IN 1 CORINTHIANS 13 WE ARE ENCOURAGED TO SEEK LOVE - GOD'S BEST GIFT AND IN GALATIANS 5 WE FIND THE FIRST "FRUIT" GOD WANTS TO SHARE WITH IS IS ALSO LOVE.
Let's look at God's love from 1 Corinthians 13.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails...
GOD PATIENTLY WAITS FOR US TO BECOME MORE LIKE HIM (DOES NOT FORCE US)
GOD DOESN’T PUT US DOWN OR BERATE US IN OUR WEAKNESS BUT SEEKS THE BEST FOR US
GOD FORGIVES & FORGETS CASTING OUR SIN INTO THE DEPTS OF THE SEA - Mic.7:19
GOD IS LOVE AND PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT ALL FEAR - 1Jn.4:18
GOD’S LOVE IS ETERNAL (v.13) AND IS UNABLE TO FAIL (v.8).
WITH ALL WE CAN SAY ABOUT LOVE, COULD YOU USE MORE???
REMEMBER, LOVE GIVES (John 3:16) AND GIVING IS RECIPROCAL (Luke 6:38) = GIVING LOVE WILL ALLOW YOU TO REAP MORE LOVE
The truth is, God created all of us to love him, and to love one another. MARK 12:30-31
And we have the ability to love because we were created in God's image—who is love.
Make the choice today to deepen and strengthen the love in your heart for God, family, church and community with emphasis on three objects of your affection from Mark 12:30-31. (Jesus, Others and Yourself = J.O.Y.)
This Is The Day The Lord Has Made... (Psalms 118) REJOICE!!!
Do you wake up with, "Good Morning Lord" or "Good Lord, It’s Morning?"
Some have problems in their past but living in the past can harm to the future.
What's more, worrying about the unknowns of tomorrow can petrify us today.
God's word says, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." (Eccl.9:10) This directs our efforts and focus on "The Now," THIS DAY.
Every day is a gift. The Lord has wisdom in Matthew 6 from His Sermon on the Mount that can make each day a treasure. Putting these words into practice will give you both balance and focus to help you succeed every day.
"Give us this day our daily bread" and "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Dale Carnegie told the true story of Edward Evans, a family man, who had many failures in business that made him worry too much about his future. There were many pressures he dealt with as the provider to his wife and children and he was overwhelmed to a point of total exhaustion that landed him in the hospital. He was in such poor health that the doctors pronounced him "Terminal" unless something changed within the next two weeks. Edward gave up at that point and simply laid down waiting for death to arrive. He focussed on his current situation and forgot about both his past failures and his future concerns. That is when his health began to improve to where he regained his strength and was cured of all his physical ailments. Edward Evans went on to succeed in businessman but remembered the lesson he learned from his near-fatal health crisis. Living for today, forgetting yesterday's failures and the unknowns of tomorrow, will help you function with a healthy focus on what is at hand.
"Now" is where God meets you, talks to you and blesses you. Rejoice in this.
WOULD YOU BENEFIT FROM GOD’S INNER STRENGTH FOR YOUR LIFE?
We all face trials and tribulations in this world but God's help is closer than you think.
So, do you ever feel UNLOVED, ALONE, UNWANTED, ASHAMED, EMOTIONALLY WEAK… Know this, God’s power is made perfect in your weakness…(1 Cor. 12:9)
There is NO GREATER LOVE than God's love (Jn. 15:13) It is PERFECT and POWERFUL
JESUS TOLD MANY LOVE PARABLES but knowing His principles & truths - alone - without a spiritual relationship with Him is not enough. We need Him (Jn.1:12; Jn.15:5)
He said, “My teaching comes from the One who sent me.” (Jn.7:16)
In Luke 15 the lost son returned but the father ran to him rejoicing and restored him. The Good Shepherd left His 99 sheep to pursue the lost one out of perfect love. The person who lost one valuable coin relentlessly-tirelessly searched out of great desire. IN THESE PARABLES THE SON, THE SHEEP AND THE COIN REPRESENT YOU AND ME.
Jesus said in John 10, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
Reach out and choose to follow the One who knows you best and loves you the most.
If you ever feel alone or unloved; God’s power is made perfect in your weakness…
We should not look for any formula that might guarantee a miraculous response from The Almighty but there are principles we can see in the Biblical record that can help our faith in a miracle working God.
