Category: <span>Thoughts by All</span>

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” Psalm 46:1-2


Thought

God is not only our protector; he is also our helper. Even when our world seems to be crashing around us, he is there. He will deliver us from death or deliver us through death. He will deliver us from evil or he will deliver us to overcome evil. Our task is to trust that in the midst of our earthquakes and tidal waves we are not alone or abandoned.

Prayer

Holy God, I pray for those today who are in the middle of life’s earthquakes. You know those for whom I am concerned. You know I care about their struggles which are too big for me to mitigate and too painful for me to truly bring comfort. I ask you now, to bless them, be with them, and please deliver them quickly. You are our only true hope and Jesus is our only sure redeemer. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

By Phil Ware
Used by Permission
From: from http://www.heartlight.org

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Further Reading

•  Pressing the RESET button on our lives 

•   Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Phil Ware

Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.’” John 8:34-36 (NLT)

Did Jesus say, “I died so you could be miserable. I gave up everything for you to live in fear. I came as a vulnerable baby, lived in a broken world, died a cruel death, and rose from the grave so you would live without freedom”?

How ludicrous! But don’t we often live enchained in our fear, broken, defeated and enslaved?

Jesus died to set us free!

He rose from the grave to set us free!

He lives to set us free!

A friend of our family was a hoarder. She had lived that way so long, her house was bursting at the seams with all the stuff she had collected over the years. Knowing she was in trouble, she reached out to my mom for help. With the help of friends, her house was sorted, purged and cleaned.

When our friend returned home she flew into a rage and demanded that everything be put back right where it had been.

How similar this is to our journey with God. We call on Him to rescue us from our depravity and He does. Then we proceed to wrap ourselves back up in the chains of sin. Why?

Because it’s familiar, because it’s what we’ve always known, because we feel naked without it.

But the truth is we aren’t naked, we’ve been given new clothes! We are free!

So let’s live like it!

Lord, thank You for coming to save me from the chains of sin. Help me to focus on You and Your power daily. Amen.

Thought: What habits or sinful patterns have you allowed to enslave you? Do you need to do a purging?

by Kristi Huseby
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   How To Be Sure You Are a Christian (video and longer explanation)

•   Spiritual Oxygen: Are You Getting Enough?

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Kristi Huseby Thoughts by Women

“…you be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12


It’s not what you gather but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.” (Helen Walton)

I stood on the shore and watched the kids throw rocks into the lake. Whole fistfuls flew through the air. Each rock hit the water with the same result.  No matter the size of the rock, ripples circled out, intersected with other ripples, and spanned far beyond the spot where each stone landed.

We are like these rocks. No matter how influential, or insignificant we see ourselves, we each send out ripples that circle further than we ever dream.

Words and deeds of kindness or cruelty, gentleness or abrasiveness, generosity or greed, all ripple out and touch other lives far beyond the boundaries we think they go.

Our families, co-workers, neighbors, and even strangers are often touched by an act or a word of ours that we never imagined would get that far.

My husband is good at skipping rocks across the water. The kids count the skips, the more the better. Sometimes we think we too can skip through life, independent, not touching others, hurrying on without time to stop and be concerned about anyone else. Yet the inevitable ripples still flow out. We do influence, we do touch others, even when we are not aware of it. God even reminds us of our ripples when He reminds us that we are examples.

As you go through your day today be reminded that you are sending out ripples. You have no idea how far they can go.

Heavenly Father, I sometimes forget that I am an influence in the places I walk each day. Help me today to be aware of the ripples I send out with my words and conversations and even my tones. Thank you that Your Holy Spirit will fill me  today so that the ripples from my words and actions touch and encircle those around me with strength and encouragement. Help me to be an example of love and faith and purity today because You have placed me in this very spot to bring Your love to those around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Gail Rodgers
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Making a Difference

•  Caring Enough to Tell Others about Christ

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Gail Rodgers Thoughts by Women

And He [Jesus] said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death’ Mark 14:34


Jesus and His disciples went to a place called Gethsemane to pray. He was well aware of the rejection, torture, and crucifixion that awaited him. He became greatly distressed and troubled and said to His disciples, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death.”

As I read that verse this week, I thought of some of the times when my soul was sorrowful to death. When our five-month-old grandson died, deep sounds of anguish came out of my mouth — from deep within my soul. Not only was I grieving the loss of our grandson, but also the tragic loss our daughter and son-in-law were experiencing.

