Posts Tagged ‘New International Version’

 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt 6:34 NIV

  1. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Phil 4:13 NIV
  2. Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31 NIV
  3. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matt 6:25-27 NIV
  4. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. Luke 21:14 NIV
  5. Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22 NIV
  6. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
  7. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken..  Psalm16:8 NIV
  8. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  Psalm 62:6 NIV
  9.  Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings Psalm 17:8 NIV
  10. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  Psalm 91:4 NIV
  11. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10 NIV
  12. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
  13. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28 NIV
  14. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Psalm 28:7 NIV
  15. I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2 NIV
  16. They will have no fear of bad news;  their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.  Psalm 112:7 NIV
  17. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding Proverbs 3:5 NIV
  18. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. Deut 1:31 NIV
  19. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ JesusPhil 4:6-7 NIV
  20. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  2 Timothy 4:7 NIV
  21. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV
  22. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1 NIV
  23. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1 NIV
  24. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30 NIV
  25. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  Psalm 56:3 NIV
  26. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deut 31:6 NIV
  27. Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 NIV
  28. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 NIV
  29. Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:14 NIV
  30. I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Psalm 34:4-7 NIV
  31. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.   1 Peter 5:7-10 NLT
  32. As for God, his way is perfect:  The LORD’s word is flawless;  he shields all who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:31 NIV
  33. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30 NIV
  34. “The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.  Exodus 15:2 NIV
  35. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19 NIV
  36. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 NIV
  37. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV
  38. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 15:5-6 NIV
  39. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Romans 4:22-24 NIV
  40. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26 NIV
  41. Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV
  42. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12 NIV
  43. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:31 NIV
  44. As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.  Psalm 18:30 NIV
  45. Are God’s consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you?  Job 15:11 NIV
  46. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all. Psalm34:17-19 NIV
  47. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Psalm 25:5 NIV
  48. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes;  its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8 NIV
  49. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. Psalm 33:4-5 NIV

Don’t people always say “God will never give us more than we can handle” ? Yes, they certainly do. However, that is a worldly belief, not a biblical one.

There is nowhere in the Bible where God says He won’t give us more than we can handle.

The confusion most likely originates from 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says,No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (NIV) But this verse mentions temptations, not burdens.

In this verse, Paul is saying that we will never be ‘tempted’ beyond what we can stand up against in God’s strength, not that we will never feel burdened beyond what we can handle.

In fact, the past few years I’ve wondered if God was giving me more than I could handle, and I’ve felt very burdened. I think all of us feel like that at times.  But with so many concerns pulling at my heart and so many different people and medical situations needing my attention, it’s been hard to wonder when I would break from all the loads I was carrying!  Not only because my time has been pressed, but my heart has been pressed as well.

But a few weeks ago, when thinking about why there seemed to be so many burdens to carry, I started noticing that I was getting more and more hungry for more and more of God. As if exerting so much energy carrying my burdens had made me hungry, hungry for God.

As a result, I’ve been waking up in the mornings, and the very first thing that keeps coming to mind is a desire to pray.  I can’t help but pick up my devotion book and read through it before I do anything else, because I want to see if God has a nugget for me that morning.  Maybe an answer to prayer or wisdom for the day. I’ve also been having a hard time turning off my Christian radio station, just in case God wants to speak to me through song.

All too often, we think we don’t have time for God, and we begin to rely on our own strength and wisdom to handle life’s problems, gradually creating a chasm between us and God, and eventually plummeting us into a desperate state of despair.  Instead of actively expecting God to step into our situations, we passively try to shoulder all the burdens, and eventually begin to feel weak and overwhelmed. We forget to seek God out in the big and the small situations.

We may even find ourselves questioning God about all that He is allowing us to endure, and wondering if just maybe He did give us more than we could handle. Friend, the truth is, He probably has. The old saying that says He won’t do that is merely a myth.

All throughout the Bible we read of regular people who were handed seemingly impossible burdens to bear but instead of trying to handle life on their own, they drew closer to God, fully relying on Him for direction and deliverance. We read in scripture of how God gave each individual more they could handle on their own and then filled them with strength and capability every step of the way.

