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


Today too many Christians have lost their hunger for God.

Instead of coming into the Lord’s presence hungry for more of His fullness, our thoughts are held hostage to worldly pursuits and fleshly distractions. At best we are merely curious about spiritual realities, but not truly hungry.

Let me tell you a story that illustrates what I mean. We have a little dog named Sophie. Sophie loves people food. To her, eating people food is the culinary equivalent of entering the Kingdom of God. She loves our food. She even has a Bible verse that she claims in faith, “Even the dogs get the crumbs” (Matthew 15:27).

When my wife and I share a meal, Sophie will sit at our feet, squint her eyes, and stare at us (she thinks squinting makes her cuter). Any food that falls to the floor instantly vanishes into her mouth. No matter how much of her food she has already eaten, she is always hungry for ours.

Our home has a small, fenced-in yard outside our porch where Sophie plays. Although the fence surrounds the area, there are gaps where the pickets don’t quite reach to the ground. If Sophie wanted, she actually could squeeze under the fence and get out, but she normally has no reason to try.

Occasionally she will get curious and go as far as the gate, stand there a while and look out, but she doesn’t leave the yard.

One day, though, my wife decided to feed a few slices of stale bread to the birds that nest on the other side of the fence. When Sophie went out an hour later, she immediately noticed a human food smell in the air, which she tracked to the bread outside the gate. In less than a heartbeat she found a little gap under the picket fence, flattened herself to the ground, and then shimmied beneath the fence to the bread on the other side. It was gone in less than a minute.

My point is this: hunger will take you where mere curiosity would never go.

My friend, God is looking for hungry people. Blessed are those who hunger. He is seeking people who are truly seeking Him. Indeed, He has bread from Heaven for us, and it is eternally satisfying. We cannot afford to settle into the routine of a fenced-in reality, not when God has eternal food prepared for us. Let us, therefore, follow our hunger as we pursue the presence of God.

By Francis Frangipane
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FURTHER READING

•  Hunger and Thirst – by Bill Bright

• Hunger and Thirst for God -by Charles Stanley

 Cry of the Hungry and Thirsty | A Perspective on Adversity – by Lynn Mosher

thoughts by Francis Frangipane Thoughts by Men


The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4


Thought

Words are powerful. Communicators know this. Negotiators know this. Deep down, you know this. Words have blessed you and words have devastated you. The healing that comes from a kind and tender word is precious. The destruction of a cruel taunt or a well-told deception is crushing. To have such power is amazing. To use this awesome power found in our speech is an awesome responsibility. Words do have the power to give life, hope, and peace when offered in love to honor Jesus. Let’s speak that word today!

Prayer

O Father, I want my words to be a blessing today. I want them to reflect your grace. I want them to bring healing to the hurting and comfort to the grieving. I want them to be tender with the broken. I want them to be honorable and truthful in difficult circumstances. I want them to be upright when the language around me is crude. Through your Spirit, use my speech to bless others and bring you praise. In the name of Jesus, your ultimate Word, I pray. Amen.

By Phil Ware
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FURTHER READING

•  Why is What I Say So Important? by Dr. Henry Brandt

•  The Power of the Tongue  – by Mary Pinckney

The Power of the Tongue – by Katherine Kehler


 

Thoughts by Men thoughts by Phil Ware


And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.Matthew 7:28-29 (NKJV)


Humans will corrupt the Word of God, it is in our nature. It was common place then by the scribes and religious leaders, as it is common place today, to take the Word of God and use it so it is advantageous to our wants; our way of life. When Jesus spoke, this was not the case. He spoke with authority as the Word of God. There was no agenda at all hidden behind His Words. Jesus spoke with a clear agenda, with the authority of God, to remove the facade of religion; to bring us into a relationship with Him.

Jesus in Chapter 7 of Matthew is clearly calling us to do more than just acknowledge His Words; He is calling us to follow Him. To follow others and the ways of the world will only lead to a way of life that is the “wide or broad way“, as opposed to the “narrow” way. There is no room in a relationship with Jesus for judging others, using prayer as a way to show authority on others, or to do to others that you would not want done to you.

This is His authority on which He speaks from. This is the Word of God from God Himself. No scribe or leader would speak this way, for it is not the way of humanity; it is the way of God.

