These are the marching orders for every born-again covenant child of God…

We must surrender our lives totally and completely to Jesus…

Revelation 2:11
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who overcomes will not be harmed by the second death.”

Matthew 16:24-26
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
———

The first death is our death to self (death to our flesh), the result of overcoming, of self-conquest.

This is a gradual death that happens each day, over the span of our life, until we graduate to Glory; as Paul says, “we must die daily,” to our own will and to our own ways.

Luke 6:46
Jesus speaking: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not practice what I tell you?

1 John 2:6
He who says he abides in Him (Jesus) ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Romans 12:2
And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

It is one thing to read what Jesus tells us in His Word, but it is another thing to heed it—to take it to heart and act upon it.

James compares the person who is a hearer of the Word but not a doer of it to a man who looks at his face in a mirror and leaves, forgetting what he saw (James 1:23–24).

He adds: “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:25).

Jesus promises the believers of the church at Smyrna that the second death—the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14)—will not harm them.

God’s people’s final home is heaven (John 14:1–3).

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The power of Love…

As God’s representatives in the Earth, we are to be the distributors of God’s LOVE and LIGHT into all the dark places of this world…

The love that’s talked about here is Agape love, which is the God kind of love, the same kind of love that God uses in His dealings with us. It’s a love that comes without any strings.

This is how the Bible defines it:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Living Bible

4 Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, 5 never haughty or selfish or rude.

Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.

6 It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.

7 If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost.

You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.
———

Thu, Aug 6
The Cutting Edge

LOVE, THE VISIBLE ATTRIBUTE OF AN INVISIBLE GOD
by Larry Ollison

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love”
— 1 John 4:8

E.W. Kenyon said that if a person walks in love, the devil cannot touch him.

The devil still comes against the Christian, but he cannot harm him if he is walking in love.

Love is the greatest power in the universe. Love will keep you in obedience and love will keep you from sin.

And according to Romans 13:10, love will never do harm to a neighbor and love is the fulfillment of the law.

Love is the law of liberty. Love will keep you from being self-centered and perfect love will cast out fear.

One thing that has always surprised me is the attitude of some Christians when they are in public places of business.

A few weeks ago I was having lunch with another minister. As the waitress was serving the food, he noticed that something on his plate was not exactly the way it was ordered.

To me, it was a very minor thing and most people would never have mentioned it. But this man started making it into a major complaint.

I was embarrassed and as we left the restaurant, I went back inside and apologized to the waitress for my friend’s rudeness and gave her an extra tip.

Jesus said that the world would know that we were Christians by the love that we have for each other.

But too many feel this scripture says they will know we are Christians because of the love we have in the church.

Romans 12:9 says let love be without hypocrisy. That means our love is not restricted to the church but is a way of life and is the essence of God that pours out of everything we do.

John 3:16 tells us that God loved the world so much that He sent His son, Jesus and He showed His love to the lost world through Jesus.

After Jesus ascended and took His place as the Head of the church, He now works through His body to show His love on this earth.

We are the body of Christ. And now God loves the world through us. Let’s live and show the true nature of God. God is love.

[From Larry Ollison Ministries]
———

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God is the One who schedules and plans our life, even before we were born (Ps 139:16)…

Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps”…

The Bible also tells us that God’s ways and thoughts are far above ours, as far as the heavens are above the Earth are His ways and thoughts above ours (see Isaiah 55:9).

This is why we are instructed if we are to walk the Christian Life we must learn to trust God with all of our heart and not lean on our own understanding; and then we are told that if we acknowledge Him in all of our ways, by faith, that He is directing our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6).

This is the beginning of our Adventure!

Posted on May 11, 2018
Faithit

WHEN GOD DIDN’T GIVE YOU THE LIFE YOU DREAMED OF. NOT EVEN CLOSE.
by Vaneetha Risner

Cleaning out boxes from the attic has left me more unsettled and emotional than I ever anticipated.

