CALLED TO HOLINESS

Receive freedom and liberty

Abide with God

Block Satan’s lies

He’ll deceive the mind

Constrict the body

Offer you the world

With a partial release

If you side with him

 

Shouldn’t I walk with Jesus

Some sense an easy way

Out of trouble

Ask Satan to give you

What you really want

Carnal pleasure that covers pain

Success for a lifetime

Fame you deserve

No matter the cost

 

What does Jesus require

Obedience, sacrifice, discipline

Not much of a life, you imagine

Turning aside

Departing from the Law

So what’s so wrong

With little sins, you reason

Most of us tell little lies

Desire what God has forbidden

Neglect the needy

Continue to swear

It’s no big deal, you say

Just camp on the fringe

Of the wicked a while

Have some fun

Explore heavenly pastures later

Nobody’s perfect

God will understand

 

But listen

God calls us to holiness

He created us

Loves us

And demands loyalty

We are to worship

Only Him

Not the idols of this world

 

God gifted us a heart

With a longing for Him

Only in relationship with God

Is there a ticket

To eternal life

Acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice

On Calvary

And in the transforming

Nature of His love

Lies our freedom from condemnation

By the law

For He presents us

Sin free before the Father

Because He has assigned us

His righteousness

 

A MEMORIAL

Sometimes war is a death sentence

For soldiers defending our country

With the honor and glory given them

By our country should they fall

These men and women

Regard not heavily

This likelihood

Many put their faith in God

To protect them

Soldiers groomed by training

Impressed by duty

Go to war to protect

Our way of life

Freedom

We bow our heads

Before God today

To honor our fallen

Soldiers who peered into the future

Saw our country preserved

The rights of our citizens intact

We say a solemn “Thank you”

To these American heroes

May they rest in the Lord

 

 Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

BOUND FOR GLORY

 

Christ is my Redeemer

I come to Him when tears won’t flow

He always listens

Lifting my soul

I sense his response

It infuses my mind

He touches my heart

Healing me

I reach out to others, unafraid

I know this transformation

Is part of His plan

He sees in me

A helper in kind

To those who’ve lost their way

He’s given me rare gifts

Of patience and kindness

When someone stumbles

And doom seems sure

I go to Him

For strength and guidance

As many other Christians do

For our work is specific

Bringing others to Life in Christ

A safe place on rough seas

For our Captain is the Lord Jesus

On this ship bound for glory

Our election sure

We praise His name

THE GREATEST LOVE

Christ was born to save mankind

From the eternal death we all deserve

He looked beyond our sin-tainted selves

All of humanity’s failed attempts

To keep God’s law

Christ offered Himself

The Lamb of God

To be spit upon

Railed against

Scourged nearly to death

Tried like a criminal

Although He is purer than gold

The people jeered Him

They were of mob mentality

Who didn’t know what they were doing

They had allowed Satan to take control

Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!  they cried

They set Him on the road to Calvary

No human would be acceptable

As a sacrifice before the Father

Christ bore all sin

He felt the scourge of God

As He hung on the cross

Till His breath expired

Christ was laid in the tomb

By a devoted follower

His tomb was sealed

With a heavy stone

Put under centurion guard

Our King of Kings

Could not be held

By the bonds of death

He rose on the third day

Jesus Christ has conquered sin

He’s vanquished death

 Defeated Satan

Christ has given us newness of life

If we would but accept it

BLESSED BY GOD

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God” (1 Jn 3:1)

We are able to receive God’s spiritual blessings only if we show love for one another and try to please God by obeying His Ten Commandments.

As children of God we are prompted by Christ to abide in Him, that we may have a fruitful life and inherit eternal life.

God gives us rewards–material and spiritual along the way, even though we still have to struggle through difficult times in our life’s journey.

God loves everyone, but his deepest blessings are contingent on our obedience to Him and our love for each other.

One may observe blessings going to the wicked as well.  These are not God-sent, though, and they are merely riches or opportunities for the wicked to increase their riches and their wicked ways.  And riches are not known to bring happiness or spiritual blessings.  “Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked” (Prov 10:6).

