Tag Archives: Grace

Doubt, Reach Out

JesusChristLove1-e1393989333893Luke 24:36-40 “As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you!’ But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.”

What are those things bringing chaos or doubt into your life? The ultimate doubt and chaos for Jesus’ disciples was “what’s next”. How many times have we tried to “give it up”, “let it go” or “get over it” one for time?  What’s next?

Jesus tells is disciples not to be troubled and not to doubt. He simply showed himself and said “touch me”.

Today is an opportunity to reach out and experience His grace, mercy, love and care. Doubt? Reach out.

Discouragement

How do you meet discouragement? If we wonder sometimes if God is there, look to Paul’s words in 2Russian soldiers preparing for the Battle of Kursk July 1943 Thessalonians and know that our Father is still by our side.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”              2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

At times we need what is right in front of us but we either don’t see it or fail to reach for it. Our discouragement matters to God. Take it to Him. Allow Jesus to reveal Himself to you.

Aim

In our stressful military world, we are often pushed and pulled in different ways. At times these ways be contradictory to previous instructions and require clarification and negotiation to sort it out. I think it’s fair to suggest that it can be demanding, frustrating and even aggravating at times. I would also suggest that at times we don’t respond as well as we could.

Matthew 22:36-40 reminds us, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  (Leviticus 19:9-18, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28)

When we find ourselves squeezed in stressful situations our aim is to respond the best way Jesus tells us. Love God, Love Neighbor. He knows that what is inside of us dictates what comes out of us. He want us to know that too.

aim-toothpaste

Like a tube of toothpaste, no matter how hard or softly it’s squeezed only toothpaste will come out.

If we love self over others, when squeezed, Pride, Arrogance, Abuse, Disobedience and Ungratefulness comes out of our spiritual tube (2 Timothy 3:1-5). But in contrast, if we love God over self and love our neighbor, when squeezed, Kindness, Graciousness, Truthfulness, Hospitality and Welcoming comes out (Galatians 5:22-23)

If you love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well (James 2:8).

Aim for balancing Truth with Grace.

The Coming Christ

candles-4Zechariah 2:10-11 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.”

Jesus came to establish His Kingdom. We, as believers, have seen Jesus and we have been impacted by our encounter with Jesus Christ. This calls for exuberant shouting and gladness because of what he has done and continues to do within us. Because of this, we have more reason than anybody to be a people of exuberant praise.

God is in the business of restoring our hearts to such a degree that we can be people who receive grace and forgiveness. Because of God’s great love, we can be people of hope even in the desert places of life. We can be people who are living testimonies of God’s splendor, and we can be people of praise because we know the hope of our Coming Lord.

Better Than Planned

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” Ephesians 5:15-16, 20

broken-downInterruptions are nothing new. Rarely does a day go by as planned.

Life is filled with inconveniences. Our plans are constantly thwarted by forces beyond our control. The list is long and ever-changing: Sickness. Conflict. Traffic jams. Forgetfulness. Appliance malfunctions.

What we cannot see, however, is the other side of inconvenience. We think it has no purpose other than to discourage us, make life more difficult, and thwart our plans. However, inconvenience could be God’s way of protecting us from some unseen danger, or it could be an opportunity to demonstrate God’s grace and forgiveness. It might be the start of something even better than we had planned or it could be a test to see how we respond to adversity. Whatever it is, even though we may not know God’s reason, we can be assured of His motive; to make us more like Jesus and to further His kingdom on earth.

God had a purpose. Knowing this, we can thank Him, being confident that He is giving us an opportunity to redeem the time.

Guard Your Words

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

We’ve talked about that verse when talking about cuss words. We’ve talked about that verse when talking about helping others.

But this verse applies to what you say in private just as much as the other two.

The words you say—even when no one is around—soak into your brain just the same as if you are listening to someone else.

But we say things to ourselves on a pretty regular basis. And as many times as we converse with ourselves on a regular day, the things we say begin to burn into our brain just as if someone else is saying them over and over and over again.

You can talk yourself into believing more things than anyone else on this planet can. Literally.

So be very careful to guard the things you say to yourself.

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Don’t Forget Others – 9/11

2 Corinthians 9:11 “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”
At this time of remembrance of the events of 9/11 we pause for a moment to reflect on those events, the lives lost and our understanding of man’s actions towards man. Leaves us more questions than answers. These tragic events were intended to leave us shaken, hopeless, disturbed, scared and destroyed inside and in some ways for some it has done that. It has left us looking over our shoulder or giving a second glance at times.
One unintended consequence though was a resolve that no matter what we will not be defeated and our inner spirit will not be crushed.  We have taken the events of that day and looked into ourselves and decided to make good of a bad thing.
We are reminded that we are not just an island but there are others that we interact with daily. People that we can help, comfort, laugh with and talk with.
Our text , 2 Corinthians 9:10-12 “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.”, reminds us to look outside of ourselves and to be generous to all in every way and if we do they will cause thanksgiving to God.
Works of charity should be done with thought and design. Due thought, as to our circumstances, and those we are about to relieve, will direct our gifts for charitable uses. Help should be given freely with faith and love.
A great scholar, Mathew Henry, wrote “Let us endeavour to copy the example of Christ, being unwearied in doing good, and deeming it more blessed to give than to receive. Blessed be God for the unspeakable gift of his grace, whereby he enables and inclines some of his people to bestow upon others, and others to be grateful for it; and blessed be his glorious name to all eternity, for Jesus Christ, that inestimable gift of his love, through whom this and every other good thing, pertaining to life and godliness, are freely given unto us, beyond all expression, measure, or bounds.”

Rain Without Clouds?

Ecclesiastes 11:3 “If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.”
Why, then, do we dread the clouds which now darken our sky? True, for a while they hide the sun, but the sun is not quenched; He will shine out again before long. Meanwhile those black clouds are filled with rain; and the blacker they are, the more likely they are to yield plentiful showers. How can we have rain without clouds?
Our troubles have always brought us blessings, and they always will. They are the black chariots of bright grace. These clouds will empty themselves before long, and every tender herb will be the gladder for the shower. He will refresh us with mercy. Our Lord’s love letters often come to us in black-edged envelopes. His wagons rumble, but they are loaded with benefits. His rod blossoms with sweet flowers and nourishing fruits.

Amazing Grace

When John Newton wrote “Amazing Grace” he had been through so much he truly understood what God’s grace was about. One verse sticks out: “Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; ‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.”

Our duties bring about times of uncertainty, today might be one of those days, but even though dangers, toils and snare exist we can rest in God’s grace that to will keep us safe and lead us home.

Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” reminds us that that we need to depend on Him and not our own training, skill or qualifications.

Though training, skill and qualifications should be taken seriously God’s grace gives us the strength and courage to face the dangers, toils and snares ahead of us.
Remember what God told Joshua (1:9) “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Lastly, II Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”