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

We must enter into an expectant spirit of prayer, knowing that, when we meet His conditions, God will hear and answer us.


Ask and you will be given what you ask for. Seek, and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Anyone who seeks, finds. If only you will knock, the door will be openMatthew 7:7,8

We were conducting a Bible study on the subject of prayer when Amy, a professing Christian most of her life, said, “God never answers my prayers. In fact, I cannot recall a single prayer of mine that God has answered specifically.”

Several others in the group chimed in and said, “Neither can I.” So we turned to this passage and discussed it together. Would God lie to us? Is His Word trustworthy? Or is prayer an exercise in futility? Are we simply talking to ourselves and each other, or is there a God who hears and answers? If so, why have these not had their prayers answered?

First of all, we had to review the qualifications for prayer. Jesus said, “If you abide in Me and My Word abides in you, ask what you will and it shall be done unto you.” The Scripture also says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” So if we expect to have our prayers answered, Jesus Christ must be the Lord of our lives. There must be no unconfessed sin in our lives and we must be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Further, 1 John 5:14,15 reminds us: “If we ask anything according to God’s will, He hears us and answers,” so we must be sure that we are praying according to the Word of God. As we pray, the Spirit of God impresses upon us certain things for which to pray specifically, such as the salvation of a friend, the healing of a body or a financial need. If the prayer is offered with a pure motive and according to God’s will, we can expect an answer to it.

And we cannot pray casually. We must enter into an expectant spirit of prayer, knowing that, when we meet His conditions, God will hear and answer us.

Within a matter of weeks everyone in that Bible study, especially Amy, was inspired by the exciting challenge of prayer. God had truly heard, and again and again, they were able to point to specific answers.

Bible Reading: Luke 11:5-13

TODAY: I shall review my spiritual walk to be sure I am meeting God’s conditions: (1) Christ is Lord of my life. (2) I am filled with the Holy Spirit. (3) There is no unconfessed sin in my life. (4) I am praying according to God’s Word. And (5) I am praying specifically. As a result, I expect my prayers to be answered because God promises they will be.

By Dr. Bill Bright
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Further Reading

   Keep Yourselves in God’s Love
•   Living Waters
  Salvation Explained


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“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”  Psalm 100:4


Prayer of Thanksgiving

Help me Lord, not to fall into temptation but always stay firm in Your teachings and Your Word.

Help me to be a “promise focused” person, not allowing emotions or fear to overwhelm me, nor allowing circumstances to pull me down, but always to think positive, with joy and thanksgiving and to count my blessings one by one.

Even in the times of great difficulties, I continue to give You praise and believe in You and Your many promises to me.

I look to the skies and count the stars which go beyond my human understanding and focus on Your promises.

The meek shall inherit the earth.
What I am today is by the riches of Your grace.
Your mercy and grace are new every morning.
Help me Lord, not to take them for granted.
Give me a thankful and grateful heart. In Jesus’ name.

by Joshua Chin Hong Lim
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Thanksgiving Day Sample Prayers

Count Your Blessings

•  Salvation Explained


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


But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness. Then it is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others; it is full of mercy and good deeds. It is wholehearted and straightforward and sincere” James 3:17

Donkeys laden with books,” a phrase in rabbinical literature, is descriptive of those who know much but still remain fools.

Another expression says that “knowledge is power.” True, but how is the knowledge used – beneficially or malevolently? That is a vitally important question. We have more knowledge than ever before, but a few would claim that we have more wisdom.

Going faster and faster, we may be still going astray. Just as grapes are not picked from a bramble bush, neither can the good life be harvested from sowing wild oats.

For a nation of people, many of whom are “educated beyond their intelligence,” as an anonymous wit once observed, America sorely lacks a sufficiency of men with real wisdom – that which is given by the Lord Himself.

In our modern education, we seem to be preoccupied with the accumulation of knowledge, to the neglect of that wisdom which alone can save us from the misuse of knowledge.

William Lyon Phelps, famous English professor at Yale University and a godly statesman, once said, “If I could choose between a knowledge of the Bible and a college education, I would readily choose the knowledge of the Bible.

