christ

Courage to Change

 

Article by Walter Kahler

Courage is a byproduct of putting faith into action. By trusting Christ, we experience strength, not of our own and gain Christian confidence. This surety radiates the essence of living a saved life. Our steadfast reliance upon Christ gives us the greatest advantage in dealing with life’s ups and downs. The more we surrender ourselves to God, the better we are at facing anything and everything.

Christ demonstrated perfect courage when He was crucified. Judas betrayal of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane brought the world face to face with a kind of bravery never seen before. Our Messiah offered no resistance. Pontius Pilate gave the order to execute Christ and turned Him over to the Roman army. They inflicted Him with horrendous acts of physical mistreatments. Christ withstood all the torture they threw His way with dignity.

Christ’s example of facing man’s cruelty by being nailed to the cross is the greatest display of God’s powerfulness. If Jesus were able to die for our salvation then there is no reason for us to rebel. Our difficulties are minute compared to the burdens Jesus endured. By building a personal relationship with Christ, a whole new outlook upon life emerges. This unites us with God and eliminates the need to hold onto troubling circumstances. Freedom from the bondage of self only comes from salvation.

God created us with instincts for survival. One of those instinct is knowing the difference between a life threatening situation and the need of being accepted by others. Both circumstances generate fear. Recognizing one from the other is knowing how to identify their characteristics.

Let us take a look at some examples. The threat of being bitten from a poisonous snake is healthy because our life is in jeopardy, and this fear alarms us to the danger. However, on the other hand, when we feel troubled from being rejected from our fellows then our pride feeds us fear. So, one fear has to do with common sense and the other is all about self.

Self-centered fears are the main obstacle in the way of living courageously. This crippling emotional juggernaut permeates the human soul. When our spirits become consumed with unwarranted fears, there is no peace. The turbulence from living in constant worry keeps our connection with Christ at bay. This in return set us up for all sorts of unbalanced relations with others.

Now let us examine some common fears we all have. In the world, we live in it takes money to survive. We all know the struggles of making ends meet with our financial obligations. Here fear can run rampant causing us to make unwise decisions with money. Being afraid of financial insecurity solves nothing. Excessive worrying over money is exhausting and drains us physically, mentally and spiritually. There is a difference between being concerned and fearing finances.

Taking an honest look at our reaction to money issues will reveal our true motives. Here courage is required in accurately surveying our intentions on this unavoidable part of life. We cannot find the real facts of our spending habits without Christ’s aid. Having Christ as our financial advisor will provide us the wisdom to change our views about money. As a result, we begin to understand that no matter how distressful we become over money our trust in Christ will overcome our fears. This freedom from worrying leads to a partnership with our Messiah that strengthens our devotion with Him.

Letting go and letting Christ become our financial planner does not come without responsibility. We have to do our part and meet Him half way. Nor does it mean we will be debt free. God will provide us with a solution, but we will have to put His plan into action. Most often the answer has little to do with obtaining money and more about the strength necessary in dealing with the problem. Using courage under those conditions changes the jumbled up emotions associated with the conflict and serenity is added.

Another fear that has the tendency to put us in a frenzy is inadequacy. The feeling of not measuring up to others places us in situations that cause emotional insecurity. When we internalize the outward appearances of other’s with our own deficiencies we distance ourselves from the lessons Christ has provided for us to experience. This misconception of brotherhood is off the mark.

There is no reason to be afraid of others. We are here together for the purpose of living in God’s kingdom and in His house we are all equal. Christ does not concern Himself with man’s attributes but with our adherence to His commands. This type of behavior blinds us from God’s purpose for our own lives. This fear block us from accepting ourselves.

Living comfortably in our own skin, where we are able to measure up to others regardless of stature is living as Christ wants us to. It takes courage to move beyond our insecurities and bring something spiritual in the presence of others. Self-centered fear is lack of faith. The more willing we are in placing our trust in Christ, the better our Christian lives improve.

