His Grace Is Sufficient!
But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! 2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ The Amplified Bible
Did you really read the last line of this Scripture? That His strength and power will rest and pitch a tent over us? I need to be in that tent, don't you? I can bring my weaknesses, troubles and dangers to Him and put myself in His care. So may times we think about how hard it is to live a Christian life, maybe that is because we don't really know how to cast our care and find His strength and rest. Today, cast your care! Find that tent! Dwell there! He is faithful!
By the Grace Of God
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them- yet not I but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV)
1 Corinthians is a letter written by the apostle Paul to the church of Corinth. Paul's letters make up two thirds of the New Testament. Before Paul met Jesus he persecuted the church. He killed every Christian he could find. Then one day when he was traveling God made him blind for three days then opened his eyes. Paul was radically saved.
Paul is the one who is telling the Corinthian church that it is by the grace of God he is what he is. Paul had every reason to boast. In 2 Corinthians 11:22-23 he tells us that he is a Hebrew, an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, and a servant of Christ. He has been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severly, and been exposed to death again and again. Paul the prime example of a New Testament servant, who has sacrificed more than we could ever imagine and is the writer of much of the scripture we study today, does not take any credit for who he is. He tells us it is by the grace of God.
How many times in our own lives do we take the credit for our accomplishments? We become puffed up with pride because we preached a good sermon, lead someone to Christ, our kids serve the Lord, we have been on x number of missions trips, the list goes on and on. Reality Check: you and I would be nothing without the grace of God. We were the sinners that we judge everyday before we met Christ. It is only by the grace of God we aren't sinners like the rest of the world.
This grace that you and I have experienced is not to go without bearing fruit. After Paul acknowledges that he is who he is by the grace of God he tells us that this grace was not without effect. The grace he obtained from the Lord caused him to work harder than any of the New Testament servants.
Experiencing the true grace of God causes us to be eager to serve Christ. God's grace does not give us a license to sin or to sit on the church pew feeling superior to others. No! The grace of God draws us to repentance and servant hood. Grace motivates us to do whatever we can to make God's day. Experiencing his grace and mercy causes us to stop focusing on ourselves and start desperately seeking to know him.
What's even more amazing is that our new found servant hood is not of anything within ourselves. Our renewed heart is only a work of his grace. We can't even take credit for pursuing him.
Today reflect on who you would be without Christ. Recognize that it is only by his grace that you are what you are. This grace should create a heart in you that is eager to please the Lord in whatever way you can. Let grace do miracles in you today.
Grace And Favor
Be encouraged! The Lord is good. In his goodness He looks for opportunites to bless us. Keep your heart expectant and ready to recieve from the Lord as he only wishes good for us. Every good and perfect thing comes straight from His hand. Today, keep your conversations of prayer full of thankful praise!
God wants to bless you! God wants you to have an abundant life in ALL areas! He is just waiting on you to communicate with Him. If you have blown it.... just repent and commit to His love, mercy, and adjust your lifestyle to one of worship and praise!!
For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11 ~ The Amplified Bible
“Not so, my Lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. (1 Samuel 1:13)
Do you find yourself going through life just managing to keep it together, to keep yourself in? Have you ever found yourself scared of what would happen if you simply let it all out? Imagine a lake filled with water but that water never moves. It becomes stagnant, filled with bacteria. The water is vile and breeds all kinds of diseases.
This is what often times happens to our soul. We keep everything in so long that our souls begin to breed the diseases, of bitterness, distrust, selfishness, and the list goes on. We try to so hard to keep everything together that we soon find that we are not giving anything to anyone. Then we wonder why no one gives to us.
What we do in times when we have been hurt define us. How we react can make a lasting impact on the state of our souls, affecting our whole life and those we love. A lot of us end up blaming God, or those of us who are more passive aggressive simply choose to ignore his presence. But there are the few who do choose to still remember him and remember that he is good no matter what our circumstances look like.
There was a woman in the bible named Hannah who was one of the few. She was deeply hurt because she remained barren for years while her sister-wife had plenty of children. At this moment Hannah had a choice, she could have blamed God and turned away from God but she didn’t. Hannah went before the Lord and begin to pour out her soul before him. She did poured herself out to the point Eli, the prophet, thought she was drunk.
God heard her when she poured out and gave her a son named Samuel. This son became a prophet for the nation of Israel and anointed King David who the lineage of Jesus would be traced back to.
