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Faith in Tribulation

Tribulations shall come; and we are told to glory in them (Romans 5:1-5 NKJV). 

1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4and perseverance, character, and character, hope. 5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t say that I glory in times of testing.  At times I have been so gripped by fear that I was virtually stuck – powerlessly overwhelmed by worry, doubt, and loss.  My nights were sleepless and when I called out to God in prayer for peace of mind, it did not come.

What is wrong with me?

I was not earnestly contending for the faith (Jude 1:3).  I lacked boldness and confidence in my Lord that He not only provides for all my needs, but He is more powerful than any circumstance.  I was not living by faith in Jesus, but faith in myself. 

I can’t fix anything!  Once I turned everything over to Him, my burdens were lifted as He carried me through one difficulty after another.  The more I trusted Jesus to take control of my life, my prayers were heard and answered according to His will.  I can now see how giving God the glory fits with tribulation, as his solutions to problems are perfect compared to mine. Where was the evidence of my faith? Sadly – gone. But praise God, once I repented and began to live according to His Spirit guiding me, I learned:

16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”  ~ Romans 1:16-17 NKJV

3Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass… 7Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;

8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm.  ~ Psalm 37:3-5,7a, 8 NKJV

Jesus keep me from stumbling!  Keep me from taking back any burdens You have freed me from so I can rest in You always.  Thank You LORD!

28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, as I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  ~ Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV

And also:

20But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  ~ Jude 1:20-21 NKJV

Victory in Jesus

51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55  “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

56The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  ~ I Corinthians 15:51-58 NKJV (emphasis added)

13Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14Let all that you do be done with love.  ~ I Corinthians 16:13-14 NKJV

Photo of the Month | April 2021

11But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your name may be filled with joy. 12For You bless the godly, O LORD; You surround them with your shield of love. ~Psalm 5:11-12

Happy Spring everyone! Celebrate and shout for joy to the LORD!

And THANK YOU for being so special to God that He sent His only Begotten Son to earth to save us from our sins.

HALLELUJAH! What a SAVIOR! Thank You LORD, for Your Grace and Love!!

Listen to this podcast episode on Spotify, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Radio Public, & Pocket Casts ….

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Comfort One Another

Dad’s Witness Card

Fear seems to be ruling many hearts these days.  People are afraid of viral infection and the possibilities of grave illness or death; loss of jobs, savings, homes, or other possessions.  Fear of going out; fear of staying in; fear of government over-reach, and the list goes on. One person told me that she lies awake at night worrying about losing family members to the coronavirus.  What does God’s Word say to this?  Continue reading

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Rome | Paul’s Valentine Message

It may seem like an odd title for the meeting between The Apostle Paul and the Jewish leadership at Rome.  However, we find that by the end of the day (and the Bible says “from morning till evening”) Paul testifies with all of the love in his heart that Jesus is the One who fulfills both the Law of Moses and the Prophets.  In other words, Jesus is indeed the long-awaited Messiah!

Yet some believe and some doubt.  As they prepare to leave his house, Paul delivers a tender message straight from the Holy Spirit through the prophet Isaiah:

26saying,

‘Go to this people and say:

“Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand;

And seeing you will see, and not perceive;

27For the hearts of this people have grown dull.

Their ears are hard of hearing,

And their eyes they have closed,

Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,

Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,

So that I should heal them.’  ~Acts 28:26-27 NKJV

Notice that not Paul, but The Holy Spirit, mentions that the people’s hearts have turned away from God.  Praise God that some of the Jews receive Jesus that day; while the remainder depart to argue the matter.

28”Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” 29And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves. ~ Acts 28:28-29 NKJV

Paul continues to preach about the Lord Jesus Christ from his own rental house for two more years.  No one forbids Paul, and we have no idea how many lives are brought into God’s kingdom through Paul at Rome.  Whatever the number, PRAISE THE LORD! – for each and every heart that softens, brightens, and turns to Jesus.

Long, Long ago the Lord said His love is everlasting, unfailing, and His heart is drawn toward His people.  God’s Valentine’s Day message to you is Turn, TURN your heart to Jesus. Repent and receive salvation today.

Firstly, God bless you for reading and following Jesus!

