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

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have minds set on what the Spirit desires … You are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.Romans 8


Even as I depend on my computer for the activities of daily life, I am also frequently frustrated when my assumptions about what it can or will do prove to be in error. Why do margins or indentations change? How can information I thought I had inserted into a document suddenly alter? In their effort to explain this phenomenon, technology experts toss around the phrase “default setting” as though they think I understand! “The computer (or all new works of technology) is just returning to its default setting,” they say with feigned patience.

So what do these terms mean? A basic definition goes something like this: Default settings are controls of a computer or software as preset by its manufacturer. Some types of default settings may be altered or customized by the user.

A spiritual application comes to mind.

When God created us, he declared us good! His perfect default setting.

But then man and woman changed that setting by choosing to set themselves in opposition to God … they sinned. Ever since that point in time, a new “setting” has been a part of our nature: “All have sinned” (Romans 3:23) and “sin enter the world through one man, and death through sin … because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

But God in His infinite wisdom and love chooses to make possible a new default setting: Christ comes to not just change a few incidentals in our lives, but to make us new creations. He installs totally new controls – the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

Too often I think and act as though I must live according to those old settings, forgetting that because of the redeeming death and resurrection of Christ, and through the power of God’s Spirit I can walk as a new person.

We are not machines but children of God who loves us unreservedly and gives us all we need to walk in newness of life with Him.

Question: How can keeping the analogy of the “default setting” help us to direct our daily actions?

by Marilyn Ehle
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   God Is…

•  More than a Father

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Marilyn Ehle


“I love the Lord. He heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” — Psalm 116:1-2

Thought

Understanding the Lord’s love, presence, and nearness should lead us to serve him and to deepen our relationship with him. While we love God for many reasons, we want to express our love to him today especially for his personal concern for us. In a world where important people refuse to spend time with those “beneath” them, we are truly blessed with an incomparable God who listens to our every cry, recognizes our very own distinct voice, and tunes his ear to hear every one of our whispers. Yes! I will call on him, praise him, thank him, confess to him, and speak with him as long as I live!

Prayer

Father, you know each hair on my head and every thought on my heart. Thank you for hearing my prayers. Thank you for answering so many of them with the answer I sought from you. Give me patience when I cannot see your hand in the other answers that do not come as soon or do not bear the result that I request. I believe and trust that you are there and working for my good even when I can’t see it. I believe you always answer to your glory and my best interest. But please, dear Father, strengthen my faith so that I will never outlive my trust and faith in you. In the name of Jesus I ask it. Amen.

By Phil Ware
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Further Reading

•  God’s Plan – A Study on God’s Destiny for Me?

•  The Names of Jesus – A study

•  Study on Psalm 27 by Judy Douglass


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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Phil Ware


I heard the heartache in my best friend’s voice, “We had to hospitalize our son last night.  He was threatening violence.”  I could feel the pain and anguish through the phone lines and my heart went out to her.

My dearest friend is living day in and day out with an incredibly difficult situation.  Times without number she has felt that God has asked her to handle situations that are beyond what she can bear.  And yet, every time I see God’s grace exhibited in her life and in the life of her son.

They CHOSE to love a boy that was not their own.

Seven years ago, she and her husband chose to love a young boy that was not their own.  They welcomed him into their family and he became theirs.  He immediately had all the privileges of a son – love, care, family vacations, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles and cousins, wealth and most of all he was able to learn about God and His love for him.

He was given the privileges of a son!

(Isn’t that what God did for us!  He chose us to be His own children and welcomed us into the family with all the rights as an heir.  We hold the same privileges as His Son, Jesus. “But when the right time came, God sent His Son . . . God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as his very own children . . . Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.  And since you are His child, everything He has belongs to you.”  Galatians 4:4-5, 7)

This journey has not been easy, in fact I know she would say that it is, hands down, the hardest thing she has ever done or will do.  And there is no guarantee of the future.

