Category: <span>thoughts by Rev. D. Forster</span>

Step outside your trials and ask God to give you a new perspective on it…His perspective.


Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 (NLT)

Our faith will be tested; this is just a fact of life. How we deal with these times, is what is most important.

Often when trials come our way, or things don’t go our way; we quickly pray to God for the trial to end, or pray for the circumstance to go our way instead. Not that there is anything wrong in praying this way. However, if we only pray this way and fail to see the other side of the coin, we could be missing out on a blessing in disguise.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.James 1:5-6 (NLT)

Sometimes we are led into trials or difficult circumstances in order so that we may grow. It is not that God has forsaken us, nor that He is not with us; in fact, it is quite the opposite. His promise to us is that He is forever faithful, and that He is always there with us. When we truly believe this, we allow ourselves to see these trials differently.

We allow ourselves to say to God…”OK, this stinks, but I am going to trust in You Lord and rely on You as we go through this. How can I grow from this Lord? Are you moving me into a new season? What is your purpose and plan in this Lord?”

I recently heard a testimony from a woman that is living this scripture completely in her life. She is battling cancer, and she thanks God for the cancer. Why would anyone say this, you may ask? She will gladly tell you it is because this trial in her life has allowed her to share His Good News with so many people that she would never have encountered in her life otherwise. Now this is a woman who has complete faith and trust in God when it comes to her life.

Take a moment to step back from your trial. Step outside of it and ask God to give you a new perspective on it…His perspective. When we see things in how God sees things, we grow, and we are continually transformed by His Grace.

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NLT)

by Rev. Daniel Forster
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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 Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster


Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2 ( ESV)

I decided to take a bit of a sabbatical from writing last month. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and I felt that I was not spending enough time with God, and for me to properly write these devotions or do anything in life…that time with God is essential. An interesting thing happened though as I began my sabbatical, you might say I came under physical and spiritual attack. If anything could go wrong, it did.

I find it very odd that when we feel miserable it is so difficult for us to seek God and feel His presence. It is almost as if our flesh puts up a giant wall. I realized how short and mechanical my prayers had become. I also realized how hard it was to pray for others, because I was so focused on my own misery.

I also physically had trouble reading, so I stopped turning to His Word as my life raft. I will admit, it took me a day or two to fully realize what was happening here. With all the distractions – physically, mentally, and spiritually – I was starting a slow fade.

Mark Hall, front man for the band Casting Crowns, said that a slow fade marks the regression that happens when Christians aren’t living intentionally. He explained it this way:

People don’t crumble in a day. You don’t fall; you fade. In your mind, there’s that pride that says ‘I’d never do that’… but you don’t just do it, it’s a slow, series of compromises, little ones that go there eventually, until you’re sitting in a place you’d never go, doing something you’d’ never do… and yet the way you’re living totally makes sense to you somehow because you’re so numb.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2 ( ESV)

The distractions in our lives will lead us away from the one thing we need more than anything else in this world – Our God. We can all fall victim to our distractions and not realize that we are slipping from God’s presence. We must keep talking, and walking with our God. We must keep praying, even when we can’t muster the energy or it feels forced. We must open our hearts and humbly come before our Lord, our God.

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”  1 Corinthians 10:12-14  (ESV)

Heavenly Father, We lift ourselves up to You today. Lord You are our Savior. You are everything. Help us oh Lord. Help our souls, our hearts and our minds stay on You. You are our first love Lord God. Help us to see the distractions in our lives and help us to come back to You. Lord we just want to be in Your presence all the days of our lives. Help us to keep from the slow fade Lord, open our eyes and our hearts to where we stand, so that it may always be with You in your temple. Father we ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

By Rev. Daniel Forster
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Further Reading

Continuous Partial Attention Is your prayer time undistracted?

• A Bible Study on Waiting on God By Sylvia Gunter

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10 (HCSB)


I will never forget my first Christmas as a follower of Christ. I was thousands of miles from home, grieving my mother’s passing, battling my addictions, flat broke, and almost out of hope. My life seemed bleak and I couldn’t understand why. Desperate for understanding, I sought out my pastor and he read today’s verse to me.

We have a God of hope, faith and love. He comes to offer life in our darkest hours, while the thief seeks to kill and destroy. God doesn’t offer us a bed of roses; in fact, our situation can sometimes feel like a bed of thorns. His abundance is not found in our circumstances or material possessions. Rather, it’s found deep within our hearts.