As I open each crate, I vividly remember the way life used to be — the hobbies I used to love, the things I used to do.

Thumbing through my mementos, I am reminded again that the life I’m living now isn’t what I signed up for.

Nothing has turned out as I planned.

While I am deeply convinced that I’m living out God’s best for me, there are days I mourn the loss of what used to be — particularly recently as I’ve been going through old tubs, each one filled with memories of a life that no longer exists.

Pictures of long-ago family vacations, Christmases past, recitals, and school plays.

Shoeboxes filled with letters from people I no longer know. Childhood photographs that make me laugh and at the same time cringe in horror.

All reminders of how my life has changed.

And then there are the art supplies. Fifteen years ago, my life was defined by projects I could do with my hands.

Painting, crafting, scrapbooking, embroidering, making jewelry, painting dishes.

Tubs, crates, and craft containers all crammed into the attic — each dedicated to a different artistic passion.

They all sparked my creativity. Relaxed me. Made me happy.

But my diagnosis of post-polio syndrome changed all that.

With my arms deteriorating, I couldn’t afford to waste my energy on crafts.

I boxed everything up (with help), labeled it, and shoved it in the attic. And I didn’t look at it again. Until now.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LIFE I DREAMED?
As a friend helps me rummage through these old boxes, looking at paintbrushes and canvas, rubber stamps and colored paper, a deep sadness settles over me.

I miss those things. But I know they are part of my past and I can’t dwell on what can’t be undone.

This grieving isn’t particular to me. A few weeks ago, I spoke with three friends, all of whom were facing significant disappointment.

One used to be an opera singer, but her vocal cords have changed and she can no longer sing as she once did.

Another friend was looking forward to her youngest child going to school so that she could pursue the ministry she felt called to.

But an unexpected pregnancy dramatically changed her plans and now her dreams feel beyond reach.

The third friend has a special needs child and constantly wonders about her child’s future. As well as her own.

Like my friends, all of us face disappointments. Our lives look vastly different than we imagined they would.

People dream of certain careers and accomplishments, but family issues or unexpected events make careers take a backseat.

Young lovers believe they will have the perfect family, yet somehow their family doesn’t even resemble their vision.

So, what do we do?

How do we get past this nagging feeling that there should be more to life?

Or that perhaps we are being denied the life that we should have? The life that, if we were completely honest, we believe we deserve.

WEEP DEEPLY
This counsel from John Piper has been immeasurably helpful to me:

“Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.”

“Weep deeply over the life you hoped would be.”

Even as I write those words, I feel a sense of release. We who are sometimes too guarded about our pain, because it seems more spiritual, need to shed tears.

Acknowledge what is hard. Grieve the loss. Feel the sting of what will never be.

Weeping helps me heal. Since mourning is rarely a “one and done” event, I sometimes break down long after I think I have moved on.

Often unexpectedly. When tears well up, I have learned to acknowledge and even welcome them.

They frequently reveal something that is worth paying attention to.

I mourn the loss of what once was as well as the loss of what never was.

They are both losses of what I hoped would be.

Couples who have struggled with infertility, as well as those who have buried a child, or who are raising a special needs child or a wayward son or daughter, have all lost what they hoped would be.

Whatever the origin, they are losses nonetheless.

WASH YOUR FACE
After I have wept and grieved, I wash my face. I don’t just dry my tears. I take a warm cloth and wipe the salty streaks from my cheeks.

I let the soothing warmth move across my skin. Then I splash cool water on my face to refresh me, redirect my thoughts, and fix my eyes on the Lord.

Only then can I move on.

This is a deliberate act, a choice I make to refocus.

When I refocus, I take my eyes off my problems, and shift them onto the Lord — and I choose to trust him.

Trust him even when my situation looks black. Trust him that he is working for my good. Trust him that he knows what is best.

EMBRACE THE LIFE GOD’S GIVEN
Finally, I am called to embrace the life I have.

Embrace it as I would a beloved friend.

