A Prayer of Forgiveness

Welcome back to the Encouragement Challenge. As week 3 comes to a close, I would like to offer up a prayer for each of you. This week has been tough. Forgiveness is a hard thing to grasp. Today, I would just like to pray for you. Have a wonderful weekend! See you back next week for the conclusion of the Encouragement Challenge.

Heavenly Father, thank you so much for the wonderful readers of our blog. We long to bring You honor in everything we write, say and do. I pray for each person who reads this blog. I pray that they will experience Your love, Your forgiveness and pure joy in their lives. Lord, we’ve talked a lot this week about forgiveness. I hope that we have all searched our hearts & lives and been able to forgive others while allowing Your forgiveness to shine through to our lives. O Lord, free us from all anger and bitterness. When we are bitter and angry, we cannot feel Your perfect peace or Your presence. Please help us all to remember that forgiveness is Your command. Let us turn away from all bitterness and remember the forgiveness that came through the gift of Jesus Christ. Help us to not judge others. You have forgiven us, Lord. Let us forgive others, love them and help them without judging them. If there is anyone reading this who does not know You as Lord of their life, my prayer is that you would pierce their hearts and allow them to hear You speak to them. Let them admit You are God and they have sinned, Believe that Jesus is Your Son, and Confess You as Lord of their lives. Protect us from evil. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Be a blessing to others,
~M

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Share God’s Love

Welcome back readers!!  I hope you have had a blessed weekend.  I would like to apologize for the lack of posts last week.  I am going to start off where we left off—The Encouragement Challenge.  How are you doing in the challenge?  Today, we are going to talk about Sharing God’s Love.  Is there anything more encouraging than the love of Jesus Christ?  When everything around us seems to be failing, God’s love for us does not.  We can always depend on His love! 

1John 4:11 reminds us, “Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.” 

Romans 5:8 reminds us, “But God prove His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!”

How can you share God’s love?  You can send someone an encouraging card.  Pray for someone.  SMILE at someone.  Call someone.  Tell someone about what God is doing in your life & what God has done for you.  Be kind.  Forgive.  Love Others.  There are so many ways to show share God’s love!  Even if you have already stumbled in this challenge, keep trying!  It is hard to be encouraging and stay positive through a whole day, a whole week, a whole month, a whole year.  Keep this challenge active in your heart year round.  Strive to be a blessing to others, but mostly to God!  The Bible instructs us to LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS!! 

~M

Mercy Shown By Love Part 9

Luke 6:27-36 (HCSB) from Biblegateway.com

27-“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, 28-bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29-If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30-Give to everyone who asks you, and from one who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. 31-Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. 32-If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33-If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34-And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35-But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36-Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:27-36 (HCSB)

Notes:
35-But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil.

This verse is like a summary of how we should live our lives. We should love everyone, do our best not to sin, follow God’s commands, help others and expect NOTHING in return. Don’t do things to get a “you owe me one!” Just give as God lays on your heart. If you do these things you will be rewarded. It may not be here on Earth….it may be in heaven. But, you will get your reward. God is gracious to all. I challenge you to show God’s grace, love, and mercy to others even the ones who have hurt you. Forgive as God has forgiven you.

Have a great weekend. See ya Monday.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
~M

Mercy Shown By Love Part 5

Welcome back. The Super Bowl is over. But, God is super all the time! Each day, we should live like we are God’s MVP! You never know when The Lord is going to call you home. Will you have lived your life for Him? Today we are going to discuss verse 31. Have a blessed week!

Luke 6:27-36 (HCSB) from Biblegateway.com

27-“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, 28-bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29-If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30-Give to everyone who asks you, and from one who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. 31-Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. 32-If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33-If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34-And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35-But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36-Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:27-36 (HCSB)

Notes:
31-Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them.

A 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 was asking not how I would treat those who are loving, 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 as a challenge to you, 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?

~Dr. G
John 14:6 – Jesus Is The Way, Truth, & Life

Remaining Focused On The Right Thing – Jesus

Welcome back! We hope you had a great weekend. We ended last week by talking about focus. We are going to talk about Remaining Focused On The Right Thing — Jesus. If you have any questions, comments, prayer requests or praises–you can click the question tab or leave us a message. Let’s dig in!

Remaining Focused On The Right Thing – Jesus
Passage – Matthew 14:22-33
You can click on the following link to read the full passage: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2014:22-33

1 – Jesus SENT the disciples out into the STORM. (14:22)
“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.”