We have only discussed a few instances where Christian courage is prevalent. Courage to change is not limited to fear. There are many challenges in staying on the narrow way. Temptation is real and the strength in discarding it can only come from God. No matter what happens to us the most important thing is our readiness to restrain from the things preventing our adherence to Christ command.

_____Walter Kahler is an author with www.faithwriters.com

 

 

  

Love Your Neighbor

I heart U

Artwork by: David Sunnock@creationswap

By Faith Noles

John 15:9-13, KJV ‘As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’

In this passage of scripture, Jesus gave us the great commandment to love one another even as He has loved us. What greater love can a man show than to lay down his life for another person? Yet Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners. But we are not only commanded to love our brothers and sisters in Christ we should also love our enemies. “We are no nearer God than we are to the person or group of human beings for who we care the least.” (author unknown)

I John 4:20, KJV “If a man says, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen?’ Love without loving deeds is empty and without meaning as are acts of kindness without true love as the motivation.

Jesus had every cause possible to reject mankind; yet He loved us with a long suffering love. Jesus didn’t love us because of what we could offer Him, but He loved us because of what He could offer us. Ask not how someone can benefit you, but ask how you can benefit them. Love is longsuffering and patient; love is forgiveness. Matthew 6:15, KJV ‘But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’

I took my plea before God’s throne, to seek the Master’s face;
Yet I could not find forgiveness nor God’s amazing grace,
For I had hatred within my heart towards a fellow man,
I had refused to forgive this friend, to lend a helping hand;
So I left my plea before the throne and sought this fellow’s peace;
Now God accepts my heartfelt prayer and offers sweet release,
The love of God shines through me to reach each and every man,
Now, by the grace of God, I lend a helping hand.
For the love of God is shed abroad, it can’t be kept within.
If you allow hatred in your heart, then in your heart you’ve sinned.

Faith Noles is a Registered Nurse, mother and grandmother who is passionate about spreading the gospel.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

Are You Persuaded?

All You Need is Love

artwork:@creationswap/CK

Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

 – by R. Marie Thompson

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 NKJ

This passage of scripture reminds me that no matter what, God loves me! It also reminds me of how much I love Him! My favorite words, “I am persuaded.” I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of tribulation because I know that He loves me and He is with me! I am persuaded that I am a conqueror when I am distressed because I know that He loves me and He will help see me through! I am persuaded that I am more than a conqueror during persecution for His name sake because I know that He loves me and that He honors those who honor Him! I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of famine and nakedness because I know that He loves me and ‘He knows what I have need of’ which means He will provide for all my needs. I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of peril because I know that He loves me, He is my sword, ‘my shield and my buckler.’

There is nothing that can separate us from His love for us. It is constant and ever present. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His love for us, His creation, never changes. His love is the lifeline that sees us through and it is the one thing that we can always count on! His love for us is more powerful than death, life, angels, principalities, powers, heights, depths, or any created thing.

I too, am persuaded that nothing can separate us from His love and so – me and my house, we will LOVE the Lord!

R. Marie Thompson is a Youth Pastor from New Hampshire who has a love for God and a passion for sharing His Word. Contact

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Trustworthy

2---06

@creationswap/ Zach Fonville

Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

 by Ennis Smith

James 5:12 (NIV)Above all, my brothers, do not swear-not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.

How many times do we let ourselves down? How many times do we disappoint the ones we love? Each year, millions of people make new-year resolutions destined to failure. Every day, parents make promises to children but renege, for a myriad of reasons. We make promises we have no real intention of keeping. Each broken promise diminishes our trust in ourselves. When we lose trust, we lose faith.

James tells us to keep it simple. Promises are not necessary, to bind a decision into action. We need to have a transformation in our way of thinking. Romans 12:2 says, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The power of “Yes” should become the binding word. Conversely, the power of “No” should also be a definitive answer. Anything other than “yes” or “no” is the work of the evil one.

