Tag Archives: support

One of Jesus’ Miracles

 

 Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus Christ

Two Men

 — by Anne Cetas
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. . . . Jesus wept. —John 11:33,35

Two men were killed in our city on the same day. The first, a police officer, was shot down while trying to help a family. The other was a homeless man who was shot while drinking with friends early that day.

The whole city grieved for the police officer. He was a fine young man who cared for others and was loved by the neighborhood he served. A few homeless people grieved for the friend they loved and lost.

I think the Lord grieved with them all.

When Jesus saw Mary and Martha and their friends weeping over the death of Lazarus, “He groaned in the spirit and was troubled” (John 11:33). He loved Lazarus and his sisters. Even though He knew that He would soon be raising Lazarus from the dead, He wept with them (v.35). Some Bible scholars think that part of Jesus’ weeping also may have been over death itself and the pain and sadness it causes in people’s hearts.

Loss is a part of life. But because Jesus is “the resurrection and the life” (v.25), those who believe in Him will one day experience an end of all death and sorrow. In the meantime, He weeps with us over our losses and asks us to “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15).

Give me a heart sympathetic and tender;
Jesus, like Thine, Jesus, like Thine,
Touched by the needs that are surging around me,
And filled with compassion divine. —<poem_author>Anon.
Compassion helps to heal the hurts of others. From: Our Daily Bread

Vision and Darkness

From: My Utmost for HIs HIghest

When the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him —Genesis 15:12

Whenever God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in “the shadow of His hand” (Isaiah 49:2). The saint’s duty is to be still and listen. There is a “darkness” that comes from too much light-that is the time to listen. The story of Abram and Hagar in Genesis 16 is an excellent example of listening to so-called good advice during a time of darkness, rather than waiting for God to send the light. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing. Never try to help God fulfill His word. Abram went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all of his self-sufficiency was destroyed. He grew past the point of relying on his own common sense. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. There is never any need to pretend that your life is filled with joy and confidence; just wait upon God and be grounded in Him (see Isaiah 50:10-11).

Do I trust at all in the flesh? Or have I learned to go beyond all confidence in myself and other people of God? Do I trust in books and prayers or other joys in my life? Or have I placed my confidence in God Himself, not in His blessings? “I am Almighty God . . .”— El-Shaddai, the All-Powerful God (Genesis 17:1). The reason we are all being disciplined is that we will know God is real. As soon as God becomes real to us, people pale by comparison, becoming shadows of reality. Nothing that other saints do or say can ever upset the one who is built on God.

give what you have

From: OurDailyJourney

Romans 12:4-8
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you (Romans 12:6).

Meditate on Philippians 1:6and apply it to the way you use your time, talents, and treasures today.

How can you put the talents and resources God has given you to better use? Why is it important for us to give back to God?

Last year, a few foreign exchange college students from Saudi Arabia celebrated Christmas with our family. When they arrived, they told us they had never experienced a Christmas in the US and were looking forward to it with great anticipation.

When it came time to exchange gifts, we carefully explained to our guests that the tradition of giving gifts to those we love was one way we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ—God’s greatest gift to the world (John 3:16).

As one who has received the gift of God’s Son, I sometimes wonder what I can give in return. It’s helpful to realize that God simply asks us to give what we have (Romans 12:6). He doesn’t ask us to be more than we are. He simply asks us to do our best with what He’s given us.

Each of us has something of substance to give. We can give our time to assist a person in need. We can give our money to support a kingdom effort. We can help by volunteering our talents in helping others. It doesn’t matter how much natural ability or resources we possess. What matters to God is whether we make good use of what we have been given for His kingdom, whether big or small. Paul wrote that whatever we do for God with the gifting He’s given us, we should do it “well” (Romans 12:7).

Doing our best is the best gift we can give Him in return for sending Jesus to rescue us and for the gift of new life. What we give back won’t be enough to bring His kingdom to earth as it is in heaven, but it will help.

