Be Of Good Cheer

In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

So many of us expect that life should always be happy and pain-free. I admit from time to time that I find myself pondering the question, “Why can’t every day be a good day?” Admit it, wouldn’t that be great? Of course!

Well, that isn’t what the Bible teaches. For the believer, this world is a place of highs, lows, living, and learning. The circumstances in life are growing us spiritually, through both the good days and bad.

Jesus was being real when He explained what to expect in our lives. He told His disciples, “In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

In facing life’s beatings and blessings, we can have the inner peace that God is sovereign, as is orchestrating events according to His divine plan.

His presence in our lives is encouragement and enables us to “be of good cheer” even in the midst of trials and tribulations.

I know, I know, this is a stretch on some days. But we can do it!

If you find yourself in the midst of life’s troubles. Look to Jesus. Peace can always be found in Him.

Open Invitation

As I meditated on Christmas this morning.  I thought about just how much God loves us, that redemption through the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ was provided.

Jesus lived on this earth and invited all people to come to and through Him to God.  The wonderful news is this same invitation still applies today.  untitled.png

Through Jesus Christ, God made provision for everything that we could possibly need.

Salvation.  Jesus is the only way to have forgiveness of sin and the promise of heaven. “Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:15

Purpose. We are to give all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength to following Jesus. “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Mark 8: 34

Comfort.  In trial or sorrow, the “God of all comfort….comforts us in all our tribulation.” 2 Corinthians 1: 3- 4

Wisdom. We need wisdom beyond our own for making decisions.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,….and it will be given to him.” James 1: 5

Strength.  When we’re weary, “the Lord will give strength to His people.”      Psalm 29:11

Abundant Life.  The fullest life is found in relationship with Jesus. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”   John 10:10

Jesus said, “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”  John 6:37     

Merry Christmas, Tea Among Friends

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Christians,Credits and Debits

In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16: 33

imagesGOJGLS1ZWhen I was in college, I had the privilege of taking accounting classes.  I say this sarcastically, because accounting was definitely not my favorite class.

Well, after taking one of the test, I was eager to get the results.  I passed the test, yet there was one section of the test that I struggled.  The problem was that I started with a faulty understanding of a basic banking concept. I somehow reversed debits and credits.

Well, in life we as Christians can sometimes get our debits and credits confused too.  How?  This  is my take on how it happens.

We at times have the tendency to blame Satan for everything that goes wrong in our lives. Whether its overwhelming negative circumstances to something as simple as misplacing our keys.  We actually give him credit that he doesn’t deserve.  In fact, we are giving him the power to determine the quality of our lives, which he definitely doesn’t have.

Satan is limited in time and space.  He has to ask God’s permission before he has access to touch us.  However, as the father of lies and prince of this world, Satan can cause a lot of confusion.  We were warned by Jesus of a time when we could in fact become so confused that we wouldn’t know right from wrong.  I admit, I’ve been there a few times.

On the flip-side, Jesus gave us a much needed assurance during these times.  “The prince of this world now stands condemned.”John 16:11

Problems will cause confusion and disrupt our lives, but they cannot defeat us.  Jesus has already overcome the world.  Therefore, in all things, Jesus Christ is deserving of all credit.  He hears. He sees. He understands.

When Satan attempts to accuse and confuse, God controls.

Stars Up In The Sky

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Remember that ideals
are like stars up in the sky,
You can never really reach them,
hanging in the heavens high …
But like the mighty mariner
who sailed the storm-tossed sea,
And used the stars to chart his course
with skill and certainty,
You too can chart your course in life
with high ideals and love,
For high ideals are like the stars
that light the sky above …
You cannot ever reach them,
but lift your heart up high
And your life will be as shining
as the stars up in the sky.

– Helen Steiner Rice

 

Power Of Words

Nelson Mandela, who opposed the South African apartheid regime and was imprisoned for almost 3 decades, knew the power of words.  He is often quoted today, but while in prison his words could not be quoted for fear of repercussion.

A decade after his release he said: “It is never my custom to use words lightly. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are, and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.” 

