Posts Tagged ‘God’

Bible Study: The Lord is My Shepherd

Thursday, April 8th, 2010
Resources

By Zina Leone

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Jesus Our Lord

Jesus Our Lord

Does the 23rd Psalm remind you of death and funerals? It should, because it’s one of the most common passages of the Bible recited at funerals. Maybe it’s the thought our loved ones “walking through the valley of the shadow of death, fearing no evil” that brings so much comfort. Indeed, this thought is very comforting, but somehow when I read it I don’t think of death at all, but of life.

Our life here is a journey and sometimes we must travel through rough terrain and dark valleys. Sometimes those dark valleys can be so difficult we feel as if we’re traveling through the very “shadow of death.” This is because when we’re faced with trials and tribulation we usually feel so apart from God. Some call it “the dark night of the soul” and it truly is. But the 23rd Psalm is a reminder to us to “fear no evil” because Jesus is always there to give us direction and guidance, no matter how dark it may seem. He is there beside us and “His rod and His staff will comfort us.

In the Bible, Jesus is often referred to as a shepherd and we as His sheep. He watches over us the same way a shepherd watches over his flock. A shepherd always carries a rod to clear away rocks or anything in the way that could possibly harm his sheep. Sometimes he might even use it against wild animals that threaten his flock. The staff he carries has a crook on the end of it and is often used to steer wandering sheep back to the flock. Sometimes it might be used to rescue a lamb that has fallen in a crevice or gotten itself stuck in some bushes. When we think of Jesus as our shepherd, keeping harm away from us, it’s certainly a very comforting thought. We don’t even know how many times He may have used His rod to push Satan away from us. And how comforting it is to know His staff is always ready to guide us back to His fold when we have strayed.

God provides for us and gives all we need. Sometimes we have trouble believing that because our idea of what we need is usually completely different than His. Have you ever wanted something really bad and prayed and prayed, but it didn’t seem like He was listening? He’s listening, but He doesn’t always give us what we want because He knows better than we do what’s good for us. We need to learn to accept whatever it is He wants for us and trust it is for our good. “We shall not want” for anything we need.

Life can be hectic at times and we feel as if we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. Traveling through dark valleys can really tear us apart both physically and mentally. It’s very important for us to try to set aside a time for prayer and meditation. As we shut out the world and try not to think about our problems “He will make us to lie down in green pastures and lead us beside the still waters.” As we do this more and more “He will restore our souls and lead us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

In the midst of all our troubles and all the evil influences of the world, He is always there beside us. “He prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies.” His Spirit of love and compassion envelopes us as “He anoints our heads with oil. Our cups runneth over.” When we follow Him He assures us “goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives,” and when our journey here has finally ended “we will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

This is what I see when I read the 23rd Psalm, a step-by-step guide in all areas of our lives. Maybe my view of it is kind of like the adage, a cup half-empty vs. a cup half-full. While some people seem to only associate it with the comfort it brings in death, I am so thankful for the comfort it brings in life.

Source:

Zina Leone is freelance writer and photographer living in southeastern Pennsylvania. She started out in high school, writing articles and poems for the school newspaper and has continued to write about life experiences, opinions, short stories, essays and poems. She published her first book, a storybook for her grandson in 2007 and has recently been chosen to publish an article in a new book coming out in the Fall, Hope Whispers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Zina_Leone
http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Lord-is-My-Shepherd&id=2868526

The Absolute Best Form of Communication

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

By Stephen Johns

Being a Christian you have this amazing gift of being able to interact with the Most High God! God is in our lives in every way possible directing our paths. Amazing, and what amazes me further is the fact that we get to speak with our Creator on a continual basis, day by day, hour by hour, even down to the second if we choose so. This act is called prayer.

I am asked quite frequently by Christians, “How do I pray?” I believe there are many ways to pray, but I would like to discuss one which I believe to be the most natural way to pray.

