Friday, March 31, 2017

The Daily Grace - Being Generous

Are you constantly giving to the Lord? And, have you tried the sacrificial giving? Sacrificial giving is the act of strategically giving something that is precious and costly or something one barely can afford as an act of worship and devotion to God with an express purpose of getting an extraordinary breakthrough. It is a well considered, but painful giving.

We see an even greater spirit of generosity in the Israelites when they gave to build the tabernacle of the Lord. When asked to provide materials for the sanctuary, "everyone whose spirit was willing . . . brought the Lord's offering for the work of the tabernacle" (Ex. 35:21). The Israelites eagerly donated their gold jewelry, colored thread, fine linen, silver, bronze, gemstones, and spices. Some also gave their time and talents (vv. 25-26).

If we follow the Israelites' example and willingly donate our resources, we please and honor God with our attitude and offerings. The Lord, who sees and knows our thoughts and hearts, loves cheerful givers. He Himself is the best example of generosity (John 3:16). The state of our heart is more important than the size of our gift.

Today We Pray

Dear Jesus, I thank You for most this amazing day. Thank You for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky. Thank You for everything which is natural and which is infinite.

You gave everything You had for my sake. Help me to give with a willing heart so that my gifts will truly honor You. And I pray that I may be rooted and grounded in love, that I may have strength to comprehend with all the saints the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ Jesus, the love that surpasses knowledge, and be filled with the fullness that only you can give.

May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in His sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, to whom be glory for ever and ever.


Today's Godly Reminder - John 3:16

This verse is very common nowadays, and probably the most memorized verse of all times. But, we should not miss the real essence of this verse, which is God's love to us. He sent His Son for us to die from our sins. Have faith in God so that we will live an eternal life. What a great love it is!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Daily Grace - Blessed are the Meek

One problem with the English word "meek" is that it rhymes with weak. And, people have linked the two words together for years. A popular dictionary offers a secondary definition of meek as "too submissive; easily imposed on; spineless; spiritless". This causes some people to question why Jesus would say, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt. 5:5).

Greek scholar W.E. Vine says that meekness in the Bible is an attitude toward God "in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting". We see this in Jesus who found His delight in doing the will of His Father. Vine goes on to say that "the meekness manifested by the Lord and commended to the believer is the fruit of power. . . The Lord was 'meek' because He had the infinite resources of God at His command". He could have called angels from heaven to prevent His crucifixion.

Jesus told His weary, burdened followers, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am [meek] and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matt. 11:29). He was the perfect model of meekness. When we are tired and troubled, Jesus invites us to discover the peace of meekly trusting Him. God has two dwellings, one in heaven and the other in a meek and thankful heart.

Today We Pray

Dear God, enlighten my heart with the grace of your Holy Spirit. Grant that I may ever be obedient to your commandments. Let me never be separated from you, O God, who lives and reigns forever.

Direct our way unto you. Make us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you. To the end, we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Look kindly upon me and receive my heartfelt gratitude for all that you have done for me and for those I love. Please grant us continued grace and blessings during the coming day. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, your only son, who has saved me from death.


Today's Godly Reminder - Matthew 5:5

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."

God blesses those people who are humble, The earth will belong to them! They will inherit the whole earth. You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. Those people will be inwardly peaceful, spiritually secured and worthy of respect. So, be the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited and the self-controlled.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Beauty of Forgiveness

What started out as a collection has grown into a ministry opportunity for Larry and Mary Gerbens. For the past 10 years, they've been collecting artistic works based on the story of the prodigal son from Luke 15. Their collection includes a painting by Rembrandt and a number of items by other artists depicting this story. The Gerbens wanted to share their collection, so they put it on display at a local college. Larry said, "The artists have ministered to us, and we hope their work will minister to others".

As I wandered through the displays, I was touched by the deep need of the prodigal, his honest repentance, and the beautiful forgiveness of the father portrayed in the variety of art pieces - paintings, etchings, engravings, glasswork, sketches and silk screens. We have all been like the son in this story, who had other plans for his life than what his father had for him. We have all run away from our Heavenly Father (Rom. 3:10-12). But, He welcomes us when we come to Him.

