Have you ever had a day when you woke up and it was dark, overcast, raining and cold? It’s the kind of day that you want to pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep. But, we all have responsibilities, including work and praising the Lord. Wait a minute. I thought you said it was ugly outside? Yes, I did, but let me ask you a question. What does that have to do with anything? God made the day and the weather in it. And, He put breath in your lungs to see another day. So, what am I saying here?
Your perspective or outlook at the beginning of your day can be either positive or negative. It’s your choice. I am reminded of the bible verse that says, “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Can you do that? Rejoice in spite of what you face in the day. Your ability to rejoice will make the difference between having a good day and one that is miserable. As a believer in Christ you know you have the power to overcome your circumstances. Even the negative ones brought on by the devil.
Take the power you have in Christ and do two things. First, put a smile on your face because you know God is in control. Second, reach out to others who are hurting and let them feel the love of Christ through you. Now, both of you will have a great day.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers, friends and family. May God shoot His arrow of love deep into your being. Let God be your number one valentine today.
We are all made in God’s image! Sin has distorted this image, but it has not destroyed it. Our moral purity has been tainted, but do not think for a moment that God has rescinded his promise or altered his plan. He still creates people in his image to bear his likeness and reflect his glory.
As we fellowship with God, read his Word, obey his commands, and seek to reflect his character, something wonderful emerges. We say things God would say. We do things God would do. We forgive, we share, and we love. In time an image begins to appear. God’s goal is simply to rub away anything that is not of him so the inborn image of God can be seen in us!
A blocked opportunity or “closed door” can be a useful tool for teaching. God wants to mold us into His image, and He can use anything—including something we desire—to do so.
While you might hear references to closed doors, the real message here is that God opens doors for us, and they lead us in the best possible direction. His path is perfect, and if we stay on it, we will live a life of service, satisfaction, and glory for God.
Revelation, the last book in the Bible, is an end-time book. The overview given in Revelation 2 and 3 is especially significant. It forecasts what things will be like just before Christ returns.
Remember that God is judging us individually. An attitude that we should not allow to grow in us as Christians is to think that we are the only ones who retain a true-church identity.
Embracing a “holier-than-you” attitude is extremely destructive to true brotherhood and proper fellowship and unity. Luke 18:9-14 records this teaching of Christ concerning self-righteousness and its effects on these matters. Those who elevate themselves in their judgment of themselves as compared to their fellow members bring on themselves condemnation. God does not justify them when they make this kind of judgment.
So remember, the next time you are about to judge someone on their looks, how much money they have or don’t have, where they live, or anything else you use to compare yourself take a look at yourself first. Walk in love and fellowship with Christ and let Him direct your judgments.
One day Christ will return and make everything right, and until that time believers are called to be His ambassadors of peace. But salvation doesn’t automatically change us into people of kindness and unity. At times we may be quick-tempered and impatient, struggling to live in harmony with others. What’s more, letting go of ingrained attitudes or habits can be difficult, even when clinging to such things causes hurt.
Thankfully, God knows this about us. That’s why He has sent His Holy Spirit to help us understand and apply Scripture, say no to temptation, and replace our priorities with Christ’s. Only He can produce spiritual fruit in us, which includes love, joy, and peace Gal. 5:22-23. And with His help, we become peacemakers who work to bring about reconciliation between God and others 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. When our hearts are ruled by His peace, our relationships reflect His spirit of oneness Col. 3:15
The world may hope to find peace through man-made solutions, but you and I know the only source of lasting unity is Jesus Christ. Let’s pray that believers and nonbelievers alike witness the power of God that reconciles marriages, families, and churches.
When Adam and Eve listened to Satan in the garden of Eden, the world was invaded by sin, and we’ve been battling it ever since. Over time, our world has become morally and spiritually contaminated.
We’re born physically alive but spiritually dead and in rebellion against the Lord (Eph. 2:1-2). Yet by trusting Jesus as our Savior, we receive a new nature and the gift of the Holy Spirit. This means believers have the power to say no to wrongdoing and yes to godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
With our new identity as children of God, we no longer share the same nature or purpose of unbelievers. Followers of Jesus are called to serve as His ambassadors, spreading knowledge of the Savior and yearning for righteousness. We exchange our own desires for His, admit when we’ve sinned, and ask for His forgiveness. But these values often make little sense to those who don’t know Christ.
Maintaining a godly focus in the world is difficult, but we can find support and encouragement from others who have received Jesus Christ as their Savior. Intimate friends and trusted advisors will help us stay pointed toward the Son.
(Article reprint courtesy of In Touch | Charles Stanley | © 2020)