Be Ready to Give a Reason for the Hope in You!

Reason for the Hope

Can You Give a Reason for the Hope in You?

In Sunday’s sermon, Pastor Ted outlined for us how we can take the gospel to others. He used 1 Peter 3:14-16. We are to be prepared to give a reason for the hope in us to anyone who asks.

Have you ever thought of how you might give a defense for the hope in you if you were asked? This is a really good question and one that needs some preparation and thought. Pastor Ted broke it down for us.

  1. First Honor Christ- Remember it is all about Him.
  2. Prepare a Defense- Answer when asked what Jesus means to you personally; tell them the reason for the hope that is in you.
  3. Do it with Gentleness and Respect- This is contrary to what the world does. Speak with kindness and with respect.
  4. Have a Good Conscience so that when you are slandered those who revile your good behavior will be put to shame.
  5. Sharing Jesus leads to joy.

Therefore, take some time and thoughtfully tell your story to yourself.

For me, I know that if it were not for my faith in Jesus I would not be where I am today. There have been too many things in my life that I am not proud to speak about. As well as situations that might have lead me to take the wrong course of action. For example, I was pregnant when I lost my first husband, I could have chosen to have an abortion or given my child up for adoption. Jesus gave me the strength to carry on and I now have a handsome young man as my son.

The Reason to Be Ready.

Furthermore, we all have a reason for the hope that is in us as believers and followers of Christ. The Holy Spirit will empower us with the right words at the right time. We just need to be ready. Because the world is hurting and they need to know that there is hope.

In closing, I leave you with this hymn, “Jesus, My Blood and Righteousness,” because it helps me be prepared. Here is a relate link, Hope.

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5 of My Favorite Bible Verses on Grace!

Bible verses

These Are Just a Few of My Favorite Verses.

Grace is defined as unmerited favor or as I have seen written out, God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. I do believe that these five verses will reveal much about grace. For me, I often struggle to fully comprehend God’s grace and in return share it. Here is a link to the following verses.

 Two Verses Regarding God’s Gift of Grace.

  1. Ephesians 2:8-9

First and foremost is that it is by grace that we are saved through faith. This grace is a gift of God. Yes, you heard me right, a gift. It cannot be earned and is freely given. There is nothing we can boast about. The beauty here is that there is freedom from having to prove ourselves.

  1. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Theses verses reveal that Jesus has given us comfort and good hope through grace. There is a purpose to this grace that we have received.  We are now established to do every good work and word. Therefore, we have a mission. God empowers us by His amazing grace to carry it out.

Three More Verses about Our Responsibility to Live Out Grace.

  1. Colossians 4:6

Furthermore, we are to let our speech be seasoned with grace and seasoned with salt. This way we can give answer to anyone who questions us. Salt is used as a preservative. Thus, we ought to speak in a way that will preserve the relationship and bring glory to God our father.

  1. Hebrew 4:16

In addition to these, comes a verse that paints a wonderful word picture. Through Jesus, we now have confidence to approach the throne of grace in our time of need. And in doing so, we will receive mercy and find grace. Hence, we are not left defenseless. We can always turn to God in our time of need.

  1. Hebrews 12:15

Last but not least, we are encouraged not let anyone fail to obtain the grace of God. We are also not to let the root of bitterness spring up and cause trouble. This will only defile others.

In Summary

Most importantly, we are saved by grace through faith not by works. Jesus has given our hearts comfort and given us a good hope. Therefore, we are to be living examples of that grace both in word and in our actions. And when we need help we can always go to the throne of grace to find mercy.

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Share of God’s Grace in Your Life!

Share

I Am Called to Share of His Grace.

Well, Community Bible Study has come to an end of another great study in God’s word. Though I missed out on almost two months, God did not leave me void of something to take from it. My take home is His amazing grace and the need to share it with others. We closed out with Share day where we were invited to tell our story of God’s grace.

I was blessed by each woman’s story but especially by the young mothers who stepped up with their babies wrapped close to them. They, too, shared of God’s grace. One told of how she did not grow up with a mother or grandmother and was blessed by the older women in her core group. Another mother told of her 2 year old who was in the children’s program. Her two year old knows of Jesus and encourages her family to prayer before meals. Therefore, this blesses my heart to see young mother’s coming and bringing their children with them so that they will grow up knowing that Jesus is Lord.