Unable to accept this gift of LOVE. . .

You see, their little boy, even though he has been given this amazing gift of love, cannot accept it.  His past and the things that happened to him before he came to live with them have scarred his life and are holding him captive.  He is unable to embrace this love, to bask in its warmth and to allow its light to shine in his life.  He has built a fortress around his heart and to let that love in is too frightening and threatening for him.  He wants the love and is drawn to it but then pulls away because it threatens to break down his defenses.

As I watch this gifted and talented young boy run from true, unfailing, unconditional love, I cannot help but see myself reflected in him.

Why does my heart do this yo-yo dance with God?

I do this very thing with God.  I am His chosen child and I want His love, in fact I’m drawn to it like a moth to a flame but then I find myself pulling away because His love exposes my innermost being and I don’t like what I see. . .  Why is it so hard to receive pure and undefiled love?  Why does my heart do this yo-yo dance with God?  Why do I allow fear to keep me from completely enjoying and reveling in God’s incredible love? . . . . .

And then I think of my friend and her incredible love for her son.  She has given everything for him.  She loves him unconditionally and no matter how she is treated by him, she continues to give of herself, to endure through the pain and to love unconditionally.

True, Unconditional LOVE . . .

She is my hero!  She is the strongest person I know and she demonstrates God’s great love and incredible patience with him every day 24-7, 365 days a year!  In her weakness I see her strength in God grow and in her brokenness and pain I have seen God bring her unspeakable joy.

And as I see myself reflected in her son, I see God reflected in her – His grace that I did nothing to deserve, His patience when I am obnoxious and hurtful, His love when I am unlovely, His gentle touch when I am hurting and in pain.  That’s how my friend loves her son and that’s how God loves me!

“How great is the love the Father has LAVISHED on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”  1 John 3:1 (NIV)

by Kristi Huseby
Used by Permission


Would you like to know Jesus?
You can have peace and find hope and know forgiveness through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Saviour and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Bring peace to my world this Christmas. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.Amen


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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Further Reading

•  Overflowing with Life!

•  Spiritual Oxygen: Are You Getting Enough?

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Kristi Huseby Thoughts by Women

Growing up, I was always told to dream big. Some days that meant being a successful entrepreneur. Other days, I aspired to be an award-winning actress. When I won first place at science fair, I was determined to find the cure for cancer.

My mother always nurtured my dreams and reminded me nothing is impossible with God. As I progressed through high school and college, I gained the tools necessary to reach my dreams. Friends called me Wonder Woman because they “knew” I would change the world. When I found success climbing the corporate latter, I believed they might actually be right.

After I got married and became a mother, however, the only thing I ever changed was diapers. My dreams didn’t line up with reality, and the only wonder in my life was about whether or not I still had value. I knew raising our children was the most important job in the world, so I never regretted staying home. But my sense of self-worth was non-existent.

One day I sat on the front step watching my three-year-old daughter play joyfully in our dandelion-covered yard. She knelt down, picked a blossom, and ran over to me. “It’s a flower,” she said, thrusting the yellow bud of a weed into my face. “I love you, Mommy.”

I saw weeds, but my daughter saw flowers. I saw disappointments, but God saw dreams.

I was a missionary in the land of motherhood, and I needed to appreciate the season God had given me. I realized that although I might not be able to change the world through my achievements, I could change it through my actions, by loving and serving others, just like Jesus.

When Jesus walked the earth, He focused on relationships.

He changed the world one heart at a time, and He still does today.

As my life transitioned from toddlers to teenagers, I enlarged my sphere of influence by forming relationships with elderly neighbors, forgotten friends, and unappreciated individuals. I found that a person’s true value lies in who she is, not in what she does. Freedom replaced frustration when I stopped thinking about how I was going to change the world and focused on how Jesus already did.

It took a long time to realize my discontentment was the result of an idol in my heart: the idol of the extraordinary—my mistaken belief that everything worthwhile had to be big. It was the small things in life—praying with a friend, inviting the grocery store clerk to church, or reading the Bible with my daughter—that made the biggest difference in my life.