2 – Jesus PRAYED for the disciples that He SENT. (14:23a)
“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.”

3 – Jesus WENT to where the disciples WERE. (14:23b-25)
” Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.”

4 – Jesus CALMED the disciples MINDS. (14:26-27)
“When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

5 – Jesus TOLD Peter to COME to Him. (14:28-29a)
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” Jesus said.”

6 – Peter FOCUSED on JESUS and stepped out in FAITH. (14:29b)
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”

7 – Peter LOST his TRUE FOCUS by letting the WORLD distract him. (14:30)
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

8 – Peter CALLED on JESUS to be his SAVIOR. (14:30)
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

9 – Jesus IMMEDIATELY helped his SERVANT Peter. (14:31)
“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

10 – Jesus REMINDED them that with HIM all things are possible. (14:32)
“And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.”

11 – Jesus RECEIVED the PRAISE from the People. (14:33)
“Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Have a Happy Monday!
~Dr. G
John 14:6 – Jesus Is The Way, Truth, & Life

Live The Life God Intended – Focus Part 2

Welcome back for Part 2 of Living the Life God Intended–FOCUS. We pray that you had a great week and was able to live your life the way God intended. There will be new posts Monday – Friday. Now, let’s dig in!

Live The Life God Intended – Focus Part 2
Passage – Colossians 3:1-4:6
Please click the following link to read the whole passage online: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Col%203:1-Col%204:6

8 – Focus on Forgiveness. (3:13)
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.”

9 – Focus on Love. (3:14)
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

10 – Focus your Attention on living at Peace with everyone. (3:15)
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

11 – Focus on The Word of God. (3:16)
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

12 – Focus on doing things for God in His Son Jesus Name. (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.”

13 – Focus on Family Relationships. (3:18-21)
“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”

14 – Focus on your Earthly job as if you are working for God. (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.”

15 – Focus on Prayer. (4:2)
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

16 – Focus on winning others to Jesus. (4:3-5)
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”

17 – Focus on being prepared. (4:6)
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Keep warm this weekend! I heard on the news that ALL 50 states had wind chills of below freezing today. Start your weekend off by reading your Bible. It’ll warm up your soul.

~Dr. G
John 14:6 – Jesus Is The Way, Truth, & Life

Mary….The Lord’s Servant

What comes to mind when you think of Mary? She was a young lady that was willing to carry Jesus! She could have easily said, “no, that’s too hard or I don’t want to be made fun of.” But, she didn’t. She was willing. She was willing to be subjected to embarrassment because she was pregnant and not yet married. It took a great deal of courage on her part. She chose to be The Lord’s Servant!

In Luke 1:46-55
Mary said, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name! His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry and his dry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever,even as he said to our fathers.”

What is the Lord asking you to do? Are you willing? Do you care what other people may think? Or will you follow Christ wholeheartedly?

Be blessed and be a blessing,
~M

Priorities…What’s Really Important?

Welcome Back Readers!! I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving and spent some time thanking God for all He is and all He does!

How many of you went to those Black Friday (well, really Thursday) sales? Did you buy a newspaper to look at all the sales ads? Did you spend time comparing prices, writing out what you wanted to get, looked at maps, and planned our your shopping adventure? I admit I ventured out and went to Wal-Mart with my sweet 6 year old son. But, all this planning got me thinking….What if we, as Christians, would get that excited about going to church and sharing the gospel with others? Do we read our Bible and plan out our day according to God’s Holy Word, the Bible? Or those times, you miss Sunday School because you weren’t prepared? Or missed church because just wanted to sleep in?

Mr. Webster defines a priority as a noun meaning “a thing that is regarded as more important than another.” During our shopping trip our priority was to get the stuff we wanted and make it out alive! 🙂 The Bible teaches us that we must focus on things NOT of this world, but fix our eyes on Jesus!! Hebrews 12:2 reminds us, “keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”

Romans 12:2 reminds us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Please take some time to reflect on the Love of Christ and remember the “Black Friday” He endured on the cross for our sins. Remember Jesus is the Reason for the Season!!!

Be a blessing,
~M

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.

Trading Our Plans for God’s Plan

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=c4-feed-u&v=ww4MLw0Yqtw

Hope you enjoy! This is the one of the songs I sang and the sermon I preached when my sweet daughter got baptized.

From Your Pastor’s Heart,

Pastor G