Mountain View Independent Methodist Church
Monday, March 18, 2019
God is good ALL the time... and ALL the time, God is good!!

Year 2019 - January thru March

 
 

  

 

 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - March 2019 +++
 
 

 

 

Writings from late Rev. Billy Graham  

Question:
Most people I know say they will go to Heaven when they die but they cannot tell me why. Are they deceived?  

Answer:
Most people want to believe they will go to Heaven upon death because they don’t want to consider the alternative. But they must face the truth. Heaven will be filled with those who belong to Jesus Christ, for those who follow Him, obey Him and love Him, and Heaven is the place that Jesus is preparing for them. He said, “I go and prepare a place for you … that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3). This is a marvelous promise. 

Those who believe they will end up in Heaven without belonging to Christ should make their peace with God today. There are actually some people that declare they have no desire to go to Heaven because they believe it will be boring. Some truly think that Hell will be a big party. Others simply believe that Heaven will be a place where harps are played upon the lofty clouds. 

Heaven is not so much about the streets of gold and the gates of pearls, though God has prepared the most beautiful place for our eternal home, but Heaven for the believer is to be in the very presence of Christ the Savior. The Bible says, “We shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Heaven is God’s home. Heaven is a permanent home filled with His peace. For all those who follow Jesus to Heaven, they will find a happy home where we will glorify the Lord forever. 

Do not turn away from Jesus Christ who died to give you eternal life with Him in His beautiful home. Make peace with God today. 

https://billygraham.org/answers, 09/29/18 ~ Copied Article 

+++ 

The oldest computer was owned by Adam and Eve.
It was an Apple with very limited memory.
Just 1 byte and everything crashed. 

+++ 

God's plan for enlarging His kingdom is so simple - one person telling another about the Savior. Yet we're busy and full of excuses. Just remember, someone's eternal destiny is at stake. The joy you'll have when you meet that person in heaven will far exceed any discomfort you felt in sharing the gospel. ~ Rev. Charles Stanley 

+++ 

Facing another Storm 

Just to be held in God's loving arms when things come your way that causes so much alarm. Things that are out of our control that breaks our heart and brings worry to our souls. We love it when things are going good and we are living like we think we should but then the shock comes along and a lot of the times it steals our song. We fall completely apart right from the start then God has to come in and reminds us where we've already been. "Didn't I take care of you way back then when you thought you had reached your end? Didn't I supply your every need and didn't I on your behalf intercede? I have never forsaken you and you know that to be true so why do you fall apart when trials come that try to break your heart? I have never left your side and didn't I dry every tear that fell from your eyes?  

You are my dear child and my eyes are on you all the while, my love for you is steadfast and true and don't you know that I will always take care of you? So, as you face yet another storm just know that I'm holding you in my loving arms, keeping you safe and secure from any harm. So try not to worry and fret because I have never failed you yet and I never will so just listen to my voice and be still. Remember I'm just a prayer away and you can count on Me in every storm you face, all your worry and fear will fade away and I will speak peace to take its place." 

Written and submitted by: Jean Hunt, 02/16/19 

+++ 

God Is Love 

God and love are synonymous. Love is not an attribute of God, it is God; whatever God is, love is. 

In Creation. The love of God gives us a new method of seeing nature. His voice is on the rolling air, we see Him in the rising sun, and in the setting He is fair. In the singing of the birds, in the love of human hearts, the voice of God is present. If only we had ears to hear the stars singing, to catch the glorious anthem of praise by the heavenly hosts! 

In His Wisdom. God did not create humans as puppets to please a despotic desire of His own. He created us out of His overflowing love and goodness, and He made us able to receive all the blessedness which He had ordained for us. He “thought” us in the rapture of His own great heart, and lo, we are! Created in the image of God were we, innocent of evil, of great God-like capacities. 

In His Power. The whole world moves to God’s great, inscrutable will. Animate and inanimate creation, the celestial bodies moving in their orbits, the globe with all its diverse issues and accompaniments, are all subservient to this end. 