Then the Lord inspired me to climb the mountain of stairs to the podium to share of His grace in my life. Our study in Titus has been so encouraging. The last lesson was titled Amazing Grace. I read our memory verses Titus 2:11-12. I spoke of how I was there by the grace of God following the injury to my back. However, the story of His grace in my life was how He transformed me to be able to have an improved relationship with my sister who was blessed with a beautiful little girl, Joanna, almost two years ago.

There is a lot to a Name.

Her name means God is gracious. Two years ago, I feared that I would not be able to connect with her. Yet, God is greater and has blessed me by helping me to reconnect me with my sister. Not only do I have a better relationship with her but my niece has stolen my heart. I am not sure when I will get my heart back. But that’s okay with me.

Yet, there is something more to this last lesson for me. God wants me to share of His grace in my life with others in a tangible way. I am not sure of how just yet but I pray that He will reveal it to me before CBS starts up again in the fall.

Is God calling you to share of His Grace with others?

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How, Lord, Am I to Be Patient in Affliction?

Affliction

What Does It Mean to be Patient in Affliction?

While reading Finding Purpose, Kelsey used Romans 12:11-13 as her verses for reference. What stuck out to me in verse 12 is the patient in affliction, which is defined as a state of pain, distress, or grief: misery. It can also be a cause of mental or bodily pain, as sickness, loss, calamity, or persecution.[2]

Therefore, I pose the question as to how can I be patient in my affliction? First, let’s define patient. Patient as an adjective is defined as bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.[3] Thus I am to endure my state of pain, distress or persecution with fortitude, calm, and without complaining, anger or the like.

However, I am a contradiction to this. I have not endured my pain and discomfort without complaint or anger. As time has progressed, I have gotten accustomed to my pain. Yet, last night, I sadly mistreated my family and I attributed it to my pain. So I want to know how I can refrain from using my pain as an excuse to be unkind and impatient with my family?

Be that as it may, there is hope because with Christ all things are possible. The key is being faithful in prayer. On my own, I am not able to bear my pain and misery with fortitude and calm. Yet, I am enabled to do so through fervent prayer. I don’t know how it happens but God is faithful and will hear me when I pray. Hence, He alone has the power to help me.

Here is My Prayer.

Dear Lord God, I come to You to ask for help in my affliction. On my own, I am not patient and I have been unkind to my family. Please forgive me and help me to be patient and to refrain from using my pain as an excuse. Lord have mercy. Hear my Prayer. Amen.

 

 

 

[2] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/affliction?s=t

[3] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/patient?s=t

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Help and Hope While You’re Healing

Help & Hope

I Give Thanks for the Help and Hope that I Found.

It has been more than a month now since I injured my back significantly. The first two weeks were the hardest for me. The pain was excruciating and debilitating. I had posted on Facebook my angst and Christine Carter offered to send me her book. Reading her book I, indeed, found much help and hope.

This healing journey would be depressing if I had not read her book. She has several helps. For example, in chapter 2 titled, ‘Preparing for the Pause,’ she addresses the areas of responsibility and provides worksheets. In Chapter five, she encouraged me to take this time to discover my passions. For me, it is blogging and connecting with other fellow bloggers.

But what really touched me was where she shared her own journey particularly in chapter 8. My heart was saddened by the loss she faced at the age of 43. So she is not just offering words of comfort without having been down this road. I appreciated how she found humor in midst of such troubling times. From it, she encourages women to own it, laugh a little and get out.

Furthermore, what was a big help for me and gave me hope was the reminder that this is temporary. She also inspired me to reach out to my friends for help. In doing so, I have been blessed by their time and companionship. This has helped me to overcome depressing thoughts. I am one prone to pity parties and feeling sorry for myself. Reading this book has been such a joy, help and has inspired hope.

Read It for Yourself

Therefore, I would highly recommend this book to any woman who is recovering from injury, surgery, and/or illness. You will not be disappointed. Here is a link to purchase a copy Help and Hope While You’re Healing. You can also check out her website, themomcafe.com. Thank you, Christine.