- Align your heart with a Holy God through forgiveness in Christ. (Joshua 3)
- God starts with what your felt need and takes you to a richer walk and deeper relationship with Christ. (Mark 10)
- God works miracles in His time and in His way. (Mark 8)
- God’s miracles in our life bring glory to Himself and point people to Christ. (John 11)
THESE ARE PRINCIPLES NOT FORMULAS
John 11:1-4 (NIV) “Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha… whose brother Lazarus now lay sick... So the sisters sent word (v3) to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is sick.’ When He heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. …it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified….’”
The main purpose of a miracle is to point people to the Source of miracles and to bring Him glory. That’s why our motivation for wanting a miracle is important. Why do you want God to do a miracle in your life? Is it because your deepest desire is to see God glorified, or is it more about you than The Lord?
God often has to take us through a waiting period before He gives the answers. With Mary and Martha, they waited so that God would be glorified in their brother's resurrection. God may sometimes be waiting for our personal character development, and we may never know why answered prayers are delayed, but trusting while we wait is important.
When Jesus was told about the sickness of his friend, Lazarus, He delayed going for a couple of days. By the time He arrived, Lazarus had been dead four days. Needless to say, Lazarus’ sisters were disappointed with Jesus. Both Martha and Mary made a similar comment: “Lord, if only you had been here my brother would not have died.” (vs.21,32) Here we see their honesty before The Lord in sharing their feelings of frustration but notice, Jesus still performed the miracle that raised their brothet from the dead.
God’s miracles in your life will always bring glory to Himself (v.4) and point people to Christ but we also have permission to bring our needs (v.3) and feeling (v.21) to Him along with our gratitude for His goodness.
OLD-TESTAMENT STORY: “Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.’ "Joshua 3:5+
Joshua is an Old Testament book where God fulfills His promise to bring the people of Israel into the promised land! This is a beautiful "Type" of the Christian life on how to live a victorious life through God's grace in Christ and also set up our eternal home with Him for our "Promised Land."
Joshua gave instructions, “Consecrate yourselves...” and God turned their problem into an opportunity. In Joshua 3 we see a very big problem but this became an opportunity for God to be glorified. “It was harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks…” but God chose this time - when the river was at its highest - to demonstrate His power!
This generation of Israelites did not see the Red Sea part back in Egypt but they did see the Jordan River part as they entered Canaan following their purification. We can also be purified according to 1John 1:9 which says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
MODERN-DAY REALITY: There was a church board meeting in metro Los Angeles that was interrupted by the sound of a terrible accident outdoors. The pastor ran outside to find a boy (8 or 9 years old) lying on the ground who was not breathing and had no pulse because he was struck by a car. Instinctively he started praying like Jesus did in John 11 calling for the boy to come back to life, first in English and then in Spanish, because the family who had gathered were Hispanic. Repeatedly, they all called on the name of Jesus, in two languages, until the boy revived.
At the hospital they learned he would live but his injuries, seven in-all, were very serious and he would be laid up, unable to walk normally, for six months; but five days later he was home and one week later he was running around again. The family was grateful of course but the pastor directed their gratitude towards The Lord and they all accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and God. Then this whole family attended this pastor's church and many realized that there were two miracles here; a great healing from death's door and a family who found eternal life through Christ.
LIFE IS HARD AND THEN YOU DIE (Bumper Sticker)
I saw this on somebody's car but it made me sad for the driver.
OTHER BUMPER STICKERS CAN BE FUNNY
Caution: I brake for Garage Sales… WHY ARE YOU READING THIS?... Obey Gravity, IT’S THE LAW… I Don’t Suffer From Insanity – I Enjoy Every Minute… You gotta be a little crazy these days – otherwise you’ll go NUTS…
How about this? "Life is Hard and that’s Why We Need Good News"
What is the good news? GOD OFFERS EVERYONE ETERNAL LIFE LATER & NEW LIFE THROUGH HIS SON NOW - HE WILL BE LIKE A NEW FATHER AND EVEN OFFER EVERYONE A NEW FAMILY, HIS FAMILY. His offer is life-transforming.
John 1:12 For as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become a child of God; even to them that believe in His name.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eberlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world, througn Him, might be saved.
We consider our church family (the congregation at Peace Chapel) to be a part of God's family. You are welcome to join us and see what we mean by, "We are people of the Word, People of Prayer and People that Love."
NEED A FRESH START? We have good news for you.
PRAYER: Father God, I do believe in you but struggle in my faith when life gets hard. Forgive my lack of faith that occurs in my life during difficult times. I need your help and I ask you for a new start, in my heart, so that I can walk with you from now until forever.
