Jesus

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>

Where do I Belong? Feeling like a Misfit

By stephanie reck

Dictionary.com defines belonging as something that belongs. I don’t know your background, but did you get a sense that you belonged? The world and society says you only belong if you perform up to a certain standard. We can be insecure when we lack a sense of belonging.

You may have not known your parents, whether through adoption, abandonment, or death. You may have not been shown love, acceptance, or felt like you belonged. You may have experienced being bullied or ridiculed by your peers, and felt the sting of rejection by certain groups. You may have endured physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, and you have never felt like you belonged. You may struggled in school and not made the highest grades. You may have experienced being a teenage mother. You may have struggled with your health, and perhaps even been homebound. You may have come from a financially poor family, and struggled with trying to keep up. You may have a physical disability. You may struggle with your mental and emotional health.

A misfit does not quit fit into anyone class or group. There is a sense of not belonging.

I am a firm believer that attachment and belonging start in infancy and even in the womb. Our parents give us our first sense of belonging and acceptance as well as our image of God. Have you felt like you have never quit fit into a particular group? Have you searched for significance and belonging? I believe, that most girls/women and some men become promiscuous because they are longing to fill the void of belonging, attachment, and love. We see in our society every form of trying to fill the void of belonging and love, whether through gangs, cults, and even religion.

Psychologist, John Bowlby, introduced the attachment theory. Bowlby presents that when we are accepted by others we experience warmth and security, and by contrast when we experience rejection by others it can cause shame and anxiety. Bowlby’s work included his theory on the relationship between infants and their caregivers. It was proposed that strong, secure attachments found in early years were associated with an individual’s ability to form intimate trusting and emotionally secure relationships.

Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, introduced the “hierarchy of needs.” Basically he formulated a pyramid with five levels of our basic needs, one of the five, he labels love and belonging. According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups, including family and friends. Humans need to love and to be loved by others.

You may be thinking that you have not received that kind of love and belonging in your relationships, whether family, friendships, or others. As a child, I did not fit in and belong, and even as an adult I still have not found one particular group of people I can say I totally belong. Even though, I do belong to the Body of Christ, there are stills groups and cliques we form in the church. I am eclectic, a hodge-podge of various things, and I am not a typical “church girl.” I don’t like dresses, things that are “frou-frou,” I don’t come from a Christian heritage, I prefer to hang-out with people who are the misfits, and I have a prodigal son that I had as a teenager.

Maybe you are physically disabled, homebound, homeless, an orphan, a widow, a teenage mother, have no children, single, financially strapped, have health ailments, or even emotional issues. Maybe you have come from an environment that you did not feel loved and felt like you belonged. Maybe you were abused, abandoned, rejected, and tossed-aside. Maybe you were forgotten or misunderstood. Maybe you have always felt different. You are not alone. There are countless others, including myself, who have experienced these difficulties.

BUTReflect on these truths

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, that you may proclaim the excellences of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9

~ Don’t compare yourselves to others.

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:10

~ Know matter your family background, you have been adopted into the family of God.

God has a special place in His heart for misfits. God always had in His heart to take care of those who could not take care of themselves, the orphan, the widow, and the fatherless. Jesus did not just come for the powerful, the prosperous, or the religious, but Jesus came for the blind, the lame, the diseased, the dead, the hurting, the outcasts, and the sinners. Just look through the Bible and you can find numerous misfits God choose to use and redeem for His purposes. God is a redeemer that means whatever your losses have been, He will rectify them. Abraham and Sarah, a childless couple, God chose to make a great nation though them. Moses, had a speech impediment and was a murderer, yet God still used him. The disciples were misfits, tax collectors, fisherman, and just commonplace. Rahab, the prostitute, obviously a misfit, was used by God and was seen as faithful. Naomi, a widow and, and bitter because of her circumstances; God sent her a kinsmen-redeemer, and she was used mightily with her daughter-in-laws.

God still uses misfits today! If you are a misfit, you can rejoice that God has a special plan and purpose for your life. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you belong to God’s family. Though you may have been rejected by people or may have not felt accepted; you are accepted and loved by God.

Stephanie Reck, LMSW, LBT,BCCC. Christian coach & counselor, author, speaker, and teacher. Stephanie has a passion to bring hope and encouragement and to see people made whole.
Contact Stephanie @ http://www.christianhopecounseling.com
Copyright@2013, Hope Counseling Ministry. All Rights Reserved.

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

Where do I Belong? Feeling like a Misfit

By stephanie reck

Dictionary.com defines belonging as something that belongs. I don’t know your background, but did you get a sense that you belonged? The world and society says you only belong if you perform up to a certain standard. We can be insecure when we lack a sense of belonging.

