Thu, Jan 31st - 6:28PM
A POSITIVE POWER OF CONFIDENCE
PHILIPPIANS 4:4-13 -- v4.…Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. V13...I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Kjv
We see that Paul was a confident man. During his earlier years, the apostle’s positive attitude came from trusting in his credentials, namely, his background, education, and position. However, his encounter with the Lord caused him to realize they were of little worth. So what was the source of his new boldness?
Paul’s relationship with Jesus formed the new foundation for his existence. ( Acts 9: 1-6 ) Regarding his former ways as over, he whole-heartedly embraced his new life in Christ. Paul not only recognized the inadequacy of everything he had previously relied upon--his knowledge, achievement, and authority; he also relinquished any notion of living independently of the Lord. The apostle was a man of action, who lived his life through total reliance upon God. (Galatians 2:20 -- I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me).
Paul’s unwavering trust in God’s faithfulness also played a key role. He believed God when He promised to strengthen and equip him; to guide him in every situation; to meet all his needs; and never to leave him. In facing trials, Paul experienced the power of the Holy Spirit flowing in and through him. Because he took the Lord at His word, he could meet adversity with boldness. His confidence was not in him-self but in God’s presence, provision, and power; therefore, it remained strong.
Do you see why we can be confident followers of Christ? It isn’t who we are, what we believe about ourselves, or what strengths and abilities we have that matter. Developing a wholehearted trust and reliance on Jesus is what brings about confidence.
Wed, Jan 30th - 11:22AM
PASSION FOR CHRIST
2 PETER 1:1-4
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: v2...Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 3v...According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: v4...Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. kjv
We must study God's Word it is the essential first step to developing zeal for Christ--we must understand His ways and promises before we can fall deeply in love with Him. While the Bible creates the first spark of passion, we must continue to add fuel. Believers described as"on fire" for the Lord practice several principles.
Like any loving relationship, our intimacy with Jesus requires that we give Him our time. These quiet moments are meant for worship or meditation instead of working through a request list. Too often we Christians stretch our our hands, but not our hearts--we rather know Him as the One who answers prayer instead of loving Him for Himself. To achieve a true friendship, we must talk with Christ as our Friend and listen for Him to speak.
Passionate believers also seek evidence of Christ's work in everyday circumstances. He assures us of direction and provision. If we are on the look out, we will witness the promise in action. Sometimes events seem too random or tragic to yield good, but continued scriptural study, prayer and patience often reveal God's greater purpose. We are wise to record the Lord's work as we see events unfold. When our faith falters, a written testimony outlining His daily divine management of eartly affairs encourages us to trust and obey.
Fueling passion for Jesus is not a one day affair but rather a life-time pursuit--one that believers cannot undertake without laying aside everything that completes withChrist-centered devotion. Fueling a passion for Christs brings the believer rewards as nothing else can.
Sun, Jan 27th - 9:52PM
THE JOY OF OBEYING GOD
JEREMIAH 9:23-24 -- Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches. V24...But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understand and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. Kjv
Just think, Peter was a professional fisherman. He knew how to gauge weather conditions, where to find the best places to fish, and when to end an uproductive night. Because of his expertise, he may have silently questioned the reasonableness of Jesus’ instruction. Why let down the nets when an experienced team of fishermen hadn’t caught anything all night?
Sometimes God asks His children to act in ways that appear unreasonable. His request might involve leaving a job or ministry that He provided only recently, taking on more responsibility when life already feels over-loaded, or accepting an assignment that seems better suited for someone with a different skill set. Perhaps God’s plan makes no sense in view of age, financial situation, or health condition. Yet, because of the One who asks, it will be the absolutely right thing to do. We have to decide whether to do what is sensible by human standards or to obey God.
The Bible talks about many people who had to make such a choice. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. Noah was told to build an ark on dry land because a flood was coming. Joshua was given a military strategy of marching around Jericho instead of attacking it (Joshua 6:2-5). Gideon, the inexperienced fighter, was told to send most of his warriors home before the battle (Judges 7:2-3). They all obeyed and experienced God’s power released on their behalf.
Don’t let human logic dictate whether you follow God’s plan. Trust in Him as Peter and these other faithful believers did.
Sat, Jan 26th - 8:32PM
WE KNOW GOD HAS A PLAN FOR ALL
HEBREWS 10:35-36 -- Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. V36...For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Kjv
The most awesome realizations for a believer in Christ Jesus is that God has a plan for your life. He knows you, loves you, guides you, and sees exactly what you should do in every situation. Not only does He have a will for you, but He also makes it possible for you to know what that will is.
First, God has a moral will. In other words, there are universal truths, such as the Ten Commandments, that apply to every man and woman on earth. Many people pay no heed to these precepts, but ignoring them does not negate them. In fact, people who disregard them actually live in a continuous state of rebellion against the will of their Creator.
