Tag Archives: Salvation

“Thank You” Doesn’t Seem Sufficient

11 Nov

I’m not in a habit of posting my personal prayers here, but this morning my time spent with my Heavenly Father was an expression of love that I want all the world to experience. I pray that as you read this you will open your hearts to a real, approachable God who loves you and wants your love in return.

My Father – my Lord – my King, and my Friend; my Counselor – my provider – You are so good, and so kind. You are beyond earthly words. My heart overflows with love for You. You are so immersed in everything around me. I see You in all things. You are my anchor. I am tethered to You and that brings security to my heart and soul. I search for words to express my love and adoration, but I cannot find them. My  heart is filled with gratitude for the peace and joy You bring to my heart.

Thank You doesn’t seem sufficient. I am grateful that You can see my heart, and know my every thought. All I have, and all I am are because of You. I could do nothing on my own. You open my eyes to many new things – things I would not know – they are beyond my capacity and my abilities. You create in me new things each day. I want the world to know You. I want them to know You are a real, and personal God available on a level that no one else is. You give me a love the world cannot possibly give because it is beyond their ability.

Even through all my hurt and pain – my weaknesses – my faults – my mistakes – my habits – You still love me with a love I can’t understand or explain. You satisfy my every longing. My every fear melts away because I know You are there shielding me. Nothing can breach the barricade you have place around me.

In every sorrow I have experienced – in every loss – in every trial and tribulation – You rise above them. Your presence and Your Spirit engulf me. You put all the pieces of my broken heart back together. You replace all doubt and fear with faith and hope in the future.

No matter how weak and frail my mind and body might become, You hold me in the palm of your hand as I look to You, knowing You are not going to let anything touch me that will destroy my spirit. I will be with You forever, and forever – no matter the state of my body or my mind or my emotions. My Spirit is one with Yours, and nothing by any means can hurt me.

Thank You, My Father, for a love the world cannot give – for Your peace that far exceeds my understanding – for the assurance that I will spend eternity with You and all those who have gone before me, and who will come after me.

In the mighty, precious blood and name of Jesus, Your Son, I pray. Amen

NOTE: – I shared this prayer with you because I want you to know Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour and the Holy Spirit. There is no other love or thing in this world that can fill any void in your life except for Him. There is no other God – no pill – no drink – no sex – no material thing – no experience that will ever satisfy you like the love, joy and forgiveness given to you by God. All you have to do is ask Him. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, your mistakes and anything that concerns you. It’s not difficult – He will meet you right where you are – just as you are. He will give you what nothing else in this world can give you – the love and acceptance you long for.

I pray for every soul that reads this prayer. I pray that through it you will gain a sense of God’s outrageous love for you – so much so that He really did sacrifice His one and only Son, Jesus, so that you and everyone in the world as the choice of everlasting life in heaven with Him over hell and damnation. He loves you so much that He wants you to love Him because you want to, not because He can make you do it.

This will be the most important decision you ever make. Your future depends on it.

May the peace of God that passes all understanding be with you.

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One Thing

25 Aug

Sunday morning our Pastor encouraged us all when he spoke to the children about starting the new school year. The title of his sermon was “One Thing“.  He wanted us all to know about the one thing  we need to remember at all times as we face life every day. The message inspired me so much that I wanted to expand on it. The following Scripture tells us what that one thing is:

  • Matt 22: 37-38 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.  NIV

My youth and my prime are behind me. I am in the winter of my life. It’s been a rough life, but one thing has been consistent – God. All other things change. Just about the time we get comfortable, something (or someone) upsets the apple cart and we have to pick ourselves up, wipe off the dust, and keep going.

God isn’t shaken when we are. He is the one thing in our lives that remains steady. For that I am eternally grateful. He is my rock; without Him I’m not sure I could face today or tomorrow, let alone the future I face as a senior citizen. I find peace in His Word that promises me that He will never leave me or forsake me.  One thing I can count on is His faithfulness. So can everyone who accepts Him as their Lord and Savior.

I wish I knew how to express the peace and satisfaction life holds as we keep one thing in mind – He is always with us, we can count on Him – those aren’t  just clichés. Until we put our hope and faith in Him, and develop a one-on-one relationship with Him, we find life almost unbearable at times. With Him, life is not only bearable, it is fruitful, it is fun, and even exciting.

God is so real. He isn’t a figment of our imagination. He is alive. He is progressive. He knows how to speak to  us with the assurance of His presence, even though we can’t see Him. He is more real than any person with skin on! He is just as present with us as they are – even more so.  He is with me every moment of every day and He is the one thing that I can depend on when everything around me is unstable. He is available to each and every person that will call out to Him.

