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Friday, February 29, 2008

Reasons for the Storms of Life

2 Corinthians 1:3-6

3: Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4: Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5: For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6: And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

The Lord is never taken by surprise. He knows everything we are going through. And He is orchestrating our circumstances for both our benefit and His glory, according to His good will.

One purpose for hardship is our cleansing. Because of our own "flesh" nature, and the self-absorbed world we live in, it's easy to develop selfish attitudes, mixed-up priorities, and ungodly habits. The pressures that bear down on us from stormy situations are meant to bring these impurities to our attention and direct us to a place of repentance. Our trials are not designed to sink us but to purify us and guide us back to godliness.

A second reason we face difficulty is so that we'll bring comfort to others. God's work in our lives is not intended solely for us. It's designed to reach a world that does not recognize or acknowledge Him. The Lord uses our challenges to equip us for serving others. As we experience suffering, we will learn about God's sufficiency, His comforting presence, and His strength to help us endure. Our testimony during times of difficulty will be authentic. Those we minister to will recognize that we know and understand their pain. What credibility would we have with people in crisis if we never experienced a deep need?

Reflecting on the divine purpose in hardship can help us respond to them in a God-honoring way. Take a moment to fix your attention on the Lord. Seek to understand what He wants you to learn.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Rock

This is a poem I wrote myself.

A stone rolled in place,
On a cold clamey day,
A dark day in one's life

A dark cold darkness
It seemed no one cared
But then in a split second
The stone was rolled away

Stood there in a bright glowing figure
A shout went out loud and clear
He lives, He lives Jesus Christ lives
Fore He touched me today, now I live

The stone rolled from my life
He gave me life the day the stone was rolled away.


God's Purposes in Our Difficulties

Romans 8:28-29 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

If we could choose the number of difficulties we want to face in a month, most of us would pick zero. Yet, God sees value in difficult times. Through His mighty power, He uses trials to accomplish His plans.

One of God's purposes for us is a growing intimacy in our relationship with Him. But He knows we struggle to put Him first over our own interests. Many of us place higher priority on family and friends than on companionship with God. For others, finances, work, or even personal pleasures interfere. When the Lord sees that our attention is drifting away from Him, He might use hardships to draw us back so we'll refocus.

Another reason God allows difficulties is to conform us to the image of Jesus. Pain is a tool that brings areas of ungodliness to the surface. God also uses it to sift, shape, and prune us. The sanctification process, the building of Christlike character into our lives, starts at salvation and ends with our last breath.

A third purpose for stressful circumstances is to reveal true convictions. Our faith is tested in tough times. It's easy to say, "God is good," when things are peaceful. But when everything goes wrong, what do we believe about Him? Do our words and actions reveal an attitude of trust?

King David endured many heartaches: a disintegrating family, personal attacks, and betrayal by close friends. But through his trials, he gained deeper intimacy with God, stronger faith, and more godly character. Won't you let God accomplish His purposes in your present situation?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

God's Simple Plan Of Salvation

My Friend: I am asking you the most important question of life. Your joy or your sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is: Are you saved? It is not a question of how good you are, nor if you are a church member, but are you saved? Are you sure you will go to Heaven when you die?

God says in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again. In John 3:7, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.”

In the Bible God gives us the plan of how to be born again which means to be saved. His plan is simple! You can be saved today. How?

First, my friend, you must realize you are a sinner. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death. “For the wages [payment] of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This includes eternal separation from God in Hell.

“ . . . it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

But God loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. “ . . . He hath made Him [Jesus, Who knew no sin] to be sin for us . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus had to shed His blood and die. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). “ . . . without shedding of blood is no remission [pardon]” (Hebrews 9:22).

“ . . . God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Although we cannot understand how, God said my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true. God cannot lie.

My friend, “God . . . commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross.

In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: “ . . . ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved . . . .’ ”

Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior.

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

Whosoever includes you. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but shall be saved.

Surely, you realize you are a sinner. Right now, wherever you are, repenting, lift your heart to God in prayer.

In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed: “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Just pray: “Oh God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen.”

Just take God at His word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church, no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it!

God’s simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith.

You say, “Surely, it cannot be that simple.” Yes, that simple! It is scriptural. It is God’s plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as Savior today.

If His plan is not perfectly clear, read this tract over and over, without laying it down, until you understand it. Your soul is worth more than all the world.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Be sure you are saved. If you lose your soul, you miss Heaven and lose all. Please! Let God save you this very moment.