The world teaches us, it is perfectly okay to recant on a promise, because they’re broken every day. But, as Christians, we need to hold ourselves to higher standards. Jesus never had to promise anything. His word was his bond. When He said “Yes,” it was done. When He spoke “No,” it was undone. Today, let your “Yes” and “No” speak to the truth of your character. Let these small words prove your trustworthiness.

Today’s writer lives in Lincoln Park, MI with his wife and children.  Contact

The Valley of His Perfect Love

Honduras Mountain Side

@creationswap/carloslemma

I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, Therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live…(Psalm 116:1-2 KJV)

It’s natural for issues to crop up during one’s lifetime, to be fair; it wouldn’t be life without spending time in the valley. It’s all part of growing in the Lord and being a faithful follower of Christ. We can grow in adversity, and get closer to God in the process. It’s how we handle the cards in our hands that’s key to our optimal health and overall growth.

It’s how we purpose our lives in accordance to His will and not ours. It’s how we handle the stress that will ultimately define our faith and course of action. We must wait upon the Lord.

He’s watching and knows our situation. He’s waiting for our growth in Him. He wants us to learn before He brings about a solution. Sometimes, long delays are part of God’s overall plan…and part of His agenda on a larger scale. These delays don’t destroy us but fulfill God’s purpose, thereby making us stronger in Christ.

We need God. His timing is perfect, ours imperfect. His way is superior, ours inferior. We need to be patient and wait. We’ll gain insight and the fortitude in which to grow as we listen, and wait. We’ll reap the rewards of such diligence and loving obedience in due time. Above all, be still and know that He is God… (Psalm 46:10 KJV)

Lord, help us to be patient and to seek Your face for all things. In Jesus name, Amen.

Today’s writer is in love with God. She has been happily married to her best friend for over thirty years and they have one son. She has written over fourteen books. Contact

Am I a friend of God?

Friendship

@creationswap/ Valentin Dianov

By Charell Anderson

Scripture Reading

Matthew 26:50- But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

In the Bible, Jesus knew He was going to be crucified. He knew of the plots and trickery the chief priests, the scribes, and Judas had planned against Him. Jesus was aware of everything, because He is God. He is the Creator, the Most High God, the only True God, and an Intelligent God. He carried a love for the people who had a scheduled day to betray and kill Him.

Even today, He (Jesus) loves us although we continue to not recognize the order He established for us to live by. The Creator reaches out His hand to each of us, every day. God is saying to us, “Friend, why are you rejecting me?” When Jesus recognized Judas as a friend, He was offering Judas His friendship and giving him a chance to turn away from his wicked ways. My husband and I would like for you to envision this in your mind. Jesus was facing Judas while Judas had a multitude of soldiers behind him to capture and kill Jesus. However, Jesus still called him friend. That’s powerful.

There are everlasting benefits of being a friend of the Most High God. Abraham experienced those rewards when God said, “Should I hide what I am doing from Abraham” (Genesis 18:17). In this verse, God allowed us to know his love for Abraham. When you are obedient to God and seek God, He will reveal things to you that you need to know. Through Abraham’s obedience he was able to save his nephew, Lot, from the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. This is what God desires to do for us today.

If you’re feeling discouraged or maybe you don’t know of God or maybe you just need strength, we ask you to take that step of faith and allow God to be your friend. God already acknowledges you as a friend; He is just waiting on you to answer Him by saying yes on today. Allow God to show you how it feels to have peace of mind by casting your worries on Him. God cares for you. God forgives you as He did Judas. It doesn’t matter what sin you have committed, because God still has His hands reaching toward you, saying “friend”.

A Prayer for Today

Father in heaven, forgive me for all the days I have betrayed you. Teach me how to walk according to your word; I am willing to be your friend. I desire to have a close relationship with you by reading your word. In Jesus name, Amen.

I currently live in Mississippi. I have been writing since I was approximately fourteen years old. When God stepped into my life at the age of 23, God transformed my writings into devotions to Him. My husband also inspires me each day to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through my devotionals.

