Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
While this is a familiar passage, when I read it for understanding I ask some questions. Maybe my questions will give you a fresh perspective on a familiar passage to most Christians. My thoughts go like this:
What’s the command? Do not be anxious.
What’s the alternative to anxiety? I can present my requests to God.
How do I present my requests to God? By prayer – petitioning God, but also thanking God for all He’s done and will do.
What is the assurance or promise stated to happen when I do this? The peace of God will come into my heart and my mind.
How big is this peace? It transcends all my understanding and has the ability to guard my heart and my mind.
What does this peace which transcends all understanding do? It guards my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. We are “in Christ” when we know God through Jesus. We are hidden. We are safe. We are in His protection.
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Have you wondered how to get to heaven? Many people have ideas about getting to heaven. The sources for information that are readily available many times are the ones least likely to have the answers you’re looking for.
There is an idea out there that if one has not offended humanity in some overt way, then heaven is surely possible. This is a popular belief of our day. Good works is a gospel quite prevalent in many religious sects. One must abide by a set of rules or do many works. This will surely reserve one’s place in heaven. The perpetrator of these lies leading people to hell is the enemy of our souls. The Bible says the devil, a predator, roams around seeking who he may devour (I Peter 5:8). He is successful in leading millions to believe in these ideas or others. Each of these mentioned is putting trust in oneself for salvation. It seems like a glance at humanity could bring an intelligent conclusion that salvation surely does not come from within the heart of humanity. But the enemy is vicious and clever, so the lies perpetuate from one generation to the next.
The Bible is clear that our works do not get us to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). We will express our faith through works once we are saved by faith in Jesus, but that is a compelling expression of our love and service to Jesus and His church, not out of obligation. The Bible is clear that no one is good, so all our sin is an offense to God (Romans 3:10-12). We all sin (Romans 3:23).
Many are missing the best information. There is only one way to fix the human heart. God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27), and He desires for us to know Him. God loves us. He loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son to die so we could have eternal life(John 3:16). Because there is only one way, there is no guessing. Jesus stated in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” The statement is clear and spoken with authority by the One and Only One who can provide the way. The only way to God is through Jesus.
The world religions make it complicated and exhausting to get to God. Thank God for Jesus!. Jesus never sinned. This fact made Him the perfect sacrifice. In John 1:29, John the Baptist said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The purpose is clear why Jesus came to earth. Jesus came to take away our sin. Because He never sinned, He could take our sin. He bore our sin when He bled and died on the cross. Because our sin is an offense to Him, we cannot get to heaven because no sin is in heaven. We have to be righteous, and when we receive Jesus, then His righteousness covers us, and we are declared righteous.
Jesus made the way for everyone to come to God through Him. Although He provided the way with His flesh and blood sacrifice, not everyone will choose Him. It is a personal choice that every person on the planet, past, present, and future, must make. What to do with Jesus? Those who choose Him can know that His resurrection ensures resurrected life for them too. The assurance is when He returns, every person who has put their faith in Him will be resurrected, whether in the grave or still alive (John 14:1-3).
Some people reject Jesus in their last bitter breath. Some receive Him in their last believing breath. But everyone will decide. It is not an objective decision. It is not an arbitrary decision. Philippians 2 tells us that one day every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess when Jesus comes again. What you find the hardest to do now will be forced out of you because no one will be able to be in His presence, see His presence, or know the reality of His coming without being in submission. But it will be too late at that moment. Every human on the planet, past, present, and future, has to decide whether they will make that choice now. Now is the time. It will be too late the moment you die or the moment He appears. Now is the time.
I’ve included verses that will help you ponder so great a salvation. The most important decision you can make now is what to do with God’s Son, Jesus.
As you read these verses, I pray that you will believe these verses. I pray you will receive Jesus as your Savior. Jesus is the only One who ever claimed to be God. In John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” This so clearly declared Jesus is God. This is a life-changing statement of truth. Only Jesus could state this.
Please read and ponder these verses today. Jesus is the only way to God. I hope you decide to receive Jesus and claim Him as Lord of your life. He is so wonderful. He will be your dearest friend every day of your life. You will find His friendship the best and His love for you dear and kind. He is worthy of trust, and He has a plan for your life that you would never think of on your own. If you decide to follow Him, you will wonder what took you so long. I know others who would agree with me about this. Please give your heart and life to Jesus today. I’ve never heard anyone say they regret it. Jesus is the way to heaven, and once you know Him, your place is reserved.
If you are reading this and already have this relationship with Jesus, then please share this post with someone you know who needs to know how to get to heaven.
How to get to heaven:
John 3:16 & 17- “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
Romans 3:23-for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 9 It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it.
Acts 2:21 – And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
John 11:25 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.
Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Years ago, my husband and I shared this wonderful news with a group and when we led them to consider these truths, one man declared aloud to his wife, “Now we know how to get to heaven.” This man was around 90 years of age. The Lord was merciful to him and let him live long enough to believe and receive Jesus in his heart. Maybe wherever you are now, you too will receive this wonderful gift of grace, given freely by Jesus, the Son of God.
Now is the time. May today be the day you can say with assurance, “Now I know how to get to heaven.”
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Christmas music abounds with scads of beautiful and touching carols, but none has captured my heart more than “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” I checked a few lists and this triumphant, happy song makes the top 20 Christmas songs. The theology in the hymn is crystal clear, and my heart rejoices to hear and sing it. The imagery of angels singing is not hard to visualize. The story told within the verses is joyful and masterful.
You may pick out some other Christian themes in it, but these are the ones obvious to me.
God sent Jesus into this world to save us.
All the nations rejoiced at His coming.
The angels proclaimed His birth.
Jesus is the highest and all supreme God, born of a virgin.
He deserves our devotion and allegiance.
The Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were all present at His conception and birth.
HE IS WITH US.
He is the epitome of hope because He brings life to all who accept Him.
For those who accept Him, death is just a passage to the best life.
He is PEACE, He is RIGHTEOUS, He is LIGHT and LIFE.
He put His glory aside to come to earth as a humble babe.
Those who know Him, one day, will rise to reign with Him. And lastly…
All glory, any amount, should be directed and freely given to Him.
HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING
Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the new-born King Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled Joyful, all ye nations, rise Join the triumph of the skies With angelic host proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the new-born King
Christ,the everlasting Lord Late in time behold him come Offspring of the Virgin’s womb Hail the Flesh, the God Head Hail the incarnate Deity Pleased as man with man to dwell Jesus, our Emmanuel! Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the new-born King
Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace Hail the Son of Righteousness Light and life to all He brings Risen with healing in His wings Mild He lays His Glory by Born that man no more may die Born to raise the sons of earth Born to give them second birth Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the new-born King
This carol thrills my soul. Hearing the introductory notes, my heart and spirit get simultaneously glad, and the words bring tears to my eyes. True worship of our King Jesus is contained in this song. It’s easy to see why the angels sing!
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests’.” Luke 2:13-14
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The holidays can bring out the best or the worst in all of us. We cram into our schedules unusual activities. We long for scenarios that may never happen, even if it is Christmas. Or, our expectations are sky-high from people that haven’t performed so well up to this point! For some reason, we think the magic of the season will produce a different result or reaction from those who disappoint all year long. The traditions and practices of the season are different from any other time of the year. Everything is different at Christmas.
Why is this?
Is it true that “It’s the most wonderful time of the year?” My mother used to say the whole world seemed to change for the better at Christmas. It seemed to her people acknowledged the Reason for the season. I think she was right. Things were prettier, and people were nicer; the flow of society was happier and more gentle as anticipation grew toward Christmas. The Judeo-Christian values were held dear in most of society, and these values governed so much of our behavior and celebration of the season.
Unfortunately, the world is different, and now more than ever, we must focus on our individual journeys with Jesus to cope with the world as it is. Followers of Jesus must remain faithful to Him and choose Him when much of society isn’t. We truly have to decide to follow Jesus daily.
With that in mind, maybe the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons are more important than ever.
