Meditation … CARING FOR ONE ANOTHER

Especially during times of stress, we in the body of Christ should serve as a model for gracious service. Jesus said He came to serve and to give His life as a ransom for our sins. He commissioned us to consider the needs of others before our own. We can accomplish this by staying in the power of the Holy Spirit, which is renewed within us by prayer.

Especially during times of stress, we in the body of Christ should serve as a model for gracious service. Jesus said He came to serve and to give His life as a ransom for our sins. He commissioned us to consider the needs of others before our own. We can accomplish this by staying in the power of the Holy Spirit, which is renewed within us by prayer.


Hebrews 12:15 (NLT) Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.

Hebrews 12:25 (NCV) So be careful and do not refuse to listen when God speaks.

Hebrews 3:15 (CSB) Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.


50. Open_Bible
God’s Holy Word speaks into our hearts … if we allow Him in.

THE WRITER OF HEBREWS gives two instructions: one to those who have received God’s redeeming grace and one to those who remain outside His grace.

To believers, he says we should care for one another so that no one will fail to receive “the grace of God.” To unbelievers, he admonishes them not to harden their hearts when they “hear his voice.”

WE OBEY THROUGH PRAYER

HOW DO WE, as believers, work to ensure that both instructions are followed?

Through prayer and only through prayer. We pray for our continued fellowship and obedience, and we pray for the opportunity to share the Gospel in word and deed with others.

Jesus reminded us (John 15) that we are to “abide” in Him and promised He would abide in us; that He is the vine, we are the branches, and that, without Him, we can do nothing.

ASK FOR OPEN HEARTS

SO, WE CANNOT guarantee or ensure that unbelievers will listen to the Good News when presented, but we can pray in advance that God will give us the words to say, the opportunity to say them, and receiving hearts to hear them.

The rest is up to God’s Holy Spirit and the unbeliever.

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PRAYER

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O LORD, help us to be faithful to Your command for our lives. Give us the people You want us to reach, the opportunity to reach them, the right words to say, and the right tone to say them, and give them open ears and willing hearts to listen and believe. We lift this prayer in the redeeming and sanctifying name of Jesus Christ, AMEN


SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD!

Date: 2020-03-12 Author: LoveAndGrace (Ward Pimley)

Dee of Sixth Seal Ministries has nominated LoveAndGrace for the SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD. Thank you, Dee! Your encouragement and faithfulness toward me — and other Christian bloggers — is very much appreciated.

To my readers, here’s a link to Dee’s blog: SixthSealMinistries. Please take a look when you can. It’s a well-developed resource as Dee puts a lot of thought and energy into it.

The Rules:

Dee’s Questions to Me and My Answers:

(She admits to “breaking the rules,” going with 5 Questions and 5 Nominees. I’m doing the same thing.)

Q: DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A PEOPLE PERSON?

ANS: Not if, by people person, you mean an “extrovert,” but, as an “introvert,” I find personal relationships very meaningful and important to me. I especially value community with Christian believers. As such, I am willing to invest time and energy into each individual. What I don’t do well is relating to multiple people at one time.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASTTIME?

ANS: I enjoy athletics, but more recently I get more satisfaction out of longer, solitary walks, taken at a rapid pace. I use the time to meditate, usually while listening to Praise & Worship music. I’ve built an extensive playlist, often getting ideas from worship service.

Q: HAVE YOU READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE BIBLE? IF NOT, HOW FAR HAVE YOU GOTTEN?

ANS: Oh, yes! Many times, even reading much of it in Spanish, which requires me to read slower. As a result, I pick up points that previously escaped me. I love experimenting with various English translations, both thought-for-thought and word-for-word, and comparing them. We’re fortunate to have God’s Word to read.

Q: IF YOU COULD TRAVEL BACK IN TIME, TO WHAT YEAR WOULD YOU GO AND WHY?

ANS: I wouldn’t change anything before my second daughter was born, but, going with the question, I would say age 15. Had I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior then, I could have lived my entire adulthood for Him. However, God was patient with me and gave me another opportunity to find Him.

Q: DO YOU EVER WISH YOU COULD BE SOMEONE ELSE? IF SO, WHO AND WHY?

ANS: From an athletic perspective, it’s fun to imagine being Wayne Gretzky or Wade Boggs or Tom Brady — the best of the best, but as a new Christian, I would look at evangelist Billy Graham or Christian pastor and writer Max Lucado. In the end, it’s pointless because God made me who I am so I need to be obedient to His call for my life.

