Lay Down Your Cares

Praise the LORD, God our Savior, who helps us every day. PSALM 68:19

Perhaps the heaviest burden we try to carry is the burden of mistakes and failures. What do you do with your failures?

Even if you’ve fallen, even if you’ve failed, even if everyone else has rejected you, Christ will not turn away from you. He came first and foremost to those who have no hope. He goes to those no one else would go to and says, “I’ll give you eternity.”

Only you can surrender your concerns to the Father. No one else can take those away and give them to God. Only you can cast all your anxieties on the one who cares for you. What better way to start the day than by laying your cares at his feet?

Walking with the Savior

The Gifts of the Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:1-13

God has prepared work for His children to do, and He equips us through spiritual gifts. Let’s examine three passages of Scripture that talk about these divinely bestowed abilities.

In Ephesians 4, Paul discusses the gifts that represent the offices of the church (v. 11). The Spirit manifests these capabili- ties in those He has chosen. He expects them to be used “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (v. 12 NIV).

In 1 Corinthians 12, the spiritual gifts are considered in regard to their function for the greater good—the Spirit of God gives these capabilities in order to bless the body of Christ. If we do not identify our gift and fulfill our role in the functioning of the church, then we are of little use, much like a broken hand or a plugged-up ear. The Lord has a purpose in mind for our service, and without us, our church will lack something.

Lastly, in Romans 12, Paul deals with how believers are to express their gifts. For example, those with the gift of giving are to give generously. If one has been bestowed with mercy, it is to be dispensed cheerfully. And leadership should be exercised with diligence (v. 8). God’s family benefits not only from the gifts but also from the way they are used.

Living in the power of the Holy Spirit means identifying and employing our spiritual gifts as He directs. We will find both the motivation and confidence we need for service when we operate in them. Do you know yours? If not, then seek godly counsel and become a blessing to others.

The Second Remnant

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.” (Isaiah 11:11)

The great prophet Isaiah lived during the time when the ten tribes of Israel were being carried into captivity by the Assyrians, and about a hundred years before his own nation of Judah would be carried into exile by the Babylonians. Yet, in one of the most remarkable prophecies of the Bible (Isaiah 44:28–45:6), Isaiah promised that his people would someday return and build Jerusalem and its temple again. Furthermore, he even named the future emperor of Persia (the nation which would succeed Assyria and Babylonia as the dominant world power), calling him Cyrus. This great king fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy about 175 years after it was given (note Ezra 1:1-4).

But Isaiah not only prophesied this first return from exile, as noted in the key verse above; he foresaw that, in the distant future, God would also “set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people.” The context of this passage is nothing less than the glorious future time of Messiah’s reign over all the earth (Isaiah 11:9-10). The outcasts of Israel and Judah would return home, not only from the nations of the Middle East, which will evidently be active enemies of Israel again in that future day (note that Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, and Hamath were the ancient names of the nations now identified as Upper Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, respectively), but even from “the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12). Isaiah thus predicted an even greater exile and worldwide homecoming long beyond that of the Babylonian captivity. Such information could have come only from God Himself. HMM

Nevertheless afterward

“Nevertheless afterward.” (Heb. 12:11.)

THERE is a legend that tells of a German baron who, at his castle on the Rhine, stretched wires from tower to tower, that the winds might convert them into an Aeolian harp. And the soft breezes played about the castle, but no music was born.

But one night there arose a great tempest, and hill and castle were smitten by the fury of the mighty winds. The baron went to the threshold to look out upon the terror of the storm, and the Aeolian harp was filling the air with strains that rang out even above the clamor of the tempest. It needed the tempest to bring out the music!

And have we not known men whose lives have not given out any entrancing music in the day of a calm prosperity, but who, when the tempest drove against them have astonished their fellows by the power and strength of their music?

“Rain, rain
Beating against the pane!
How endlessly it pours
Out of doors
From the blackened sky—
I wonder why!

“Flowers, flowers,
Upspringing after showers,
Blossoming fresh and fair,
Ah, God has explained
Why it rained!”

