Posted by: Anne | May 18, 2019

may He give you all you need

“…may He equip you with all you need for doing His will. May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to Him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.”
~ Hebrews 13 20-21 New Living Translation

Posted by: Anne | May 11, 2019

may you have life abundant

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
~ John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)

What did Jesus mean when He promised an abundant life?
Unlike a thief, the Lord Jesus does not come for selfish reasons. He comes to give, not to get. He comes that people may have life in Him that is meaningful, purposeful, joyful, and eternal.

Read more at the source:
https://www.gotquestions.org/abundant-life.html

Posted by: Anne | May 4, 2019

may you overflow with hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
~ Romans 15:13

Romans 15:13 is a wonderful prayer that Paul wants every believer to experience: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

When you read a verse like that, you must ask yourself, “Does that verse even come close to describing me? Can I honestly say that my life is filled with all joy and peace in believing? Do I abound in hope?” And, since we all tend to give ourselves the benefit of a doubt in these matters, I need to ask, “Would my family or good friends describe me as being filled with all joy and peace in believing and abounding in hope?”

To varying degrees we all fall short of experiencing that verse and so we all can benefit by thinking about what it means and how we can grow in these qualities. I can’t imagine anyone saying, “I’m not interested in having joy and peace. I don’t want to abound in hope.” We all want and need these qualities, and yet even among believers, very few can legitimately claim to be filled with all joy and peace and to be abounding in hope.

Read the full article at the source:
https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-101-abounding-hope-romans-1513

Read additional commentary:
https://biblehub.com/commentaries/romans/15-13.htm

Posted by: Anne | April 20, 2019

best news ever!

Best News Ever
by MercyMe

What if I were the one to tell you
That the fight’s already been won?
Well, I think your day’s about to get better
What if I were the one to tell you
That the work’s already been done?
It’s not good news —
It’s the best news ever!


Lyric clip above was found at Google.

Hear the full song and see the lyrics at YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acbcKrnnJAk

Find out more about this Good News at:
https://FindingMyHope.org/

Posted by: Anne | April 13, 2019

growing into a deeper faith

Holy Week is a great time for a check-up: so, how’s *your* faith?

If you struggle with weak faith, or even doubts, take heart.

The disciples did not yet understand that Jesus must rise from the dead (John 20:9), in spite of Jesus’ repeatedly telling them this before His death. They just didn’t get it at first… this is actually an evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, because they had to be convinced against their fears and doubts. But the Lord graciously worked with them to build their faith.

John is the only Gospel to mention Thomas’ doubts before he saw the risen Lord. John uses that incident as the climax of his Gospel. When Jesus invited Thomas to touch the scars on Jesus’ hands and side, Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28), “My Lord and my God!” Rather than rebuking Thomas for calling Him “Lord and God,” Jesus affirmed his testimony by replying (John 20:29), “Because you have seen Me, have you believed. Blessed are they who did not see and yet believed.” Then John gives us his purpose for writing: he wants each of us to join Thomas in believing in Jesus as “my Lord and my God.”

The point is, Jesus wants you to move from no faith or weak faith to strong faith. But, note how He did this with Thomas: He appeared to the disciples when He knew that Thomas was absent. For a week, Thomas had to struggle with missing that crucial appearance. Think of how you would have felt! “Everyone else saw the risen Lord, but I missed it!” He probably thought that it was grossly unfair that Jesus appeared to them when he wasn’t there. But when Jesus did meet with the disciples again with Thomas present and showed His omniscience by repeating back to Thomas the doubts that he had expressed earlier, Thomas gave a much deeper confession than he would have a week earlier. The lesson is that the risen Lord doesn’t reject us or cast us off when we’re lacking or weak in faith. Rather, He takes each of us through different trials and difficulties tailored to our doubts to help us grow in faith.

Read more at the source:
https://bible.org/seriespage/easter-2014-good-news-everyone-john-20-and-21

See also:
https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/what-exactly-is-the-good-news-of-easter-sunday.html

Posted by: Anne | April 6, 2019

believe also…

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me.”
~ John 14:1 New International Version (NIV)

“I am very glad that the apostles were not perfect men; they would then have understood all that Jesus said at once, and we should have lost our Lord’s instructive explanations; they would also have lived above all trouble of mind, and then the Master would not have said to them these golden words, “Let not your heart be troubled.” It is, however, most evident from our text that it is not according to our Lord’s mind that any of his servants should be troubled in heart. He takes no delight in the doubt and disquietude of his people. When he saw that because of what he had said to them sorrow had filled the hearts of his apostles, he pleaded with them in great love, and besought them to be comforted.”
~ Charles Spurgeon

Read more at the source:
https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/let-not-your-hearts-be-troubled#flipbook/

Posted by: Anne | March 30, 2019

For peace, think truth. Repeat.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
~ Philippians 4:8 New International Version (NIV)

It follows logically that the object of our focus has a direct bearing on our state of mind. The verse above offers direction on what is worth pondering.

What kind of thoughts meet these peace-bringing criteria? Well, perhaps from experience you’ve discovered (as I have)…

… not my ever-fickle feelings
… not obsessing over a movie or television show
… not reliving the past
… not mapping out the future
… not rigidly clinging to my opinions
… not reciting political rhetoric
… not pining for trouble-free circumstances

What about science? Or math? While it’s true that two plus two equals four, as far as I’m concerned, facts of that type fall short of being lovely and admirable.

For clarity, we can consider additional verses on this topic. For example, Isaiah 26:3 also connects thoughts and peace:

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
~ Isaiah 26:3 (New Living Translation)

The Bible directs us to think of God — as we might expect. 🙂 But let us note the other ingredients for “perfect peace.”

* Not just thinking of the basics about God, such as “God is good” but trusting that His good promises apply to me.

* Fixing my mind on “such things” through activities like prayer and Bible study.

I’ve recently started a regular effort to put this into practice, and I can testify that I’m finding peace like never before. Some days it’s hard to push past the jumble of thoughts competing for my attention, but seeing this Bible truth in action encourages me to try again, because — God’s way — “hard” does not equal “impossible.”

Excellent.


Read more about the Bible’s instruction for peace:
https://finds.life.church/peace-is-possible-but-youll-need-more-than-self-care/

 

Posted by: Anne | March 23, 2019

What If?

What If
By Blanca

What if You’re holding me up?
What if Your love is enough?
What if the power in Your name
Can do anything?
And what if You’re making me strong?
What if You were here all along?
What if I’m right where You want me?

Hear the whole song: What If (Official Audio Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbVYIZ4nkX8

Get the story behind the song:
https://www.powerofworship.net/music/blanca-what-if-song-story/

Posted by: Anne | March 16, 2019

the object of my attention

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
~ Romans 12:2, NIV

Everyone recognizes our diets directly affect the health and working of our bodies. And while we may not eat right 100% of the time, most of us try to do what’s best for our bodies overall. Unfortunately, sometimes we aren’t as careful with what we feed our minds… And it shows in our spiritual health. However, the Bible shows a direct correlation between what we put into our minds and our outward actions.

My mind is the place of my intellect, reasoning, and intentions; my behavior begins in my mind, and my mind is where spiritual transformation happens (Romans 12:2). The object of my regular thinking will determine how my days, years, and ultimately my life plays out. Everything starts in the mind.

Read the full articles at the sources:
https://www.kathyhoward.org/feeding-your-mind/

https://unlockingthebible.org/2016/05/five-steps-to-renewing-your-mind/

Posted by: Anne | March 9, 2019

when “have to” becomes “want to”

“In fact, the Law was our teacher. It was supposed to teach us until we had faith and were acceptable to God.”
~ Galatians 3:24 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Rules. No one likes that word. It’s daunting, ponderous. It goes in the same box as ‘terms and conditions’ or ‘wait time: three hours’.

Christianity is distinguished by its lack of rules, which is great because rules were never very cool to begin with. It’s all about relationship.

Relationship: now there’s a word we can get behind. It’s deep and meaningful, and does away with the intimidating factor intrinsic to rules.

But if it’s true that Christianity is all relationship, then… why are there all these dos and don’ts?

Rules and values: the two are almost identical. A rule can be a value, and a value can be a rule. But if rules are things you follow, values are things you possess. A rule belongs to someone else; a value belongs to you.

For instance, going to church is a rule if you do it because ‘Christians go to church’. It can also be a rule if it’s because ‘God wants you to go to church’. The latter is like me going to work because my boss said to. It has rules written all over it.

But the act of going to church can start to become a value (and not a rule) when we begin to answer the question, ‘Why do I care what God wants me to do?’ In other words, ‘What is the purpose for following this or that rule?’

I had to learn the rules, and follow them, before they could transform into values, and it’s no fun when the rules are long and tedious; it’s less fun living by them. But, sometimes, when you give it a good go, the rules begin to feel a little less rule-y. You begin to appreciate them because you realise why they exist.

Read the full article at the source
https://www.studentlife.org.nz/2015/02/rules-vs-relationship/

See also: Is Christianity Just a Bunch of Rules for How to Live?
https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/is-christianity-just-a-bunch-of-rules-for-how-to-live

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