King Solomon, author of most of the Old Testament book of Proverbs, wrote often about the power of words.  He said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21   Words have the potential to produce both positive and negative consequences. They have the power to give life through encouragement and honesty or to crush and kill through lies and gossip.

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How can we be assured of producing good words that have a positive outcome?  The only way is by diligently guarding our hearts: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”Proverbs 4:23

Jesus can transform our hearts so that our words can truly be their best: honest, calm, appropriate, loving and suitable for the situations that we often find ourselves on any given day.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”Psalm 19:14

Such Love

Such Love

When I am lonely and oh so sad.
When trouble surrounds me, Thing seem bad
I fall down on my knees and pray…
Dear Jesus, help me to find the way.

He whispers cast thy care on Me,
For I have Bled and died for thee.
Trust in the Blood I shed for thee.
I promise I will set you free.

I wondered how such love could be
for such a worthless one as me?
He loves me but I don’t know how?
How can I help but love Him now?

Pearl Sturgis

 

 

The Glory Of The Lord

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The Glory of the Lord

 

Scripture Reading — Luke 2:1-14

We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory. — 2 Corinthians 3:18

On Christmas day we want everything to be glorious. We hope our family celebrations will be filled with joy and light. We go to worship expecting that the decorations, the music, and the readings will be uplifting. We join our voices with those of the angels, singing, “Glory to God in the highest.” We long to experience what the shepherds did when “the glory of the Lord shone around them.” Could there be a more appropriate way to celebrate the birth of Jesus?

In our hunger for glory, however, we might not notice that the angel points away from the circle of light to a dimly lit stable. The sign given to the shepherds was not the glory that shone when the angel appeared; nor was it the praising of God by the “great company of the heavenly host.” Instead the sign was a child born into the most humble of circumstances, “wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

In his teaching Jesus used a word that means “glory” (doxa) when he instructed us to choose a humble position at a banquet. Jesus explained that when we sincerely humble ourselves, we will be “honored [doxa] in the presence of all” (Luke 14:10). When we follow the example of Jesus and humble ourselves, then the glory of the Lord shines around.

Prayer

God of light and glory, instill in us the attitude of Jesus, who humbled himself by becoming human, like us, and was honored and exalted, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Norman Visser

Freedom In Her Wings

The bird, let loose in eastern skies,
When hastening fondly home,
Ne’er stoops to earth her wing, nor flies
Where idle warblers roam.
But high she shoots thro’ air and light,
Above all low delay,
Where nothing earthly bounds her flight,
Nor shadow dims her way.

So grant me, GOD, from every care
And stain of passion free,
Aloft, thro’ Virtue’s purer air,
To hold my course to Thee!
No sin to cloud, no lure to stay
My Soul, as home she springs;–

Thy Sunshine on her joyful way,
Thy Freedom in her wings!

– Sir Thomas Moore

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Nobody Greater

Nobody is greater than Jesus. He has no competition on earth or in the heavens. His kingdom is above all kingdoms and His throne above all thrones. He is creator of all things and by Him everything is held together.

Jesus, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:16

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” Romans 11:36 NIV

I Shall Be Satisfied

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I shall be satisfied when I awaken
In thy dear likeness, my King and my Lord,–
When the dark prison of death shall be shaken,
And the freed spirit comes forth at thy word!–
I shall be satisfied, Saviour, be satisfied,
Wearing thy likeness and near to thy side!
Sinless and sorrowless, robed in thy righteousness,
What can I ask for in glory beside?

I shall be satisfied loving thee ever,
Hearing thy accents and sharing thy joy,
Fearing nor change nor estrangement to sever
Me from my Lord and His blissful employ!–
Satisfied, satisfied, evermore satisfied,
Wearing thy likeness and near to thy side!
Sinless and sorrowless, robed in thy righteousness,
What can I ask for in glory beside?

I shall be satisfied when I behold thee,
I shall be like thee, my Saviour and King!
And, in the radiance that will enfold thee,
I shall enfolded be, too, while I sing–
Lo, I am satisfied, Saviour, am satisfied,
Wearing thy likeness and near thy side!
Sinless and sorrowless, robed in thy righteousness,
What can I ask for in glory beside!       – Mrs. J. C. Yule