BRIGHTEN SOMEONE’S DAY

BRIGHTEN SOMEONE’S DAY

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.  (Pro 12:25 NIV)

A cheerful heart is good medicine . . . (Pro 17:22a NIV)

We all experience days when we feel a little down or maybe worried or stressed out.  On days like those, we all appreciate a cheerful word or a phone call from a friend.  We all need encouragement, and we need other believers to come alongside of us occasionally to strengthen us.

We need a fellow believer to encourage our faith, to remind us of God’s goodness and glorious attributes, and to let us know that we are loved by God.  Only another person who follows Jesus, and has experienced life’s challenges and victories is able to help us in this way.  I encourage us all to cultivate friends who are fellow believers and who have been serving the Lord longer than we, ourselves, have.

Jesus taught us to love one another, and to be kind to one another.  He gave us His own example of how to live like this.

Offering hope, support, and cheer to one another is a wonderful and practical way to spread God’s love in this stress-laden world.  It’s important to encourage yourself first, in the Word of God. Another way to encourage yourself in the Lord is to remember all of the answered prayers you have experienced, and to remember all of the miracles that God has performed in the past in answer to your prayers. Rejoice! Thank and praise the Lord for these past testimonies and victories. Once you have done these things, you will have the strength to minister to others.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.  (Joh 16:33 NIV)

The Good News is still true.  The Lord is always reliable, and we can depend upon His Word and His matchless love.  He has overcome! 

So take a little time every day to share joy and cheer with everyone around you—with your family, friends, and co-workers.  Hallelujah!

A Light for the Nations

A Light for the Nations

Do you realize that Jesus is the Light for all Nations, and as His disciples and followers, WE are called to shine His light into all of the earth?

For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”
  (Act 13:47 NIV)

I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand.  I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles . . .  (Isa 42:6 NIV)

For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”  (Lk 2:30-32)

How can you shine the light of God’s love and salvation into the world? 

  • By serving the Lord obediently and joyfully;
  • By sharing your testimonies of how you came to accept Christ as your Savior and about your answered prayers;
  • By praying for other people’s needs and asking God to bless them and to provide for them;
  • By testifying to the miracles, signs and wonders that God has performed for you; and
  • By living a holy lifestyle in obedience to the Scriptures.

Here is a passage from the Bible that gives us some answers:

Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.  (Phil 2:14-16, emphasis added)

God bless you!

Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 1

Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 1

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion . . . Blessed are all who WAIT for Him.  (Isa 30:18 NIV, emphasis added)

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and WAIT for the Lord.  (Ps 27:14 NIV, emphasis added)

From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.  (Joh 1:16 NIV)

In Isaiah 30:18 (above), the author mentions that God rises to show us compassion or mercy.  He has done that through the gift of salvation and many answered prayers for each one of us.  In John 1:16 (above), the author states that we have all received blessings from God.  All believers have experienced the goodness and generosity of God and of His love. 

What do the verses above mean when they talk about “waiting for the Lord”?  I believe that they can refer to two different concepts.  The first is about waiting for the Lord to answer our prayers and supplications.  The second is about “waiting on God”—spending time in His presence and waiting to hear His voice and His wisdom.

As we wait for the Lord to answer our prayers, it’s a good idea to encourage ourselves with Scriptures that demonstrate that God has already provided the answer to our needs.  For instance, if our need is for healing, meditate upon the many verses in the Bible that show us that God is our healer and Jesus purchased healing through the atonement. 

For Scriptures about healing, see:  Prov 4:20-22; Deut 7:15; Exod 15:26; Jer 30:17; Isa 53:4-5, 58:8; Ps 30:2, 41:3, 103:3, 147:3; Mat 4:23-24, 8:2-3, 17, 9:20-22; 1 Pet 2:24; and Gal 3:14. 

If you have a need in some other area, find Scriptures that support the concept that God has already given us all that pertains to life and godliness as well as the fact that he withholds no good thing from His people. 

For encouraging Scriptures, see:  2 Pet 1:3; Ps 23:1, 34:10b, 37:4, 84:11; 1 John 3:21-23, 5:14-15; Rom 8:32; Mat 7:7, 11, 19:26, 21:22; Mark 9:23, 11:23-24; Lk 17:6; Joh 14:13-14, 15:7, 16; Col 1:12-14; 1 Cor 1:20; and Eph 1:3.

Today’s reflections have given us some worthwhile ideas on how to wait for the Lord to answer our prayers, and to do so with an attitude of faith.  

(Parts 2 and 3 on this topic will be posted soon.)