service

The Lord is Good

Romans 8:28

@creationswap/kevincarden

By Jerry Ousley

Sometimes we love the praise of man don’t we?  Those pats on the back and all those “at-a-boys” can really make us feel good.  Often it can be the very reason we do good things; we desire the compliments of others.  Let me illustrate with something that happened just recently to me.

Part of the ministry of Spirit Bread is sending Bibles into various African nations.  Many of these nations use English as a second language and a good number of the people speak it fluently.  Several other people contribute regularly to this ministry because they see the need and benefit of getting a Bible into the hands of someone else.  Once they begin to read and understand who can tell how many more they will lead into the Kingdom?  It is a wonderful, though very costly ministry.  Of course Bibles in the United States are relatively cheap if you don’t go with the expensive bindings and so forth.  But the expensive part is the shipping.  On the average, it costs around $5.00 for the Bible but it takes another $8.00 to ship it.  So it costs an average of $14.00 each to send these Bibles overseas.

The other day we went to the Post Office with seventeen packages going to different ministries who distribute Bibles to their people.  These are often small church groups or evangelistic ministries who cannot afford to purchase Bibles for their people and because of their small size are overlooked by the larger organizations who give away Bibles.  That’s where we come in.  We seek out (but more often we are sought out) those in need of Bibles.  We have a backlog of groups needing Bibles that dates back as much as a year.  As we get the money to purchase and ship Bibles we work on that list.  Anyway, we had received enough money to ship 112 Bibles.  The cost was over $900.00 just for the shipping.  The lady taking care of me at the Post Office commented on “what a good thing we were doing.”  Sometimes I’m not good with compliments.  She actually had said, “What a good thing your church is doing.”  Of course, right now we aren’t pastors of a congregation but minister through writing both on the Internet and books.  So I blurted out, “It’s not a church but we are doing it individually.”  That impressed her even more.

Now, my intentions weren’t to give all the praise to me, but that’s the way it came out.  After I left and returned home I got to thinking about the situation.  I thought of the other people who give to help with this service and frankly, I couldn’t do it without them.  I had cut them out all together and had taken all the credit.

This resulted in yet another occurrence of me sucking on toes as I sat there, realizing what I had done, with my big foot in my mouth.  The only thing I could do was to swallow my pride (being careful not to swallow my toes) and call the lady at the Post Office and explain that I wasn’t in this service alone, but that several other people were helping with the costs and supplying Bibles.  I had to make the call, and I did.  So was I really good?  Actually, not; I had taken a good thing and robbed others of their portion of that praise.  I did make it right, but I should have made it right the first time.

We aren’t as good as we think we are.  We’ve been talking about how God can cause the earth to quake merely by His presence and how that He can be a fierce God.  It is to illustrate the awesomeness of His power.  But the thought in Amos is concluded by saying, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” (Amos 1:7).  Even though God is all powerful, all knowing, all seeing, and always present, He is also good, and each and every day that we live proves that.  Often we are disobedient, or we rob God of the glory by taking the credit ourselves.  Yet He is good; He is our strong and mighty fortress when we get into trouble, and He will remind us when we do wrong.  It may mean that we have to swallow our pride and risk embarrassment to make it right, but He will give us that opportunity.

Despite our disobedience, regardless our labor for recognition by man, still He knows those who really trust Him.  We may look like we trust God on the outside but only God knows what is truly in our hearts.  He knows why we do the things we do and He knows our motives and attitudes.  That’s a good thing because we can never pull the wool over God’s eyes, and because He knows we can be certain that He will always be there for us, forgiving us when we mess up because He really does know our hearts.  Do we really trust God?  In light of how good He is, we should

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jerry D. Ousley is the Author of five books, “Soul Challenge”, “Soul Journey” “Ordeal” “The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional” and his first novel “The Shoe Tree.”  Find out more by visiting www.spiritbread.com
or email us at jousley@spiritbread.com

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

Word of God

Rays of Roses

photo@creationswap/lisarees

By: Lisa Burks

The other day I went outside to weed around my roses, when I noticed beetles all over the shrubs. Normally they produce big beautiful, pink and red flowers that I enjoy looking at, instead they were unsightly to me. I knew what had to be done. I retrieved my bug killer and drenched the roses from top to bottom. In no time the bugs were falling to the ground, a week later the roses were back to their old selves.

While spraying the rose’s God gave me a thought, people are like roses if you let bugs, (anything not of God) into your life it starts to show from the inside out. Instead of soaking in pesticides we arm ourselves with the word of God. Luke 10-19 states I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions, and to overcome all the power of the enemy nothing will harm you however do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Hebrews 4-12 for the word of God is living and active sharper than any double-edged sword it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow it judges the thoughts, and attitudes of the heart.

If we let the devil in, even though we may not see it with sinners eyes he starts to change us. We can become bitter, negative, abusive, worried, hopeless, helpless etc. We are hard to look at or be in the presence of, just like a beetle infested rose, but if we use the word of god to overcome evil, we can be an inspiration for others, and a pleasure to be around.

If your heart and mind are empty there’s more room for the devil to occupy. Filling that empty space with scripture is a good way to ensure he doesn’t move in. As Christians we should stop negative thoughts, feeling or actions as soon as they begin, remember the word of god is sharper than any double-edged sword, when the devil makes a visit, send him packing with the word of God.

Philippians 4:8-9

8 In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable. 9 Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.

The Prosperous Attitude – By Beatrice Ofwona

Joy And Generosity

artwork©creationswap/ScottJohns

Our God does so much for us yet our thankfulness does not portray this favor that He bestows on us. In Deuteronomy 28:47-48 we see how important it is to serve the Lord joyously and gladly in the time of prosperity so that we may not serve our enemies in time of need and hunger. If our attitude is not that of gratefulness, thankfulness or joyousness when He blesses us, then we fail to honor Him and our attitude is therefore wrong. As Christians, we must know how to initiate and access God’s power; this begins when we live accurately and in tandem with His commandments. There are many people around us who have great blessings in their lives and which then raise their performance levels. The secret lies in the attitude that they have; they know how to thank God for His blessings. They know that the passion, with which they ask, must also be adopted when thanking the Almighty for His blessings.

Attitude is the position of the mind as well as emotions and it determines our disposition. When we wake up for instance on a Monday morning with a bad mood, then we will most probably have bad outcomes throughout the day. But we can allow God’s Word to determine our disposition. By setting our mood right, we change our life and if we are then wired to God’s Word then we bring forth fruitfulness. In John15:16 Christ says that he chose us to bear fruit that will last so that whatever we ask God in his name, we shall be given.

Failure is brought about by the bad attitude that we have and which dishonors God. Severally we are told that our attitude determines our altitude or that if we think we will fail, we already have but if we think we can than we will. Failure comes about because we do not set ourselves right in alignment with God. If we are operating in deficiency, it is because of our attitude. We should have affection for what we do and especially take great joy in what we are doing for God. There is certainly no life of fruitfulness if we see prayer as a burden, a call of God in our life as a burden or what we do as a burden. God calls us to win souls and this is not a burden either; it is a privilege. Doing things for God out of obligation does not make Him happy; we should instead seek to do whatever it is with the right attitude because that pleases Him. When giving to God becomes a burden then life remains a burden. Our not being thankful and grateful is a dishonor to God. The unsuccessful lives that we lead can be traced to our dishonor of God. If we do not know how to be grateful, we can ask Christ to show us how by asking him to ‘help us want to want to give thanks to the Almighty’.

In 2Corinthians 9:6-14 we see that God loves a cheerful giver. If we give grudgingly and sparingly, we shall also reap in that manner. Verses 10-14 bespeak of the great blessings bestowed on those that serve Him in righteousness. However, we seem to have allowed the world’s lack of reverence for giving to set our attitudes and this brings us to a place of lack. Let us give cheerfully or else what we give fails to be fruitful. Isaiah 1:19 says that if we are willing and obedient, then we shall eat the best from the land. But having obedience with the wrong attitude produces nothing. In the book of  2Corinthians 8:12 Paul says that in the presence of willingness, the gift is accepted according to what one has, no what one does not have.

Therefore our attitude towards giving must be that of gratefulness, joy, honor, delightfulness and commitment. If we give our tithes and offerings yet complain all the way to the offering baskets, that is a real waste of giving. But if we give the Lord in gratitude and joy then we will call on Him and He will hear us in our times of need. Serving the Lord is a privilege and not a burden. In Malachi 2:2 the Lord sets forth a curse on those priests who do not seek to honor His name. Honoring God is by honoring His word and this is done by making His Word to be the weight in our lives; that it may be an important thing in our lives.

Sometimes we may wonder what is happening to our lives and why all of a sudden the blessings that we were enjoying have stopped flowing; it may be that we have been dishonoring God. If we therefore correct this dishonor, God will turn around and once again bless and honor us because in Jeremiah 29:11 He says that He has great plans for us, plans to prosper and not to harm us.

Every success in life can be traced to honor just as every failure in life can be traced to dishonor. The Word must work in our lives. It is not just the tithe that we give that is important, it is also the attitude with which we give it; this determines our fruitfulness. Let us do things because we love God; He looks at the heart and observes our thoughts and motives. And He always works except where there is dishonor in the heart.

May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.

contact:-bofwona@yahoo.com
Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

Prayers God Answers – The Prayer of Jabez

@creationswap/MelzaCelendad

@creationswap/MelzaCelendad

In the midst of a long list of who beget whom is a short, two verse, story about an honorable man and his prayer. It was a prayer that God answered. This powerful Old Testament prayer can serve as a model for our own prayers. Bruce Wilkinson’s book, The Prayer of Jabez, became a huge success. It became so successful that many people felt that there must be something wrong with it. But this prayer from 1 Chronicles 4:10 is a great prayer for one simple reason: God answered it. And we need to take another look at this simple, but effective, little prayer.

“Oh, that You would bless me indeed,” 1 Chronicles 4:10b

Many people feel that it’s wrong for us to ask God to bless us, but they miss the point. The point is: God wants to bless us.

Psalm 67:1-2 says, “God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, Selah. That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.”

When God blesses us He reveals to the entire earth just who He is. And God’s salvation, His power, love, and mercy, are proclaimed when He blesses His people.

“…and enlarge my territory,” 1 Chronicles 4:10c

Jesus’ disciples got into an argument about who was going to be the greatest among them. Jesus knew that they were having this discussion, so He confronted them about it. What’s interesting is that He did NOT say to them: “You shouldn’t want to be great.” Instead He gave them specific instructions about HOW to be great. In Luke 22:24-2 , Jesus tells the disciples that the Gentiles believe being great means ruling over people, but that is not how they are to understand greatness. He says, “he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.” To be great, we must become greater servants. Our greatness is not determined by who we look down on or who works for us, but by the kinds of people we serve, the number of people we serve, and the way in which we serve them.

” …that Your hand would be with me,” 1 Chronicles 4:10d

Most people spend their lives trying to figure out how little they can get by with. They want to get more for doing less. Jabez knew that by asking God to help him serve more, he was asking God to help him do more than he could possibly accomplish on his own. He purposely asked God to put him in a position where he had to depend on God. As Michelangelo once said, “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

“…and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” 1 Chronicles 4:10e

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” in Luke 11:4. Sin and evil are all around us and we need to be aware of our dependence on God to live a life that pleases Him in every area.

But a second aspect of this prayer becomes clear when we read that the name “Jabez” means pain. It was the name that his mother gave him because of the pain he caused her during birth. Jabez had spent his entire life, every time he was introduced to someone or whenever someone called his name, being reminded that he had brought pain into his mother’s life. We all have to pray for God to help us overcome the wrong beliefs that we have about ourselves. Whether it was our parents, teachers, or anyone else who said them, we all have beliefs about ourselves that simply aren’t true. They are nothing more than what others have projected onto us because of what they were experiencing or what they believed.

God wants to bless us and help us become greater servants. In order to do that He wants us to depend on Him completely in every area of our lives. And He wants us to believe the truth about who we are. We are His children, He loves us, and He is with us every moment of our lives. He wants to do great things in our lives. At the end of of this simple prayer in

1Chronicles 4:10 we read, “So God granted him what he requested.”

When we pray this prayer that God answers, just like Jabez , our lives will never be the same.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rob Marshall is the author of “Taking On Goliath – How to Unleash the David in All of Us.” Learn how you can unleash your faith and overcome any “Goliath” that may stand between you and your dreams. http://www.TakingOnGoliath.com
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

10 Points to Apply to Your Life

1] Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble; it is a “steering wheel” that directs us in the right path throughout life. 

2] Do you know why a WINDSHIELD in a car is so large and the rear view mirror is so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, look ahead and move on.  

3] Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.  

4] All  things in life are temporary.  If going well enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong don’t worry, they can’t last long either.  

5] Old friends are like GOLD! New friends are Diamonds! If you get a Diamond, don’t forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a base of Gold!  

6]  Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, “Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!  

7] When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn’t solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.  

8] A blind person asked St. Anthony: “Can there be anything  worse than losing eye sight?” He replied: “Yes, losing your vision.”  

9] When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them; and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you. 

10] WORRYING does not take away tomorrow’s TROUBLES; it takes away today’s PEACE.

Author: Unknown

Jesus died for you….what are you doing for him?

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (New International Version (NIV))

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

If someone told you today that tomorrow they will die so that you might be saved what would you do for them, what would you say to them? Meditate on this and really imagine how you would respond.

Jesus did this very thing for you already; he died on the cross so that you may be saved. Are you waking up each morning and thanking him? Are you asking him each and every day “What can I do today Lord to serve you?” Is going to church your only sense of obligation for such a great sacrifice? Why would you not put God first in your life? Christians are Christians because they put Him first – that is what a Christian must do. Have a grateful heart, pray continuously – not just when there is a need or emergency, praise his name throughout the day for all you have, forgive quickly and often. Serve your church; it is the house of God.

Philippians 2:12-13 (New International Version (NIV))

Do Everything Without Grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Everyday adopt the attitude that firmly says “I will do something spiritually meaningful today.” Do you think you have not talent, no skills, nothing to offer? God has given you all you need to give back to him. Do you often ask yourself “How can I help my church?” You should be doing this each and every day; it’s you real “job” on earth once you are a Christian. If you ask your church if they need your help, what will they say? I can tell you it’s a resounding “Yes!” No matter what you think you can do or can’t do you can always do something. Whether it’s one large project or little things every day, you have what God needs and he is asking you to use your gifts. So close your eyes and ask the question: “God, what would you have me do for you today?” then LISTEN…the answer is sometimes instant and other times it will suddenly hit you during a conversation, a car ride, or numerous other activities you could be doing and you will “know” what you can do.

Here are suggestions of things you may do for His church daily –

I can write spiritual poems, essays, articles, stories.

I can paint a picture for the enjoyment of the lonely or to raise money for charity.

I can make house repairs for those unable to do for themselves.

I can put together a gift basket or care package for the needy.

I can give my testimony; someone needs to hear it today.

I can help my neighbor, my friend, a family member, a co-worker with a problem.

I can cook a meal, a desert, a casserole for someone.

I can hold the hand of dying child or elder and let them know I care.

I can read the bible to someone blind.

I can invite a friend or neighbor to church.

I can take someone outdoors who is unable to walk and let them enjoy beauty of the day.

I can sing a song for the Lord. I can praise his name aloud.

I can assist with church activities: take photos, make video of church events and sermons, submit items to our website and/or newsletter, help with an event, make phone calls, talk to the community, decorate, draw, play an instrument, join the choir, teach, volunteer my time wherever needed. The list is endless…

I can develop into a real Christian today by praying, studying my bible, asking questions of those who can help me grow.

I can do all things through Christ today.

I can serve…

I will serve…

I am serving the Lord.

Everyone can do something. Any of the things above or something you know will help. There are no excuses when it comes to serving the church and serving the Lord. There are no wait until tomorrows, there are no reasons not to, no other obligation in you your life means more than your service. When you become a Christian you must let Christ live within you and guide you, if you try do it alone or only on Sunday, you will get off track and things will start going wrong in your life fast. Let Him show you the way. Believe in yourself because you are a child of God and through Him you CAN NOT FAIL. Do not live life for your desires or for the world; it’s about HIM and his sacrifice for YOU. Do all these things in His name and you will receive so much Joy that you will live in wonderment at your many blessings. You will go to bed satisfied that this day you have served the Lord first and your day was better for it.

Galatians 5:24 (New International Version (NIV))

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
How to know what you must do?

Step 1: Pray for guidance

Step 2: Meditate on those things you enjoy or are good at doing. LISTEN for the answer.

Step 3: Go forward and take action asking God to go before you and make your way smooth.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 every day.

Why wait another minute? Get busy with God’s work now. He made the ultimate sacrifice for you by giving his son to die upon the cross for your sins. There is no sacrifice you could make of your time that that could be greater than what has been done for you. As a Christian you put away worldly things and put Christ at the center. His will is now your will, not the other way around. Wake up, take up the cross and do the work you were called to do.

Galatians 2:20 (New International Version (NIV))

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Arlene Price ©2013