Thursday, July 02, 2015

Thought of the Day !!

For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
                                   James 1:3 (NIV)

Has your faith been tested lately?  Did you rejoice?  Probably not.  But remember that in Romans 5 Paul says that we rejoice in our sufferings because they bring about endurance, which brings about character, which in turn brings about hope (the hope we have in God).  

Ok, so maybe we won't always rejoice when we suffer and/or our faith is tested.  But bear in mind that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him.  He allows our faith to be tested to make it stronger.  So keep the faith, therefore keeping the hope in God to see you through any testing in your lives.  God bless.

In the love of Christ,

greg

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Thought of the Day !!

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.
                         Ephesians 4:1 (NLT)

Paul is literally begging here.  He could have suggested or told or even commanded, but instead he begged.  This is how important it is to him for us to understand this concept. 

We are called by the God of the universe.  Our first calling is into a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus.  When we accept this calling the Holy Spirit lives in us.  Think about it.  The God who understands every mathematical equation...the God who is more vast than every universe combined...the God who knows exactly how many pebbles of sand are on every beach...this God is also in you through the Holy Spirit.  No wonder Paul is begging.  He wants us to understand the magnitude of this calling so as not to take it for granted.  

How many of us at some time or another have taken our calling to have God live in us for granted?  I would guess we all have.  I know I have.  May we realize that He is with us, around us and in us at all times.  And may we live our lives worthy of that calling to be in a relationship with Him. 

In the love of Christ,

greg

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Thought of the Day !!

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can't. I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
                              Romans 7:18-19 (NLT)

Paul sure is baring his soul here.  Can anyone relate?  

Now I don't think that Paul means this to be taken literally that every time something came up he did the wrong thing.  I think he means that he struggled with certain things.  Maybe it was pride or arrogance or unforgiveness or whatever.  He saw himself as struggling with making the wrong decisions even though he deeply loved God's law and abiding by it.  He loved Christ and hated nothing more than letting Him down.  But at times he did just that.  Again, can anyone relate?

I like that he bares his soul here with us because it shows that if the great apostle struggled with and fell to sin that we are not doomed when we do.  He shows us that all of us struggle and that we can know that there is a way out.  He later writes in verse 25, "Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord."

You see, so many times when we struggle with sin, any sin, we will continue to try harder to fix it.  But this is trying to fix our situation by our own power.  The answer lies not in working harder, but working smarter.  It lies in getting closer to Jesus. 

You may have a relationship with Jesus.  And you may be struggling mightily with something in your life.  Could your problem be grief or depression or pain?  Maybe it's a sin like addiction or gluttony or pornography or pride or sexual misconduct or lustful thoughts or gambling or being a bad parent or child or....  

Instead of trying harder by your own power, deepen your relationship with your Savior who said that you could carry your burdens to Him.  He may take away your struggle.  He may lesson it.  No one knows but Him.  But what I do know is this.  He can do a much better job than we can in finding solutions for those things that we will struggle with.  

In the love of Christ,

greg

Monday, June 29, 2015

Thought of the Day !!

You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  
                                     Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

Jesus told us that we would be the light of the world.  We are Christ's presence in a world darkened by Satan.  With this in mind we need to decide what to do.  Are we going to get excited about this Lord of ours that saved us from sin and death?  Are we going to claim the joy that only Christ can offer us?  Are we going to be a city on a hill that will be the envy of all nations so that they will want to be like us?  Or will we put our lamps under bowls for no one to see the light of Christ through us.  Remember, Christ has offered you a gift.  He has given you the gift of His light.  It can be like a bonfire that will blaze all night long, or it can be like a candle that loses all its oxygen and goes out because you placed a hard metal bowl over it.  The choice is yours.  

In the love of Christ,

greg

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thought of the Day !!

This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." 
                         Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV)

Crossroads are places where we have to make a decision.  There's an old tale about a legendary blues guitarist named Robert Johnson.  One night at midnight he went out to a particular crossroads in the Mississippi Delta.  It was there that he met the devil and made the decision to give up his soul in order to play the guitar better than anyone else.  

Johnson's legend is about a man who came to a crossroads and made a decision.  This decision was based on a deep desire that came from within to be able to play the guitar and have others want to see him perform.  At his crossroads, it was all about him.  But in the end, his shortsightedness lost him his eternal soul.

When we come to a crossroads in our own lives, what will guide our decision.  We can be tempted to make poor decisions that will affect our lives in tragic ways if we're not careful.  We can also seek the guidance of the one who already knows what's best for us.  

Never make hasty decisions that you might regret later.  Pray for guidance.  Expect God to help you find your way.  You can count on Him to be there.  He may not always lead you to the easiest decision or the one that you like the best, but He'll bring you to the one that's best for you.  

In the love of Christ,

greg