Many people miss this!

 God's love, Obedience  Comments Off on Many people miss this!
Jan 172018
 

“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10).

Parents!
What is the greatest proof of your children’s love for you?

Is it when they say they love you?
That’s great.

But it’s not proof.
Really, it’s when they obey you…willingly.

Many people miss this!
They say they love God, maybe even go to church regularly.
But there is little evidence of real love for God in their lives.

A recent poll showed that 80% of Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
That same poll reflected that more than 70% felt every individual has to decide right or wrong for himself.

That is-
– saying one thing
– and doing another.

Jesus said:
“If you love Me-
– you will keep My commandments!”

The proof of our love is-
– our willingness to obey God and His commands.

Doesn’t it make you feel great when your child willingly obeys you?

Why don’t you give God the same joy?

Obey Him because it’s your desire to do so.
Love Him like you want to be loved by your own child.

(Pa)

What a turnaround!

 God's love  Comments Off on What a turnaround!
Dec 122017
 

“The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compasssions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22, 23).

In a general sense-

– your emotions are a product of your thought life.

If you are not thinking right,

if your mind is not being renewed,

if you are not perceiving God and His Word properly,

– it will be reflected in your emotional life.

One of the best scriptural illustrations of the relationship between perceptions and emotions is found in Lamentations 3:1-6.

Jeremiah expresses despair as he wrongly perceives that God is against him and that He is the cause of his physical problems.

In verses 7-11,18-

– he vents his feelings of entrapment and fear.

If your hope was in God, and these words were a correct portrayal of God-

– you would probably feel bummed out too.

What was Jeremiah’s problem?

His perception of God was way off center.

God wasn’t the cause of his affliction.

But Jeremiah wasn’t thinking right, perceiving right, or interpreting his circumstances right, so he wasn’t feeling right or responding right either.

Suddenly, Jeremiah’s countenance changes:

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness,” 21-23.

What a turnaround!

Did God change?

No!

Did Jeremiah’s circumstances change?

No!

His perception of God changed and his emotions followed suit.

You are not shaped so much by your environment as you are by your perception of your environment.

Life’s events don’t determine who you are.

God determines who you are.

And your interpretation of life’s events determines how well you will handle the pressures of life.

In reality we have very little control over our emotions.

But we do have control over our thoughts, and our thoughts determine our feelings and our responses.

That’s why it is so important that-

– you fill your mind with the knowledge of God and His Word.

You need to see life from God’s perspective and respond accordingly.

(PA)

Add Two Absolutes!

 God's love  Comments Off on Add Two Absolutes!
Nov 232017
 

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:6).

We run into trouble-
– when we try to look through our circumstances to understand what God is like.

If we have a bad day, for example, we might conclude that God doesn’t love us.
If it’s a really bad day, we may even decide God is picking on us.

When things are going well-
– though, we might assume God has just decided to be good to us for a day.

But if circumstances determined God’s character-
David would have wanted to run as far away from the house of the Lord as he could, not dwell in it!
He lived through some terrible hardships!

Yet he discovered that the right perspective gave him a completely different view of his life.
He was free to experience God deeply in both good times and in bad.

Christians can add two absolutes to our lives.
And it’s important for us to establish these truths firmly in our hearts once and for all:

* God loves us
* God is good to us.

Don’t focus on your problems and miss God’s goodness.
Take note of the many ways he’s expressing his love to you in spite of your problems or even through them.

When you look at life from the right perspective-
– you’ll see God as he really is!

(PA)

God’s grace has not been grasped!

 God's love, Thanksgiving  Comments Off on God’s grace has not been grasped!
Nov 092017
 

“Straightening up, Jesus said to her, `Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’ She said, `No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, `Well, I do not condemn you either. Now go and from now on, sin no more'” (John 8:11).

The religious leaders caught a woman in the very act of adultery.
And brought her before Jesus to see what He would say.

She was just a pawn in their desire to discredit Jesus.
His response stunned them.

Notice the order of Christ’s words.
“I do not condemn you. Now go and sin no more.”

Even though she deserved to die, according to the law-
Jesus Christ said, “I do not condemn you” and then He told her to “sin no more.”

Sometimes the church gets this backwards.

We say, “Look, if you’re willing to change your life, then you can experience the love of Christ. Change your life first, and then you can be welcomed here.”

But Jesus is saying, “I’ve forgiven you, now change your life.”
When someone realizes that their life has literally been saved from the penalty of their sin, their life will never be the same.

And so our responsibility as the church is to reach out to those who are broken and in need of a Saviour.
Our responsibility is to look at those who are outside the church as individuals created by God in need of a relationship with Him.

When someone trusts their life to Christ, their life is made new.
A new life means a changed life.

The labels are gone.
The shame is gone.
The guilt is gone.

They are a new creation!
And, in gratitude at this incredible gift, there is an inner desire to change and live in a way that pleases God.

If there is no change-
– there is no gratitude.

If there is no gratitude-
God’s grace has not been grasped!

(PA)

Friendship with God

 God's love, Love, Obedience  Comments Off on Friendship with God
Nov 042017
 

“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14).

How do we show our friendship for Jesus?

How do we show our love for Him?

In John 15:14-

Jesus points out three things we can do to show our friendship with God!

First-

True friends of Jesus will affectionately obey Him.

Quite simply, we will do what He says.

If we don’t, then we have no right to call ourselves His friends.

When we are in love with God, obedience will not be a duty; it will be a delight.

Next-

This friendship with Jesus will actively obey Him.

Some people think it’s enough if they avoid what He forbids.

And certainly being a Christian means ceasing to do certain things.

But it also means starting to do certain things.

It is not merely avoiding the wrong, but it is doing the right.

How do we find out what God wants us to do?

By reading the Bible, by becoming familiar with its content.

The more we know of His Book, the more we will know of Him.

The more we know of this Book, the more we will know about what He requires of us and what friendship with Him actually is.

Lastly-

True friends of Jesus will always obey Him.

In other words, we are constantly obedient—not perfect, but trying.

And if we fail, then we repent and get up and try again.

This obedience should not be too hard because of whom we are obedient to.

This is Jesus asking for our obedience.

That changes everything, because we love Him.

(PA)