Love Is Indispensable

1 Corinthians 13.pngIf I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountain, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always preservers.

Love never fails. But when there are prophecies, they will cease, where there are tongues, they will be stilled, where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain; faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.                                                        1 Corinthians 13:1-13

The Apostle Paul wrote this very practical book to address the problems of the tumultuous church in Corinth, and to give instructions on marriages, disputes, immorality, public worship and lawsuits. These practical lessons are appropriate words of wisdom for Christians still today. I choose this chapter for Valentine’s Day because it speaks to me on the kind of love Christ has for us. The very name Jesus use to address you and me is beloved, it tell us us how dearly that He loves us.  Jesus showed you and me the full extent of his love by enduring humiliation, torture, and even death for us on a cross. No greater love that this is possible, or even conceivable. We may have tucked into our memory many experiences of his unparalleled love. Jesus wants us to dwell on those memories. Enjoy them over and over again! This practice will help convince your doubting heart that Jesus extraordinary love is really yours, every nanosecond of this life and throughout eternity. When you abide in Jesus, you also abide in his love, for God is love. As you live close to him, communing with him more and more. Jesus living presence permeates your entire being. This empowers you to trust in his unfailing love, secure in the salvation that He won for us.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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We Can Find Joy

1 Thessalonians 5.pngAs you recalled this past Sunday we lite the third candle for Advent which is called Joy. This week, we have heard from the Apostle Paul, writing in his very first letter to the Thessalonians—the earliest piece of writing in the New Testament. What is the subject of Paul’s letter to the earliest Christian community? Joy. Specifically, joy in the midst of difficult nights. The Psalmist writes,
Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:4-5, NRSV)
Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning! As I think about the season of Advent, and read from Thessalonians on this third week into our journey, I can’t help but hear traces of the Psalmist in Paul’s words:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not despise the words of prophets,
but test everything.
Hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.
May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely;
and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, NRSV)My friends, nobody said the journey was going to be easy. Maybe it is for the best that Advent always starts off with a hard dose of reality. But as we enter into the homestretch of the season and begin final preparations not only to celebrate the birth of Christ into the world and his coming again in final glory, but also to welcome friends and family members who are coming down home, some of whom might not be gathering with good intentions, let us not quench the Spirit. Let it be in a spirit of grace that we acknowledge that for many of us, welcoming guests or going home will never resemble in any way the pictures of perfect familial bliss that we see in the constant holiday barrage of Photo shopped advertisements, holiday television specials, and Christmas movies. Nevertheless, let us enter into this time with rejoicing, prayer, and giving thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us. For no matter how hard the journey may be some days, we know that joy is our true home, and our true home is with our Savior Jesus Christ.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

Giving Thanks

1 Chronicles 16.pngLet the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea resound and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever. Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior, gather is and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said, “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”                                                       1 Chronicles 16:31-36

Every time you and I take the time to thank the Lord, we acknowledge that he is our Lord and Provider. And every time you receive with thanksgiving, we demonstrate our kinship with God.  Yet even thro we are his children and we know we are suppose to give thanks in all circumstances, sometimes our words ring hollow. We can say them without feeling the least bit thankful. It’s especially hard for either you or me to be grateful in the midst of a difficult time in our lives, when everything seems to be going wrong. God knows what goes on in our hearts far better than we do. He knows when we feel thankful, and when we don’t. However, God can also see in the depths of our heart, a desire to please him by offering thanks even when we truly don’t feel like it. When we struggle to be grateful, we need to stop and remember who he is God, our Creator, and the “Great I Am”, and he is the author of our lives and of our faith. We are utterly dependent on him for everything, including our next breath. Every good gift comes from above. When we thank God during a difficult day or a period in our lives, we are assuming the proper stance for a child of God. If we persevere in this thankfulness, resisting the temptation to grumble, we can find joy and peace in the midst of our struggles.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Do Not Be Anxious!

Anxious.pngRejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.                                           (Philippians 4:4-7)

Being anxious at any point of our lives is what we do, and we all seem to do it really well too. We as humans are worry about so many things in our lives each and everyday, we are worry (anxious) about our jobs, family, illness, debt, money, death, relationship, and so much more. If we only take the words of Jesus seriously of not to worry, because by worrying it will not add to our lives. When things begin to happen in life we all need to take it all to God in prayer, and share it with him. He already knows everything of what is going on however he wants you and me to Trust him, and I mean truly trust him.  The book of Philippians was written by the Apostle Paul, a follower of or Lord Jesus Christ. These letters was written to the church at Philippi, ranked among Paul’s favorite. This friendly and personal letter stresses that joy can be found in any situation. Paul delivers his own testimony on the meaning of his present life, encourages, his readers, and instructs them on living in harmony with others, and in obedience to God.  One of the reason to study God’s word it allows the human mind to remember it, as well as our hearts, and when things become anxious for us the words of God comes flowing their our hearts and minds, like streams of water. And once this begins to happen we will begin to calm ourselves down within our soul and turn everything over to God, to just but it all in the hands of God and simply trust Him and Him alone. During those times for me I at times begin to sing a song, Rejoice in Lord, to just focus not on my problems anymore but my focus will turn to Jesus instead. During the times I am overwhelm I sing the song “I am Holding On to You ” Listen Below”