My Nominees:

My Questions:

 (I’m borrowing from Dee’s list, but substituting the first question): 

  1. What prompted you to begin writing a Christian-themed blog and are you satisfied with how this experiment has turned out?
  2. What is your favorite past time?
  3. Have you read through the entire Bible? If not, how far have you gotten?
  4. If you could travel back in time, to what year would you go and why?
  5. Do you ever wish you could be someone else? If so, who and why?

Dee’s Other Nominees:


Now, What to Do?

>First, you are under no obligation to participate nor is there a time limit to respond. 

>Second, if you do participate, capture the Sunshine Blogger Award Seal and Blogger Award Rules. You can copy them from this blogsite.

>Third, thank the person who nominated you and link back to his/her blog. 

>Fourth, answer the questions posed to you. 

>Fifth, nominate the blogs you select and link to them.

>Sixth, create your own list of questions. 

>Seventh, (this is a summary) post the following items to your blog: the seal and rules, your thank you and link back to the nominator, your answers to the your nominator’s questions, your nominees (with links to their blogs), and your questions to your nominees. 

(If you have any questions for me, you can contact me through my blog.)

Dee put it this way: “It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s actually kind of fun.”

So, have fun!

JESUS PROCLAIMED: “REPENT AND BELIEVE”

When our Lord began His public ministry, His message was simple and direct: “Repent and believe, because the Kingdom of God is at hand.” That’s still the message we, His followers must take to the world. “Repent of your sins and believe that God is here.” That command from the Lord is even more pressing today when God’s people are opposed so viciously by counter forces. 

Mark 1:15 (NLT): “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV): “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”


OUR COUNTRY IS BROKEN. It is severely conflicted, sharply divided into opposing camps. 

This plays out in many areas of public life where is no possibility of compromise or consensus.

  • There is no compromise between those forces who accept God’s teaching that life begins at conception with those forces that believe life starts only at birth … with the caveat that the newborn can still be allowed to perish, if that was the mother’s intent.
  • There is no compromise between one side that views marriage as the union of one man and one woman with those who replace that structure with alternative arrangements.
  • There is no compromise between one group that says “religious liberty” means the opportunity to live out one’s faith during the week with the other side that restricts that definition to cover one hour of worship on Sunday mornings.

Those are just a few examples.

†††

Isaiah 5:20 (NLT): What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.

Romans 1:21 (CSB): For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened.


The Bible warns against this, calling those things “good” that God says are evil or calling “evil” those things He says are good. 

Is marriage between two women or two men good … or is it evil? 

One side says it is “evil” and cites to God’s Word for His commandment.

The other side calls it “good” and relies on human reason and experience as witness. Not only that, but this side calls those who stand by God’s Word “bigots” and “haters.” 

Really?

God told the prophet Isaiah nearly 2,800 years ago that “sorrow” awaits those who switch good and evil from what God ordains to what man desires. God also says (Malachi 3:6) He never changes. He remains the same (Hebrews 13:8) throughout eternity.

That means what God declared as “evil” three millennia ago remains “evil,” and vice versa with “good,” regardless of man’s “progressive” wisdom.

†††

Mark 4:9 (BSB): Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Isaiah 6:9 (NET): He [God] said, “Go and tell these people: ‘Listen continually, but don’t understand! Look continually, but don’t perceive!’”


TALKING TO THE “OTHER” SIDE is like talking to a brick wall.

  • Heterosexual marriage? No, that’s an outdated construct benefitting the “patriarchy.”  Besides, God (or the apostles) could not possibly have foreseen the love relationship that can bind two peope of the same sex.
  • Religious liberty? No, there’s separation of church and state, and your “religion” becomes the building block for a theocracy, rather than a secular republic. 

Each of those points can be refuted easily, but the self-styled “progressives,” those who claim they are not caught in the quagmire of the past, refuse to listen to their moral inferiors, to those they consider less literate, less worthy, and less moral than they are. 

Why, they ask, should they listen to the great unwashed, who basically are “bigots” and “religious nuts.”

†††

THERE’S NO JOY in pointing to the sad outcome awaiting those who spurn the Word of God in the latter days. For the time being, they are part of the mission field. 

So we shall.

Still, we, as a country, remain deeply divided. … with a divide that grows deeper with each passing year.

There is no reason to believe that another election, which occurs in November 2020, will change that dynamic. 

Regardless of who wins the White House, the Senate, and the House, the division will grow. 

Only the return of Jesus Christ will alter that dynamic.


PRAYER

ALMIGHTY GOD, have mercy on this country, we pray. Guide our leaders to be men and women of great faith, who hire top staff who share that faith and who serve honorably as public servants, beholden first to You and then to us. Forgive us, O Lord, for our failure to listen to Your Word and the hardness of our hearts. Direct and strengthen those of us who are Your children to lead by example, living our lives as Christ taught us to. We ask this is the loving, merciful, and magnificent name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN