“Pillow to Lean On” 8/23/2014

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
“Homily Grits Devotional” http://www.homilygrits.com

Written by the wise 85 yr old Robert VanHoose @ http://www.homilygrits.com

Read 2 Corinthians 9.
Proverbs 3
August 18

“Pillow to Lean On”

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT

How good it is to know that Jesus overcame sin and death on the cross for us. When we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, we receive His pillow of grace sufficient for all our needs in this world and the next.

As we move from being saved to being sanctified through the life long process of being made over into the image of Christ, we are going to need that pillow of grace to lean on every step of the way as we persevere through the battles of life.

Although the war has been won, and we know we are winners, the mortally wounded but not yet defeated roaring lion is still seeking to devour us through deception, trickery, bribery, or whatever means to get us to follow our flesh and ways of the world that lead to destruction.

When temptations come, as they often seem to do on even a daily basis, God’s pillow of grace becomes a set of armor guaranteed to help us overcome or escape any temptation that comes our way if we will just put it on.

The deceiver of our soul’s sole purpose is to get us to do as Job’s wife told him to do: “curse God and die.”

God’s pillow of grace comforts us with the assurance that nothing can separate us from the Love of God that is ours in Christ Jesus, and that because He lives we can face every trial with the peace and security of knowing that we will live forever in the “sweet by and by”.

In the meantime God’s pillow of grace will make it possible for us to rejoice in our trials and tribulations, and give us that peace that surpasses all understanding, as we endure and persevere knowing that God is working all things for our good and His glory.

Father, thank you for my pillow of grace which comforts me through all of the issues of life. In Jesus’ name, Amen

P.S. (From bruce) Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, after first being drawn in by God…John 6:44… http://godsmanforever.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/gods-group-thoughts-for-7112013-the-truth-about-sin/

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“To Love As Jesus Loved: Summary Of Our Study” 8/22/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

 The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com

Written by Pastor Rob Barkman for “Settled In Heaven Ministries” @ http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/

 View original post @ http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/to-love-as-jesus-loved-summary-of-our-study/

To Love As Jesus Loved: Summary Of Our Study

“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

We have come to an end of our devotional series “To Love As Jesus Loved”. During this series, we have seen an incredible display of love in the life of Christ. Christ’s love for His Father, and for those who were given to Him by His Father, was put on display for all of us to recognize, learn of and imitate.

Keep in mind, the outstanding characteristic of Godly love is a willingness to sacrifice oneself for the beloved. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this basic principle in Galatians 2:19-20…

For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

Through the testimony of the law, the lost individual sees their need of a Savior. As the lost one comes to Christ, he is made dead to the law (no longer under the penalty of the law) and given a new life of service to God.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

The newly saved individual has been transformed. They have been made dead to the old way of living under the domination of their fleshly desires.

They now are alive to Christ, living a new lifestyle of obedience to Christ. The new believer has been given a new standing before God, a new set of desires, new responsibilities and a new eternal home in the presence of God. This is what is meant by the believer being made “a new creature” in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Paul reminds us that another aspect of our new lifestyle is the empowerment we receive through the sanctifying power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  It is only by Christ’s grace shown to us through the indwelling Spirit that we can live transformed lifestyles of service to Him.

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, now emphasizes that living obediently is trusting the Lord day by day. The faith that believers exercise on a daily basis is a gift that comes from Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The same Lord that gave us a new lifestyle and enabled us to serve is the same Lord that loved us and exhibited that love for us by giving His life for us.

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

May we all follow His great example of love by giving of ourselves for Him and those who are around us, motivated by the love of Christ in our hearts. In doing so, we will be living lives that are pleasing and acceptable to God…

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

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“Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, A Time For Everything” 8/21/2014

Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com

 

 

 

Written by Ann Friend for “afriendofJESUS2013Blog” @  http://afriendofjesus2013.com/

View original  post  @ http://afriendofjesus2013.com/2013/09/14/ecclesiastes-31-8-a-time-for-everything/

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, A Time For Everything

Posted on September 14, 2013 by Ann “afriend4ever54” Friend

What a perfect illustration to Romans 8:28, “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.”

20130913-213817.jpg

As long as we live, we will experience seasons in our life. (shock face) Seasons to make us grow, mature, all in all, change. Remember going around the mountain, one more time. (wink)

We must keep our sense of humor because some seasons can be tough. Learning to live, by faith, and adjusting to stuff can make some seasons bearable. Sometimes, we have to get out of our own way. (nervous smile)

Being able to share with each other, through seasons, is a blessing. Having family and friends is a blessing. Casting cares to our Heavenly Father is a blessing. Faith is a blessing. Learning to look, at seasons, from a different perspective, is a blessing. (smile) Thank God for his mercy and grace!

