What is in a Name?

Everything When the Name is Jesus!
Philippians 2:9-11 (AMP)
Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has [a]freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,

10 That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee [b]should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 And every tongue [[c]frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Think about it! There is power in the name of Jesus. Look at how it easily empties a room or causes division. For a believer, it means everything and has power in prayer. For the unbeliever, it causes people to become hateful or critical of those who believe. The name of Jesus has the power to heal and bring reconciliation. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His name is wonderful, counselor, prince of peace. He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is more than just a prophet or good teacher. For He died a horrible and excruciating death yet rose again so that believing in Him we have everlasting life and will spend eternity with Him. If there were no power in His name, there would be no conflict and His name would be forgotten. Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
Rejoice in the Lord again I say rejoice! Sing praise to His Holy Name!
Interesting Bible Fact: The name of Jesus is in the New Testament 1058 times in the ESV according to Bible Gateway.
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I praise the name of Jesus. All glory and honor be Yours. Amen. 
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Testify to the Truth

What Does It Mean?
According to dictionary.com 
Testify means to make solemn declaration.
To declare, profess, or acknowledge openly.
 
I am called to testify to the truth of Jesus Christ and what He means to me. There are a number of passages in the Bible that speak to testifying. Telling my story is important because it cannot be denied. It is mine and therefore is my experience to the life change that Jesus has done in me. I am to proclaim it to others so that they, too, can receive eternal life in Jesus. For I cannot deny Him or He will deny me before the Father. Jesus is real and He is life. I am not who I used to be and as long as I am on this earth I will continue to abide in Him because He has given me His Holy Spirit (1 John 4:13). My attitude should be like Paul in Acts 20:24, But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
As I tell my story, may it be seasoned with grace and gentleness. There is power in the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit will put the words in my mouth to say. It is for His glory and not mine that I wish to speak for Him.
 
May you also be called to testify to the truth with grace and gentleness by the power of the Holy Spirit. To God be the glory.
 
Interesting Bible Fact: 2 John has the fewest number of verses of any book in the Bible – it is the shortest book in the Bible.

The word “Christian” appears only three times in the Bible: Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16.

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The word “Christian” appears only three times in the Bible: Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16.

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Stand Firm

Stand Firm in United Spirit and Purpose.
Philippians 1:26-28 (AMP)
26 So that in me you may have abundant cause for exultation and glorying in Christ Jesus, through my coming to you again.

27 Only be sure as citizens so to conduct yourselves [that] your manner of life [will be] worthy of the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, so that whether I [do] come and see you or am absent, I may hear this of you: that you are standing firm in united spirit and purpose, striving side by side and contending with a single mind for the faith of the glad tidings (the Gospel).

28 And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God.
Again I am reminded of how I am to conduct myself. I am to stand firm and contend for the faith not being fearful of those who oppose it. I am, as for as it is in my ability, to live at peace with others. In Ephesians chapter 6, I am told to put on the armor of God that I may be able to resist and stand my ground firmly. By my actions, it will be clear sign of my deliverance and salvation to which they might be drawn to and come to the knowledge of the truth, Jesus Christ. Remembering that we war against the spirit that is in the world and that Christ has already won the battle. Jesus said that the world hates Him and would hate those who follow Him, so this should not surprise me. God said that there would days like this. 
Allowing God’s word to dwell in me, I can be at peace even though there is chaos around me. The power of the Holy Spirit enables me to be at peace and to love not only in my words but also by my actions. God is in control and knows the outcome for all. I need not fear or be troubled. God’s got this! I can be of good courage for God is with me wherever I go.

Interesting Bible Fact: Obadiah, with 21 verses consisting of 602 words, is the shortest in the Old Testament, and the third shortest in the Bible.
My Prayer: Dear God, I put my trust in You. Thank you for Your word and for showing me that I need not fear anyone. Your word is true. Amen.
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A Worker Approved by God

This is Our Call as Christians in Today’s World
2 Timothy 2:14-17a, 21-26
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness.
There is much to learn from this passage. Again, I find myself having to practice restraint when it comes to Facebook. There are too many foolish and ignorant controversies to get drawn up into which would only lead to quarrels. I have to look to God’s word and approach things as He would have me. With His help and knowledge of His word, I can with kindness be able to teach and patiently endure evil with the hopes of correcting with gentleness so that God may perhaps grant others repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth. After all this is how Jesus would approach people today. He would be gentle as a lamb but would speak truth with the authority of a lion. I want to be a worker approved by God and rightly handling the word of truth. Of myself I know that I cannot do this. Yet, it is God who enables and empowers. I only have to be willing. It is important to know God’s truth so that He can help me handle it rightly. There is no doubt in me that God’s word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). If this were not true we would not see the trouble that we see so prevalent today.
Stand firm in the Word of God.
Interesting Bible Fact: The longest book in the Bile is Psalm 119, the shortest is Psalm 117.
My prayer: Dear God in heaven, help me to be kind to everyone and rightly handle Your word so that I can teach and patiently endure the evil that is out there in the world. You reign forever and ever. Amen. 
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What God Requires of Me

Evidence of True Religion & Divine Requirements
I really enjoy using my Thompson Chain Reference Bible. I looked up one of my favorite verses, Micah 6:8, and found a couple of themes, true religion and divine requirements.
  1. Love God, walk in all His ways, and love and serve Him with all your heart and soul. Keep His commandments. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 
  2. Fear God and keep His commandments. Ecclesiastes 12:13
  3. Love mercy, act justly, and walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
  4. Render true judgements, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart. Zechariah 7:9-10
  5. Visit the fatherless and the widow. Keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

As I read it, it is evident that my life as a Christian should be distinct from the world. Receiving God’s love and forgiveness in Christ gives me the ability to love God with all of my being and then love others as myself. I love because God first loved me. Hiding His word in my heart not only keeps me from sinning but also helps me to love others. With the prevailing changes in our society, it is vital that I know God’s word more and more so that I am not lead astray by wrong thinking. Sin is still sin and people are still in need of a savior. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God’s word still holds true today and has the answers to all life’s troubles. I had someone tell me that she thought that the Old Testament was not important but I disagree because I have learned not only to appreciate God’s grace but also what God requires of me from reading and studying it. Being a Christian is more about being than in doing. As a dear friend once told me, it is not what you do that is important but what you be. In other words, be real, be honest, be authentic, and be forgiving as well as loving.

If according to the world, I am wrong in putting my faith in Jesus, I have nothing to lose. But if I am right then I have everything to gain. I would rather err in believing than not. God has proven Himself to me over and over again. His love is real.

Interesting Bible Fact: Malachi, written about 400 BC, is the youngest book in the Old Testament.

My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for making me Yours through Your Son, Jesus. May others come to know You as I do. Amen.

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Biblical Basis for Friendship

Friendship

What I Found in God’s Word to Support True Friendship

I looked to the Bible to find wisdom for building a great friendship. I found each of the following verses to encourage and inspire friends on to good deeds. With the Lord’s help, I want to improve upon each of these with each of my friends. One of the biggest things for me is for both of us to be real with each other and to pray for one another. This is the way to acceptance and love for one another. This makes a great basis for friendship. I am blessed to have a number of friends that are special and unique as well as a gift of God to me. To those I call friend, blessings to you and may God give you peace.

Forgiving——Colossians 3:13

Reliable——–Colossians 3:13

Interdependent–Ecclesiastes 4:9

Empathetic—-Romans 12:10

Nurturing—–Ephesians 4:29

Devoted—–1 Corinthians 13:4

Supportive—-Ephesians 4:32

Humble—-Ephesians 4:2

In Harmony—-Ephesians 4:3

Patient——-1 Thessalonians 5:14

A really good example of friendship can be found between David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 18-20. I, especially, like 1 Samuel 18:14 where Jonathan loves David as his own soul. The two of them make a covenant with one another. Reading further you will find that Jonathan tries to protect David from his father, Saul, who wants to kill David.

Much later in 2 Samuel, I read about Jonathan’s death and in chapter 9 David remembers his covenant with Jonathan and sent for Mephiboseth and restored to him all that was Saul’s. Therefore friendship goes a long way and it runs deep. You can’t find a better example than this.

 

My prayer: Dear God, thank you ever so much for the people in my life that I am blessed to call friend. Grant each of them an extra measure of grace and peace today. Have mercy on them. Amen.

 

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Similarities of Physical & Spiritual Disciplines

What Do Faith and Physical Exercise Have in Common?
Continuing on a theme of running a race, I have found some similarities between faith and exercise. You see, I have known the benefits to physical exercise but yet, I kept putting it off. I was reluctant to begin or not consistent in doing it. It takes discipline to get good at it. I have had to make changes and sacrifices to discipline myself in order to succeed and do better. I now choose to get up early three mornings a week to run/walk 3.1 miles and do strength exercises on the off days. The benefits that I have experienced are better sleep, healthy blood pressure, and improved appetite. I have even begun to like to exercise and hope to continue to do so.
Putting one’s faith in Jesus and following Him is similar. Yet, there are eternal benefits as opposed to the benefits of physical exercise. There are choices and sacrifices to make such as changes in one’s behaviors and the possibility of rejection of friends or family. The rewards, however, are definitely worth it. At first, one does not want to accept and follow because change seems daunting but once one makes that step of faith, God will not disappoint. With faith comes the discipline of prayer, reading the Bible, and worship. The benefits are both physical and eternal. The fruits of the Spirit are eternal mentioned in 
Galatians 5:22-24, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 
 Physical benefits are less stress and comfort in times of trouble. 
Philippians 4:6-7
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
As I have been working on my discipline of exercise in order to participate in a 5K, I also strive to improve my spiritual discipline to become more like Christ and bring God glory both in my actions and in my words.
How is your discipline? What has been your experience?
Interesting Bible Fact: The last word in the Bible is AMEN.
My prayer: Dear God, thank you for giving my the desire to exercise and increase in me an even bigger desire for Your word and faithfulness to You. To You be all glory and honor. Amen.
 
