Come On Let’s Celebrate God’s Victories!

Celebrate God's Victories

Reason to Celebrate!

In the Bible study that I am currently in, we have been reading the book of Esther. Near the end of the book, the Jews were instructed to celebrate for two days following the second edict.

Before I go too far I would like to give you some backstory. The book of Esther is the story of the Jews while in exile. I don’t want to go into great detail so I would encourage you to read the book for yourself. But, you need to know that there was an edict written by Haman, second to the king, to have all the Jews killed in all the provinces (of which there were 127). Once the edict was sealed by the King it was not revocable. Therefore, the Jews were facing annihilation.

So, this is where God interceded though His name is not mentioned. Esther was the queen and herself a Jew. Her uncle Mordecai had her intercede on behalf of her people to the King. She did and made known to the King Haman’s plot against her and her people. You will want to read the book of Esther because the irony in this story just call out that God had a hand in it.

To Make a Long Story Short.

Mordecai was given Haman’s position from which he was allowed to write an edict that permitted the Jews to defend themselves against their enemies, thus the cause for celebration.

In our discussion time, we had a question about what victories God has won in our lives. And how could we commemorate and celebrate these victories? For me, I thought of the day that marks the reconciliation between me and a dear family member. Therefore, I will mark this day with joy and share it with my family.

In the aforementioned Bible story, the Jews were to celebrate the feast of Purim. They did so by giving gifts of food not only to family members but also to the poor. I would like to do something similar to mark my special day.

Related Link: Share of God’s Grace in Your Life

What reason do you have to celebrate God’s goodness?

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Love Others as You Love Yourself

Love Yourself

How Do You Love Yourself?

For me, I started with reading about what God thinks of me. This leads me to love myself because I am created in His image (Genesis 1:27). I am His workmanship and created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). This means I am His work of art, unique and one of a kind. There is no one else like me.

Not only does He love me but He also gave His one only Son to die for my sins (John 3:16). Jesus did this while I was still a sinner. I did not deserve it.

Another thing, God rejoices over me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). This is a comfort to know that God loves me so much that He rejoices over me with singing.

So, with this in mind, how does one go about loving oneself? First, you need to change the way you think about yourself. Know that you are loved by God. If God loves you enough to send His Son to die for you, then you have no reason for not loving yourself. Any other thinking is from the devil who wants to rob you of that great love. So submit yourselves to God and resist the devil and he will flee.

Second, way to love yourself is to care for your body. For as a Christian, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Now, I have to admit that this is a struggle for me. Though, I do want to live a long life I am not good at eating the right foods and getting enough exercise.

Last but not least is remembering to whom you now belong. As a believer, you are a child of God. As a child of God, you are loved and cherished by your heavenly Father. Out of this great love you can now cherish others as you cherish yourself.

In what ways can you love yourself?

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The Best Advice a Friend Ever Gave Me.

Best advice

Some time back, a dear friend gave me some really good advice. She told me that it is not what you do that is important but what you be. In other words, it is not the doing that matters the most but how you BE. For example, be kind, forgiving, considerate, and compassionate, these are what really matters.

What Advice Does God’s Word Have for Us?

Therefore, I went looking into God’s Word as to how I am to be. I found several references in how I am to be and not to be. This really got me to thinking. What if we as believers thought more about the being rather than the doing, what a profound effect we would make in the world?

For instance, take Ephesians 4:32. We are to BE kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving as Christ forgave us. This alone could rock the society and it would draw others to Christ.

How does it make you feel when someone shows you kindness? You feel respected as a person, right? You matter!

What about tenderhearted or I like to think of it as compassion? We could all use a bit of compassion. Think how this might bring about a welcome change to those in your neighborhood and/or church when we show mercy and extend a helping hand.

Don’t forget about forgiveness! This is central to being a Christ follower. He forgave us while we were still sinners and He expects us to forgive others just the same. This is where true freedom lies because the unwillingness to forgive holds one captive.