Second, God has a specific, personal will for very individual. His plan for you is completely different than His plan for me. Both are God-given, but tailor-made for our own unique personalities.
Because each person makes mistakes, we can see that God’s personal will contains some circumstantial qualities. If we step outside of the Lord’s will, does that mean we can never again get on track with Him? No, of course not. Rather, God chooses to work within our lives, guiding us through whatever circumstances we face. When we slip up, He works through that mistake to bring us back in line with His will. His truth never changes, but His methods of bringing us into that truth are modified according to our situation.
Don’t let troubles keep you from God’s plan for your life. He wants to use your trials to strengthen you for the future.
Fri, Jan 25th - 9:11PM
WE NEED TO ENCOURAGE OUR PASTOR
2 TIMOTHY 1:1-6 -- PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus v2...To Timothy, my early beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. V3... I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; v4...Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; v5...When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. V6...Wherefore I put thee n remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. Kjv
I believe there are many who attend Church. If so, God has placed a person in your life whose job it is to train you in righteousness and speak the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it. You are blessed to have a pastor who loves you and care about your spiritual well-being. He need to know you care about him too.
Many churchgoers neglect to encourage the pastor, but caring for him is part of being in the body of Christ. In his second letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul models the way we are to encourage those who minister:
First, tell your pastor that you appreciate him. There’s nothing more uplifting to a person’s heart than to know someone else cares. Words are certainly valuable, but actions can speak even more “loudly.: So look for ways to demonstrate your love for the preacher.
Second, express confidence in the pastor. Let him know you recognize the sincerity of his faith and appreciate his commitment to speak scriptural truth.
Third, affirm the call of God on his life. Work with your pastor, respond to him in a way that shows you understand he’s been called to minister and therefore has Gods hand upon him. And when you experience the Lord working through him, let him know. Above all pray for your pastor. Don’t assume that others in the church are praying or that a spiritual leader doesn’t need intercession. The opposite is true. The Devil would like to thwart effective ministering, and you can help to defend the minister who loves you.
Thu, Jan 24th - 10:48PM
WINNING LIFE’S BATTLES
MATTHEW 26:36-46 -- Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. V42...He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it thy will be done. Kjv
Do you want to experience victory in conflicts and tough decisions facing you, consider how Jesus fought a crucial, pivotal battle in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He wrestled with the Father over what lay ahead. For Jesus, it was overwhelming to realize the weight of sin He would bear and the complete spiritual separation from the Father He would experience. In His special place of prayer (Luke 22:39 --- And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him). He got alone on His face before the Father and cried out to Him. When Jesus left that garden, He walked out a winner. He would still drink the cup of suffering and separation but He knew that, in the end, He would triumph over it. (Hebrews 12:2 -- Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God).
Jesus’ example reveals that the key to winning life’s battles is being on your face before the Father, alone with Him and fully surrendered to His will. Godly counsel is important, but you cannot depend exclusively on others to tell you what to do. If you don’t wrestle things out alone with the Lord until you know what He is saying, you will never be sure you’re doing the right thing.
By making it a habit to spend time alone with God, you’ll be able to discern His perfect will when you come to major decisions with significant or even lifelong consequences. When you fully surrender to Him, you place the consequences of your decision into the hands of an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God who is fully, sovereignty in charge of the past, the present, and the future.
Wed, Jan 23rd - 9:06PM
OUR PROFESSION AND PERFORMANCE
JAMES 1:22-25 -- But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. V23...For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: v24...For he behold himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. V25...But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed. Kjv
Just close your eyes for a minute, and picture your own face. Imagine the slope of your cheek and the color of your eyes, and color of your hair. Note any freckles, dimples or blemishes. Also your nose, big or small, your teeth, crooked or straight, off white or pearly white…..
You know exactly what you look like. Why? It is because we all spend time in front of a mirror, studying our faces and getting to know ourselves. We are not born knowing what we look like, and if we didn’t catch our own reflection from time to time we’d honestly have no idea!
Now think of this in terms of faith. We are not born with knowledge of the saving truth of Jesus Christ. Since we don’t inherently know the Word of God, we must read, study and carefully analyze Scriptures so the Holy Spirit can impress His message of salvation and direction on our hearts and minds.
But how many people read the Bible and then walk away, seemingly unaffected? It is as though they forget the power of the Word as soon as they close the book. These are the people who praise Jesus on Sunday, but live Monday-through-Saturday lives of pretense. These are the ones who, as the apostle James describes, forget what they look like.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says!” ( James 1:22 ). The world is dying to know what genuine faith looks like. If you profess to know Jesus as Lord, then you carry a solemn responsibility to show others the true face of faith. Let them see Christ….reflected in you.