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Storms in Our Life Have a Purpose

Storms

Storms of Life: What Lessons Can We Learn?

As part of the Easter story, we heard of Peter’s denial but the part I think that is most often overlooked is that Jesus tells Peter that Satan has demanded to sift Peter like wheat. Jesus goes on to say that He has prayed that Peter’s faith may not fail. And when Peter has turned back, he is to strengthen his brothers. Therefore, this storm in Peter’s life had a purpose and so do the storms in our lives.

Yet, we often do not recognize our storms as having a purpose but they do. The Bible has many references to that fact. I, particularly, like what Jesus told Peter, And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers,” Luke 22:32b ESV*. There is the purpose right there. Though the storms in life are tough, there is purpose and that is to help others who are going through the same trail.

Another scripture that I think of is 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. Here, I am instructed to comfort those who are afflicted with same comfort that I have received from God. For example, I was widowed 20+ years ago and have received God’s comfort, therefore, I can comfort someone who has recently been widowed. I had also been a single parent for 15 years before marrying my heart’s desire. There are a number of ways that I can extend God’s comfort.

Last but not least is Romans 8:28. I remember learning in Bible Study Fellowship that the good mentioned in this verse means building our character to be more like Jesus. God has a purpose in all the storms in our lives if we only look to Him to reveal it. Often they serve to smooth away the rough edges or help me change my perspective on something.

Riding Out the Storms with Jesus

It was in the study of the book John that I came to understand something new. When the storms come and they will, all I need to do is join Jesus in the boat and let Him take me to the destination of His choosing.

At the Women of Faith conference in 2011, I heard Patsy Clairmont speak. She said, “You are either in a storm, coming out of one, or are heading for one.” So how will you handle the next storm in your life?

 

 

 

*The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Instructions for the Hidden Life: What to Put to Death and What to Put On.

Instructions

What are These Instructions?

Recently, I had the honor of being a guest blogger where I talked about Putting On the New Self. You can read it here https://hispurposeinme.org/2017/04/13/putting-on-the-new-self/. Furthermore, we are given instructions as to what to put to death and what we are to put on.

First Instruction

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you.”

Colossians 3:5 ESV[1]

There is quite a list as to what we are to put to death. This would include things such as sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and covetousness. Thus we are put away any bad habits or objects that stir these up. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us where any of these might exist in our hearts.

Yet, the Apostle Paul goes on to say that we must put away all anger, wrath, malice slander and obscene talk. We are not to lie to one another either. I know that this is not easy. But we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. He does not say that you can’t be angry but what he is saying is not to stay angry thus you will be free of anger. Malice is the desire to inflict, injury, harm or suffering to another. Slander is defamation thus wanting to ruin someone’s reputation. These are heart issues of selfish person.

Second Instruction

“Put on then as God chosen ones, holy and beloved…”

Colossians 3:12a ESV[1]

As a new creations with a hidden life, we are to put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. As well, we are to bear with one another and forgive each other. Therefore we are to turn our hearts toward others. I heard it said that humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less and others more. I like to think of meekness as one that is not easily provoked to anger. Compassion is a strong desire to helps those who are suffering. And above all we are to put on love. The key to putting all of this on is letting the peace of Christ rule in our hearts and letting the word of Christ dwell richly in us. He has the power to transform our hearts therefore we are enabled to follow these instructions.

How are you at following instructions?

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

[1] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Excruciating Means Out of the Cross or Crucifixion.

excruciating

Excruciating: What is it Origin?

Have you ever wondered about the word excruciating? Or have you pondered on the suffering that Jesus Christ went through for your sins? Well, I learned about it in regards to the crucifixion of Christ in world history in the 8th grade. Where we looked at from a medical perspective.

The origin of the word is “Latin excruciātus, past participle of excruciāre to torment, torture, equivalent to ex- ex-1+ cruciāre to torment, crucify (derivative of crux cross); see -ate[1]. Can you see how it means out of the cross? When you look at the medical aspect of what Jesus went through on the cross, you can understand the word even more.