Let’s not forget Colossians 3:15b. We are to BE thankful. Gratitude is a game changer. When I focus on God and give Him thanks for all the many blessings and for the trials that come my way, I am changed from the inside out. My countenance is brighter and my heart is full of joy.

How Do We Act on This Advice?

Now, this may sound easier said than done but we do not have to try this on our own. For this will not be possible. But through prayer and God’s Word, God will empower us through His Holy Spirit. This is a mystery, yet I know that with God all things are possible. I have experienced His help in my own life.

Just ask the Lord to help you BE kind, tenderhearted and forgiving. He is more than able to do far more than all we ask or think. This is just a glimpse at but a few of the ways are to BE.

Here is a few more scripture that you can read to find out more; Ephesians 5:1, 17-21; Philippians 2:1-7, 14-15; 4:6; 1 Peter 1:14-16; Romans 12:2; James 1:9.

Here is a related link: Put on the New Self

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David; A Man of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday comes but once a year, yet, we should make the giving of thanks to our God a daily occurrence. David is a perfect example for us to follow. Not only did he write many times in the Psalms but also sang a song of thanks to God in 1 Chronicle 16:8-36.

Why the Thanksgiving?

There are numerous reasons for the thanksgiving to our God. He created the heavens and the earth is the first reason. We are here because of His making it happen. We live and move and have our being because of Him.

In our thanks, we make known His wondrous deeds. It is in remembering that we are encouraged to keep on going and moving forward in life. When we forget, we fall into despair and let the current events way us down.

David had a lot to remind Israel of to be thankful to God. In his song, he reminds them of the great miracles that God had done. They were told to remember God’s covenant. The Lord is great and greatly to be praised is what David spoke to them. Read this song and see how David encouraged the people to tell, ascribe, and declare the great deeds God had done.

Most of all as believers, we are to give thanks to our God for sending us His son. Salvation in Jesus Christ is indeed worthy of thanksgiving. Without Him, we were facing eternal death and an eternity in hell.

What can you give thanks to God for on a daily basis?

How to Give Thanks.

In Psalm 26:7, David proclaimed his thanksgiving aloud and told of God’s wondrous deeds. So we, too, should proclaim God’s great deeds. In eight different Psalms, you can find David giving thanks.

Another way of giving thanks to God is one of sacrifice. It glorifies God when we give Him thanks, this way. So what does it mean to make a sacrifice of thanksgiving? I believe that it is giving Him thanks when we are facing trials and tribulations or even when we don’t feel so thankful. We are to give thanks in all situations.

In addition to this, we are to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. This would mean coming to church with thanks and praise on our lips and in our hearts. We can add music to our giving of thanks unto the Lord as David did.

How might you find a new way to give thanks to God? Relate link: Tell of the Goodness of the Lord.

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Three Scriptures to Pray When in Need of Peace

3 Scriptures on peace

My Go to Scriptures on Peace.

  1. Isaiah 26:3 ESV You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts inYou.

There have been many times that I have used this verse to get me through turmoil. God will and has kept me in perfect peace when my mind is/was focused on Him and I trusted Him. I often prayed to God that He would help me to keep my mind on Him. He was always faithful. It is not easy to keep one’s mind on God when in the midst of trouble. However, it is the only way to get to the other side. God is greater than any problem that I ever face.

  1. Romans 12:18 ESV If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

This verse speaks to me about my responsibility to others. I am to strive to live at peace with everyone and recognize when it is not possible. There will be times when I have to walk away and leave it in God’s hands. Again, I am responsible for my part in any relationship.

  1. Philippians 4:6-8 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.

In order to achieve the peace that passes all understanding, I am to pray to God when I am anxious. I am to make everything known to God by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Then the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard my heart and mind. Therefore, when I am facing any hardship all I need to do is turn to God in prayer and give Him thanks for the answers. God will give me His peace that only He can give.

3 scriptures on peace

Final Thoughts

These scriptures are just a few of my go-to verses that have given me strength. God is the true source of everlasting peace. I pray that these will encourage you also. What verses do you use?

Related link: 5 Bible Verses on Grace.

 

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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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