Tag Archives: heaven

God Is Sovereign

 

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Protocol

[Written by Joe Stowell for Our Daily Bread.]

Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. —James 1:6

If you were invited to a meeting at the White House with the President of the United States, regardless of your opinion of him or her, you would probably go. Upon entering the White House, a protocol officer would meet you and outline the proper procedures for meeting the President. Suffice it to say, it would be unacceptable to let loose with a burst of undignified familiarity or negative criticism as you shook hands.

So it should come as no surprise that God’s Word makes it clear that there is a protocol for entering the presence of God. Hebrews 11:6outlines one aspect of appropriate interaction: “He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” God wants us to be fully devoted to Him—and He takes it personally when our hearts are filled with criticism, unbelief, and doubt.

James tells us that when we ask God for wisdom, the key to His response is whether or not we are asking “in faith” (1:6). God is pleased when we approach Him with unwavering faith.

So leave your doubt at the door and follow the protocol: Approach God with a heart of faith, and He will be pleased to provide all the wisdom you need.

God, give me the faith of a little child!
A faith that will look to Thee—
That never will falter and never fail,
But follow Thee trustingly. —Showerman

Exchange the dissatisfaction of doubt for the fulfillment of faith in God.

The important things in life

 

A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”

“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

Author Unknown

Live and Work

 

Father was a hardworking man who delivered bread as a living to support his wife and three children. He spent all his evenings after work attending classes, hoping to improve himself so that he could one day find a better paying job. Except for Sundays, Father hardly ate a meal together with his family. He worked and studied very hard because he wanted to provide his family with the best money could buy.

Whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

The day came when the examination results were announced. To his joy, Father passed, and with distinctions too! Soon after, he was offered a good job as a senior supervisor which paid handsomely.

Like a dream come true, Father could now afford to provide his family with life’s little luxuries like nice clothing, fine food and vacation abroad.

However, the family still did not get to see father for most of the week. He continued to work very hard, hoping to be promoted to the position of manager. In fact, to make himself a worthily candidate for the promotion, he enrolled for another course in the open university.

Again, whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

Father’s hard work paid off and he was promoted. Jubilantly, he decided to hire a maid to relieve his wife from her domestic tasks. He also felt that their three-room flat was no longer big enough, it would be nice for his family to be able to enjoy the facilities and comfort of a condominium. Having experienced the rewards of his hard work many times before, Father resolved to further his studies and work at being promoted again. The family still did not get to see much of him. In fact, sometimes Father had to work on Sundays entertaining clients. Again, whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

As expected, Father’s hard work paid off again and he bought a beautiful condominium overlooking the coast of Singapore. On the first Sunday evening at their new home, Father declared to his family that he decided not to take anymore courses or pursue any more promotions. From then on he was going to devote more time to his family.

Father did not wake up the next day.

 

Give time to our family

 

After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.”

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. “What’s wrong, are you well?” she asked.

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. “I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,” I responded. “Just the two of us.” She thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I would like that very much.”

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. “I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed, “she said, as she got into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our meeting.”

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. “It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said. “Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,” I responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation – nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.” I agreed.

“How was your dinner date?” asked my wife when I got home. “Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her. Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.”

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: “I LOVE YOU” and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till “some other time.”

From: Academictips.org.

undeserved grace

From: ourdailyjourney.org.

Ephesians 2:1-10
The result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin (Romans 5:16).

Read Hebrews 4:16 and note what it says we can do and experience because of our “gracious God.”

How has your understanding of grace changed over time? Why can a better understanding of God’s grace lead us to do even more good works?

Early in my walk with the Lord, a friend told me that as I came to understand more fully how undeserving I was of Jesus’ grace, I’d embrace it all the more. Many years later, I still think about her exhortation when—on occasion—I move from acknowledging my sins and desperate need of a Savior to wondering if perhaps I’m entitled to special treatment based on my “good works.”

When pride sets in and our thinking grows faulty, Scripture reminds us:

• “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

• “God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

• ”God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The apostle Paul described a “thorn in his flesh” that helped him deeply experience the sufficiency of God’s grace. He wrote, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).

As we participate in the work of the Lord, we aren’t earning our way to heaven but, rather, are reflecting His saving grace and work in our lives by doing “the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10).

An Angel Story

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Inspirational stories about angels 

One day, while I was walking in the park, I noticed a little girl. Barefoot and dirty, she was watching all the people indifferently going by. She was silent and did not say a word. Everybody just passed by and did not pay any attention to her.

The very next day I decided to go back to that park and clear up if the girl was still there. She was right there in the same spot as yesterday, sadly looking around. I felt that I am worried about her, as a park full of strangers is not a good place for small kids to play alone.

I started approaching her and suddenly noticed that the girl‘s back was oddly deformed. A thought crossed my mind that maybe this was the reason why everyone was avoiding her and did not try to help. I got closer and smiled to let her know that I was there to talk, to help. I started with „Hello“ and sat down near her. The girl was very surprised, however, after a long stare into my eyes, she replied „Hi“.

We talked and talked, so many hours passed by and darkness came. The park became silent and empty. Then I carefully asked the little girl, why she was so sorrowful and lonesome. „I am different, that‘s why“ – was her reply. I agreed with her and smile „Yes, you are“, and then I continued „you remind of an angel, pure and sweet“. She slowly got to her feet and smile „Really?“. I confirmed, that she looks to me like a little Guardian Angel to watch all the people going by. To my surprise, she nodded her head and admitted „I am, I am your Guardian Angel“, then she spread her wings. I was so amazed, that I couldn‘t say a word. After a moment she explained „Think of someone other than youself. That was the purpose of my job here.“

Then I got to my feet and asked „Why nobody stopped to help you?“. „Because only you could see me“ was her answer and then she was gone.

From: inspirationalstories.eu

 

1000 marbles

A modern parable about Precious Time and appreciating life’s finite nature

— By Jeffrey Davis

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

I’m a Ham radio operator and spend some time working with radios and electronics. So when I heard this story it really made me think! I hope that you will find some application in your own life as well…

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whoever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles.”

I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say. “Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital.”

He continued, “Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of “a thousand marbles.”

“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.”

“Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I’m getting to the important part.”

“It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail,” he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.”

“So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to roundup 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.”

“I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.”

“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast.

This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.”

“It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. 75 year Old Man, this is K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!”

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss.

“C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.”

“What brought this on?” she asked with a smile.

“Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.”

HAVE A GREAT WEEK… and may ALL of your Saturdays be special!

Copyright, 1999, Jeffrey Davis

Jeffrey Davis is, indeed, a ham radio operator and author of thebook “1,000 Marbles”

From: Inspire21.com

marbles

Getting Back On Track

 

Getting Back on Track

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said:

“I find that in this world it is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”

Mr. Holmes is right: we are all moving in a direction, and it is very important for us to stop and check to see if we are still moving toward the right destination. I have learned this more than one time in my life.

Just Dragged Along….
I was born in a small town in southern Manitoba. My parents moved to BC when I was fourteen years old because they knew if I stayed there, I would soon be in serious trouble.

I have always loved excitement. If something wasn’t happening, I would make it happen. I disliked school and I loved sports, especially hockey. You could say my life back then was a lot like this guy who was going for a bike ride when his chain came off. As he was trying to fix it, a blue Mustang pulled up alongside him. The driver suggested they tie the bike to the car and tow it back into town. “Just ring your bell if I’m going to fast,” the driver said.

No sooner did they get the bike hitched up when a yellow Corvette pulled up alongside the Mustang and challenged the driver to a drag.

As the two cars raced down the freeway, a policeman saw them and radioed back to base. “Pick up this blue Mustang and yellow Corvette. They’re going 100 miles an hour.” Then he paused. “Just a minute. You won’t believe this, but there’s a guy on a bike right behind them. He’s ringing his bell like a madman and I think he’s trying to pass!”

That may sound funny, but I was just like the guy on the bike – going as fast as I could. Life seemed exciting, but really, I was just being pulled along.

A Direction-Changing Experience at Camp
When I was twelve-years-old, I decided to go to a Christian summer camp, mostly because it sounded like a lot of fun. But I had to memorize 100 Bible verses in order to go. With a lot of help from my mother, I did it.

My Sunday school teacher was at this Bible camp. His style was exactly opposite to mine. While I was spontaneous and impulsive, he was very steady and detail orientated. But he did have a certain quality that I really admired: He truly cared for me and loved me.

One morning after breakfast, he asked me to come with him for a walk. We sat down under a tree. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Marvin, don’t you want to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?”

Making a commitment to Christ was something that I wanted to do, but I hadn’t planned on doing until I was older. Inside I knew that it was the right thing to do. But that morning sitting under that tree, I was touched by how much this man cared for me. So I bowed my head and asked Jesus to forgive my sins, come into my heart, and make me the kind of person he wanted me to be.

I had no great feeling at this point. I just remember a strong sense of relief, like a knot in my stomach had gone away. It was like I KNEW this is what I was created for. That day, I started on the course of life that God had chosen for me. My course was set; my goal was heaven. But I had a few things I wanted to do before I got there…

A Head for Business
My father always encouraged me in the abilities he observed in me. One of strengths he saw was the ability to multiply money. I was a real Tom Sawyer type. When I had to pile firewood, I would let me friends ride my pony if they would pile a certain amount of wood. When I went to Winnipeg with my family, I bought three cap guns then sold two to my friends back at home for double the price. Seeing this, my father told me I would make a good businessman.

It helped that I enjoyed work. I could work 12 hours a day and still not be tired. After Kathy and I were married, I used the money we made to help finance a church camp. I also bought myself a lot of toys – a boat, horses, nice cars, and so forth. But at the same time, I started to slowly drift off course. I had taken my eyes off the right goal.

God blessed our hard work, and by the time we were 32, we had reached our financial goals. But that knot in my stomach returned again. My priorities were wrong. My life was like a vacuum cleaner bag that was too full. There was no suction, no power. I had made money, but now I was constantly afraid of losing it. It seemed like I was holding water in my hand, and the tighter I tried to hold it, the more ran through.

I remember standing in one of my barns one winter during a heavy, wet snowfall. The roof of the barn was threatening to cave in. I had done everything I could to prevent it, and I was totally exhausted. All I could do was wait and hope. It was one of those rare moments when I actually prayed. “God if you save this barn from caving in, I’ll do anything you want me to do.” The barn didn’t cave in, but I sure did. I forgot about the prayer until some time later. I had lost sight of my goal and I was dissatisfied with life. So, like a fanatic, I doubled my efforts. Soon I was involved in many more businesses.

It didn’t take long before I began to realize that material things didn’t satisfy. About this time, a businessman and my brother-in-law encouraged Kathy and me to go to a conference put on by Campus Crusade for Christ in California. California was warm and sunny while it was a cold and rainy November in BC – not a difficult decision. We decided to go but we took a number of people with us.

Getting Back on Track
It was at this conference that I finally learned how to live a full and purpose-filled life. I learned that I didn’t have to live the Christian life in my own strength – Christ wanted to live his life in and though me. But he wanted to be president of my life – not just resident.

That week, Katherine and I committed our time, our treasure, and our abilities to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I decided to give it a six-month trial – but when six months had passed, I never looked back. My goal became to seek the Lord and His righteousness and to help fulfil our Lord’s Great Commission.

Someone made a statement that week that greatly influenced my thinking. He said:

Until you have changed the hearts of men, you haven’t changed anything at all.”

I didn’t really want to accept that at first, because I had done a lot of good things. But I began asking God to give me an eternal perspective on everything I did. As I began to let God direct my life, my priorities started to change. The Bible became the authority for all of my decisions. It became the compass to keep me on course.

After I made that commitment, I cut back on my business and began to work with Campus Crusade for Christ. I realized that everything I had was the Lord’s. I was just the manager, so I shouldn’t hold onto things too tightly.

God made this clear to me soon after I’d made this commitment to follow Christ. All of our chickens caught a disease. Egg production came almost to a standstill. Surprisingly, I did not panic. I realized that everything I had was God’s and if He wanted the chickens to die, that was all right. They were, after all, His chickens.

This decision also impacted my work as a youth leader in our church. Even though I had always been fairly successful with youth, this group just did not seem to respond until I allowed the Lord to direct my life. Instead of majoring in entertainment, like we had been doing, we started majoring in proclaiming the gospel. A number of these young people were doing drugs – some of them were drug pushers in our area. So we began challenging them to commit their lives to Jesus Christ and help change the world – to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Our home was open to these young people every Monday night. Within a period of one year, over 100 young people committed their lives to the Lord. They then went into their high school and the local pool hall and challenged their peers and teachers with the gospel.

The result was changed lives! And a changed community! One of the fathers and a teacher in the local school told us that the morals, morale, and academic achievement of their students had greatly improved because of these positive, enthusiastic young people. The owner of the school bus system said behaviour on the buses had also improved.

Through all of this, God wanted to show me what he could do through me if I was available. And soon I knew without a shadow of a doubt that there was nothing that I would rather be doing than introducing people to Christ and helping them grow in their faith. That’s why we joined Campus Crusade for Christ, to be involved in winning people to Christ, building them in their faith, training them, and sending them out to win, build and train others.

Two years after I first attended that conference in California, Dr. Bill Bright, the founder and president of Campus Crusade, asked me to become the national director of Campus Crusade in Canada. I took up the challenge and sold most of my businesses to free up my time for ministry.

At that time, Campus Crusade for Christ’s goals were impossible without the Lord. But we know that God’s love and power know no bounds and barriers. Therefore, our plans should know no bounds or barriers. We have been given the opportunity to use technology, communication tools, manpower, and money to do the will of God

Still Checking My CompassI
Several years ago, I resigned my position as President of Campus Crusade for Christ of Canada, but continue helping organizations and businesses with leadership training, consulting and fund raising.

I am still very much in love with the Lord. I trust him more than I ever have. But I still have to check my compass daily to see if I am on track.

How about you? Have you checked your compass lately? In what direction are you heading? Do you need to make a “in-flight” correction? If so why don’t you say the following prayer and ask Christ to take over the control of your life.

Dear Father, I need you. I acknowledge that I have sinned against you by directing my own life. I thank you that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

From: thoughts-about-God.com

Grace Through Faith

 

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Eternal salvation: by works or grace through faith?

— By Dr. Stan Satterfield

Trust in the Lord - Proverbs 3:5,6

“We are not always sure why the Lord convicts us to do certain things, but we hope this message will encourage you in your walk with Him.  Many of us continue to be concerned that so many Protestants (Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc. ) and Catholics believe they are redeemed (forgiven of sins) and saved (going to heaven) because of their good works (keeping the Ten Commandments or God’s Law).

The Bible (God’s holy inspired love story given to us) says if we are guilty of even one sin (Rom. 3:23) then we are condemned to eternal separation from God.  However, because of God’s grace (undeserved favor based on his love, not our good works) we have forgiveness of sins and the free gift of eternal life (John 3:16).

Our salvation is based on God’s saving grace (what Christ did for us on the cross) through our faith in what he did to save us from our sins.  These Bible passages clearly show that we are saved to eternal life by the work of Christ.

Isaiah 53:4-6, 8, 10-12 “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.   But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity (sin) of us all.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.  And who can speak of his descendants?  For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makeshis life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.  After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities (sins).  Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.  For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

John 1:12 “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” ~ Receive Him as Savior.

John 5:39, 40 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life.  These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

John 8:24  “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”

John 17: 1-5 “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come.  Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began’.”

John 20:31 “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”  ~ Assurance of Heaven.

Acts 16:31 “They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.”  ~ Believe Jesus died for us.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  ~ Recognize our sinfulness.

Galatians 4:4-6 “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.  Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’.”

Ephesians 2:8, 9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Titus 3:3-7 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived, and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”


1 Peter 1:17-19 “Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

1 John 4:9, 10 “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live though him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Please understand that your good works will bring rewards once you’re in heaven but will not get you to the gate of heaven (Gen 28:17).  The Bible clearly says that we are not saved by religion, church membership, baptism, association or a knowledge of Christ (James 2:19 “Even the demons believe and shudder”).

Why do we think the Bible refers to the message of Christ as the gospel (means good news)?  It is good news because Christ did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.  He paid the penalty for our sins so that we don’t have to try to earn our salvation (of course only perfection could satisfy the requirements of a holy God and only the sacrifice of our perfect savior could substitute for us and meet this need).

Therefore, give thanks to our gracious heavenly Father and his holy Son for this amazing saving grace that cost Christ his life on the cross, but comes to us as a gift.  Please note that we must individually accept (receive the free gift) Christ as our Savior (paid for our sins) and Lord (ruler of our lives).  You will not be saved by church membership or by a relationship to someone you believe led a righteous life (a relative or friend who is a pastor, priest, deacon, nun, elder, etc.).

You receive Christ by personal invitation (Rev. 3:20) Christ says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door; I will come in to him (her) and fellowship with him (her).”  We receive Christ by grace (undeserved favor of God based on his love alone) through faith (Eph. 2:8,9) “By grace you have been saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast.”

If you’ve never accepted Christ into your heart, you can do it right now by faith through prayer (talk with God).  What you say in prayer is not as important as what is in your heart.

Prayer of salvation example:  “Dear Lord Christ, Thank you for dying on the cross to save me from my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life with you in heaven.  I now receive you as my Lord and Savior.  I turn away from my sins and choose to follow your path for my life that will bring glory and honor to you.  Please take control of my life and make me the kind of person you desire me to be.” 

If you prayed this prayer, please share it with a strong believer and join a body (church) of Bible believing Christians that can pray for and encourage you in your new life as a servant of Christ.”

From: www.Inspire21.com.

Children’s Prayers

 

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From: Rogerknapp.com

Children’s Prayers

A mother was teaching her 3-year-old the Lord’s prayer. For several evenings at bedtime she repeated it after her mother. One night she said she was ready to solo. The mother listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer. “Lead us not into temptation,” she prayed, “but deliver us some e-mail, Amen.”

A woman invited some people over for dinner. At the table she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?” The girl replied, “I wouldn’t know what to say.” “Just say what you heard Mommy  say,” the mother answered. The daughter bowed her head and said, “Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?

A 5 year old boy was sitting down to eat when his mother asked him to pray for his meal. He replied, “Mom we don’t have to. We prayed over this last night.” His mother had prepared leftovers from the day before.

A 4-year-old boy who was asked to return thanks before Christmas dinner. The family members bowed their heads in expectation. He began his prayer,  thanking God for all his friends, naming them one by one. Then he thanked God for Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, Grandma, Grandpa, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he began to thank God for the food. He gave thanks for the turkey, the dressing, the fruit salad, the cranberry sauce, the pies, the cakes, even the Cool Whip. Then he paused, and everyone waited–and waited. After a long silence, the young fellow looked up at his mother and asked, “If I thank God for the broccoli, won’t he know that I’m lying?”

A daddy was listening to his child say his prayer “Dear Harold,” At this, dad interrupted and said, “Wait a minute, “How come you called God, Harold? The little boy looked up and said, “That’s what they call Him in church. You know the prayer we say, “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Harold be Thy name.”

One night Mike’s parents overheard this prayer. “Now I lay me down to rest, and hope to pass tomorrow’s test, if I should die before I wake, that’s one less test I have to take.”

A five-year-old said grace at family dinner one night. “Dear God, thank you  for these pancakes.” When he concluded, his parents asked him why he thanked God for pancakes when they were having chicken. He smiled and said, “I thought I’d see if He was paying attention tonight.”

A little boy’s prayer: “Dear God, please take care of my daddy and my mommy and my sister and my brother and my doggy and me. Oh, please take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to you, we’re gonna be in a big mess.”

Johnny had been misbehaving and was sent to his room. After a while he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over and then said a prayer. “Fine,” said the pleased mother. “If you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you.” “Oh, I didn’t ask Him to help me not misbehave,” said Johnny. I asked Him to help you put up with me.”

A little boy was overheard praying: “Lord, if You can’t make me a better boy, don’t worry about it. I’m having a real good time like I am!”

A little boy was saying his bedtime prayers with his mother: “Lord, bless Mommy and Daddy, and God, GIVE ME A NEW BICYCLE!!!” Mom: “God’s not deaf, son.” Boy: “I know, Mom, but Grandma’s in the next room, and she’s hard of hearing!

Little Johnny was softly saying his night prayers kneeling down, and his mother was beside him. “Say your prayers louder, darling, I can’t hear you,” Said Little Johnny’s mother. “But I’m not talking to you” was the instant reply.

One Sunday in a Midwest city a young child was “acting up” during the  morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle. Finally the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer the little one called loudly to the congregation, “Pray for me! Pray for me!”

And this particular four-year-old prayed: “And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.”

From: RogerKnapp.com