You too will see the beauty of forgiveness in your heavenly Father's face when you cry out to Him, "Father, I have sinned. . ." (Luke 15:18). If you're away from Him, head home now and experience His love. When God forgives, He removes the sin and restores the soul.

Source: Our Daily Bread

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, I truly believe that you will keep me filled with all goodness as long as I am giving to others. Do not let me become blocked off from You, mighty Lord, by selfishness. Keep me like a crystal brook, flowing always, less I become stagnant and fetid.

Make me an empty vessel for your Spirit to fill. Purge me of the world, of pride and lust and greed and foolish wanderings of mind, that I may be prepared to hear your truth. Let me pour myself out continuously all the day long, so that you might refill me with your Spirit.

Let me look to my outflow and trust to you for my inflow, today and always. Seek me out, and bring me home to your fold again. Deal favourably with me according to your good pleasure, until I may dwell in your house all the days of my life, and praise you forever and ever with them that are there. 


Today's Godly Reminder - Matthew 5:16

We are the light of the world. We are a city on a hill. Let the light shine on us. Jesus is our light and source of light. We should let Him shine everywhere we go.

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence. And, they may recognize, honor and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Once they will see the light in us, people will follow through it and can see Jesus in it. Let's make Jesus famous wherever we will go. He deserves all the praises and adoration.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Daily Grace - Being Thankful

Isn't it great to be thanked for a job well done? Doesn't a good, hearty "thank you" brighten your day? Doesn't a simple gratitude from someone make your day? And, doesn't it make your relationships a little more special - just to know that your work is not being taken for granted? 

Everybody loves to be thanked. Even God. Our heavenly Father finds pleasure in our expression of thanks to Him. It's His will that we tell Him "Thank You". "Give thanks in all circumstances", Paul said, "for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thess. 5:18). The writer of Hebrews took it a step further by saying, "Let us be thankful, and so worship God" (12:28).

Keep looking for ways to improve your relationship with God. Don't forget what may be the most basic way to worship and honor Him: Tell Him "Thanks". The worship most acceptable to God comes from a thankful heart. Then, let us adore and give Him His right, all glory and power, all wisdom and might, all honor and blessing, with angels above, and thanks never ceasing for infinite love.

Today We Pray

Dear God, who has created all things, seen and unseen, this day is Your creation and I give thanks to live in it. I pray that I will not shut you out of the day you have made, blinded by the petty concerns of life, but that I may be always open to your presence. All that I am, I open to You and I return to You, giving thanks every moment of my life for the blessings that fill this day.

I open my eyes and ears to You, thankful for the light of Your Word, which has brought me out of the shadow of ignorance. I open my heart to You, aglow with thanks for Your love, filling me with compassion, understanding, and peace. I open my soul to You, grateful for your Spirit, who fills me with wisdom when I take a moment to listen.

Walk with me so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may reflect the light of your truth, to inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.


Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 105:1

"Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done."

Always give gratitude to our Lord. Call upon His name. Make known His deeds among the people. Praise the Lord and pray in his name! Tell everyone you meet what he has done.

Thank God! Pray to him by name! Let the whole world know what he has done. Proclaim his greatness day after day.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Daily Grace - Helping Love Grow

A young man told his father, "Dad, I'm going to get married". "How do you know you're ready to get married?", asked the father. "Are you in love?". "I sure am!", he replied. The father then asked, "How do you know you're in love?" . "Last night as I was kissing my girlfriend goodnight, her dog bit me and I didn't feel the pain until I got home!"

The man has got that loving feeling, but he has a lot of growing to do. Let us share these points to you about how to grow in love:
1) Ponder God's love in Christ: Take time to reflect on how He gave His life for you. Read about Him in the Gospels, and thank Him.
2) Pray for the love of God: Ask Him to give you an understanding of His love and to teach you how to live that out in your relationships with your spouse and others (1 Cor. 13).
3) Practice the love of God: Give of yourself. Maybe we think that love is practical. Tougher side of love is to challenge each other to act in godly ways.

Love will grown when we ponder love, pray for love and practice love. As Christ's love grows in us, His love flows from us.

Today We Pray

Dear God, may I love You in all things and above all things. May I reach the joy which You have prepared for me in Heaven. Nothing is good that is against Your will, and all that is good comes from Your hand.

Place in my heart a desire to please You. Fill my mind with thoughts of Your Love. So that, I may grow in Your wisdom and enjoy Your peace.

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within me all this day. And whatever I do in word or deed, may I do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. This is all I ask, through Christ our Lord and Savior.


Today's Godly Reminder - 1 Corinthians 13:5

Today's Godly Reminder - 1 Corinthians 13:5
"[Love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."
Love should not be provoking. It is not overly sensitive and easily angered]. Love does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not keep a record of wrongs that others do.
Nor, it is not selfish. Love is not quick tempered. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable. This is how love looks like!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Daily Grace - Loving God

Perhaps in your early marriage, you husbands already knew the shortcut to your wife's heart. You may arrive home one night with a bouquet of a dozen roses behind your back. When you presented the flowers to your wife, she thanked you graciously, sniffed the flowers and then took them into the kitchen. Not quite the response you had expected, for some.

It may be an introductory lesson in the reality that perhaps flowers are not your wife's primary language of love. While she appreciate the gesture, perhaps she was mentally calculating the cost of an expensive bouquet of flowers - a budget breaker for a young couple! And as you've discovered through the years, she is far more interested in your time and attention. When you devote yourself to her in an uninterrupted and attentive way, that's when she really feels loved.

Did you ever wonder how God wants us to show that we love Him? We get a clue when we read, "He who loves God must love his brother also" (1 John 4:21). It's that simple.  One of the primary ways we show our love for God is by loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we genuinely love each other, it brings pleasure to our heavenly Father. So, watch for opportunities to tell Jesus that you love Him. He's infinitely worth whatever it costs. To show your love for God, share your love with others.

Today We Pray

Dear Jesus, who returned from this world to the Father and loved those who were here in this world, make my mind turn from worldly preoccupations to the contemplation of heaven. For it to despise everything transitory and to yearn only for celestial things, and to burn with the glowing fire of your love. Cleanse also my heart by pouring in the radiance of the Holy Spirit, so that I may be able to love you, our Lord Jesus Christ, in all things and above all else.

We want our hopes and dreams and our hearts to align with Yours. We want to be in line to Your will. Teach us to praise You when we are tempted to doubt Your goodness.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip me with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in me what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.


Today's Godly Reminder - 1 John 4:11

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."

God loves us so much in this incredible way. His love is vast and deep. He loves us unconditionally. And, this is called agape love.

Since He loved us so much, we must also love one another just like Christ loved us. If we love one another, God dwells deeply within us. And, His love becomes complete in us—perfect love!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Spotlight

On an Easter Sunday in 1993, Bernhard Langer won the Masters golf tournament. As he stepped off the 18th green to receive the green jacket - one of the golf's most coveted prizes - a reported said, "This must be the greatest your life!" Without missing a beat, Langer replied: "It's wonderful to win the greatest tournament in the world, but it means more to win on Easter Sunday - to celebrate the resurrection of my Lord and Savior".

Langer had an opportunity to boast about himself, but instead he turned the spotlight on Jesus Christ. It's exactly what Paul was talking about when he said, "We also rejoice [boast] in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation" (Rom. 5:11). It's easy to look for ways to draw attention to our own accomplishments, making mental lists of things that are "cool" about ourselves. Even Paul admitted that he had a lot to brag about - but he considered all of it "rubbish" for the sake of knowing Christ (Phil. 3:8). We would do well to follow his example.

So, if you really want something to boast about, boast about Jesus and what He's done for you. Look for opportunities to turn the spotlight on Him. You can't boast in Jesus while you're preoccupied with yourself.