Matthew 7:21 (HCSB)

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ?only? the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

by Rev. Daniel Forster
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Authority Over the Enemy – by Bill Bright

• Waiting on God – How Do We wait? – Bible Study by Sylvia Gunter

God’s Masterpiece  – by Sylvia Gunter

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Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster


I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O LORD, but with justice; Not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing.Jeremiah 10:23-24


Life is like an untraveled trail with complex twists and turns. Appealing activities can be detours that lead to the quicksand of sin. And engaging philosophies may form side paths that end up in a mire of muddled thinking. Even the best route isn’t all sun-dappled meadows and quiet riverside lanes. We may at times have to journey over hard terrain or shadowed valleys. The only way to be sure we’re walking right is to follow one who knows the way perfectly.

God is the perfect, full-service Guide. No one can go wrong by keeping to the pathways He selects. Consider that He lovingly and intentionally created you for this time and this place. The Lord watches over your steps because He desires to see your purpose fulfilled and His plan come to fruition through you (Proverbs 3:5-6). Therefore, He promises to counsel those who follow Him (Psalm 25:12). When God warns His children away from a tempting sidetrack, it is because He foresees the dangers that lurk on that road.

There’s a correlation between ignoring God’s guidance and ending up in trouble: the one who stumbles off course has trusted his own “sense of direction”—his emotions, desires, or personal version of morality. He’s been pursuing what feels good or looks right instead of seeking the Lord’s will.

God has mapped out the path before you. He is aware of every obstacle and miry pit, and He knows exactly which sidetracks will tempt you. What’s more, He has committed to walk beside you as a Guide and Comforter so that you never face the twists and turns of this life alone.

by Dr. Charles Stanley
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Staying on God’s Path

•  Dangerous Path

Light on My Path

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thoughts by Charles Stanley Thoughts by Men


And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.Luke 29:42-43


A few days ago the state executed a man who had been on death row for thirty-two years.

He had been found guilty of a heinous crime of the murder of a young girl.

He was said to have found Christ while in prison and was seen on his knees asking for forgiveness. Only God knows how sincere he was, but his last statement was Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The point is that it is never too late nor a life too filled with sin to accept salvation. A major turning point in Christian history occurred when the Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. The result was the end of persecution of Christians and the beginning of Christendom.

Now I am not suggesting that one live a sinful life and then plan on a deathbed conversion. I am reminded of the old bumper sticker: “If your plan is to turn to God at the 11th hour, pray you don’t die at 10:30

At the end of his life, blind and humbled, Samson finally realized his utter dependence upon God. He was blind, but now he could see. No matter how far you’ve fallen away from God, no matter how big you’ve failed, it’s never too late to humble yourself and depend on God. Ultimately, through his sacrificial death, Samson turned his miserable mistakes into victory. Let Samson’s example persuade you; it’s never too late to turn to God.

The most high-profile deathbed last-minute conversion to Christ in the Bible is the case of the criminal crucified alongside Jesus (Luke 24:39-43). Only moments before his own death, this criminal had been an unbelieving mocker of Christ. However, at the last moment the criminal repented and acknowledged Jesus as the heavenly King. The Lord gave him the blessed promise, “_Today you shall be with Me in Paradise_.”

Some people say they have sinned too long and too bad to ever be accepted by Christ. Don’t you believe it. Your sin is never too great and the hour is never too late, but why take a chance? Besides, living a Christian life on this side of heaven is a joyous experience that you don’t want to miss.

None of us can go back and make a brand new start, but anyone can start from where they are and make a brand new ending.

by John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

FURTHER READING

It’s Never Too Late – by Fab Batsakis

• Never Too Old –  by M. Jantzen

Better Late Than Never by Terrie Todd

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thoughts by John Grant Thoughts by Men


“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” Romans 8:35-37

Thought

Are we really conquerors despite “trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword”? (Romans 8:35) Yes! That is the Father’s ultimate assurance to us through Christ Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ. The Evil One and his allies can kill our bodies, ruin our finances, wrack our physical being with pain, and seek to destroy our relationships. However, the Evil One cannot have our hearts when they are surrendered to Jesus. And when our hearts belong to the Lord, so does our future, and Satan cannot change our ultimate future with Jesus (Colossians 3:1-4). The empty tomb of Jesus assures us that our future with him is glorious, victorious, and unending.