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16).  God has gone all out in demonstrating His love for us.  Jesus died on the cruel Cross for all of us.  We are all precious to Him.  He bids all to come to Him, confess our sins, accept Him as our Lord and Savior, and follow Him.

In communing with Jesus daily, He teaches us to love fully.  None will be saved who don’t extend love to each other.  “We know that we have passed from death to life,  because we love the brethren” (1 Jn 3:14).

As children of God we try to lean toward pleasing God, but because of our fallen natures inherited from Adam and Eve, we are not strong enough on our own to avoid all sin.  Christ instructs us to abide in Him.  “I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).

God longs to bless us. His command for us to love one another is not a hard thing.  A life lived in love for others allows for rich relationships and great satisfaction and joy.

God will allow us to mature in spiritual health and happiness if we obey His Commandments.

As children of God, we are immensely loved by God.  When we please God consistently and abide in Christ, we demonstrate to Him that we want to spend eternity with Him.

—Quotes from Scripture taken from NKJV—       Read more »

RANDOM FACES

Random faces in the crowd

Seek not Christ

Nor venture where He is found

Worn expressions

Ragged clothes

Drape these people

Drenched in hopelessness

The forlorn among us

No longer thirst

To belong to society

Who knows how to reach them?

A humble group

Led by the Spirit of God

Seeking not fame nor recognition

But fine with working in the shadows

Bringing the light of Christ

To the broken souls of men and women

Patiently seeking a positive response

Laboring as Jesus did

Not thinking of self

But investing in the lives

Of those who’ve forgotten

How to be whole

Praying

Laboring

Seeking a breakthrough

Only possible while reflecting Christ

For He alone can offer wholeness

To a broken soul

 

PROCLAIMING CHRIST’S BIRTH — Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

Hark! the herald angels sing,                                                                                                           “Glory to the newborn King;                                                                                                            Peace on earth and mercy mild,                                                                                                        God and sinners reconciled!”                                                                                                              Joyful all ye nations rise,                                                                                                                      Join the triumph of the skies;                                                                                                        With th’angelic host proclaim,                                                                                                          “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”                                                                                                            Hark! the herald angels sing,                                                                                                                “Glory to the newborn King.”

Christ by highest heaven adored,                                                                                                        Christ the everlasting Lord;                                                                                                                  In the manger born a king,                                                                                                                  While adoring angels sing,                                                                                                                    “Peace on earth, to men goodwill;”                                                                                                    Bid the trembling soul be still,                                                                                                            Christ on earth has come to dwell,                                                                                                      Jesus, our Immanuel!                                                                                                                            Hark! the herald angels sing,                                                                                                              “Glory to the newborn King.”

Hail! the heaven-born Prince of Peace!                                                                                              Hail! the Sun of Righteousness!                                                                                                          Life and light to all He brings,                                                                                                              Risen with healing in His wings.                                                                                                          Mild He lays His glory by,                                                                                                                      Born that man no more may die,                                                                                                        Born to raise the sons of earth,                                                                                                            Born to give them second birth.                                                                                                          Hark!  the herald angels sing,                                                                                                              “Glory to the newborn King.”

Lyrics from Luke 2:14 and                                                                                                                    Charles Wesley, 1739

 

 

A CHRISTMAS GIFT

Jesus was born to save the world

He left His Kingly throne in heaven

Was born of a virgin in Bethlehem

Angelic beings announced His birth

While shepherds tarried

To worship the Prince of Peace

God’s people slept

Heeding none of the signs

Recorded in Scripture

Held clearly in sight

Those filled with the Spirit

Anticipating a Savior

Knew Him on sight

In the temple

Simeon saw the glorious salvation

God has prepared in Christ Jesus

Anna, a prophetess, bore witness to Christ

To those in Jerusalem seeking redemption

Today we prepare to receive the Christ Child

His presence, a gift

From an all loving God

Accept Him

Embrace Him

Let love for Him blossom

Till the world seems dim

And you want only to share Him

For heaven awaits

When He comes again

As Conqueror and King

To take His own home

EIGHT GREAT TIPS FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE

God intended for married couples to be happy.  He created woman to be a helpmate for man.  Many couples today encounter obstacles to happiness in their relationship.  Some of these obstacles are easily resolved.  Others fester, become chronic, and can destroy a relationship.

While some marital conflicts require counseling to be resolved, others can be remedied or prevented through proven techniques.  I will present eight personally acquired and tested techniques that keep a marriage relationship healthy.

Tip #1  Show an interest in spouse’s activities                                                                   

Your spouse has developmental needs outside the marriage.  Allow him or her to participate in healthy interests outside the marriage.  You don’t want to smother the one you love.  You want to encourage personal growth.  Take an active interest in your spouse’s activities.  Ask open-ended questions.  You’ll be communicating your love for your spouse.

Tip #2  In relationship — act and speak out of love

When occasions arise for potential conflict, hold back pride and try to react with love.  Don’t let self dominate, demanding to have your way.  Put your spouses needs ahead of you wants.

Overlook the habits of your spouse that inconvenience you.  Voice your annoyance to your spouse.  You may want to propose a creative solution.  Always remember, your spouse is never going to be perfect, not even to please you.

Tip #3  Build spouse up, never criticize 

The one you married thinks the world of you.  When you criticize, part of their world starts crashing down.  Your spouse needs love and acceptance from you.  Compliments or kind suggestions for improvement are more palatable. Encouragement helps maintain your spouse’s self worth and readiness to cope with the world.

Tip #4  Own your feelings, don’t blame spouse for them

During an argument, report your feelings, but don’t blame your spouse for making you feel that way.  Own your feelings.  They originated with you.

Be resolved to communicate your distress with the goal of problem solving the issue at hand.  Being vindictive by placing the blame on your spouse is not productive.

Tip #5  Don’t assume things

You are not a mind reader.  You cannot assume your spouse did or said something for a particular reason.  Ask instead of assuming.  The reason he or she spoke or acted was probably innocuous and had nothing to do with hurting you.  If your spouse isn’t readily available, put the issue on hold and get on with your life.

Tip #6  Be slow to anger

Expressing unrestrained anger is destructive to a marriage relationship.  Find a way to deal with your anger, to diffuse it.  Do something to take your mind off the situation — something physical or something you enjoy.  Later, return with a tempered attitude.  Express your feelings calmly and directly.

Perhaps you can propose a solution to the problem within your relationship.  Remain calm so that your spouse will likely not feel threatened or retaliate with anger.  You want to create an environment conducive to problem solving.

Tip #7  Talk over issues, considering options

Married couples will develop issues that need to be resolved.  While discussing an issue with your spouse, remain calm.  Stay in touch with the love you have for your spouse, even though it may be diminished by the issue.

Be resolute in seeking solutions.  Try to be creative in considering options agreeable to both of you.

Seek help from a marriage counselor if you can’t resolve the issues yourselves.

Tip #8  Make a date with spouse once a week

The honeymoon’s over.  You’ve lost that excitement within your marriage.  You have less time to spend with your spouse.  Try this.  Make a date with your spouse once a week.  Take turns figuring out something to do.

Do something fresh, something you don’t usually do.  Even an hour or two spent together doing the unconventional can jump start or maintain your relationship.  The key here is to concentrate on doing something your spouse would love to do, and particularly with you.

In conclusion, God established marriage in the Garden of Eden and intends for happy, long lasting unions.  I hope this post will help you experience a happy marriage with longevity.

Please feel free to comment, especially on any techniques you’ve found which contribute to a happy marriage.

 

 

HOW TO LIVE ABUNDANTLY

God wants you to live a rich life.  His grace is so abundant that even if you are going through a difficult time, you can still receive precious gifts from Him.

I will show you how to receive these gifts in order to make your life easier.  I will give you the steps.

     1.  Thirst after Him

God gave each of us a longing for something outside of ourselves which nothing else can satisfy.  Some may not even be aware of Christ’s ability to satisfy on a deep level.  They are totally engrossed in and satisfied with worldly things.