Tue, Jan 22nd - 9:13PM
THE HOLY SPIRIT
ROMANS 8:26-30 -- Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. V27...And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. V28...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. V29...For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren. V30...Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Kjv
When we are saved(at salvation) (He) the Holy Spirit gives us new life and sets us apart as children of the heavenly Father. While we are from then on God’s family members, who bear His name , our character still reflects old habits, thought patters, and priorities. We are infants who need instruction and guidance in order to become spiritually mature.
Our sanctification, which is the process of becoming like God’s son, is another aspect of the Holy Spirit’s mission. He has been entrusted with the responsibility of teaching us the truths of Scripture as well as the ways we can apply biblical principles to our lives. He seeks to weed out ungodliness, to prune us for greater fruitulness, and to encourage wise decision making. Through His efforts and our cooperation, we will please our Father and bear an ever-increasing resemblance to our Lord Jesus Christ. And not only are we called to exemplify Christlike character, we are also summoned to a life of active service in accordance with God’s plan for our life. It is for this purpose that we were made new creations in Christ. (Ephesians 2:10 -- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.)
The Spirit’s mission, in fact, has another component: to reveal the work the Father has planned for us and to provide what we need in order to accomplish it.
How can you know that God’s Spirit is working in your life? Look for evidences of spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23 -- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, v23.. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law) deeper understanding of Scripture, and effective service for the kingdom. Salvation, sanctification, and service are all under the authority of the Holy Spirit. Are you yielding to HIS control?
Mon, Jan 21st - 10:15PM
LET’S RUN WITH ENDURANCE
HEBREWS 10:35-36 -- Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. V36...For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Kjv
Hebrews 12:1 -- WHEREFORE seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. kjv -- Tells us to run with endurance, the implication is that we are going to face hardships and suffering. We sprint though many seasons--periods that are beautiful, times when we hurt, and says when the track turns abruptly. We must face each season with steadfast determination to complete the race.
God understands that we will stumble and falter. We do not need to finish our race perfectly; we do, however, need to achieve His purpose for us. When we are on course to fulfill God’s specific plan, then our life is full and meaningful.
Running with endurance means that we are diligently watching for entanglements. When we allow Satan to get a toehold in our life, then we take a step off the track and can soon find ourselves mired in mud. Unlike encumbrances, which are habits or attitudes that slow us down, entanglements are sins that can stop us altogether. But we are to treat the two the same, asking the Lord to identify with an entanglement would look like for us and then relying upon Him to help us avoid it.
We know that we can trust God to help us because He has provided a running companion. Jesus Christ is ensuring that we never run alone. He is always one step ahead to show us the way and one step behind to pick us up when we fall. He is also running at our side, encouraging and cheering us on. Are you tripping in your race? Start fixing your eyes upon Jesus so that you can live to the fullest and finish well.
Sun, Jan 20th - 10:01PM
JESUS IS A TRUE FRIEND
JOHN 15:12-17 -- This is my commandment, That ye love one another , as I have loved you. V13...Greater love hast no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. V14...Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. V15.…Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made know unto you. V16...Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring for fruit; and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. V17...These things I command you, that you love one another. Kjv
The fact is that most people have few, if any, true friends. We are simply too busy to cultivate meaningful friendships.
This is not the way of Christ. When you look at His life, you see that He spent a lot of time developing intimate relationships with His disciples and followers. He worked closely with the twelve, consulted privately with His ‘inner circle” of Peter, James, and John, and bestowed upon John special attention as a friend. Jesus set a wonderful example of how to acquire friends and how to treat them.
As a true friend, Jesus…….Loves you fully and completely, not just because of who you are, but simply because you are. Christ’s love does not depend upon what you do or cease when you fail--it is continuous unalterable……..Accepts you just the way you are, at the same time, He encourages you to grow and realize your full potential. Knowing all your capabilities perfectly, He doesn’t want you to settle for less than He has designed and equipped you to become………..Understands you fully. There’s no path you walk that Christ hasn’t already trod. He may not approve of everything you do, but He grasps your situation, feelings, and thought processes in a way that is encouraging and uplifting.
Because Jesus is a true friend, you can show Him your real self--even the parts you consider ugly and unlovable--without fear of rejection or criticism. Openly bring your concerns, hurts, hope, and joys to the Friend who loves you unconditionally.
Sat, Jan 19th - 8:26PM
GOD'S THRONE OF GRACE
HEBREWS 4:13-16 -- Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. v14...Seeing then that we have great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. v15...For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. v16...Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. kjv
At times when there is sadness, depression, or loneliness assails us, we may feel as if there's nowhere to turn. But God clearly tells us where to go when we are in need...straight to His throne of Grace.
The prophet Isaiah's vision of this place is so over whelming then said I, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Isaiah 6:5.
This throne room is a holy place full of God's glory, power, and radiant majesty from which He rules over the whole universe. We may feel unworthy like Isaiah, but God extends His great mercy and love to us from His throne, taking away our sin.