As the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, “Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

He did his Duty

From: inspirationalarchive.com


 To augment his schoolteacher salary, for a number of years, back when corner stores were better known than supermarkets, my dad filled in as a grocery store clerk at one of the larger such stores in our community. The cash registers in those days rang up sales but only after someone tallied up the sale total. Dad could run his pencil down a long column of figures listing customer purchases and speedily arrive at the correct sum.

Later on, after the corner stores went the way of the dinosaur, Dad had another career as a taxi driver, first driving for a local cab owner and later buying the business and running it for some years—although in this case “business” means one car, used as a taxi and also as his personal vehicle.

We never went anywhere with Dad, even out of town, that he did not meet someone he knew. His three jobs had one thing in common—they kept him in the public eye. He was so well-known that we were sure that in any city in the United States he would meet someone he knew in the first half hour.

My mother suffered from several different chronic illnesses. As the years passed, they grew worse, even as a total of five children were born in the family. We all lived in a house with only four rooms, a circumstances I’m sure was shared by many of our neighbors in those post depression and war years. Perhaps, however, some of those families had more ready cash than we did. Even though Dad usually taught all day and worked at the grocery all evening, with all the medical expenses we incurred, there wasn’t enough money for us to own a car. Dad hitched rides to school with other teachers during most of his teaching career. There was a bus he occasionally rode to and from the grocery store, but many times he saved the dime by riding the distance of around four miles to and from his extra job on his bike.

The bike was about the only way he went anywhere. Mom often had to call a taxi to take her or us to the doctor because the bus required walking at least a country block to the bus stop and Mom’s asthma seldom allowed her to do so. Dad however, usually went places on his bike. For me, as a pre-schooler, there was a little wooden seat Dad called his “buddy seat” that was fastened to the “boy” bar of his bike. That way, as he rode, I was always right in front of him and encircled by his arms.

At that time I used to stutter and I had a serious inability to pronounce the letter “R.” As we rode along, Dad, ever the teacher, would talk with me, encouraging me to think ahead about what I was going to say so I would be able to get it out without error.

He used to take me to town on Saturday mornings and one place I loved to go was the junk yard. Dad was always working on bikes for one of us kids and he would scavenge the junk yard for parts. One time, how-ever, he incurred my mother’s wrath by taking me with him to a pool parlor. Mom didn’t think much of pool parlors.

Some years later, after the grocery closed, Dad worked as the night manager of a pool room for a year or two. Mother never did like that. She thought that as a school teacher, Dad was compromising his integrity by working in such a den of inequity.

I was always proud that my father was a well-respected man. I used to think being a teacher made him a special kind of person, but today I realize that the most special thing about him was not his career, but the way he persevered. The mantel of respect always falls on those who consistently do their duty and that’s what my father did.

Positive Thinking For Positive Living

 

Positive Thinking

Monday December 16th

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?” Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.

“Yes it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.”

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”

“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked. Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ‘He’s a dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply… I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

By Francie Baltazar-Schwartz

From: academictips.org.

Nothing Can Separate

 

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NOTHING CAN SEPARATE

From her bedroom window, Rebecca eyed the children playing in the snow enviously. How she longed to play with them!

“Now, Rebecca,” she remembered her father telling her that morning. “You can’t play in the snow today.”

“Why not, Father?” Rebecca had asked. Every day, the neighborhood children gathered at a park just behind Rebecca’s house.

“Just trust me, Rebecca. It’s not what’s best for you today,” her father had replied.

At the time, Rebecca had responded by kissing her father on his cheek and assuring him that she would stay inside and read. But now she was having second thoughts.

It is beautiful outside, she thought to herself. It was true: the sun was shining brilliantly. Why wouldn’t her father let her go play? Why should she have to miss out on all the fun?

When a snowball exploded just outside her window, Rebecca decided she couldn’t stand it any longer. She simply had to go join the others!

Leaving her book on the table, Rebecca slipped outside. She tried to tell herself she was having a good time, but all the while her heart felt uncomfortable. She kept looking this way and that, fearful least her father see her.

After a few hours, Rebecca finally said her goodbyes and headed back towards the house. She wanted to be safely lodged in her room before her father came home.

Intent on getting to her room as quickly as possible, Rebecca didn’t see the mitten someone had left on the stairs until her foot slipped on it. Next thing she knew, she had fallen several stairs. To her horror, she noticed that she had hit her father’s favorite picture when she fell! A huge gash ran along the front of the picture.

Normally, Rebecca would have hurried immediately to her father after such a fall so he could doctor her up and make her feel better. But not this time. How could she face her father right now? She had disobeyed him and ruined his favorite picture! Biting her lips to keep from crying out, Rebecca grabbed the ruined picture and hobbled to her room.

For the remainder of the day, she lay in agony. Her body ached from the bruises she received on her fall. But her heart—ah, that ached worse of all! She felt certain that her father would no longer love her. She had messed up in the past, but surely this time she had gone too far! He would probably never want to speak to her again. How could he still love her?

She sobbed uncontrollably on her pillow. She had always been close to her father. They had played and studied together. They had laughed and cried together. But not now. No, she felt certain that all those wonderful times were over.

Who knows how long she would have lain thus had not her nanny come in to check on her. Rebecca’s nanny had a way about her of finding out exactly what was wrong and offering solid, wise counsel. Tonight was no exception.

“Rebecca, dear,” she said firmly, but gently. “You’ve been very wrong. But you must not continue in your wrongness by sitting here. You must go to your father with the broken picture in your hand and tell him everything.”

“Oh, but I can’t! I’m not worthy of His love!” Rebecca sobbed.

Her nanny sighed patiently. “You were no more worthy of it yesterday than today, child. Your father loves you because you’re his daughter, not because of anything you do or don’t do. Hasn’t he told you everyday since you were a little girl, ‘I love you’? Do you doubt his word? Do you really think his love is dependent on you?”

Doubt his word—that was an angle Rebecca had never thought of before. Maybe she should go see her father…yes, she must go see him, for if she didn’t, she’d never be able to rest.

So, still shaking and trembling with fear, Rebecca limped down the hall to the living room. She paused at the doorway. Her father was sitting in his favorite chair, just like he did every night. He looked up when she entered, and a smile radiating with love illuminated his face.

“Ah, you’ve come at last! I’ve been waiting. Come, sit here on my lap.” As he spoke, he opened his arms widely.

Rebecca couldn’t stand it. “Oh, you don’t understand, Father! You can’t love me anymore. I’ve been terribly wicked and-” Rebecca held up the picture frame for her father to see.

“I know, Rebecca—more than you think. I watched you go outside. I watched you fall and hit the picture frame. I saw it all.”

“You did?” Rebecca was flabbergasted. “But-but weren’t you at work?”

Her father shook his head. “I took the day off to spend some special time with you. That’s why I told you not to go outside to play. Ever since I saw you fall, I’ve been longing for you to come to me so I could bandage your wounds and help you. Won’t you come now?”

Rebecca could hardly believe her ears. Her father had planned to spend the afternoon with her…and she had missed it. Oh, what foolishness! Yet her father knew it all…and loved her anyway. Could it be? “But, Father, how can you love me now?”

Rebecca’s father smiled a smile she would never forget. “Rebecca, dear, I loved you before you were born. You’re my daughter. And I will always love you. Although sometimes your actions will result in consequences you could have avoided, nothing can ever separate you from my love. Now won’t you come and let me help you with those bruises?”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Romans 8:35-37

From: Christianperspective.net

 

Three Keys to Finding True Happiness

 

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THREE KEYS TO FINDING TRUE HAPPINESS

Last Friday I’m riding around town fretting over the cost of gas, the cost of food, and my yet-to-arriveeconomic stimulus check. I heard something on a talk radio program so profound that I nearly had to pull off to the side of the road to write it down. The substitute host for the Neal Boortz show, Herman Cain, had just wrapped up a call from someone lamenting the nation’s low happiness factor. Apparently, some statistician recently determined that most American’s are unhappy. I personally believe despite the negative media we have much to be happy about. Cain went on to describe his three personal keys to happiness, and I have adopted them as well. My mood instantly improved the moment I heard these three ideas.

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photo by heydrienne

THE THREE KEYS TO HAPPINESS

  1. Something to Do. How many times have we felt unhappy with life because we simply had too much idle time? I know it has happened in my own life. When I get bored, I get down, and I only snap out of it when I start to get busy again. The thing is, we have to recognize this pattern and stay busy to keep our mood elevated. Find a hobby. Volunteer your free time. Learn to cook. Coach youth sports. There are endless possibilities for “something to do” if we take the time to look.
  2. Something to Love. Friends and family are such an important element to our ultimate happiness. During a traveling phase at my last job I spent a number of lonely nights hundreds of miles away in a hotel room on business. I was in foreign surroundings, working in a job I didn’t particularly like, in an industry I didn’t believe in (credit/financial services). The one source of inspiration to get through those nights was my family. Even though my career situation has since improved, I still think of my wife and kids when I get down and can’t help but smile. If you are single, you may have a best friend that always knows just how to pick you up, or make you laugh when you want to cry. Pets can even be an incredible source of companionship, there to greet you at the end of a long day. I’ve had pets most of my life and marvel at their willingness to love us unconditionally.
  3. Something to Hope For. Everyone should have something to hope for. Something that drives them towards a goal. It’s been said that if you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time. Have something to aim for; a dream that you hold close and never let completely out of sight. When people lose hope they get complacent, and complacency often leads to a poor attitude. This self-perpetuating cycle of negativity can lead to serious depression, and ultimately harm cherished relationships. I know, I’ve been in a rut myself and I lost sight of the dreams I once held close. But all hope is never lost, you just may have to work a little harder temporarily to catch up and see those dreams around the next corner again.

“The only difference in a rut and a grave is six feet.” If you find yourself in a rut, stop digging. Start moving in the direction of your dreams and things will begin to improve. If your goal is debt freedom, stop charging to your credit cards and start paying all you can pay on outstanding debts. Do not be overwhelmed by the distance to the finish line. If your goal is to lose weight, do not focus on how far you are from your goal weight. Instead, take it one day, one meal, one bite, one workout at a time and begin to move in the direction of your dreams.

The bottom line is we are responsible for our own happiness. Government programs, promises from elected officials, and pats on the back from bosses may offer temporary mood boosts, but ultimately happiness is a self-induced state of mind. Be responsible for your own happiness. ( Citation: Three Keys to Finding True Happiness, by: Jason (Frugal Dad).

Thanks For Your Time

 

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Thanks for Your Time 

Author Unknown  

(Inspiration Peak, Thanks for Your Time, Unknown Author.)

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.”

Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

“Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important… Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time.

The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture… Jack stopped suddenly.

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said.

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,'” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.

“Mr. Harold Belser” it read.

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

“Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most…was…my time.”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said. “Oh, by the way, Janet… thanks for your time!” Inspiration Peak, Thanks for Your Time, Unknown Author.

Encouragement: Something We Need

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God’s Exquisite Garden 

ENCOURAGEMENT

 

(From: Linda Lawrence, Garden of Praise, Lesson 15)

The word encouragement means the expression of approval and support. Another definition is the act of giving hope or support to someone.

When we evaluate our emotions we are aware that doubts, fear, and times of melancholy are ordinary to all. Listed are three predominant Bible characters who endured emotional disturbance.

(1) Jeremiah, one of the distinguished Old Testament prophets, many times wept because of the spiritual situation of the people he attended . Once in a moment of bitterness in his life Jeremiah cursed the day he was born. There was another time when Jeremiah was so disheartened he solemnly promised never again to preach.

(2) John the Baptist, a man who was prophesied in Isaiah 40:3 to ” Prepare the way of the Lord…”, began to have doubts while he was in prison. John the Baptist was skeptical if Jesus Christ was the Messiah (Matthew 11). While he was in prison, he received partial reports of Christ.

(3) The most magnificent follower of Christ, the apostle Paul, many years after his transformation cried out, ” Oh, wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).

Often when we have doubts or fears they may cause us to become depressed. Don’t allow feelings of guilt or sadness to submerge you deeper into a state of hopelessness. God knows and understands our weakness.

When I think of encouragement, instantly I am reminded of Barnabas and the encouraging work that he did. Barnabas was called A SON OF ENCOURAGEMENT. His encouraging efforts (probably the spiritual gift of exhortation) caused others to give him that name. Barnabas was on the first missionary team. His name was originally known as Joses, but Barnabas is better known by the name the apostles gave him as they considered his ministry of encouragement ( Acts 4: 36-37).

The word minister when used as “ministering to others” means to attend to the needs of others. Barnabas brought Saul and introduced him to the apostles ( Acts 9: 27). Then he brought Saul to Antioch where he taught many people (Acts 11: 25-26). We are told that later Barnabas accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey (Acts 13: 2).

Barnabas encouraged the believers. Acts 11:23:” When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. ”

Everyone needs encouragement. We may see someone who looks as if they need to hear encouraging words. There are so many ways in which we can encourage others. Their day may have been altered, and they probably would like to hear a cheery word. It is easy to get wrapped up in our lives. There are so many people who are alone or hurting. We are told in the Bible to edify one another. To edify means to build someone up.

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
I Thessalonians 5:11(NKJV)

When facing difficult times , I always think of the following verse when I need to hear encouraging words. We read in Psalm 46:1, ” God is our refuge and strength. a very present help in trouble. ” You may have heard kind words spoken to you. Think how they affected you.

In the past, God’s faithfulness had always offered encouragement. Joshua knew the nation’s weak spots. Before his death, he called the people together and gave commands to encourage them where they were most likely to fall short:

(1) abide by all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses never turning aside;
(2) don’t affiliate yourselves with the pagan nations or serve their gods;
(3) don’t marry into the pagan nations. ( Joshua 24: 1-15.)

These temptations were right in their backyard. Our associations and relationships can be temptations to us as well. It’s wise to identify our weak spots before we snap. Then we can cultivate strategies to overcome these snares instead of being overcome by them.

Joshua knew his life was ending. So he called all the leaders of the nation together to give them his final words of encouragement and instruction. His whole message can be summarized in Joshua 23:8, “Be faithful to the Lord your God.”

You can leave to others nothing better than the admonition to hold on to God and to the memory of a person who did. I truly love to be around other Christians, their example is encouraging. We gain encouragement by the words of others. There have been so many wonderful Christian examples, and I am grateful and thankful for each one. You might be having a difficult time in your life, and what a blessing it is to know that you can be with those who love the Lord. That is the such a joyous time for me, and for many more that I’m aware of.. Christians who stand firm in the Lord will encourage those who are new in their faith who can learn from the steadfastness of the mature.

The Christian life is compared to an athlete running in a race. A race is hard on the runner. As they are nearing the end of the race they have various aches in their body and they wish to stop. They realize the worth of their friends’ and fans’ encouragement. In the same way, Christians are to encourage one another. A word of encouragement offered at the right time can make the contrast between completing the race and becoming exasperated along the way.

We may want to look around ourselves. We need to be aiding someone with our words and actions and meet their need for encouragement.

As we contemplate our eternal hope that is in Christ, it will offer us encouragement. In 1 Peter 1:6 we read,” In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. ”

Peter here attempts to encourage us with his words. With the knowledge of the magnificent reward we have ahead of us,we are encouraged to continue enduring trials in the meantime. It does not matter what trial or pain we face, it is not the last stressful situation that we will face.

Ultimately we will live with Christ forever, if we have been found by the Lord as having lived faithfully to the Him until death. This is found in Revelation 2:8-10.

In I Thessalonians 4: 18 we are told,” Therefore comfort one another with these words. ” How we need to take the time to be with others who are suffering. They may need a smile, a card or a letter, a phone call, a visit, or just an encouraging word. We need to take the time to be with those who suffer. Everyone needs to be comforted with God’s marvelous love.

An excellent source of encouragement is prayer. In the Bible, we are told to remember others in our prayers. Our praying for others should be done faithfully. In II Timothy 1:3 we are told,” I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day. “

Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians admonished them to exhort or encourage others. In I Thessalonians 5:14 we read ,” Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. “ Linda Lawrence, Garden of Praise, Lesson 15.