We all believe in something. We use our faith every day. Why not use that faith to believe in God and His presence? Why not do that one thing that would welcome Him into our lives – whatever it is that we might be holding back – maybe it’s yielding to Him – inviting Him into our lives. Or, it could be that we aren’t sure He hears us. That one thing might be stepping out to read the Bible on a consistent basis. That’s the main way God communicates with us. As we read it, we aren’t just reading an old Bible story. We’re reading about the lives of people who, back then, were just like we are today. They weren’t any more special than any one of us. They faced the same doubts, fears, temptations, and hardships that we face. God’s Word reveals how He helped them, and how He used them, and how He took care of them. Most important, we can read about how God forgave them and loved them no matter what they had done.

God doesn’t expect perfection from us. There is only One who is perfect – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He came to earth in the form of man (Jesus) and died on the cross to take our place for all of our sins – past, present and future. God is not behind the times. He doesn’t grow old like the rest of us. Nothing we have in today’s world would be possible without Him – nothing.

One thing I know without a shadow of a doubt – God loves us and He wants only good things for us. The one thing we have to yield to Him is our hearts. He will do the rest. He will come down to our level and help us out of whatever situation we are in. He is approachable, and forgiving. His plans for each one of us are for good and not evil. He wants to bless us and not punish us.

God  is the one thing I can count on in my life – nothing else.

A Done Deal

24 Jan

Following is my latest entry to a weekly writing challenge at FaithWriters.com:

Pat Robertson said, “The Bible is not only a book about an ancient people but also a book as current as today’s newspaper headlines.” I would add that the same goes for God. He is not ancient. He is just as relevant today as He was when the Bible was written.

Having said that, let me introduce you to the God of the universe whose being is endless – whose love is endless – whose understanding is endless – and whose forgiveness is endless. He is my creator – my redeemer – my constant companion and my friend. You can have all of this – His love and His friendship, too. God made it simple. All you have to do is ask!

There is no form to fill out, no special requirements, no ceremony required. You don’t have to change anything to make yourself acceptable. Your invitation for Him to come into your heart, and your request for Him to forgive your sins, is all that is required. He loves you just as you are and wants you as His own. He won’t turn you away.

We were all born into a world full of sin and somehow inclined to discriminate about it. We have the idea that there are some sins that aren’t as bad as others. That is just not true. To God, sin is sin.

From the moment – the very moment – you invite Jesus into your heart and ask Him to forgive your sins, it is a done deal! You have a brand new, clean heart and are instantly a part of the family of God – His child. The simplicity of it may be hard to accept. He is, after all, the God of the universe and everything in it.

Jesus paid an enormous price so we wouldn’t have to. He died on the cross to make it happen. I can’t explain it. But, I experience His love, His guidance and His friendship every day.

When you invite Him into your life, you may not feel any different, but you will be. Your heart will be cleansed of all sin and the Holy Spirit of God enters into your clean heart. He then becomes your teacher, your helper and your counselor. He speaks to you by making an impression in your spirit (your heart) of what is true and what is false.

God is a Spirit. We relate to Him with our spirits (hearts), not our souls (emotions), or our bodies (flesh). Being a child of God is all about faith. Living by faith means we don’t make decisions by what we see or by circumstances that may pressure us. We go to God in prayer, and apply our faith. We believe that He hears us and will guide us into all truth by His Holy Spirit as He promised.

The next step is to become acquainted with God. You can get to know Him intimately by reading the Bible. The deep things of God can only be understood by those who have accepted Him.

God inspired men long ago to record the events that were taking place before and after Jesus was born, so we would have examples to follow and could learn about His ways. In Bible times people were ordinary, like us. They made mistakes, big ones. But God loved them enough to use many of them to do great things. We too, can learn how to know God’s will and how to avoid making bad choices as we study His Word and the Holy Spirit reveals truth to us.

You can also talk with God any time – He is always listening. He will communicate with you and He will make certain you recognize His voice in your spirit. As you make decisions, the Holy Spirit will guide you through a situation with peace in your heart or the absence of it, depending on the course of action He wants you to take.

Knowing and experiencing God is like nothing you have ever known. Your relationship with Him will be unique. He will make Himself known to you so that you will experience Him personally and learn just how much He loves you.

Becoming a child of God doesn’t mean that you will have no more adversity. Indeed, you will. But, He will be with you every step of the way. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is yours and you are His through all eternity.

Another Sinner – Used By God!