Give me eyes to see, O God, and a heart to believe that Jesus’ victory over death is my victory, too! I don’t want to be derailed from my hope, faith, and love by life’s difficulties. Instead, I want to be a living testimony to your power, victory, and grace. In Jesus’ name and for his glory, I live and pray. Amen

By Phil Ware
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Further Reading

•  Today with the Lord 
•  The Lord Never Changes
•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by Men thoughts by Phil Ware

Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth.” Isaiah 50:1-2a

In this passage, the Prophet Isaiah seeks to comfort the people of Israel. So, he begins with a plea: If you want to pursue a good and holy life, then listen to me. Pay attention to the One from whom you were created, and to the wise patriarchs from whom your identity was shaped.

Isaiah’s words are poetic and beautiful, but what does it mean to listen to God? How might we listen to Him today?

Recently I chatted with experts in listening attentively and empathetically to callers who suffer from depression, loneliness, or various life hang-ups. I asked, “What does it mean to listen to God? More than that, how do we listen to God?” The responses came quickly:

1.  Get still, and undistracted.
2. Pray and commune with God’s Spirit.
3. Read the Word and consider its meaning for you.
4. Seek counsel from godly people you trust.
5. Spend time in the grandeur of creation.

As follow-up, I asked another question. “What gets in the way of listening to God these ways?” One person smiled and said, “Just ignore the list above!” Upon further reflection, others offered that hindrances included busyness, computer screen time, worry, and not planning to listen.

Perhaps it is time to pause, get quiet, and listen for God’s still small voice in silence of prayer, His Word, observing His creation, or in an intentional conversation with a respected and godly friend. But, if we do that, will we listen?

Dear God, thank you for your presence. May I take steps today to slow down, become aware of your prompting, meditate on your Word, and listen well to a wise person, so I may hear your voice of comfort and conscience. Amen.

By Dr. Bill Strom
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thoughts by Bill Strom Thoughts by Men


Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.  And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’  So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’  “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21


We’ve all heard jokes about men who refuse to stop and ask for directions.

But in reality, there’s probably a good bit of truth to the stereotype, and it isn’t limited to males. Plenty of men and women in this world zoom along without slowing down to ask for guidance.

If you were to look at the situation from a spiritual perspective, you’d see a world of lost souls desperately trying to save themselves. They think they can earn their way into heaven through hard work and the accumulation of good deeds. But they’re wrong.

Today’s passage from Luke describes a wealthy person who makes a lot of plans based only on his own thoughts, desires, and experience. Take the time to look at the passage again, and notice how many times he used the words “I” and “my.” What you’ll see is that his focus was squarely on himself. This parable is a sad picture of the self-directed man trying to make his own way and secure his own future with no help from anyone–including God.

The Lord didn’t mince words: He called the man “fool” (v. 20). Worldly wisdom amounts to nothing in the eyes of our omniscient, all-wise Father (1 Corinthians 1:20), and He expects His children to request and follow His guidance.

The message for us today is clear: When we figure out our own plans and take action with no thought about what God would advise, we are behaving like fools. The Lord has a plan for your life. He knows where you’ll succeed and where you’ll fail. Be wise and ask Him for directions.

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

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FURTHER READING

The Spirit Filled Christian Life Explained

• Balloons – by Mike Woodard

God’s Plan or My Plan? – Don Myers on Discerning God’s Will

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thoughts by Charles Stanley Thoughts by Men


For God had far better things in mind for us that would also benefit them, for they can’t receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race.” Hebrews 11:40 (NLT)


This is the way Hebrews 11 ends – that great chapter on faith that includes the faith-driven, God-pleasing exploits of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets, along with all the martyrs who were tortured, whipped, chained in dungeons, stoned, sawed in half, killed with the sword, or went about in sheep and goat skins, hungry, oppressed and mistreated, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. These are those who now make up that great “cloud of witnesses” in Chapter 12: 1. And they are not just politely cheering us on; they have a stake in our faith.

I’ve been wrong about these witnesses. I used to think they were there as spectators cheering from the grandstands of heaven – as if to say, “We did it, so can you,” which would be a great encouragement indeed were that the case, but it’s more than that. They are more than witnesses; they are teammates. They are the first runners in the relay race down on the field, all huddled around the finish line ready to receive us because they want to win, but they can’t win without us. They are the rest of the baseball team surrounding home plate waiting for us to touch home with the game-winning run. They are the first three swimmers on the relay team screaming at us from the side of the pool to give it all we’ve got.