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

10 Ways To Overcome The Force Of Giving Up Today

Fear Not

@creationswap/kevincarden

By Ngozi Nwoke

Are you feeling like giving up on that assignment, business, career or relationship? The feeling to quit can be so strong and frustrating; it occupies your whole mind and affects your reasoning. And you think that if you throw in the towel, you will have peace. I can well assure you that quitting is not the solution. This article tells you how to overcome the force of giving up the good.

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ – Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force – Matthew 11:12 (NKJV)

Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men – Proverbs 22:29 (AMP)

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it – Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)

For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry – Habakkuk 2:3 (NKJV)

The feeling to give up most of the time comes when you are starting something newly or you are facing challenges. You need to understand that this is normal. The enemy will always test your faith, strength and courage.

The bible says that if you fail in the day of adversity your strength is small – Proverbs 24:10 God understood this and kept telling Joshua to be strong and courageous – Joshua 1:6-9. There are giants on the way to the Promised Land. You must see that you are well able to overcome the giants – Numbers 13:30.

How to overcome the force of giving up

1. Confirm the will of God concerning the issue This is the first step to take. What God has not sanctioned He will not back up. Seek God’s face and be sure you are running on your own lane. If it is of God, relax because you will succeed even if there is a delay. Remember, if God be for you who can be against you – Romans 8:31. But if you are doing the wrong thing, you need to make a U-turn. As a wise man said, no matter how long you have been on the wrong path, anytime you discover it, just make U-turn. If you continue then you have signed for unending challenges and frustration, no matter your efforts. When you are sure of God’s backing, the strength and courage to continue come alive. You will be able to face all oppositions and you won’t be swayed by other people’s opinions. But the zeal of the Lord upon you will do it. Now, there is an exception – if you are married, God can’t tell you to quit your marriage. It is till death do you part – Matthew 19:6, Malachi 2:14. That is why you must make sure of God’s will concerning the person before you walk down the aisle – 2 Corinthians 6:14. Courtship can be broken but not marriage.

2. The book of the Law must not depart from your mouth The word of God in your mouth is a great motivator. Life and death are in the power of the tongue – Proverbs 18:21. When you use it well you receive life and vice versa. Again God has given you a mouth and a wisdom which your enemies cannot resist – Luke 21:15. As you keep declaring God’s word, the force of giving up will give way to the force of the word. It builds up your faith and you will be assured that that assignment, career or business will surely work. God told Joshua not to allow the book of the law to depart from his mouth but he should meditate on it, then will he prosper and have good success – Joshua 1:8. I presume you want good success? Then you need to meditate on God’s word.

3. Take clear and calculated steps. Planning and planning and taking no steps can be very frustrating. What you never do remains undone. If you do little or nothing but expecting great success, then you must be fooling yourself. There is profit in labor – Proverbs 14:23 When you have put in your best then God will bless the work of your hands – Deuteronomy 28:12. When He sees no work He will bless nothing. And He will bless according to your works. Remember faith without works is dead – James 2:17. So ask yourself if you have put in your best. May be there are limitations hindering you from taking steps you would want to take, ask God to remove them.

4. You must apply the force of pursuit You need to pursue your vision. In Habakkuk 2:2, God expects you to run with your vision and not crawl. When you crawl you give room for discouragement.

5. Equip yourself with the relevant knowledge. People are destroyed for lack of knowledge – Hosea 4:6. When you don’t have enough knowledge about an issue, you will struggle with it and you won’t make wise decisions concerning it. Load yourself with information; find out how those who succeeded did it. Really there is nothing new under the sun – Ecclesiastes 1:9.

6. Diligence is required A man who is diligent in his business will stand before kings and not before obscure men – Proverbs 22:29. Diligence will take you places. It will surely take some efforts from your part, but it delivers handsome rewards. When you are diligent, your mind will be occupied with your work and you won’t have room for give up thoughts.