12 Jun

Lydia was a woman of substance. She grew up in paganism and became disillusioned with it. She wanted more. Lydia had something very special – an open heart. God had a plan for her life and saw to it that she was at the right place at the right time to receive Him into her life.

Scripture tells us that “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes.” We are all called, some just don’t answer.

Lydia loved her family. It has been determined that she was a widow. We pick up her story when she was away from home on a business trip. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatire, famous for its dyeing trade.

It is interesting to note that Lydia had not yet accepted Christ. She was not a child of God. Or, was she? We have the advantage of seeing Lydia’s story from start to finish, through God’s Holy Scripture. We read it in God’s Word, after the fact. God is omnipotent, He sees it before it happens! As a matter of fact, He orchestrates all of the events.

God is always in control. Sometimes, it doesn’t appear that way to us. Circumstances become overwhelming and we just can’t seem to get a handle on things. We do all we can. We take the steps we know to take. This is the point where Scripture tells us to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. We are told to rest in Him as we go about our daily routines.

It is too far out of reach for us to understand how God can orchestrate –arrange our lives – everyone – so that all things work together for everyone’s good. Just think about it. That is exactly what He does. Knowing this should help us to rest in Him, as we are told through the Scriptures. We don’t actually take that as a profound direction. But we should. This story of Lydia and Paul will help us understand a little about how God works all things together for good.

Paul was a mighty man of God by the time he met Lydia. He had been forbidden to preach in her hometown. Interestingly, God arranged for Lydia to be on a sales trip in the same city where Paul was ministering. Had she not been away from home she would never have been where God had arranged for her to meet Paul and be introduced to Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.

On that day, Lydia was at the gate on the Sabbath for her own purposes –to gather with her people to pray. Paul and Silas also journeyed to the gate on that Sabbath. Paul, Silas and Lydia were brought together by the providence of God. This is an example of how God’s plan is working together to bring about good. Paul was shut out of Bithynia and silenced in his journey through Mysia and was now in the same place as was Lydia!

In this case, all circumstances were changed in their lives. God brought them together, and Lydia was introduced to Jesus Christ and became the first European convert. God had prepared Lydia’s heart and opened it to hear and receive Paul’s words.

Why is this story important enough to be in the Bible? Lydia is only mentioned briefly in the Scripture. She was enough of an example for us that she was mentioned by name that we might follow her example.

Meditation upon God’s word is important. If we read through it quickly without understanding, we can miss valuable insights that God has for us. As God gives us revelation to these insights our faith is increased, our trust in God becomes stronger, and we learn more of how to walk in peace and not to fear our future. God is always in control.

God brought His mighty Apostle, Paul, together with this widow proselyte by rearranging both their circumstances. As soon as Lydia heard Paul’s message and believed in Jesus, her heart was at rest. Her destiny had been changed for eternity!

Lydia immediately, with her family, took a stand for Jesus. Her heart was full of excitement and gratitude. She wanted to give back. It did not take weeks or months, it was immediate. The joy of the Lord was now in her heart. Her life had been changed forever. It now had meaning and purpose. Some people never apply the truth they hear. They are hearers only, not doers. Some think what they hear is for others and not for themselves.

Lydia wanted to show her gratitude and invited God’s servants to her home to abide there. God knew Lydia would respond and step forward to provide what his servants needed. Once again, we see God providing for His own.

It is said that actions speak louder than words. Although there aren’t many verses of Scripture in the Bible about Lydia we can learn many things from her example. In fact, Lydia sets an example for all who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives.

Amazing is the fact that one individual made such an impact that the Holy Spirit inspired the writer of Acts to tell her story. Of major significance here are the actions of Lydia upon her conversion. We get a glimpse of how we are to behave in the world around us to show our love for God in our actions. We don’t have to be someone special. Like Lydia, God can use as in a mighty way even if we are a salesman.

There are many people today who only learn about Jesus through our actions. We are not always free to discuss our beliefs with those we love or those we see on a regular basis. When we do try to “preach” at someone and they are not receptive, we are then scrutinized with our every move, and especially every mistake or failure. This indicates clearly that our actions have made more of an impression than our words.

Additionally, we need to realize that it is the Holy Spirit that convicts – not an individual. It is not our words, or our prayers – really, it’s not even our actions that change a person’s heart. It’s the Holy Spirit of God who tells us in his Word that He knew us while we were being formed in our mother’s womb. Still, our actions as we listen and obey God, following His lead, show the world there is something different about born again believers. Even we, as believers, recognize other believers by their actions, as well as their words.

Continued Tomorrow. . .

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