First, I want you to imagine that you are at your childhood home. You get up in the morning as you do everyday and you can smell breakfast cooking and your Mom singing in the kitchen. Your Dad is drinking coffee in the kitchen. You walk downstairs and there is evidence of them being all around you but you barely acknowledge them. Time passes through the day. You have lunch, maybe saying hi and thanking your parents for the food exactly as you did the day before. More time passes as you do your chores. Soon the afternoon passes with no interaction. It’s night time, you sit for dinner and again possibly saying thanks for the food. Night has fallen and you watch a T.V. show and go to bed. Just before you retire for the evening you tell your parents, “How thou art great and thou art wonderful parents” and as you are speaking you gently fall asleep in mid-sentence!

Sound a little strange? As abundant as your parents are in your life you barely communicate with them and when you do, you use strange words unlike your typical rhetoric through the day!? Yet this is how God is often treated by us. Avoided most of the day and spoken to with ready made cookie cutter prayers.

There are many reasons that we may not pursue God in prayer more often. One reason is that we may feel vain in thinking that we can actually speak to the “Great I Am” without using specific times like dinner, and bedtime, and using formidable words like thou and thee. However, this is not true.

One of my favorite names for God is Abba or as it could break down, “Daddy – a loving and trusting Father.” And He wants us to come to him on a continual basis. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to, “Pray without ceasing.” If it is suggested that I can pray without ceasing, then every second must be suitable for prayer. There would not be a specific time or place that would be more suitable for prayer, meaning our communication lines are wide open and our Father is ready to hear us any moment through the day.

Understand and recognize that your “Heavenly Daddy” is with you never leaving 24/7. He is there in the good and the bad, thick and thin and He wants you to tell Him about it in your own words, crying out if need be! So how do you pray? Start by just opening your mouth and your heart and in your own words – pray.

For more on how you can participate in personal growth and help improve the lives of the unfortunate and downtrodden please contact us at the web-site below.
http://www.mylifechange.org

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stephen_Johns
http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Absolute-Best-Form-of-Communication&id=2867111

Bible Study: Meditating on God’s Works Creates Optimism For Success and Health

Friday, December 18th, 2009

By Parker Jaymes

One of the ways we can develop greater health and greater success is to develop some of these habits below. These habits have secular origins, but I believe that they demonstrate the truth in Scripture.

Psalm 77:11-13 (King James Version)

I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?

One of the lessons in our e-book discusses the process of recalling all God has done. It comes from Psalm 77:11-13 and I believe exercising in this does several things. Some of these insights come from reading a decidedly secular book called “Learned Optimism.”

Again, because the origin comes from a psychologist shows that the outcome is true with empirical evidence, even if their attribution of the practice is not from a Christian world view.

Recall positive outcomes from the past

Surely I will remember Your wonders of old” instructs us to try to see the past that shapes us with wonder of God’s hand. This creates resiliency for our current circumstances.

See the negatives as temporary

You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble” puts into perspective that even the worse situations we may be facing are temporary. When we allow that mindset, we become more resilient in the world and trusting in God. In fact, it strengthens the faith we need today to see his faithfulness of yesterday.

Freedom from helplessness

I cannot stop thinking about your might works” gives us the ability to act and confidence that we are not alone and helpless. Helplessness (often learned helplessness) leads to disempowering states like depression. But when we follow these words and meditate in what God has done, we begin to see everything else in a different optic.

These three aspects come from living a life that recalls all that God has done. They’ve shown that people who take the types of actions which can be derived from this mindset are more successful and live longer.

How often do people meditate on God’s “wonderful deeds of long ago“?

Parker Jaymes
Author: “Hundredfold Now!”
Free 7-Day Course at: http://www.HundredfoldNow.com/7Days
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Parker_Jaymes
http://EzineArticles.com/?Meditating-on-Gods-Works-Creates-Optimism-For-Success-and-Health&id=2813188

Bible Study: What Matters to God

Friday, December 11th, 2009

By Angela Mwema

Matthew 18:3

And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus Our Lord

Jesus Our Lord

When we get born again, we are so careful to do everything perfectly and please God in all that we do. We think before we talk and treat people better. Our love for God is very intense. We want to tell everyone about this wonderful thing we feel and preach to everyone though most of the time we are not even sure of what we are saying. We spend a lot of time with God in prayer and reading his word. This is called the First Love. Sadly with time, this energy fades away and all we have are memories of the pleasant times we used to share with God.