So the next time you feel like slacking; the next time you contemplate that little sin that’s not going to hurt anyone but you; the next time you discover yourself thinking your life doesn’t really make that much difference; the next time you start thinking your most significant days of faith are behind you; the next time you think you’re just waiting for eternity to get here, well… think again, because the likes of Noah, Abraham and Paul, himself, are counting on you. You’ve got the baton now, and they can’t receive the prize they fought so hard for until you finish. So get off your butt, John, and let’s go!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

by John Fischer
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Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men


In the famous lace shops of Brussels, Belgium, certain rooms are dedicated to the spinning of the finest lace with the most delicate of patterns. These rooms are completely dark except for a shaft of natural light from a solitary window. Only one spinner sits in the room and the light falls on the pattern while the worker remains in the dark.

Has God permitted a time of darkness in your world? You look but you cannot see him.

You see only the fabric of circumstances woven and interlaced. You might question the purpose behind this thread or that. But be assured, God has a pattern. He has a plan. The Bible says in Romans 8:28,

In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” He is not finished. But when he is, the lace will be beautiful!

By Max Lucado
Used by Permission
From:  Anxious for Nothing

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FURTHER READING

God’s Plan or My Plan? Discerning God’s Will

We Plan – God Directs

Destiny’s Child: He Chose Me First

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thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men


”Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave —  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:26b-28


Do you believe the Lord is calling you to greatness?

I’m not referring to the kind of greatness the world knows, but the counter-cultural greatness of a committed Christ follower.

In my initial immature years as a believer, I thought receiving Christ as Savior was the beginning and the end of my eternal relationship journey with the Lord. Regrettably, many believers are spiritually stagnant. Ultimately, as I immersed myself in Jesus’ Words, I realized that receiving Christ is only the initial relational response in my intimate discipleship journey.

In Matthew 20, Jesus’ disciples, exhibiting an entitlement mentality, resentfully debate their perceived position and power in the Kingdom. Jesus corrects their perspective — clarifying that unlike the religious elite of Jesus’ day who thrive on power, prestige, and prosperity, His disciples must exemplify selfless, surrendered, servitude. Throughout the gospels, Jesus models and emphasizes intentional servitude. This compulsory discipleship dynamic reflects Kingdom greatness, and by God’s divine design, refines character — transforming the inner man to represent and reflect His Son, Jesus.

God calls every believer to embrace Kingdom greatness. As I continue to immerse myself in Jesus’ words and character, I realize that salvation is only the spark to the flame of our intimate and eternal relationship with God. Yes, Jesus saved us from sin, but more importantly, He saved us to serve — not exclusively within the comfort and confines of church community, but also to authentically represent and reflect Him within our broader communities of hurting and forgotten people.

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to understand and embrace Kingdom greatness. Create in me a servant’s heart — a heart that strives to emulate Jesus’ servant heart to a broken and hurting world. Open up opportunities for me to serve within my own community. Amen.

By Allan Mitchell
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www.thelife.com/dailydevotions

FURTHER READING

•  Empowered to Serve– A Poem by Margaret Mullings

•  Free to Serve – by John Fischer

Serving Faithfully and Fully – by Julie Lairsey

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thoughts by Allan Mitchell Thoughts by Men


For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”  John 3:20-21 (NKJV)


As a follower of Christ, when someone asks you what you think about a particular topic, it is better not to give them your opinion, but rather, to state what you believe. As a believer, your faith is not based upon your opinion, but upon the truth of God.

Truth is different from opinion because it is founded in the nature, the character, and the will of God. Truth is different from opinion because Truth is eternal. Truth is different from opinion because truth is not influenced by national interests, personal interests, or cultural interests. Nations rise and fall, cultures come and go, and personal interests can differ from one life to the next.

Truth is a plumb line by which every life, nation, and culture can measure itself.

Truth is an anchor for the soul of every life, nation, and culture that wants to hold steady against the winds of adversity.

Truth is a light to the path of every life, nation, and culture that seeks to walk free from the deceptions that lead it into darkness.

Truth is the power that exalts a life, nation, and culture that desires to be kept from falling downward into reproach and shame.

