Circumstances

If you had the power to change your circumstances, would you? Since no one has a life without problems, most of us would immediately say yes. However, the reality is that we must learn to live with some of our difficult circumstances, because only God has the power to alter them—and in His providence, He’s allowed them to remain.

Take the apostle Paul, for example. He had a desire to go to Rome and preach the gospel but didn’t anticipate the route God would use to bring him there. It began with false accusations in Jerusalem, an appeal to Caesar, a rough sea voyage, and a shipwreck and eventually included time spent in a Roman prison. This was probably not what Paul had envisioned, but as he sat chained to a Roman guard, he wrote the following words to the church in Philippi: But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; (Phil. 1:12) circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel . The very circumstance that may have seemed like an unfair misfortune became the avenue for fruitful service.

What looks like a shipwreck or detour in our plans could actually be God’s ordained path for our lives. It may include financial challenges, health issues, relational conflicts, or any number of other hardships, but there is one certainty to which we can cling: Jesus Christ is our life, and He never changes.

Conditions around us will fluctuate, but if we belong to Christ, He’ll use every situation to accomplish His will in and through us. Even when we face matters of life and death, we can share Paul’s desire—that Christ would be exalted in us, whether through life or death.

Commandments

We run into trouble when we think of God as we would think of man. That is all we have to relate to, other humans. With the exception of Jesus’ physical life, all human comparisons with God’s character are flawed. When we read this passage, at first, we may think of jealousy is an unholy quality. That would be thinking as if God was like man. He is not. He is utterly holy. We can understand Him calling Himself a jealous God if we consider His other attributes.

His jealousy is out of a holy heart of real love. Since we are dedicated to Him as His bride, He longs to see us uncompromisingly dedicated to Him. His desires are entirely pure and unselfish. The motivation of His jealousy is His genuine love that knows His ways are best for us. He wants to see us made into a pure and spotless bride.

The same word for jealous in Hebrew can be translated zealous. God has a great zeal to see us transformed into the image of Christ. It is out of His great love that we see this jealousy, or zealousness, in God. It is hard to fathom that Someone so great could love us so much. We, in proper response, should allow our love for Him to flourish. We should be zealous about Him as well. We should also be sensitive to times when something may be competing for our love for Him. It is not a good idea to arouse His jealousy. It is there for our good.

Meditate on the zealous love of God for you. Is there something that is competing for your love for Him?

How God Calls

 

 

Dr. Charles Stanley

 

God’s call on our life extends beyond the moment we receive salvation. He wants to develop Christlike character in us through the Holy Spirit’s presence and power. Every believer is given this call to sanctification—God’s intention is for all Christ-followers to be set apart. His Spirit enables us to turn from our old patterns of action and attitude so we can give ourselves exclusively to the Lord. Sanctification brings about genuine freedom from self-centered desires that keep us in bondage (Titus 3:3-7).

The Lord’s call to service requires total surrender. When God revealed His glory to Isaiah, the prophet offered himself completely (Isa. 6:8); Paul submitted his whole self to Christ on the Damascus road (Acts 9:15-19); even Jesus, our ultimate example, daily surrendered to His Father’s will (John 5:19). A life of surrender says, “God, whatever, whenever, wherever, and however You want it, my answer is yes.”

A willing response to each of these divine calls prepares the believer for God’s call to accountability. Scripture tells us that every person will experience a day of judgment. For those who refused God’s invitation to salvation, it will mean wrath and eternal separation from the Lord. For God’s children, it will be a day in which our response to His call on our lives will be evaluated. Only those things done at His direction and in His way will matter when that time comes; everything else will count for nothing (Ps. 127:1-2).

Daily, God is calling to you, wanting to speak with you about important matters. Are you listening to Him and responding?

Always Enthroned

By David Jeremiah

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Isaiah 6:1

Sometimes after a calamitous event, a well-meaning person will say, “Not to worry. God is still on His throne and everything will be alright.” That is definitely true, and such statements affirm our belief in the sovereignty and providence of God in all things. But the word “still” poses a bit of a problem.

When we say something is “still” true it suggests the possibility that one day it might not be true. It suggests that we have looked into heaven to see if something terrible occurred because God was momentarily away from His throne. Relieved, we say, “No—God is still on the throne so we know this event was part of His plan.” By definition, God would not be God if He was not on the throne of God. Indeed, God can never not be God; God can never not be on His throne. That’s why Paul could write verses like Romans 8:28: Even when bad things happen, we know they are within God’s sovereign plan to conform us to Christ’s image. Bad things happen while God is on His throne, not while He is not on His throne.

Let us praise God today that He has always been on His throne and always will be.