Wholeheartedly. With joyful acceptance, not grudging obedience.

Embracing means gladly receiving and even welcoming whatever the Lord gives me, even when it wasn’t in my plans.

It means being fully present, living in the now, finding joy in the moment, and not longing for what’s past.

So today, if you are feeling weary and disappointed about your life, allow yourself to grieve.

To weep deeply. To mourn the loss of what you hoped for. But then after you have lamented, wash your face, trust God, and embrace the life he’s given you.

Into a world of great sadness and loss, God told his people,

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”
(Isaiah 43:18–19).

The Lord is indeed doing a new thing in my life. And yours as well. He is making a way in the wilderness and forging streams in the wasteland.

Lean into it, and embrace it. God is doing something beautiful.
———

Let go of the past, shun your fears and doubts, and quit wasting your energy on trying to unspill the milk of yesterday; rather instead face your future by faith, in the strength and the power that God gives you.

Trust Him to make a way, even when there doesn’t seem to be one.

Come join the Adventure!

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Let your LIGHT shine…

The darker it gets in the world, the brighter all of us, who carry the light of God within by faith, will shine…

Matthew 5:14-16
The Message (MSG)

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.

God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.

If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?

I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!

Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

Sat, July 3
The Cutting Edge

THE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
by Larry Ollison

We are living in difficult times. Unemployment is near an all time high, foreclosures are driving families out of their homes, and because of financial pressures, many marriages are at the breaking point.

Today I talked with two pastors who were ready to leave the ministry because of pressure. This should not be.

In times of trouble, faith people should be standing stronger than ever. Let me explain.

During the day, it might be impossible to tell if a lamp is turned on or not.

But in the darkness a lamp, regardless of its brightness, is easily seen.

In these times of great darkness our light should actually seem brighter to the world than ever before, even if our light is of no greater intensity than it’s ever been.

In times of darkness, many are crying, “Lord, increase my faith.”

Faith, standing in a world of doubt, should be easily seen. Our light should look brighter than ever.

As darkness tries to come over the world, we should remember that our faith has already overcome it.

1 John 5:4
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

However, the darkness should make our faith look brighter, even if we have no more faith than before.

I encourage you to stand in faith and I admonish you to not focus on the doubt and darkness around you.

Remember this. Light always overpowers darkness. Darkness is governed by the light.

Darkness only prevails when the light is extinguished and your light cannot be extinguished unless you allow it.

You are the one who determines the intensity of your faith.

You are the one who has access to the fuel (the Word of God) that feeds the faith in your life.

There may be reasons why some doubt, but we have no excuses for allowing that doubt to overtake us.

So, mighty men and women of God, I want to encourage you with these words.

GREATER IS HE (THE LIGHT) THAT IS IN YOU, THAN HE (THE DARKNESS) THAT IS IN THE WORLD.

No weapon (of darkness) formed against you can prosper. You can do all things through Christ (the Light) who strengthens you. With God (the Light), nothing is impossible.

And because you are the light of the world, you are victorious and darkness cannot rule over you.
———

No matter how dark it gets, the light ALWAYS extinguishes the darkness; so our job, in these times, is to just let our light shine!

GOD HAS ALREADY GIVEN US THE VICTORY, IN CHRIST, SO LET’S STAND IN THAT KNOWLEDGE – TRUSTING IN GOD’S WORD!

Come join the Adventure!

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Through it all we learn to trust in Jesus…

Our trials and tribulations in life come not to destroy us, but to make us strong…

James 1:2-8

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)


The Christian can even welcome trouble
2-8 When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!

Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance.

But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.

And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God—who gives generously to all men without making them feel foolish or guilty—and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him.

But he must ask in sincere faith without secret doubts as to whether he really wants God’s help or not.

The man who trusts God, but with inward reservations, is like a wave of the sea, carried forward by the wind one moment and driven back the next. That sort of man cannot hope to receive anything from God, and the life of a man of divided loyalty will reveal instability at every turn.

“I’ve had many tears and sorrows,
I’ve had questions for tomorrow,
there’s been times I didn’t know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consolation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.” (by Andre Crouch)

Click on link below to listen to song:

Monday, July 26
The Winning Walk
by Dr Ed Young

A GREEN LEAF IN DROUGHT TIME

In the book A Green Leaf in Drought Time, Andrew Murray had some fine advice for those undergoing persecution.

He gave them four words of counsel.

First, he said, “You are in this straight place by Divine appointment.”

Second, he said, “You are here in His keeping.

He will keep you by His grace and love in this situation.”

Third, Murray said,

“You are here for His training and discipline. God wants to stretch you, to build you up, and He has brought you to this trial to test you by fire.”

Finally, he said,

“You are here in His time. You don’t know how long you’ll be here, or what your future will hold, but this is where God wants you now.”

What if you and I approached every trial we face with these precepts in mind?

What if we viewed every hardship as His perfect plan for us?

Murray also said,

“If there were any circumstance better for you than the one in which you find yourself, Divine Love would have placed you there.”

That gives our trials a whole new meaning, doesn’t it? If you are experiencing a time of difficulty right now, ask God to give you wisdom to see your situation the way He sees it.

His aim is that you and I grow up.

Trials are our ticket out of complacency and mediocrity.

When we struggle, we grow. Like Job, we can be certain that the outcome of our pain will be a stronger, purer faith.

Memory Verse

JOB 23:10
But He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
———

Come join the Adventure!

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God’s power trumps all the power of the enemy…

God’s power trumps every power and principality of the enemy, in every circumstance of life…

God’s Word promises that no weapon (no strategy or plan) that’s formed against us (who are His covenant children) will prosper (see Isaiah 54:17)!

Jesus in Matthew 28:18-19 tells us that ALL authority (all power) in heaven and earth has been granted to Him so that we can go out, in His name, and do the job He is calling us to do, which is to preach the gospel and disciple nations.
———.

Fri, June 4
Today in the Word

THE POWER OF GOD
By Dr Ryan Cook

Investment advisors often use the phrase “Past performance is no guarantee of future result.”

The phrase serves as a kind of disclaimer. Just because a particular company has performed well in the past, there is no guarantee it will do so in the future.

While it may not be a sound way to make financial investments, it is a good way to judge someone’s character.

It is why we ask for references on job applications or ask about their work history.

In today’s reading, the Psalmist applies this logic to his relationship with God.

He celebrates God as awesome and powerful. God has taken up His residence in Jerusalem and from there He has defended it by breaking “shields and the swords, the weapons of war” (v. 3).

We do not know what specific victory is being celebrated, but the point is powerfully made.

At God’s rebuke, “both horse and chariot lie still” (v. 6).

The horse and chariot were the most feared weapons of the ancient world. It would be like saying: “At God’s rebuke, aircraft carriers and nuclear warheads are powerless.”

God’s power is endless.

The Psalmist asks in awestruck wonder, “Who can stand before you when you are angry?” (v. 7).

God’s ability to defeat His enemies in the past serves as the basis of hope for the future.

This psalm looks forward to the day when people from all nations will pay homage to God (v. 11).

This theme comes to its fulfillment in the book of Revelation where rebellious powers and nations are decisively defeated (Rev. 19:11–21).

The New Jerusalem descends from heaven, and “God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them” (Rev 21:3).

As believers, you and I can know our future is secure because we serve an all-powerful God who has pledged Himself to it.

No earthly ruler can stand against God who offers us endless security and certain hope.

PRAY WITH US
We rejoice in the security of knowing that You are with us now and forever! We extol You, our all-powerful God. Your wisdom knows no bounds and Your mercy is everlasting. Amen
———

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The necessity of our learning to wait on God’s timing…

God will make everything beautiful in His time…

We must learn to cast the total of our trust and reliance upon Him – walking by faith and not by sight (Heb 10:38-39).

Lamentations 3:25
“The LORD is good to those who wait [confidently] for Him, To those who seek Him [on the authority of God’s word].”

2 Chronicles 16:9
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.”


Wednesday, May 26th
Belief Net – Prayer Of The Day

9 Things to Do When You’re Waiting on God
by Lesli White

Waiting will help you trust in god’s timing.

Most people don’t like to wait. We often get frustrated when we have to wait because it makes us anxious and it inconveniences us.

This hurriedness often works its ways into our spiritual lives causing us to rush into the next thing before calling on God for direction.

While most of us feel the need to rush, God is not in a hurry. In fact, the Bible says He is slow at going about things.

What we often forget is that God has a plan and a purpose for us according to His Will.

On the road of life, crucial decisions are like intersections that call for us to choose which way to go.

If we go through life without seeking Christ, the road we pick may lead to regret.

However, when we seek Christ, things that didn’t make sense before are revealed to us.

Although the Lord is ready and willing to offer us clear direction, He doesn’t always give it quickly.

Here are nine things to do when you’re waiting on God.

Think About the Good That Comes From Waiting

As difficult as waiting can be, it builds spiritual endurance in a unique way. Isaiah makes this truth clear:

“But they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount with wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint”
(Isaiah 40:31).

This is a glorious promise but our discontented hearts find it difficult to wait.

One great thing about waiting is that it allows us to pray without ceasing.

When our thoughts turn to worry, fear, discouragement and anger, we are to consciously and quickly turn every thought to prayer and every prayer to thanksgiving.

Another great thing about waiting is that it increases our faith.

We wait and God works!

Listen Closely

There are times that God will make you wait simply because He wants to get your attention.

If you are waiting on God, listen closely to what He may be trying to reveal to you. He may be trying to reach you or speak to you about a certain situation in your life.

When everything is running smoothly, we tend to forget the Lord. But uncertainty draws us back to Him like a magnet.

By aligning our steps with His and walking in submission to the Spirit, we open our ears to hear His voice.

Our waiting period is God’s preparation time. He may put us on hold to coordinate events to line up with His Will.

Pray Fervently 

When we’re waiting on God, it may seem like our prayers are going unanswered.

That’s why it’s important that when you’re waiting on God, you pray fervently.

Also, make sure your prayer is to the glory of God.

One of the most important questions we face in prayer is whether our appeal is for our own selfish interest, pride or attainment, or whether it is really to the glory of God?

Answers to prayer are supposed to honor God and bring glory to Him. This is one of the main reasons we offer prayer in the name of Christ.

Jesus assured His disciples that if they remained in Him and His words remained in them, whatever they asked would be given to them.

Prayer that is offered in the name of Christ and to the glory of Christ is prayer that God can answer.

Remember God May Be Answering a Bigger Prayer

Our God is a merciful God. Sometimes we forget this when we’re waiting on God. We get so caught up in the pain we’re experiencing, the people we’ve lost and the things we don’t have.

We start focusing on all the ways that God hasn’t measured up to our standards and find ourselves disappointed time and time again.

Instead of focusing on the blessings we’ve been given, we focus on what God hasn’t done for us.

This is human, but it doesn’t mean it’s right. It also doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us.

It means that what He wants for us is in His time. Not ours.

And sometimes God’s plans are bigger than our own. You might pray for love to come into your life at a certain time, but if it had, God wouldn’t have been able to make you more strong and independent.

If things had fallen into place at the college you prayed for, you may not have attended the school that shaped so many of your future friendships and dreams.

Just because God isn’t granting the prayers in the way we want Him to doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us.

Find Spiritual Strength

Waiting on God helps strengthen us spiritually. By the mere term “spiritual strengthening” two things might be suggested to us.

We might think of spiritual as distinguished from physical strengthening. We also might think of strengthening by the Spirit as distinguished from some earthly force.

Sometimes the Lord has to work to accomplish in us before we are ready to handle what He’s planned for our future.

If we instantly received His direction, we would rarely have the opportunity two exercise our faith.

Christian maturity becomes evident in the ability to wait in peaceful confidence.

We’ll know exactly what to do when we trust in His timing.

Be Patient

Sometimes God makes you wait because he is building patience in your life.

Waiting on God means patiently looking to Him for what we need.

David recognized why we had to wait on the Lord. First, His salvation came from Him (Psalm 62:1).

He learned that no one else could deliver Him. His only hope was in God for God alone hears prayers.

Our prayers often revolve around asking God to hurry up and bless what we want done or want to do.

But what if God’s answer to us is simply, “Be patient. Wait upon me”? In

We can pray with David:

“Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly”
(Psalm 5:3).

We can trust His response, even if it doesn’t come in the time we expect.

Trust His Will

It would be so helpful to know God’s Will for our lives but we don’t have the answers.

That’s why it’s important to trust the direction God may be taking you in when you’re lead by the Spirit.

John 15:7 says,

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”

So that means if we tell God what we want, He will give it to us, right?

Well, not exactly. If you’re wondering why things aren’t going according to your plans, here’s the short of it.

We aren’t aware of God’s Will. It’s important that we pay attention to the word abiding in this verse which means “to live in, dwell in and remain in.”

When you have an intimate relationship with God, you begin to know His heart and have a clearer sense of the things you should pray for and what His Will truly is for you.

Depend on Him

Another reason God may be making you wait is because he is building your dependence on Him.

When we are in an unhealthy condition either physically or emotionally, we tend to lack patience when it comes to our circumstances.

We also begin to look for thrills in life.

In our physical life, it leads to obsessions and to destruction; and in our spiritual life, if we insist on pursuing only thrills, on mounting up “with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), it will result in the destruction of us spiritually.

Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our determinations to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence.

Allow Your Character to Be Transformed

Maybe God is making you wait because He is transforming our character.

Waiting builds and transforms our character. Moses became a great leader in his time and God worked through him to bring about many miracles for the children of Israel.

Of course he had to go through a long period of processing in the desert for 40 years before God came to him.

We know that when he was a young man, he was brash and impatient. Yet, when he was given a second chance, he opted to do it God’s way and in God’s time.

Waiting has a way of humbling us and to rub off the tough edges of our lives so that the true Christlike character is revealed in us.

If impatience tempts you to jump ahead of the Lord’s timing, you risk stepping outside of His Will and missing His blessings.

But by waiting until He gives clear direction, you will walk in His peace and certainty, instead of stumbling around in anxiety and confusion.
———

Come join the Adventure!

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God has a master plan for your life…

We have to learn to trust God’s plan…

OLIVE TREE BLOG
THE MEANING OF ROMANS 8:28

Romans 8:28 is one of the best-known verses in Romans. And it is probably one of the best known verses in the whole Bible.

Here is what it says:

“For God works all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

There’s a good reason people like this verse! It’s because we all suffer.

We all experienced hardships, some of it almost unbearable. And those of us who believe in God want to know what God’s relationship to that suffering is.

Where does suffering come from?
Did God cause our suffering? Does he sympathize with us in our suffering? Can he do anything about our suffering?

These are human questions and questions that many, many people have.

Romans 8:28 does not tell us that God causes people to suffer, and it doesn’t say that God consider suffering in and of itself to be good.

What it does say, however, is that God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are who are called according to his purposes.

Romans 8 in context
Firstly, it’s actually really important to read around that verse.

I would recommend anybody interested in the meaning of this verse to read all of Romans 8, beginning in verse one.

This entire passage in Romans is really helpful for understanding what suffering is all about particularly as a Christian.

It doesn’t solve the problem at a philosophical level, the problem of how God can be all powerful and all good and yet good people can suffer.

How can that happen? It doesn’t solve that problem for us.

But it does describe how God is at work in a suffering world.

We know he has identified with that world through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross—suffered—for our sins and participated with us in a suffering world.

We know he’s with us in our suffering.

Romans 8 also reminds us that God is busy recreating this world and that those of us who are united with Christ by faith are being transformed, and the church is being transformed and is God’s pilot unit for what the world should look like.

He’s transforming the church, and eventually he’ll transform this whole world to bring suffering and oppression to an end.

That’s how God is working all things together for good, for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

[Taken from: Frank Thielman, the author of Romans in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.]
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Give me Jesus…

I surrender all to Jesus…

Luke 9:23-25

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily (the symbol of our death to self), and follow Me.

24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.

25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
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Romans 12:1
J.B. Phillips New Testament

We have seen God’s mercy and wisdom: how shall we respond?
1-2 With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him.

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
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Paul told the Roman Christians how to live so that their behavior would be worshipful to God.

God desires you to surrender every part of your life to Him.

Would you buy a house if you were only allowed to see one of its rooms? Would you purchase a car if you were permitted to see only its tires and a taillight? Would you pass judgment on a book after reading only one paragraph?

Nor would I. Good judgment requires a broad picture. Not only is that true in purchasing houses, cars, and books, it’s true in evaluating life.

One failure doesn’t make a person a failure; one achievement doesn’t make a person a success.

“The end of the matter is better than its beginning,” penned the sage.

“Be patient when trouble comes . . ., ” echoed the apostle Paul. . . . We only have a fragment.

Life’s mishaps and horrors are only a page out of a grand book.

We must be slow about drawing conclusions. We must reserve judgment on life’s storms until we know the whole story. . . .

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

He (Jesus) should know. He is the Author of our story. And He has already written the final chapter.
(From In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado)

Wed, April 28
My Utmost for His Highest
By Oswald Chambers

WHAT YOU WILL GET

“I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.”
— Jeremiah 45:5

This is the firm and immovable secret of the Lord to those who trust Him – “I will give your life to you….”

What more does a man want than his life?

It is the essential thing. “…your life…as a prize…” means that wherever you may go, even if it is into hell, you will come out with your life and nothing can harm it.

So many of us are caught up in exhibiting things for others to see, not showing off property and possessions, but our blessings.

All these things that we so proudly show have to go. But there is something greater that can never go– the life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

Are you prepared to let God take you into total oneness with Himself, paying no more attention to what you call the great things of life?

Are you prepared to surrender totally and let go?

The true test of abandonment or surrender is in refusing to say, “Well, what about this?”

Beware of your own ideas and speculations. The moment you allow yourself to think, “What about this?” you show that you have not surrendered and that you do not really trust God.

But once you do surrender, you will no longer think about what God is going to do.

Abandonment means to refuse yourself the luxury of asking any questions.

If you totally abandon yourself to God, He immediately says to you, “I will give your life to you as a prize….”

The reason people are tired of life is that God has not given them anything — they have not been given their life “as a prize.”

The way to get out of that condition is to abandon yourself to God. And once you do get to the point of total surrender to Him, you will be the most surprised and delighted person on earth.

God will have you absolutely, without any limitations, and He will have given you your life.

If you are not there, it is either because of disobedience in your life or your refusal to be simple enough.
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Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

What happened to the Jewish Ark of the Covenant…

In 2 Maccabees 2:2, the writer records that before Jerusalem’s fall to Babylon, Jeremiah took the Ark of the Covenant along with other sacred items and hid them in a cave on a mountain outside the city and sealed the entrance.

Ron wyatt is the brothers (now in heaven) who claims to have found both Noah’s Ark & the Ark of the Covenant; as well as Mount Sinai and the spot where the Red Sea crossing occurred.

Listen to this recording where you get to hear Ron Wyatt’s testimony about how he found the Ark of the Covenant, with the blood of Jesus on top of the mercy seat; and how he had that blood tested at a lab.

This will blow your mind!

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