It Is For Him Not Them


imagesNU332289Hebrews 6:10 – “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

 

Looking back on 2014, how was your attitude most of the time when it came to your service for the Lord?  Did you have times where you felt that the things you did, didn’t even matter to anyone?  Or maybe you felt like they even went unnoticed?  Let me encourage you in 2015 not to worry about what other people see or think or even know about what we do for HIM.

If we are doing things for the Lord to get noticed or for recognition, we are doing them for the wrong reasons.  The majority of the time, in the gospels, when Christ healed someone, he said, “Tell no one.”  People didn’t need to know who did it, but they just needed to know it was God.  It should be the same in our lives.  Maybe no one says “Nice song today” or no one thanks you for the snacks you put out or the bulletin board you put up or even that no one thanks you for the sermon you gave on Sunday morning that you put hours into preparing.  God sees our works for him but, more importantly, he sees our hearts.

If we are ministering to the saints and for our Savior, and it is in the flesh, then our reward is here, and it is temporal; but if we do the things we do in the spirit, those rewards are eternal.  God will give us our just rewards, for our labor of love, in heaven one day, and we will turn back around and lay them at HIS feet.

Be Not Afraid, Only Believe!


imagesMark 5:36

“As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.”

Recently in reading a series of passages in Scripture that deal with faith, I came across Mark 5.  There are several situations that Christ encounters here that illustrate faith.  The one the caught my attention is found in Mark 5:21-43.  A ruler of the synagogue named Jairus comes to Christ asking for His healing for his daughter.  Christ makes His way to heal her fever when He is detained by the crowd of people and encounters the woman with the issue of blood.  Her faith heals her, but in the delay, Jairus’ daughter dies. When her death is reported to the Lord, He responds to Jairus with a powerful statement – “Be not afraid, only believe.”  Many times in our lives we face circumstances that naturally elicit fear – a serious illness, loss of a job, financial difficulties, death of a loved one.  Obviously, the Lord knew that He would raise this little girl up, but her father did not know that.  Christ ministered to Jairus’s natural response of fear with an admonishment to believe.  It seems as if the Lord knew in our human nature that we would need to be reminded to have faith in the midst of difficulty because most often our fear clouds the eye of faith.  What is it that is obstructing your vision of faith in this new year?  Take the Lord’s admonition to a father who had just lost his daughter to encourage your heart when facing difficulty – “Be not afraid, only believe!”

HE Careth for Me!


imagesAAJUUNJ1“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”

—1 Peter 5:7.

It is a happy way of soothing sorrow when we can feel—”HE careth for me.” Christian! do not dishonour religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon your Lord. You are staggering beneath a weight which your Father would not want you to feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to Him but as the small dust of the balance. Nothing is so sweet as to

“Lie passive in God’s hands,

And know no will but His.”

O child of suffering, be thou patient; God has not passed thee over in His providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need. Sit not down in despair; hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses. There is One who careth for you. His eye is fixed on you, His heart beats with pity for your woe, and his hand omnipotent shall yet bring you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy. The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning. He, if thou art one of His family, will bind up thy wounds and heal thy broken heart. Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness. What a serene and quiet life might you lead if you would leave providing to the God of providence! With a little oil in the cruse, and a handful of meal in the barrel, Elijah outlived the famine, and you will do the same. If God cares for you, why need you care too? Can you trust Him for your soul, and not for your body? He has never refused to bear your burdens, He has never fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! have done with fretful care, and leave all thy concerns in the hands of a gracious God.

 

~ C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

I Must Tell Jesus


imagesPXVMT86QI must tell Jesus all of my trials;

I cannot bear these burdens alone;

In my distress He kindly will help me;

He ever loves and cares for His own.

I must tell Jesus!  I must tell Jesus!

I cannot bear my burdens alone;

I must tell Jesus!  I must tell Jesus!

Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

 

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (I Thes. 5:18).

 

From I Must Tell Jesus by Elisha A. Hoffman, 1893

Redeeming the Time


imagesEphesians 5:16, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Colossians 3:5, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”

The picture of redeeming the time is of a merchant searching through the market for some valuable commodity and eagerly buying it up wherever it is found.

Our Lord Himself has said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls.  We may adopt the Lord’s simile and rightly say that the hours of every day are a string of pearls, each one to be prized and treasured for its immense worth.

The word rendered redeeming means literally buying out.  It could mean buying up all that is in the market or buying away from, or to rescue from bad hands.  “Redeeming the time” may have been a proverb in Paul’s day.

The general meaning of redeeming the time is clear.  It means to rescue or recover our time from waste, to improve it for great and important purposes.

Time is a priceless commodity and believers must always be on the lookout for the right use of time.   We need to resolve to turn our time into the best advantage for the Lord.

Time is charged with opportunity.  Time is a gift of God.  We must use the time we are given by making wise decisions in the use of the opportunities God puts before us.  Time flies.  Job said, “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle…they are passed away as the swift ships, as the eagle that hasteth to the prey” (Job 7:6ff.)  Life with its glorious opportunities and solemn responsibilities is upon us now.  If we have wasted time in the past, it is all the more reason we should redeem the time now.  If up to now we’ve lived like the heathen, it is high time we begin to live like children of God.  An oft quoted saying, attributed to William Penn, expresses the mind of one who would earnestly redeem the time.  “I expect to pass through this world but once.  Any good work, therefore, I can do or show to any fellow-creature, let me do it now!  Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Redeem your time in study of the Word and prayer to keep the heart right before God.  Redeem the time from all that would waste and destroy it.  Do what you know you should do while you still have time to do it.  If you have time on your hands, use it in spiritually profitable activities which realistically manifest themselves in uplifting Christ (Colossians 1:18).

What View Do You Have?


imagesB5GR9BKJWhat view do you have? This is not original to me, but it is well worth the re-post to show how opposite our view on life should be.

An Atheist’s View on Life

I will live my life according to these beliefs

God does not exist

It is just foolish to think

That there is a God with a cosmic plan

That an all-powerful God brings redemption and healing to the pain and suffering in the world

is a comforting thought, however

it

is only wishful thinking

People can do as they please without eternal consequences

The idea that

I am deserving of Hell

Because of sin

is a lie meant to make me a slave to those in power

“The more you have, the happier you will be”

Our existence has no grand meaning or purpose

in a world with no God

There is freedom to be who I want to be

But with God

Everything is fine

it is ridiculous to think

I am lost and in need of saving

A Christian’s View on Life

(read this bottom to top)

 

The Greatest Gift Ever Given


imagesIn a season that is based on giving, let us stop for a moment to think about why we give gifts and how blessed we truly are. The world tells us to give because someone else will give us a gift, so it is in essence an exchange. But is the giving of gifts really an exchange? God gave us salvation and asked for nothing in return. God gave us an “unspeakable gift” when He sent Jesus to this earth to die. If God had sent His Son to us with the expectation of something in return, we would all be doomed for we have nothing worth giving to the Lord. The blessing of salvation is the greatest gift we could ever receive and there is nothing comparable that we could ever give to anyone.  At this Christmas season, may we consider why we are giving gifts in commemoration of the greatest, unspeakable gift that God has given us.

2 Corinthians 9:15 – Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Merry Christmas!


It is that time of year to celebrate the birth of our Lord.  What a special time we enjoy—the decorations, the programs, the parties, the gifts, the baking, the shopping, the caroling, the visiting . . . and much more.  However, “It’s important that we rivet into our heads exactly what we’re celebrating.  It is our Savior’s arrival, not Santa’s” (Come Before Winter, p. 213).

Galatians 4:4-5 reminds us, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

As you enjoy your family and friends in all the celebration, remember the reason for the season.  Don’t leave Christ out of your Christmas!  Merry Christmas!imagesT9C9EC7T

Christmas


images“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

One of the songs that our choir sang during our Christmas cantata was “What is Christmas.”  It is a very mixed up “mess” of a song.  Everyone–sopranos, altos, tenors, and bases–are just singing all different things, and it makes for a very confused mixed up “mess” of a song.  Is this what Christmas is about?  For me sometimes it does seem that way. I am shopping, looking for that right gift for a particular person, baking, putting up decorations, or attending parties fellowshipping with friends and family.  The list goes on and on.  It becomes a very busy month. I need to take time, s l o w  d o w n, and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.  Please join me…

My God loved me so much that he sent His son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  To be born in a manager … not a warm cozy home but a stable. I can see the Mary holding her precious son, wrapping him in swaddling clothes, Jesus, God’s only begotten son, the Savior of the World.  I then look to His life here on earth.  Walking with and teaching men how to live their lives to serve His heavenly Father, our heavenly Father.   Not an easy road.  Not all men wanted to hear what our Lord Jesus Christ was saying. But he did it in obedience to his Heavenly Father who loved us so much.  Then Jesus on his final journey here on earth, took that road that lead to the Calvary cross.  But it didn’t end there–He is now in Heaven with our Heavenly Father preparing an eternal home for all who believe and trust in Him.

There is a family tradition that we started about 16 years ago. Christmas Eve we have a Birthday Party for our Lord and Savior, Jesus.  This is a wonderful family time, and it is something we all look forward too.  We gather our family around, and my husband will read Scripture, usually Luke 2.  Please take some time with your family in God’s Word reading the wonderful “Good News,” the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Think on These Things!


 the_gate_of_heaven             “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;  if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

                In a book I began reading the other day, the author was emphasizing this verse.  It is such a needed reminder for any of us in the distraction filled world in which we live.  The list of what we SHOULD be spending our precious moments thinking about.  We are to think on the:

True

Honest

Just

Pure

Lovely

Good report

When I really think about my day, these are honestly not the only things that I think about.  We see and hear a lot of “stuff.”  Distractions.  Things that will not draw us closer to God but away.  We must filter them, and only give time to the things that are good–things that pass God’s qualifications.

God wants us to be victorious and live with a peace inside us that others will see and desire, but we must focus our thoughts.  It seems our Creator knew us before we were formed and knew how these days would be, long before this “busy” time came.  This verse is a reminder to daily submit to Him to bring our thoughts where they need to be.