We have access to God's throne of grace when we give our lives to Him through Christ. As we cry out to Jesus to save us because we know we can't save ourselves, the door of heaven swings wide open, and we are ushered nto the throne room.
We are welcome because Jesus is our intercessor...He gives us access to the God of all creation. Because He walked where we walk, He sympathizes with our weaknesses. Jesus was tempted just as we are but remained sinless and one with the Father. He invites us to follow in His steps. His death and resurrection make it possible for us to receive mercy and grace at all times. So, rather than sitting alone in our pain, outside this wonderful place where we are always accepted, we should run through the open doors, straight into the presence of our Father.
Fri, Jan 18th - 10:54PM
A CALL TO PRAISE THE LORD
PSALM 100: 1-5
MAKE, a joyful noise utno the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. kjv
Thu, Jan 17th - 10:23PM
1 JOHN 1:5-10
In the New Testament one of the most quoted verses is 1 John 1:9; “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Many Christians run to this verse for reassurance that God will again hear their confession for a recurrent sin--and they promise to do better.
But some of our long-standing ideas about confession are misguided. We realize that past sins are forgive at salvation. However, some of us aware erroneously taught that, though saved by grace, we remain forgiven by continuous confession. This implies that unless we confess, God won’t forgive present and future sins.
It’s easy to build a concept of forgiveness on one verse, but we must consider the broad view of Scripture. Romans 8:1-- says that, once we trust Christ as Savior, we are free from condemnation. Our sin may still have temporal consequences, but God has fully pardoned us.
Sin causes us to abandon our fellowship with God. Certainly, confession plays a vital role in maintaining intimate daily communication with the Father, but our standing as His child cannot change.
God does not require confession in order to wipe away our condemnation. Instead, He wants us freed from guilt’s emotional bondage. Through repentance, our intimate two-way communication with the Father is re-established.
Wed, Jan 16th - 11:00PM
UNDERSTANDING LOVE AND JUSTICE
1 JOHN 4:7-10 -- Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. V8...He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. V9...In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. V10...Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. kjv
The Scriptures say that God’s love is unconditional and that His character is just. For Christ-followers, it is vital to understand both of these divine attributes in order to see how perfectly they mesh together. Truly knowing god in His fullness leads to stronger, deeper faith.
Whom does God love? He loves the whole world--there are no exceptions (John 3:16) The bible does not say that God loves only the deserving or the good; instead, it tells us in Colossians 1:21-22 - that He offered us salvation while we were His enemies. Much more than simply an emotion, God’s love is an unwavering commitment to what is in our best interest, and it is given unreservedly.
We know that God’s love is unrestricted because we were its object before our birth, and even before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-5) -- The Lord committed to loving us before we were formed. The way He cares for the world every day is further evidence of His unconditional love (Matthew 5:45) and our tremendous value in His eyes. Mathew 6:26) The highest expression of His perfect love is found at the Cross of Jesus Christ. Our loving Father sacrificed His precious Son for you and me, the utterly undeserving.
Before we can reconcile God’s love with His judgment, we must first grasp this truth: God loves us unconditionally. His decision to love us has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Him. Demonstrate your gratefulness today by obeying God and showing love to others.
Tue, Jan 15th - 11:44PM
BELIEVER’S HIGHEST HONOR
JOHN 12:24-26 -- A big difference exists between what the word teaches and what the world promotes. Nonbelievers treasure power, leadership, and ambition, but for the Christian, service is a high honor.
People have the mistaken idea that God calls only super-spiritual believers into preaching, missions, or other “official” church work. But all of us are servants of the Lord, charged with accomplishing His plan for our life. He places us in situations, vocations, and neighborhoods where we can have an impact. Think about the stay-at-home mom who raises godly children, or a bedridden person who prays regularly for their church family. Neither responsibility involves worldly power or recognition, but God honors such faithfulness.
There are no unimportant positions in the kingdom of God. Our point of service may change with the seasons of our life, but we are always on duty for Him.
Some believers waste their years instead of submitting. Either they never realize the Lord has a purpose for them, or they use excuses to avoid the work He calls them to do. Poor education, ill health, age, and lack of time cannot keep us from service if we are committed to Him. He uses whatever skills and gifts we have and provides the strength we need to be salt and light.
We have an awesome privilege to be part of the divine labor taking place on earth. God doesn’t need our help, but He wants to incorporate our small contribution into His master plan. When we are obedient in serving, he honors us with the title “good and faithful servant.”
Mon, Jan 14th - 10:58PM
CHRIST’S GLORY IN TOUGH TIMES
PSALM 34:1-3 --- I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. V2...My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. V3...O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. Kjv
Just point a telescope at any star in the night sky…the instrument will magnify it for you, even though that distant ball of gas is actually millions of times larger than the image your eyes sees. Believers are like a telescope for Christ. Despite the fact that He is far more radiant than we could ever convey, the purpose of our life is to magnify Him.