Let’s not allow the darkness to do what darkness does. Darkness will creep into your soul and make you cynical of all that’s happy and bright and of the goodwill still present on this earth. Even today at church, someone asked how she could quit focusing on all the bad in the world.
Here are eight tips for holiday help:
Stay with Jesus – Focus on scripture reading and prayer. Add this to your life if it isn’t already. There are all kinds of Christmas Bible reading plans online. Find one and start it. If you are in this habit already, then keep it going. This daily discipline will save your life and keep you sane.
Enjoy the Body of Christ – If regular church attendance is already part of your life, keep that going. Be at your local church as often as the church holiday schedule allows. Our religious freedom is a gift, and corporate worship is God’s idea.
Pray for the lost – Your friends and family who don’t yet know Him need your prayers. You may have a divine opportunity around them these next few weeks. You’ll be ready for it if you’ve spent time with the Father.
Play the sacred Christmas carols – “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” will be heard a thousand times on any radio station. Raise the essence of the season and download some gorgeous, choral or orchestral music, and enjoy the grandeur of these long-held hymns of Christmas.
Love the ones you are with – Be kind, and use manners with those you’re around every day. You will feel better about yourself and your relationship with the Lord.
Teach the traditional– Christmas carols, old movies, poetry from days gone by, and lasting beliefs. Snuggle up and share storybooks of Jesus coming to earth. Focus on the biblical more than the secular.
Keep good routines – If you have good habits such as eating right, going to bed at a regular time, or exercise, then keep it up. If not, start. All these things are remedies for stress.
Serve others – This is basic Christianity and should be done regularly anyway. Work in your local church as there’s often a need for volunteers to greet at the Christmas services, serve meals, or buy presents for others.
Live Christlike – There is incredible suffering, and people who know you are watching you. You can bring the light of Jesus to your world. If you have a stressful schedule, figure out your “no’s,” dig deeper, and lean on Jesus.
The darkness of this world can breed cynicism in all of us. As followers of Jesus, we have His light within us, and we can be vigilant to keep the light burning as steady as a lighthouse. Let’s not cave into the world’s darkness. Let’s live as children of the Light because the world has nothing to offer to us. They are searching for the Light. We have to remember…Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Joy to the world, the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.
Covid19 is still here. It’s impacted our lives, and I don’t need to tell you how. It’s quite hard to believe all the changes. We are wondering will things go back to normal. Here are some questions to ponder.
Am I still the same?
Am I changed?
Am I closer to Jesus now?
Do I love His Word more?
Do I hear God speaking to me?
Is there sin in my life that I need to confess and take action to flee?
Of course, we can always choose to be alone with God. A pandemic doesn’t have to be the reason. Do you have gaps in your days because of Covid? These are opportunities. And Jesus is better than any lottery ticket. He is dependable.
When all around you changes, He is not and will not. He can’t. Hebrews has a verse full of stability and promise, which says, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” A world to our expectations is not part of the deal. Actually, in John 16: Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.In this world you will have trouble.But take heart! I have overcomethe world.”
The other morning as I was in my quiet time, I came across all of these gems. Maybe reading these will inspire you to fellowship with God through His Word. There are many more scriptures like these that give testimony to the benefits of reading God’s Word. Ponder these few.
Who knew memorizing it could help you not to sin.
2. This verse clearly explains the usefulness of reading and applying Scripture.3. Wow, let’s pray we love reading God’s Word more than food. 4. Jeremiah expresses a desire to read the Scripture and expresses the benefit. If you don’t have this desire, then pray for it. That is a prayer God will answer.5. Scripture comes straight from the Lord. Living by it is wise—every word.
Today is the day to invest your time in reading God’s wonderful word. I have several blogs on this website on writing scripture which guarantees to slow down the brain and bring peace. Here’s one. FREE PRINTABLES are at the top of this site for you to work and enjoy. Suppose you don’t have the desire to get more of God’s Word in your life, pray for it. If you live in sin, you can’t hear from God, even if you are a believer. Confess that sin, get out of the sin, and start again living a life that brings glory to Him.
