christian

The Name

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There is power in a name based on what it represents. The name of God is no exception.

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.” (Psalm 8:1)

God declares that His name is established forever and so powerful that whatever we perceive to be the greatest enemy in our lives is weak before Him and will have to acknowledge the incomparable name of God.

His name is representative of all creation set in place by Him and yet He cares about and for all mankind.

“…what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” (Psalm 8:4)

Mankind is a picture of God’s loving-kindness and grace. He has crowned us with glory and honor and given us dominion over the works of His hands, putting all things under our feet. (Psalm 8:5,6)

How then are we to live in such a way that honors this magnificent gift of dominion to rule and manage all that God has entrusted to us? We are to glorify His Name with the understanding that we have only what has been given to us to manage here on earth. To do this properly we must agree with God and His purpose for creating mankind. We must believe by faith in the name of His Son Jesus, the Savior of the world.

“Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

Magnifying the name of God happens when we fulfill His purpose for our lives. Are you living in the light and power of Your namesake? If not, choose today to live and walk in a manner worthy of your calling. (Ephesians 4:1)

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!”

 

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Pray About Everything

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blessed living, Gods promises

Cultivating a lifestyle of prayer takes intentionality and an awareness that God is always with you. Jesus promised that He would be with those who would choose to follow Him.

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

He also promised that if we pray in secret to guard against hypocrisy and insincere desires to be seen by others (pride) that He would reward us openly.

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)

Growing up under the influence of my mom taught me how to cultivate a lifestyle of prayer. In our large family it was hard to have a secret place to pray but I eventually noticed that she routinely rose early in the morning when the house was quiet or found a corner in the house very late in the night.

Her prayers were sometimes quiet and at times fervent and passionate, often with tears and always on her knees. It was as if the more she prayed the more she realized her need to pray. She came to know that God was with her.

As I began my young faith walk and would face difficulties of my own she began saying to me; “honey, pray about everything.” She knew that cultivating a prayer life was the greatest assurance of knowing God for myself and mom was right.

“You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

 

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Prisoner of Hope

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blessed living, Gods promises

The word prisoner carries a negative connotation and yet in the context of faith in God it is a positive attribute that points to a lifestyle of built on hope. Whereas a prisoner loses his/her freedom to choose and are held bound to obey a higher authority, God followers are invited into a lifestyle of eternal hope.

Hope anchored in God is described as a stronghold; a well-fortified place, a fortress and a refuge from anyone whose aim is to keep us from fulfilling our destiny according to God’s will. It is also a place of restoration in the aftermath of great lost.

“Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.” (Zechariah 9:12)

In seasons of hardship its easy to forget that our position of strength is to remain in God’s stronghold of protection and His promise of restoration to all those who have placed their hope in Jesus, His Son. Jesus is the fulfillment of our hope.

“For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him (Jesus).” (2Corinthians 1:20)

Who is your stronghold and in whom have you placed your hope? In God we have the full assurance of hope until the end, the fulfillment of His promises. (Hebrews 6:11)

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3:21-24)

He is Hope Eternal

 

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A Valentine Wish for Marriage

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For more trust in God than in each other

For more loving actions free of charge

For more adoring glances fueled by committment

And a thousand kisses yet not one less enjoyed!

 

 

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Eternal Perspective

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blessed living

Decision making can be one of the toughest aspects of life and relationships because of the long-term ramifications that lay in the balance. With all the careful reasoning, resolution of doubts and inner conflicts leading to a final decision we still lack the eternal perspective that is needed when making wise decisions. We must at some point acknowledge out need to the One who does know the future and who tells us that He is eager to respond to those who seek His perspective.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God,  who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)

Because we’ve all been given a free will to make our own life choices, the bible speaks to the way of the wise and the way of the foolish. We have a choice to either listen to God and heed His voice of wisdom or to do what seems right in our own eyes. Those who choose not to listen to God move through life doing what seems right in their own, limited perspective. Real progress in life is hindered and the long term outcomes don’t end well.

“But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.” (Jeremiah 7:24)

To know wisdom is to know the God of wisdom.

“For My people are foolish; they know Me not;” (Jeremiah 4:22)

God’s wisdom opens the door to the eternal perspective we lack when making major life decisions. Seeking His input sets the wise apart from the foolish. The fool in time will suffer harm while the seekers of wisdom become wiser.

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

God has a good plan for all His children and is eager to grant us the eternal perspective we need when making decisions. Ask in faith (James 1:6) and it will be given to you.

“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool; but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” (Proverbs 28:26)

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Joy is Strength

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Maintaining a lifestyle of joy can be difficult in our world today, let alone in our own back yard. With no lack of catastrophic events near and far that create stress, worry and fear, it seems that every dimension of our lives has the potential to rid us of joy. Yet, joy is connected to our strength to endure the trials of life.

“…And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Perspective can drive our joy thermometer. Who and what we choose to focus on will determine our outlook on life. John the Baptist was a man who seemed to keep his life in perfect focus on the mission he was born to fulfill. He no doubt encountered misunderstanding, mocking and difficult circumstances in relationships that had the potential to derail his desire to submit to God’s will and preparation for ministry. He was the prophet of the Most High, born to go before the Lord to prepare His ways. (Luke 1:76)

“Who are you…What do you say about yourself? He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (John 1:22-23)

His joy in the Lord became his strength. Rather than allowing the issues of life to harden his heart, distract him from fulfilling his purpose, he learned that by putting God first he could rely on God giving him the strength or the joy to finish his course well.

“Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:29-30)

There is a joy that melts the hardness of the soul and it is found in Jesus. Trust Him to sustain you with His joy and He will be your strength.

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Believe God

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true followers of Jesus, blessed living

“Believe, believe, believe in Me, All your hearts desires be

Anchored in My Sovereignty, believe, believe, believe in Me.”

God has a plan for our lives that is offered to us through His patient, forgiving and gracious love. He gives us time to work out our lives according to our own wisdom and ways of doing life. He knows that eventually, after trial and failure, we will come to the end of our self-efforts. If we are fortunate enough to move through this phase of life, we will look back and realize that God was watching over us, protecting us during those years of futile self-efforts towards building a successful life. We will all conclude that there is no true wisdom but wisdom that comes from God.

“Where is the one who is wise?…Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish?” (1Corinthians 1:20)

Discovering God’s plan begins with accepting our inability to know His will without believing in Christ, His Son and our Savior. Once we accept Christ we gain access to godly wisdom that will lead us into the fruitful life God has for us based on His Word, the Bible.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

Don’t be like the foolish rich man (in the Book of Luke) who focused on storing up his earthly riches while neglecting the poverty of his soul. He perished in failing to live out his life according to the wisdom of God, his self-efforts came to nothing from an eternal perspective.

“That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:21)

Believe in God’s sovereign plan for your life. Humble yourself and get to know God through His Son and you will discover His eternal will for your life.

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God – who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly – and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

 “Believe” by ljwillis