If we lack wisdom, God’s wisdom, we need only ask of Him and He will grant it when we ask in faith, according to His promise in James 1:5.

Bible Reading: James 3:13-18

In order to live a supernatural life I’ll look for divine wisdom from the proper source – God, His Word, and His indwelling Holy Spirit.

By Dr. Bill Bright
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•  Wisdom and Knowledge of God
•  Get Wise
•  Salvation Explained

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” …sometimes we can find ourselves falling repeatedly into the same sin”  Many believers become angry with God for withholding victory, but sin is always our choice, not the Lord’s.


Please open your Bible and read: Romans 7:15 – 20.

Victory is God’s will for the believer’s life. But sometimes we can find ourselves falling repeatedly into the same sin. As a result, our prayer life is marked by broken promises to end wrongdoing. We tell the Lord that we yearn to do what is right, but often our desire wanes when virtue is no longer convenient, pleasurable, or profitable. Many believers become angry with God for withholding victory, but sin is always our choice, not the Lord’s.

If a stinging conscience and misery are the result of our decision to sin, why do we continue in wrongdoing? One reason is incomplete repentance. It is possible for us to experience grief, embarrassment, and shame over sin without being truly repentant. The reason is that penitence isn’t a matter of weeping or feeling guilty; rather, true repentance is a change of mind about sin so that we agree with God’s viewpoint. Then the heart turns in a new direction, opposite from persistent wrongdoing.

The second reason for failure is an inadequate view of our true identity in the Lord. The believer, as a complete child of God, has Christ living within to empower him. When we grasp this truth, we will recognize that sin does not fit who we are and will stop rationalizing our offenses. Our genuine repentance is based upon an honest understanding of our identity.

When we put these two truths together, a powerful tool against Satan and temptation is created. Our Father wants us to be victorious, and we triumph over failure when we remember that Jesus Christ is our life.

by Dr. Charles Stanley
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http://www.intouch.org/

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Further Reading

•  Dealing with Despair
•  Why Me Lord?  Why Not? A different perspective on being shunned or mistreated.
•  Salvation Explained

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Charles Stanley Thoughts by Men


Moses was trapped on every side,
but then he saw the Red Sea divide—
never give up!

Abraham could not bring forth a son,
but Sarah gave birth to the promised one—
never give up!

Gideon was the least of Israel’s men,
but God used him to save them again—
never give up!

Many others received help from God, too,
and it is certain He won’t fail you—
never give up!

“You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!” Hebrews 10:34-35 (NLT)

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV)

By Roy Lessin
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Further Reading

•   Why Me Lord?  Why Not? A different perspective on being shunned or mistreated.

•  Gentle Spirit How do I embrace a gentle spirit when I have been hurt and/or deceived?

•  Salvation Explained

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Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid
John 14:27

We were waiting for the traffic light to turn green. A car beside us (going the opposite direction) had her left turn signal light on, waiting to cross our lane. The woman in the car behind her was not impressed. Impatiently, she sat on her horn, then got out of her car with great anger and gave a tongue lashing to the driver of the car that was waiting to turn. The woman could have easily passed on the other side, but chose to vent her hostilities instead.

We sat watching this display of anger. We recognized the woman! I am sure she would have felt embarrassed had she realized she was being watched.

Our pastor spoke on Ephesians 2:11-22 this morning in church. It was all about peace. Peace provided to us through what Jesus Christ did…through His life, death and resurrection. What an appropriate message considering current world events. Peace for our hearts…and peace with those God puts in our paths.

Jesus spoke a lot about peace. He said,
Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

He also wants us to be peacemakers:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).

You and I don’t have the responsibility of making decisions that will affect world peace or war, but Jesus did provide the possibility for us to have inner peace and He wants us to do whatever we can to make peace with those around us. Let’s be peaceful inside and be peacemakers where we can. The Prince of Peace will enable us.

Lord Jesus, thank You for dying for us so we can have peace with God. Thank You, too, that You provide everything we need to be peacemakers with those we along our journey. Amen.

by Katherine Kehler
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Further Reading

Come Alongside – by John Fischer
Harsh Judgments Can Kill One’s Spirit

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Katherine Kehler Thoughts by Women


I love the cyclical effect of God’s word in our lives! As we respond to His word, He responds to us. As He draws us to Himself, our hearts are drawn to respond to back to Him.

It’s a beautiful cycle of God’s hand in our lives as we choose to bring Him into focus as we walk through our day.

Here is one of my favorite examples of this.

God tells me…

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Proverbs 4:23

In other words I need to tend to my heart and be the gatekeeper of it… being careful what attitudes I nurse, what thoughts I allow to make paths in my mind, what images and words I allow media entertainment to deposit there. The essence of my life springs from my heart. When my heart is at peace, peace springs from within me. When my heart is flooded with anxiety, anger, or edginess that is what will spring forth. My entire life is affected by the wellspring of my heart.

Then God tells me exactly how HE will guard my heart and mind and help me tend to the wellspring of my heart.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. Philippians 4:4-6

Prayer & reflection:

Lord God,
Today I choose to guard my heart by turning my focus to You and rejoicing in all You are to me.
Today I choose to be aware of Your constant presence with me and to allow Your presence to impact my responses with a gentleness of spirit.
Today I choose to see my worries as a call to prayer and to present each one to You.
Today I choose to live thankfully knowing You are able to handle all that concerns me today.
Today, as I choose to guard my heart, I praise You that Your peace, which is beyond understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
What a beautiful circle. Thank you Lord Jesus, for Your amazing grace and peace.
I pray this in Your powerful name, amen.

by Gail Rodgers
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Further Reading

•   Peace or Panic?
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Gail Rodgers Thoughts by Women


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13

This morning, I met with two friends who expressed that they are learning to trust Jesus at deeper levels. He has been faithful through many valleys and twists and turns in their journey. Now, one friend has to trust Him through the journey of failing health — not knowing what is around the corner. We affirmed that we would choose to trust the Lord through challenges and storms and that we needed deeper levels of joy and peace.

Paul reminds us that God is our hope. He is perfect, able, almighty, and greater than anything. He does not change, He is faithful, He keeps His word, and His flawless character assures His promises. He is able to fill us completely with joy and peace if we trust Him. To trust Him is to believe in His steadfast strength.

Paul says that in the power of the Holy Spirit, our peace and joy overflows — and will be more than enough. Is the LORD your source of confident hope? Will you choose to trust Him and rest in Him so you can find overflowing joy and peace?

We need the Holy Spirit to calm our hearts and give us the joy and peace we seek. It takes discipline to keep our eyes on Jesus and to look to Him as our source of hope. This involves staying in His word, surrendering afresh, and asking for the power to trust Him and experience overflowing joy and peace daily, and sometimes, even moment by moment!

LORD, as an act of our will we set our eyes on You today and look again to You as our source of hope. Thank You that You are greater than whatever set of circumstances we find ourselves in. Fill us by Your Spirit till we overflow with joy and peace. Calm our hearts and help us receive from You everything we need as we trust You. Amen.

By Donna Mitchell
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If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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•   Testimonies:  Why I Choose God
•   Going Deeper with God
•  Salvation Explained

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Donna Mitchell


“Bring all the tithes…so there will be food enough…if you do, I will open up the windows of heaven for you and pour out a blessing so great you won’t have room enough to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!” Malachi 3:10

An email with an interesting challenge came to me today. The email read, “I need your help. I am behind on a lot of bills. I am a waitress and each day I try to put back my tithes that I have made that day. But the bill collectors are calling and it seems that I need money to make ends meet. What do I do? I need spiritual help.”

Seems like she isn’t the only person struggling with tithing when she can hardly pay her bills. Let me give you the answer I gave her:

In the natural way of thinking, tithing doesn’t make sense if you are in debt; however, let me give you a promise from God:

Bring all your tithes…if you do, I will open up the windows of heaven for you and pour out a blessing so great you won’t have room enough to take it in. Try it! Let me prove it to you” (Malachi 3:10).

God promises that if we give Him the first tenth of our income, He will pour out a great blessing on us.

This has been our way of life (Marvin’s and mine) for all of the years we have been married and we certainly have been blessed. When we were very poor and when we had much.