You may have not known your parents, whether through adoption, abandonment, or death. You may have not been shown love, acceptance, or felt like you belonged. You may have experienced being bullied or ridiculed by your peers, and felt the sting of rejection by certain groups. You may have endured physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, and you have never felt like you belonged. You may struggled in school and not made the highest grades. You may have experienced being a teenage mother. You may have struggled with your health, and perhaps even been homebound. You may have come from a financially poor family, and struggled with trying to keep up. You may have a physical disability. You may struggle with your mental and emotional health.

A misfit does not quit fit into anyone class or group. There is a sense of not belonging.

I am a firm believer that attachment and belonging start in infancy and even in the womb. Our parents give us our first sense of belonging and acceptance as well as our image of God. Have you felt like you have never quit fit into a particular group? Have you searched for significance and belonging? I believe, that most girls/women and some men become promiscuous because they are longing to fill the void of belonging, attachment, and love. We see in our society every form of trying to fill the void of belonging and love, whether through gangs, cults, and even religion.

Psychologist, John Bowlby, introduced the attachment theory. Bowlby presents that when we are accepted by others we experience warmth and security, and by contrast when we experience rejection by others it can cause shame and anxiety. Bowlby’s work included his theory on the relationship between infants and their caregivers. It was proposed that strong, secure attachments found in early years were associated with an individual’s ability to form intimate trusting and emotionally secure relationships.

Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, introduced the “hierarchy of needs.” Basically he formulated a pyramid with five levels of our basic needs, one of the five, he labels love and belonging. According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups, including family and friends. Humans need to love and to be loved by others.

You may be thinking that you have not received that kind of love and belonging in your relationships, whether family, friendships, or others. As a child, I did not fit in and belong, and even as an adult I still have not found one particular group of people I can say I totally belong. Even though, I do belong to the Body of Christ, there are stills groups and cliques we form in the church. I am eclectic, a hodge-podge of various things, and I am not a typical “church girl.” I don’t like dresses, things that are “frou-frou,” I don’t come from a Christian heritage, I prefer to hang-out with people who are the misfits, and I have a prodigal son that I had as a teenager.

Maybe you are physically disabled, homebound, homeless, an orphan, a widow, a teenage mother, have no children, single, financially strapped, have health ailments, or even emotional issues. Maybe you have come from an environment that you did not feel loved and felt like you belonged. Maybe you were abused, abandoned, rejected, and tossed-aside. Maybe you were forgotten or misunderstood. Maybe you have always felt different. You are not alone. There are countless others, including myself, who have experienced these difficulties.

BUTReflect on these truths

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, that you may proclaim the excellences of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9

~ Don’t compare yourselves to others.

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:10

~ Know matter your family background, you have been adopted into the family of God.

God has a special place in His heart for misfits. God always had in His heart to take care of those who could not take care of themselves, the orphan, the widow, and the fatherless. Jesus did not just come for the powerful, the prosperous, or the religious, but Jesus came for the blind, the lame, the diseased, the dead, the hurting, the outcasts, and the sinners. Just look through the Bible and you can find numerous misfits God choose to use and redeem for His purposes. God is a redeemer that means whatever your losses have been, He will rectify them. Abraham and Sarah, a childless couple, God chose to make a great nation though them. Moses, had a speech impediment and was a murderer, yet God still used him. The disciples were misfits, tax collectors, fisherman, and just commonplace. Rahab, the prostitute, obviously a misfit, was used by God and was seen as faithful. Naomi, a widow and, and bitter because of her circumstances; God sent her a kinsmen-redeemer, and she was used mightily with her daughter-in-laws.

God still uses misfits today! If you are a misfit, you can rejoice that God has a special plan and purpose for your life. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you belong to God’s family. Though you may have been rejected by people or may have not felt accepted; you are accepted and loved by God.

Stephanie Reck, LMSW, LBT,BCCC. Christian coach & counselor, author, speaker, and teacher. Stephanie has a passion to bring hope and encouragement and to see people made whole.
Contact Stephanie @ http://www.christianhopecounseling.com
Copyright@2013, Hope Counseling Ministry. All Rights Reserved.

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

Grace to Overcome

Grace

artwork by: Jomayra Soto@creationswap

By Faith Noles

There is no question about itlife is hard. We live in a world of sin that brings death, poverty and sickness. Rich or poor; No one is immune to the effects of sin in their life. Our struggle through the torrential hardships of life often leave us feeling helpless.

