Archive for January, 2015

Give without expectations

JESUS SPEAKING

          “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back” (Luke 6: 34.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

          Even the most selfish human beings will lend to those who promise to repay them.  Jesus therefore implored his disciples to exercise genuine selflessness; to freely give; expecting nothing in return.  All those who desire true Godliness, must strive to practice the art of sacrificial giving.

          One day, as I was preparing to leave the gym, an acquaintance approached me and asked to borrow ten dollars.  After receiving the money, he repeatedly insisted that he would pay me back.  Using this scripture as my guide, I informed him that the money wasn’t from me; it was from God.  Thus I didn’t require nor desire any form of repayment.  Eventually he understood that the cash wasn’t a loan; it was a gift.  As we parted ways, the blessings of obedience filled my heart with joy.

          The Lord yearns for His disciples to standout; to shine; to be more loving and more charitable than the worldly masses.  Giving without expecting repayment is just one of many characteristics of genuine faith.  Whether a stranger is begging for change, or a family member needs financial assistance, we must freely give in order to fulfill God’s desires.  May we continue to embrace divine charity; giving without restriction; that through sincere obedience, we too might receive eternal rewards.

          “Lord Heavenly Father, help us to be generous and kind.  To give without expecting anything in return.  May we abandon earthly rewards, in favor of eternal blessings.  May Your love flow through us; that our faith might be a light to all those who walk in darkness.  We love You Father; we praise You; and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will; in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.

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Healing and Gratitude

JESUS SPEAKING

                Now it happened as he went to Jerusalem that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  Then he entered a certain village, there met him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.  And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, master, have mercy on us.”  So when he saw them, he said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”  And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face, at his feet, giving him thanks.  And he was a Samaritan.  So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed?  But where are the nine?  Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”  And he said to him, “Arise, go your way.  Your faith has made you well” (Luke 17: 11 – 19.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Although Jesus healed ten lepers physically, only the Samaritan was healed spiritually.  For he alone returned to worship and honor the one true and living God.  Gratitude is often the greatest indicator of genuine faith.  Those who have been healed, cling to Jesus; making him the foundation upon which they build their lives.  Every mended heart is full of love for God; a love that is communicated through prayers of thanksgiving, songs of worship, acts of kindness, daily bible reading, and obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

                Many years before God performed a miracle in my heart, I had been the resident of two mental institutions.  Daily I contemplated suicide; even attempting it on one occasion.  I was a slave to drugs and alcohol, cigarettes, fornication, and every manner of available sin.  I, like the demon possessed man Jesus healed, was cutting myself and burning my skin with lit cigarettes.  When I gave my life to the Lord, he cast out the demons living within me; healing my mind, my body, and my soul.  I no longer smoke, drink, do drugs, or live promiscuously.  Today, my heart is filled with peace and love; love for God, love for others, and love for myself.  The Holy Spirit is now living in me; and I am a new creation.  Having experienced such a wonderful miracle, I return to Jesus Christ every day to thank Him.  I speak to Him in prayer; I read His word; and I attempt to follow His teachings and commandments in every area of my life.

                Has the Lord done a work of healing in you?  Have you been transformed by the Spirit of the Living God?  If Jesus Christ has touched your life, then may gratitude pour from your heart.  Give God the glory, honor, and praise He so greatly deserves.  Obey His commandments and love your neighbor.  Read His word and offer up prayers of thanksgiving.  Reach out to the lost and tell them about the miracles the Lord has performed in your life.  May God guide you and sanctify you; and may His peace never leave you; from this moment forward, until the day of His return.  [Note:  If you’ve never experienced salvation, contact me; I would love to discuss how you can do that today.]

               “Lord Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your many miracles; and for the gift of salvation.  You’ve transformed us; You’ve healed us; You’ve given us new lives.  May we always remain grateful; may love rule in our hearts and minds; and may we continually praise, honor, and worship Your Holy name.  We love You Father, we thank You, and we praise You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Obedience leads to joy

JESUS SPEAKING

             And it happened, as he spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breast which nursed you.”  But he said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and ‘keep it’ (do it)” (Luke Chapter 11: verse 27 – 28.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

              The word ‘blessed’ fairly accurately translates in to our modern word for ‘happy.’  Those who are ‘blessed’ possess a genuine measure of peace, joy, and contentment.  In this scripture, Jesus emphasizes two essential steps, that when followed, lead to true happiness.  First, an individual must become aware of God’s commandments and teachings.  Secondly, they must apply His doctrines in their lives and the lives of those around them.

             Concerning happiness, Americans are more depressed than ever.  From 2005 – 2008, the use of antidepressant medications increased by nearly 400%.  One in every ten individuals is currently taking some form of antidepressant.  Many however are not suffering from chemical imbalances (although some might be); rather, many are unhappy because they either don’t know God’s word, or they know it but refuse to apply it.  Those committing great sins are consistently less happy than those who aren’t.  For instance, approximately 1.5% of women who are married report experiencing some form of depression; yet 5.1% of women living with a man before marriage report being depressed.  Further, those who engage in a homosexual lifestyle are more than 200% more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.  Additionally, men who watch pornography daily are 3.5 times more likely to experience severe depression than the general population.  Simply put, those who avoid sin are happier than those who don’t.

             God lovingly gave mankind rules, that when observed, lead to satisfaction and joy; even in the midst of trials.  However, when His statutes are ignored, the disobedient can expect to experience fear, emotional instability, and depression.  The formula for achieving lasting peace isn’t complicated; simply read God’s word daily and apply His teachings in every area of your life.  In so doing you will be blessed; you will avoid the misery of sin; and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we hunger and thirst for genuine obedience.  May we read Your word daily, and apply what we have learned in our lives.  May we act upon Your commandments; may we love others; may we spread Your message; may we avoid sin and receive Your eternal rewards.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you! 

The Children of God

JESUS SPEAKING

                “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him, and have seen Him” (John 14: 7.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.  He is God in human form; he was born of a virgin and walked among men. As God’s only son, he directly reflects the mannerisms and characteristics of His eternal Father.  He performed works that only God could accomplish; he forgave sins; he healed the sick; he even raised the dead.  Those who desire to see God need only look to Jesus Christ.

                Whenever I fly home for Christmas, I spend a significant amount of time with my nieces and nephews.  The resemblance between my dad as a child, and my nephew Seth is astonishing; they look like twins. When I hear my nephew Austin speak, I can hear my sister’s voice in his every word. To some degree or another, children are a reflection of their parents. Physical characteristics and mannerisms are passed down from one generation to the next. Jesus Christ, being God’s son, is not only similar to his Father, he is an exact reflection of Him. When Jesus turned a tiny meal in to enough food to feed five thousand, we saw that God is capable of creating something from nothing. When he calmed the storm, we learned that God controls nature itself. When he displayed compassion, we discovered that the Father is merciful. Because Jesus lived a sinless life, we now understand that God is sinless.

                Today, those who wish to see God, need only look to His Son; Jesus Christ. Although Jesus is currently seated in heaven, at God’s right hand, his body remains on this earth. The church is his body. Those who have received the gospel message are the sons and daughters of God. We, as believers, are called to continue Christ’s work in this place. Our fellows should see the Father in us all. We must be generous; loving; compassionate; pure; and perfect; “Even as our heavenly Father is perfect.” May we submit to the will of God and accomplish His works; that through us, He might receive glory and honor.

                “Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your son. He has already taught us more than we had ever hoped. We too, desire to be Your sons and daughters. Strengthen us by the power of Your Holy Spirit; that we might accomplish Your works in this place. May our lives be a reflection of Your goodness. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.”  God bless all of you.