In His Holiness. God walked with man and talked with him. He told him His mind, and showed him the precise path in which he must walk in order to enjoy the happiness God had ordained for him. He rejoiced in the fullness of His nature over man as His child, the offspring of His love. He left nothing unrevealed to man; He loved him. Oh, the joy and rapture of God the Father over man His son! 

In His Justice. God showed to man that compliance with His dictates would always mean eternal bliss and unspeakable joy, life and knowledge forever—but that failure to comply would mean the loss of life with God and eternal death. 

In the world’s bright morning, the stars sang together and all creation leaped in joy. Then the wild desolation of disobedience, pride, and selfish sinfulness entered, opening a great gulf between God’s children and Himself. But, as always, love found a way—God came to us and for us. Now, with chastened hearts and quivering lips and glistening eyes, yet with love deep and strong in our hearts, we say again with deep adoration, God is love. 

This is an excerpt from God Is Love:
Reflections on the Character of God, a Discovery Series booklet by Oswald Chambers 

+++ 

God Will Make a Way

Have you ever really needed directions in life? Christians are no more immune from needing directions that anyone else. Richard and I have been on a journey that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. After years of being healthy, my health headed south. I hurt so badly and I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. Then to add to my misery, Richard was not doing well either. Now we were really in a mess. There were other mitigating factors that came into our lives that almost broke us apart. The Devil was working overtime seeking to devour us.  

I went to doctors trying to find out what was wrong with me. There were trips to the ER. I had read a blog about the drug Cymbalta and how it had ruined gallbladders in other people’s lives. I’d been taking Cymbalta for months to ease aggravating pains and tingling in my legs. I decided to see if my gallbladder was causing my health problems. All the gallbladder tests ran on me showed my gallbladder was fine. I knew otherwise because I was still hurting. I finally got the approval and a surgeon removed my gallbladder. My diagnosis was cholecystitis and that’s inflammation of the gallbladder. I feel much better without my gallbladder today!     

During my time of sickness, I noticed personality changes in Richard. He would get aggravated with me when I couldn’t answer a question the way he wanted it answered. Richard didn’t seem to be himself. Sadly, I had to admit it – as a couple, we were almost at our breaking point. 

Richard finally agreed to go visit our family doctor. He sent Richard to see a neurologist. This led to getting Richard to the ER and having tests run. After an overnight stay at the local hospital, Richard was diagnosed having suffered a subdural hematoma. These can be very dangerous. A Greensboro neurosurgeon was consulted and told us the hematoma was too small to be operated on and we’ll just have to wait and see if his body will absorb it.  

We’ve both missed church more than we ever wanted to. We’re grateful for all the prayers, phone calls, text messages, and the abundance of cards we’ve received from our church family, our immediate family and all our friends! What a great joy to be able to attend this morning’s services at Mountain View Independent Methodist Church! We’re holding fast to God’s promise to make a way for us when there seems to be no way. I trust God to answer our prayers and I’m leaving Richard’s healing in God’s hands.

Isaiah 43:19 (NIV): See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
 

Written and submitted by: Pat Lewallen, 02/17/19 

+++ 

Why isn’t Every Christian on-fire for God? 

When you study the life of Christ and consider the price He paid to redeem us. How He left heaven and came down to earth, humbled Himself, suffered and died on a cruel cross, made it possible for us to escape the flames of hell and go to heaven when we die.  Consider how God gives us all things richly to enjoy and gives us all the tools we need to live in victory over sin and Satan, and how the Lord provides for our needs and looks after us.  It makes you wonder, why isn’t every Christian “sold-out” to the Lord? 

I can promise you this; it will be the red-hot, passionate, dedicated, spiritual believers that will move the Kingdom of God forward in the last days! God has always had a remnant that He can count on to get the job done.  Are you in that number, if not, why? 

Now is not the time to be a lukewarm, carnal Christian. Ask the Lord to stir your soul.  Become a passionate believer! Live a life that is sold-out to Jesus Christ.  One day, when you stand before the Lord to give an account for the way you lived, you’ll be glad you were totally surrendered to Him and His will.  You’ll hear the Master say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21). 

