Wade’s Wednesday

God’s Unfailing Love

By Dr. Charles Stanley

Do you feel loved by God? Let me ask the question a different way: Did you know that as a believer, it’s possible to mentally understand God loves you without actually sensing it? In fact, the reverse can be true as well—we may say we love God, all the while knowing that our feelings of affection for Him are limited.

There are a variety of reasons that a Christian might not sense love from God or affection for Him, some of which stem from childhood experiences. Perhaps love was absent in the home, or maybe it just wasn’t expressed verbally or demonstrated in practical ways. An individual’s personality could also be part of the equation—some people are naturally expressive while others are more reserved in their emotions.

Although this discrepancy between knowledge and experience can be distressing, there is hope. Meditating on all the ways God has demonstrated His love for you—and asking Him to help you perceive it—can begin to move that truth from your head to your heart. Remember that love is God’s very nature (1 John 4:8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. ), not something conditioned on your performance. And if you’ve been adopted into His family through faith in His Son, God has chosen to lavish kindness on you in Christ.

Believing and accepting that you are loved by the Father will in turn affect your feelings for Him. Commit to knowing Him more intimately and accurately through His Word, and your affection for Him will begin to grow. As you spend time with Him in Scripture and prayer, you’ll discover that the saying “to know him is to love him” is certainly true of God.

Tuesday With Karen

He’s Our Strength

He is our strength in every step we take,
His wisdom guides us in what to do & say;
God speaks to us from deep in our heart,
The sweet peace He gives doesn’t depart!

He is our strength inside this daily life,
Showing us the way to keep living right;
Even when Satan tries to bring us down,
God is the Shelter where safety abounds!

He is our strength in each & every day,
He gives direction, how to live His Way;
God hears every cry that we say in prayer,
Blessing us daily with loving grace & care!

He is our strength, watching over His own,
At no time, at all, are we left alone;
God keeps every promise He has ever made,
He’s the Strength inside everyone saved!

What Happened

WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
Prayers has been taken out of schools.
Teachers no longer teach the Golden Rule.
Doctors killing babies before they are born,
What has happen to America, where has our pride gone?

Neighbors killing neighbors, crime is in our land,
What happened to “United we stand”?
Mother against daugther, father against son,
What happen to the love, where has it gone?

What has happened to us, no one seems to know,
Resect and love has left, where did it go?
What has happened to “In God we trust”?
Turn back to God Americia, this is a must.

Prayer is the key to change thing the right way;
We all must stop and take time to pray.
Ask Him to help each and every day,
And teach our children how to pray.
By Rose Depew

Knowing Truth

FROM: OUR DAILY BREAD

Not far from where my husband and I live is a farm with a lot of horses. During certain seasons, some of the horses have masks over their eyes. For a long time I felt sorry for the horses who weren’t allowed to see. But then I learned that my assumption about the masks was wrong. The masks are made of mesh, so horses can see through them. But flies, which cause eye disease, can’t get through them. The masks don’t keep the horses from seeing; they keep them from going blind!

Non-Christians often make conclusions about the Bible similar to the one I made about the mask. They think of it as something God puts over our eyes to keep us from seeing all the fun we could be having. They feel sorry for Christians because they think the Lord keeps us from enjoying life. What I didn’t know about the horse mask, they don’t know about the Bible. It doesn’t keep us from seeing all that is good; it keeps us from being infected by lies that cause spiritual blindness. The Bible doesn’t keep us from enjoying life; it makes true enjoyment possible.

The Bible doesn’t keep us from knowing truth; it prevents us from believing lies.

Stiff Necked

By Ricky Smith

A horse is a massive creature that is both majestic and perplexing. To think how a tame and trained horse can be used is impressive, yet the muscle mass of this beast could easily create damage if the animal was unwilling to submit to the restraint, reins, or the will of the rider. One might pull the reins to direct the animal in one direction and the horse simply decides today is not the day and kicks the rider off its back.

horse

I don’t have a tremendous amount of experience with horses but was able to connect with one horse in particular while on a retreat at a ranch in Wyoming in 2021. We bonded as horse and rider for several days and numerous rides. The moment came to test our relationship when the trail led across a river. With swift water and depths that would drip my stirrups in the water, the horse stood at the bank, and as I gave commands with reins and verbally, the horse stiffened its neck and, for the first time, seemed obstinate. Eventually, he surrendered, and we walked across, but at that moment, he was pushing against my will rather than trusting me as the rider.

This imagery paints a picture of the Hebrew language used in Exodus 32 when Moses calls the Israelites a “stiff-necked people.” After God had consistently demonstrated faithfulness and provision through the wilderness after His miraculous rescue from slavery, they waited impatiently at the base of the mountain as Moses met with God for 40 days and 40 nights. During this time, unrest and a group of influencers led the people to construct a golden calf and ascribe the name of Yahweh to this idol.

This act became a defining moment for the nation of Israel comparable to the original sin in the Garden that impacted their nation for generations. Rather than listening, waiting, and trusting the faithfulness of God, these people broke their covenant with God and defied the commandments recently delivered.

Before we point fingers, we must pause and consider how frequently we are like them. In our impatience to trust God, we take matters into our own hands, make decisions without prayer or patience, and even pollute our worship by defying the expectations of God and making worship more about humanity than Creator.

This is a moment to assess, reflect, and repent of our sinful ways and worship. We must return to the genuine heart of humility that trusts the heart of God to lead us into paths of righteousness for His name’s sake and not our own.

Friday Funnies

I’M FINE

A farmer named Clyde had a tractor accident. In court, the trucking company’s fancy hot shot lawyer, was questioning Clyde. “Didn’t you say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine,’?” asked the lawyer.

Clyde responded, “Well, I’ll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite cow, Bessie, into the…”

“I didn’t ask for any details”, the lawyer interrupted. “Just answer the question, …please. Did you, or did you not say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine!’?”

Clyde said, “Well, I had just got Bessie into the trailer behind the tractor and I was driving down the road….”

The lawyer interrupted again and said, “Your Honor, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question.”

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Clyde’s answer and said to the lawyer, “I’d like to hear what he has to say about his favorite cow, Bessie”.

Clyde thanked the Judge and proceeded. “Well, as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite cow, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my John Deer Tractor right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurting, real bad and didn’t want to move. However, I could hear old Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans.

Shortly after the accident a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning, so he went over to her. After he looked at her, and saw her fatal condition, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the Patrolman came across the road, gun still in hand, looked at me, and said, “How are you feeling?” “Now tell me, what would you say?”

THE FAN

An Alabama fan, an Auburn fan, a Georgia fan, and a Tennessee fan are all climbing a mountain, arguing about who loves their team the most.

The Tennessee fan insists that he is the most loyal. He yells out, “This is for Tennessee!!!” and jumps off of the mountain.

Not to be outdone, the Georgia fan then yells out, “This is for Georgia!!!” and jumps off of the mountain.

Of course, the Alabama fan refuses to lose, so he yells out, “This is for Alabama! ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!” … and pushes the Auburn fan off of the mountain.

Wade’s Wednesday

What does God want from us? He does not want mere hymn singing, although that is fine. Nor does He want only prayer, although that too is fine. He does not simply want our attendance, although that is fine. What He wants, first, is a thankful heart. That is what He seeks, a thankful heart. Each one of us is to offer to Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving. A sacrifice is something into which we put effort; it costs us. Have you ever asked yourself why the Scriptures stress thanksgiving so much? Both the Old and New Testaments emphasize that above everything else, God wants thankfulness. Give thanks in all circumstances, says the apostle Paul, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Why is this? It is because thanksgiving only comes as a result of having received something. You do not give thanks until you have received something that comes from someone else. Therefore thanksgiving is the proper expression of Christianity, because Christianity is receiving something constantly from God.

Of course if you have not received anything from God, then you have nothing to thank Him for. Though you come to the service, you really have nothing to say. God is a realist. He does not want fake thanksgiving. I know there are certain people (and they are awfully hard to live with) who think that Christianity consists of pretending to be thankful. They think it means screwing a smile on your face and going around pretending that troubles do not bother you. That is a most painful form of Christianity. God does not want you to go around shouting, Hallelujah! I’ve got cancer! But there is something about having cancer to be thankful for. That is what He wants you to see. There are aspects of it that no one can possibly enjoy, but there are other aspects that reveal purpose, meaning, and reason. God wants you to see this–what He can do with that situation and how you can be thankful. Thanksgiving is the first thing He wants in worship.

