Reflection of a Parent

I gave you life, but I cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.

I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot decide for you.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.

I can teach you to respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends, but I cannot choose them for you.
I can tell you the facts of life, but I can’t build your reputation.
I can warn you about drugs, but I can’t prevent you from using them.

I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can’t achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I can’t force you to be gracious.
I can warn you about your sins, but I cannot make you moral.
I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.

I can teach you about Jesus, but I cannot make Jesus your Lord.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.

 

Overcoming worries

Life is full of many concerns stemming from the absence of certainty and control over our future. While we can never be completely free from worry, the Bible shows us how to minimize worry and anxiety in our lives. Philippians 4:6-7 says do not worry about anything, but with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your requests known to God and then the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Pray About Life’s Worries

Believers are commanded to pray about life’s worries. These prayers are to be more than requests for favorable answers. They are to include thanksgiving and praise along with the needs. Praying in this way reminds us of the many blessings God continually gives us whether we ask or not. This reminds us of God’s great love for us and that He knows and does what is best for us.

A Sense of Security in Jesus

Worry is proportional to our sense of security. When life is going as planned and we feel safe in our life routines, then worries subside. Likewise, worry increases when we feel threatened, insecure or are overly focused on and committed to some result. 1 Peter 5:7 says cast your cares upon Jesus because He cares for you. The practice of believers is to take our worries to Jesus in prayer and leave them with Him. This reinforces our dependence on, and faith in Jesus.

Recognize a Wrong Focus

Worries increase when we become focused on the things of this world. Jesus said the treasures of this world are subject to decay and can be taken away but heavenly treasures are secure (Matthew 6:19). Therefore, set your priorities on God and not on money (Matthew 6:24). Man worries about such things as having food and clothes but is given life by God. God provides life, without which the concerns of life are meaningless.

Worry can cause ulcers and mental problems that can have destructive health effects that shorten life. No amount of worry will add even one hour to one’s life (Matthew 6:27). Therefore, why worry? The Bible teaches that we should deal with each day’s problems when they occur and not be obsessed with future concerns that may not happen (Matthew 6:34).

Focus on Jesus

In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus visits the house of the sisters Martha and Mary. Martha was busy with many details regarding making Jesus and his disciples comfortable. Mary, on the other hand, was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to what he said. Martha complained to Jesus that Mary should be busy helping but Jesus told Martha that “…you are worried and anxious about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

What is this one thing that freed Mary from the business and worries experienced by her sister? Mary chose to focus on Jesus, listen to Him and ignore the immediate demands of hospitality. I do not believe that Mary was being irresponsible, rather she wanted to experience and learn from Jesus first and later, when He was done speaking, she would fulfill her duties. Mary had her priorities straight. Put God first and He will free us from worries and take care of the rest of our concerns.

 

Knock! Knock! Knock!

I am standing & knocking

won’t you let me come in your heart

I am the light; where there is dark

I have been knocking for a long time

Don’t leave it much longer

To become a child of mine

I want you to know

That I love you so much

I can fill your heart with love

that is starved of My love

So please don’t delay responding to me

for I may not keep knocking and I do not have a key

I will never force you

To open the door

It’s all up to you, my friend

To receive me as your Lord

Jesus is the center of my life

If you are suffering, He can ease your pain.

If you are confused, He can clear your mind.

If you are fearful, He can give you peace.

If you have bad habits, he can break them for you.

If you have vicious harmful thoughts, He can scatter them for you.

If unclean spirits are within you, He can cast them out.

If you are hateful toward others, or indifferent, He can fill you with love.

If you need anything whatsoever, He can provide it according to His will.

If you give yourself to Him, He will give Himself to you.

If you accept your rightful place in the household of God,

He will love you as His child and take care of you forever.

 

Assurance

Some days, even Christians feel like they need to be reassured. Life can be confusing and frustrating, and even the best of us can become downtrodden. But just know – if you ask God for help, He will hear you. Whatever you petition of him, your prayers will be answered according to His will. Hold in your heart the knowledge that God loves you, Jesus Christ died for YOUR sins and one day you’ll be in heaven. You will feel warm, happy and loved. This is all the reassurance that any Christian should need: God is HERE for you now and He will be during the afterlife as well. Every Christian needs assurance in their daily walk with Jesus. God’s Word includes verses specifically to help us find the assurance we need in both our walk and in life. Please read these Bible verses on Assurance so that you can feel better about your life and live it more confidently in Christ.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope to the end:

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1 John 5:13 These things have I written to you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us:

1 John 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

 

Immersed in God’s Glory

When God’s people put the ark in the center of their worship, they become immersed in God’s Glory. Look in 2 Chronicles 5:2-14, the glory of the Lord fills the temple. Hundreds of professional musicians are ready to sing. The gatherings is huge, the trumpet section alone numbers 120 priests. Music leader Asaph ascends the podium and raises his hand. A mass choir begins to praise the Lord with full enthusiasm. Can you hear it? Israel’s “Praise Festival “

What happens then? The glory of the Lord fills the temple. The Sanctuary becomes so brilliant that the priests can’t even conduct a service or to light the sacrifices. God does it himself with fire from heaven. (2 Chronicles 7:1)

When God’s people sing praises for goodness and love of God in one accord and in spirit, they see the anointing filling the temple.

Wouldn’t it be great to see the shinning glory of God today? You can! For Jesus is the glory of God in human flesh (John 1:14). Like the ark, he symbolizes God’s presence. And you are the temple in which God dwells (Ephesians 2:22).

The more we put Jesus in the center of our lives, the more God makes his glory appear in us. The more we sing about the goodness and love of God, the more radiant our faces become. The more we love other people the way Jesus loves them, the more others will say, “Now I know what the face of God is like.”  You can also read (John 17:20-24; 2 Corinthians 3:7-18)

My prayer is may we worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth.

 

Can a Christian turn away from God?

Matthew Chapter 7 

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Ezekiel Chapter 18

 24But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, [and] doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked [man] doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. 25Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? 26When a righteous [man] turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.

Hebrews 6:4-6 (NKJV):

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

The Lord gave each of His created beings a free will. After we have accepted Jesus as our savior, we still have the freedom to turn back to a life of sin and to reject His grace. The Lord speaks about people being in danger of having their names removed from the Book of Life.  (Exodus 32:33 & Revelation 3:5)  Jesus also taught about those “which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.”  Luke 8:13

Consider what Paul wrote in Colossians 1:21-23 “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind  by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and blameable and unreproveable in his sight:  If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Here Paul says that there is a possibility that Christians can fall away from the Lord if they don’t continue in the faith.  Notice that he’s talking to people that are “in the faith”, meaning that they are believers in Jesus Christ.

Again, the same idea is expressed in Romans 11:22”if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” And again in 1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

We don’t have to maintain good works in order to remain in Jesus (although the Bible teaches that if we really are in Christ then our lives will show it and good works will be present, Titus 2:11-12, Titus 3:8, 2 Timothy 3:17). Nor do we “lose” our salvation each time we sin. But what I don’t find in the Bible is the idea that after we accept Jesus, then we can live any kind of a sinful lifestyle that we want to and never repent and still expect to be in heaven. God won’t forgive us unless we want Him to. Of course, we can only repent through the power of Jesus and He will forgive any sin that we confess to Him (1 John 1:9). So the only people who “turn their backs on Christ” are those that fully return to a life of sin and never seek to turn back and be forgiven.

The Bible doesn’t tell say that once we’re saved, we turn from all responsibility of continuing to hold onto God’s hand. Jesus will never let go of us, but we can let go of Him if we choose. The danger of the teaching once-saved-always-saved is that it takes away free will. But we’re always free to choose to love the Lord or walk away. “Christian, know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air; But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:24–27). In other words, Paul is saying that it was possible, even though he had this spirit-filled saved relationship, to be cast away.

On the other extreme, some think that you need to walk every day in doubt of your relationship with the Lord. But the Bible is clear that you can have an assurance of your relationship with Him. The Bible says you can know that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it to the day of Jesus; He is the Author and Finisher of your faith, that you might know that you have everlasting life. God does not want us to live in fear. He said that we can know we have eternal life. We can know as long as we abide in Him, we have nothing to be afraid of. It’s when we take our hand out of His hand and we choose to turn from His will and go our own way that we are in danger. That’s why I believe that it’s important for us to daily rededicate our lives. Paul said, “I die daily.” He chose every day to say no to living for myself, to die to self, and be born again unto God. On a daily basis, rededicate yourself to God. It doesn’t mean that you’re lost and saved, lost and saved, lost and saved, like a roller coaster. Indeed, dying to yourself daily means that you will keep your relationship with God.

So in conclusion, the answer is: Yes, a Christian can turn away from God and miss out on the joys of heaven. Out of His love for us, God gives us all the power to choose our own course.  Christians can choose to depart from Jesus just as sinners can choose to be saved.  But here’s the good news: Jesus Christ will never give up on anyone! “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that comes unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”  Hebrews 7:25 we can live a doubt-free life because we know that Jesus is on our side!

 

KEEP PRESSING ON

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low, and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As everyone of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about,

When he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,

You might succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out,

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far.

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,

It’s when things seem worse, that you must not quit.

Keep God in Marriage

In the middle of your marriage

The best thing you can do for your marriage is keep God in the middle of it. Not only your partner needs to connect with God alone and also you need to spend time with God together every day. Pray for each other and pray with each other. Read the Bible together and talk about it. Share with each other your spiritual struggles, doubts, convictions, hopes, values and dreams. Do not leave them vague, unspoken or assumed.

Something happens when two people connect not only with each other but also with God. The Lord Himself gets behind you and starts working with you and the Holy Spirit will guide you and show the path to take. As you nurture a relationship with God, you will find that your relationship with your spouse grows stronger and deeper, too.  Proverbs 3:3-4 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Some of the stressful situations

After the honeymoon, when it is time to go back to work, pay the bills and mortgage, fix the garbage disposal, and balance the check book and all the other everyday situations starts getting to you. When you are just like everyone else again, you may feel your relationship ideals put to test. There is no time anymore for evenings by the fireplace and walks along the beach. There is no money extra now for outings, restaurants and etc……… Real life is so ordinary and time-consuming that it can drain your best intentions and erode your closest connections. Beware of how easy it is to let busy-ness get the best of you. Make a conscious decision to schedule time to be with your partner and with God from this day forward.  1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV) now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.  And in King James it says –Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Overcoming situations

Now good news is God wants us to get over our walls. He wants to have a relationship with us. So ask Him for HELP. And he is eager to invest himself and all his resources into making this relationship grow. All that we have to do is ask! The Bible tells us we can do everything with God’s help (Philippians 4:13)

Ephesians 2:13-15 but now in Christ Jesus who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. Ephesians 2:22 and in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Starting at home

Individual marriages come in many different forms and expressions, but Marriage itself is an enduring constant. Established at the dawn of human history, marriage is God’s way of fulfilling the basic need, men and women have for each other. It also becomes a training ground for other social interactions. If you can learn to get along with someone so opposite from you, and stick with that person for a lifetime, think of how easy all other relationships will be! All the people skills it takes to build a great marriage are the same skills required for any great enterprise.

Want to be a great parent? Build a solid marriage. Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through God who gives me strength. Ephesians 2:22 and in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Want to be a respected leader? Build solid marriage.  1Timothy 3:1-5 here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.  Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.  He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church? 1 Timothy 3:11 In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

The investment you make in your marriage will pay off in every other life endeavor. The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. Proverbs 3:33