VIDEO Blessings – Resting in the Faithfulness of God

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

What if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near? What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?” Singer and songwriter Laura Story wrote these words after her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor. As the couple wrestled with his diagnosis and prayed for healing, Laura expressed her prayers to the Lord through her song, “Blessings,” which has encouraged many others as they walk through trials. 

No matter your trial—illness, unemployment, family struggles—God is still blessing you. The blessing may come through a comforting verse in His Word or through an encouraging card from a friend. It might appear in the unexpected gift from a family member or the worship song sung at church. His blessings are all around us. These small blessings bring great joy to our hearts, but perhaps the greatest blessing we receive during times of trial is the blessing of drawing closer to God. As we trust Him and cling to His promises, our relationship with the Father deepens. What an indescribable blessing!

We are ever surrounded by undeserved blessings. Even in His silence, [God] blesses us. Erwin Lutzer

Resting in the Faithfulness of God – Dr. Charles Stanley

Spitting Image

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15

During an outing, we met a woman who had known my husband’s family since he was a child. She looked from Alan to our son, Xavier. “He’s the spitting image of his daddy,” she said. “Those eyes. That smile. Yep. Looks just like him.” As the woman delighted in acknowledging such a strong resemblance between father and son, she even noted similarities in their personalities. Still, though they are alike in many ways, my son doesn’t reflect his father perfectly.

There’s only one Son—Jesus—who reflects His Father completely. Christ is the “image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15). In Him and through Him and for Him all things were created (v. 16). “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (v. 17).

We can spend time in prayer and Bible study, discovering the Father’s character by looking at Jesus—God in the flesh. He invites us to witness His love in action by examining how He interacts with others in Scripture and in our day-to-day living. After surrendering our lives to Christ and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can grow in knowing and trusting our loving Father. He transforms us to reflect His character, so we can live for Him.

What a joy it would be if others could say we look just like Jesus!

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

What character trait of Jesus have you seen cultivated in your life over the last year? What trait would you like to cultivate in the coming year?

Jesus, please help me know You more as You make me more like You!

God’s Guidance for Finances

Malachi 3:7-12

When God created the heavens and earth, He carried out His plan with purpose. Nothing was haphazard, late, or uncertain. The same could be said regarding His plans for each of His children. Every aspect of our life, including our finances, is under His watchful eye and providential care. But despite His perfect record of faithfulness, money is one of the most difficult things for us to entrust to Him. We foolishly think that we can do a better job of handling our money than the omniscient, all-powerful God.

In Malachi’s time, the Jews had stopped trusting the Lord. One indication of the people’s distrust was their failure to give the tithes required by biblical law. God accused them of robbing Him, and they were suffering financial hardship as a result.

Sometimes Christians find that believing the Lord for salvation is easy, and yet they doubt He’ll keep His promise when it comes to money. Our willingness to give God the first portion of our income or resources is a test of our trust in Him. And the truth is, we can fully rely on Him because He promises to meet all of our needs (Phil. 4:19). Take a step of obedience today, and discover how faithful God is.

The Righteous in Authority

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29:2)

Many can remember when the nation observed holidays on both the birthday of President Lincoln (February 12) and that of President Washington (February 22). These two men were widely revered as our nation’s greatest presidents, and their birthdays were patriotic holidays. But modern intellectuals have been actively tarnishing their reputations, while our people have become more and more enamored of recreation, so this situation has now “devolved” into a three-day holiday theoretically honoring all presidents.

We are thankful, of course, that most of our presidents have indeed been God-fearing men. None were atheists and almost all have professed belief in Christ and the Bible. God surely led our founders when they formed our constitutional republic, and our presidents and most other leaders have diligently supported it. Christianity has thrived in our country as a result, and we have become acknowledged everywhere as the world’s greatest nation.