I pray in Jesus' name. AMEN
IS EVERYTHING REALLY GOING TO WORK OUT???
HERE ARE 7 HEAVENLY TRUTHS FOR PEACE OF MIND IN TROUBLED TIMES (From Romans 8)
- YOU ARE NO LONGER GUILTY - FULL PARDON - JUSTIFIED. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, (J.1:12; 1J.1:9)
- YOUR FOCUS IS NOW ON WHAT THE SPIRIT WANTS NOT YOUR SELF The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. (J.14:15; Mt.6:10) = Thy will be done...
- YOU ARE LEGITIMATELY A CHILD OF GOD. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. (J.1:12; 1J.3:1) Behold what manner of love...
- YOU CAN ACCEPT MANAGEABLE CHALLENGES our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (J.16:33; Mt.11:30)
- YOU HAVE THE SPIRIT AND JESUS PRAYING FOR YOU The Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (J.17:20; He.7:25)
- YOUR NEW DESTINY IS TO BE LIKE JESUS For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. (E.2:10; Mt.10:8)
- GOD IS COMMITTED TO HELPING YOU FOREVER Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (R.5:8; 2P.3:9)
THEREFORE EVERYTHING IS GOING TO WORK OUT FOR GOOD And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
TRUE STORY: Rev. William Wood was a very successful pastor in his community who became overly involved in the various clubs and organizations in his town. He also ran the events at his church, often worked his day off and prepared weekly sermons besides his office work.
Rev. Wood developed a painful stomach ailment that reminded him of his father’s stomach cancer so he went to a specialist who found nothing wrong except for elevated stress. He felt ashamed.
The doctors told him to cut back on his work load. Then he had an epiphany as he watched his wife washing the dishes. She seemed happy to do it, every day, and never complained about the ten thousand plates she had already cleaned over the years and never fussed about the dishes of tomorrow.
Rev. Wood decided to do the same. He decluttered his calendar, stopped worrying about days gone by or the concerns of tomorrow. He trusted God, lived for today (Matthew 6) and was healed - no pain, no ulcers and, of course, no stomach cancer from then on.
THEREFORE EVERYTHING IS GOING TO WORK OUT FOR GOOD I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (Jn.10:28-29)
YOU ARE IN GOOD HANDS - DON'T WORRY
IF JESUS BROUGHT JOY TO THE WORLD...
WHERE ARE YOUR JOYFUL THOUGHTS?
Our Attitude of Gratitude is valuable because it is proven that happier people and healthier people.
Counselors recommend depressed people to their count blessings.
Prov.23:7 As a man thinketh, so is he.
Phil.4:8 Encourages good thoughts as one remedy for anxiety…
(Some “concerns” are useful, like crossing a busy street, but we don’t dwell on them.)
Dale Carnegie’s student used to dwell on his worries – on everything – rejection, job, health, hair loss, diet… HE HAD A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN! Then his father gave him Pr.23:7 (above) and he went to church and, under what he called the power of God’s word, he was able to clear his mind of the toxic clutter of his negative thoughts and was miraculously cured and able to reentered society with confidence on his job, with his relationships and to succeed both materially and mentally WITH GOD’S HELP.
Even when you are dealing with hard times give thanks in every circumstance. (1Thess.5:18)
God’s word promises us joy accompanied by strength (Neh.8:10) demonstrated by those times we have seen people jumping for joy. (Joy gives you strength.)
God’s word is full of joy. (Joy To The World) Luke, Paul, John, Peter and James (Jesus’ brother) all were inspired to write about the joy of the Lord.
Psalms 16:11 reveals, “In Thy presence is fullness of Joy.”
In John 15 Jesus teaches us about putting our trust in Him (abiding) so that our Joy may be complete and in John 16 he says we can ask for it if need be.
Most importantly, there is joy with our salvation (Ps.51:12) as Christ dwells within (Jn.1:12/1Jn.1:12) and His Spirit bears fruit in our hearts. (Gal 5:22)
Jn.1:12 LOOK TO GOD WITHIN, ASK HIM FOR HIS JOY AND FIND HIS STRENGTH…
OUR MINDS AND THOUGHTS ARE WHERE WE MEET WITH GOD AND HIDE HIS WORD
SOME OF THE GREATEST MINDS IN HISTORY EMBRACED GOD’S WORD AS THEIR GUIDING TRUTH (Lincoln, Dickens, Webster… Intelligence and faith are not at odds.)
