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Archive for the ‘words’ Category

 
Grace and peace to you from God 
our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
1 Corinthians 1:3
 
 
“I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in Him you have been enriched in every wayin all your speaking and in all your knowledge–because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.  Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.  He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” 1 Corinthians 1:4-9
 
– You have been enriched in every way.
– You do not lack any spiritual gift.
– Jesus will keep you strong until the end.
– God is faithful.
 

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God’s Words

“… my words remain in you …”
 
~Jesus
 
 
During this first month of 2013, I have been talking to my children about ways that we can keep more of God’s words in our hearts and minds.  We have also been talking about why it is important to do so.  My goal for my family is this: each day we will hear or read one or more verses from the Bible.  The phrase from John 15:7, “my words remain in you,” has shaped this goal.  To reach our goal, we have to make deliberate behavioral choices.  Ideally, I would like to read my children a Bible story each day, but often (for various reasons) it doesn’t happen.  However, I try to create a climate where hearing God’s word is natural part of our day.  We talk about different verses throughout the day, and when we are in the car, we sometimes listen to a recording of the book of Psalms.  After dinner, sometimes we read from one of the gospels or from the book of Proverbs.  I try to provide a variety of ways for my kids to interact with scripture so they won’t feel like it is a burden or boring.  If we have had an extremely busy day and they haven’t heard any of God’s words during the day, I like to add a scripture to our traditional bedtime song and prayer.  Having this goal of hearing and reading God’s word each day helps me keep my children, and as well as myself, receiving daily spiritual nourishment.
 
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourself to be my disciples. John 15:7
 
 
Dedicated to my mom, Charlotte on her 70th birthday.  I have wonderful memories of my mom reading me Bible stories, reading me Little Visits with God at breakfast, and reading family devotionals after dinner.  As I was growing up, my mom helped me hear God’s words every day. 
 

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God’s Eyes

 
For the eyes of the Lord range
 throughout the earth to strengthen those
whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
2 Chronicles 16:9
 
 
When we are fully committed, the gaze of God finds us and strengthens us.  When we are not fully committed, we miss the extra strength that could be ours.  One way I believe this strengthening occurs is by God sending his words to us. 
So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” God
Our part is making ourselves available to receive God’s words by listening and by purifying ourselves.  Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2 Corinthians 7:1).  May He strengthen our hearts so that we will be blameless and holy in the presence of God our Father (1 Thessalonians 3:13).
 
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
Strengthen me according to your word.
Psalm 18:1 and 119:28
 

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Living and Active

  
For the Word of God
 
 is Living and Active. 
 
Hebrews 4:12
 
 
There was a time in my life when the Bible was the last thing that I wanted to read.  I felt that it was boring and dry, so I began to pray that God would help me want to read the Bible.  That is the kind of prayer God loves to answer!  Over time, I have become excited about reading the Bible, and I continually find treasures that inspire, encourage, and challenge me.  God’s word is my lifeline.
 
Throughout 2012, I will be reading The Daily Bible.  It is the NIV Bible, in chronological order with 365 daily readings.  My mother-in-law shared her copy with me while we were in Missouri for Christmas.  She has been reading it for the past eight years.  In return, I gave her a copy of The Message, a version that I love.  I invite you to join us as we read through the Bible this year.
 
I hope this will be a wonderful year for you.  I am looking forward to discovering on an even deeper level what it means for God’s words to be “living and active” in my life.
 
NOTE: If you are new to Bible reading I suggest you start in the gospel of Mark or in Psalms or Proverbs.  Also, listening to the Bible on CD is a great way to experience the Bible.
 

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Live a Life of Love.
 
Ephesians 5:2
 
 
Be imitators of God, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2).
 
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger…. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:29-32).
 
Questions of the day: 
What does it look like to be an imitator of God?
Do my words help build others up?
Does my behavior grieve the Holy Spirit?
Am I kind and compassionate?
~
“Live a life of love” was the first Bible verse I taught my daughter.  At that time, she couldn’t pronounce her “L’s” and she sounded very sweet!
 

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Be kind and compassionate
To one another.
Ephesians 4:32
~
 
Sometimes, anger is surprising.  I do not often become angry, but recently something happened that made me furious.  I have found it helpful to have a plan of what I will do when I experience the emotion of anger. 
 
This is my plan:
1. Be silent.
2. Walk away from the person or situation.
3. Go to a private location with my Bible and journal.
4. Read my Bible and write in my journal.
5. Pray (for myself, the other person and for God’s perspective).
6. When I am calm, discuss the situation.
 
I opened my Bible to read Ephesians 4, looking for the verse, “In your anger, do not sin.”  The verse I found was, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32).  What struck me about this verse is its close proximity to the verses about anger.  We are called to be kind and compassionate even when we are angry.  This is my goal, even though I am not always successful.  
 
The situation that caused me to be angry was resolved quickly because God helped me to be calm and the other person involved responded to me with kindness when I shared my feelings.
   
Make every effort to keep the unity of the  Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit….  Ephesians 4:4 
 

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Do not forget to do good and to share with others,
For with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Hebrews 13:16
 
 
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess His name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others for with such sacrifices God is pleased”  (Hebrews 13:15-16).
 
The other day, my Dad and I were talking about what it means to please the Lord.  I enjoy hearing my Dad’s wisdom and want to share a little with you.
 
Hebrews 13:15 states that there are three sacrifices that please God.
 
1) The sacrifice of praise
2) The sacrifice of doing good to others
3) The sacrifice of sharing with others
 
“A sacrifice of praise puts the focus on God and not on yourself.  If you focus on God, you will be reminded of His love and faithfulness.  After you praise God, the next two challenges are, ‘How can I do good to others?’ and ‘How and what can I share with others?’  Be present and intentional with those around you.  Only by the power of the Spirit can you do this.”   Terry Sanford Smith
 

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