Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Devotion for February 14, 2011
written by Pastor Thomas Smith, St Clair MO
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
I John 4:7, 8.
There are many adjectives, or descriptive words that readily come to mind when we think of God. Words such as mercy, judgment, power, holiness, and peace, are just a few. However, there is one word that perhaps comes to mind more often than all others. That word is love. "God is love."
Love is the attribute that God is most consistently known for. It is the nature of God to love. Love is an expression of the essence of His person. His love is not partial. The Word of God says that He loves the entire world. Each of us can personalize this life-changing truth. We are deeply loved by God. His love is not passive, for it is the motivating factor in His sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins. As the song writer said, "No one ever cared for me like Jesus."
Because God is love, it is only reasonable that we would be expected to love. We can love in a godly way because we have experienced divine love and because we are indwelt by His supernatural love. No one is capable of loving like a Christian. There is a kind of love and a depth of love that those outside of Christ are not familiar with and are unable to express. This love is the result of God's love being a part of our lives. We have been introduced to a level of love from God that challenges us to love others more powerfully, unconditionally, and sincerely. The Bible says that a person who does not love properly does not know the Lord. The more we experience the love of God in our lives, the more qualified and capable we are to love others.
When the fruit of the Spirit is listed in the Word of God, the first word used to describe the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in a believer is love. We are at the same time recipients of and conduits of the very unique and extremely needed love of God. Each of us can be motivated to love others as we have been loved. We are repeatedly encouraged to love each other in the family of God. This is a trademark of true believers. We also need to express and experience God's love within our families: loving our parents, siblings, children, and of course, our spouse. Every person has a basic need to know he is loved. That need is met as we receive God's love and share His love with others.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
All things work together for good.......don't they? We read the verse, we quote it, but do we really believe it? Sometimes when you're having "one of those days" it's truly hard to live this verse, but it doesn't take away from the truth of it.
All of us have had the days where nothing seems to be going right, and when that happens it's SO easy to morph into "crabby patty". Car troubles, fussy kids, home maintenance problems, unexpected financial burdens, illness, spiritual battles, wayward children, marital issues, friendship strife, and the list could go on and on! These are all things that can easily cause our day to spiral out of control. What a blessing that we can cling to the promises found in God's Word, more specifically Romans 8:28!
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
The key to this verse is that "all things work together for good to them that LOVE GOD". This isn't a verse for the lost, but rather the saved. Christian, have you checked your love for God lately? Do you love the Lord? Love is a choice, and an action. Do your actions prove that your love for God is what it should be?
This "Thankful Thursday" I'm thanking God for the truth found in this verse and for His provision time and time again. He never fails to bring people along to help encourage us, or to help us in time of need. My friend had quite the interesting day yesterday, and I kind of did too. The Lord has a reason for everything and allows the "hardships" for a reason. We may not know why they happen, but our job is to trust God, despite what's going on around us! We are to remember that when our love for the Lord is correct, then there will always be a Romans 8:28 situation behind every trial. Maybe it's there to bring us closer to Him, or maybe it's there to open an even bigger window of blessings.
Deuteronomy 6:5 "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
Have a Thankful Thursday, everyone!!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Devotion for February 08, 2011
"Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste."
What glorious and inspired language the prophet used in describing the coming of the Messiah, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Rock! He is the Solid Rock on which every life should be built. To those who believe, He is precious. To others He is a rock of offense. Those who are not built upon Him and upon obedience to His Word are building their lives on sand and will not withstand the storms of life.
He is the Chief Cornerstone of the New Testament church. The stone which the builders rejected became the head of the corner. He is the stone cut out without hands Whose kingdom shall destroy all other kingdoms. Those who fall on this stone will be broken, and those who the stone falls upon will be ground to powder.
He is "a sure foundation." There is no more sure foundation than Jesus Christ. So many are building their lives and families on that which is shifting and uncertain. The safest and surest place to be for time and eternity is trusting in the Lord, resting on the "sure foundation."
"He that believeth shall not make haste." Believing on Him means having absolute confidence that Jesus is the way of salvation and the giver of eternal life and trusting entirely in Him and His sacrificial death for one's redemption. He that has his faith in Christ will not be forced to flee in fear and shame, but is eternally secure in the Lord. Our faith in Christ is not a passing fancy. We are not looking for another way because we know we have found the only way.
This assurance is not based on any merit of our own. Bible salvation is not earned by religious works or human effort. Our complete confidence is in Him, His divine person, His sinless life, His vicarious death and bodily resurrection, and His exceeding great and precious promises. We know with certainty who He is, what He has done, and what He can do for others. For this reason, we are not ashamed of Him. We can boldly say that the Lord is our Helper. We can point others to Calvary with absolute assurance that He is the answer for the needs of the world. We see such uncertainty and confusion in our generation. What a joy to know that in Christ we have found "a sure foundation!"
Monday, February 7, 2011
I'd like to introduce you to the cutest little 40's diner located in Rugby, North Dakota. Rugby just so happens to be the geographical center of North America! No, seriously!
My Mom and sisters decided to visit this little known diner last Summer and I really felt like I should've been hosting "Diners, Drive-In's, and Dives" on FoodNetwork. You know the show? Guy Fieri explores little known places with lots of charm and great food. Anyway....back to my story. We girls decided to do a bit of exploring and had such a great time together!
We walked into this charming cafe' and felt as though we had stepped back in time! Antiques greeted us at every turn and the entire feel of the place was so old fashioned and comforting!
Red and chrome spinning stools, vintage Coke A Cola items, and a Juke box all lent itself to the memorable experience.
This little diner even had some fabulous antiques for sale! What girl doesn't love shopping? :-D
Isn't this little vintage car so cute?!? I was so tempted to buy it for a photo prop!
The menu was quite varied and we had a tough time making up our minds on what to get that hot Summer day (typical girls). Amidst lots of talking, we finally decided on several delicious sandwich melts and of course classic ice cream floats! Mmm...good!
We had a great time together, and isn't that what it's all about? Creating special memories with your family is so important!! Explore new places, try new things, just make sure you do it together. You will never regret taking time to enjoy your family. One day you'll realize that the years have gone all too quickly and the memories you've made are all you have and are so very precious. Don't let the insignificant things of life become more important than your loved ones. Cherish them while you can!
So....if you're EVER in the small town of Rugby, North Dakota....make sure you take the time to visit this quaint little diner. You might just make some special memories of your own while you're there!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Ahh yes, February 1st - the "official countdown" has begun!! Some of you may be brainstorming about the perfect gift for your Valentine, and I am here to give you a wonderful gift idea! It's called the "Love Jar" or for a longer version "The Many Reasons Why I Love You" jar.
I created one for my husband a couple years ago and it was a huge hit! It's an incredibly edifying gift that's straight from the heart, and can be given to any loved one ANY time of the year! Give it to your spouse, grandparent, parent, child, etc!
*What you will need: Jar of your choice - I used a mason jar.
*Things you'd like to decorate it with - ribbon, scrapbook letters, beautiful paper, etc.
*Strips of paper to write on
*Label for the outside -you can be creative -"Many Reasons Why I Love You", "Love Jar", "I Love You Because...", "So Glad You're Mine", etc.
Next, simply write down the many reasons why you love your Valentine. Think of funny, creative, edifying, specific, and loving things to say. Anything and everything works! Everything from "I love the way you make me laugh", to "I love your cute freckle on your left ear". ;-)
It can take some time and thought to come up with so many unique and different reasons to fill your jar. However, I can assure you that once you get started, it'll just flow and be lots of fun! Not to mention that it's well worth it because you're taking time to think on all the positive things about your Valentine! What could put you in a better mood for that special day? This is a very thoughtful gift and if you use a large jar like I did, you can easily fit over 100 pieces of paper inside.
I hope this inspires you to begin your very own "Love Jar", it will mean the world to whomever you decide to give yours to. So, what are you waiting for?? Go get started! ;-D