God bless us, as we choose, by faith, more spiritual fruit within us–love (giving), joy (gladness), peace (free from worry and fear), long suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness (generosity), faith (dependability), meekness (gentleness) and temperance (self-control) to walk through our seasons of life and let thy will be done. (smile)

 

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“Is It Really You, God, in My Life?” 8/20/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com/

Written by Pastor Mike Campagna @ http://www.aheartforgod.org

Original post @ http://www.aheartforgod.org/2014/02/15/is-it-really-you-god-in-my-life/

Is It Really You, God, in My Life?

February 15, 2014 By Mike Campagna

                   Messengers from John the Baptist

“Now when John in prison heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples, and said to Him, ‘Are You the expected One, or shall we look for someone else?’” (Matthew 11:2-3)

I’ve always been intrigued by the above story of John the Baptist. I mean, here is the greatest man who ever lived according to our Lord’s own testimony. (Matthew 11:11a) He points out, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” when Jesus comes to be baptized by him. (John 1:29) And yet later on this same John questions whether it was “God in his life.”

The Jews were looking for the Christ to show up with power and great glory and to deliver them from their enemies (the Romans). But Jesus didn’t come like that. He came without the pomp and circumstance. He came in a way that nobody expected. This threw John and caused the questions to arise in his heart.

And we can be thrown just like John, I’m convinced. And especially when things are tough and tight. “Is it really You, God, in my life? Or am I just off and that’s why I’m going through this?”

Two things come to mind here that I believe will help us when we have questions like this.

The first thing is: It isn’t a sign of spiritual weakness to have questions. (After all, John did!) In fact, having questions are a sign of spiritual of spiritual health. People who want nothing to do with God usually aren’t interested in finding out if they’re in His will.

The second thing that comes to mind is: God isn’t afraid of our questions and will answer them in a way that we’ll know it’s Him. What will convince me may not convince you and vice versa. God knows the “language” each of us understands and will speak to us in that “language.”

Jesus answered John’s questions, the Wycliffe Commentary says, by “[calling] attention to [His] works, which John would recognize as Messianic credentials.” (Matthew 11:4-5)

And I guess the bottom line of all is: Do you have a question for God? And maybe it has to do with whether or not He’s really working in your life. I don’t know. But have you spent time seeking the Lord for His answer as regards what’s happening?

Don’t forget that along with using the Scriptures and via the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, God also speaks through other people. Ask Him your question and expect to hear from Him. His answer will both strengthen and help you to continue on.

(Messengers from John the Baptist picture above is in the public domain: click here. PD-US)

You might also be interested in:

About Mike Campagna

Mike Campagna (affectionately known by some as Pastor Mike) is making the most of web technologies to encourage disciples. A self-proclaimed “twitterholic,” one twitter follower describes him as the “jogging, blogging, tweeting Pastor.” Visits to Pastor Mike’s blog (http://www.aheartforgod.org) number in the hundreds of thousands. His video blogs have been viewed over a half a million times. His day job is content manager/social media specialist for Sugar Pine Realty. Pastor Mike and his family have lived in the Sonora area of California since 1997.

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“How To Help Your Kids Write Your Funeral” 8/19/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

 The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com

Written by Pastor John Porter of Job 31 Ministries @ http://www.j31.org

Original post @ http://www.j31.org/j31blog/2014/7/31/how-to-help-your-kids-write-your-funeral

How To Help Your Kids Write Your Funeral

                                                  July 31, 2014

http://static.squarespace.com/static/526ff19be4b0764939e35c50/t/53da572fe4b068d76354c492/1406818119853/?format=750w

By Jon Porter

I’ve lost count of how many funerals I’ve officiated over the years.  But of all the funerals I’ve been blessed to be a part of, one stands out to this very day.

It haunts me.

It resonates.

I was asked to do a graveside service in early winter.  The kind of day that is bathed in grey and the type of cold that just sinks into your bones.

I had no connection with the family.  I was simply the “pastor of availability”.

Conflicting schedules made meeting with family prior to the service impossible.

I was flying blind…

Approaching the gravesite, the daughter of the deceased grabbed my arm.

“Don’t preach him into heaven.  He’s not there.”

The hurt was overwhelming.

How does a father allow this to happen?

How can we make sure it doesn’t happen to us?

Start by helping your kids write your funeral service right now.

Begin today on being purposeful with what you leave.

Leave Resolution

Just recently, I was a part of two funeral services that could best be described as dysfunctional.  Conflict between siblings made everyone uncomfortable.

Kind of like dancing on a powder keg with your shorts on fire…

Start now by teaching your children how to handle conflict effectively.

Demonstrate forgiveness – both the giving and receiving of.

Show extravagant grace.

Help the healing.

And when all else fails…

Step in the middle and put a stop to it.

You’re the dad, for goodness sake.

Dad up.

And then go back to the first three things mentions and start the process all over again.

Leave Laughter

Create moments of joy that kick sorrow in the teeth.

Every belly laugh…

Every “roll on the floor” wrestling match…

Every “oh, Dad” roll their eyes at you moment…

…Will come back and wrap comfort around them like their favorite blanket when you’re gone.

Trust me.

Leave A Legacy Worth Leaving

Notice I didn’t say inheritance.  Inheritance brings to mind money.

I’m talking about something even more valuable.

I’m talking legacy.

“My dad loved my mom.”

“My dad was kind.”

“My dad was an honest man.”

“My dad was always willing to help others.”

“My dad was loving and kind.”

At the end of our story we will have left our children moments that shape their “my dad was…” statements.

What will the moments you live now say about you then?

Leave Hope

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

The single greatest thing that you can do as a father is to make real, Jesus Christ to your children.

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness…”

There is no greater hope than this.

Leave Directions

In John 14, Jesus comforts His disciples with the promise of a home beyond this physical life.  Jesus assures them by reminding them of the work that He as already been doing in their lives.

“And you know the way to where I am going.” – John 14:4 (ESV)

Jesus could say this because he had invested in them, walked beside them, taught them.

Jesus led.

And I know…

At the end of the day the choice to follow Jesus isn’t in your control.

But them knowing the way is.

Dads lead.

Period.

How do we do this?

Follow Jesus first.

Don’t worry about showing your kids Christ.

Allow them to see Christ in you.

Recently, I was blessed with the opportunity to celebrate the life of a beautiful lady.  I was able to sit with her and plan her funeral.  It was an amazing experience.

My friend left her daughters with so much…

But three things stuck out to me.

Life isn’t always fair.

God is always faithful and good.

And there is always a reason to dance.

Amidst tears and laughter, we said our goodbyes for now.

And while my friend’s favorite song played, her daughter took the hand of her grandfather and they danced.

And soon the whole room was dancing and swaying to the rhythm of a beautiful life.

Now that’s how you write a funeral…

Go make the moments that will write yours.

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“Why are so many Christians Depressed?” 8/18/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

 The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com

 

 

Written by my friend Bill Sweeney, stricken with ALS 18 years ago.  He now writes by use of an eye-tracking computer, with only his eye movements.  Bill’s “Unshakable Hope” should give us all a reason to count our blessings !!  (bruce)  Read more about Bill @ http://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/about/

 

View original post @ http://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/why-are-so-many-christians-depressed/

 

Why are so many Christians Depressed?

Depression, even among Christians, seems to be rampant today; it’s as if some kind of emotional black plague has crept into the Church.

 

I read several blog posts and articles every day, but last week was strange; virtually every day I found myself reading posts and articles written by or about Christians battling depression. But by far the most heart-wrenching news of last week (regarding the impact of depression on Christians) wasn’t found on a blog or in a news article; it was a phone call from a close friend telling us about a friend that had committed suicide.

 

The young man that committed suicide was named Jordan and he was a very talented artist and musician and, more importantly, he was a Christian. (You can see one of his music videos here and his testimony video here). From what he says in the testimony video, Jordan had battled depression for most of his life, but he seemed to be winning his battle. I don’t know what occurred in his life that caused the depression to come roaring back; maybe only God and Jordan know the answer to that question. But, as someone that believes he is called to offer hope to the hurting, I feel that I must learn more about the enemies of hope. Whatever else depression is, it definitely qualifies as one of the greatest enemies of hope!

 

As I suppose it is with most people that are diagnosed with a terminal disease or going through other difficult trials, I’ve experienced some difficult days of depression. I don’t remember the order or the full impact, but I imagine to some extent I went through all of the so-called “Five stages of grief” (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). But I find myself wondering what it must be like when the most difficult of those stages, depression, IS the trial, as it was with Jordan and it is with so many others.