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God’s Intended Purpose for Mankind

God’s Purpose for Man: To Eat & Drink & Find Enjoyment His Labor 

I have been reading through Ecclesiastes this week and have read some very good thoughts that I would like to share with you. God has a purpose for us. (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25; 5:18-20)
One, God intended for man to eat and drink and to find enjoyment in his labors. He has given us all that we have and the ability to accept our lot and find enjoyment in our labor. Apart from God, we cannot eat and find enjoyment.
Second, one may seek to find joy in seeking after wisdom and folly but this, too, is vanity and striving after the wind (Ecc. 1:14). Another may seek joy in self-indulgence (Ecc. 2:11) and/or wealth and possessions but this too is vanity. Ecclesiastes 5:10, He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver, nor he who loves abundance with gain. This also is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!
Striving after the wind is a futile effort because one cannot see it nor tame it. One can only be effected by it or see what it does. Therefore, seeking pleasure apart from God and His design is just as futile. It is not what happens to us on the outside that makes us happy. It is what is on the inside that brings happiness. God’ power creates that happiness on the inside through His Son, Jesus. Acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path and restore to you the ability to enjoy your life. Henceforth, find your true purpose in relationship with Him.
 
So where do you find your joy?

My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank you for everything You have given me and the ability to enjoy the work You have set before me. Let me not grow weary in doing good.  Amen.

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The Foundation of All Happiness

Fear God and Keep His Commandments
Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 (AMP)
13 All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.
I was searching on Bible Gateway when I came across this verse. I found this to be quite profound. The Amplified version makes it quite clear that the foundation of all happiness is in fearing God and keeping His commandments for every man. It is just that simple yet everywhere you look you find people trying to find happiness in other places. Jesus made it clear that He came that we may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance John 10:10. It is as plain as the nose on my face. As disciple of Christ, I am to to keep His commandments to love one another and forgive as I have been forgiven. 
How often am I still before God just to know that He is? Not often enough. I worship Him at church but it needs to become a daily part of my life. It is through reading His word daily that I can know Him more and His will for my life.When I seek to please God first, I can, in turn, live a life that glorifies Him and blesses those around me. My happiness comes from knowing Him and following His will for my life. 
As I have studied and continue to study His character, it is easy to revere and worship Him. It is in knowing Him more that I love Him and want to serve Him. He is slow to anger, full of grace and truth, everlasting to everlasting, trustworthy, and faithful yet just and righteous therefore cannot be in the presence of sin. He is sovereign, mighty to save, and the creator of all that is and ever will be. His love endures forever. 
Come and know Him better, Man, for He is good.

Bible Fun Fact: Sheep are the most mentioned animal in the Bible.
My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank you for showing me this verse today. I truly desire to know You more and to follow Your will. Forgive me, I pray, for trying to find others way to be happy. Help me to trust and obey You. Amen.
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Spiritual Liberty is Found in Christ

Liberty

Know the Truth and the the Truth Will Set You Free.

Spiritual liberty is the emancipation from bondage to sin thus freedom. There is no other place to find it than in the truth of Jesus.

John 8:31-32 (NIV)*
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
 John 14:5-6 (NIV)*
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Celebrating Liberty

This 4th of July, I not only celebrate my freedom in America but I also celebrate my freedom in Christ. For He has set me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). I, especially, like the way 2 Corinthians 3:17, in the Amplified, reads,
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).

I am not free to sin but free from bondage to sin because I am a new creation in Christ. I heard said that ‘we are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners’. This is what Christ has freed me from. Yes, I will have times when I do sin but I can confess my sins and repent.God will forgive me and cleanse me from all righteousness. (1 John 1:8-9). God has given His Holy Spirit to help me remember what I have been taught and provide a means of resisting temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

lIBERTY

So celebrate your freedom today and everyday!
My Prayer: Dear God in heaven, I give You thanks for the freedom that You have given me through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me tell others about this freedom. Amen.

Psalm 118 verse 8 is in the center of the Bible: “It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man.”

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Psalm 118 verse 8 is in the center of the Bible: “It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man.”

Copy and WIN : http://ow.ly/KNICZ

Psalm 118 verse 8 is in the center of the Bible: “It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man.”

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