 

Finding Rest In The Father

Exodus 33-14a.pngRest is something all of us truly need from time to time from everything we try to do, especially being sick you have no choice but to simply stay put and get some much needed rest. This is what has been happening over the last week I came down with a bad cold and laryngitis (my husband was glad to hear me being quiet for awhile)  I continue to have my devotion time alone with our Lord, and I can picture myself in my Father’s arms just resting from everything. These words touch my heart in the book of Exodus 33:14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  God presence will go with me, and he gives me rest. Sometimes when you are quite weary, all you can think about is finding rest. As a result your awareness of God presence grows dim. He assures you and me, through, that even when our attention falters, God does remain steadfast. Rejoice that the One who always take care of you and me has an infinite attention span! You must be clear about one thing above all else: You are God’s child who loves you even when you are sick, and too tired to go on. In fact, he loves you and me so much that he carries us through our difficult times, and even when we are sick he is close to you. Beloved, child rest between his shoulders like a lamb being tenderly carried by its shepherd. In addition to being your Shepherd, God also is like an eagle caring for its young while they’re resting, and he watches over us constantly. When our strength fails as you are flying and you start to fall, He spreads his wings and catches you and me on them. He continues to carry you or me until we are ready to fly again. Until that times comes, I continue to find rest in the Father’s Arms

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Seek God Always

1 Chronicles 16.jpgGive praise to the Lord, proclaim his name, make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him, tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, you his servants, the descendants of Israel, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. He is the Lord your God; his judgments in all the earth.

(1 Chronicles 16:8-14)

The book of 1 Chronicles which is from the Old Testament and opens with the most genealogical record in the Bible, and then adds many incidents from the life of David. It was written for the exiles who had return to Israel after the Babylonian captivity. It’s purpose was to remind them they were from the royal line of David and that they were God’s chosen people.

Did you know that you and I are God’s chosen people, isn’t that amazing to hear, that you are not a nobody you are someone that God has already chosen even long before you were born or hear about who God is!  This is what we as Methodist call Prevenient Grace: the Grace that comes to us before we know God-the porch before we enter into a house. God showers it upon all people whether they are aware of it or not. Through prevenient grace, God takes the initiative in beginning a relationship with us. Prevenient grace is God’s way of showing us that no matter who we are or where we are, God is already there ahead of us, waiting for us. God’s prevenient grace precedes us wherever we go.  As I was read and meditating on this book from the Old Testament it is telling us to seek God’s face always, not only when a need arise and we need God at that very moment in time, but to always seek God’s face. To sing your praises to God and God alone, not an human because they are never worthy of anyone praises. Remember what he has done for us. You maybe saying to yourself, what has God done for me, let me go ahead and tell you my friend. God loves us so much he sent his one and only son Jesus into this world to die for the sins of all mankind (John 3:16) Everyone good and perfect gift that you have ever receive has come from God: such as food, clothing, housing, job, family, friends and the list truly goes on for all of us. Let us remember that God has never and I mean never broken a promise to his children, I can’t say that for us, we have all broken many promises that we have made to God over the years. In spite that we continue to sin against one another and God doesn’t stop God from loving us, because he truly knows our hearts. Once you have accept his son Jesus Christ as your personal Savior forever I can tell you that Never will He leave you, nor Never will He forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) Jesus has already taken the first step long before you were born to die for you because of your sins, won’t you take the next step and ask him into your heart forever, and believe me when I tell you that you will never regret of become a Christian, a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear Jesus

Thank you for dying on the cross for all my sins and loving me even when I have not  love myself. I ask you into my heart to live forever, help me to become the person that you has design me to be.

In Jesus Name I Pray

Amen

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Sing and Dance To The Lord

Psalm 147 a.jpgPraise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power, his understanding has no limit. The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.                                                       Psalm 147:1-7

Jesus is the firm foundation on which you and I can dance and sing praises and continually celebrate knowing Him, just as our soul long to. There are times, however, we feel earthbound and weighed down with all of our cares and concerns. However when we begin to worship Jesus in spirit and truth those cares seems to be less and we feel free to dance. At times when my problems seem so difficult for me to bear, I begin to thank Jesus for who he is and more important for loving me. He never promise any of us that this life of ours here on earth would ever be easy, and some days seem to be difficult to get through, however begin to rejoice. When you feel like crying-rejoice, when you are angry-rejoice, when you feel frustrated-rejoice, when you are in pain from illness or from being hurt-rejoice, no matter what you are going thru in your life-REJOICE in knowing the Risen Lord Jesus Christ! Go to Him in prayer to Be Still and Know He is God (Psalm 46:10) Breathe in the Grace of God knowing his love for you, Breathe out your Praises to Him for who he is, and when you do, you begin to focus totally on Jesus, and the worries that you carry on your shoulders will be light as a feather. Sing loud, God doesn’t care how you sound, dance as freely as you want to, all along just thinking of who he is “The Great I Am”  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, who is, and who was, and who is to come the Almighty.         (Revelation 1:8)

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends