A Powerful Uncommon Love

By: Steve Countryman

The Bible is filled with stories and historical accounts that involve directly and indirectly the Jewish people and their God. What is so amazing is what those stories tell us about mankind and our relationship with Jehovah God. The Bible is the undeniable Word of God. Holy Spirit inspired and crafted by God as a tool for us His children to use to navigate our way through daily life. To know His salvation plan, His will and build a relationship with our creator. God Himself hand picked the authors to do the writing, the books that went into it and every word used in it. This was all done according to His will and purpose.

Understand that the God of creation created us in His image and likeness. He is the same God who is full of emotion to a far greater degree than we can imagine. God not only represents the true meaning of love but is the pure essence of love. After contemplating what we all take for granted from reading those stories of the Bible, I am shocked to realize how terrible Jehovah God has been treated throughout human history.

It’s like the title of the song “I can only imagine” trying to understand the pain that God feels. Jesus said, Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” He is eternal, everlasting to everlasting so His words remain. Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

Those stories from the Bible are a forever reminder of ALL the pain, anguish, betrayal, hurt, suffering and mistreatment that He went through. That is why God refers to His people as an unfaithful bride. In those stories God mentions the adulterous actions taken by this bride. The unfaithfulness of the bride who gives herself over to idols, sacrifices, customs and traditions of false gods. Actions liken to that of a harlot, a prostitute and an adulterer.

One of the worst betrayals and pain that someone can suffer is the unfaithfulness of a spouse. It is a deep wound that is often hard to recover from. The broken trust, honesty, love along with fear and doubt of continued unfaithfulness can fill the hearts and minds of the betrayed spouse. It is these actions that also hurt those around them. The damage to the family can affect the children for years.

I know of no man or woman who can withstand the constant reminder of such pain and betrayal over and over again. We try our best to forget about it. To push those kinds of acts out of our minds and thoughts. Some try to bury them in booze and others with drugs. Some spend thousands of dollars going through years of counseling to cope with such pain. The pain of those memories are often more than we can bear.

So I tried to reason in my mind why would God have those stories in His Word to remind Him of our hurtful behavior? Adding insult to injury most of the treatment that He suffered were repeated offenses. But it came to me why He left them there for us to read. In addition to teaching us life lessons and what NOT to do, they are a reminder to us of His powerful uncommon love! For only His love could stand to be reminded of such pain. Only such a love could SEE past our faults, flaws and failures with mercy. Only a powerful uncommon love could survive so much mistreatment without destroying His creation! Thank you Lord for your merciful LOVE!

Such an immeasurable love that Father God sent His One and only Son to die on a cross for all mankind’s sin. To watch His Word fulfilled through His Son as Jesus suffered at the hands of sinners. The pain of having to take His eyes off of His Son on the cross at the moment that all sins were placed on Him. Having to treat His Son as a judged sinner separated from His presence. For it was that powerful uncommon love that sustained Jesus while He was here on earth. It was that love that got Him through the scourging, beatings, humility and shame of the cross. Wonderful love that stood by Him when His disciples and all others deserted Him.

If you think about it; if those stories were removed from God’s Word then we all would suffer the loss! For those stories testify to the wonder of God’s love. They cry out the amazing mercies of His powerful love. Without those stories the Bible would be incomplete! Through all of the suffering that God the Father has continued to go through He has NEVER stopped loving us His creation! Just as earthly parents love and care about their own children God loves us even more so. Regardless what your child may do they NEVER stop being your child and you never stop loving them!

A God who loves me beyond understanding. A God who loves me when I know that I don’t deserve it. A God who loves me in spite of me. A God who ALWAYS knows what’s best for me. A God who watches over my every step. A God who I have given EVERY reason to walk away from me but instead blesses me anyway! It is that love that just a glimpse of makes me thirst and hunger for more. That is the God that I want to know more about! Jeremiah 32:40 “I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.” Romans 9:25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” Thank you Father God for your powerful uncommon love!

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERS

Watch Your Mouth

By Steve Countryman

It is the one thing that I continue to struggle with every day, my mouth. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to change us from glory to glory but I find that I make it harder for Him than it should be. Complaining, whining, murmuring, griping, saying mean things and wrong things without even thinking about them is just the tip of the iceberg.

There is power in the tongue in the words that we speak out loud. Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death.” When you make a mistake and start calling yourself names you are in fact speaking curses over yourself; “I’m an idiot”, I’m so stupid”, “What a jerk”, “How foolish can I be?” What’s worse is when you do this every time you make it part of your routine of mistakes. First you make the mistake then the name calling begins.

Anything that you say or declare out loud is also heard by you. When you continue to speak those things over yourself and your mistakes you “enable” yourself to continue to make them. It’s like giving yourself permission to repeat your mistakes.

But most of the time those mistakes are also sins. Don’t get caught up calling your sins mistakes or errors. That lessens the seriousness of sin down to the level of a “simple mistake”. Once you do that you can easily justify your sin. Then one more step to calling other sins mistakes and treating them the same way. It’s all part of Satan’s deception and lies to keep you from fulfilling God’s destiny for your life!

I catch myself thinking or complaining out loud which is just more murmuring. I should say that the Holy Spirit reminds me when I mess up and start murmuring. It can be the mumbling that you do under your breath as you walk away. Then there’s the griping at other “crazy” drivers when they irritate you or cut you off.

Simple joking around can do more harm then good. Saying something in jest can be taken wrong and end up hurting someone’s feelings. Most of the time you don’t even know that you said something wrong. Once said you can apologize for saying it but you can NEVER “unsay it” or take it back!

Watching your mouth is not an easy task. I have learned the hard way that it is better to keep my mouth shut then to say something that I will end up regretting later. It’s like that old saying… “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

James 3:9-109With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.” Watching your mouth means to control your tongue. You’ve had all your life to make a habit of saying what’s on your mind regardless the cost but that’s no excuse for your lack of wisdom. Being a Christian carries its own responsibility. A good phrase to keep in mind is “just because you can doesn’t mean you should”!

There’s one thing that is common about the bad things that we end up saying; most of them are centered around us, our opinions, our feelings, our troubles and worries. That makes us more selfish and self-centered. But there is a remedy and His name is Jesus! Pray and ask for wisdom. Remember that we are all “practicing Christians” and it takes lots of practice to know when to keep your mouth shut and when not. Wisdom to know what to say and how to say it. And more importantly to say those things that build up, edify, encourage and blesses those around you.

For you a child of the Most High God everywhere you go and every place you are! Even when you’re all alone and those thoughts come up that start to upset you. That’s the time to turn those thoughts around and start declaring out loud blessings over them not curses.

 

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERS

Let God Arise

– Toni Babcock

Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered, (Psalm 68:1a KJV). 

One morning amid the anxious flutter to get out the door on time, I had little time to let God arise, and hardly enough time to let His enemies be scattered.  I suspect most Christians can relate to this.

When we scrimp on time with Jesus, perhaps the want of time is not the real issue in question.  More likely, it has more to do with a want of faith on any particular day.  But when we do have faith enough to believe God has something awesome to reveal to us – and we are willing to take the time to allow His Word to help us see ourselves in truth – God arises, ready to show us who He is on our behalf.

God is not obliged to give us a blessing in exchange for a few leftover minutes of obligatory time.  Here is what he seeks: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise,” (Psalm 51:27 KJV).  

The bottom line is, we don’t give time to God, he gives time to us; time to discover who He is and what He has accomplished, time to commune with Him on a daily basis.  How we choose to maximize or squander that time is up to us.

Lord, ever keep us humble and thirsting for you.  Fill us with the knowledge of your presence and your power at work in our lives.  Arise within us, so we might learn to love and serve you better.

Toni M. Babcock is the author of The Stone Writer, Christian Fiction for Young Readers and Teens. Contact

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The Defeated Foe

By: Steve Countryman

Luke 10:18-19 18Jesus replied, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. The phrase made a public spectacle of them refers to how the Roman soldiers would treat their defeated captives from battles. They would take the prisoners, enemy soldiers, dignitaries, public figures and royal family members strip their clothes off and parade them through the streets for ALL to see! There would be no doubt in anyones mind who the defeated foes were. Them refers to Satan and his demons who were ALL stripped of ALL power and authority!

Most Christians have a bad habit of doing one thing over and over again that does more harm than good. We talk about our problems and troubles as we re-live the experiences in our minds. Missing opportunities to talk about the solution giving God the glory we instead talk about how Satan abuses us. Giving the defeated foe ANY glory is just plain foolish! Satan has NO power except what we humans give him. Letting your problems and fears reign in your life gives Satan control in your life. Remember Greater is He who is in you than he that is in the world.

John 10:10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. Satans plans are to steal your future, kill your dreams and destroy your hope. Stealing your future is where he starts. He uses sin as a distraction pulling your attention away from the destiny that God has for you. He knows that if he can get your eyes off of Jesus and onto your problems then your problems will become more important. Now your time and energy is spent on worrying and fretting over your problems so you spend less time with God.

The distraction of sin creates problems, problems create worries, worries create sickness, sickness creates diseases and diseases lead to death. By using sin as a distraction obedience to what God has for you becomes delayed. Distraction of sins will delay Gods destiny for your life. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Delayed obedience leads to sins of omission. For time that would have been spent listening to the Holy Spirit as He guides you to bless others is now time spent on your problems.

God has provided the victory by defeating Satan once and for all. It is a victory that is EVERLASTING! Submit ALL of your problems to God and lay them at His feet. For His ways are higher and better than yours and He knows what it takes to fix ALL of your problems. So when Satan comes around to remind you of your past, your problems, your failures, your faults and your weaknesses just remember that Satan is a defeated foe and he has NO POWER OVER YOU! You are a child of the MOST HIGH GOD!

My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona. In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERS

Once for All

 – Jennifer Woodley

“For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.” 1 Peter 3:18 (NRSV)

No longer do we need to earn or plead for God’s forgiveness when we sin. No longer do we need to pray, burdened with guilt and condemnation, when we make mistakes again and again. The death Christ died, he died to sin, once for all. Unlike the high priests in the Old Testament, Christ had no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his sins and then for those of his people. This he did once for all when he offered himself (Hebrews 7:27).

The Old Testament sacrificial system was limited because the blood of bulls and goats merely covered the sins of the people until they messed up again. Guilt remained because sin is a continuous occurrence! Seeking forgiveness, again and again, was imminent.

However, the death of Jesus did away with the old sacrificial system. He abolished the first covenant to establish a second. Christ offered for all time a single sacrifice for our sins, that took away, not just covered, our sins. Consequently, there is no need for lasting guilt and condemnation. The high priests could never rest; their work was never done. Christ took away our sin and then he rested at the right hand of God. Are we resting in the forgiveness he earned for us at the Cross? We can cease striving, cease pleading, and cease attempting to earn our forgiveness. It is done, once for all. Receive and be free.

Jennifer lives with her family on the Darling Downs in South East Queensland, Australia. She enjoys encouraging others on the Christian journey through writing and mentoring. Contact

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Grandma’s Christian Spirit – A love story

mamalDales

By: Arlene Price

My grandmother, Mattie LouAngela Dales-Mullins, is the most spiritual person I have ever known. She has been such a blessing to so many people with her iron-glad faith and gentle loving nature. Today she’s in a nursing home, but even there she is touching the lives of those around her daily. She has forgotten many names, even those of some family members – but she remembers the name Jesus Christ  – and she makes sure that anyone around her will remember his name also.

If you meet my grandmother, you get God’s message loud and clear! She’s bold in her faith. She’s small and frail these days, but when God moves her she is big, strong and powerful. She astonishes people with her enthusiasm and undying love for Jesus. My brother is a preacher and he was speaking with another preacher who visited the nursing home to give a sermon, he said that he went there to preach, but he ended up getting preached to my a little old lady in a wheel chair. Of course, it was our grandma!

Many people remark that it is “unfair” for our grandmother to have to be put in a home, since she is such a good Christian and lived such a faith-filled life. I understand the sentiment, as part of her family, we want her at home more than anyone else. But, let me assure you that God has her exactly where she is needed at this time. There is not a nurse, doctor, family member or visitor who has not heard the word of God when they are in close proximity to her when the Spirit comes alive within her. She is placed where she is for the purpose of touching the lives of others, to teach them what true, pure faith is all about, and share the love of Christ. Some of those people may never have been in a church, but when they encounter my grandmother in the Spirit, they learn of Christ.