Pastor’s Blog, 02/04/19, http://friendshipbaptistasheboro.com ~ Copied Article 

+++ 

Joyless Christianity Is Dangerous 

Are you in spiritual danger? If you were, how would you know? 

One key sign of spiritual danger is losing your joy. Don’t skim past what Paul says at the end of Philippians 3:1: “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.” Paul reminds them to rejoice because it is safe. 

Joy is one of the vital gauges on the dashboard of the Christian life. When the needle dips — when you lose your joy — you should take note. To stay safe, you need to pay attention to your joy. 

How does this work? Here’s an illustration. Coal miners know that dangerous gases can gather silently and secretly in the tunnels. Carbon monoxide will asphyxiate them. Methane explodes. 

A methane explosion took the lives of 12 men in the 2006 Sago mine disaster in West Virginia. In 1906, almost 1,100 miners were killed in Courrières, France in one massive chain of explosions. 

But in the early days of coal mining, they found an effective, low-tech solution: They brought canaries into the mines. A canary’s metabolism is very sensitive to air quality. As long as the bright yellow birds chirp and sing, miners know the air is safe. If gas levels rise, the canaries stop singing, wobble on their perch, and eventually fall to the floor of the cage. 

Christian joy is like that singing, yellow bird. One of the first effects of sin or doctrinal error is that we lose our joy in Christ. When your heart stops singing, that is a warning to watch your life and doctrine closely. 

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love. . . . These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:10–11) 

If your soul is satisfied in Christ, you will rejoice in Christ. Take your eyes off Christ, and you’ll lose your joy. Christian joy is a barometer of your spiritual life. 

Don’t confuse this unique joy with other upbeat feelings. Genuine Christian joy is not the power of positive thinking. Joy is not a bubbly, optimistic personality. Joy is not being happy because life is going my way. Joy is not walking through life with a naïve, glass-half-full attitude. 

Jesus says it is my joy . . . in you. And Paul says, Rejoice in the Lord. Joy is the emotion of salvation. It is the joy of seeing, knowing, loving, and trusting Jesus Christ. We cannot generate this true joy ourselves — it is the product of the Holy Spirit in us (Galatians 5:22). Joy is a glorious gladness and deep delight in the person of Jesus Christ. 

Such joy cannot be extinguished by the circumstances of life. It is a God-given joy greater and stronger than any trouble that comes into my life. As the prophet Habakkuk says, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17–18) 

As a spiritual barometer, joy is not a slave to circumstances. The light of Jesus’s face shines in the darkest night. Jesus said, No one will take your joy from you (John 16:22). A joyful believer is already more than satisfied in Christ — what more could he possibly want? Make it a point to be satisfied in Christ so that you rejoice in the Lord, and you will find safety and strength in your fight against sin. 

https://www.desiringgod.org, written by: Pastor Jim Johnston ~ Copied Article 

+++ 

“Old age may have its limitations and challenges, but in spite of them, our latter years can be some of the most rewarding and fulfilling of our lives.” ~ Billy Graham


 

 

  
 
+++ The Christian Banner - February 2019 +++ 
 
 

 

Come in Out of the Cold

One cold day I was helping Richard outdoors with a project. And now, I can’t even remember the project (another sure sign I’m getting old). I do remember thinking I was going to freeze to death before I could get back to the house. As soon as we finished, I went to the house, opened the front door and walked into a very warm room. Oh yes, it was an “extremely cozy” room too!

The heat felt really good to these old bones of mine. I sat down in the recliner, kicked back, grabbed my Redbird lap blanket and took a restful nap. Cathy, Richard’s sister, paid us a visit later on in the evening. She came in, sat down a few minutes and said, “Oh my, how warm your house is!” I told her Richard kept a fire going all day and the house had stayed toasty warm. 

Have you experienced needing a cozy place to warm up? I’ve found that warmth in Jesus. He promised to never leave me nor forsake me and I have no doubt He will always be with me. I can still remember “being out in the cold” without Jesus. Those were some really “cold” days. They were also scary days full of trembling because I didn’t know Jesus as my Savior and my Comforter. I didn’t know the peaceful joy that the Comforter could bring into my life at that time. 