The fixed point in the universe, the unalterable fact, is the throne of God.  —G. Campbell Morgan    

A Legacy Of Love

By Adrian Rogers

A woman came to her pastor and said, “When should I start the religious training of my child? When will he be old enough? Is it too early to start at six years of age?” The pastor said, “No, that’s too late.” She said, “Well how about six months?” He said, “That’s too late.” She said, “Then when should I start?” He said, “With his grandparents.”

We can live for our grandchildren; we can live for our great-grandchildren. The greatest gift you can give your children is to teach them to worship the Lord, to love the Lord, and to serve the Lord at any age.

If you are a grandparent, share what God has taught you about His grace and faithfulness in your life. And share what God has taught you about worshipping Him and serving others.

Freedom

Thanks Sister Linda Denney for sharing this

For some reason, people have difficulty structuring their arguments when arguing against supporting the currently proposed immigration revisions. This lady made the argument pretty simple. NOT printed in the Orange County Paper …..    
Newspapers simply won’t publish letters to the editor which they either deem politically incorrect (read below) or which do not agree with the philosophy they’re pushing on the public. This woman wrote a great letter to the editor that should have been published; but, with your help, it will get published via cyberspace!
From: “David LaBonte”
My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to “print” it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined. Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:
Dear Editor:   
So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.
Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today’s American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get  
down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.
They had waved good-bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.
Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany , Italy , France and Japan . None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan . They were defending the United States of America as one people.
When we liberated France , no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German-American or the Irish-American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country’s flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.
And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I’m sorry, that’s not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900’s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.
And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty , it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn’t start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.
(signed)   
Rosemary LaBonte

The Unseen World

Did you know that the microbes on just one of your hands outnumber all of the people on the earth? Or that millions of microbes could fit into the eye of a needle? These one-celled, living organisms are too small for us to see without a microscope, yet they live in the air, soil, water, and even in our bodies. We constantly interact with them, even though their world is completely beyond our senses.

The realities of the spiritual world are also often not visible to us humans, as the prophet Balaam discovered. He was trudging along the road with his two servants when his donkey “saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand” (Num. 22:23). To avoid the angel, the animal walked into a field, crushed Balaam’s foot against a wall, and lay down with Balaam still on her back. Balaam was angry and struck the donkey. He didn’t realize something supernatural was going on—until God opened his eyes (v.31).

The Bible tells us that a spiritual world does exist, and we may sometimes encounter realities from that realm—both good and bad (Heb. 13:2; Eph. 6:12). Because of this, we are encouraged to be watchful, prayerful, and prepared. Just as God rules the world we see, He also rules the unseen world.

Heavenly Father, help us to be strong in You and in the power of Your might. Open our eyes so that we may see the spiritualrealities You have for us.

                             All that is seen and unseen is under God’s sovereign power.

God’s Conversation Hearts

Those familiar conversation hearts that show up every February can be more than just trite romantic or friendly sayings. Use them to remind you — or to teach a child — of the greatest love of all: God’s love for us, which empowers our love for others. For example:

  • TRUE LOVE: What love is truer than giving up one’s only Son so people might have everlasting life? (John 3:16).
  • MINE: Jesus knows us intimately, as a shepherd knows his sheep. No one can snatch us from him (John 10:27-29).
  • FOREVER: God loves us with an “everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).
  • LOVE ME: The greatest commandment is to love God with our whole being (Luke 10:27).
  • TRUST ME: “Let not your hearts be troubled.” We can count on Jesus, now and for eternal life (John 14:1-3).
  • SWEET TALK: God’s words are sweeter than honey (Psalm 119:103).
  • BE GOOD: We show our love for Christ by keeping his commands (John 14:15).
  • CALL ME: God longs to be in fellowship with us. We can talk to him anytime in prayer (Jeremiah 33:3).
  • FRIENDS: The greatest love involves laying down your life for your friends (John 15:13) — precisely what Jesus did.
  • #1: “We love because [God] first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Seenagers

I am a Seenager. I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 60 years later.

I don’t have to go to school or work.

I get an allowance every month.

I have my own pad.

I don’t have a curfew.

I have a driver’s license and my own car.

The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant.

And I don’t have acne.

Life is great.

I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes five years in a row.

I decided to stop calling the bathroom the “John” and renamed it the “Jim”.

I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

Old age is coming at a really bad time.

When I was a child I thought “Nap Time” was a punishment.  Now, as a grownup, it feels like a small vacation.

The biggest lie I tell myself is.”I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”

I don’t have grey hair; I have “wisdom highlights.”

Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven’t met yet.

Why do I have to press one for English when you’re just going to transfer me to someone I can’t understand anyway?

Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice.

At my age “Getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.
(Copied from email; author unknown)