Today We Pray

Dear God, You are the King eternal, immortal and invisible. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God; the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are always more ready to bestow Your good gifts upon us than we are to seek them and You are more willing to give more than we desire or deserve. 

Help me, and those who pray with me, so to seek You that we may truly find You, so to ask that we may joyfully receive, so to knock that the door of Your mercy may be opened for us. You alone are God, and do not change. And because of this, we may hope to be preserved. 

The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.


Today's Godly Reminder - Philippians 3:8

Our highest ambition is the excellence of the knowledge of Christ. It is growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him—a joy unequaled. The word “excellence” is a verb which means to be held over or beyond. It means to be superior, to excel. The Greek indicates that his superiority is the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. This knowledge is constantly superior. Nothing else is worth living for in the light of his superiority.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Daily Grace - We are Alive

Laura Brooks, a 52-year-old mother of two, didn't know it but she was one of 14,000 people in 2011 whose name was incorrectly entered into the government database as dead. She wondered what was wrong when she stopped receiving disability checks, and her loan payments and her rent checks bounced. She went to the bank to clear up the issue, but the representative told her that her accounts had been closed because she was dead! Obviously, they were mistaken.

The apostle Paul was not mistaken when he said that the Ephesian believers were at one point dead - spiritually dead. They were dead in the sense that they were separated from God, enslaved to sin (Eph. 2:5), and condemned under the wrath of God. What a state of hopelessness! 

Yet God in His goodness took action to reverse this condition for them and for us. The living God "who gives life to the dead" (Rom. 4:17) poured out His rich mercy and great love by sending His Son Jesus to this earth. Through Christ's death and resurrection, we are made alive (Eph. 2:4-5). When we believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we go from death to life. Now, we live to rejoice in His goodness!

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, Your knowledge is utterly beyond my comprehension. You know my coming in and my going out, my thoughts and dreams and schemes, my countless little sins and lies, my kindnesses and my cruelties, my prayers and my curses. And yet, despite all of this, You have promised to know me, to be with me, to listen to me and help me and, if I only ask for it in the name of Your Son, to forgive me when I offend You.

I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more.

I praise You above all else, Mighty God, for the wonderment of Your existence and the unfathomable size and complexity of your creation. And above all, my love and obedience are yours. I give them to you now and forever, in gratitude for Your greatest gift, the sacrifice of Your blessed Son, Jesus Christ.


Today's Godly Reminder - Ephesians 2:1

"And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins."

In the past, we were dead because we sinned and fought against God. We were dead in the trespasses and sins. It is also because of our disobedience and our many sins. But, God made us alive when we were spiritually dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins.

 It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Daily Grace - Worst Possible Scenario!

Sometimes, we encounter someone who will comment on a certain scene, "Worst possible scenario!" That comment was obviously an overstatement, especially when it is just a small conflict or problem. But each of us dreads the thought of something in particular: financial loss, the death of a child or spouse, cancer, or another loss or hardship. The book of Job is a case study in worst possible scenarios. Yet, Job wisely assessed God's role in trying circumstances of loss and poor health: "He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10).

From this wise statement, we can learn two valuable lessons. One is that what we dread most can be used to test our character and make us stronger. The other is that God will provide the strength and comfort to see us through. The living God can take the fear out of living.

Cling to God. He has promised to work on our behalf, even in the worst possible scenario. God often sends us joy through pain, through bitter loss and divinest gain. Yet, through it all, dark days or bright, let us know that our Father leads aright.

Today We Pray

Dear God, I come before You today in reverence and awe. I am filled with humility in the face of Your greatness, Your majesty, Your holiness, and Your power. And to acknowledge my sinfulness in the face of your pure and holy presence fills me with fear.

I pray boldly, for You have called me and adopted me as your rightful heir, through the sacrifice of your Son, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I give you thanks for Your mercy with every ounce of my being. Let your Holy Spirit might be with me, that I might do Your will in every thought and action this day; and that the work of my hands and the words of my tongue might seek Your glory, and not my own.

Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer. And, know myself to be surrounded by their witness to Your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


Today's Godly Reminder - Job 23:10

"But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold."

God knows the way that we take. And, He pays attention to it. When He will try us,we will come forth as refined gold. We will be pure and luminous as gold.

Don't be discouraged if trials come on your way. God is just refining us like a precious gem. This refining is somehow hurting. But, take heart, you will come out as a refined gem.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Daily Grace - Promoting Unity

The language of Proverbs 6:16-19 is strong. In the citing of seven things the Lord hates, sowing "discord among brethren" makes the list. The reason for naming this sin is that it spoils the unity that Christ desires for His followers (John 17:21-22). Those who sow discord may not initially set out to create divisions. They may be preoccupied instead with their personal needs or the interests of a group they belong to (James 4:1-10).

Consider how Lot's herdsmen argued with those of Abraham (Gen. 13:1-18); Christ's disciples argued about personal preeminence (Luke 9:46); and divisive groups in the church at Corinth elevated party factions above the unity of the Spirit (1 Cor. 3:1-7). So what is the best way to promote unity? It begins with the transformation of the heart. When we adopt the mind of Christ, we develop an attitude of humility and we focus on service toward others (Phil. 2:5-11).

Only in Him can we access the power to "look out not only for [our] own interests, but also for the interests of others" (v. 4). Soon the needs and hopes of others become more important to us than our own. With growing bonds of love among us, we find discord replaced with joy and unity (Ps. 133:1). We can accomplish more together than we can alone.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, this day, give me not the spirit of laziness, despair, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of sobriety, humility, patience and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages.

Look with mercy, I pray, on the sins I have this day committed, and in mercy make me feel them deeply, that my repentance may be sincere, and my resolutions against them steadfast. Teach me to understand the sinfulness of my own heart. Bring to my knowledge every fault of character and every evil habit in which I have indulged, to the discomfort of my fellow-creatures and the danger of my own soul.

May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and always.


Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 133:1

"How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!"

How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along! It’s like costly anointing oil flowing down. It’s like the dew on mountains, flowing down the slopes. Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing, ordains eternal life.

When we live in unity, blessing comes along. It is not the usual blessing that we receive, but overflowing blessings. He loves to see us united. So, let us unite one another in love.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Daily Grace - Texting God

An article in The Washington Post told about a 15-year-old girl who sent and received 6,473 cell phone text messages in a single month. She says about her constant communication with friends, "I would die without it". And she is not alone. Researchers say that US teens with cell phones average more than 2,200 text messages a month.

This ongoing digital conversation offers a remarkable illustration of what prayer could and should be like for every follower of Christ. Paul seemed to be constantly in an attitude of prayer for others: "[We] do not cease to pray for you" (Col. 1:9). "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit" (Eph. 6:18). "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17). But how can we possibly do that?

Missionary Frank Laubach described his habit of "shooting" prayers at people as he encountered them during the course of each day. In a sense, he was "texting" God on their behalf, staying in constant communication with the Father. Laubach believed that prayer is the mightiest force in the world, and said: "My part is to live in this hour in continuous inner conversation with God and in perfect responsiveness to His will". Pray without ceasing. Prayer should become as natural as breathing. Perhaps what Paul urged us to do can be done.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, in the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for I know you will answer me. All nations whom you have made shall come and worship before You and shall glorify Your name. Indeed, You are great, and do wondrous things, You alone are God.

Among all men, and the gods of their imagination, and the works of their hands, there is none like You, O Lord. Nor are there any works like those you have made. Our great thoughts are pitiful shadows of your wisdom, and our great machines are foolish beside the immensity of your universe.

You alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners. Grant Your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise. So that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


Today's Godly Reminder - 1 Thessalonians 5:17

"Pray without ceasing"

God encouraged us in His Word to never stop praying. Praying without ceasing means to not stop in communicating with Him. It is continuous. It is a never ending process.

 Be unceasing and persistent in prayer. Pray all the time. Thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Daily Grace - Christ's Identity

Jesus questioned the Pharisees about His identity. "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?" They replied, "The Son of David" (Matt. 22:42).

The identity of Messiah was critical, and their answer was correct but incomplete. The Scriptures had affirmed that Messiah would come and reign on the throne of His father David. But Jesus reminded them that though David would be Christ's ancestor, He would also be more - David referred to Him as "Lord".

Faced with a similar question, Peter rightly answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16). Still today, the question of Jesus' identity rises above the rest in significance. And, it is eternally important that we make no mistake in understanding who He is. No mistake is more dangerous than mistaking the identity of Jesus.

Today We Pray

Dear God, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, who am I that you are mindful of me, who are any of us that you should guide and protect us?

Yet You have made us in your image, a little lower than the angels, and crowned us with glory and honor we do not deserve. You have given us dominion over the works of your hands and put the earth beneath our feet; you have given us dominion over the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea. O Lord my God, I praise you for your gifts to me.

The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. In the name of Christ, who was always ready to teach and heal and save, I pray.


Today's Godly Reminder - Genesis 2:24

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

This is a popular verse that you can hear during weddings, or even written in wedding invitations. This is the concept of biblical marriage. A man marries a woman, and the two of them become like one person. Once you are married, you are already as one.

Let the Lord God bind you in love. In marriage, you are also one with our Heavenly Father. Love your spouses as you love our God. A marriage, with God as the center of it, will be blessed by Him through the years.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Daily Grace - Marriage: God's Way

The movie The Princess Bride has a wedding scene in which the marrying minister says, "Marriage . . . is what brings us together today". While his delivery of that line was meant to be humorous, he spoke a great truth. Marriage is indeed a great unifier. It is solemn, respectable institution created by God Himself, and it joins together a man and a woman in amazing oneness.

Sometimes, it is good to remind ourselves of the grand plan for marriage spelled out in Scripture. Marriage creates one new family out of two: Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh . . ." Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife (Gen. 2:23-24). It provides a pure outlet for a divinely designed desire: "Because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (1 Cor. 7:2). Lastly, it forms a mutually helpful team: "The heart of her husband safely trusts her . . . She does him good and not evil all the days of her life" (Prov. 31:11-12).

Marriage God's way brings a man and a woman together to honor Him and help society. God created husband and wife to complement each other. If men and women yield to God and of His love partake, the marriage bond that joins two hearts has no power on earth can break. Celebrate marriage for the ways it brings us together in God's name.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, creator of all things, who has commanded our obedience to your commandments as a sign of our love: Look with mercy, I pray, on the sins I have this day committed. And in mercy, make me feel them deeply, that my repentance may be sincere, and my resolutions against them steadfast. May I now, and every day, consider how my time has been spent, what have been my prevailing thoughts, words, and actions, and how I might can acquit myself of evil. 

Teach me to understand the sinfulness of my own heart. Bring to my knowledge every fault of character and every evil habit in which I have indulged, to the discomfort of my fellow-creatures and the danger of my own soul. Save me from deceiving myself by pride or vanity.

Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do. And, the God of peace be with us all.


Today's Godly Reminder - Proverbs 31:30

Charm and grace are deceptive. Superficial beauty is vain. But a woman who reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect, she shall be praised. That is the true beauty that a woman can have in spite of the worldly views of beauty.

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God. To the ladies, this is the challenge in living a godly life. And to the gentlemen, in finding a lifetime partner, these qualities of a woman should be the one you're looking for. Your life will be blessed by the Lord.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Daily Grace - Authentic Beauty

I often take a moment as I wait at our grocery store checkout stand to scan the covers of the magazines displayed there. It seems that if they aren't about sex and money, they're about diet, fitness, health and outward beauty. There's nothing there for the soul. The problem is that people read the wrong magazines - those that are full of lies that fixate on beauty of face and form as though that's all there is. This can lead to comparison and terrible despair.

Some years ago, a friend of mine told of a conversation he had with a lovely, self-assured teenager. "You're very confident", he observed. "Can you tell me why?" "Yes", the young woman answered. "It's because I'm so pretty". "Oh, I'm sorry", he said with extraordinary wisdom. "Why?", she asked in surprise. "Because", he replied, "you may not always be pretty".

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing" is the wisdom we read in Proverbs 31. Physical beauty all too quickly fades away; all one's efforts to keep it are doomed to fail. But there is an inner beauty - authentic beauty that will endure forever - in the one "who fears the Lord" (v. 30). Righteousness in the heart produces beauty in the character.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, give me first a Spirit of fellowship with all those who pray with me, who I cannot see. And let each of us know that we pray in the unity of Spirit, although we are all separated from one another in body. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight. Let your Holy Spirit guide me in my prayer and in thought, and grant me the grace to listen and hear your Word. Soften my heart, that I may be directed by your truth, and not the devices of my body and mind.

Enlighten the darkness of my mind. Give me a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity, so that I may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will. In the name of Christ I ask this.


Today's Godly Reminder - 2 Corinthians 2:15

We are the sweet fragrance of Christ. And, this fragrance ascends to God. This is discernible among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.

 In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone. For people who are being saved, this perfume has a sweet smell and leads them to a better life. But for people who are lost, it has a bad smell and leads them to a horrible death. So, it is a challenge that this fragrance will last in us and it is a sweet aroma for others. Be a good example!

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Daily Grace - Sweet Fragrance

"Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel" - Oliver Wendell Homes

Our lives are like fragrances. If we produce good smell, like doing good to others, it will last in people's mind in a good way. But if we stink like a trash, it produces negativity in people's mind. So, what if our lives were a fragrance that attracted people to God?

2 Corinthians 2:15 says that "we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing". Our fragrance is pleasing to God, but it also attracts others to Him or repels them. We who understand the sacrifice of Jesus have the opportunity to be the "fragrance of Christ" - a reminder of Him - to others. The sweet scent of the likeness of Christ can be an irresistible pull towards the savior.

When we walk with God, we leave behind a sweet fragrance that can inspire others to follow. Let our hands perform His bidding. Let our feet run in His ways. Let our eyes see Jesus only. And, let our lips speak forth His praise.

Today We Pray

Dear God, You are the source of all warmth, all light, all sustenance. In the morning when I rise, I give praise You my God, who shows His glory in the sun. Let me remember You when I rise and all the day every waking moment.

In Your hands You hold the souls of the righteous, and in your heart there is room for all people. Shine forth upon all who are tried in the furnace of suffering and illness, and especially on those for whom I pray today; in Your grace and mercy may we know that You watch over us. Bring us at the last to abide with You in love.

You bring us out of the darkness of ignorance and the blindness of death every day, that we might remember who made us and who sustains us. Your sun is a promise, that the night of death will end and you will rise again. And with You, all who confess the name of your blessed Son, Christ Jesus.


Today's Godly Reminder - 1 Peter 2:2

"As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby."

Like newborn babies, you should long for the pure milk of the word. So that by it. you may be nurtured and grow in respect to salvation. You will know more about life's ultimate fulfillment. Make it a goal that you will really grow in Christ.

You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God. Keep growing!

The Daily Grace - A Good God

Have you come into a point in your life that you want to give up? Have you felt that you lose your hope in life? Is trials always coming in your life? My friends, we have an encouragement for you today.

When we experience tragedy, we may wonder about God's goodness. Is God always good? Yes, He is. He doesn't promise that bad things will never happen to us, but He does promise to be "our refuge and strength" (Ps. 46:1). He doesn't promise that we will never walk through heart-wrenching circumstances, but He promises that we won't be alone (Ps. 23:4).

God is good - no matter what suffering we are experiencing. Even when we don't understand, we can say with Habakkuk, "Yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation" 3:18). God tests our faith so that we may trust His faithfulness.