The Bible was not given for our information, but for our transformation. D. L. Moody
Hope is real, and it lives in truth and can’t be mistaken as false hope. When a person makes things way too optimistic regarding something that has a strong chance of not happening, that is false hope. In error, humans often choose this.
False hope, when finished leading you on, leads to despair.
Losing hope teaches us to live in the light of real hope. I’ve had just enough pain in my life to know how valuable hope is to my emotional survival. I’ve experienced its power!
The Bible speaks of 2 kinds of hope.
Eternal Hope. Eternal means it is going to last! It’s without end. God is infinite and without end.
Living Hope. It’s living because it resides inside our spirit. Because of the resurrection, Jesus is our living Savior, our living Hope.
Hope makes life
worth striving for,
worth fighting against the darkness,
worth every ounce of directed energy to hang on to,
diminishes skepticism with quiet confidence,
There’s no easy path to get to this point.
We may go through storms, dark tunnels, raging rivers, sleepless nights, and the question of why. As we cling to Jesus, we find His promises are true, and He is faithful. In the end, we learn, He is our hope.
Hope has, within its nature, longing for more. That’s when a believer looks to a life promised beyond this. Heaven. Those in Christ have a home in heaven.
Looking forward to heaven is closely aligned with hope.
Hope, for the believer, causes a radically different approach in terms of residing on planet earth. It’s about WHO is our Hope. Because of Jesus, our spirit is sustained, no matter our circumstances. We, as believers, have the God of Hope living in us. Even in the dark nights of the soul, we have a God big enough to absorb our despair and aching souls. He is our Hope.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
This concept of hope is too big to cover in one blog. I will post more about this supernatural quality given to every believer in Christ Jesus. Until then…
“Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.” C.S. Lewis
No matter what, if you are a follower of Jesus, you can count on Him to come through. It may not be the way you would choose, but you can trust whatever the way, He is busy working it out for your good and His glory.
One of my go-to passages from the Bible is out of Lamentations 3:22-24 which says,
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;therefore I will wait for him.”
It does require waiting, but His word promises HE is enough.
Recently, I discovered the connection between this Lamentations passage and the glorious hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Thomas Chisolm wrote the words to this hymn in 1923. He was inspired by this Bible passage in Lamentations, and later it was put to music. I’ve known this song longer than I can remember. Congregational singing in church brought it into my life, and years of hymn singing put it to memory in my mind.
In our church, often, songs with the themes of heaven and grace are sung. As we all join together heralding this good news, the idea of this blessed condition makes me weep at times. While singing, my mind ponders how freeing it is to live a life indelibly marked by the grace of Jesus. None of us deserve this grace. Gratitude often springs from my heart because I know without the Lord, my life would be as dark as the night sky with no hope of a new day. Quite the opposite is true, and I know it is because of the grace of Jesus.
If you are a follower of Jesus, surely you know and experience the grace of God daily!
He cares so deeply for His children, and His love is boundless and inexhaustible, and unfathomable.
If you aren’t a follower of Jesus, you may wonder how to make sense of it all. Surely, observing the events of our day would rattle the most stable person and cause questions to swirl. I’m wondering if you are in that state now, would you be looking for lasting peace?
The One who lives inside me is the only One who’s been able to give my life peace, purpose, and a plan. He is my stability and my joy.
This all-encompassing God also has a place reserved for me in Heaven. I know this for sure, and it’s not because of anything I’ve done. It’s actually because of everything He did for me when He died on the cross. Then, when I chose to receive His gift of salvation, certainty and assurance became my eternal hope.
I don’t deserve this one bit.
This gift came at the most supreme of sacrifices. God sent His One and Only Son to this earth with a mission to die for my sin and your sin. Receiving this gift has nothing to do with anything I’ve done. I am not a good person, nor do I have to do good works to earn this salvation. Any good coming from me is only because of Jesus and His righteousness. Any good works I do spring from my love for Him.
My faith is in the person of Jesus, not a religion. Because of Jesus, my heart is more tender to this world, and prayer is my response. I don’t lose hope. I know there are spiritual forces at work in this world.
