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God Connect: Daily Renewing Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

Upon Every Remembrance

Philippians 1:3- “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.  Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.”

Isn’t it nice to reminisce with a friend.  You can talk of old times and remember inside jokes and memories you’ve shared together.  Friendship is a very valuable part of our lives.  Proverbs 17:17 reminds us that a friend loveth at all times.

Paul sets an example for us as he thanks God for the friends he’d made at Philippi.  He prayed for them with joy. How often do you pray for your friends?  Are you making requests to God for them daily? Does joy fill your heart when you pray for them.

Today I challenge you to reconnect with an old friend.  Send them a card or message.  Maybe even a phone call would be appropriate to brighten their day.  Pray for them with joy and thank God for allowing them to be a part of you life.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17

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They Bless With Their Mouths, But They Curse Inwardly

Psalm 62:3-4 “How long will ye imagine the mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence. They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly.

We all know those people. You know what I mean… the ones who say one thing and do another. The ones who talk about you behind your back, but are friendly to your face.  The Bible makes it clear that we shouldn’t be living that kind of life.  It even tells us in James 3:10 to refrain our tongues from evil and speak no guile in order to love life and see good days.  Matthew 12:36 says that we will give account of every idle word in the day of judgment. Woah! God is pretty serious about this!

God is not only serious about what comes out of our mouths.  He’s also concerned about our hearts.  “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34.  God knows our hearts and he knows the sincerity of our actions.

Is it easy to bless with your mouth and curse inwardly? If you’re praising God or “blessing” Him just for show, but aren’t serious about serving Him, I’d say yes it is.  The problem with living a lifestyle like that is God knows your heart and he knows if you’re not sincere in your actions.  You can’t claim to be a Christian and get away with it.  God knows your heart.  Going through the motions of blessing God or going to church will not cut it.  God knows your heart.  May I reiterate? God knows your heart! 

So where is your heart today? Take some time to examine yourself. Have you ever given your heart and life to Jesus Christ? Don’t try to fool God, others, or even yourself any longer.  Today is the day of salvation! Now is the time! Don’t put it off any longer.  Lip service won’t get you to heaven.  You have to accept Christ as your personal Savior and surrender your life to time.  Want to know more? Ask me how to be saved!

2 Corinthians 6:2- For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

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Expectations

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is on him.  He only is my rock and salvation: he is my defense, I shall not be moved.  In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:5-8

Expectation: noun

  1. a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future
  2. a belief that someone will or should achieve something
  3. one’s prospect of inheritance

There are certain expectations we have in our everyday lives.  We expect to achieve certain goals or obtain certain things.  We expect to work hard and that work to pay off.  We expect things to go a certain way.  We expect tomorrow and the future. However, the Bible tells us in Psalm 62 that our expectation should be on God.  Our soul should long and wait for none other than our Holy and omnipotent God.  He is our rock, He is our defense, He is our refuge, He is our salvation!

Life can be so full of uncertainties.  We can never truly know what to expect from the things of this world.  In order to live a life of peace and joy, we must learn to turn our expectations to Him.  God sees the whole puzzle when we can only see a few pieces at a time.  He commands us to trust Him and invites us to pour out our hearts to Him.

What are you expecting today? Look no further than the One who indwells you.  Wait on Him. Lean on Him. Trust in Him.  Place your expectations in Him.  You won’t be sorry!

“For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall not be ashamed, but that will all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” Philippians 1:19-20

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A Time for Everything

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Many times we reflect back on influential people in our lives.  We think of the wonderful times we had with them and how we miss the memories of days gone by.  We think of the wonderful attributes they had that were passed along to our lives today.  If we’re not careful, we’ll begin to question why God took them away from us.

Our human minds cannot always see or comprehend God’s purposes.  I think that is why He reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that there is a time for every purpose.  He also reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that he hath made everything beautiful in his time.

We may never know or understand God’s timing or His purposes.  We will undoubtedly face situations in this life that we don’t understand.  Just remember in times of trial and heartache that God has made everything perfect in His own time.  He knows what we’re going through and He’s there for us.

Today I challenge you to reflect back on someone you know that was influential in your life.  Don’t question God on why He took them from you, but thank Him for the wonderful times you had with them and for their wonderful character that shaped who you are today.

“As for God, his way is perfect: The word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” Psalm 18:30

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The Good Part

“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

The last couple of days God has really been reminding me of the story of Mary and Martha.  As they anticipated the arrival of Jesus, I’m sure they realized all that needed to be done.  In the same sense, I imagine myself preparing for company.  Making sure all things are in order and preparing food are usually top priorities of mine when company is coming.  Sometimes even after my company has arrived I get so busy being the hostess that I forget to just relax and enjoy their company.

After I think back to my own experiences with company, I certainly can relate to Martha.  She thought she had to get everything done.  This wasn’t just anyone coming, it was Jesus! Considering my own self-tendencies, I’m surprised when Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the good part.  Instead of making herself busy to make sure everything was perfectly in order, she chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His word.  Jesus said that it would not be taken away from her.

Sometimes I find myself in the same situation in my everyday routines.  There’s supper to cook, laundry to wash, a house to clean, lessons to plan for my class, papers to grade, meetings to attend, graduate work to complete, people to be invited to church, church lessons to prepare for, big events to plan.  Although all these things are good things and are needful, I tend to find myself feeling exhausted at the end of the day.

By reflecting on my activities and events, God has shown me that I am busy trying to get everything done.  I’m busy serving Him so that I’ll be the best wife, teacher, pastor’s wife, friend, family member, etc.  All the things I’m doing are good things… but is that what Jesus said was the good part?

I’ve learned throughout my Christian life that the times when I’ve put all those good things that keep me busy aside for just a few moments and spend time with God by studying His word and through prayer, I’m much more peaceful, content, and in-tune to His will than if I don’t slow down and take that time with Him.

Today I challenge you (as well as myself) to slow down, let the worries of the day go just for a few minutes and dedicate that time to God! You won’t be sorry that you did!

“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4

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Taking Comfort

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be on my lips.” Psalm 34:1

God is a magnificent and holy God.  His ways are perfect and His wisdom goes far beyond our understanding.  No matter what the circumstances, we should should always seek to praise, worship, and glorify Him.

Many times we may not understand something that is happening in our lives. We may have fear and doubt planted in our minds.  Psalm 34:4-7 offers comfort when you’re overwhelmed by fear.  “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.  They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.  The poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”  When fear besets you, take comfort in knowing that the Lord is taking care of you.  He will deliver you from your fears.

Today I challenge you to trust in the goodness and perfection of the Lord.  Although you may not understand what He’s doing in your life, rest assured that He has it under control.  He will not let you down.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8

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Treasure

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21

We all have things we enjoy in this life and things that are valuable to us. We have things we have worked years to earn or things we’ve collected over the years.  However, Jesus warns us about our treasure.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the things of this world: the responsibilities, the relationships, the recreational activities, and the possessions.  It seems that Satan is trying on every hand to keep our minds on anything but God.

Although we have many opportunities to stray, we have to be very careful to keep our eyes fixed on the true treasure… Jesus Christ. The closer you get to God by spending time hearing the preached word, studying the Bible, and prayer, the more you will see that Jesus is the true treasure.  He willingly submitted himself to the Father’s will so that we could inherit eternal life.  There is nothing more precious than that! Today I challenge you to enjoy the treasure God has given you in Jesus Christ.  Lean on His promises and trust His Word.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3;16

 

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Time

Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.  Proverbs 3:9

Time… it seems to be something we all have so little of.  We get so busy running from here to there trying to accomplish what we deem important or necessary. We run, run, run into there seems to be so little time left for ourselves… much less God. We stretch ourselves out so thin trying to be everywhere we need to be at all times. Yet at the end of the day, what have we really accomplished? We have good intentions of spending time with God by reading His Word and praying, yet at the end of the day we end up too exhausted.

Proverbs 3:9 suggests that we honor the Lord with our “firstfruits.”  Although the verse is speaking of our substance, it can also apply to our time. God desires to spend time with us. Spending time with Him is how we draw our strength and gain our wisdom. Yet so many times, when we get busy that’s one of the first things we take time away from. We rob God when we don’t give him our best efforts and our best time. I challenge you today to give your best time to God. Don’t let Satan steal your joy by filling you with so many things to do that you have to rob God to find time for earthly things.

Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”Don’t rob God of the time that is due Him!

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Obtaining Salvation

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Thessalonians 5:9

Since Adam and Eve first made the decision to eat of the fruit of the garden, sin has spread throughout the entire world.  Romans 5:12 declares, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  We are not naturally born “good moral people,” we are born as sinners.  Without Christ, we are hopelessly lost.

God doesn’t want us to be appointed to his wrath, as 1 Thessalonians 5:9 points out.  He wants us to have salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ.  Some people may think that attending church, paying tithes, or doing good deeds will get them into heaven.  Jesus made it clear in John 14:6 that He is the only way to heaven.  He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus’ death on the cross was the atonement for our sins.  By His blood, we can be made free.  Today I challenge you to live for Christ.  If you haven’t accepted Him in your life, do so today.  Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the death, thou shalt be saved.”  Becoming a Christian is as simple as ABC.  Admit you’re a sinner, believe that Jesus died for you, and confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus.  Have you accepted Jesus today.

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the moth confession is made unto salvation.”  Romans 10:10

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Love One Another

“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”  1 John 3:11

Loving people can sometimes be a challenge.  The Bible reminds us time and time again, however, that we must love everyone.  It may be easy to love your family or people that are good to you.  It’s easy to show love when things are going well in your life.  It’s not only those people or in those times that God wants us to show love, though.

Matthew 5:43-44 reminds us of this when it says, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.”  However hard it may be, we must learn to love our neighbors, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our enemies.

It may seem like an impossible task, but it’s not.  We must strive to obtain this pure love, because as 1 John 3:15 points out, having hatred will not allow you to have eternal life with Jesus.  “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”  Do you have the love of Christ abiding in your life today?

“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him, if he thirst give him drink; for in doing so thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”  Romans 12:20

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