The helplessness you feel may stem from a recent loss of a loved one or a change in your financial situation. David cried, “Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. (Psalms 33:20, KJV). The book of Psalm is such a comfort when one is distressed. David had more than his share of problems, for King Saul hunted him down like an animal. In desperation David, along with his companions, spent many days hiding in a dark, dank cave. David was in trouble, but he trusted God for his deliverance. In Psalms 27:5, KJV, David declares, “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock”.

John Calvin, a prominent Theologian during the Protestant Reformation, said, “Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.”

God is bigger than any mountain; He’s greater than any foe.
God reigns with might and power for from him all life flows;
His eye is on the sparrow. Don’t you know He sees your tears?
He knows your every thought and he sees your inner fears.

God longs to break the chains and from your fear set free;
By the precious blood of Jesus, we have sweet liberty.
Give your all to the Fathernot just a portion or part;
To be an overcomer, you must give Him all your heart
.
Don’t’ trust in your own goodness or might;
Let God be the Captain of your soul; Let Him your battles fight.
For in God’s perfect love, you’ll find grace to overcome;
Victorious in Christ Jesus so He will speak the words “Well done”.

There is no circumstance in heaven or earth that can separate us from the love of God. We must always remember we serve a Mighty God: John 1:3 (KJV) “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made”. One man and God make up the majority!  I Samuel 2:9 (KJV) declares, “He will keep the feet of His saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail”. We must always depend upon the Lord to lead us through every valley and to give us strength to climb every mountain.

Paul sought the Lord three times to remove his ‘thorn in the flesh’; yet, God responded, “…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” My prayer is for our trust in Jesus Christ to grow to fullness so that we would depend on Him for all our needs.

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>

Will the Real Spirit Man Please Stand Up?

SPIRIT copy copy

artwork:jackiealmond@creationswap

 

By Rochelle Arnold

We are spirits that live in a body.  The real essence of who we are is the spirit man. Our spirit man lives inside our body.  We possess a soul which is our ability to make decisions.  God is a spirit, therefore, it is necessary to understand the nature of the spirit.  The natural mind is unable to understand spiritual matters, because it doesn’t make sense to the carnal man.  The Bible says that spiritual discernment is impossible without being born again.  To the fleshly man things of the spirit seem like nonsense.

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

We are born once of our mother into this natural world.  We are born with original sin which is the result of Adam’s fall in the garden. As children are developing, we notice that often times they don’t want to share.  A child’s inclination is to be stingy. We don’t have to teach them to be stingy. We may also notice that our children develop skills very early on to manipulate our behavior. That’s why some experts recommend that you do not immediately pick up a crying baby.  Especially if we are trying to get the child to sleep. My point is that we are born with an inclination to sin.  Our parents have to teach us right from wrong.

The spirit is what brings life into the body.  In the beginning God breathed life into dust to create Adam.  Without the breath of God, Adam would not have existed.  In the same way when the body dies, the spirit exits the body, leaving only the flesh.  Where the spirit goes depends on whether or not the person has made Jesus Christ Lord of his life.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)  If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  (Romans 10:9)

Our soul is our mind, which gives us the ability to make decisions.  In other words, you are a spirit that lives in a body and possesses a soul.  You can either be controlled by your fleshly mind, or you can be controlled by your spirit.  For example, if you are constantly watching violent films and looking at pornography, you are feeding your fleshly mind.  If on the other hand, you are reading the Word of God, you are feeding your spirit.

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, this is why there are preachers and teachers.  The Holy Spirit gives believers the ability to understand and rightly discern the Word of God.  So when someone asks Jesus Christ into their life, it is because the Holy Spirit has revealed Jesus to them.  It is the responsibility of believers then, to share the Word of God with people they come in contact with.

The spirit of man can also be referred to as the heart of man.  “Is not my Word like as a fire?  Says the Lord; and like a hammer that breaks the rock (stony heart) in pieces?  (Jeremiah 23:29).  In order to be saved, a person must have a soft heart.  When we speak the Word of God it softens a man or woman’s heart.  The Word of God is like fire and like a hammer that breaks through the hardened heart.  The heart must be ready or prepared to receive the Word of God.

So if you are ready to receive Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior, repeat the following prayer:

Dear Jesus,

Today I invite you into my life.  I recognize that I am a sinner and I also realize that you came to die for me.  Father God sent you to this earth to show us the way to heaven, and there is only one way, through Jesus Christ.  Holy Spirit, come into my heart and change it so that I may be born again of the spirit and able to have eternal life.  Teach me from your Word and order my steps in the way that I should go.  I believe in my heart that you died on the cross, and I confess with my mouth that you are my Savior.