Certainly, I’ve decided to follow Jesus, which means my life focuses on being part of the solution to the world’s ills. But my hope and peace are not found in this world. This world, as we know it, will not last. So how does one find this peace? How can one have peace with God in a world shattered in pieces?
Consider these verses:
John 3:16 & 17 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
John 14:6- Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Romans 3:23 -for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 9 It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it.
Acts 2:21 – And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
If you believe what you’ve just read, then you can ask Jesus to come to live in your heart, and He will. By recognizing your need for Him, you can begin a relationship with the eternal and loving God. It is the best decision you will ever make. Once you do this, you will want to find a Bible-teaching church to attend. You can find several resources on this blog about reading the Bible and learning to walk in His ways.
Dear Jesus, if I don’t know you, I pray now and ask you to come live in my heart. I need you to forgive me of my sin. I believe you died on the cross for my sin and rose again. Please take my sin away and come live inside of me. I want my life to count for you. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
If you are a follower of Jesus, then having a quiet time is something you do. It’s part of who you are as His follower. It’s a time for Him to talk to you through His Word and time for you to speak to Him in prayer. This is the relationship we all learn about, and yes, it’s that simple, and yet it is profound.
I’m an advocate of a morning quiet time. It gets the day started right by filling your soul with His powerful Word, leaving your burdens with Him, and humbling yourself and letting Him lead the way.
God’s Word is not dull, but sometimes this discipline could use some variety. One thing I started a few years ago is scripture writing. Writing scripture affects my spirit, much like a good night’s rest feels. A sense of well being emerges and the truth of scripture seems to magnify before me.
You can add this practice to your quiet time, simply choosing passages in the Bible to write. But, there are some great minds out there who have made it super easy by compiling lists of scripture by the month. Just google “scripture writing,” and you will find the options. Choose one, make a copy of the plan, gather a notebook and pen, and you’ll be ready to start this new adventure with scripture.
So let me tell you how I use scripture writing:
I find the passage in the Bible, and I read it, sometimes out loud.
I write the scripture passage in the notebook. As I write, I try to absorb the words and meanings.
Often, I place my name, where there are personal pronouns. This technique personalizes it for me.
I look for keywords such as repeated words, words that describe the human heart, words that describe God’s heart, a command, a list, action words, consequences, or a promise and more.
I circle, underline, make squiggly markings around these elements. Out beside the scriptures, I write any question the scripture prompts, a praise, a statement the Holy Spirit is pressing on me. I call all this diagramming Scripture.
After “diagramming” the passage, I may write out a prayer based on the scripture.
This entire process takes only a few minutes. By the time this is done, God’s spoken through the passage, and the activity of prayer follows. Sometimes I make the scripture passage the start of my prayer time. The scripture writing I’ve used most recently ishttps://theplanningwoman.com/scripture-writing-plans-2020/
Having a morning quiet time is a daily spiritual discipline that involves you interacting with our holy God. Time spent with God brings assurance of His Presence all day and guides you in His way. Beyond transforming your mind, your life will bring more honor and glory to Him because you met with Him. Embrace your time with God each morning.
The secret to a happy life is giving God the first part of your day, the priority to every decision, and the first place in your heart.
We’ve all heard of the Serenity Prayer. Familiar as the Lord’s prayer to some and part of our culture for decades, yet most don’t know the prayer in its entirety.
We are familiar with the shortened mass-marketed one, seen in every bookstore, on every card table at garage sales, as plaques in thrift stores, and inscribed on mugs across the world. This overproduced version is only a portion of this reflective and meditative prayer.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Have you ever seen the entire Serenity Prayer?
I learned about the full prayer when I began the curriculum of Celebrate Recovery years ago.
The prayers’ author is Rienhold Nieburh and his daughter, Elizabeth Sifton says her father was a deeply committed Christian and social activist. She asserts that he also was an evangelical who believed not so much in liturgical prayers but in prayers that were motivated by the Spirit.
The prayer was not intentionally written for addicts, as it is now mostly applied in our modern times. Alcoholics Anonymous adapted the prayer, but only the first portion of it. Celebrate Recovery has the prayer, in its entirety, in the front of its step books.
