward of his hands shall be given him.”

 

But you may ask: Who are the righteous?  We know that Scripture says that none of us are righteous in our own right.  That all of us have sinned.  (Romans 3:11-20)  But Scripture also says that Christ is our righteousness, if we believe in Him!  (2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 2:16, Romans 3:22, 1 Corinthians 1:30, and Romans 8:1-4)  He has us covered! 

 

Psalm 125 holds out amazing promises for God’s people!  Promises that those who trust in God will be held fast and stay safe in the God they trust, now and forever.  Their hearts shall be established by their faith.  They will be like Mount Zion. And Mount Zion is a symbol of strength and security.   As Mount Zion is fixed and stable and cannot be moved, so are God’s people.  God’s people are surrounded by His protection, as Jerusalem is surrounded by mountains.  And those who honor God will be under His protection from their enemies.  “The scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous.” (Verse 3)

 

You may ask how you are being protected from your enemies when they seem to be insulting you and harming you at every turn.  The tests and trials in this life are bound to come. The enemy may harass you and wear you down for an allotted time here on earth.  But God will allow the enemy to go only so far.  He will keep the enemy from destroying you.  In the end we will overcome the enemy and we will be overcomers in everything through Christ, who has overcome the world.  (1 John 5:1-6, 1 Corinthians 15:57, Romans. 8:37, and John 16:33)  The last words in the Psalm, “Peace be upon Israel,” may be taken as a prayer and also a promise.  This Psalm is full of promises. 

 

   

 

     

 

 


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Fear Not, for I am with You



Fear Not, for I am with You

 

All through Scripture God tells His people over and over not be afraid.  He is forever saying “fear not” and “I am with you” to His children.  I think He assures us again and again because He knows that we are afraid of so many things.  Without the Father’s care there is much to fear in this life. But the Father calls His children to live a fear-free life.

 

 How would a fear-free life differ from the life you are living now?   When we live with fear, physical and chemical reactions are activated in our bodies that are toxic to our bodies and to our health. And living with fear keeps us miserable and negative.  Our loving Father has better things for us than that.  It is His desire to give us the kingdom! 

 

Scripture says: “For the Spirit which you have now received is not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption in which we cry, Abba Father!”  (Romans 8:15)   The Holy Spirit that lives in us, is the Spirit of adoption.  The Holy Spirit will cause us to know that we have been adopted into the family of God and have a heavenly Father.  And this Spirit will lead us to pray and cry out to God as our “Abba”.  The word “Abba” means Daddy. God our heavenly Father is a personal God and Father to us!  We talk or pray to Him and He talks or communes with us.

 

Is this Scripture implying that the spirit of slavery to the bondage of fear is the opposite from the Spirit of adoption in which we cry, Abba Father?  When we are in a loving community we do have less fear than when we are out there on our own and by ourselves, or when we are in an unloving community.  The Bible tells us that “There is no fear in love because perfect love casts out fear” (1John 4:18) Is God’s love the antidote for fear?

 

 I have a friend who volunteered to be the foster mother to a small child who had been severely abused by her parents. The child had been shaken so badly by her parents that doctors believed she had become brain damaged. Her name was Suzie, and when Suzie arrived at my friend’s house, she could not talk or walk.  Without loving parents, the child’s growth had been stunted.  Suzie was two and a half years old and doctors believed that she would never grow to be a normal child.  They thought she might be blind since she didn’t seem to see anything.  All the child did was bang her head against the wall day after day.

 

 My friend loved this little girl the minute saw her.  She became her foster mother and she took Suzie in her arms and rocked and sang to her.  My friend played games with Suzie and spent weeks just holding her and loving her.  Soon Suzie began to smile and cuddle and babble.  And gradually she started trying to say words to her foster mother.  She stopped banging her head against the wall and after a year passed Suzie was playing with toys and walking. Today Suzie is a happy normal five year old running and playing with other children her age.  As a single mother, my friend adopted little Suzie and she insists that all Suzie needed was love.

 

 Babies in orphanages who are not loved often die.  They have no physical disease but it would seem that their spirits need love to survive.  And they die from a lack of love.  And we are like those babies in that we grownups also need love or we will die.  God the heavenly Father calls us to come to Him through Christ, but we can refuse His call.  When we run away from God’s abiding love, we are like babies who do not receive the love we were meant to have. We have no anchor when the storms of life come.  Fear takes over our lives when we leave God out.   

 

God calls us to trust Him with our problems.  “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)  Take God at His Word!  Learn to experience the faithfulness of God. Choose trust in God over worry.  Scripture says: “Cast all your cares and troubles onto Him because He cares for you.”  (1 Peter 3:5 

 

God calls His children to love Him and obey His Word and love and help one another.   To live out a life of love. He wants us to love Him more than anything else. (Exodus 20:3)   And He calls us to “Abide in My love” (John 15:9)   Can we take time to abide in Gods’ love?  Sink down into it?  What a joy and comfort and luxury.  Scripture tells us that “God is love.”  (1 John 1:9)  And perfect love casts out fear.  Remember that the God of the universe is our loving Father.

 

  Let’s remind ourselves when we become fearful, that God is with us?  When trouble comes we can focus on Christ and not on our trouble. Embrace that you are in God’s hands instead of spending time thinking about what could go wrong.  Do what we can and don’t worry about what we cannot do.   We know that we can do whatever we need to do through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13)  We have wonderful promises in the Bible and this one in Philippians 4:13 is one of my favorites.  I often feel like I am not capable of doing a job that is put in front of me.  In those times when I feel inadequate, I pray and stand on Philippians 4:13.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”   I can feel Him there with me strengthening me as I start out on the job and feel my fear slipping away. 

 

 If we focus on faith then as we use our faith, we find that it will grow.  Little faith will become great faith with use.  And when we have faith in God we can shut the door to the fear that so often comes knocking.  And we can stand on the precious promises in Scripture and experience for ourselves that they are real.  Faith is all important.  If we have ten million dollars in the bank but we don’t believe it is there, then we may go hungry in the streets.  We cannot experience God’s abundant love through Christ for us without having the faith to believe it. (John 3:16)  

 

Also Scripture tells us to “Be anxious in nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication make your requests known to God, and the peace of God which passes understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6)  This Scripture instructs us to pray instead of being anxious and worried.  To release the problem to God.   God promises to take care of us. 

 

Whenever fear comes over me and threatens to do me in, I always run to my very favorite Bible verse: Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you.  Be not dismayed: for I am your God.  I will strengthen you.  Yes, I will help you.  I will uphold you with the right Hand of My righteousness.”  When we remember that the all powerful and merciful God our Father is always with us in our problem, strengthening us and helping us and holding us up with the right Hand of His righteousness, then fear has no place to settle in and take hold of us.  “The Lord is our Light and our Salvation, Whom shall we fear?” (Psalm 27:1)

 

 

Some of the ideas in this blog were taken from Joyce Meyer’s book, “Power Thoughts”. 

 

 
   imimHim, oly Spirit that gives each of us who believe in Christ, H