She is a living testament that God has a purpose for us all, whether we choose to see it or not – the purpose is there. When you see a woman so weak she can barely lift a spoon, suddenly become radiant in Christ, raise her hands and clap them even as they tremble – and shout her praises to the Lord – there is no doubt that Christ lives through her! So, it’s not “unfair” that she is where she is and it is no accident – it’s His desire, His plan, His purpose. We have no idea how many people she has touched, has inspired, or how many have been or will be led to Christ through the messages that she spreads from her wheelchair or bedside. Always remember His ways are not our ways. Logic doesn’t work when God has a plan – that’s why they call unexplained events “miracles”; they defy all logic and reasoning.

Please don’t waste time in pity for my grandmother; she is truly blessed in spirit, and she is crowned with righteousness – she has more than many of us may ever have on this earth. She has endured many troubles, she kept God by her side, she loves Him above all else, and she has blessed this family with that same love. From her story, learn the lesson God teaches us about faith and start doing all you can to build your own faith to make sure that one day, no matter where you are, you become someone’s blessing too. Be bold in your faith, walk and talk with God daily, share His love with those around you, always know He will get you through whatever you may face in life, and you will live life with the same Christian Spirit my grandmother lives. As my grandmother would say “How sweet is His name! How precious is our sweet Jesus, children! I love Him so much!”

From all of your grandchildren “We love you Grandma Mattie!”

UPDATE: My grandmother passed away on Christmas Eve 2016 at the age of 98. She taught us how to live….now it’s up to us to honor her by honoring HIM.

Author: Arlene Price copyright©2013 – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

T’was the Night Before Christmas Heaven’s Version

By Elizabeth McAndrew
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Heaven‘s house,
All the angels were stirring, the Saviors birth to announce!
The Heavenly Host’s were getting ready to sing,
In the hope that their anthem would let True Freedom ring.

The shepherds were keeping their sheep late that night,
While the Provision from Heaven hung just out of sight.
Mary was weary from traveling all day,
While Joseph was searching for a place they could stay.

A decree from Caesar made travel a must,
Mary’s feet were now cold, tired, and covered with dust.
Yet, in her heart she quietly remembered,
That the Angel of the Lord said, She was highly favored!

All Joseph could find was a room in a barn,
But at least for the night Mary’s feet would be warm.
The time of her delivery would be here soon,
As the light of the day, gave way to the moon.

The Son of the Highest he shall be called,
A Horn of Salvation given for all.
He will sit on the throne of his father David,
And one day all men will sing his praises.

The Mighty God and Everlasting Father,
Whose Government alone will rest on his shoulder.
A Wonderful Counselor, and the Prince of Peace,
Whose Government over time will only increase.

The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him;
He is anointed to heal all who are broken.
He will set at liberty them that are bruised,
Mistreated and jailed, and by power, abused.

The promised Messiah from a time long ago,
Was now ready to be given to the world down below.
The promise of His Kingdom reigning on Earth,
To govern our hearts, and to show men their worth.

The shepherds were resting; the sheep were silent that night,
When the Angel appeared, and caused them great fright.
Fear not, said the Angel, I bring tidings of great joy,
Which will be for all people, so all may rejoice!

Your Savior has been born in the City of David,
Which is Christ the Lord, who has come to save us.
He will make the dark places lighted within,
Take away all guilt and do away with all sin.

Peace on Earth! The Angel said, All is well with mankind!
For the Father has sent his Gift right on time.
The Gift of forgiveness for all to enjoy,
His salvation and blessings for you to employ.
You’ll find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,
His name will be Jesus, and he is God’s love exposed.

Then the Angel was joined by the Heavenly Hosts,
Giving glory to God in the Highest, as together they rose.
The shepherds heard them exclaim as they rose out of sight,
God’s forgiveness to all, and to all, a very good night!

Article Source: Faithwriters.com Christian Articles