7. Encourage yourself Truly, some challenges may come and you will feel discouraged, but you need to encourage yourself in the Lord. King David faced a big challenge one time. His family and his men’s family were captured and his men wanted to stone him. He encouraged himself and then had a free mind to ask God for the way forward – 1 Samuel 30:6-8 .The word of God is the perfect instrument to use in encouraging yourself. Search out the relevant scriptures and meditate on them. I tell you, your spirit will be lifted up.

8. You take your success by force The enemy will not fold his hands and see you fly into success. He will certainly put obstacles on your way, so expect them. But you can take your success by force. You need to violently take your victory – Matthew 11:12. The enemy is not gentle at all so you must not be with him at all. Now, the word of God tells you what belongs to you and when you equip yourself with the knowledge, you can violently tell the enemy to take his hands of your inheritance. But if you don’t know, you will just be crying and pitying yourself. That will give room to the force of giving up.

9. Hold unto testimonies Testimonies are powerful tools for overcoming the idea to quit. When you remember how God solved a case like yours for someone else, your spirit will come alive. The thoughts to give up will disappear. This is because God is not partial, what He did for one He will do for another. Testimonies are prophesies and they must be fulfilled, even in your life. We overcome by the words of our testimonies – Revelation 12:11. Anytime you engage testimonies you engage God. King David understood this principle and he engaged it when he faced Goliath. He said God who delivered me from the hands of bears and lions will deliver you into my hands. And God did!

10.Engage the force of praise and thanksgiving. Make praise and thanksgiving a lifestyle and you will see God working for you. Thank Him for everything He does for you and you will see Him do more. Praise Him for who He is and you will see Him fight all your battles. Why is praise and thanksgiving so powerful? It is because praise is what God cannot give Himself and so anyone that does is dear to Him. He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3) and He comes with all His blessings.

So praise God continually and you will have no reason to give up. In conclusion, no matter the feeling to give up, you can overcome it with the help of God.

_____________________________

Ngozi Nwoke Is a teacher and a counselor. A product and distributor of love. She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy God’s love and fellowship for more fulfilling life. Want more fulfilling life? subscribe for free email updates today. http://stepswithgod.com Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com CHRISTIAN WRITER

What if There Were No Christmas?

Christmas

@creationswap/ Bettine deKruijf

by Deborah Ann Belka

What if there was no Christmas,
no Babe lying in the manger
what if the Savior wasn’t born
to heal the world’s hurt and anger?

There would be no Good Friday,
no Palm Sunday or Resurrection Day
there would be no souls to show
the truth, the light or the way.

What if there was no Christmas,
no freedom from our strife
no hope or any anticipation
of having a blissful eternal life?

There would be no everlasting joy,
no chance of a never-ending love
there would be no glorious meeting
with our Savior one day above.

What if there was no Christmas,
no trust, no faith, no peace
no virgin birth, no babe born
so our pain and tears would cease?

There would be no Prince of Life,
no eternal Lord and King
there would be no rational
in the Christmas songs we sing.

What if the baby Jesus wasn’t born,
on Christmas Day?
What then would be the reason
to even celebrate today?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Isaiah 7:14
King James Version

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you
a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive,
and bear a son, and shall call his name
Immanuel.”

Merry CHRISTmas Everyone!

Copyright 2013
Deborah Ann Belka
bdebby@hotmail.com
www.hiswingsshadow.com
http://poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com/