 

Despite having every aspect of my life turned up-side-down by ALS, I know little about the kind of deep and dark depression that Jordan suffered from. But, I know from reading the Bible and from my own experience as a follower of Christ, that Christianity offers genuine lasting peace, hope and joy. I wouldn’t be wasting my time typing these posts if I wasn’t convinced of this. Peace, joy and hope are definitely great benefits of the Christian life, but that’s not the “Good News” message that Christ commanded us to preach – Jesus didn’t suffer and die just to make us happy – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15) Salvation is the good news.

depressed

I think this is an important fact because many “seeker friendly” churches preach a message of happiness and prosperity and, if Christians don’t feel happy and/or prosperous, they can feel un-Christian. I cannot help but wonder if the “feel good” gospel message might be exacerbating the feelings of depression among Christians.

 

The New Testament is an education in how to be Christ-like. But unfortunately this “Narrow path” includes trials and tribulation. My trial is ALS and for others it’s depression. As I said, I know little about that kind of oppressive depression, but I’ve concluded that it’s every bit as crippling to the soul as ALS is to the body.

 

I don’t feel qualified to offer spiritual advice to those suffering with this kind of depression, but I do have some general hope-building advice for Christians.

 

The early Christians “…were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching (reading the Bible…) and to fellowship (getting together with like-minded Christians), to the breaking of bread (church/taking communion) and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42)

 

One of my blogger friends has suffered from depression for many years. She told me that when she’s feeling depressed, she doesn’t feel like reading her Bible, going to church, getting together with people or praying. This is exactly why doing these things is so necessary. We must do the things our soul (mind, will and emotions) doesn’t “feel like doing” to build hope in our spirit – so our spirit can “preach” to our soul. The spiritual part of us preaching to the mind, will and emotions, isn’t some kind of spiritual schizophrenia; I see examples like the following throughout the Bible; “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him.” (Psalm 42:11)

 

God also comforts us through other believers; I see examples of this throughout the Bible also. As you can see from reading verses like the following, even the Apostle Paul and the disciples dealt with depression; “…we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus…” (2 Corinthians 7:5-6)

 

Like most of you, I didn’t know Jordan, but, as you can imagine, his family is really grieving his loss so please pray for them – “…pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)

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“John 10:19-21 (No Middle Ground)” 8/17/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com/

Written by BJ Richardson for “The River Walk”  @  http://tworiversblog.com/

Original post @  http://tworiversblog.com/2014/07/23/john-1019-21-no-middle-ground/

Two Rivers Assembly

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

John 10:19-21 (No Middle Ground)

Posted on July 23, 2014 by BJ Richardson

No Middle Ground Edit

When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him. Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?” Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” (John 10:19-21)

Read: Isaiah 40:1 – 44:5

Relate: I’ve read a story, I believe it was about DL Moody during the revival tour he did in Britain but I might be wrong. Anyways, Moody or whoever was speaking before a group that was mostly made up of coal miners and the thrust of his message was that each man needed to make for themselves a decision whether or not they would follow Christ. As he was coming near the end of his message one miner near the front was so overcome with emotion he could hold it in no longer. He stood up and shouted at the top of his voice, “I chose to follow Christ!” Almost before he was even seated another man also stood up and yelled, “I chose to follow Christ!” Near the middle of the congregation a third man stood and yelled, “I chose not to follow Christ.” It was like dominoes. Each and every person in that building, one after another stood to their feet, publicly and loudly, they each made their decision. Most chose to follow Christ but many more chose not to. Everybody made a decision, a commitment one way or another. There was no middle ground.

React: When the gospel of Christ is presented, a reaction is demanded. You are either for Him or against Him. There is no middle ground. To say, “later” is a rejection. No later is guaranteed. To say, “maybe” is a rejection. You are simply not being honest about your hesitations. Each and every one of us has a choice. Either we will surrender to Him or go to war against Him.

Respond: (View video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_UHEZMbgmKQ

God, I surrender to You. All I have, all I am is Yours. I have made my choice and I will follow You. Please help me to keep my footsteps sure as I walk out the commitment I have made to You. As I speak with others, give my words an urgency and an anointing that I might help them come to their own place of decision. In all things, may You receive the glory in my life.

P.S. (From bruce)  Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, after first being drawn in by God…John 6:44http://godsmanforever.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/gods-group-thoughts-for-7112013-the-truth-about-sin/

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Christianity, Daily Devotion, Exortation, faith, God, Holiness, Hope, Jesus Christ, Love, Mercy, Peace, Praise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment