Tag Archives: soul

God’s Word

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Intimate With Jesus

From: My Utmost for His Highest

Jesus said to him, ’Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?’ —John 14:9

These words were not spoken as a rebuke, nor even with surprise; Jesus was encouraging Philip to draw closer. Yet the last person we get intimate with is Jesus. Before Pentecost the disciples knew Jesus as the One who gave them power to conquer demons and to bring about a revival (see Luke 10:18-20). It was a wonderful intimacy, but there was a much closer intimacy to come: “. . . I have called you friends . . .” (John 15:15). True friendship is rare on earth. It means identifying with someone in thought, heart, and spirit. The whole experience of life is designed to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ. We receive His blessings and know His Word, but do we really know Him?

Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away . . .” (John 16:7). He left that relationship to lead them even closer. It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to walk more intimately with Him. The bearing of fruit is always shown in Scripture to be the visible result of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (see John 15:1-4).

Once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely and we never lack for understanding or compassion. We can continually pour out our hearts to Him without being perceived as overly emotional or pitiful. The Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. This is the outcome of allowing Jesus to satisfy every area of life to its depth. The picture resulting from such a life is that of the strong, calm balance that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.

GOD WAS THERE!

From: GatewaytoJesus

Last December 20th I had a experience that changed my life and nearly ended it. I had personal questions that were answered also that I had in my mind for a while. I had been feeling a little under the weather on the 16th of December and decided not to work that following Monday or Tuesday. I thought since I had a lot of sick days built up I may as well take advantage of them since I didnt really feel well. I had very little appetite and was just not energetic at all. That Tuesday night at 11:30 I decided to go to bed and get some sleep. I stood up and with the remote in my hand I turned the television off and at that point the world stopped and life ended. The next thing I knew I was in Barnes hospital in an ICU unit. I thought I was in a dream because everything looked wrong to me. I could not see very well or very clearly. I could see maybe ten feet and it was very very murky and cloudy looking. Giving it a dreamlike appearance. I saw people that I worked with and thought “hmmm I Ive never dreamed of them before! After about a few times of going in and out of consciousness, I came to my senses and realized that I was not dreaming! I really was here in the hospital! “How did I get here?” I thought. I wondered did I have wreck or what. I noticed that the television had the date as the 23rd of December on it. I was completely baffled about the whole thing. I noticed I was hooked to all kinds of electronic things. There was a red light on my finger and a wire that went into my chest to my heart. My legs were attached to a massage machine and my arm to a blood pressure machine that took readings every 15 minutes it seemed. “What happened to me?” My legs hurt really bad and I was weak.

When I realized that I was REALLY in a hospital I thought “How did I get here? Did I have a wreck? I was lost. About 15 minutes after I had regained consciousness, a doctor came in and explained to me how I had been in a coma and how a lucky young man I was to be here. His words were very serious words, but the only thing I thought was what I was going to do when I get out. Later on during my hospital stay I learned from friends what had happened the four days that I was missing in my mind. I thought about God. God, in my view, did not let me die. He did an amazing thing in my book by saving my life. Here is what I am thnkful for. Life? Of course! But I am glad that God saw me when I was dying in my bed and before anyone had prayed a prayer about me, He acted! God, I now know, really loves me a lot! I didnt know that I was about to die that Tuesday night, but He did! He did NOT allow it. For whatever reason. Maybe He was just being Himself…nice! I loved Him and admired Him long before any of this thing happended to me. What a Great Person He is! He defies logic to me. A Person Who can not only be smart and ever in control of things but He can be, and is, NICE!! He has been my Friend Who I have talked to for years and this is not the only time He has saved my life but that is for another time. I may not know who the beast is or false prophet or whatever. But I will go to my grave knowing that the God that I know really is a friend and that I am crazy about Him. By the way…He does love you deeply too. He will do for you what He has done for anyone. He really is No respecter of persons or any of the stuff we hold is high esteem. Thank Him that He is not. God…You are amazing!

THE HAND

Author Unknown

God’s Word

Matthew 2:13-23 (Good News Translation)

From: Dailybible.com

God’s Word: Guiding Us to Follow Jesus

Introduction

Matthew 2:13-23: An angel appears to Joseph in a dream telling him to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt. Joseph follows this command just in time; Herod orders that all boys under two years of age living in or near Bethlehem must be killed. Mothers around the region mourn. After Herod dies, an angel tells Joseph that the family can return, this time to Nazareth in Galilee.

Today’s Scripture: Matthew 2:14

Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt.

Today’s Reading

13 After they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, “Herod will be looking for the child in order to kill him. So get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you to leave.” 14 Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until Herod died. This was done to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, “I called my Son out of Egypt.” 16 When Herod realized that the visitors from the East had tricked him, he was furious. He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its neighborhood who were two years old and younger—this was done in accordance with what he had learned from the visitors about the time when the star had appeared. 17 In this way what the prophet Jeremiah had said came true:18 “A sound is heard in Ramah,the sound of bitter weeping.Rachel is crying for her children;she refuses to be comforted, for they are dead.” 19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go back to the land of Israel, because those who tried to kill the child are dead.” 21 So Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went back to Israel. 22 But when Joseph heard that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Judea, he was afraid to go there. He was given more instructions in a dream, so he went to the province of Galilee 23 and made his home in a town named Nazareth. And so what the prophets had said came true: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

Reflect

Why is Joseph told to go to Egypt? According to Matthew, what Old Testament prophecy is fulfilled (verse 15)? Joseph was warned to flee from Herod’s wrath. Where in the world do people live in fear today?

Pray

Jesus, you come to us as a child, innocent, fragile and in need of care, and also as a king for all people. Through your life, I know God’s grace. I praise your holy name. Amen.

The Soul’s Worth

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the soul’s worth

Matthew 6:25-34 
Aren’t you far more valuable to [God] than they are? (Matthew 6:26).

Reflect on the imagery of Matthew 6:26. Follow Jesus’ suggestions. Look at the birds in your yard. Consider how God cares for and values them. How much more does God value you?

Where do you find it difficult to believe that you possess deep value? Over the next week, sing “O Holy Night”—and sing it loudly!

O Holy Night” is a Christmas hymn we need to sing loudly. We need to sing it during Advent and Christmas—and if I had my way, we’d belt it out every month of the year. These lines tell us a deep truth:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

’Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth

When God, in an act of ultimate humility, came to us as a mere child and then suffered as only Jesus could suffer, we learned something about the vast value God places on us. Christmas offers many truths, but surely this is one: You are of great worth to God.

Taking these cues, I bring you a prayer and a blessing: To all who’ve been dismissed or tossed aside; to all who, made bitter by the cracks in your story, now tremble or seethe at the mention of ”love”; to every weary-boned parent saddled with regret or loss or despair; to every child, grown yet still yearning for tenderness and acceptance; to every one of us who compulsively judge our reflection in the mirror or replay conversations over and over or carry every criticism to a dark, dark place; to each of us who are ashamed of our fears and our machinations and who hide the fact that in our own sophisticated ways we still have to leave the light on at night . . .

I pray that you will know, these beautiful days, the profound worth of your soul, the sturdy weight of your being. There is an astounding splendor in you—and I know this because the God of all beauty and power has called you into existence. And God delights in the sheer presence that is you. In these days, I pray you sing this song aloud—and I pray you’ll sing it to one another.

From: Our Daily Journey

 

The Hope of Christmas

 

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5

We talk a lot about hope.

We hope the weather will be good for our family vacation. We hope that our favorite team will win the Super Bowl—or at least make it to the big game! We hope that we get just what we want for Christmas.

But for many of us, hope lacks a sense of certainty. It is more like a wish—something that we want to happen but have no way of knowing that it ultimately will. So we keep our fingers crossed and “hope” that everything will go the way we want it to.

The reality is that often life doesn’t turn out the way we hoped it would. Hope is a fragile commodity. When life is disappointing, our optimism is replaced by feelings of discouragement and hopelessness. Before long we run the risk of becoming cynics who believe that there is nothing in which we can confidently hope.

This was the landscape of life when Jesus entered the world. The prevailing mood of Israel was anything but hope. The once proud nation was now a puppet state of the pagan Roman Empire. The common person lived under the defeating burden of the exaggerated requirements of the religious establishment. Centuries before, they had been promised a deliverer who would restore Israel to its former glory, but it had never happened.

Into this sense of cynical hopelessness, true Hope was born. But the tragedy of that first Christmas was that very few realized the hope that had been introduced. Hope for the forgiveness of sins. Hope for a bright future—forever. Hope for God’s presence and power in daily living. Hope that would enable us to forget the past and set our sights on stuff that doesn’t disappoint. A hope that, because of Jesus, is a certainty and not just another wish to be dashed on the rocks of reality.

I love the honesty of the psalmist who said, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” We’ve all been there. But let’s not stop there. Keep reading! “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5). Rejoice that Jesus came to give you something better than the disappointments of life on planet earth. And when by faith you embrace Him and all that He promised, you can have a hope that is no longer a fingers-crossed wish that you harbor in your heart, but rather a confident, courageous optimism that is rooted in the certainty of His Word.

From: Get More Strength.org

 

The Hidden Life

. . . your life is hidden with Christ in God —Colossians 3:3

The Spirit of God testifies to and confirms the simple, but almighty, security of the life that “is hidden with Christ in God.” Paul continually brought this out in his New Testament letters. We talk as if living a sanctified life were the most uncertain and insecure thing we could do. Yet it is the most secure thing possible, because it has Almighty God in and behind it. The most dangerous and unsure thing is to try to live without God. For one who is born again, it is easier to live in a right-standing relationship with God than it is to go wrong, provided we heed God’s warnings and “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7).When we think of being delivered from sin, being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), and “walk[ing] in the light,” we picture the peak of a great mountain. We see it as very high and wonderful, but we say, “Oh, I could never live up there!” However, when we do get there through God’s grace, we find it is not a mountain peak at all, but a plateau with plenty of room to live and to grow. “You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip” (Psalm 18:36).

When you really see Jesus, I defy you to doubt Him. If you see Him when He says, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:27), I defy you to worry. It is virtually impossible to doubt when He is there. Every time you are in personal contact with Jesus, His words are real to you. “My peace I give to you . . .” (John 14:27)— a peace which brings an unconstrained confidence and covers you completely, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. “. . . your life is hidden with Christ in God,” and the peace of Jesus Christ that cannot be disturbed has been imparted to you.

From: My Utmost For HIs HIghest

Exploratory Procedure

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Exploratory Procedure

“The Word of God is living and powerful, . . . a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

I have a friend who recently underwent a laryngoscopy. I winced as he explained how his doctor took a camera with a light on the end and stuck it down his throat to try to find the cause of his pain.

It reminded me that God’s Word is like a laryngoscopy. It invades the unseen areas of our lives, exposing the diseased and damaged spiritual tissue that troubles us. If you’re wincing at the thought of how uncomfortable this divine procedure might be, consider Jesus’ words: “Everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:20). Internal intrusions may be uncomfortable, but do you really want the disease?

Welcoming God’s Word to penetrate the deep, dark places of our hearts is the only way to find true healing and the spiritual health we long for. Believe me, the procedure will be thorough. As the writer of Hebrews assures, God’s Word is “sharper than any two-edged sword” (John 4:12)—piercing all the way through the external stuff of our lives, all the way down to our thoughts, intentions, and motives.

So what are you waiting for? With God’s Word you don’t need an appointment. The divine Surgeon is ready when you are!

Ever present, truest Friend,
Ever near Thine aid to lend,
Guide us as we search the Word,
Make it both our shield and sword. —Anon.

Let God’s Word explore your inner being.

From: getmorestrength.

 

what to do?

Nehemiah 3:1-32
Each one repaired the section immediately across from his own house (Nehemiah 3:28).

Note the differing people groups and the common bond that allowed them to build one another up inColossians 3:11.

What can you do for Jesus today, even as you face questions about some big issues in life? How can questions and indecision keep us from serving Jesus with all our heart?

You might be in one of those times in life where you’re not sure what to do. Do I go to school? Do I get a job or pursue another career? In his book The Way I Was Made,songwriter Chris Tomlin writes, “Right now, the God who made you knows your heart, knows your desires, your strengths, your limitations . . . and this God has only good in mind for your future.” Chris points toJeremiah 29:11 which reveals that God has good plans for us.

You might not know the next step to take, but take some counsel from Nehemiah and the wall builders (sounds like a rock band!). Nehemiah had received permission from King Artaxerxes of Persia to return to Jerusalem to oversee the continued rebuilding of the city that Ezra had started decades before (Ezra 1:2-4Nehemiah 2:1-6). He and other formerly exiled members of God’s people returned and tackled the rebuilding of the city walls first (Nehemiah 2:17-19).

I’m guessing this crew must have felt overwhelmed—not sure what to do upon arrival. They could have been paralyzed by indecision and the unknown that lay ahead. But here’s what happened: Regardless of their backgrounds or abilities, they simply joined in and served. They had the high priest and other priests (Nehemiah 3:1,22,28), a city leader and his daughters (Nehemiah 3:12), goldsmiths (Nehemiah 3:8,31-32), other merchants (Nehemiah 3:32), and even a dude who worked with perfumes (Nehemiah 3:8), all hoisting rocks and digging in the debris. And, as they worked with all their heart, something amazing happened—the crew rebuilt the entire wall in just 52 days! (Nehemiah 6:15).

Regardless of where you are in life, you’re part of Jesus’ kingdom-building work. Your next opportunity might be simply “across from [your] own house” or with that team at church. Serve God with all you have wherever you are today (Colossians 3:23).

From Our Daily Journey

 

Inspirational stories about overcoming challenges 
My friend Jerry was one of the most positive people I had ever known. He was always in a good mood and always had something encouraging to say.He was a manager at a restaurant. If his employee had a bad day, Jerry always helped him to look on the positive side of the situation.

Jerry‘s attitude truly amazed me. So one day I asked him: „How can you be so positive all the time?“. He replied: „You see, every morning I tell myself, that I have two choses for that day – to be in a good mood or in a bad. I choose the good one. And when something wrong happens, I can be sad and angry or I can learn from it instead. I choose to learn. Thus I choose the positive side of life“. I said: „It is not that easy“. He replied: „Yeas it is. Life is all about choses. You can choose how people or situation will affect your mood, your life“.

One morning Jerry left the restaurant‘s back door open and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. He tried to open the safe, but his hands shaked due to nervousness and he slipped off the combination. So the robbers shot him. Fortunately, Jerry was quickly found and brought to the nearest hospital. After many hours of surgery and long intensive care, Jerry was released home.

When I met him, I asked, what were his thoughts durign the robbery. „I thought that I should have locked the back door“, he replied. „Then, when I laid on the floor, I remembered about my choses in this case: a chose to live and a chose to die. I chose to live.“

I asked, if he were scared. Jerry continued: „When they wheeled me into emergency room and I looked at the faces of doctors, I got truly scared. I knew, that I need to do something. So when the nurse asked me, if I was allergic to anything, I replied „Yes“. Doctors and nurses stopped working as waited for my answer. I took a deep breath and yelled „Bullets“. They started laughing and I asked: „My chose is to live, operate me as I am alive, not dead“.

Now Jerry is alive owing to skills of his doctors, however his amazing attitude played an important role too. I learned from him, that every day we should choose to live fully no matter what.

From: inspirationalstories.eu