This is what matters to God. This innocent, yet total and undiluted love for him. We are like new born babes who know nothing about the new world they have been ushered into but we trust our mothers entirely. We know that nothing can happen to us when they are around us and we want them to be around us all the time. If you’ve never known, new born babies only have eyes for there moms. Nothing else interests them but with time, they start noticing the world around them. They soon want to spend their time doing other things not just with the mom.

God wants us to be like the newborns, entirely engrossed in his love and care. We should want to know him the more and not care about the world around us. He wants us to cultivate a relationship with him and this can only happen when we spend time with him.

Angela Mwema is a messenger to the world with the true and living word of God. Please visit her site for more spiritual nourishment. This is http://angiepages.com/2009/09/09/the-workers-are-few/.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Angela_Mwema
http://EzineArticles.com/?What-Matters-to-God&id=2908103

Bible Study: Living Godly Lives in Today’s Culture

Friday, December 4th, 2009

By Richard R Blake

God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. Titus 2:11-12 (The Message)

Jesus Our Lord

Jesus Our Lord

In today’s society we are all faced with the challenge of living self-disciplined, godly lives in an environment that if filled with ungodliness, corruption, and worldly passions. Self-discipline includes saying “No” to all that is evil. Jesus has freed us from the power of sin in our lives and empowers us to live upright and godly lives. Through his sacrifice for us, we now appear before God as pure, holy, and righteous. He has given us new life. Our challenge is to allow him to mold us into his likeness so that our daily walk will manifest his character before the world in a way that our lives will be a magnet drawing others to Him.

Prayer:

LORD, God of Jesus, my Abba Father, I praise you for your costly grace and love demonstrated to me in Jesus. Now galvanize my commitment to say “No!” to all those sins that required my Savior’s pain and humiliation. Through your Spirit, form in me a righteous lifestyle that is self-controlled and is reflective of your righteousness. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen. The prayer is quoted From: Heart light Organization, on line daily devotions

Richard R. Blake, Christian Editorial Consultant, Freelance Writer

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Richard_R_Blake
http://EzineArticles.com/?Living-Godly-Lives-in-Todays-Culture&id=2911757

Building on a Firm Foundation

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Build a Foundation

1 Kings 5:17-18 And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house. And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.

Luke 6:48-49 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Why the Foundation is so important.

Any building needs solid foundation in order to remain standing. The foundation is the base upon which everything is built. In our study here we need to understand that Jesus is the foundation to everything we do in the worship ministry. In this section we will examine the relationship we have with him and how to maintain that relationship so that the foundation will remain strong and solid.
It starts with a relationship.

Before anyone can worship God they must first have a relationship with Him. Once you have the relationship then and only then can you truly worship in spirit and in truth. In this chapter I will share with you three reasons to worship. Each of these reasons is built on a relationship that is only available through fellowship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. First you need to know that God loves you very much. Second God gives us grace that allows us to love Him. And third because of our relationship we have a hope for our future.

God Is Love

First you need to know is that God loves you. He always has and always will. I believe one of the greatest experiences is to know that you are loved. That by itself is reason enough to worship God. After all, God is the creator of love. He is the very essence of love. Not only does he love us; He also wants to have a relationship with us. We were created to have fellowship with God. Fellowship is a relationship. Since God loves us we ought to show our appreciation. We do this through our worship of Him. But the reason for loving God goes even deeper. You need to understand that God loves you so much. He desires intimate fellowship with us. That is where the second reason to worship comes.

God Gives Us Grace

The second reason we worship God is that we received His wonderful gift of grace. Let me explain. We are sinful by nature. We are born that way. It is our heritage. The problem with this is that when we are in the state of sin we are unable to truly experience God’s total love toward us. There is a barrier between God and us. This barrier is so large no man can bridge the gap.

We are stubborn, self-willed, and independent wanting to do what we want. It is our desire to feed our flesh with worldly things. While in the state of sin we have a death sentence on our life. Our destiny is eternal damnation totally separated from the best things that God offers. You will never experience the fullness of worship unless you have an intimate relationship.

But, in His mercy towards us He provides a fool proof method of reconciliation. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Here is the key to grace. If you learn anything reading this article this is the most important. He sent his son Jesus to reconcile us back to God. Jesus paid the debt we owed because of sin. He took on death and beat it. His pure a sinless life allowed Him to rise from the dead. Through Him we can now have the kind of fellowship God wants. All a person needs to do is believe the gospel is true. We worship Jesus for the great and mighty sacrifice He did to restore our relationship with God.

God Give Us A Hope For The Future

Not only does God love us and have given us a priceless gift of grace, he also gives us a hope for the future. The very moment you receive the free gift of salvation immediately you have a place in heaven. You citizenship is there. Your name is written in the Book of Life. As a matter of fact Jesus is there preparing a place for you. The thing about worship is it is an opportunity to prepare for our time in heaven. You can begin to experience a taste of heaven. The most precious moments I experience when I worship are those times when I am in the very presence of God. What I desire is to think of this as practicing for that day when I am before God in all His glory, bowing down at the throne. Seeing Him face to face for the very first time in person. Worship allows us to get a small glimmer of this. I get excited when I meditate on this awesome time.

Now that we have taken a journey toward the reasons we worship let me recap. First, we know that God loves us very much. He desires to have fellowship with us. But because we are by nature sinful we are separated from God’s love. It is impossible for us as individuals to fix that. Which brings us to the second point. God gives us grace. He devised a plan that allows us to be reconciled back to Him. Jesus came to die on a cross for our sin. But, because He was without any sin he was able to beat the death sentence and raised up from the grave. The grace is that we have salvation by believing in Jesus. That’s it! It is so simple. Just receive it. And third, God did all of this because He desires eternal fellowship. Therefore, He have given us a future hope in that we can now live forever and we have a place in heaven.

One final thought.

You need to be connected to the Savior Jesus. If you have never asked for salvation, now is the perfect time to begin a relationship with God through Jesus.  Ask Him today and believe me you will never be the same.  Here is a prayer you can pray to begin your journey with Jesus.

Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forging my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me the person you created me to be.

Amen.

For more information on salvation click here

Building Blocks to nurture your relationship

  • Read your Bible everyday to know Christ better.
  • Talk to God in prayer every day.
  • Tell others about Christ.
  • Worship, fellowship, and serve with other Christians in a church where Christ is preached.
  • As Christ’s representative in a needy world, demonstrate your new life by your love and concern for others.

In Conclusion

Before you are able to truely mininster to the people you serve, you must have a foundation that is built on Jesus. That foundation is started at the point you begin a relationship with God though His son Jesus. This is the greatest give anyone can receive and the best part it is absolutely free. Take advange of your position in Christ. Know that he loves you and that he has a hope for your future.

RESOURCE BOX

This article is an excerpt for the new book by John Pape, Jr titled “Building a House of Worship” For more information on how you can get your copy of this book go to…

http://www.mediatunes.com/bhow/

Copyright John Pape Jr.

Abraham Lincoln Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Proclamation of Thanksgiving
Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America’s national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders like this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.

Sarah Josepha Hale, a prominent magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on 28, 1863, urging him to have the “day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.” She wrote, “You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritative fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.” The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”

According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln’s secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary that he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled
with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.
To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that
we are prone to forget the source from which they come,
others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a
nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even
the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful
providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of
unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed
to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression,
peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been
maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and
harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre
of military conflict; while that theatre has been
greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies
of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength
from the fields of peaceful industry to the national
defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the
ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements,
and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious
metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.
Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the
waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the
battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness
of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect
continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No
human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked
out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the
Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our
sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to
me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently
and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice
by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow
citizens in every part of the United States, and also those
who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands,
to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next,
as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father
who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that
while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for
such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also,
with humble penitence for our national perverseness and
disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have
become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the
lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably
engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of
the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and
to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the
Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony,
tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused
 the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three,
and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State