The world’s oceans are the result of a thousand rivers and streams, and the mighty Himalayas are nothing more than one small stone upon another. We are the sum total of our experiences, and the most valuable experiences are relational.

Certainly, nothing is wrong with dreaming big, but dreaming small helps us remember Who is in charge of the big plan and the incredible opportunity we have to be a part of it. I may not be Wonder Woman, but I am a woman walking in wonder when I see how God allows me to influence the world for Him one life at a time.

When I surrendered my idol of the extraordinary, I was able to appreciate God’s hand in the small and the not-so-small moments of my life. Seeking God became more important than seeking goals. That’s what Jesus meant when he said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33 NIV). When we seek God first, He uses ordinary things in extraordinary ways. How is He using you?

By Glenda Durano
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

Bloom Where you are Planted – the Diane Willis story

Why do You want to be Successful?  Business leader Peter Chung, a Christian business man, shares about his experience.

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Women

Read: 2 Corinthians 2:14-17


No one likes feelings of inadequacy, but they are something we must learn to handle, as none of us can avoid them permanently. Tragically, though, many people live with a cloud over their head because in their thinking, they never measure up. For some, this may be due to childhood experiences that negatively affected their self-image. For others, the problem stems from a lack of success related to work, relationships, marriage, parenting, or any number of things.

The area Paul deals with in today’s passage is our Christian life. He asks a question that points to a common insecurity: “Who is adequate for these things?” (v. 16). Have you ever avoided serving the Lord in ways that challenge your comfort zone? If so, you’ve probably missed a tremendous opportunity to overcome feelings of inadequacy. He’s promised to lead us “in triumph in Christ,” (v. 14) but unless we believe Him and step out in faith, we’ll never experience the life He has planned for us.

Feeling inadequate is not a sin, but using it as an excuse is. When the Lord challenges you to do something that you feel is beyond your abilities, you have two options. You can focus on Christ and proceed in triumph or focus on yourself and withdraw in defeat.

It’s really a matter of faith. God would never ask you to do something without empowering you to accomplish it. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will do it perfectly, but each step of obedience is a victory. The alternative is to play it safe, but then you’ll miss out on God’s best for your life.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by Permission 
http://www.intouch.org/

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Further Reading

•  Suffering – Spiritual principles to meditate on during hard times

  Beauty out of Brokenness

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Charles Stanley Thoughts by Men


When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume youIsaiah 43:2 NLT

I’ve read this verse so many times, each time soaking in the comfort it provides. Yet, when I read it again recently, there was more.

There was still the comfort and reassurance I was seeking, but there was also the reminder to persevere.

As much as I’d like God to remove the obstacles and difficulties I’m facing, that doesn’t always happen. He does promise, though, to be there with me.

As I persevere through the deep waters of disappointment and discouragement, He walks through the waves with me.

As I persevere through life’s storms and the rivers of difficulty, He keeps me from drowning.

As I persevere through the flames of oppression, hardship, and suffering, He keeps me from burning.

As I persevere through daily difficulties and life’s hardest days, God is there, walking with me—making sure it doesn’t consume me.

His promise to you, and to me—
He will be with us every step of the way.
Guiding, guarding, and protecting.
Offering strength, comfort, and reassurance.
Today and all of our tomorrows.

We only have to look to Him, trust Him, and rely upon Him.

He will be by your side, and mine, as we persevere one day at a time.

When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm; you will not be engulfed in raging rivers. If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs, keep going; you won’t be burned. Isaiah 43:2 VOICE

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission


Do you have Jesus in your life to walk with you as you persevere through your storms? Would you like to have a relationship with Him? If you do,  you can start today by committing and submitting your life to him. It starts with a simple heart felt prayer:

Lord, thank You for dying so we can be set free from all of guilt and sin — no matter how big or small.  Your blood has erased all of our sin. Thank You so much! Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen


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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Thoughts by All thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women


[The Lord says] “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”   Isaiah 41:10

Thought

Fear saps our will power and leaves us feeling depleted and hopeless. Yet very few of us have ever experienced a defeat so complete and bitter as the one God’s people faced when Isaiah shared this message of hope. The preservation of Israel through their horrors to the time of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead when all appeared lost, the triumph of the Church through centuries of persecution and opposition are all powerful reminders that underneath us are the everlasting arms of a mighty and loving God who will ultimately bring us to share in his eternal victory.

Prayer

Almighty and Eternal Father, it is such sweet comfort to know that you are always there. Thank you for always being there and guaranteeing my victory! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

By Phil Ware
Used by Permission
From: http://www.verseoftheday.com

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Further Reading

•   The Powerful Reality by Ruth Calkin

•   Angels: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Phil Ware


Heavenly Father, thank You for my children’s salvation. Thank You for choosing them to be children of mine and Yours. Thank You that You have lavished Your riches and Your inheritance on them, although they could do nothing to earn it or deserve it.

I pray for my children’s legs to walk always with You, not racing ahead, not lagging behind, not wandering off, but day-by-day walking with Jesus, so that He is their constant companion. God, take them where You want them to go and keep them from the places they shouldn’t go. Give them strength to continue when they feel weak. Give them courage to keep on walking with You, even when the road ahead looks uncertain and dim. Give them grace to bridge gaps, to leap walls, to span the separations between people and groups.

I pray for my children’s feet, that You would place them where You want them to stand. Plant their feet on the immovable rock of Jesus. Talk to them when storms come or the world’s attractions try to lure them down its path. Whisper in their ears and to their spirits, “Stand firm.”

Through my children’s arms, always do Your work. Strengthen them, hold them up, and direct them to do whatever You want them to do. Make their time valuable for eternity, not just the quick flash that is the span of their days on earth.

I pray for my children’s hands that they will often fold them in prayer. Make them mighty in prayer. Teach them to pray after Your own heart. Enable them to live their lives so that everyone will see Your signature, “This one is the Lord’s.”

Give my children the patience to wait on You, Lord, so that You may renew their spirits and they may soar as on eagle’s wings.

By Your enabling power, make my children’s will as strong as iron for clinging to what is good and resisting evil. Cause them to be unyielding in following righteousness and rejecting anything not pure, holy, and completely from You. Make their wills toward You as pliable as spun silk when You convict them of sin or following their own ways. Give them tender hearts and teachable spirits for You, God.

I pray for my children’s character, that You will make it strong and godly. Use godly men and women to mold, shape, and weave their character, beliefs, and views of You as You want to make them.

Enable by Your grace that their conscience will be clear. I pray they will keep a short list of accounts with You and quickly acknowledge sin to You and confess their wrongs. Give them the humility to seek forgiveness from the ones they offend. Enlarge their hearts to grant forgiveness freely, even before it is asked, when they are wronged.

I pray for my children’s heart, that You would guard it. Keep them protected, covered, shielded, and sheltered from all harm that seeks to touch them. Make their hearts soft when they should show compassion, firm when “tough love” is required, and always holy.

By Your power, protect their bodies. Keep them well and safe, and heal them when they are sick or injured. Hold them and comfort them when they are afraid, lonely, sad, or discouraged. Give them the strength and the courage to keep on keepin’ on when they feel they cannot any longer.

I pray for my children’s minds, that regarding the things of Christ they will be full of knowledge and wisdom, and regarding the things of sin they will be ignorant. Give them Your wisdom and discernment to evaluate what they see.

Light my children’s eyes with the light of Christ shining within them. Filter what they will see through holy filters. Protect them and keep them, for the devil masquerades as an angel of light. Give them holy understanding to see past the surface, to see the world from Your perspective, and to respond as You would.

Father, put Your Word in my children’s ears and in their hearts frequently. I pray that they will not listen to unwise counsel or foolish talk and will seek Your wisdom and Your ways all their days.

I pray for my children’s mouths, that words of praise and prayer will be on their lips always. Curb them from speaking rashly or without thought, so that they will bring honor and glory to You. I pray for my children’s countenances, that they will reflect Your glory and the radiance of the hope that is alive within them.

Sanctify their pocketbooks, and teach them to be good stewards of what You give them. Teach them the principles of Your economy, the way to manage and use the things that You loan them. Beyond finances and possessions, make them good stewards of their talents, time, and opportunities You send. Help them to acknowledge that everything is Yours, and because of that, they need not worry or fear loss.

I pray that they will abide in righteousness and live worthy of the One who purchased their lives from destruction and eternal death. Show them that life is in Christ alone, that there is no other source of life, joy, light, peace, comfort, love, or truth that can endure forever, and no other is pure or holy but You.

Father-God, I place all these things in Your hands in the name of the One who is able to do all things, beyond anything we ask or imagine, to whom is all glory, honor, and praise, Amen.

-Charley Gunter, praying for Richmond and Margie Louise

Looking at a picture of your children or grandchildren, or with the indelible memory of them before your mind’s eye, pray for them. Set them apart from head-to-toe for God’s purposes and glory. You might include their future mates in this prayer.

by Charley Gunter
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Father’s Day

•  My Dad’s Love – Frank shares a true story of how his father’s love affected his life.e

•  Salvation Explained


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Jesus, I’m so grateful that you gently lead and insistently love me in the midst of both faith and fear.


They were on their way to Jerusalem with Jesus leading the way, those who followed were afraid.”
Mark 10:32

They had heard Jesus teach on the green hillsides, they had eaten the bread and fish He miraculously supplied, they had watched boys, girls, men and women touched by His heavenly healing. They believed Him to be the Savior. They followed Him. And now they were afraid. His words now contained the not-so-good news that following meant far more than food and healing and good feelings. Following this Jesus meant walking with Him all the way to the cross in Jerusalem.

We read in the Bible that at the cross only a few women stayed near their bruised and battered Lord, but scripture and history confirm that the fearful followers eventually returned. Their fear turned into the deep faith that would move mountains of hate, replacing them with love and joy and promise. They would bravely tell the world that following Jesus brings both earthly peace and eternal life. He transforms fear into faith.

Jesus, I’m often afraid on this path of following you, but I’m so grateful that you gently lead and insistently love me in the midst of both faith and fear. I want to be a faith-full follower. Help my faith to grow.

By Marilyn Ehle
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   We Plan – God Directs

•  Stepping Into a Personal Revival

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Marilyn Ehle Thoughts by Women

He said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.’Genesis 22:5

God had told Abraham to go and sacrifice his only son whom he loved. This was obviously a test of obedience and complete trust in God, as seen later in the story. One key thing I want us to take note of in the verse above is the word, “worship” used by Abraham. He was in the process of carrying out the instruction of God and he called it worship. We worship God when we obey His word to us.

Obedience to God’s instructions may not be the simplest thing to do as far as the flesh is concerned, but as we choose to be led by the Spirit instead of ourselves, we will experience the provision and the blessing of God.

Abraham was about to sacrifice his only son whom he loved! Is there anything you hold dearly in your heart above God? Anything or anyone you love above God? The first commandment is this: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul. God can at anytime lay a demand on anything He has given you. Let’s remember that our very breath belongs to Him. A life of complete obedience to God is an act of true worship.

Heavenly Father, please give us the grace to walk in complete obedience to you as our act of true worship. Help us to continually remember that you are our source and that we were created by you and for you in Jesus name. Amen.

By Folasade Oladapo
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   Going Deeper with God

•   Stories:  Why God

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Folasade Oladapo

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

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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
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•   God is Bigger than all my Problems

•   Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All