Let the words of truth be in your love songs; Let the knowledge of truth be in your prayers; Let the practice of truth be in your kindnesses; Let the beauty of truth be in your worship; Let the utterance of truth be in your proclamations; Let the choices of truth be in your character; Let the celebration of truth be in your praise.

One of the most important parts of our legacy is to have followed the path where God’s truth has taken us.

“Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:5 (NKJV)

By Roy Lessin
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FURTHER READING

•  The Walk of Obedience – by Mary Pinckney

•  Blessed Obedience – by Ideletter McVicker

•  God Requires Risky Obedience – by Jon Walker

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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Roy Lessin


Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

Jesus says the merciful are shown mercy.  Forgiving others allows us to see how God has forgiven us.  The dynamic of giving grace is the key to understanding grace.  For it is when we forgive others, that we begin to feel what God feels.

Those who taste God’s grace but refuse to share it are tortured by anger; choked by bitterness; and consumed by revenge.  But for the one who tastes God’s grace and gives it to others, the reward is a blessed liberation. The prison door is thrown open.  And the prisoner set free is yourself.  Find the face of God who forgave you in the face of your enemy. Then set your enemy and yourself free.

By Max Lucado
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To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
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FURTHER READING

Jesus Desires Mercy, Not Sacrifice – by Jon Walker

The Mercy of the Lord – by Charles Spurgeon

Mercy and Grace – by Dr. Bill Bright

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thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men


Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”  Matthew 14:14 (NLT)

How do you keep doing for others in the midst of chaos in your own life?

Jesus withdrew to be alone after hearing that his cousin, John the Baptist, was beheaded. But when he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them. Compassion is defined as a desire to help someone who is sick, hungry, or hurting. Jesus wanted to ensure that the crowd had what they needed even at a time when he was in need and the disciples wanted to send the crowd away.

Jesus, knowing the needs of the people, did not turn them aside. He laid his own need aside to ensure the people were taken care of. After doing so, he continued to a place of solitude to pray. By making time to withdraw and pray, he stayed connected to his source and ensured that he would continue doing the will of the Father. This gave him the power, the grace, the instructions, and the wisdom to complete his assignment on earth.

God is asking us to serve others with a heart of compassion just as Jesus did, but at times our own selfish ambitions get in the way. Often, we are so fixated on our own needs or our own insecurities that we miss valuable opportunities right before us. The key to helping to meet the needs of others is first recognizing that God is always our source. When we come to him admitting our insufficiency, he takes what we have and multiplies it.

Lord, I come to you today asking that you fill me with a heart of compassion and love for others. I ask that you minister through me today to those who are in need of your love and grace. I desire to love as Jesus loves. Most of all, I desire to please you in all that I do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission
From: https://findingtruthwithin.com/

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Put On a Heart of Compassion by Charles Stanley

Compassion-ate – God’s Compass and God’s compassion

Just Being Nice – Thoughts about God by Doug Lim

thoughts by Mary Pinckney Thoughts by Men

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. ” Matthew 6:34


Written from a quote and recorded by several artists, it became a popular tune. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” also reminds of Jesus discourse in Matthew 6:25-34. In it He gives us a real formula for a happy life.

I confess; I am a worrier. I worry too much, often about things in the past, often about things over which I have no control and often over things that probably won’t even happen. Jesus wants us to live a day at a time and trust Him. I need to apply these words of Jesus to my life and write them on my heart and so do we all.

Here are Jesus’ words in seven bite size morsels, a list for us to chew on about why we should not worry. Remembering that planning (with the Lord’s direction and guidance), is not worry:

6:25 – The same God who created life in you can be trusted with the details of your life.

6:26 – Worrying about the future hampers your efforts for today.

6:27 – Worrying is more harmful than helpful.

6:28-30 – God does not ignore those who depend on Him.

6:31,32 – Worrying shows a lack of faith in and understanding of God.

6:33 – Worrying keeps us from real challenges God wants us to pursue.

6:34 – Living one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry.

It can be hard to comprehend the Biblical concepts of joy and happiness because our culture has trivialized and sentimentalized these states of being. Society tells us real joy is impossible if we are not always happy with our relationships and possessions.

Paul had something about not worrying as well. (Philippians 4:6-7). “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

By John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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Further Reading

Overwhelmed by Negative Feelings?

•  Why Worry Yourself Sick? – by Muriel Larson

•  Salvation Explained


thoughts by John Grant Thoughts by Men