In Roman custody, Paul said, “Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:20). In essence, he was telling the Philippians that as long as he was serving
God, even though he couldn’t preach or disciple as he once did, Christ was being glorified, which fulfilled the apostle’s purpose.
Paul accepted his imprisonment with grace, and even in chains, he watched for ways the Lord could use him. He rejoiced that his situation resulted in new ministry to the elite praetorian guard and, even more, that he had the privilege to suffer for Chris’s name. (Philippians 3:10) When a believer passes through trials peacefully and praises the Lord, unbelievers notice. The Christians is a telescope, bringing Jesus into focus in a way that the rest of the world can see and understand.
What ever is happening in your life, good or bad, long-term or short, you have the opportunity to exalt Christ. Let those in your sphere of influence see how He can guide a believer victoriously through tough times. The Lord will work through you if you allow Him to do so, and in the process, He will give you the strength and courage to live above your circumstances.
Sun, Jan 13th - 11:05PM
OUR HEAVENLY HOME
PHILIPPIANS 3:20-21 -- For our conversation(citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: v21...Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Kjv
Throughout the ages, people have tried to picture what heaven will be like. Scripture gives us answers to some important questions about the believer’s future life.
Who will be there? Our Triune God…the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit---will be present. Thousands upon thousands of angels will reside there as well ( Revelation 5:11 -- And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts(living creatures)and the Elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands). All of the Old Testament saints, all believers from this church age(including our believing loved ones and friends), and every person who comes to faith during the great tribulation are promised a heavenly home.
How will we be different physically? We’ll have glorified bodies that conform to the glory of Jesus. Following resurrection, He had a visible material form, so we know we, too, will have a physically body to dwell in a physical place called heaven. Scripture tells us our form will be imperishable and will bear a heavenly image ( 1 Corinthians 15:42,49 … So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption(a perishable state) it is raised in incorruption(imperishable). V49... And as we have borne the image of the earthy(man of dust) we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Will we be able to recognize each other in heaven? Our bodies, while changed, will be identifiable. Mary, after an initial period of confusion recognized the resurrected Jesus ( John 20:14-16 … And when she had thus said, she turned herself back(around) and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. V15... Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him. Sir, if thou have borne him(carried him away)hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. V16... Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say Master. Because we will be like Him, and we will know them as well.
Just think…believers from every tribe, language, nation and people group will be there (Revelation 7:9... After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. When we are in our glorified bodies, life in heaven will exceed our wildest imagination.
Sat, Jan 12th - 11:15PM
WE HAVE ENCOURAGEMENT FOR EVERY SEASON
PSALM 139:7-10 -- Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? V8...If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my be in hell(Sheol), behold, thou art there. V9...If I take the wings of the morning , dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; v10...Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Kjv
Most people earnestly desire to walk through life with a sense of confidence and assurance. Yet, you sometimes come to the end of your day or week feeling worn out. Your nerves are frazzled and you feel depleted. You seem to be in a season of trials, walking through valleys, water, and fire. While you realize that there must be a purpose, you feel totally isolated and find yourself asking the question, “Lord, where are You?”
Be reminded today that you do not journey through this life alone. Our loving heavenly Father is and has been with each believer every single day. He travels with us side-by-side and hand-in-hand. We are waling in the presence of the living God, whose Spirit abides with us and in us. (John 14:16-17 --And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter,(Helper), that he may abide with you for ever. V17...Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
No matter what season of life you are in--no matter how long, short, painful, or easy it might be--God wants you to know you are never alone. He is with you always. (Mathew 28:20 --Teaching them to observe all things whosoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. What an encouraging thought! David reflected on this reassurance in Psalm 139: he realized that no matter where we might go, the Lord is right there with us. We are never beyond the reach of a God who is full of loving-kindness (1 Chronicles 16:34 -- O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever., mercy and comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3 -- Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all Comfort.
Friend, remember that God is faithful and omnipresent. You have a partner in this life--a friend that sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 -- A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. And He will never leave or forsake you, on this day or any day. Have a wonderful time walking with Him.
Fri, Jan 11th - 11:53PM
GRACE -FILLED SPEECH
TITUS 2:7-8 -- In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness(integrity) gravity(reverence), sincerity.
V8...Sound speech , that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary (an apponent) part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Kjv
Words are powerful. Harsh remarks can cause a destructive chain reaction, like a match in the forest during a drought. Kind comments feel like a light summer rain that brings relief from the heat of day.
We can know our words are the refreshing kind--seasoned with grace--when….Our tone and manner reflect the way we want others to speak to us. Talking pleasantly should not depend on whether others are kind with their words. Grace-filled speech consistently uses a gentle voice and positive body language.