On reflecting on this time and others, I remembered how I was comforted and strengthened through the reading of the Word and the empathy of many friends. And because Christ Himself had gone through much deeper agony, He now walked with me in my sorrow.

I wonder, are you going through a time of deep anguish right now? An unfaithful spouse? Divorce? A child or spouse or you, yourself, with terminal illness? Death of a loved one? Abuse? Financial impossibilities?

I encourage you to “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).

You probably won’t be freed from the pain and anguish immediately, but He will give you strength for the moment and the day, along with wisdom to know what your next steps should be.

He won’t forsake you.

Lord Jesus, it is so comforting to know that You have gone through anguish and sorrow. You know what we are going through. Thank You for being right there with us all the time, understanding, loving and comforting, strengthening, and giving us wisdom. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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Further Reading

•   Dealing with Inner Turmoil

•   Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Katherine Kehler Thoughts by Women

God hopes for us to stick with his plan, to take the high road, to keep being faithful even when life throws us problems.


I cry aloud to the Lord, I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.”  Psalm 142:1

I love the Psalms because they are so genuine; you know how the Psalmists feel even if it’s ugly and seemingly hopeless.

Would you believe that the person who wrote Psalm 142:1 was described as the apple of God’s eye? Impressively handsome? A brave military leader? The next king of Israel? Yes, the writer was David, as he hid in a fortified cave outside the city of Adullam. He was hiding there because the reigning king, Saul, enraged with jealousy and fear, was out to kill him.

If you recall, David had a few chances to kill Saul even as Saul hunted him down, but in each case David resisted, not wanting to harm God’s anointed ruler. David took the high road despite his opportunity to remove his nemesis. But this Psalm of his lets us know it wasn’t easy.

Have you been in similar situations? Are you convinced you are living for God the best you can but you still experience struggles? Perhaps it’s health issues, financial woes, or relational problems. Perhaps you feel like running to a cave to hide and screaming out, “Lord, have mercy on me!” or “Why this Lord?”

Be assured that God hears your complaint. And be equally confident that God hopes for us to stick with his plan, to take the high road, to keep being faithful even when life throws us problems, injustices, and pain. Our issues are not evidence of his unfaithfulness; rather, they remind us that we need to rely on him faithfully to help us through, just as David did.

Are you crying from a cave just now?

Will you trust God to sustain you amidst your challenges?

Lord, listen to my heart, for it cries out to you; keep me in your hands as I struggle. Thank you for sustaining me as I choose the right path despite many tribulations. Amen.

Share any burdens you might be carrying with a friend. Pray together and thank God for his presence and protection, even in the cave.

By Dr. Bill Strom
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   God WILL take care of you

•   God is Bigger than all my Problems

•   Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All

“I am God Almighty.”  Genesis 17:1


When Abraham heard these words he fell on his face and God spoke to him.  God filled his heart with faith in what He would do for him.  O Christian, have you bowed in deep humility before God until you felt that you were in living contact with the Almighty?

Read in the Psalms how the saints of old gloried in God and in His strength.

The Lord protect me from danger” (Psalm 27:1)

God remains the strength of my heart.” (Psalm 73:26).

Take time to appropriate these words and to adore God as the Almighty One, your strength.

Christ taught us that salvation is the work of God and quite impossible to humans.  When the disciples asked:  “Then who in the world can be saved?” His answer was:

Humanly speaking, it is impossible.  But not with God.  Everything is possible with God.”  (Mark 10:26-27).

If we firmly believe this, we will have courage to believe that God is working in us all that is well-pleasing in His sight.

Think how Paul prays for the Ephesians, that through the enlightening of the Spirit, they might “begin to understand the incredible greatness of His power for us who believe Him.” (Ephesians 1:19).  When we fully believe that the mighty power of God is working within us, we can joyfully say, ‘God is the strength of my life.”

By Andrew Murray
From: ‘Teach Me to Pray
Used by permission

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Further Reading

•   God Is…

•  Truth – God’s truth remains the same from age to age,

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Andrew Murray Thoughts by Men

Our weapons are prayer and worship and Scripture.


The devil is a splitter, a divider, a wedge driver. He divided Adam and Eve from God in the garden. He would like to separate you from God as well. He wants to take all unbelievers to hell and make life hell for believers.

Our weapons are prayer and worship and Scripture. When we pray, we engage the power of God against the devil. When we worship, we do what Satan himself did not do: we place God on the throne. And when we pick up the sword of Scripture, we proclaim truth.