But let me tell you a story about another waitress that illustrates this point. I used to lead a Bible study for businesswomen in Vancouver BC. Our waitress would linger and listen to our discussions. One week, we were discussing tithing and the waitress was very cynical. But the next Sunday, she decided to put a tenth of her weekly tips into the offering plate at church.

You can imagine her surprise when at the bus stop the next morning she found a significant amount of money lying on the ground. God has a sense of humor and He does keep his promises. I would encourage you to try it. He does keep His promises.

Dear Father, You have given us so many gifts we never open. Today, I ask that each woman and man that reads this devotion would give their tithe as soon as they get their pay check and let them be surprised by what You will do in response. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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Further Reading

•   The Generosity Habit
•  Heart Fully Committed to Him
•  Salvation Explained

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Katherine Kehler Thoughts by Women


A Mother’s Day Prayer

Heavenly Father, to you I pray…

On this day called, “Mother’s Day.”

Let all mother’s on earth give praise,
To you…for the children that you gave.

For you have blessed them from above,
with little souls to nourish and love.
Let them mould each one with care…
And teach them to be kind and share.

Forgiveness is the special key…
Start early on, to help them see.
Their fragile minds are easily impressed.
Please teach them ways, so they’ll be blessed.

Sow godly seeds into their minds.
With careful pruning, you will find…
Young adults with such strong roots,
all through life, will bear rich fruit.

And then have faith for God to show…
Them all the rest they have to know.
Remember they’re His children too.
For they were only lent to you.

Author Unknown

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I am grieved by the tone of today’s rhetoric as I am sure you are.

There is so much toxic public conversation with accusation, shaming, vulgarity, you-name-it. It troubles me. Are we like the frog in the proverbial pot of water on the stove, with the temperature being raised so slowly that we did not jump out when there was still time, before we boil? Can’t we all get back to more civil engagement with each other?

Colossians 3:12-15 As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts… And be thankful.”

How often this standard is violated in me and in our fallen world. These simple commands struck deep contrition in my heart as I thought about each characteristic.

Compassion: identifying with the distress of others to relieve their discomfort. God is described as compassionate more than 50 times in the Old Testament. The Gospel writers described Jesus as having compassion 5 times. And in the magnificent portrait of the father of the prodigal son, he was filled with compassion for his son.

Kindness: choosing to be considerate, others-focused, and generous.

Humility: The opposite is pride, which destroys as it makes a person feel more entitled, thus more demanding, more insistent on control and having the last word.

Gentleness: responding so that a person feels safe with you, essential to a relational bond.

Patience: choosing to be willing to wait for gratification or vindication.

Forbearance: choosing patient self-control, restraint, and tolerance; choosing being long-bothered without showing any ill temper. In law, it is refraining from exercising a legal right.

Forgiveness: choosing to give up the delusion that you yourself have nothing to forgive.

Love: choosing to live in 1 Corinthians 13.

Peace: choosing to commit to making peace, not war. Letting Jesus referee in your heart.

They are all about the character of God. He has shown Himself to be this to each of us. We now get to choose to respond to others out of our experience of His indwelling grace.

We all make choices every day. I choose to walk the Colossians 3 way.

By Sylvia Gunter
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FURTHER READING

•   God’s Plan – A Study on God’s Destiny for Me?
•   
Hearing God’s Voice – a Study by Charles Stanley

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A Poem of Hope

I feel the arms of God around me,
as I lay on my bed at night.
Asleep, I feel the Angel’s touch-
I’m surrounded and held tight.

I don’t know why it is,
that God should love me so,
that he would send His only Son,
to hang there on Death-row.

He guards me night and day,
always bringing love and hope.
Somehow, I know I will survive,
for He will help me cope.

As a father has compassion on his child,
so my Lord has compassion on me.
I know I can count on Him-
There is nowhere from His love I want to flee.

By Helena Fehr

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As Jesus was preparing to make His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, a prophecy given by Zechariah many years before, would have been on His mind. Jesus therefore asks two of His disciples to go to a nearby village, where they would find a tied colt that no man had ridden. He then tells the two disciples to untie the colt and bring it to Him with the words,

If anyone asks you, ‘why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it’…..” (Mark 11:1-3).

That colt became a symbol of the Palm Sunday story and became part of the fulfillment of the prophecy given by Zechariah which said,

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).  ‘The Lord had need of it’ and thankfully, the people released it to the disciples (Mark 11:4-6).

Thus began Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mark 11:7-10).

Today, as we remember Palm Sunday, what is Jesus asking from you? What does He need from you, to fulfill some part of His great plan in this broken world and in this prophetic age we are living in? Is it a gifting, a special talent, your time, your career, maybe part of your finances? Does He need your knowledge, your wisdom or your work experience? Whatever He may ask, as He speaks to you, do not hold it back, but release it freely, just like the village folk released the colt. If ‘The Lord needs it’, and you release it, He will do amazing things through what you offer Him!

Illustration:

I remember reading Pastor David Wilkerson’s powerful book ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’. In it, Pastor Wilkerson shares about how, on a conviction from God, he took a decision to give up his time of relaxation in the evening so that he could use that time to seek God’s face in a deeper way. As he kept honoring that commitment to God, one night God spoke to him about ministering to street gangs. The rest is history, as that was the moment when the worldwide ministry of Teen Challenge was birthed!! It all happened because he responded to what God was requiring from him.

Give to Jesus what He needs and be amazed at what He will do!

By Rev. Palitha Jayasooriya
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Heart Fully Committed to Him
Don’t Limit God

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“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD” Isaiah 55:8

We were travelling to California with our RV. We planned to work out of the RV (my husband on the phone and me on the computer) from a place that was both warmer and sunnier than our home in British Columbia.

The truck was doing a good job of pulling the RV over the mountain passes and we were enjoying the trip; however, unknown to us, the motor had a major weakness and traveling over the mountain passes was too much and we had to stop to have it repaired. We were told it would take a week. That was not part of our plan, but we both realized God had stopped us at this place for a reason.

Marvin quickly had his flight schedule changed so he could fly to Orlando from Sacramento. I was very thankful there was an Internet connection in the office building that I could use and keep on working while the truck was being repaired.

We were in a very small town – everyone seemed to know each other. They were friendly and weren’t in a hurry. They seemed to enjoy life. We often ate in a little restaurant called, Cozy Cow Café – their home-made food was delicious. Our stay was a good thing.

So often we make plans, but God has other plans for us. We knew God had stopped us there so we could make Christ known. We made friends with our neighbors and talked about the Lord with some of them. We left business cards at the office to direct people to the Retirement With a Purpose and Secrets of Success websites.

But most importantly, I think God wanted us to stop there, in that quiet town, so we could have an extended quiet time with Him. It was very good.

God continues to amaze me with how He directs us. Let’s remember to be flexible and not resist His leading. He always has something good planned for us.

We left for our planned destination a week after the truck broke down, but we have so many fond memories of the little town in California – the week God had planned for us.

Father, I thank You for the wonderful time we had in the small town. Thank You for changing our plans. Thank You for meeting us there. You know what is best for us. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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•   God’s Plan – A Study on God’s Destiny for Me?
•   What About My Plans?

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“Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5&6

We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God. John 6:69 (NIV)

Because the well runs dry, we know Jesus is the river of living water (John 4).

Because the storm rages, we know Jesus is the Lord of the storms (Matthew 14).

Because the floods overwhelm, we know Jesus is the rock on which to build (Matthew 7).

Because the foundation shivers, we know Jesus is the cornerstone that will not move (Matthew 21).

Because sickness comes, we know Jesus is the healer (Matthew 4).

Because we’re bankrupt through the debt of sin, we know Jesus is our redeemer. (Galatians 3).

Because we grieve, we know Jesus is the voice calling from the shore, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” (John 21).

Because we’re full of doubt, we know Jesus is the nail-scarred palm inviting our touch (John 20).

Jesus taught in the “nasty now-and-now” because he knew disciples with focused faith are never made in the classroom; we’re made in the uncertainty of life as we come face-to-face with “I can’t, but God can.

If we will allow it, our circumstances drive us deeper into the heart of God, and we change because we have believed

By Jon Walker
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The Trust Factor
Count Your Blessings

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