If you really want to read more about suffering Jesus went through, this check out this link Medical Aspects of the Crucifixion of Christ.

As we are approaching Good Friday, there is a hymn that comes to mind. O Sacred Head Now Wounded brings tears to my eyes when we sing it in church.  Though it is 10 verses long, this hymn sings so mournfully of the woe He went through and that He bore my burden to the cross. In verse 8, I sing of how can I thank Him for this dying sorrow and ask Him to make me His forever. “O Lord, let me never, never out live my love for Thee,” is how this verse ends. The final two verses close with seeking Lord Jesus to be near me when I am at death’s door.

Thus, I pray that you will contemplate His true suffering and how He died on the cross for you. As you do, I hope that you will have a new appreciation for the word excruciating.

In Closing

I leave you with Luke 22:44.

44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.[2]

[1] excruciate. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved April 13, 2017 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/excruciate

[2] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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O Perfect Life Of Love – Jesus Died to Make us Whole

Perfect Life of Love

O Perfect Life of Love

O perfect life of love!
All, all is finished now;
All that He left His throne above
To do for us below.

No work is left undone
Of all the Father willed;
His toil, His sorrows, one by one,
The Scripture have fulfilled.

No pain that we can share
But He has felt its smart;
All forms of human grief and care
Have pierced that tender heart.

And on His thorn crowned head,
And on His sinless soul,
Our sins in all their guilt were laid,
That He might make us whole.

In perfect love He dies;
For me He dies, for me;
O all atoning Sacrifice,
I cling by faith to Thee.

In every time of need,
Before the judgment throne,
Thy work, O Lamb of God, I’ll plead,
Thy merits, not my own.

Yet work, O Lord, in me,
As Thou for me hast wrought;
And let my love the answer be
To grace Thy love has brought.*

This hymn is most inspiring to me as we enter Holy week. The first four verses speak to what Jesus came to do for us,  how he did it, and how it pierced his tender heart. Jesus died to make us whole. In verse 5, I especially like how it becomes personal. Jesus died for me and I cling by faith to Him. When my time here on earth is done and I face the judgement throne, it will be on the merits of Jesus and not my own I plead. The last verse is such a beautiful plea that Jesus would work His love in my heart.

*http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/p/operfect.htm

Meditation for Your Holy Week

Here is a link to hear the hymn sung.

I encourage you to read and meditate on Psalm 22 as you go through Holy week.

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My Overwhelming Gratitude List

Gratitude List

My Gratitude List

I suffered an injury to my back in March and my world has been different ever since. Despite the pain and inconvenience, I have chosen to compose my gratitude list. This exercise has been most rewarding and uplifting because there is so very much to be thankful for.

God’s Many Blessings!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

On the night of April 3rd following cortisone shot, I lay in bed trying to go to sleep and my mind was flooded with thankfulness. Here is what I am thankful for:

  • My husband for all that he does for me and for his working from home to look after me.
  • The sound of my husband snoring because it meant that I am not alone
  • My mom’s sound advice and help and having followed it & I benefited
  • Friends that prayed for me and I know that God heard their pleas.
  • Even for the lonely Mockingbird singing after 11:30pm to way past midnight.
  • The doctors and nurses that had to put up with me when I was hurting and complaining
  • The fellow Christian blogger who did not know me but cared enough to send me her book on Help and Hope while You’re Healing; Thank you, Christine Carter
  • The community of fellow Christian bloggers that prayed for me though they did not know me
  • Pastor Crowe who brought me communion
  • Kay Gray who came for a visit
  • Dee who helped me more than once; her kindness is beyond words.
  • Most especially, my brother-in-love who brought my sister and my niece for a visit
  • My two young men who have helped fix and prepare dinners and helped me in many ways to include cleaning house.
  • The one night which I slept well since I injured my back
  • The friends that offer to help in anyway and the emails and Facebook replies.
  • The faith that God has given me through Jesus Christ, His Son

I Give Thanks!

Dear Lord God, I cannot begin to give You enough thanks for the many blessings that You have given to me. You alone are worthy of all my worship and praise. Please bless all my friends and family. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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