Criticising God Is Nothing But Self-serving

Glory to God

@creationswap/ Brandon Halliburton

By Dr. Henderson Ward

Now that I am older I do not hear it so much but when I was young I used to hear it a lot: “If I was God I would…” and often this emanated from someone who was so angered by some senseless act or terrible atrocity that the person wanted to be like God who can enact swift and horrible retribution. Truth be told I am guilty of using those words too, but as I matured I came to understand the near-blasphemy of those words. Those words were underpinned, consciously or otherwise, by a searing condemnation of Almighty God since they were saying; “God what is the matter with you, can’t you see what is happening here? Don’t you care that this monstrous evil is happening in your world and will continue unabated except you do something? You should reach for the big stick and show them who is boss. Why aren’t you taking action?” The problem here is that at times some of us become so conceited and arrogant and filled with ourselves that we believe we are qualified to give God advice. We speak without understanding, we pontificate without knowledge and yet we feel we are the very epitome of intellectual and spiritual enlightenment. This is our real problem; we think we know when every piece of available evidence screams to the contrary. Here I take refuge in a conversation that took place a long time ago when someone thought he knew more than Almighty God. Here are the relevant verses: “Then the LORD spoke to Job from a whirlwind and said, “Who is this ignorant person saying these foolish things? Prepare yourself for an attack! Get ready to answer the questions I will ask you. “Where were you when I made the earth? If you are so smart, answer me. And who decided how big the earth should be? Who measured it with a measuring line? What is the earth resting on? Who put the first stone in its place when the morning stars sang together and the angels shouted with joy? “Who closed the flood gates as the sea gushed from the womb? Who covered it with clouds and wrapped it in darkness? I set the limits for the sea and put it behind locked gates. I said to the sea, ‘You can come this far, but no farther. This is where your proud waves will stop.” (Job 38:1-11 ERV) Job was put on the spot, taken to task for what he said and implied and God was not letting up for he went on like this: “Then the LORD said to Job, “You wanted to argue with God All-Powerful. You wanted to correct me and prove that I was wrong. So give me your answer!” (Job 40:1-2 ERV) Job was a man of integrity and wisdom and was sufficiently prudent to acknowledge his foolishness: “Then Job answered the LORD: “I am not worthy to speak! What can I say to you. I cannot answer you! I will put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I will not speak again. I spoke twice, but I will not say anything more.” (Job 40:3-5 ERV) Here is a compelling and seminal lesson for all those who think they know better than Almighty God. Job acknowledged: I am not worthy…I will put my hand over my mouth…I will not speak again…I will not say anything more. When we become so puffed up with our own self-importance and self-worth then we really need to remember who we are dealing with, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) All of the above thoughts came rocketing through my mind when I read an article in a national newspaper with the headline, “Why I ditched God for good” and the lady went on to trot out such simplistic gibberish that I wonder what would be her thoughts when she becomes an adult, for surely this was juvenile mush. The lady claimed that the only thing that matter to her, now that she has ditched God and become an atheist, is kindness. This is what I mean by puerile mush. There are many vile accusations made against the church but few people alive, beyond the age of nine years would dare accuse the church, or people of faith, as being unkind and uncaring. There is no organization on earth that has a reputation for compassion like the church; absolutely none. The members of the church are called Christians because they are like Christ and Jesus Christ, whose life we imitate, is the most compassionate person ever to walk on this earth. Over and over the Bible tells us that Jesus was, “moved with compassion…” and this was with regards to widows, the poor, the main and the halt, to the hungry and everyone who was suffering and undergoing hardships of all sorts. Anyone with an elementary understanding of the Scriptures knows that for the first time in the history of humanity a class of people was created to cater for the needs of widows and the poor. This class of people is called “Deacons” and came into being in the first church under the directions of the Apostles. Here is how the Bible described its origins: “More and more people were becoming followers of Jesus. But during this same time, the Greek-speaking followers began to complain against the other Jewish followers. They said that their widows were not getting their share of what the followers received every day. The twelve apostles called the whole group of followers together. The apostles said to them, “It would not be right for us to give up our work of teaching God’s word in order to be in charge of getting food to people. So, brothers and sisters, choose seven of your men who have a good reputation. They must be full of wisdom and the Spirit. We will give them this work to do. Then we can use all our time to pray and to teach the word of God.” The whole group liked the idea. So they chose these seven men: Stephen (a man with great faith and full of the Holy Spirit), Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus (a man from Antioch who had become a Jew). Then they put these men before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.” (Acts 6:1-6 ERV) Today, nearly every church in Christendom has a policy of catering to the needs of people and many of them searching out people in the community who are impoverished and sick or neglected and assist them. The world knows of the humanitarian activities of Christian organisations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army but wherever the cross is attached or associated with a building in the community there you will find caring, compassionate, self-effacing people. For anyone to suggest that he or she has to ditch God and go elsewhere to find kindness and compassion is in truth the state of a lost soul in a state of spiritual and intellectual darkness. People reneging on God is nothing new; since people backsliding from their faith is a common occurrence and many souls languish in a state of apostasy; and nearly all such persons were neither fully committed to God nor obedient to the sacred ordinances of conversion, baptism and consecration in accordance with God’s Holy Word. One of the most debilitating problems with people everywhere, especially some who call themselves believers, is that they approach God on the basis of an inverted relationship. Some people’s concept of God is so lopsided that they build error on top of the error until the erroneous edifice topples over. Some people think God is like a supermarket where one can go and access goodie after goodie on command and even walk away without paying. Others think that God has to do whatever they want, and if he does not then he is not my God. All of this constitutes an inverted relationship and one that will bring great unhappiness, lots of frustration and eventually disillusionment and spiritual death and all because we treat God as if HE is OUR servant. This is appalling by any measure and only the spiritually blind or wilfully disobedient will fail to acknowledge that this is so. Will God do things that displease us? Absolutely. Does God appear to be sympathetic to the wrong people? Yes. Does God seem detached and unconcerned at times? You better believe it. All of these things we will encounter from time to time but what we must never do is to criticise God; for to do so shows clearly that we are still clueless and spiritual juveniles. When we are disappointed, devastated, hurting and has a zillion complaints we will do well to remember, “The LORD is your Protector. The LORD stands by your side, shading and protecting you. The sun cannot harm you during the day, and the moon cannot harm you at night. The LORD will protect you from every danger. He will protect your soul. The LORD will protect you as you come and go, both now and forever!” (Psalm 121:5-8 ERV) Enough said. Books by this author (non-fiction except indicated otherwise) E-books Published by Amazon.com If you do not have a Kindle then when you access the site, click on How Buying Works and you will see the FREE apps for Computer, Cell phone, etc Then click as appropriate. (Please click on the appropriate book link or cut and paste in your URL) THINGS EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD KNOW (e-book) Volume 1 Five tough facts to be faced http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004YX5NSI STAND UP TO THE DEVIL (e-book) Volume 1 You must first identify him http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005BQVLSS BASTARD: A STORY OF REDEMPTION(e-book fiction) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006OF3SD6 ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT ON GOD’S CLOCK (Hard copy) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002X78D16 ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT ON GOD’S CLOCK (e-book) http://tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-60799-630-9 Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward’s career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2013 email drhendersonward@yahoo.com Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com CHRISTIAN WRITER