Self published book: SOJOURNERS: In a Strange Land copyright 2007 Xulon Press.
ISBN: 978-1-60266-567-5  Website: www.rochellearnold.com

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

Faith

Child Like Faith

artwork@creationswap/DannyLindsey

By Michael Hume

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Galatians 5:6 This is the sum of life. The purpose and the rewards all hinge on this.

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews11:6 Before I began a day by day personal friendship with Jesus, I did not know how to reach God and to hear from Him actively. That came after I accepted Jesus as Saviour, started praying and began reading the Bible. I did not know how to please God, but now I know that when He opens up a season of faith, and I go forward with Him, He is pleased with me. Before my faith life, at no point did God ever say that He was pleased with me.

“We walk by faith not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7. Natural sight is prone to a lot of input. It can be confused by Satan, by telepathic messages from the deceiver and worldly, it can be afflicted by unbelief and doubt, or self can clutter our view. Satan always tries to put his view into your mind and heart. The only thing to look at is what God is saying and doing. By reminding yourself of what God said before, His promises to you and how to go about the faith life. This makes faith active and real in the present.

Abraham “Did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20,21. Abraham was given promises by God and even when unbelief came, at another level was his faith. He believed what God said would come true, and chose to ignore the unbelief. That is what we also should do. Constantly remind ourselves of God’s promise, give Him glory all along the way and even more when the promise materialises.

Michael Hume. Christian since 1987. Believe the Bible in original form is true, and in a daily personal relationship with Jesus. A freelance writer. Copyright belongs to author.

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

Let Grace Carry You

Grace

Art:@creationswap/JohnLanger

By Deborah Ann Belka

Let grace carry you,

when you are weary

let it bring you hope

when you are teary.

Let grace carry you,

it’s arms are open wide

let it be your light

your everlasting guide.

Let grace carry you,

thru the storms of life

let it bring you calm

in the midst of strife.

Let grace carry you,

your burdens it’ll bear

let it remove from you

your every single care.

Let grace carry you,

past the pain and grief

let it comfort you

with everlasting relief.

Let grace carry you,

in the arms of eternal love

let it bring you the peace

from our Father up above!

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

Hebrews 4:16

King James Version

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the

throne of grace, that we may obtain

mercy, and find grace to help in time of

need.”

Copyright 2013

Deborah Ann Belka

bdebby@hotmail.com

http://www.hiswingsshadow.com

http://poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com/

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

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

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

Do Not Dwell on the Past

prayer

@creationswap/mattgruber

Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

 by Maria Egilsson

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isa 43:18-19)

The fire burns low in the hearth, flames flicker with hope and life.  But when the fire is spent, nothing remains but ash.  What once burned hot is now cold.

There are times you may feel cold as you sit among the ashes that no longer glow with life. Everyone faces situations of trial, suffering and grief. But God promises that even in seasons like this, He is at work. When you are at your lowest ebb, He is there. It is His loving kindness and compassion that lifts the sense of hopelessness and the weight of despair. Every morning He gives fresh mercies that sustain and encourage the weary one just like He did for the Israelites in the desert. Our manna is the bread of His word. God is making the way for something new.

Sometimes we have to let go of situations – wanting what isn’t anymore. Letting go of “old dreams”, previous “fires” allows closure to come and a chance for something new. Sometimes what seems to be an end is the start of a new beginning. Even Jesus, while on the cross, stated: “It is finished”. Redemption could only come when the work of the old was done. Take hope. The hearth will not remain cold and full of gritty ash. He will rekindle the flame once again.

Maria provides resources for Christian women in order to facilitate spiritual growth. Contact

Conversations with Jesus ~ Thomas

Prayer

@creationswap/jenniferpowell

Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

By Cheryl Harrison

John 20:29: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

In the midst of grief and fear, a small group of people hid behind locked doors.  Unseen enemies lurked in the darkness awaiting the opportunity to sow seeds of doubt.  One seed of doubt can weaken the focus of an uncertain heart, and since things did not happen the way Thomas expected, his heart was fertile ground.

The disciples were overjoyed when Jesus appeared.  But, Thomas, who was not present when Jesus came, refused to believe the truth. He proclaimed, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

One week later, Jesus returned to visit his doubting disciple.  This time, Thomas was present, and Jesus spoke directly to him. “Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.”  Jesus knew how to alleviate Thomas’ unbelief and chose to reveal Himself in a way that Thomas could understand.

Only God can move us from unbelief to faith.  Unlike Thomas, we haven’t seen Jesus with our own eyes, nor have we touched his wounds.  But, as promised, there is a blessing for those who believe without seeing.  We walk by faith and not by sight, trusting the Lord will reveal himself to us in ways we can understand.

Today’s writer has a passion to write for the Lord that she cannot escape.  She lives in Texas, USA.  Contact