What we say about others is similar to what we would want said of us. All of us hope to hear our weakness minimized and our strengths emphasized--and to be given the benefit of the doubt in confusing situations.
We speak only words we know to be true. Gossip and lies have no place in a Christian’s conversation. The Lord opposes lying tongues and false witnesses (Proverbs 6:16-19 -- These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him(his soul). V17...A proud(haughty eyes) look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. V18... A heart that deviseth (devises wicked plans) wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief(evil). V19...A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. kjv
Our speech is edifying. Speaking fairly and positively of others is part of godly speech. Transforming our conversation begins on the inside with the right heart attitude. As we saturate our minds with the Word of God, our hearts will soften, and we’ll begin to respond differently. Through the Holy Spirit, we will be convicted of times when our speech is inappropriate. He will teach us to be more aware of what we say and to stop ourselves before we speak amiss.
God will be glorified and others will be blessed when we practice grace filled speech.
Thu, Jan 10th - 8:22PM
WHEN WE FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS
When we fall in love, we want to spend time with the object of our affection and willingly give our attention to the relationship. Falling in love with Jesus should be no different, but believers often hasten through Bible reading and prayer. The result is a superficial faith kept alive by habit rather than worship. To attain lasting intimacy, we must approach God with a sense of purpose and determination.
PURPOSE… “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God,” King David advised the leaders of Israel. (1 Chronicles 22:19 ) Believers must choose whether to pursue God or chase after idols. If we desire intimacy with Him, it is necessary for us to approach the spiritual disciplines purposefully Before opening Scripture, ask the Lord what He wants to say to you. Pray to understand His ways…He loves answering that plea. And enter church with the intention of taking home a new truth from the Lord.
DETERMINATION…”Indeed, my spirit within me seeks you diligently,” Isaiah told Yahweh. (Isaiah 26:9) But even when we do not feel like putting time into our relationship with Christ, we must determine to do so. A revelation from God will not come every day, but a believer need not despair. Those who diligently seek the Savior experience His presence frequently in their worship.
Getting to know Jesus brings pure joy into a believer’s life. However, we must be willing to offer Him prime time, not our leftover minutes. God gives us His best; we should put forth no less in return.
Wed, Jan 9th - 10:51PM
ETERNAL LIFE -- THE TIME TO CHOOSE IS NOW
ROMANS 1:16-23 -- For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. V17 --For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The Just Shall Live By Faith. V18 -- For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Who hold the truth in unrighteousness; v19 --Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. V20 --For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. V21 --Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. V22 --Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. V23 --And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into and image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beast, and creeping things. Kjv
Just think of it. Eternal life means precious communion with God forever. Upon salvation, we receive the life of Jesus through His Spirit, and our “eternal life” begins. During our earthly days, we can have intimacy with God, which will continue forever in heaven. Being made in God’s image, we are eternal beings, as He is. That is the good news.
Now for the bad news. While we have eternal natures, we are also sinners from birth. Not only are we born with a bent away from God’ we are also dead to the things of God. At birth, we are physically alive but spiritually dead. Every one of us starts existence in a condition of sinfulness which separates us from the Lord. Our unrighteousness places us under His that physical death is the end of life, but Scripture tells us the truth: eternity will be spent either with God in heaven or in a permanent hell, separated from Him.
What we do with the saving work of Jesus Christ is the deciding factor for our ultimate destination. If we reject His sacrifice, then there is no forgiveness of sins and no relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. The destiny we were born with--unending punishment apart from God--remains unchanged. But if, by faith, we accept Christ’s payment for our sins and receive him as Lord, then we will receive an everlasting home with our heavenly Father. God waits for your decision, Today is the day of Salvation, now is the time to choose…….
Tue, Jan 8th - 11:50PM
WALKING WITH GOD
GENESIS 6:9; 22 -- These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. Kjv
Noah walked with God, even in a decadent world . How did he do it? Part of the answer is found in Genesis 5:24 -- And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Noah’s great-grandfather Enoch walked with God. The faithful lifestyle of Noah’s family made it possible for him to walk with the Lord even though none of his neighbors did.
Noah was walking with God before he built the ark. We learn to walk with God by just following Him every day. We learn to be ready for the big issue when we walk with God on the ordinary days. Then, when a significant challenge comes along, we are already walking by faith.
Noah’s test of obedience came when God gave him unusual instructions--to build an ark and to bring two of every animal inside. Through all this, Noah continued his faithful and fruitful walk with the Lord
He kept his focus on the Lord’s plan, the Lord’s project, and the Lord’s direction. When you and I walk with God, we learn to listen to Him and hear His voice. Then it doesn’t matter what others say, as long as we know we’ve heard the Lord. Some of us have journeyed through difficult places in our lives. Yet it’s not where we walk that matters, but with whom. Anywhere we walk with God--no matter how painful it feels--it is a place of serenity and safety.
Remember, when we walk with the Lord, we will never take a wrong step. We will never regret a day. We will always be grateful for the moment we decided to travel alongside almighty God.
Mon, Jan 7th - 11:58PM
LEAVE YOUR BURDENS WITH THE LORD
MATTHEW 11:28-30 -- Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. kjv
At some point in life, we all will struggle with a weighty problem or heartache. Scripture tells us that when such times of distress occur, we are to bring our burden to the Lord. The problem, however, is that many Christians cast their care upon Him but quickly grab their troubles or anxiety right back.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says the heavy-laden should come to God. In biblical times, the Pharisaical law and its interpretation were a burden because the religious leader had added scores of their own stipulations to the Lord’s commands. The people were left trying to obey the Law and please God by satisfying the temple leadership--a hopeless goal that was impossible to reach. Jesus’ message to them, and to us today, is that no matter what our burden is, we have the privilege of bringing it to God and allowing Him to carry its weight.
The way to leave our troubles with Him is to respond to His invitation: ‘Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest”(Matt. 11:28). Christ’s offer is personal and all-inclusive. He invites anybody and everybody who will come, and there are absolutely no limitations on the type of burden He will ease.
The first step is to trust Jesus as your personal Savior, receiving His substitution death on the cross as payment in-full for your sin-debt. In doing so, you will lay yours sins at His feet. Once the weight of your transgressions has been lifted, you are free to accept relief from the heaviness of day-to-day life, whether emotional physical, financial, or spiritual. Christ’s motivation, very simple, is love. ( 1 John 4:8 -- He that loveth not knoweth not God: for God is love. He loves everyone--people who are trapped by a lifestyle of sin and Christians who are trying their best, yet are weighted down with afflictions. While He does not promise to remove our struggles completely, He does guarantee rest for the soul.
No matter who you are or what your challenge may be, Jesus wants to lighten your load. Don’t be afraid to approach the One who is “gentle and humble in heart” -- He stands ready and waiting to lift the burden from your shoulders onto His..
Sun, Jan 6th - 11:45PM
OUR LIFE’S NUMBER ONE PRIORITY
LUKE 10:38-42 -- Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him and said, Lord , dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. kjv
Churches are filled with men and women who have a go-go-go- attitude. Do this! Go there! Teach a class! Lead the ministry team! Too often, the activity of doing overshadows the power of being and can get us off track.
This passage offers a perfect picture of this “doing versus being” dichotomy, as it reveals Martha and Mary’s unique responses to Jesus’ visit. We immediately see that Martha is the doer. She runs around, cleaning, making the meal, and operating in a whirlwind of activity. Mary, however, is more concerned with simply being--she wants to be near Jesus and absorb every moment of His presence.
Neither sister was necessarily wrong in her response. Martha is often looked down upon in this scene, but the truth is, she was simply concerned with meeting the needs of her Master. She was going about the ministry, while Mary was engaged in worship.
In His rebuke of Martha in Luke 10:41-42 -- Jesus never said Martha was wrong for what she was doing; He said only that her busyness wasn’t the best thing at the moment. This interaction is a message for the church, as the Lord calls us first to honor Him. Only then--once we are fueled by His Spirit and an intimate encounter with God--we are best prepared to go about the activity of ministry.
The church needs a hearty supply of Marthas and Marys. If we are a Martha, do we maintain a consistent, intimate relationship with God in the midst of our activity. If we are a Mary, do we allow our private worship to fuel our ministry fire……
Sat, Jan 5th - 9:30PM
THOSE WHO HURT
JOHN 4:1-16 -- When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples then John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. ) For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that hour, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jewish have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that saith to thee. Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and is cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her. Go, call thy husband and come hither. kjv
One of the main reasons we sometimes have a weak faith is our faulty view of God. After all, since He is so big, how could we ever truly get an accurate portrayal of what He looks like, how He act, and how He feels about us personally?
Let’s think about what Jesus said. He told us that if we want to know what God the Father is like, we must look toward the Son. The Savior said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father “ (John 14:9). We can know the Father because we can know Jesus.
And when we take a look at the way Jesus treated the people around Him we get a good picture of God’s love. Think about the woman at the well in today’s Scripture passage. This was a woman who had been outcast by society. The fact that she came to draw water during the heat of the day--a time when no one else would be around-- indicates her exclusion from the townspeople was not just their idea; she herself felt the need to stay isolated (v.6) But what did Jesus do? He loved her. He accepted her. He gave her what no one else would give: attention and respect. That is what He does for us as well. The Lord does not want us burdened by guilt, shame, or heartache. Nor does He want us to be secluded from other people. Instead, He call us to become active participants in His Kingdom. Don’t cut yourself off from those around you. Take hold of your Savior’s hand today, and start experiencing the joy of His acceptance.
Fri, Jan 4th - 11:35PM
JOHN 1:1-3 -- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. Kjv
The Trinity is one of the most difficult concepts to understand even after we come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. However, until we get at least some idea of what Scripture teaches about our triune God, we will never be able to understand who He is and how He operates. The first thing we must notice about the Godhead is this: God consists of three distinct persons--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Though they are all characterized by the same divine attributes, they are three unique persons with specific roles.
Their distinctions are demonstrated throughout Scripture. Take, for example, the account of creation in the book of Genesis. Verse 1 of the opening chapter describes the action of the Father who “created the heavens and the earth.” Starting in verse 3, we see Him speaking each aspect of creation into existence.
The first chapter of John’s gospel reveals something more: V 1-3. Verse 14 - identifies the “Word” as Jesus, God the Son! In Genesis, we see God the Father planning creation and speaking it into existence, and here in John, we see Jesus is the one through whom the Father created the world. (see also Colossians 1:16.)
To find the Holy Spirit in the act of Creation, we need only return to the first chapter of Genesis. Verse 2 reads, “The earth was formless and void , and the darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” So, while the Father brought about Creation through the Son, the empowering Holy Spirit was also actively present. What a wonderful picture of the three Persons operating distinctly, yet as One!
Thu, Jan 3rd - 10:24PM
We Are Grafted Into Christ
John 15:1-8 -- I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branches cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abided in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herin is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
A vinedresser plants and tends his vines for the purpose of seeing them produce grapes. God, as our vinedresser, encourages us to bear spiritual fruit. He wants us to have a character like Christ’s, marked by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. God wants to ensure that believers will be fruitful; for this reason, they are removed from the dead tree of humanity and grafted onto the living vine, Jesus Christ.
After His baptism, Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit,” who led Him to the next step. (Luke 4:1 --And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness) Christ’s life and ministry were the result of the Spirit’s empowerment, and when we become believers, God sends the very same helper to indwell us. In the language of vineyards, the sap from the vine flows into a grafted branch, giving it life and the capacity to grow the kind of fruit typical of that plant. The branch and the vine become one life. In Colossians 2:7 -- Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (let our roots grow down into him and draw nourishment up from him) When we are one with Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God lives His life through us. That doesn’t mean we are free from responsibility--the Spirit can do His work only as we wisely choose to yield to Him. When we are obediently following the Lord, our joy and peace are not be dependent upon circumstances; the One in whom we are rooted is our joy and peace.
Wed, Jan 2nd - 11:52PM
Molded by the Master
Jeremiah 18:1-6 -- The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as the potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
I know some people have watched a potter work, as Jeremiah did. You know the wonder of seeing a lovely vessel take shape from a lump of clay. God’s object lesson to the prophet was that the nation if Israel--as well as every person from the beginning of time--was to be shape by His hand. We are all lumps of human clay waiting for the touch of the Master potter. When clay is placed on the wheel, the potter already has specific design in mind. The same is true of us--God has determined how He plans to work in our life and what part we are to play in building His kingdom (Ephesians 2:10 -- For we are his workmanship , created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them). He shapes with His hands and cuts with His tools so that our character begins to look like that of His Son Jesus. Each believer will be shaped differently to carry out the unique service God has in mind for him or her. But regardless of our special equipping, we all bear the unmistakable imprint of our potter.
Too often we look around at the talents and abilities of others and wish to be more like someone else. But we have been perfectly deigned for the purpose God has for us, and He makes no mistakes. If we spend our time wishing for talents that do not suit God’s plan, or if we refuse to use the spiritual gifts He’s given us, we waste His effort and our opportunity to serve Him. The Master is pleased with the way He’s designed our life and the abilities He has poured into us. To honor the Potter as a vessel should, we must submit to being molded and used as He desires.
Tue, Jan 1st - 10:52PM
Isaiah 43:19 -- Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 35:1 -- The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
God has a plan and a purpose for our life, just as He had a purpose in Genesis. He creates each individual for specific reason and equips us to complete the task. When we experience times of “dormancy,” He is able to bring forth new shoots of life and accomplishment after our personal winter.
The Lord’s ability to re-create renews the purpose at all stages of the Christian’s journey. To the young believer, this means a regeneration of spirit that touches the outward conditions of life. (2 Corinthians 5:17 --”Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. For the seasoned Christ-follower, it might mean a reawakening of old desires and goals. Just as a flowering plant dies off and hides beneath the ground during winter, the next spring it often grows stronger and blossoms more abundantly.
And for those who are experiencing a vast barrenness or hopelessness, God provides the seeds of a new harvest and causes their purpose to come forth. Dry, lifeless marriages experience fresh vibrancy as God breathes new vitality into them. A failed business endeavor or lost promise from the past surfaces once again. What appears to be dead and lost awakens to God’s touch. He is able to take stark desert lands and turn them into fertile fields, as in Isaiah 35.
Happy New Year!
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