Accentuate the Positive

Growing In Grace

@creationswap/beccalee

Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

by Sheldon Bass

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT )

Ever notice how powerful our thought life is? For example, dwelling upon the wrongs someone has perpetrated against me tends to produce bitterness and strife, anger and resentment within. These resulting negative emotions, eventually are manifested in my words and actions. They lead to sin. Or if I allow myself to become irritated by the inappropriate attire of others (perhaps at church), a judgmental attitude develops. This will cut off the blessings of a pure heart that God intends for me.

In a sin cursed world, there’s an abundance of negative things to ponder. However, there’s also good things as listed in this verse. Directing our thoughts toward the wholesome and good, sows unto a beautiful harvest of joy and peace. Searching out the positive in people, places and circumstances births within us the happy and healthy virtues of godliness.

We can displace the negative, by filling up on the positive, resulting in an out pouring of praise to God for all of His goodness. And we reap the bountiful stores of wisdom, happiness and better health. Searching out the silver linings and rainbows, obscured by a dark world, and thoughtfully dwelling upon them, returns rich dividends to our lives.

Perhaps you remember a song from years ago that said, “Accentuate the positive.” Christian, shine on for Jesus!

Sheldon Bass is a Minister and Writ er, published in various Christian magazines and creates content for three web-sites. Watch for his devotional book coming soon: “Forty Days on the Mountain”. Contact

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