How about you? Are you facing things in your life that scare you to your core? Do you need a friend that sticks close and will never leave you? If so, I recommend you come in out of the cold and ask Jesus into your heart. The Holy Spirit will be with you any time you need Him! 

John 14:15-17 (KJV) 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 

Written and submitted by: Pat Lewallen, 01/10/19 

+++  

Prayer of Release 

I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return. (2 Timothy 1:12 NLT) 

Heavenly Father, I release to you the burdens that I have been carrying, burdens that You never intended for me to carry. I cast all my cares upon You-all my worries, all my fears. 

Father, calm my restless spirit, quiet my anxious heart, still my troubling thoughts with the assurance that You are in control. I let go of my grip upon the things I have been hanging onto, with opened hands I come to You. 

I thank You for Your promise to sustain me, preserve me, and guard all that I have entrusted to Your keeping. Protect my heart and mind with Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Father, may Your will be done in my life, in Your time, and in Your way. 

Written by: Roy Lessin, DaySpring co-founder and writer ~ Copied Article 

+++ 

Opioids Linked to 1 in 5 deaths Among Young Adults 

Opioids were involved in one out of every 65 deaths in the U.S. in 2016. For younger adults, that number jumped to one in five deaths, a study published in JAMA Network Open found. 

Research was gathered data from the CDC's Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research database, which tracks U.S. mortality data and causes of death. To determine how many deaths involved opioids, researchers isolated the 335,123 opioid-related deaths recorded between 2001 and 2016. They then sorted the deaths according to age groups and years. 

Four study insights: 

1. The study found opioids were involved in 28,496 deaths in 2016. Over 8,400 of these deaths were among adults between the ages of 25 and 34, meaning about 20 percent of all deaths in this age group in 2016 involved opioids. 

2. Among Americans ages 15-24, the report found the nearly 3,000 opioid-related deaths recorded in 2016 accounted for 12.4 percent of deaths in the group. 

3. Among adults ages 35-44 the report found about 6,700 opioid-related deaths, compared to more than 5,600 among adults 45-54; more than 3,800 among adults 55-64; and roughly 800 among adults 65-plus. Regardless of age group, the study said opioids were involved in 1.5 percent of all deaths in 2016. 

4. "Premature death from opioid-related causes imposes an enormous and growing public health burden across the United States," the study authors concluded. "These trends highlight a need for tailored programs and policies." 

Written by Megan Knowles | June 07, 2018 ~ Copied Article 

+++  

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi  

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace! 

That where there is hatred, I may bring love. 

That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness. 

That where there is discord, I may bring harmony. 

That where there is error, I may bring truth. 

That where there is doubt, I may bring faith. 

That where there is despair, I may bring hope. 

That where there are shadows, I may bring light. 

That where there is sadness, I may bring joy. 

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted. 

To understand, than to be understood. 

To love, than to be loved. 

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. 

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. 

It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. 

—Saint Francis of Assisi— 

+++ 

 

Six Reasons Why Love Is SO Great 

Who doesn't love love?! 

I'm sure many of us can relate to a broken heart or the people we love disappointing us. I think it's really easy to focus on how much love can destroy us or hurt us. See, I used to think like that too. And yes, although love can hurt us, it's truly one of the greatest things in the entire world. Regardless of whether you are loved by a significant other, parent, friend, sibling, or by your dog, love creates a magic that nothing else can. So we must forget about the disappointment and hurt feelings and truly reflect on why love makes this world keep going round and round. 

1. Love makes you smile. 

So many times, you catch yourself smiling at everything you see or smiling at absolutely nothing at all! And that's one of the most magical parts about love, you are so happy that you can't even stop yourself from smiling. 

2. Love makes you believe in something bigger than yourself. 

It's a lot easier to believe in the impossible when other people believe in you too. Nothing is as difficult as it seems when there are people following right behind you and helping you every step of the way. 