According to Colossians 2:15, “Having disarmed the powers and authorities, [Jesus] made a public spectacle of [the forces of evil], triumphing over them by the cross.” Satan will not linger long where God is praised and prayers are offered. Satan may be vicious, but he will not be victorious. God has already won.

By Max Lucado
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Further Reading

•   The Power of Prayer & Praise

•   One More Reason to Praise by Bill Bright

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

Including Sam, each student was required to bring a clear plastic bag to class.  Then they would write a name on a potato and drop it into the bag.  Each potato represented a person that student refused to forgive.  They were expected to carry this bag with them wherever they went all that week.  And Sam’s bag was heavy!

Of course, the point was that Sam carried a spiritual weight of unforgiveness.  Hers was a cumbersome burden.  And a smelly one by the end of the week!  Oh, those smelly potatoes!

Oh, dear one, forgiveness is powerful.  When you choose to forgive, the weight is released.  Anger, frustration and fear will be divinely lifted.  Sam learned that never-to-be forgotten lesson.
You can too.

Who might you need to forgive?

by Vonette Bright
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   The Power of Forgiveness | by Dr. Henry Brandt

•  Forgiveness – Yourself and  Others

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Vonette Bright Thoughts by Women

God wants to make us like Jesus.


You may think that you are tried more than other people are.  If you knew the value of it, you would praise God for the trials that come your way.

It is in the trials that you are purified; it is through the fiery furnace of affliction that God gets you in the place where He can use you.

The person who has no trials and no difficulties is the person whom God dare not allow Satan to touch because he could not stand temptation.

Before God puts you through the furnace of afflictions, He knows you will go through it, and not one single temptation comes to any person more than he is able to bear; and with the temptation, God is always there to help you through.

Abraham was tempted and God helped him through to victory.
God wants to make us like Jesus.

As we look back over our spiritual journey we see that there has been a good deal of our own way, and that the end of our way was the beginning of God’s way.

We cannot enter into the deep things of God until we are free from our own ideas and ways.

How mercifully God preserves us from calamity.

Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

There’s no way I can withstand the allure of temptation on my own. My feelings neutralize my resistance. My flesh craves gratification. It’s a war, fought on the battlefield of my soul…my mind, will and emotions.

I win only as my spirit works in partnership with the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 26:41
“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

By Joshua Chin Hong Lim
Used by permission

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Further Reading

• Stepping Into a Personal Revival

Why I need to Press the ‘Reset Button’ 

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Joshua Chin Hong Lim Thoughts by Men

Could it be that growing up in my crazy family molded me in a way that would allow God to uniquely use my experiences to help others?


And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NASB)

Having grown up in an alcoholic family, I have often looked at “normal” families and thought, “If only I could have been born into that family…,” or “Why me, why did I have to experience the madness of life with a really messed up family?” This pity party only led to sadness. I was good at keeping the doors closed about these private thoughts. Most people did not know about this lingering disappoint; it was like a shadow over my world.

This darkness lingered until it was displaced by anticipation. I finally became convinced that God had a plan and purpose for my life. A statement from the book of Romans was instrumental: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Could it be that growing up in my crazy family molded me in a way that would allow God to uniquely use my experiences to help others? I concluded that the answer was yes. It was like a switch was flipped. Instead of looking back with regret I began to look forward with anticipation. The past did not disappear or become less painful, but it was no longer my focus. I’ve realized it’s hard to walk forward when looking backwards. Each day, I trust that God has a good plan.

God thank You that You are good and wise. I trust that You can cause all things to work together for good, even the things that seem hurtful, sad and disappointing. By faith I look forward to how You will work in my life and through it according to Your good plan in the days ahead. Thank You for Your presence and power each step of the way. Amen.

By Mike Woodard
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Further Reading

•  How to be Saved

•  Struggles, Despair

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Mike Woodard

A Prayer Recognizing God’s Mercies


Dear Heavenly Father,
I did not know You would want to bless my life this way.

Your love has changed me.
Your joy and peace have
Filled my life to new heights with Your goodness.

Your freedom in my heart causes me to
Lift my wings and soar across the wind.

I’ll never be the same
Because of Your love
And all you’ve given me.

You have shown me tender mercies.
You have extended to be abounding grace and patience.

You have taught me to walk by faith,
Trust Your ways,
Stand firm in the courage You’ve given me.

You’ve taught me to believe
You would move heaven and earth for me
To work miracles in my life.

You held me close and loved me as only You can love,
That is the best part of all You’ve given me.

I have tasted of Your goodness, Lord,
And everything else diminished by far.

Psalm 34:8
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
www.kathycheek.com

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Further Reading

Random Acts of Kindness it is amazing how random acts of kindness affect those around you.

Harsh Judgments Can Kill One’s Spirit

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Kathy Cheek Thoughts by Women


The enemy is all around me
Pursuing me on every side,
But in Your Word I will abide.
For I am really in hot pursuit
After You Oh Lord and as fighting
Ensues I run in hot pursuit to
the shelter of Your Wings
Of protection!

All night upon my bed communing
With You and just before the dawn
Rising to seek for You….but many
Times You elude me!
Searching for You and in hot pursuit
Still not able to find You.

With awe and adoration filled with
Delight, I will continue in hot pursuit
Until I am translated in Your Holy
Presence!
For it is Your Face I seek in hot pursuit
Of You Oh Lord!

By Margaret Mullings
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  More Poems

•   Pressing On! – a lesson on focusing our eyes and goals on Christ

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Margaret Mullings Thoughts by Women

Our heart can be turned towards many things and even other people.


“Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Matthew 19:16 (NIV)

Devotion speaks to the position of the heart: a heart fully turned to the one we love. God longs to be the recipient of our affection and have our heart.

Who or what is your heart turned towards today?

When Jesus responded to the rich young ruler’s question, he wanted to find out where his heart was. Keeping the commandments is part of devotion to God, but it needs to flow out of a heart that is turned towards God. Jesus made it clear that following the rules alone was not enough. It would be an act of service, dutiful and metallic, but devoid of heart. Until he was willing to turn his heart away from money and towards God, he couldn’t truly follow God.

Our heart can be turned towards many things and even other people. Is there anything you are not willing to bring to the altar? – Your house, your career, your position, your husband, your children, your closet, your bank account, a parent? What do you hold most dear? What do you treasure in your heart?

When God has our heart, He truly has our life.

Thank You, Father, that You are interested in my heart and not necessarily my service. You are my treasure and I want You to have every piece of my heart. Today I lay down everything that holds me from following You with all of my heart. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  How to Fall in Love with Jesus by Sylvia Gunter

•   Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women

The Bible says,  “The heavens declare the glory of God!”


Our universe is God’s preeminent missionary.  Doesn’t a painting suggest a painter?  Don’t stars suggest a star maker?   Doesn’t creation imply a creator?

Now look within you.  Look at your sense of right and wrong.  Who told you a moral compass exists?  What is this magnetic pole that pulls the needles on the compass of your conscience if not God?  God did this!  The wonders above and within you testify to his existence.  But God not only made the world, He loves the world.  John 3:16 says,

For God so loved the world!

Try that on for size!  The one who formed you pulls for you.  Untrumpable power stoked by unstoppable love!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

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Further Reading

•  God Listens to Us

•   How Does God Do It?

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All

Whatever challenge you may be facing today, don’t back down God’s grace will carry you through.


Popular singer Tom Petty passed away a while back after a highly successful career. One of Petty’s most loved songs was titled ‘I Won’t Back Down’. It says:

Well, I won’t back down.
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell,
But I won’t back down

While Tom Petty was probably singing about the human challenges he had to face, the Apostle Paul says something similar regarding the spiritual battles we face as God’s children. He says, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13). The imagery is that of a well-trained soldier, planting his feet firmly on the battle field and refusing to back down. In other words, Paul may be saying, ‘don’t back down’. Ever!

The senseless shootings at a church in Texas and others disasters, bear witness to the fact that we live in dangerous times. It is at a time like this that the church of Jesus Christ and individual Christians should stand firm, find renewed hope, minister to the hurting and refuse to back down.

In Daniel 6, Daniel was about to receive the ‘promotion of a lifetime’, being the likely candidate for Prime Minister. The appointment may have brought privileges in the form of a brand new vehicle (the latest chariot?), unlimited power and added bonuses. That’s when envy set in as the other powerful officials rose up against him. Their devious plans meant Daniel would have to either back down from his commitment to God or face the ‘lions’.

Daniel refused to ‘back down’ and God sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths. Maybe He tranquilized them, maybe He assigned them to a 12 hour fast, or maybe they just lost their appetite. Whatever may have happened, it was a powerful work of God

Similarly, God is with us in our battles. Let us therefore stand firm and be encouraged by the words in James 4:7 that says, “Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. Whatever challenge you may be facing today, don’t back down God’s grace will carry you through.

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

Hope for the Hopeless

Dealing with Despair

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya