What Do Christians Need?

What Do Christians Need?

Colossians 1:3-14 (NIV)
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

In studying this simple passage we see a variety of things that Christians need.
• We need the Lord as our Savior. (Vs.3)
• We need Prayer, so we can communicate with God. (Vs.3)
• We need Faith in Jesus. (Vs.4)
• We need Love for God and His people. (Vs.4)
• We need Hope and Assurance of Christ. (Vs.5)
• We need The Word of God. (Vs.5)
• We need to Share the Gospel. (Vs.6)
• We need to understand Grace. (Vs.6)
• We need Christian Leaders. (Vs.7)
• We need to talk about what God is doing. (Vs.8)
• We need to pray for each other all the time. (Vs.9)
• We need to pray for an Understanding of Gods Will. (Vs.9)
• We need to pray for Spiritual Wisdom. (Vs.9)
• We need to pray our lives are pleasing to God. (Vs.10)
• We need to pray that we would bear good fruit. (Vs.10)
• We need to pray that we will grow in our knowledge of God. (Vs.10)
• We need to pray that God would give us Strength. (Vs.11)
• We need to pray for patience and perseverance. (Vs.11)
• We need to pray for the Joy of Salvation to revive us. (Vs.11-12)
• We need to pray prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord. (Vs.12)
• We need to remember why Christ came. (Vs.13)
• We need to accept Christ Redeeming Love the Forgiveness of our Sin. (Vs.13-14)

FromYour Pastor’s Heart,
Pastor G

A reminder for us all… What will you do today to encourage someone’s faith? …May God Bless you as you Serve Him.

What’s Your Top Ten?

A Question To Ponder…
Recently a childhood friend of mine asked me to make a list of ten ways that I would want others to treat me. So here is my list. Top 10 ways: Lovingly, Respectfully, Seriously, Compassionately, Mercifully, Forgivingly, Gently, Kindly, Encouragingly, and Gracefully. After compiling my list of the top ten I was feeling pretty good about myself. Until he said something to me that I did not expect. He said with a firm voice; now ask yourself one Question. “Is that how I treat all people?” Wow I was taken back by this question. It caught me off guard. I wasn’t sure if I could answer yes to all ten or even to just a few of them. Because he wasn’t asking how I treat people who I love, but for the treatment of all people. The longer I pondered on this simple question, the more I realized that the first question was not nearly as important as the second one. My answer to all ten toward all people was; No, not always. At this point in my conversation with my friend I prayed these words.”God forgive me of this sin and help me to treat others how I want to be treated even when they don’t treat me the way I desire. Thank You Father for this insight and revelation In Jesus Name I Pray Amen.” The Bible tells us in Luke 6:31 (NIV) “31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.” So I’m asking each one of you to take time and write your own top ten ways that you want to be treated. Then ask yourself, is this how I treat all people? A Question that all of us need to honestly answer before God. How do you treat what God has created?

From Your Pastor’s Heart,
~G

A Personal Struggle…

I need an attitude adjustment!! Have you ever just struggled with something so much that you can’t let it go? It seems like that is my life lately. I am really struggling with my attitude. I’ve never been one to struggle with that. I am one of those people who wakes up ready to go and happy to be alive.

Lately, one minute I’m crying, the next I’m angry, and the next I’m just numb. This repeats all day. I’ve been going through a lot lately. It stinks being sick for over 14 months! My Dad had a stroke and I’ve never seen him look so weak. I can’t go see him because doctors fear I will get something even worse and might share it with my dad. But, don’t worry, My daddy has this! He is so strong! He is a fighter. But, mostly, he believes in Christ as his Savior. My dad and mom have put their full confidence in God’s healing powers!!

I have decided do discipline myself. Get off my pity party and have an attitude adjustment. So, how do I do that?!

  1. Ask God to forgive my bad attitude
  2. Read the Bible
  3. Pray
  4. Choose to trust God for the future instead of worrying about it!

So, what does the Bible say about attitudes?

Colossians 3:23 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”

Philippians 2:14 – “Do everything without grumbling or arguing”

Colossians 3:17 – “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

John 14:1 – “Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me.”

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come before you today, broken, hurt, angry and just numb.  Lord, I lay these requests at your feet.  I TRUST in you.  There is no point in worrying because You have promised me that you have plans for me and those plans are to prosper me and not to harm me.  To give me a future.  Lord, help me to have a better attitude about life.  Help me not have a pity party, but a faith party!!  You, Lord, are faithful to me.  You never break your promises!!  Thanks for listening God.  Forgive me for doubting your plan.  Thank you for never giving up on me!!  I love you, Lord!!!  In the Precious Name of Your Son, Amen!!

I don’t know about you but I have a smile on my face and my heart is warm and cozy with God’s grace.

Be a Blessing to Others

~M

What makes your heart happy?

Hello Readers! I hope you have a blessed weekend. We will be relaxing, watching football, and hopefully video chatting with my dad. His left side is still immobile. He warmed my heart yesterday. Yes, I cried like a baby. But, it made my heart happy. He is sometimes hard to understand because of the weakened left side. He said, “I will never be tired of talk to Marie!” **instant happy tears**.

But, that made me think. Our Heavenly Father wants to hear from us. He never grows tired of hearing from us. We communicate to God by prayer and reading the Bible. The Bible is our instruction book. It delights the Lord’s heart when we open His Word, read it, think about it and apply it to our daily life. Do you spend enough time with The Lord that His heart is happy?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 instructs us to “Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

In James 2:23–“And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.”

I don’t know about you, but I want to be God’s friend. He never leaves you. He loves you more than anything. He will never talk badly about you or betray you. It hurts your heart when people talk negatively about you, criticize you, turn their back on you when you need them, etc. Remember The Lord will never do those things. He gave us many promises in His Word that puts a smile to your face. Here are just a few of mine:

Jeremiah 29:11-“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Matthew 11:28-29: “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.”

Isaiah 40:29-31: “He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

Philippians 4:19-“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

What makes your heart happy?
Are you making Christ’s heart happy?

Thanks for reading. Be blessed and be a blessing.
~M

S.T.R.E.S.S.

Hello Readers, I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Welcome back to the “Monday Blues”. So, I thought today’s topic should focus on Stress. I found an old project I did in High School about stress. So, I thought I would share it with you. Please remember that I was just 17 when I wrote this.

This six letter word is ruining my life!!!!!

S — Striving to do the Best you can! Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

T — Trying to Give it Your All! 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

R — Reading too Much into What Others Say! Psalm 120:2: “Save me, Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.”

E — Everything that Makes You Worry! Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

S — Scared of Not Succeeding! Proverbs 16:3: “Commit your activities to the Lord, and your plans will be achieved”

S — Screaming into the Night! Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”

There are so many things in life to be stressed about. I used to easily stress out. But, I have prayed and asked the Lord to help me with that issue. I just want to say thank you for dropping by today. It is truly a blessing to share my heart with you.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,
M.

Stress Relief Part 4

When life becomes stressful, the Lord invites us to practice:

supplication,

stillness,

and finally…

III. SACRIFICE:
Psalm 4:5 (NIV)
5 Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD.

Putting our trust in the Lord and behaving righteously while under distress,is the kind of sacrifice that is pleasing to God.
“Trust in the Lord,” is an essential part of the Christian life.

I heard a story recently:

A pilot was having difficulty landing his small airplane because fog had hidden the runway. So the air traffic controller decided to bring the plane in by radar. As the pilot received instruction, he suddenly recalled a tall poll in his flight path. Stricken with panic, he feverishly appealed to the control tower. A blunt reply came back, “You obey instructions, we’ll take care of obstructions.”

It’s difficult to trust when we can’t see what’s ahead, isn’t it?

The Bible urges, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. (6) In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). We do not always know where the Lord’s path will lead us when we first become Christians. We may end up missionaries in a far land. We may become preachers (or married to preachers). We may serve in hospitals or Christians schools. We do not need to know at the beginning where God’s work will take us. It is enough to trust God with tomorrow. We get the details bit by bit as we learn the Word more perfectly, and see the doors of opportunity that God opens. To often, we worry about tomorrow instead of trusting God to see us through.

A television program preceding the Winter Olympics one year featured blind skiers being trained for down hill skiing, impossible as it sounds. Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught, on the flats, how to make right and left turns. When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope, where there sighted partners skied beside them shouting, “Left!” and “Right!” As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skier’s word. It was either complete trust or catastrophe.

What a vivid picture of the Christian life! God delights in the “sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the Lord!” That means believing and behaving in light of God’s promises, precepts, and principles. If we live our lives in accordance with God’s Word and fully relying on God, then we will be truly pleasing to Him,
and will have the guaranteed hope of eternal life!

Now, I don’t know what could possibly be more stress-relieving than that!