But signs of deterioration are abounding, and Christians need to pray. If Paul were here today, he would surely repeat (and slightly rephrase) his first-century admonition to young pastor Timothy: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For [presidents], and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-3). We can also heed Peter’s advice: “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the [president]” (1 Peter 2:17). HMM

Less Than Trinitarian

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and me love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. —2 Corinthians 13:14

Our blunder (or shall we frankly say our sin?) has been to neglect the doctrine of the Spirit to a point where we virtually deny Him His place in the Godhead. This denial has not been by open doctrinal statement, for we have clung closely enough to the biblical position wherever our creedal pronouncements are concerned. Our formal creed is sound; the breakdown is in our working creed.

This is not a trifling distinction. A doctrine has practical value only as far as it is prominent in our thoughts and makes a difference in our lives. By this test the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as held by evangelical Christians today has almost no practical value at all. In most Christian churches the Spirit is quite entirely overlooked. Whether He is present or absent makes no real difference to anyone. Brief reference is made to Him in the Doxology and the benediction. Further than that He might as well not exist. So completely do we ignore Him that it is only by courtesy that we can be called Trinitarian. The Christian doctrine of the Trinity boldly declares the equality of the Three Persons and the right of the Holy Spirit to be worshiped and glorified. Anything less than this is something less than Trinitarianism.   POM060-061

Make me so aware of the power of the Holy Spirit in my life that I might give Him the recognition and worship that He so rightly deserves. Amen.

“Real” Truth

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. —John 8:31-32

Truth must be understood by inward illumination. Then we know the truth. Until that time, we do not know it….

I heard through missionaries of a boy overseas who had memorized Jesus’ entire Sermon on the Mount. He did it in such record time and with such apparently little effort that someone called him in to find out how he had done it.

“Well,” said the boy, “I would memorize a verse and then trust God to help me put it into practice. Then I would memorize the next verse and say, ‘Lord, help me to live this one, too.’…”

That boy had truth on his side. He did not consider truth to be something objective, simply to be filed in the mind as knowledge. Rather, truth to him was also subjective—to be acted on.

Truth becomes real to us within our beings by obedience and faith. FBR064-065

Before we can truly obey Him, we must fully receive Him and be so united with Him that His interests are ours and His will is just the expression of our inmost being. NJ100

Holiness to the Lord

Exodus 28:36

On January 9, 1885, at about nine o’clock in the morning, God sanctified my soul. I was in my own room at the time, but in a few minutes I went out and met a man and told him what God had done for me. The next morning, I met another friend on the street and told him the blessed story. God used him to encourage and help me.

That confession put me on record. It cut the bridges behind me. I could not go back now. I had to go forward. God saw that I meant to be true till death.

So two mornings after that, just as I got out of bed and was reading some of the words of Jesus, He gave me such a blessing as I never had dreamed a man could have this side of heaven. I walked out over Boston Common before breakfast weeping for joy and praising God.

Oh, how I had longed to be pure! Oh, how I had hungered and thirsted for God! He gave me the desire of my heart. He satisfied me. God has become my Teacher, my Guide, my Counselor, my All and All.

He has helped me to speak of Jesus and His great salvation in a way to instruct, comfort and save other souls. He has been light to my darkness, strength to my weakness, wisdom in my foolishness, knowledge in my ignorance.

When my way has been hedged up and it seemed that no way could be found out of my temptations and difficulties, He has cut a way through for me.

When my heart has ached, He has comforted me. When my feet have well-nigh slipped, He has held me up. When my faith has trembled, He has encouraged me. When I have been in sore need, He has supplied all my need. When I have been hungry, He has fed me. When I have thirsted, He has given me living water.

He has taught me that sin is the only thing that can harm me. He has taught me to hang upon Jesus by faith for my salvation from all sin, and to show my love by obeying Him in all things and by seeking in all ways to lead others to obey Him.

My whole being is His for time and eternity. I am not my own. He can do with me as He pleases for I am His.

“Holiness to the Lord” (Exodus 28:36 KJV) has been my motto. It has been the only motto that could express the deep desire and aspiration of my soul.

Samuel Logan Brengle, Helps To Holiness