GOD’S HOLY WORD: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 KJV (EXCERPT) “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh… a time of war, and a time of peace.”
NOTICE, CONTRAST AFTER CONTRAST. EITHER, GOOD FOLLOWED BY BAD OR BAD FOLLOWED BY GOOD.
NOTICE THE CONSTANTLY CHANGING NATURE OF OUR TEMPORARY LIVES WHERE CHANGE IS THE ONLY COSTANT.
NOTICE SOME THINGS SEEMINGLY COME TO STAY BUT MOST COME, ONLY TO PASS.
NOTICE THAT TIME MOVES FORWARD AND SEEMS TO BE UNSTOPPABLE.
THREE TIME SEGMENTS are represented here. (What’s time but just measuring of sequential events contained within our temporal lives.)
ELEVATE YOUR MIND BY MEDITATING ON THESE THREE TIME SEGMENTS.
THE FIRST TIME SEGMENT is the “How” of your FORMATION (= WORTH) where God took us from nothing to something, from not being to a living being. Here we identify with the Almighty Creator, not a random impersonal force of chance out of chaos. David wrote (Ps.139) that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Let the thought of your intentional loving Creator give your life value and worth. YOU ARE PRICELESS.
THE SECOND TIME SEGMENT is the “Why” of your TRANSFORMATION (= PURPOSE) that has a reason for us to be here in this brief moment between two eternities once we join with the eternal God. We have work to do, influence to make, a godly mission to accomplish. (Ac.1:8; Je.29:11) At the end of your life, what kind of godly influence, love and kindness will remembered?
CONNECTING TO THE ETERNAL GOD CHANGES THE FUTILITY OF OUR CHAOTIC LIVES TO THE PURPOSE OF OUR CALLING (Ro.8:28)
THE THIRD TIME SEGMENT is the “Where” of your DESTINATION (= THE GOD OF LOVE) where we join with our God of Love for all eternity. (Jn.14:1-3/1Co.2:9)
ELEVATE YOUR MIND TO PONDER YOUR WORTH, PURPOSE AND DESTINY IN THE LORD. YOUR ARRIVAL, YOUR WALK WITH GOD AND HIS ETERNITY.
4 THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT FACING LIFE'S CHALLENGES WITH GOD'S LOVE
Romans 8:18-39 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us...”
- THE GLORY WHICH IS TO COME WILL OUTWEIGH THE GROANING OF YOUR HEART. (1 Cor.2:9 Eye hath not seen... neither has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him.) “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus” (Everything you are going through now is “TEMPORARY!”) God will take you through what you're going through. WHY? Because He loves you.
- THE HOLY SPIRIT – GOD’S PRESENCE – IS HELPING YOU. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”(Ja.4:8 Draw near unto God and He will draw near unto you.) WHY? Because He loves you.
- GOD IS WORKING FOR YOUR GOOD. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Phil.4:13 I can do - endure - all things through Christ who stengthens me.) WHY? Because He loves you.
- NOTHING CAN SEPARATE YOU FROM GOD’S LOVE. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Jn.10:28 You are in Gid's hands and nobody can snatch you away.) WHY? Because He loves you.
PETER: WAS FLAWED BUT ALSO VALUED. Peter made mistakes and needed to be corrected but Jesus saw the good in him, discounted the bad, and went on to use him as a courageous champion for the New Testament church.
ELMER: WAS SOCIALLY HANDICAPPED BUT… Elmer was constantly bothered with self consciousness and social fears. He was 6 feet 2 inches, weighed 118 pounds, athletically awkward and physically weak, but, making matters worse, his school mates poked fun of him and called him names because of the way he looked.
His mother knew of his self-esteem handicap and encouraged him to pursue an education in order to compete in this world. Their family was too poor to afford his schooling so he did what he could to raise money for his education, room, board and clothing.
While in school, he wrote an essay that his mother encouraged him to turn into a speech so he could enter a public speaking contest. With much fear and trenbling, he followed his mother's suggestion and won first place, local fame in the town newspaper and the applause of his former school mates who once ridiculed him.
Thanks to his mother's love, he continued his education, started writing speeches for politicians and even became the editor of a newspaper. His success and the completion his law degree, not only conquered his inferiority complex, Elmer Thomas went on to become a US senator where, ironically, he was voted as the best dressed man in the entire senate.
What can be said of a mother’s love? Yet, God’s love for you is infinitely greater…
JOHN 15:13 "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay's dowwn his life for his friends." WHY? Because He loves you.