No Need To Doubt

Earlier this week I was thinking about a study of the book of 1 John that I participated in a few years ago. It was one of the best studies ever. We took our time and spent several months gleaning all the different truths God wanted to impart to us. That study was eye opening. It left me in awe and humbled by God’s incredible desire to have His children know that we are His.

I have trusted in, leaned on and relied upon what Jesus did 2000 years ago to cancel out my sin debt. I still rely on His forgiveness daily. I do realize that on my own it is impossible for me to be at peace with perfect Holy God. My trust must be in Jesus alone because He alone is perfect. Eternity is a long time and I want to know that God will receive my spirit to Himself when I pass from this life into the next. Don’t you?

The book of 1 John is full of that assurance. Reading it reminds me that yes I truly am a child of God. The Apostle John wrote that the assurance I need is the specific reason why he penned 1 John.

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, SO THAT YOU MAY KNOW that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13 (Emphasis mine)

You see God doesn’t want us to wonder, guess or cross our fingers in hopes that by chance we might live forever with Him. His desire is that we know, without a doubt, we are eternally His. If we are His then reading the book of 1 John will give us that assurance.

Have you trusted Jesus for your salvation? Or are you trusting in your own imperfect goodness to please God? Are you sure you have eternal life? If you don’t know then take an honest look at yourself, confess your sins and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and by believing you may have life in His name.

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He Is Faithful

My husband and I look forward to our annual state fair trek coming up this week. We relish our time together. It’s always a fun filled day. We delight in seeing the beautiful New England foliage and chatting about everything under the sun along the way. God is so good to us!

Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

At the fair we feast on all the junk food we can manage to eat. We walk through the barns of sheep, work horses, chickens, rabbits and hogs. We visit each exhibit of quilts or baked goods we pass by. We get a kick out of listening to a fella sing that can sound just like Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash. and any number of other country singers from the past.

The fair is a celebration for us. We reminisce about past visits from when our children were still children and those times with loved ones who have since gone on to heaven. The fair is like a marker that aids our memories. It also helps us to be grateful for all the blessings that we have today.

In the Old Testament the people of God participated in different annual celebrations and festivals. During these events there were times set aside for feasting, music, laughter and dancing. These celebrations were commanded by God. They were to remind everyone who participated just how truly amazing God is. These events were meant for rejoicing.

Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shoot of joy. Psalm 33:2-3

Because life can get very tough at times it can be easy to forget to celebrate God’s goodness. We need reminders that God’s love is always lavished on us no matter what we might be facing. These special fun filled times remind us of Gods unending love over past years. They give us hope for the coming year and help us to see the many blessings that are ours today.

For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. Psalm 33:4

Unity is Very Good

Unity is the opposite of discord and division. Take a look at the news or social media and you quickly realize we don’t see much of it in our culture today. Everyone has their opinion and no one wants to listen to anyone else. People are fighting and bickering about everything. It’s heartbreaking because that is not how we should act toward each other. Where is the respect and honor for others? Where is the love? Where is the unity?

It should be different with believers. Jesus wanted his followers to be united. He prayed to the Father for us, requesting that we be one. When we honor, love and respect one another in unity people see God rightly represented through us.

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. John 17:22-23

Once a month I experience this unity when I meet with a few women for dinner and a chat. It’s always a wonderful time of catching up. We talk about pretty much everything, sharing the high points of the previous few weeks of our lives. Whatever we feel is important is a reason to share with each other. We honor, we encourage, we listen and we pray for each other.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers (or sisters) to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1

Spending time with these women, delighting in each other, is like a soothing oil. It brings healing to the soul. I leave these gatherings with a fresh sense of being loved on and of belonging. I’m thankful for these ladies. I love them and they love me. It really is very good to dwell together in unity.

May Grace and PEACE Be Yours!

Grace and peace are two words that are peppered throughout the scriptures. They can be found hundreds of times in the Bible, yet often times we quickly pass these words by without much thought.

To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ …Grace to you and peace from God our Father. Colossians 1:2

Grace is the favor of God. Just think of that! It is Gods kindness and goodwill towards us. We do not earn grace. God lavishes all His goodness on us through His Son Jesus. How great is His grace towards us!

Peace is often thought off as the absence of conflict or war. It actually means so much more. It refers to an inner completeness or wholeness. It is having peace of mind even when the stresses of life are present. Peace is contentment within our souls. Repenting of sin and trusting Jesus ends the conflict we have with God and brings peace.

The next time you are reading your bible don’t be too quick to pass by these two words. Stop and ponder what has been written. Remember their meaning and be thankful God has lavished us with His goodness and contentment by sending us His Son Jesus. May God’s grace and peace be yours!

Celebrate His Love

A couple I know have just celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary. I happened to see a brief message that Mrs. wrote describing the love and faithfulness of God throughout their many years together. She mentioned all the prayers that have been answered and the mountain of memories that they have made together. Their continued years in marriage point to a loving and faithful God.

We do not often witness a marriage of forty plus years these days. This couple has stayed uniquely devoted to one another for better or for worse, for richer and for poorer, and in sickness, and in health. They have determined to keep loving one another no matter what. In many ways their devotion mirrors Christ’s unfailing love for His beloved, the redeemed.

“Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds” (Psalm 36:5).

When we witness a marriage that lasts throughout life’s ups and downs it is heartening. Let’s celebrate by remembering that Jesus Christ has unfailing, always there no matter what, faithful love towards each person who turns from their sin and will put their trust in Him alone. Any time that we can be reminded of Jesus’ unfailing love, is a reason to honor Him and celebrate. To Him be the glory forever!

Be Wise

Have you ever tried to fix a situation only to have it get worse? It is not fun when you believe you are doing the right thing. Sometimes, the right thing is received in the wrong way. But, sometimes what you think is right, is just plain wrong.

Navigating through tough situations can be tricky. It takes wisdom to do it well.

Wisdom is learned. Acquiring it takes effort and time. Thankfully, God has given us lots of direction. He does not expect us to do it on our own. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.

We are told to ask God for wisdom where it is lacking and we will receive it.

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

We should search the bible for wisdom because every page is full of God’s wisdom.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

We must ask others what they think and not go it alone.

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14

So, if you need to make a weighty decision pray for wisdom. Search the scriptures. Ask others for their advice, before you make a move. When you do these things, you will be wise.

God Sees Differently

My reading this week has been a gentle and kind admonishing for me. I have been reminded that God is God and I am not.

1 Samuel 16:7b … God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Sometimes, I can be quick to pass judgment on another, yet I cannot possibly know what their reasons are for why they do what they do. I am not able to see the motives of another’s heart, but God is able.

So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this— not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. Romans 14:12-13

What is important is that I am fully convinced in my own mind about how I live my life for the Lord Jesus and that I don’t make it difficult for others to do the same.