A significant discovery I made when exposed to the entire prayer was it gives honor to Jesus. Jesus is the only One who can understand our human suffering. Likewise, He’s the only One who can redeem suffering, though this does require our cooperation through surrender. This is the entire prayer.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.
Perhaps this prayer can serve as a tool for your walk with the Lord. It is not scripture, though scripture can apply to the principles mentioned. It is not magical and carries no power, but it can serve as a reminder of our humanity. Indeed, it clarifies who our Higher Power is, or may I say, who the Highest power is.
His name is Jesus.
For some additional information behind the story, you may enjoy this interview from Nieburh’s daughter from a few years back.
Recently, my scripture writing was out of Colossians 1:9-14. As I was writing it and later reflecting on this passage, thoughts came like the glow of lightning bugs, as the Holy Spirit began teaching me. When I gleaned all I could, I decided to make a simple study. This study is based on the New International Version translation. You would glean even more if you use a study Bible.
Pondering the recent events in the United States made me think about clinging to my identity in Christ. As a follower of Jesus, even when I learn of the problems in our nation, I still have peace. That’s because my identity is in Christ and not dependent on outward circumstances. I see a world locked down in sin, but I am free in Christ. Followers of Jesus look at events in the nation and the world with the clarity of Scripture. Let the events you observe motivate you to run your race believing you’ll be first over the finish line!
As you ponder this passage, please put your name into this passage to personalize it. As you bask in this passage, pray for our nation, pray for yourself to walk worthy of this Gospel, and live free in Christ. Pray for the lost and pray for our leaders. And remember, God is in control of all of history.
There are Christians in other nations who have very few of the freedoms we know here in America, yet they are free. That’s because Christ is the one who gives freedom. No geographic barriers can stop His love from entering the human heart, and once He lives in you, you are free no matter where you live.
Click below for Simple Study – What Freedom Really Looks Like – A Free Bible Study
It’s Father’s Day 2020. My earthly dad went on to glory Christmas Eve of 2014. It is one of the best memories of my life. Because he was a follower of Jesus, death had no sting. Those of us present at his passing were able to sing sacred Christmas carols to him. We had the strength that assurance brings when one knows a loved one has eternal life with Jesus.
Remembering my dad is pleasant, but my relationship with my heavenly Father is a daily and eternal joy. And that’s the way my dad would like it. So sometimes on Father’s Day, I write a letter to my heavenly Father, the One who saved my soul. Have you ever done this? If you know God through Jesus His Son, then you know what a close relationship you can have with Him. If you have time today for some solitude, consider writing a letter to Him. Here are some ways to get started.
Read some chapters in Psalms with worship as their theme and spend time thanking and praising the Lord for who He is and what a good heavenly Father He is to you.
Find some songs from your playlists or search for some on Youtube about our Father. Selah has a song entitled, “How deep the Father’s love for us.” Amy Grant, “My Father’s Eyes,” and Chris Tomlin’s “Good Good Father” are just a few.
Find a notebook and start writing. Thank Him for all you’ve been reminded of about Him in the Psalms and your songs.
Make it personal. Thank Him for everyday rescues, interventions, and solutions He brought to your mind. Thank Him for His faithfulness and His daily provision.
Lastly, thank Him for saving your soul. Thank Him for the cross. Thank Him for the promise of His presence through life. Thank Him for His goodness. Thank Him for His care. Thank Him for your heavenly home being made for you.
My dad knew the One who’d saved his soul. The song, “Because He lives” was a favorite of his. My dad was sure of his destination, and this assurance gave him hope on this earth.
No matter who your earthly Father was or is, if you are a follower of Jesus, you have a relationship with an all-knowing, loving, and gracious heavenly Father. He will love to receive your letter.
Happy Father’s Day.
Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. C.S. Lewis
Has worry ever grabbed you, and suddenly you feel suffocated by a situation beyond your control? Worry is a condition many live in regularly. We all know there are some rather large situations in life that can escalate our concern to full-blown worry.
If you are a Christian, I can tell you Jesus doesn’t want His children to make a practice of worrying. Worry is a sin, and any effort we put forth to get it under control is time well spent. Some of those efforts are talked about in other blogs on this site, but spending time in Scripture or in prayer are some of my go-to strategies.
The immediate reward of choosing to slow down and engage with God’s Word or talk to Jesus is undeniably beneficial. Ultimately, worry harms our mind and body, which could be why God doesn’t want His children consumed by it. Our heavenly Father knows His children, and He knows when we worry, our hearts and mind are not on Him. It’s as if we agree with our flesh or the devil about situations instead of trusting Jesus and gaining strength through the Holy Spirit to wait on His outcome.
All through the Bible, solutions are given to help us give our worries to Him, to turn our worries into prayers, and cast our burden on Him. Maybe this is where you find yourself now.
If you are in this consuming situation now, can I encourage you to take a healthy break and be consumed instead by God’s Word? Take some time now and read these scriptures.
Psalm 19 (the whole chapter)
Then take a few minutes and write the scriptures. Then turn them into prayers back to God. This will be time well spent. And if you do this, you will feel God’s peace inside. You will be more relaxed. Then you will know God is in control of the situation. Then you can praise Him for the beautiful work He did in you over the last few minutes, and you can thank Him for what He will do in your situation.
You can’t simultaneously worry and worship God. Every time you worry, you’ve forgotten how much God loves you. Worry is really acting like an atheist. It’s pretending you’re an orphan rather than a child of God. Rick Warren
Some of you may be following the Scripture Writing from The Planning Women as we do here at Buried Treasures Home. Sometimes, while I’m doing the scripture writing, the Spirit fills my mind with questions about the passage. After I understand the answers, I then have another discipleship tool to pass on to the ladies. This week was one of those times, and I was able to get it typed up and passed on to them. Even if you don’t do this particular scripture writing or scripture writing at all, you can still print off this printable to use for some extra Bible study time. Enjoy. Scripture Writing follow up for March 3
It’s almost Christmas. Some of you have a decorated home already. As you stay faithful to our Savior during this season, it’s important to remember, Jesus has shown us how to respond to the hard things.
This morning, my scripture writing was out of I Peter 2:21-25.
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
This passage is inspiring. In the verses before it, the subject matter is about submission to authorities and suffering for doing good. Verse 21 starts, “To this, you were called.” We are called to submit to authorities and to know as followers of Jesus; we will suffer for doing good. When we do suffer, we are to endure it. The only thing I’d add to this is to be sure your suffering is not something you caused. Jesus is not talking about self-inflicted suffering; those preventable things.
The passage also says Christ suffered for you and left all believers an example in Himself and to follow in His steps. Based on verses 22 and 23, Jesus shows an example for us when He appeared before His accusers.
Jesus endured insults.
Jesus did not retaliate.
Jesus did not make any threats.
For us to respond as Jesus did requires us to walk in the Spirit. Responses like His are not natural. Typically, whenever we feel insulted, the opposite usually comes forth. Even if we manage to keep guard over our mouths, the darkness is in our hearts. The challenge from scripture does not take into account our sinful nature. The scripture gives us Jesus as our example, and He tells us we can respond like Him. The example is given and is the one to follow. We will face suffering for doing perfectly good things in Jesus’ Name, and we are to suffer well. We have His power inside us to respond well. Leaving the results to Him is a matter of trust. Jesus trusted His entire life to His Father.
He went to die on the cruel cross so that “we might die to sins and live for righteousness.” A wonderful thought follows, stating we are healed by His wounds. Jesus suffered on our behalf, in our place. And because HE did, we are healed. When we accept forgiveness from Jesus, we move from the disease of sin to being made well and whole. We identify with Christ. The cure has come.
In conclusion, verse 25 of this powerful passage says we have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls! Have you returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul? Acknowledged is the final hope of turning back to Him in the two protective, loving names, Shepherd and Overseer.
This Christmas season, let’s find hope in this passage from scripture. It tells the entire reason Jesus came and then ends almost like a benediction to comfort us as we return to Him, and endure until He comes again.
But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:5-6
Dear Overseer and Shepherd of our souls, help us to suffer well. Let us bring glory to you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.