The second thing is an obedient will. Fulfill your vows to the Most High. Notice the kind of obedience it is. It is not something forced upon you; it is something you have chosen for yourself. A vow is something you decide to give, a promise you make because of truth you have seen. You say I never saw it like that before. I really ought to do something about it. God helping me, I’m going to do such and such. That is a vow. God says, I’m not asking you to do things you have not yet learned are important. But when you have vowed something, then do it. Act on it. Obey it.

Lord, I offer to You right now the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Thank You that You are at work for good both in me and through me. Grant that I might obey your truth out of a heart of gratitude.

Life Application: We can expend much energy complaining, blessing no one. How can we re-focus our thoughts so that we have an attitude of gratitude no matter our circumstances?

Raystedman

 

Tuesday With Karen

He’s The One With Us

He’s the One with us, walking every day,
The Light of our life, showing us the Way;
God knows everything we will ever face,
Supplying our needs by sufficient grace!

He’s the One with us, every day we live,
God has bountiful blessings to give;
Even when we’re in the valley below,
His loving grace is precious to know!

He’s the One with us, giving direction,
God oversees us by wise perfection;
He watches over us in so many ways,
Our shelter in trouble, keeping us safe!

He’s the One with us, is forevermore,
God’s presence came in we met the Lord;
From the first day we gave Him our trust,
Yes, God came in, He’s the One with us!

It’s the Little Things

by Meagan Davis

3 Things to be Thankful For

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks.”

Everything. Sometimes it’s hard to narrow it down to just one thing that I’m thankful for. So, I decided to go with a little more general of a list this week. Here are 3 things that we should always remember to thank God for:

1. What God has done in your life.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the present that we don’t even remember what God has done for us in the past. Do you remember any times that you have really seen God work? Did you know that God is the same now as He was at that time? Think back just over the last week. Where have you seen God work in your life? If you haven’t seen anything, you may want to step back and reexamine your perspective. We know that God is always there, and He is always working. Be thankful for what He has done!
2. What God will do in your life.
 
God promises his children blessings when they follow Him. We don’t know where God will lead us down the road. If we did know, we might be scared and never follow God’s plan. But He always has a purpose, and He is always good. You may not be able to see God working right at this moment, but He has something awesome planned for you! It may not be anything huge like it is in your mind. It could just be those little everyday blessings. Take time to relish what God will do in your future.
 
3. What God hasn’t done and won’t do.
 
Have you ever had something happen that didn’t go the way you planned? Maybe you even pitched a temper tantrum in your heart. Oftentimes, we ask for things, and God just says, “No.” We don’t understand why at that moment, but God sees fit not to give it to us. Later down the road, you will often see why God didn’t give you whatever you were desiring. His plan is so much greater than ours! Aren’t you glad that we have a God who can see the bigger picture? He knows exactly what we need, and He only does what is good for us. 
 
On this Thankful Thursday, remember to give thanks in everything. You’ll see a changed perspective on your life when you do!

Prayers of Gratitude

By Charles Stanley

Prayer is the amazing privilege of entering into God’s throne room. The Creator and Ruler of the universe actually invites us to communicate with Him. Typically, our prayers consist of petitions, intercession, confession, praise, and thanksgiving.

Which of these five aspects of prayer consumes most of the time you spend talking with the Father? If you’re like many believers, you’d have to admit that thanksgiving isn’t at the top of the list. And there are several reasons why this could be true.

Whatever fills our minds is also what dominates our prayers. If we feel overwhelmed with problems, petitions naturally become more urgent. When concerns for loved ones are foremost in our mind, then intercession will be our focus. A sense of conviction and regret over sin leads us to concentrate on confession. All these are important and necessary, but we can’t let the cares of this earthly life and our own needs prevent us from taking time to center our attention on the Lord.

Now, it’s true that after we’ve seen God work in our life or answer a prayer request, we’re filled with gratitude and thank Him repeatedly. But after a while we tend to forget and drift back into our regular thought patterns. Here’s the key to keeping gratitude and praise foremost in our prayers: learning to know the Lord more deeply. As we read the Scriptures and discover His glorious nature and mighty works, He’ll become our focus, and our prayers will be filled with praise and thanks, not just for what He’s done for us but in appreciation of who He is—our good, loving, faithful, and glorious God.