God’s power will save you, keep you saved, and enable you to live a victorious Christian life. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Do not trust your feelings. They change. Stand on God’s promises. They never change. After you are saved, there are three things to practice daily for spiritual growth:

* Pray -- you talk to God.
* Read your Bible -- God talks to you.
* Witness -- you talk for God.

You should be baptized in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church without delay. “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord . . . .” (2 Timothy 1:8)

“Whosoever therefore shall confess [testify of] Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).

Copyright: Robert Ford Porter, 1991

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Lord

Lord, You are my Shepherd
I will not be afraid
You make me dwell in peace
You are my light
And the Lord of my journey
Your rod and your staff
Comfort me
So I'll sing in the valley
Shout from the mountain
Drink from the river
Dance near the fountain
Of your everlasting life
And your eternal love.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Some Thoughts To Ponder

God has promised:

Strength for the day,

Rest for the labor,

Light for the way,

Grace for the trials,

Help from above,

Unfailing sympathy,

Undying Love.

The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.

Every morning lean thine arms awhile upon the windowsill of heaven and gaze upon the Lord. Then with that vision in thy heart, turn strong to meet the day.

Prayer should be the key of the morning, and the lock of the night.

When home is ruled according to God's Word, angels might be ask to stay with us, and they would not themself out of their element.

A smile cost nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it last forever.

There is in every righteous womans heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperety, but which kindles up and beams and blaze in the dark of adversity.

Love is patient, love is kind, love does not delight in evil, but rejoice with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always persevere.

Monday, February 11, 2008

All Things Work Together For Good...

Since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, there were verses in the Bible that I memorized and I quote it most of the time. One verse that I really like is Romans 8:28 which says "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." This has been true to me with all the experiences that I've been through. I've been to a lot of trials in life and during those trials, I didn't know then what was God's plan for my life. I just put my trust in Him, believing that He knows what's best for me. I also believe that God will not give me trials that I can't bear. He can see the big picture and I don't. How could I tell 12 years ago when I was diagnosed of the Big C that I will survive it and get healed? How could I tell 8 years ago when I broke up with my BF that I will find the right man here in the US? During those times that my world seemed to fall apart, God was in control. I trusted in Him and I committed my life and my future to Him. During those times, I believed that God will see me through and He was my comfort during those lowest moments in my life. Those trials in life made me stronger and it increased my faith in my Lord and Savior. He molded me like a clay, started to form me, shape me and mold me into who He wanted me to be.

I love reading God's Word. It's my comfort whenever I'm troubled. I even highlighted a lot of verses in my Bible that I really love. I tried to memorize them too. I love reading the book of Psalms. When you read the Word of God, the Word is life. It penetrates your heart, your mind, your spirit. Those deep places that you don’t even know exist, those places that hurt, the Word began to heal. God speaks to me through His Word and by reading it daily, it make me fall in love more and more to my God. He has done great things for me and He deserve first place in my life.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Fight All Your Battles On Your Knees And Win

Prayer is the resistance against the devil.
Resistance in prayer is the biblical approach to confronting and overcoming the devil. Peter wrote, Resist him, be steadfast in the faith"(1Peter 5:9) James echoed this teaching: "Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you"(James 4:7,8). We are to actively resist evil through our persevering prayers.
Resistance is first and foremost a firm decision to join the struggle against evil in prayer, rather than turning away , backing off, or retreating. Such resistance takes strength and courage. It also takes patience and perseverance. That's why men always ought to pray and not faint"( Luke 18: 1) We must submit to God and put our faith in Him. Submission to God is saying "Lord I can't defeat the devil on my own, but with You, I can. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13) Submission occurs when we seek to develop a closer relationship with God. As we spend time with God, we get to know Him better and discover how He wants us to overcome evil and experience blessing. We draw near to God through prayer and spending time in His Word. We draw near to God when we set aside time solely to listen to God and to wait upon Him for direction and guidance. We draw near to God when we periodically shut ourselves away, closing off all other influences that might distract us from Him. The better we know Him, the more we see His awesome power, experience His vast love , learn from His wisdom, and grow in our faith. We realize through prayer and the strength of God we can and will defeat the devil. Yes, God does want us to be able to overcome our adversary and live in victory in Christ Jesus. We grow in faith by exercising it, by trusting God in situation after situation, circumstance after circumstance, relationship after relationship. We develop in which we obey God and He remains faithful in His loving care of us.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Be My Valentine

"For God so loVed the world
That He gAve
His onLy
That whosoever
Believeth In Him
Should Not perish,
But have Everlasting life."
John 3:16

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.