You can always count on God to make the “afterward” of difficulties, if rightly overcome, a thousand times richer and fairer than the forward. “No chastening… seemeth joyous,… nevertheless afterward…” What a yield!

Spices for anointing oil

“Spices for anointing oil.” Exodus 35:8

Much use was made of this anointing oil under the law, and that which it represents is of primary importance under the gospel. The Holy Spirit, who anoints us for all holy service, is indispensable to us if we would serve the Lord acceptably. Without His aid our religious services are but a vain oblation, and our inward experience is a dead thing. Whenever our ministry is without unction, what miserable stuff it becomes! nor are the prayers, praises, meditations, and efforts of private Christians one jot superior.

A holy anointing is the soul and life of piety, its absence the most grievous of all calamities. To go before the Lord without anointing is as though some common Levite had thrust himself into the priest’s office—his ministrations would rather have been sins than services. May we never venture upon hallowed exercises without sacred anointings. They drop upon us from our glorious Head; from His anointing we who are as the skirts of His garments partake of a plenteous unction. Choice spices were compounded with rarest art of the apothecary to form the anointing oil, to show forth to us how rich are all the influences of the Holy Spirit.

All good things are found in the divine Comforter. Matchless consolation, infallible instruction, immortal quickening, spiritual energy, and divine sanctification all lie compounded with other excellencies in that sacred eye-slave, the heavenly anointing oil of the Holy Spirit. It imparts a delightful fragrance to the character and person of the man upon whom it is poured. Nothing like it can be found in all the treasuries of the rich, or the secrets of the wise. It is not to be imitated. It comes alone from God, and it is freely given, through Jesus Christ, to every waiting soul. Let us seek it, for we may have it, may have it this very evening. O Lord, anoint Thy servants.

Tale-bearing emits a threefold poison

“Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people… Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.” Leviticus 19:16,17

Tale-bearing emits a threefold poison; for it injures the teller, the hearer, and the person concerning whom the tale is told. Whether the report be true or false, we are by this precept of God’s Word forbidden to spread it. The reputations of the Lord’s people should be very precious in our sight, and we should count it shame to help the devil to dishonour the Church and the name of the Lord. Some tongues need a bridle rather than a spur. Many glory in pulling down their brethren, as if thereby they raised themselves.

Noah’s wise sons cast a mantle over their father, and he who exposed him earned a fearful curse. We may ourselves one of these dark days need forbearance and silence from our brethren, let us render it cheerfully to those who require it now. Be this our family rule, and our personal bond—SPEAK EVIL OF NO MAN.

The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to censure sin, and prescribes the way in which we are to do it. It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by railing behind his back. This course is manly, brotherly, Christlike, and under God’s blessing will be useful. Does the flesh shrink from it? Then we must lay the greater stress upon our conscience, and keep ourselves to the work, lest by suffering sin upon our friend we become ourselves partakers of it.

Hundreds have been saved from gross sins by the timely, wise, affectionate warnings of faithful ministers and brethren. Our Lord Jesus has set us a gracious example of how to deal with erring friends in His warning given to Peter, the prayer with which He preceded it, and the gentle way in which He bore with Peter’s boastful denial that he needed such a caution.

VIDEO Thanksgiving Prayer ~ Johnny Cash

Nov 24, 2011

A THANKSGIVING PRAYER from Johnny Cash. I pray you take this Thanksgiving Season to take account of all those people in your life and Thank God that He has made them. Say a prayer for them when they come to your mind throughout the day.

Reasons to Give Thanks

Nov 27, 2013 By Charlie Daniels

Almighty God, as we approach this day that has been set aside to express our thankfulness to you for the boundless blessings you have showered on this United States of America and the people who are fortunate enough to be called Americans, I would like to take a few minutes to, in my own words, say thank you for some of the things that mean so much to me.

I thank you for every breath I take and every beat of my heart, every step I make, every sight, every sound, every note of music I write or sing or play.

I thank you for the wonderful woman who has been my inspiration, my help mate, my lover, my best friend and my wife for almost fifty years, who never fails to excite me, console me and follow me to wherever our eventful lives have lead, through thick, thin, ups, downs and side ways and stood firmly beside me no matter what.

I thank you for the wonderful son you gave us, who has always been the center of our world a bright and talented young man who never fails to show his affection for his mother and me, a source of joy and pride and our lives would have never been complete without him.

I thank you for the grandchildren we never thought we’d have, a boy and girl to spoil and see the world through their eyes, eyes to which all thing are new and shiny and innocent a world where cartoons are king Santa Claus is as real as the rain.

I thank you for the men and women who I have been privileged to work with these last forty years, who are faithful, trustworthy and are more like family than employees to me.

I thank you for the blessing of being able to make a living doing exactly what I wanted to for almost sixty years, the accolades and successes that have helped to keep me going and even the failures that helped to make me strong.

I thank you for the beautiful place in Tennessee you’ve given us to spend our earthly years on, knowing that no matter how glorious and wonderful it is, it can never compare to the place you have prepared for us when we leave our earthbound home.

I thank you for gentle horses, for little white face calves that frolic in the pasture, for the mocking bird that fills the early summer morning air with song, the way a hard rain sounds on the tin roof of our house and how a full October moon reflects in the big pond at the bottom of our hill.

I thank you for the bounty of our table, the overflowing of our cup, for the millions of miles I’ve traveled in safety, for the sights these old eyes have seen from the glaciers in Greenland to the deserts of Iraq, from the teeming streets of Hong Kong to the quiet of a country lane in Georgia, from Atlantic to Pacific, the Smokies, the Rockies, the Alps and the Cascades, the magnificence of the planet made by Your hand and blessed by Your love.

I am grateful for the beauty of a quiet and gentle snowfall, the soft nicker of a yearling Colt in a barn stall, the color of the hardwood trees in the fall, for the first big frost that sparkles like a field full of little diamonds in the early morning sun and watching a young deer jump a fence like it wasn’t even there.

I thank you for the innocent sound of a baby’s laugh, the excitement on a child’s face gazing at a store window full of toys and the joy of a church full of worshipers praising you in song on a Sunday morning.

I thank you for the men and women in our military who take upon themselves the solemn task of standing between us and those who would destroy us.

And Lord, above all, we thank you for the gift which words can not articulate and adjectives cannot describe, the gift of Your own Son, Jesus, who suffered more than any man ever has or any man ever will to bring your free gift of eternal salvation to all who would accept it.

And God we thank you for our beloved United States of America and join our hearts in prayer that you will give us yet another chance to get our feet back on the paths of righteousness, that godly, stalwart men and women would come to power and lead this nation out of the darkness and back into the light.

Happy Thanksgiving America

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

Overflowing with Gratitude

Colossians 2:6-8

The meaning of Thanksgiving has changed over the years. The name was given to our national holiday dedicated to thanking God for His protection and provision. More recently, though, ithas become synonymous with feasting, football, and family. In most homes, God probably isn’t even mentioned. But for believers, Thanksgiving is not simply a day; it’s a lifestyle. In fact, a godly person should be characterized by gratitude.

The apostle Paul teaches how we can become people who overflow with gratefulness in any circumstance. The first step is to appreciate our relationship with Christ. He chose each believer before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) and wants us to “walk in Him” (Col. 2:6). This means acknowledging Jesus as Lord of our life and relying on Him to empower us to obey.

Next, we are to be firmly rooted in Him. This can happen only when we tap into His Word and draw nourishment from it. Then we’ll be like a tree whose roots reach down so deep that even storms cannot topple it. With this foundation, we can be built up in Christ and increasingly display His character in our attitudes, conduct, and conversation.

Finally, our faith needs to be firmly established. Then we won’t fall prey to worldly philosophies and deceptions.

Do you have a grateful spirit, or do you say “thanks” only when things are going your way? Thankfulness in all situations is possible only when you focus on the truths and promises of God’s Word. As you learn to see life from His perspective and acknowledge His loving lordship, you’ll overflow with appreciation.