We all experience stress from time to time. Maybe you deal with it by getting a massage. Maybe you practice breathing exercises
or some other stress-management technique.

But, I think that we would all do well to follow the Lord’s prescription for stress:

Supplication: Take your worries and woes to the Lord, leave them at His throne, and He will help you carry your burden.

Stillness: Wait for the Lord. Meditate daily upon His Word and His will.

Sacrifice: Trust and Obey the Lord, and He will be pleased with your life.

May God Bless You,
Pastor G

Stress Relief Part 3

Supplication should be our first response to stress,

but our second response is…

II. STILLNESS:
Psalm 4:3-4 (NIV)
3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD will hear when I call to him.
4 In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.

This is one of the simplest commands God has ever given, and yet the most difficult to keep, is to ” be silent and still.”

The Bible says,
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

People have brought a great deal of stress upon themselves, simply not “waiting for the Lord.” Phillips Brooks once put it this way, “The trouble is that I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t” (Nelson’s p.599).It was the same for the Children of Israel in the wilderness. God led them with the spectacular display of a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. Over time, the people grew very impatient. Among other things, God was teaching them to wait on His leadership; to be patient.

We have to allow God to do things in His time, not ours! In many ways we have become an impatient people: we want things our way and we want them now! However, whether we are seeking world peace or inner peace, we must re-learn what it is to “wait upon the Lord.”

When David writes, ” when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent,” he gives a vivid picture of what it means to “be still.” Every Christian ought to take time out for God; set aside a time, maybe in bed before we go to sleep, to mediate on God’s Word and share our hearts with our Lord.

Make an appointment with God every day and don’t break it.

When life becomes stressful, the Lord invites us to practice

supplication,

stillness,

And come back tomorrow to finish our series on stress relief.

God Bless You,
Pastor G

Stress Relief Into

According to the experts, there are four types of stress.

Acute stress:
is what most people identify as stress. It makes itself felt through tension headaches, emotional upsets, gastrointestinal disturbances, feelings of agitation and pressure.

Episodic acute stress:
is more serious and can lead to migraines, hypertension, stroke, heart attack, anxiety, depression, serious gastrointestinal distress.

Chronic stress:
is the most serious of all. It’s the stress that never ends. It grinds us down until our resistance is gone. Serious illnesses such as diabetes, decreased immune system, and perhaps cancer are its hallmark.

Traumatic stress:
is the result of massive acute stress, the effects of which can reverberate through our systems for years. It’s commonly known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The type of stress that you experience is different for each person,but we all experience some form of stress.

Experts have come up with a number of suggestions for dealing with stress:
(1) Identify your triggers,
(2) get a massage,
(3) practice breathing exercises,
(4) do some aerobic exercising,
(5) develop a support network through friends, family, and co-workers.

While all of those may be useful suggestions, for Christians, we have a much better method of coping with stress.

In Psalm 4, David gives us the Lord’s prescription for dealing with the stress in our lives…

Psalm 4:1-8 (NIV)
1 Answer me when I call to you,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah
3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD will hear when I call to him.
4 In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD.
6 Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?”
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
7 You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.
8 I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

Many scholars believe that David wrote Psalm 4 as he was about to retire for the evening. He couldn’t do much about the war around him, but he could do something about the war within him. Instead of lying in bed fretting, stewing and worrying, he committed himself and his situation to the Lord. Through David, God teaches us some important lessons about peace of mind during times of stress.

Come back tomorrow for part 2 of stress relief.

God bless you,
Pastor G

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!  Psalm 118:24 reminds us, “This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” It is a beautiful day! We didn’t have to set any alarms because the kids don’t have school!!

Have you ever wondered what “Labor Day” is all about? According to Wikipedia, “In the United States, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.”

Thank you, laborers, for all your hard work, so we can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Are you laborering for the Kingdom of God? The Bible reminds a few things about labor.

We must work hard for The Lord. We must live in such a way that our labor in not in vain. Remember, for some people you are the only Jesus they will ever see. Be careful in what you do and say. Someone is always watching!

1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

We must work hard to help others that need it. Help out your neighbor whose health may prevent him from working. Do it with a joyful heart. Always be on the lookout. It may just be helping an elderly lady put a watermelon in her car.

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.’”

Do you ever work so hard that you are completely exhausted? Your whole body is tired. Your mind is running slow and there is still so much to do? Just remember:

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

I hope you make time to spend some time with The Lord this Labor Day! Seek the rest only He can give you!

Be blessed and be a blessing,
~M.