Encouragement, God’s plan

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1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth.

3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4, KJV)

C-enter

We all have something at the center. Something that every aspect of our lives revolves around. We build our lives around something.

Think about it for a minute. What is our life built around?

Some build around career and wealth. They need to maintain success and keep a certain image in society. They look good from the outside but are miserable on the inside.

Some build around pleasure. They accumulate martial things. They get a thrill from every purchase but it doesn’t last and continue to seek the next item.

Some build around other people. They strive to be popular. They surround themselves with as many people as possible. If you know everybody then your somebody, right? The answer is no because they will still feel alone.

We must build our lives around Christ. Christ is the only thing that will fill the void.

Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11b, KJV)

You have everything you need if you have been saved by God’s grace. Putting Him in the center of our lives and building on that is the key to success. Listen, my friend, you are somebody to Christ. He came to this earth and shed His blood for YOU. Did you know that if you were the only one on this planet that was going to accept Him into your heart and He already knew that, He would have still come and died for just YOU.

When the pain, disappointment, grief, burdens, and storms of life come, we need our lives built around Christ. He is steadfast, unmovable, never-changing, and knows exactly what you need and when you need it.

H-ope

What do we place our hope in?

Maybe, we place our hope in the government officials. We think the new president will turn this country around.

Maybe, we place our hope in education, doctors or scientific achievements. They will figure out how to fix us, correct this fallen world, and make us live longer.

No, darling, they can’t!

Christ is our hope. Our only hope. (1 Timothy 1:1b)

Jesus Christ is the only hope for this world, the church, and us. He can lift up the depressed, burdened, sick, lonely, and the tempted. He can give us eternal life with Him in heaven, a place with no more burdens, pain, and tears.

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Colossians 1:27, KJV)

R-edeemer

What can bring us redemption?

Can money buy us salvation? How about houses, land, and expensive items, can those redeem our soul? No, because the price has already been paid by the blood of Christ.

By His death on the cross, Jesus Christ redeemed those who repent and believe in Him.

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 1 Peter 1:18-21, KJV)

I-nstructor

I will instruct thee and teach thee…(Psalm 32:8, KJV)

To receive knowledge and an education we must work, study, apply ourselves, use the textbooks, and listen to the teacher.

Christ is the Heavenly Instructor. We must read the Bible, study, listen to the teacher (the Lord) and apply it to our lives.

S-trength

We need strength in today’s world. We either just came out of a trial, are going through a trial, or getting ready to start a trial. We are under constant threat of sickness, fires, shootings, and strife. Trouble and turmoil surround us.

David said, “The Lord is the strength of my life”. (Psalm 27:1, KJV)

Christ gives strength. He is bigger than all our troubles. He has power and is able to show it in every situation.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13, KJV)

T-rust

What do we honestly put our trust in? Often we trust in uncertain riches, achievements, other people, and ourselves.

We must commit our way unto the Lord and trust also in Him. (Psalm 37:5, KJV)

Others will fail us. We will fail ourselves. But Christ never fails. The power of God is a mighty thing.

Application

To make Christ our life…

  • We must build our lives with Him at the center.
  • We must place our hope in him and nothing of the world.
  • We must recognize Him as our Redeemer.
  • We must turn to Him for strength.
  • We must trust in Him and His ways and lean not on our understanding.

Are we doing these? Maybe, there are one or two areas of our life that don’t match up. Listen to the Holy Spirit because He will guide us if we allow it.

Remember, if you have found your joy in Jesus, share it!

Encouragement, God’s plan

Are we Sincere?

It’s amazing how compassionate Paul was. He was always calling his recipients beloved which means bonds of holy love and separated by God. He was always praying for them making requests and thanking God for them. He was always encouraging, correcting and instructing them. And it was no different for the church at Philippi.

8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:8)

He greatly longs for them with inward affection and with tender mercy of Jesus and God is his witness.

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; (Philippians 1:9)

He lets them know he is praying for them and then tells them what he is praying for on their behalf. He prays that there love may overflow with more and more knowledge and all discernment. The word knowledge used here in Greek is epignosis meaning the act of coming to full knowledge, a true knowledge from God.

To desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9b)

But why?

That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; (Philippians 1:10)

  • So you may approve things that are excellent

What does it mean to approve things that are excellent?

The Greek word is diaphanes meaning to bear through, be better, to surpass.

Once we abound in true knowledge and all discernment, we are able to bear through, be better and to surpass.

But again why?

  • In order to be sincere and blameless till the day of Christ

To be sincere means to be judged by sunlight, tested as genuine and without wax.

It was normal for a plate or cup to crack when the potter cured them in the oven. Instead of tossing them and starting over some would fill the cracks with wax and then paint the dish to hide the blemish. The only way to expose the imperfection was to hold it up to the light.

Are we sincere?

If we held ourselves to the Light, to The Son, would we be without wax?

After all, that is the only One we should compare ourselves too!

Let’s examine ourselves and ask the Father to show us how we look when held to The Light. Not to make us feel guilty or shameful but to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and produce those changes that make us insincere.

Remember, if you have found your joy in Jesus, share it!

Encouragement, God’s plan

WHAT IF MY SPOUSE DOES NOT BELIEVE?

I would like to offer some encouragement to anybody that has a spouse that doesn’t believe in God. If there is one thing I could say to you it would be this:

Don’t start thinking it’s hopeless!

My husband did not believe there was a God. We had so many discussions (always brought on by me) after I accepted Jesus as my Saviour. He always had an excuse not to believe. He would say things like..

  • There are to many bad things happening in the world for there to be a God.
  • Good things still happen to unbelievers.
  • It’s an organized cult.
  • I would not want to serve a God who sends people to hell.
  • If God exists, why does He not show Himself?

See, he didn’t understand but neither did I until I was a Christian. And I’ll be honest, I got so frustrated at him at times. Sometimes, I felt like it was hopeless to try. I prayed and prayed and even started doubting the God I had put my faith in. I prayed hard and nothing happened. None of the approaches or schemes I tried worked. I bought him church clothes, played Christian music around him, posted bible verses on sticky notes all over the house and still nothing. I talked with my pastor and he came to visit us twice. The pastor gave him a couple books to read but that didn’t help either. So I stopped trying so hard. I prayed and stayed faithful to God. I lived out my faith without frustration and worry. Ever now and then, I would ask if he wanted to come with me to church on Sunday with a smile on my face. He would say no and I just told him I would be back.

But then it happened.

I went to the sanctuary for service after Sunday school and sat down. I few minutes later he walked in and sat beside me. I didn’t ask any questions. I just thanked God because He is always faithful.

And guess what! He is now the pastor of a church. He serves God faithfully and preaches his Word. Our God is working things out even when we don’t see them. Please, never give up hope. God’s desire is that all men be saved.

My husband is always telling people that he saw Jesus in me and wanted what I had. He said it wasn’t the books he read or anything I said. It was the glow, happiness, and joy I had. He saw a change in me. I was a new creature that visibly showed.

Don’t give up my friend, God is always working!

Remember, if you have found your joy in Jesus, share it!