3. Love makes you confident. 

When you know that someone loves you for who you are, it's almost like something inside you is released and you become yourself 100 percent. And no, I'm not saying you need someone to love you in order to be confident. In fact, one of the most important kinds of love is SELF love. And if you can give that to yourself, then you have right to be confident. 

4. Love opens doors to a whole new world. 

Think about it, the people who love you or that you love have had very different life experiences that they can share with you. Whether they are different ethnicities, religions, or genders, everyone has so much to learn from every single person. There's always a chance to learn and grow. 

5. Love doesn't see differences; it only sees with the heart. 

Love brings people together that you thought could never become close. Love does not see height, weight, appearances or socioeconomic statuses. Love only sees the souls and personalities of everyone - the parts of people that matter the most. 

6. Love is beautiful. 

Love is the reason for so much happiness, joy, excitement and courage in this world. Love brings out the beauty in so many people. Love is magical. 

So if I have one thing to offer this world, it's to love the heck out of everyone and everything. Just look at what it can do. 

www.theodysseyonline.com, Written by: Jenny Reckenwald ~ Copied Article 

+++ 

Why do you close your eyes when you pray, cry, kiss or dream?
Because the most beautiful things in life are not seen but felt in the heart. 

+++ 

Don’t ask for an easier life; ask to be a stronger person. 

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. 

+++ 

The Gift of Family 

Through her books and lectures, Edith Schaeffer has become much appreciated for her insights into the value of life’s ordinary days. When she and her husband Francis were first married, both sets of parents lived nearby. The newlyweds divided each Sunday afternoon and evening be-tween the Schaeffers and the Sevilles. 

After a few years, Edith and Francis moved to Switzerland, where they could talk with their parents only once a year in a brief phone conversation. 

Looking back half a century later, Edith wrote of being glad for the way they had used those Sunday afternoons. She noted that “proximity of loved ones is not an endless situation.” She concluded that a package labeled “time to care for parents and exhibit love” doesn’t just arrive someday. We must show love while we can. 

The fifth of the Ten Commandments says: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). The command to love and respect our parents applies equally to children living at home, newly independent young couples, and empty-nesters. 

Seize each moment you have to love and honor your family. The opportunity won’t last forever. 

Plan a regular time to call a family member.

Help an aged relative with a project or housework.

Write a letter to someone you love but cannot visit. 

www.odb.org, Written by: David McCasland, 12/16/04 ~ Copied Article 

+++  

The Time of the End 

Memory Verse: But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased (Daniel 12:4). 

Time is winding down. No one knows the day nor the hour of the Lord’s coming, but many sense that something is in the wind and students of Bible prophecy are aware of the many signs of our day that point to the return of our Saviour. 

Writing on our text, Dr. H. A. Ironside commented: “Daniel was told to shut up the words and seal the book, even to the Time of the End. This is in marked contrast with the message of the angel to the Apostle John at the close of the Book of Revelation. “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand” (Revelation 22:10). The present age or church period is looked at as being but a moment, so to speak, in the ways of God. Messiah having come and been rejected by Israel, the next thing in prophetic order is the Time of the End. If this dispensation is made a little longer, it is but an evidence of God’s long-suffering to sinners, being not willing that any should perish; but that all should turn to Him and live. 

“John says that all Christians who really believe in the return of the Lord take steps to get their lives in order. That is, they do more than sit around and speculate over the identity of the Antichrist. They forsake sin and seek the will of God in every area of life. Here are John’s words: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). Expect His return every day.

Today’s Devotional 01/19/19, www.jvim.com ~ Copied Article 

+++ 

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 (NIV). 

 

 

 
 

+++ The Christian Banner - January 2019 +++

 

 

A Time to Reflect During my Visit to NYC - Christmas 2018  

As I sit here with the sun shining down upon my face, I sense God's Presence and feel His endless love and grace. Sitting in this unfamiliar place just staring into space in my mind I can almost see God's glorious face. God is no respecter of persons no matter their creed or race and we're all equal as far as His mercy and grace. As I people-watch which is something I like to do but then it breaks my heart to see so many less fortunate than me or you. Sitting here on the dock of the bay in a place that feels so far away, I know God is here too, just as He is with me and you. As I watch all the people hurry by I wonder and give a sigh, how many of these people even know about the living Christ. So many living on the streets without enough to eat and how do they even stay warm especially when there's a snowstorm.  

We take so much for granted when we have a warm place to sleep and plenty to eat, yet we all complain never thinking about those who are living in this kind of pain. It's a good experience to take a look around especially when you're in another town even though it's not that far away people live differently from day to day. Time brings changes each and every day with people living in poverty and it doesn't have to be that far away, feed the hungry is what God commands us to do but how many are willing to do that if we're honest and true. It gives me a lot to think about and brings so many doubts but at the same time too I'm thankful that God does what He says He will do.  

When God blesses me and you we all know what we should do, share it with someone else and not keep it all for our self. Pay it forward is a good deed to do and you won't even realize the blessings it will bring back to you. 

Facebook posting by: Jean Hunt 12/14/18 – Used by permission 

+++

New Year’s Eve One Liners

A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.

May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions!

Every year I make a resolution to change myself…this year I resolve to be myself!

I’ll remember 2018 like it was yesterday. 

My New Year's resolutions are: 1. Stop making lists. B. Be more consistent. 7. Learn to count. 

I can't believe it's been a year since I didn't become a better person. 

 

+++

 

Question: Why Do People Who ‘Have it All’ Struggle with Drugs, Suicide? 

Answer: When people live for themselves and feed their desires, they will eventually find themselves empty. This is the case with so many who “appear” to be fulfilled. 

The Bible says that we were made for God. When we refuse to give Him His rightful place, things go wrong and our lives become distorted. The more people have the more they want. Eventually they come to a dead end. 

King Solomon penned the book of Ecclesiastes. People would be wise to read it often because it gives insight into the frailties of accumulating wealth, searching for fame and seeking approval from peers. He wrote, “Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure. … Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and … indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11). Finally he realized that lasting contentment and meaning in life is found only in God. 

These things should be a warning to us, to be sure that we do not seek to fill the emptiness in our lives through things that can never satisfy. Only God can give life to the fullest extent (see John 10:10). God says to come to Him, so our souls may live (see Isaiah 55:3). There is a song that says, “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.” The most important thing we can do is surrender our lives to Jesus. He will empower us to let loose of what the world gives us so that we can be filled with what really matters—to do the will of God. This turns disappointment into joy and emptiness into fulfillment (see Psalm 16:11). 

(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.) 

Invite Christ to fill the emptiness in your heart. 

Pray now: "Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen." 

https://billygraham.org/answers, 12/13/2018 ~ Copied Article 

+++ 

Your Last Day 

Let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. —1 Thessalonians 5:6 

What if you were told this morning that today was to be your last day on earth? How would you spend its fleeting hours? Whom would you insist on seeing? Would your behavior differ radically from what it usually is? 

Someone has wisely said, “You should treat every day as if it’s your last one, because one of these days you’re going to be right.” 

There’s no getting around it. Whether our earthly life ends by accident, illness, the ravages of age, or our Lord’s return, one of these days will be our last. That’s why we should guard so carefully the things we do and the words we say. 

We ought to be tying up the loose ends of long-neglected matters by expressing our love and gratitude to others, by seeking reconciliation with an alienated friend, or by sharing the gospel with a neighbor. 

Perhaps you’ve even been putting off accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior until some more convenient day. But that day may never come. Since your last day on earth can be so unexpected, heed Paul’s inspired words: “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). 

www.odb.org - 01/09/1995 devotional by: Vernon Grounds ~ (Copied Article) 

+++ 

God is Working out His Purpose

(This is an old Hymn and I couldn’t find it anywhere on the web -- so here goes)
  

God is working out His purpose

He has planned for you and me;

Though from us it may be hidden,

Someday we shall plainly see

How He stands behind the shadows,

Waiting to perform His will

Whisp’ring “Child, be of good courage;

Ev’ry promise I’ll fulfill.”

 

God is working out His purpose

Even though we go alone

It may take us from our loved ones

Lead us far away from home.

It will be the greatest pleasure

Just to feel His presence near.

And to know that God is working

Out the purpose to Him dear.

 

God is working out His purpose

Though it lead through desert bare;

He’ll go with us on life’s journey,

And our heavy burdens share.

Thro’ the weary years of waiting,

When the heart cries, “Lord, how long?”

God is working out His purpose;

Right will triumph over wrong.

 

God is working out His purpose

Never murmur nor repine

For our future’s in His keeping

Gladly to His will resign.

When the veil at last is lifted,

And the shadows flee away,

We shall understand His purpose

Thro’ one glad eternal day.

 

www.wordpress.com, Written by: veralau93, 10/01/2011 ~ Copied Article 

+++ 

Question: "What Sort of New Year’s Resolution Should a Christian Make?"


Answer: The practice of making New Year’s resolutions goes back over 3,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. There is just something about the start of a new year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. In reality, there is no difference between December 31 and January 1. Nothing mystical occurs at midnight on December 31. The Bible does not speak for or against the concept of New Year’s resolutions. However, if a Christian determines to make a New Year’s resolution, what kind of resolution should he or she make?

Common New Year’s resolutions are commitments to quit smoking, to stop drinking, to manage money more wisely, and to spend more time with family. By far, the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, in conjunction with exercising more and eating more healthily. These are all good goals to set. However, 1 Timothy 4:8 instructs us to keep exercise in perspective: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” The vast majority of New Year’s resolutions, even among Christians, are in relation to physical things. This should not be.
 

Many Christians make New Year’s resolutions to pray more, to read the Bible every day, and to attend church more regularly. These are fantastic goals. However, these New Year’s resolutions fail just as often as the non-spiritual resolutions, because there is no power in a New Year’s resolution. Resolving to start or stop doing a certain activity has no value unless you have the proper motivation for stopping or starting that activity. For example, why do you want to read the Bible every day? Is it to honor God and grow spiritually, or is it because you have just heard that it is a good thing to do? Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to honor God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honor yourself?


Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” John 15:5 declares, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” If God is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it has chance for success, depending on your commitment to it. If it is God’s will for something to be fulfilled, He will enable you to fulfill it. If a resolution is not God-honoring and/or is not in agreement with God’s Word, we will not receive God’s help in fulfilling the resolution.

So, what sort of New Year’s resolution should a Christian make? Here are some suggestions: (1) pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) regarding what resolutions, if any, He would have you make; (2) pray for wisdom as to how to fulfill the goals God gives you; (3) rely on God’s strength to help you; (4) find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you; (5) don’t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead, allow them to motivate you further; (6) don’t become proud or vain, but give God the glory. Psalm 37:5-6 says, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”
 

www.GotQuestions.org ~ Copied Article 

+++ 

Unspeakable Joy! 

These last few months have been tough on me. Sickness has played havoc with me and I don’t like it! It’s not any fun! I’ve had two bulging discs in my lower back for several years and one of them became herniated. That’s not a good thing either if you enjoy living without serious pain.  

I got an appointment with Dr. Durrani in Asheboro and he wanted to try an epidural to help ease the pain in my lower back and right leg. It took me half a second to agree to try this procedure. I can’t describe the relief the epidural gave me. Now there was some serious pain associated with the injection but it didn’t last too long. I felt so much better after the medicine kicked in. I felt a warm massage feeling going through my back and my legs bringing me much needed relief! I’ve named this epidural my “Florida Experience!”  

I thank the Lord for providing doctors and medicine to help us deal with pain. I clearly remember another time I found unspeakable joy in Jesus. That was when I surrendered my life and my being to God’s will. It was the best medicine of my whole life. How about you? Have you experienced the unspeakable joy that comes from knowing you’re living in tune with the Lord? I highly recommend it! It’s the best medicine for the soul and it’ll last until we’re safe in Heaven! I hope you’ll give Jesus a try… God’s love is the greatest thing you can possess in this old world!  

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6-7. 

Written and Submitted by: Pat Lewallen 

+++  

5. Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. 6. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8 NIV)