One Thing I Ask

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Holy Father, giver of all things good, I thank you for your church. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family and for the encouragement I receive from my brothers and sisters. Use me to further your cause. Guide me to be where you want me to be. Forgive me when I fail to do and to be all I should be. I ask you for unity among your people. Help us to love each other and to show it so we can attract those who do not know you. As you are holy, so we are to be your holy temple so help us always follow your will. I pray in the name of Jesus.

Love The Lord our God

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“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ ” Matthew 22:37-38

Love Completely

Let us seek to love and honor the Lord with every part of our being – to love as Christ loved us – to love Him with our heart, our mind, our thoughts and our motives.

God alone is worthy of our worship, admiration and affection. Everything and everyone else pales in comparison to this great and loving God!

We are called to take every thought captive to the Lord so that we may remain in sweet fellowship with the God of our salvation.

When the eyes of our heart are totally fixed on Him in thankfulness for His dying on the cross at Calvary for our sins. We who have been forgiven much are called to love much.  Indeed, it should be our complete joy

Only if we pursue loving God can we live out a life of meaning. May we all become people who love God. Amen!

My Prayer

Loving Father thank You for loving me when I was dead in my sins and for bringing me into Your family, simply because I trusted the Lord Jesus as Savior – Lord I want to love you with every part of my being. May I live as You would choose and love You with all my heart and soul and strength and mind, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

Seek Him With All Your Heart

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I have always loved this verse, Because no matter what I am going through I am assured He is always there.

Are you struggling today? Do you feel like you are all alone with your struggles? The Lord wants you to know that no matter what you are going through right now, no matter how alone you may feel or how dark your days may seem, He is always there. He can always be found.

There are so many times that I feel alone in my struggles. Struggling with being “good enough.”  I feel like I fail God on a daily basis.

However, it is during my alone time that I am truly able to seek out the Lord. He always meets me right where I am and reminds me that I am enough, that He loves me and I am His beloved child.  There is nothing sweeter than being in the Presence of God. It changes everything.

My challenge to you today, when you start to feel all alone in your struggles, use that time to seek out the Lord. When you draw closer to Him, He draws closer to you. When you seek Him, you will find Him.  That’s a promise!

We must never let anything detract from God having first command of our heart. Only God is worthy of our full devotion.

God wants us to seek Him with our whole heart, He is waiting for you today?  Will you seek Him?

Gracious Father, please give me an undivided heart, one that seeks you as the first priority of my life. Forgive me, dear Lord, for letting other things distract my focus from you and interfere with my service to you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit today, so I can do your work and seek you with All my heart In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Lead Me To The Rock

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When you feel overwhelmed, when you begin to feel hopeless, when you lose heart, cry out to the Lord. He is your Rock, your Strong Tower, your Safe Refuge from the storm.   The God you serve is a mighty God. He will protect you and He will keep you safe and deliver you!

Always remember God’s great love for you. Remind yourself of His loving faithfulness and of all the times He has come through for you. Count your blessings and refuse to waver in your faith and trust in Him.

Psalm 34:19 says, Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

It helps to be so grounded in God’s Word that when you face these tests, trials, afflictions, storms, and outright assaults from the enemy, you will not waver, be swayed or shaken.

  • Psalm 91:2 (KJV) I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.
  • Isaiah 54:17 (NKJ) No weapon formed against you shall prosper…
  • Luke 10:19-20 (NKJ) Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
  • 1 John 4:4 (KJV) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (NIV) But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.

Empathy is what we need!

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We all need Empathy

What better way to represent our Lord and serve others than with the gift of empathy?

Christ is the ultimate example of empathy. He literally put himself in our place when He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. So when God allows us to go through a hardship, we should consider it a privilege to suffer as our Lord Jesus suffered and use our experience to bless others.

We find several examples of empathy in action in the Bible. Jesus was always sensitive to the plight of others. Matthew tells us how Jesus, “when he saw the crowds, . . . had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt 9:36). On another occasion, Jesus observed a widow about to bury her only son. Sensing her pain (the NLT says that Jesus’ “heart overflowed with compassion”), He approached the funeral procession and resurrected the young man (Luke 7:11-16). Having lived a human life, our Lord can and does empathize with all of our weaknesses (see Hebrews 4:15).

The word compassion describes the deep mercy of God. God is the very best at empathy: “He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). He personally feels the pain of His people: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8,). How comforting it is to know that God records all our tears and all our struggles! How good to remember God’s invitation to cast all our cares upon Him, “because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7)!

As Christians, we have a higher calling. We have been bought at a price and are no longer our own, but humble servants to our King. The greatest commandments are to love our Lord with all our hearts, minds and souls, and to love others as ourselves. In a world rampant with selfishness, vanity, bullying and greed, God offers a better way. We are after all His hands and feet, and what better way to represent our Lord and serve others than with the gift of empathy?

Genuine Repentance

 

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I once had a dear friend who asked me this question many times..Have I committed the unpardonable sin? How can I know if my repentance is genuine?

This is a question that has haunted many sensitive people in every Christian century, and maybe it has haunted you, like my friend. I want to be clear in saying that if you’re bothered in your spirit that you may have committed a sin God will not forgive, the very fact that you have anxiety over that is evidence you’ve not committed the sin. If He is still working in your heart, it’s not possible to have committed the unpardonable sin.

My reassurance is based on repentance. It is equally basic to, and almost synonymous with, the command, “You must be born again” (John 3:7).

Repentance is a biblical word. The Old Testament thunders, “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin” (Ezekiel 18:30, NKJV). The New Testament also vigorously exhorts men and women to repent. “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish,” said Jesus (Luke 13:3, NKJV). “Repent … and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,” said the Apostle Peter (Acts 3:19, NKJV). The Apostle Paul said, “Now [God] commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30, NKJV).

The Bible commands it, our wickedness demands it, justice requires it, Christ preached it and God expects it. The divine, unalterable edict is still valid: “God commands all men everywhere to repent.”

The Bible says, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7, NKJV).

True repentance is contrition. The Bible says, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18, NKJV). Contrition, or “godly sorrow,” as it is called in 2 Corinthians 7:10, is not a shallow sentiment nor empty emotion. It is a sincere regret over past sins and an earnest desire to walk in a new path of righteousness.

Repentance carries with it the idea of changing–changing your mind, changing your attitude, changing your ways. The Bible says, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10, NKJV). If we are truly repentant, our will is brought into action and we will make a reversal of direction.

Repentance when you have hurt someone?

There are times in everyone’s life that it’s helpful to know if an offender is truly repentant. To know the true state of another’s heart. Is there godly sorrow and true repentance or worldly sorrow and temporary change?

When there is true, lasting repentance, restoration can occur as in Galatians 6:1.  Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be                   tempted. 

Here are a few signs of genuine repentance:

We name our sin as sin and do not spin it or excuse it or call it an “issue”, and further, we demonstrate “godly sorrow,” which is to say, a grief chiefly about the sin itself, not just a grief about being caught or having to deal with the consequences of sin.

We have a willingness and eagerness to make amends. We will do whatever it takes to make things right and to demonstrate we have changed.

We are patient with those we’ve hurt or victimized, spending as much time as is required listening to them without jumping to defend ourselves.

We are patient with those we’ve hurt or victimized as they process their hurt, and we don’t pressure them or “guilt” them into forgiving us.

We are willing to confess our sin even in the face of serious consequences (including undergoing church discipline, having to go to jail, or having a spouse leave us).

We may grieve the consequences of our sin but we do not bristle under them or resent them. We understand that sometimes our sin causes great damage to others that is not healed in the short term (or perhaps ever).

We don’t resent accountability, pastoral rebuke, or church discipline.

We are humble and teachable.

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” ~1 Corinthians 7:10

Is there someone you have hurt by your attitude, actions, or words that you have never apologized to?  Have you been trying to justify your pride and stubbornness, even though, deep down, you know that God wants you to humble yourself and get things right?

Search your heart (Ps. 139:23-24).  Is there a person with whom you need to make amends?  Don’t delay.  A close, satisfying walk with God depends upon you and me getting things right with people we have wronged.  Trust God.  Push through the fear and pride.  Open your mouth in apology… and watch God do a great work in and through you.

 

 

Praying Over Our Children

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30 Prayers for your children

1. Salvation—”Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” (Isa. 45:82 Tim. 2:10)

2. Growth in Grace—”I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 3:18)

3. Love—”Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them. (Gal. 5:25Eph. 5:2)

4. Honesty and Integrity—”May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection.” (Ps. 25:21)

5. Self-Control—”Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do.”
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6. Love for God’s Word—”May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb.” (Ps. 19:10)

7. Justice—”God, help my children to love justice as You do and act justly in all they do.” (Ps. 11:7Mic. 6:8)

8. Mercy—”May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)

9. Respect (for self, others, and authority)—”Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as Your Word commands.(1 Pet. 2:17)

10. Biblical Self-Esteem—”Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:10)

11. Faithfulness—”Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts.” (Prov. 3:3)

12. Courage—”May my children always be strong and courageous in their character. (Deut. 31:6)

13. Purity—”Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions.” (Ps. 51:10)

14. Kindness—”Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” (1 Thess. 5:15)

15. Generosity—”Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.” (1 Tim. 6:18-19)

16. Peace-Loving—”Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace.” (Rom. 14:19)

17. Joy—”May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thes. 1:6)

18. Perseverance—”Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them.” (Heb. 12:1)

19. Humility—”God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all.” (Titus 3:2)

20. Compassion—”Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion.” (Col. 3:12)

21. Responsibility—”Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load.” (Gal. 6:5)

22. Contentment—”Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives them strength.” (Phil. 4:12-13)

23. Faith—”I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them.” (Luke 17:5-6Heb. 11:1-40)

24. A Servant’s Heart—”God, please help my children develop servant’s hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men.” (Eph. 6:7)

25. Hope—”May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)

26. Willingness and Ability to Work—”Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord and not for men.” (Col. 3:23)

27. Passion for God—”Lord, please instill in my children a soul that ‘followeth hard after thee,’ one that clings passionately to You.” (Ps. 63:8)

28.Self-Discipline—”Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.” (Prov. 1:3)

29. Prayerfulness—”Grant, Lord, that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers.” (1 Thess. 5:17)

30. Gratitude—”Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20Col. 2:7