Her decision to pour out allowed God to fulfill the desires of her heart and also to carry forth his plan of salvation for the world.
Today, I want to challenge you to stop holding everything in before the Lord. Whatever you hold back and don’t allow to flow out of you will begin to breed bacteria in your soul. When you decide to pour it out, God will heal the barrenness of your life and give you the desires of your heart. Your pouring out is the catalyst for God’s will to be done in the earth.
Hold nothing back! Live a life poured out before him!
Written By: Danielle O'Neil @danielleoneil.com
We find five powerful words that describe Jesus Christ in Isaiah 9:6. Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Reflect today on Jesus Christ as Everlasting Father. We know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God yet He is of the Father. The everlasting father!
As Everlasting Father Jesus Christ Is one with the Father and they are from everlasting to everlasting. Jesus is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. There is no time in eternity. Time is an earthly measurement. So what does this mean for us? Simply, the Jesus Christ sees us through His blood and His plans for us are not limited to time. As Father He cares for us, is concerned about every area of our lives.
Perhaps you are reading this devotion today and you did not have a positive earthly father. Take a moment and release all the hurt and pain from that horrible experience. Ask Jesus Christ to come in and fill the lonely empty places of your heart and soul. Take a few deep breathes and say JESUS, JESUS, JESUS.... You will begin to feel His presence. Listen to the song below and worship. Begin to call out the name of Jesus!!
We find five powerful words that describe Jesus Christ in Isaiah 9:6.
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Today ponder these words and take a moment to consider areas and/or situations in your life where Jesus Christ has been Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.
Let’s look at the word "Wonderful." Wonderful; Jesus Christ is full of wonder! He performed miracles that made people wonder. Luke 11:14 Time and time again we can see in our lives where Jesus has done things that are wonderful!!
Take a moment and reflect on times in your life when God performed a "wonder" in your life. Confess, Praise Him for it, write it out and put it somewhere like your mirror or the refrigerator. All during this "wonderful" Christmas season thank Him every day for being "wonderful!"
ADVENT DEVOTION – HOPE
The first candle of Advent signifies HOPE. As we light the candle of hope we are reminded of the faith of our ancestral fathers and mothers of the faith – the ancient patriarchs. About 4000 years ago God called Abram from the land of Iraq and said, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).
Abram heard the call and responded in faith. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going… for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:8-10).
The blessing of Abraham is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. In Christ all the families of the earth may be blessed. Like Abraham we journey as strangers in a foreign land. Like Abraham we hope for that which we cannot see. We hope for the healing of humanity. We hope for the resurrection from the dead and eternal life. We eagerly await the blessed hope – the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Like Abraham we hope for a city – the New Jerusalem, a new heavens and a new earth.
written by: Daniel Tomberlin @ http://www.danieltomberlin.net/
The Anticipation of Jesus Christ Coming-The Advent
Advent simply means the arrival or coming of something. As we begin the Christmas season let us be expecting the arrival of Jesus Christ! No doubt Jesus came to earth over 2000 years ago. Luke 2 recounts this wonderful entrance of baby Jesus who lived on earth for 33 years before dying on a cross for OUR sins. Jesus is coming to earth again! We find in Revelation 1:7 that He is coming again!
He came and He is coming! This is great new BUT He COMES! Each and every day in our lives we should be expecting Jesus Christ to come in our lives. He comes with His love, peace and joy. He comes through the smiles and laughter of those we love. He comes by providing and protecting us. There are so many ways He comes every day in our lives.
As we begin the journey to Christmas, the Advent, let us ponder and proclaim the ways we are anticipating Jesus Christ coming into our lives this wonderful Christmas season.
How to Find God’s Will for Your Life
One of the age old questions of the young and the old concerning life has always been, “What is God’s will for my life?”. There have been many books, blogs, and sermons preached yet the question in many of hearts remains unanswered. Why is this?
I believe it is because it is vague and vague makes us uncomfortable. I don’t know about you but I would love a list of ten ways to find God’s will. The bottom line is that God’s will can’t be found by checking off a to-do list.
How can God’s will be found then? There is an obvious answer that comes to mind, pray. While this is absolutely true, it is still vague. I believe that what is at the root of the most ministers instruction to read the bible and to pray is really them telling us to get back to the basics. Before, a builder can build a house the foundation must be laid.