However, when God calls to you offering grace, come to Him.  You may be a lost soul who needs Jesus or perhaps you are a Christian in name only.  Once you drink of His living water you will never need to thirst again.

As Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well,  “whoever drinks of the water I shall give him will never thirst.  But water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life”  (John 4:14).

     2.  Come, buy what is priceless and costs you nothing

Continue to accept God’s offers of mercy and grace.  This makes for an abundant life.  And accept what you cannot give to yourself.  You are a sinner — we all are.  You cannot save yourself.  Christ died for you on the Cross of Calvary because He wants to redeem you.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

He offers you this gift of life freely.  Believe in Christ’s saving sacrifice.  It will bring peace of mind while you’re sojourning on this earth.

     3.  Come just as you are

Jesus always mingled with sinners.  He came to save sinners.  God will accept you just as you are.  He offers forgiveness of sins to those who ask.  Also, He will work with you to iron out your bad habits.  You don’t need to be perfect.  Come just as you are.

Accept Him as your Savior.  Ask Him to be Lord of your life.  Review the Ten Commandments found the Bible in the book of Exodus 20:1-17.  In prayer, let Him show you your sins.  Confess them and ponder on the grievous nature of them.  Repent of these sins, intending not to do them again.

He has promised to forgive you.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

     4.  Develop a personal relationship with Him

God desires a personal relationship with you.  He wants to get to know you.  He wants to lead you to truth and to an abundant life.

Fix your mind on the One who created you.  You are a wondrous creation.  God has special plans for you.  He wants you to share your life with Him.  Let your disappointments help drive you to Him.  Spend some time with Him in prayer each day.

     5.  Read your Bible daily

A wealth of truth is found in the Bible.  If you base your decisions on divine counsel found in the Bible, God will surely bless you.

The entire Bible testifies of Jesus.  Getting to know Him and learning His ways will be enriching.

“His (God’s) truth shall be your shield and buckler” (Psalm 91:4).  God’s truth helps you navigate life, helping to protect you from the snares of the evil one, Satan.  Partnering with God will defect many arrows.

God will help you endure the tough times by preserving the joy you’ve developed in your inner core.  You will have been strengthened by prayer, thanksgiving, and getting to know God through relationship and by pouring through His Word, the Bible.

     6.  Obey God

The business of Christians is to obey and follow Jesus Christ.  God’s very character is reflected in the Ten Commandments.  His law is unchanging, just as God’s character never changes.

Obeying the law habitually is born out of love for God.  “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 14: 21).

Jesus promised the gift of joy to those keeping His commandments.  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  These things I spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:10,11).

     7.  Follow Him

God offers the gift of peace to all His followers.  The apostle Paul taught the Philippians in these words:  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6,7).

To follow God, you need to make His priorities your priorities.  These priorities are spelled out in the Bible.  One of these is serving others, i.e., ministering to their needs.

Many people are unaware of their spiritual needs.  After you’ve tended to some of their basis physical and emotional needs, e.g., serving a hot, nutritious meal to a group of homeless people and socializing with them, people are more receptive to your offering to minister to them spiritually.

A follower of Jesus will share his or her testimony of what Jesus has done for them with those needing Jesus Christ in their lives.

Spreading the Everlasting Gospel to those in need of a Savior is essential as well as spiritually rewarding.

In conclusion, you endear yourself to God when you obey Him.  He delights in showering mercy upon you.

Being a follower of Jesus enables you to naturally think of others first and to find joy in serving others.

A truly abundant life on earth is found only in conjuction with providing others with the hope of eternal salvation.  One can accomplish this by testifying of Christ’s saving power found in the Bible.

Knowing Christ comes in part by reading His Word and by having a personal relationship with Him.  We need both of these.

Once you come to the living waters Jesus Christ offers, you will never thirst again.  God will enable you to find peace of mind, joy in all circumstances, and the hope of salvation found in Jesus Christ.

Scripture quotations are from the NKJV

 

 

 

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