Secondly, thank you for following

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Photo of the Month | February 2019

Walking in the Holy Spirit

²²But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, ²³GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL. Against such there is no law. . . 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.~Galatians 5:22,23,25 NKJV

7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap . . . 8bbut he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. . . . 16And as many as walk according to this rule, PEACE and MERCY be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.~Galatians 6:7,8b,9,16 NKJV (emphasis added)

Brethren, keep God’s law – love one another.  Share each others’ burdens.  Keep sowing to the Spirit and reap everlasting life.  Don’t lose heart!

God Hears

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“I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and He answered me. I called out to You from the land of the dead, and Lord, You heard me!” ~ Jonah 2:2 NLT

When people are at their lowest, God hears their cries to Him and saves them.  This message of a benevolent God of love and mercy seems to resonate with most people.  But His holiness also calls for judgement when necessary.  So why do we linger in sinful misery before crying out to Him?

Let’s look at the prophet Jonah in the Bible.  He refused to preach God’s message of salvation to the Assyrian people of Nineveh – a particularly evil, idolatrous, and violent capital of Mesopotamia (located in modern-day Turkey and Iraq).

“Nineveh was so large that it took three days to see it all”.  ~Jonah 3:3 NLT

Imagine!  It may have been the equivalent of Las Vegas – known today as Sin City; full of glittering neon lights and sinful attractions along with idolatry.  Anyway, God had decided to judge the people of Nineveh for their sins.  Our merciful Father in Heaven had, however, allowed them a way to escape judgement.  They could repent within 40 days or be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah.

Jonah was having none of it.  He evidently hated the Assyrians.  As a consequence, it cost Jonah his life and almost cost the lives of his shipmates and an entire city of people.  Oh, I shrink from the horrifying thought of what my actions cost others when I behave like Jonah!

And yet, the lesson continues …

Jonah eventually repented and God gave him a second chance.

“Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.” ~ Jonah 2:10 NLT

Jonah finally obeyed God.  He went to Nineveh, and preached God’s Word.

5The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow. 10When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, He changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction He had threatened.” ~ Jonah 3:5,10 NLT

Happy ending, right?  Jonah is resurrected from a watery grave; the ship and all it’s crew are saved from the storm and worship the one true God; and a whole city is also saved.

Wrong!  Well, no doubt it was a joyful event for the people and animals of Nineveh.  But Jonah was so angry he complained to God about (of all things) God’s mercy and compassion to sinners.  See, Jonah was certain all along that if he preached to them, the people of Nineveh would repent.  God would forgive them because of His benevolent nature, and forego their destruction … RATS!  His worst fears were realized.

“Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.” ~ Jonah 4:3 NLT

Then God gently rebuked Jonah:

4Is it right for you to be angry about this? 11But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?” ~ Jonah 4:4,11 NLT

That is the last Word given to us in the Book of Jonah.  I rest upon God’s wisdom.

“Father, although we are worthy of judgement and destruction, today I glorify You for showing Your power to mankind in love, mercy and salvation instead of what we deserve. Thank you for the hope we have in Your gift of a new year 2019; to recognize Your willingness to give each of us another chance to be obedient to Your Word … Especially that we would realize that all men are equal in Your sight and deserve our love and respect. In the name of JESUS; ALPHA AND OMEGA; THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD, Amen!”

Thank you for following

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Clinging to Good

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The season of giving and thankfulness is upon us – My favorite time of the year!

9bCling to what is good. 10Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; ~ Romans 12:9b-10 NKJV

Is that even possible in our society today?

Of course it is.  And no better time than now.  Tis the season to invite friends over for food, drink, and conversation by the fire.  Give cheerfully – not expensively.  Bake cookies.  Be kind.  Mend fences.

Some folks suffer from depression during the holidays and my heart goes out to them.  It isn’t easy to be cheerful when your heart is heavy or the budget does not allow for much gift giving.  Toss the materialism and enjoy giving the most valuable gifts:  Time, love, laughter and hope.  God does not want any to suffer pain or fear.

Be of the same mind to one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. ~ Romans 12:16 NKJV

Continue to pray for God’s strength while clinging to good.  He is faithful and your example will bless others.

Thank you for following

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