Honestly, I find myself wanting more words from God telling me a specific action to take rather than living out what has already been given to me in his word. Maybe the reason God stays silent for so long is because we fail to obey his initial commands. His word even tells us over and over again in the gospels that a wicked and adulterous generation looks for signs but none will be given except the sign of Jonah. Instead of looking for more words, maybe it is time to live out what has been given and what has been spoken.
I can’t give a list of ten ways to find God’s will for your life but I can list out principles and directives that are already laid out in his word:
1. Love God
This sounds simple and begs the question of why I would even list this. The reason I put this on the list is because I find myself shamefully forgetting it to often. How in the world can I or anyone else find the will of God for their lives if they are not loving God with everything they have. In fact, ultimately this is the will of God for all of our lives. More than anything he wants us to be in relationship with him. I feel that when we come to him rattling off every question we can think of concerning our lives, he just sits with his hands pressed to his face, shaking his head, saying, “If you only knew I just want to love you right now and I just want you to love me. You’re worried about all the wrong things. If you would come and talk to me my voice would be very clear and you would know me so well that you would know the answer before you could ask it.” If you are struggling with the will of God for your life, start spending time with him. If you look into your heart and honestly don’t desire to then ask him to give you that desire. One of the most powerful prayers I have ever prayed is, “God I want to want you.”
2. Love People
1 John 4:7-8 tells us to love one another because everyone who loves has been born of God but whoever does not love does not know God. John 3:16 tells us that it was because God so loved the world that he sent Jesus to come down and die on the cross for us. God’s will, his desire, his heart cry is people. What consumes the heart and actions of God? People. God’s will is for us to be like him, to care about what he cares about. There is no way to find God’s will if one is not walking in love. One could be the greatest preacher, missionary, teacher, evangelist, or writer but if they are not loving on the people that they are around everyday they are missing the will of God.
What I’m trying to say is that there is that it does not matter what you do if you are not loving God and people it is a one-hundred percent guarantee that you are not in the will of God. On the other hand, if you are pursuing God with all you have and you are loving people there is no way that you can miss the will of God for your life.
Stop worrying and Start loving.
Written By: Danielle O’Neil @danielleoneil.com
Fear and Decisions
Through life, we encounter several significant moments that interrupt our day-to-day flow of things. I like to call these interruptions catalysts. There’s no doubt you’ve experienced these moments in your life. They may come in the form of an email, phone call, a thought, an idea or maybe you just read or saw something that sparked your passion. It was something that interrupted the normal process of your life that caused you to reflect and even rethink the direction of your life. You meditate on that moment and think about the possibility of pursuing what the catalyst started. Before you know it, you might be standing at a crossroads of a new adventure and a decision to accept. One thing is sure, you’re experiencing one familiar feeling – fear.
Fear is the one universal factor that everyone experiences at the point of decision. We fear because we feel that one single decision will determine the rest of our lives. We feel that if we make the wrong choice, we’ll never be able to recover from that decision and we’ll be stuck in a cycle of failure.
This is simply not true. Our lives are composed of several decisions made over a lifetime, and no one on earth gets it right every time. As soon as we understand that making decisions is a natural part of the journey and that failure is detrimental only if we allow it to be, we can begin to live effective stories and journeys.
So, how do we overcome the fear we face at decisions?
Here’s a few encouraging ways that will help you move forward.
Think through what life will look like if you do make the decision. Think about your life as if you had already made the decision. Would your life look the way that God intended? Does committing to the decision honor the divine design in you? The key here is to find whether your decision will steer you away from what God designed you to do. Your God given mission may change with this decision, be sure that it’s changed how God would want it changed.
Once you commit, stay committed. Once you’ve determined that the decision is the right one to make – commit to it. Many people say that they’ll do something, but never follow through, so the crucial component is to stay committed to what you have decided to do. Be encouraged in this process and rest assured that God is leading and guiding you through this transitional season.
Finally, Trust God. If you’re committed to following God with all your heart, then He will be faithful to direct and guide your path. This is His divine promise to us. Stay focused and committed on your newfound path, and trust God to lead and guide you even through the rough things. He is continually shaping, molding and changing you to become His perfect masterpiece.
Decisions can often bring a fear component with them – don’t let it paralyze you. I hope these few thoughts have encouraged you today and perhaps affirmed you to take the new adventure and trust God.
Written by Dr. Kent Ingle @ kentingle.com