Just like the characters in scripture, God longs for us to depend on Him when we are feeling overwhelmed with life and burdened by more than we can handle. He wants us to spend time with Him so we can be filled with what we need to get through each day.

In Matthew 19:26 Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

When our load seems too heavy to carry, it might be that God is not only waiting for us to recognize that we can’t handle it on our own, but also hoping that our desperation will build our spiritual appetite so much so that we wake up starving every morning.

No matter what life hands us, just know that God will never give us more than HE can handle. We can’t do it all, but He can.

And that is a fact.

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:13, NIV)

The giant African land snail is considered one of the most damaging snails in the world because it eats at least 500 types of plants and can cause structural damage. It can also carry a parasite that can lead to meningitis in humans.

It’s not known how this snail arrived in Florida, and there’s no estimate for how many remain, but In an aggressive effort to keep an invasive snail species from making a permanent home in Florida, 78,000 critters were captured in one year. They were found in the southern part of the state and have been multiplying their way northward. No one has any idea how many remain. They have even been found in residential backyards. They pose significant risks to Florida’s landscape. They lay up to 1,200 eggs a year and live for nine years.

There is a spiritual parallel here. Sin is a trap that sneaks its way into our lives to destroy us. Often it sneaks up on us, and before we know it, we have an invasive sin problem. Oh, how subtle it can be, but like the snail it multiplies like weeds in a garden.

Sin sneaks up on us undetected. It may bring pleasure for a short while, but it’s short-lived! Then we have to pay the consequences. Sin is deceitful. We think we’re okay, and before we know it, we are sinning with little or no conviction and our hearts have hardened. If we sow into sin we will reap the consequences. The choice is ours. We are a servant (slave) to whatever we yield to—sin or righteousness. We cannot be a servant to both.

First Peter reminds us to Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (5:8); always be mindful that the “someone” is you and me. Once we fall into the sin trap we are boxed in on every side, but thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus, it is never too late to repent and turn from sin.

Lord, give me an alert and discerning mind so no sinful or deceitful thought can take root. I need Your Spirit to be the gatekeeper of my mind and Your Word to be my shield. Please show me any sinful habit that is growing in my life; I want to serve You alone.

rudeness1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (NIV)
Satan has difficulty luring mature Christians into obvious sins such as murder or adultery. But he has a much easier time luring believers into more subtle sins. These often are sins of the heart, or sins of the tongue. Because these are more subtle, they’re often more dangerous than other ones!  Rudeness is one of these subtle sins.  It often springs from impatience, arrogance, or a lack of consideration for another person.

Let’s take a simple example. Did you ever think that ignoring the sermon being preached on Sunday in church was sin? “I already know what the pastor is talking about, I’ve heard him a million times, and I feel like reading something else right now.” Have you ever found yourself in this position? I honestly can say that I used to do this regularly. But then God pointed out to me that in all things we must obey the universal command, “do to others as you would want to have done to yourself.” In other words, if I want people to respect and listen to what I say, then I can’t go to church and ignore the sermon as if I know more than the preacher! This is rude, arrogant, and shows a lack of love for the man who puts in his time and energy for the benefit of my own soul.

Ignoring people is just one example of rudeness.  As we press into the Lord and attempt to conform every aspect of our lives into His image, we must be delivered from even these subtle hints of rudeness that creep up in us. We must be willing to pause the television to listen to what our children have to say, to call our friends back who are asking for favors, to arrive on time so as not to waste the time of others, to patiently wait for people to finish what they have to say, to yield to pedestrians on the road, and so on.  Let’s strive to live a life of constant consideration for others, and be delivered from the sin of rudeness.

100There is nothing inherently evil about owning the things we need. However, when we strive to collect wealth or possessions beyond our need, we may neglect our duty to God, to our families, and to mankind. Jesus said that serving God and serving wealth are incompatible goals:

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (NIV, Matthew 6:24-25, 31-33)

In Jesus’ time it was a common belief that wealth was a sign of God’s favor and poverty was God’s punishment for sin. Jesus flatly rejected that idea most clearly in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). The rich man ended up in hell at least partly because of his hard-heartedness toward the beggar Lazarus. His great wealth was obviously not a sign of God’s favor. The beggar Lazarus ended up in heaven although he was about as impoverished as a man could be. His poverty was obviously not a sign of sinfulness or folly. Despite the Bible’s many warnings against it, the idea that wealth is a sign of God’s favor and that the poor have done something to deserve their condition persists as an undercurrent today that is sometimes used to justify callous economic and social policies.

The craving for wealth and possessions can lead us into all kinds of temptation. While we spend evenings and weekends earning extra money, we are depriving our families of our love and attention. We may cheat on our taxes. We may take unfair advantage of our customers, employers, or employees. We may even steal. We will attempt to rationalize our avarice by closing our minds and hearts to the needs and rights of others. In the process, we could become like Scrooge: stingy, bitter, and isolated.

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. (NIV, Proverbs 23:4-5)

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (NIV, Matthew 16:26)

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (NIV, 1 Timothy 6:9-11)

Those of us who are blessed with wealth beyond our need have a responsibility to share generously with the less fortunate. We should view our wealth as a gift from God, entrusted to us, to carry out his work on earth.

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (NIV, 1 John 3:17)

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (NIV, 1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Dishonestly gained wealth can bring spiritual destruction to its possessor. The rationalization required to obtain and keep dishonest gain will turn a person cold and bitter. Dishonest gain brings only anxiety and fear of discovery — never peace of mind.

‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. (NAS, Leviticus 19:13)

The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight. (NIV, Proverbs 11:1)

He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil– this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him. (NIV, Isaiah 33:15-16)

Please check out the other scriptures below and see if anything here applies to your life. I would love to hear your feedback.

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

 Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

 Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

 Matthew 6:3 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

 Malachi 3:10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

 James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

 2 Corinthians 9:7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

 2 Corinthians 9:6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

 Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 Proverbs 3:9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;

 Luke 16:11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?

 Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

 Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

 Acts 4:34-37 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

 Acts 4:34-35 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

 Acts 2:44-45 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

 1 Timothy 6:6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment,

Matthew 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

 Haggai 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.

Matthew 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,

braggingCome and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.—Psalm 66:16

One of the thing that always amazes me is that we will brag about losing weight, our kids, our family, or education, etc. But when it comes to God, it’s rare to hear people out there just bragging about Him like they do other things. I’m not sure if it’s because we just assume that eveyone knows, or some people might even be a little bit embarrased about talking to others about Him. It may even be the fact that we fail to give God the credit for the good things that happen in our lives. Either way, it’s extremely important that we become a living testimony to what God ha done in our lives. We need to be bragging about Hi daily just lie the events happened an hour ago.

The writer of Psalm 66 also wants to tell his story when he says, “Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.” The psalmist does not want to talk about his accomplishments or achievements. He wants to talk about what God has done for him throughout his life. His life had not been easy. He had been tested and refined like silver. He had experienced many burdens. But through it all God had been with him and had led him to “a place of abundance.”

Each of us has a story to tell. All of us can testify to hardships in our lives—but also to the fact that God has always been there.

Make sure you tell your story. Make sure you tell about God’s presence in your life and about his amazing grace in the midst of trials. Tell it to your children and grandchildren.

Someone once said to me, “If something were to happen to my dad, I would not know anything about his relationship to God.” Don’t let that happen to you. Start writing or telling your story today!

changeChange is hard—so hard, in fact, that most of us avoid it at all costs.

But by avoiding change, we create even bigger problems, such as lost opportunities, broken relationships, or sometimes a wasted life. Millions of people who need to change are drifting along with no real purpose, no joy, feeling as if they’re traveling a dead end street.

I can relate. I’ve had to make some major changes in my life, and each time they were painful. I usually fought those changes until I reached my misery threshold, then I reluctantly did something rash to escape the bad situation.

Each time I needed to make a change, I was afraid because I didn’t know what was coming. Like most people, I like predictability. I thrive on sureness. Change means stepping into the unknown and losing your comfortable routine, and that’s frightening.

I also knew that to a large degree, I had to give up control. That’s scary too. Sure, I prepared as well as I could, but I couldn’t run everything. Change involves so many factors that you just can’t manipulate all of them.

When you’re not in control, you lose your sense of invulnerability. You quickly realize you’re not as powerful as you thought. That bravery you put so much pride in seems to evaporate when you realize you’re not the one in charge any more.

Family members and friends can help you change, but they have their own lives to lead and their own priorities. They can’t do everything for you. Most of the time they’re struggling so much in their own lives that they can’t give you all the support you’d like.

One of the reasons so many celebrities keep going in and out of rehab is that they leave out the critical element to lasting change: God. Change is too hard when you try to do it without him.

God supplies everything you need for successful change, and when you make changes with his help, you stay changed.

The unknown can overwhelm you, but God is omniscient, which means he knows all things, including the future. He can prepare you for the future in ways you can’t prepare yourself, and he works all things for the good of his followers (Romans 8:28, NIV). God is the guide who is never surprised.

God is in control as well. The being who created the vast universe and keeps it operating in perfect harmony is also a personal God who intervenes in people’s lives. He exercises his control to keep those who obey him in his will.

When you feel weak in the face of change, God is omnipotent, or all-powerful. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” the Bible says. (Romans 8:31, NIV) Knowing the invincible God is on your side gives you tremendous confidence.

The most important attribute God brings when you’re making a change is his unconditional love for you. Unlike that of family and friends, his love never wavers. He wants only the best for you, and when change makes you suffer, as it often does, he stands closest to you, giving comfort and strength. Sometimes his love is the only thing that gets you through.

Where are you now? Is there something wrong in your life you need to change?

Remember this: If you believe you’re on a dead end street, you can turn around.

God will show you how to make a legal U-turn, then he will keep giving you directions through his Word, the Bible. He will gently guide you on the way you should go, and he will stick with you through traffic jams and trouble along the way.

The Holy Spirit’s role is to help you change your character into that of Christ, but he needs your permission and cooperation. He knows exactly what needs to be changed and how to do it.

The choice is simple, really: unlimited help from God, or no help. Does it make sense to turn down the assistance of the most loving, most powerful being in the universe who has only your best interests at heart?

Don’t make change harder than it has to be. Do it the right way. Ask God for help.

Remember, change is constant, but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

 

Christians need to constantly look for the goal of maturity in Christ. Even the Apostle Paul knew that he had not attained the goal, so he pressed on to grow in Christ. A key to that growth is “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” Your past sins and grudges are covered and need to be put where they belong, in the past. Worldly accomplishments mean nothing. We are, “Heavenly citizens in training.” All that matters is walking with Jesus through life, allowing Him to prepare us for His Kingdom.

Philippians 3:12-16

New International Version (NIV)

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Following Paul’s Example

15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Last night I watched the movie, The ten Commandments. Many people consider this to be an Easter tradition. I loved that movie and I used to enjoy sitting around Easter Day watching many more of the classic movies about Jesus but today I have noticed a huge emptiness as void as Jesus’ tomb itself. The it hit me, Jesus has disappeared from Easter.

When I was growing up in the late 60’s and throughout the70’s, you saw the word Jesus as often as you saw the word Easter, but not anymore. As I’m sitting here typing this blog, I have the TV on for background noise and I hear the word Easter a lot, but not one mention of Jesus. I have searched the TV guide to see when I will watch the next movie about the life of Jesus, but there are none to be found. I feel like we have lost the true meaning of the day.

So where did Jesus go in all of this? Of course we know He’s still here, but I mean where did He go a far as the world is concerned, and why? The answer is simple, we have become lazy in the Christian ranks. We stopped believing that we needed to continue to tell people about Jesus and expected them to come to us. We quit telling the story of Easter and why our Lord did what He did and expect them to understand the Holiday. We have allowed the Muslims and others to talk to our neighbors while we read the Bible by ourselves. The Church has stayed in it’s walls polishing it’s ornate fixtures and forgotten the people in the community. In short, we allowed Jesus to be kidnapped.

One of my favorite parts of the Easter story is after Jesus was resurrected, He came back to tell His followers what would be expected of them until He returned. One of the greatest requests that He made is call the great commission which is explained to us in Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Jesus has been taken from us and it’s our own fault. He paid the ransom for our sins, but we have quit on Him. Getting Him back is simple, we need to get out of our houses and Churches and meet the people where Jesus did…in the world where they live. We need to be sharing our faith at all time in all places. Until all of us are willing to do this we will see less and less of Jesus every Easter. Are you willing to be an accomplice in the kidnapping of Jesus?