When Paul and Silas were arrested in Philippi, their circumstances could not have been much worse; they’d been beaten, whipped and thrown in jail. If they’d focused on their circumstances, they would have lost their joy and hope, but turning to God in songs of praise, abundance came alive in them. The Holy Spirit filled them with hope, faith, and joy.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (HCSB)

If your Christmas is looking less-than-ideal or is even painful, remember that God hasn’t forgotten you. He wants to fill you till overflowing with His hope, peace, and joy. Press in to His abundance by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, help us to press into Your hope and Your faithfulness Lord. Help me rest in Your promise of an abundant life and know that our circumstances are just temporal. Amen.

By Rev. Daniel Forster
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Further Reading

•   Christmas Section
•  Stories:  Why God
•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

What fears are holding you back from boldly stepping into the abundant life God has for you?


God gives us the choice of how we wish to see the obstacles and mistakes that fill our lives. Like the other choices He allows us to make, we can either listen to the world and let failure consume us, or we can listen to Him and learn to succeed through Him.

“And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ (Matthew 14:28-31 ESV)

Like Peter, when we try to succeed in something, we often start out strong. As believers we know we should seek Jesus, so with our eyes on Him, we step out in faith looking to succeed in what He has called us to do. Then, just like Peter, we usually run into an obstacle or two and become distracted. We are manipulated, lied to, or hurt; something in the world causes us to take our eyes off of our Lord and Savior.

If this has happened to you, you are not alone. Peter experienced distraction too and his life turned out remarkably. We know from Scripture that Jesus will always be there to grab hold of us and rescue us. We also know that there comes a bit of conviction from our Lord when we fail and take our eyes off of Him. What we sometimes forget is that His conviction is for our own good. It is a gesture of love, designed to bring us to repentance, which brings us closer to Him.

Each time we fail, we can grow closer to God as He teaches us how to succeed in Him and through Him. We have a choice: accept our failures and throw in the towel, or repent and turn our eyes back onto Jesus, learning to succeed in the will of our Father.

Many believers are afraid to even step out of the boat; fear of distraction or failure holds them back. Saints, failure is part of our growth process, and by God’s grace, it even brings healing.

Do not let the world put fear in you that keeps you from stepping out in faith and walking in the will of God. Let us cast away these fears and continue to walk in faith, knowing that His nail-scarred hand is right there to grab us when we fail.

Let us believe confidently that His grace and mercy is showering down on us to bring us closer to Him. Let us step out off the boat each and every day, letting our light shine in the dark places of this world. May our faithful steps glorify Him and His mighty name, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Lord, please give me the faith to trust You fully and obey You without reservation. Help me to see every failure as a chance to run to you so I can experience the life of Jesus living through me more and more each day. I choose to step out of the boat today. Amen

What fears are holding you back from boldly stepping into the abundant life God has for you? How could you overcome those fears through Christ?

by Daniel Forster
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God’s Mysterious Ways

Don’t Limit God

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Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the LORD because he is good to me.” Psalm 13:5-6 (NLT)

It is human nature to doubt God’s unfailing Love. Love in its natural form is not unfailing, but quite fallible. We are often let down by the love of others and left with scars. Therefore, we can think of the love of God along the same lines, expecting that His Love will at some point fail us, as others have failed us.

This line of thinking, however, is far from the truth. His love is not only unfailing, it is forever faithful. Our actions, sins, and poor choices will never change the love God has for us. What greater Love is there than this—that the Creator of life itself would sacrifice Himself for His creation? It is the actions of God that declare His Love for us, not ours. His love is based on His character, not ours. He has paid way more than we could ever pay for our debt of sins. He sacrificed his own life in our place.

It is this demonstration of unfailing love that enables us to overcome our own dysfunctional view of love and be transformed, so we can love like He does, even forgiving those who do not love us in return. Because of His love, we sing along with David: “The Lord is good to me.”

Lord, we thank You and praise You for the unconditional Love You have shown us and continue to shower us with. Help us Lord to truly see this love and to allow it to transform our lives. Help us love others as You have Loved us, so they may see and know You. Amen.

Thought: What is holding you back from trusting completely in God’s love? If any doubts or scars come to mind, bring those to God in prayer and ask for help to grow in trust. Take time to reflect on His love today.

by Daniel Forster

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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.  Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)

In our society and culture today, we like to have it “our way”, and we like to have it “now”. I often think of the T.V. commercials for cash settlements, in which everyone is shouting “I want my money now”. Whether we mean to or not, we often take this mentality when it comes to our faith. We look for God to answer immediately and on the spot. We want to know today in which way to go, and not wait until tomorrow.

I often fall into this routine myself, and I call it microwave faith. If I’m hungry, and short on time (as I often am) I love to throw something into the microwave, eat, and run. When I ask God where He wants me to go and what He wants me to do, I tend to expect the same results. Pray, questions answered, and then off I go to the next task on my list for the day. The problem with this mentality is that we lose heart if we don’t get our answers right away. When we lose heart, we tend to pray on it less and less; to the point where in my experience, I will make a decision from my flesh, and not in the Spirit. God sometimes responds immediately, yet often He is the God who enjoys a good slow cooking. Let’s be honest…if given the choice of a microwave burrito, or a slow cooked pulled pork sandwich; which would you choose? God wants to transform our minds to see things His way, and to think as He thinks. To do this, it sometimes takes a slow cooking process.

Let us then wait upon our Lord, and wait with patience and endurance…”His” that is, and not our own. Let us continue to seek His presence and call upon Him to help us with all of life’s decisions. Let us not rush our Lord, but let Him guide us on His time…for His ways are perfect and righteous, as He is perfect and righteous. Let us not lose heart, yet lean on Him more and more each and every day.

Lord, help me to not look for the instant and the now, but to wait upon you, abiding in you, soaking in your Spirit as you transform and guide me in this life. Let me humbly serve you Lord and not myself. Let my thoughts, my actions, and my words glorify you God; as others may see you and not me.

What are the instant microwave moments in your life?

by Rev. Daniel Forster
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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:3-8, ESV)

How often do we look to our own interest? How often do we look to the best interest of our family, of our church? Is it possible that our interest may not be in the best interest of others, because it may not be in God’s will?

It is easy for us to think that our interests will also be in the best interest of others. We must always keep in mind though, that we will not always see as God sees, or think as God thinks. Paul writes to have a mind which is in Christ Jesus. Jesus only did what the Father wanted Him to do. Did Jesus have any personal interests, and did He follow through on them? Yes, He had them, yet He did not follow through on them unless it was in the will of the Father.

Then he said to them,My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.’ And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’” (Matthew 26:38-39, ESV)

To have a mind in Christ Jesus is to understand that it is not about us. This is a concept that we understand with head knowledge; yet when it comes to our actions and thoughts in our lives, we naturally struggle. I say naturally, for our sin, our flesh, fights always against the will of God.

The only way to have a mind of Christ Jesus, and to double-check ourselves when it comes to our own personal interests, is to seek God and ask Him in prayer. Is this not what Jesus was doing in the scripture above at Gethsemane? He sought God in prayer, for He always sought to do the will of the Father, and not His own.

Father, Let us seek you today Lord. Let us hold all of our interests and wants before You Lord. Let us surrender them to You and see if they are in your will Father. Let us be willing to let them go if they are not in Your will. Lord we trust You, we have faith in You that You know better than we do what our interests should and should not be. Let us humble ourselves before you, and let you be number one in our lives. Take the wheel Lord, and guide us to where you want us to be, we ask this Lord in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Questions: Is your interest lined up with the will of the Father? How do you know for sure?

By Rev. Daniel Forster
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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11 (NKJV)

A woman recently decided that life was not worth living anymore. She walked onto a highway overpass, determined to jump into the rush hour traffic. As she stood on the edge, traffic just drove past her; people walked by without a word. Love was nowhere to be found. But then a bus driver saw her. Filled with God’s Love, he pulled over, wrapped his loving arms around her, and pulled her to safety.

This is a picture of true love for one another. True love, unlike the love we often produce, has no strings attached. True love is forever faithful and is never ending. This is the sacrificial love that God has for us: “…God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8, NLT)

Only His love enables us to love one another, for we cannot produce such charity on our own: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11 NKJV). How sacrificial is the love you are offering others?

Heavenly Father, please open the floodgates of heaven and let Your love flow through us. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, grace and compassion so we may love one another as You have loved us. Amen.

Spend a few minutes meditating on the love described in 1 Corinthians 13:1-7. Then humbly confess how your love has fallen short. Ask God: “Who do You want me to go out of my way to show love to today?” Spend a few minutes listening for the answer.

by Rev. Daniel Forster
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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.Romans 5:1-2 (ESV)

Our faith brings peace with God. What a powerful statement, yet there is more to this sentence. The verse goes on to say, “through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Our peace comes from God, by our faith, through our Lord Jesus Christ. If it weren’t for Jesus, you would not be receiving the peace from God by your faith. It is all about Jesus. The second verse points to this. “Through Him” we gain access by our faith in His grace. Our faith leads us to Jesus Christ, which leads us to His grace, which was given to us on the cross.

What is grace? Some say it is a church word. It is actually a real word used to describe the love God showers upon us. The definition of grace is “to receive something you do not deserve”. If we look at God’s word, it is clear to see that we do not deserve His love. In fact, we most often deserve His punishment for how we treat Him and others around us. This “not getting the thing we deserve” is defined as mercy.

Verse 2 says, “by our faith into this grace in which we stand”. Our faith leads us to discover a love we don’t deserve. And yet God gives this love to us. This grace comes in the form of God himself taking on human form. This grace and mercy comes in a form of Jesus taking our punishment for us by dying for us on the cross. By our faith we stand in God’s grace as free beings, free from sin, free from punishment.

We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. We praise God for what He has done for us. How could we not rejoice? We live now in victory – victory over sin, and victory over physical and spiritual death.

By our faith we have peace from God given by His grace. Shout to the lord and rejoice! Walk out your door today and let the world see His peace and joy in you. Raise that chin up, for you have victory today, and every day, for all eternity through our Lord Jesus Christ.

“The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers.” ~ A. W. Tozer

Father, I pray today that many will come to discover the grace that You give us, and many will come to be reminded of the grace that You give us. Lord I pray we do not walk around the world angry and defeated. Lord I pray we walk in Your grace, full of Your love, mercy, and compassion. Lord, let us walk with You so our lives look more like You. Help us with our unbelief, and turn our hearts and minds anew to You Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Question: How does God’s grace bring peace in your life? Does His grace show in your life?

by Rev. Daniel Forster
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Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:22-24 (ESV)

Why do you work? Do you work hard at your job? I know, it’s too early for that many questions, but it is a very serious subject. In our society, it is proper to work hard for your boss, or to work hard for your family. These are good things as long as you are doing them by working hard for the Lord. Not sure what that means? Let’s see what Paul says:

Ignore the bond servant (slaves) word. In the King James Version it uses the word servant, which would be more proper. Slaves were a cultural thing, not a biblical thing. Notice Paul says, “obey your earthly masters as one who fears the Lord. . . not as a people pleaser”. When you work hard for your boss or your family are you doing it to be a people pleaser, or are you doing it with sincerity of your heart, as one who fears the Lord? What’s the difference you might ask?

If you work hard in all things for the Lord, you are in His will, just as Jesus did all things as the Father asked Him to do. When God said go, He went, when God said stay, He stayed. We need to have the same approach to our work. Man will manipulate and deceive you. Family will manipulate and deceive you, but God will not. In all things we need to pray and seek His wisdom so we are working hard for Him. There is a huge difference!

For years, before I gave my life truly to Christ, I worked for myself. If I held a second job it was for me to have more money, or for others to have more. I worked for material things, and for selfish reasons. My heart was not on God, it was on me. I made a lot of money in those days, yet the funny part is that I had nothing to show for it except brokenness and heartache.

My son barely saw me, and when he did, I was angry, exhausted, and had no patience. This wasn’t just because I was working so hard, it was because I was doing it on my own, and for me. I felt I was entitled to be short on patience and angry. I had no fruit of the Spirit in me. Now, I work just about as hard as I did then, and for a lot less money but my life has a much different look. When I am at work, I no longer grumble and complain, I do all things to serve Christ. Now I work hard for God, and not for man. I am blessed, I am happy, and my heart is at peace.

Just a side note: Working hard for God will not earn you salvation. You cannot earn your salvation, nor can you earn His Love. It is a gift.

Father, We pray today, that in all we do, we do it for You. Lord let us humbly and fearfully work for You and not for man. Transform our hearts Lord God. Let us not be lazy, nor selfish. Let us have our eyes and minds on You, being led by Your Holy Spirit. We praise You Lord, for every blessing You provide for us and our families. Let us not use these blessings for ourselves in selfish ways, yet use them in how You see fit for us. Be our captain, and steer our lives Lord, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Question: Do you work hard for you, or for God?

By Daniel Forster
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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.” Luke 19:6-7 (NLT)

God’s love and grace have no limits. He sees our hearts. Praise God He does not see what others see! Praise God that our hearts are drawn towards Him so we may find the salvation He gives us in Christ Jesus and be in His presence. Today I want to share one of my favorite scriptures on grace. On how He loves us, even when we don’t deserve it!

Take out your Bible and read the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:2-10.

Zacchaeus is no different than any of you reading this. He was a sinner, just like me. He was a sinner who knew there was something special about Jesus. He knew in his heart that he did not like who he was and wanted to be right with God. God pulled on Zacchaeus’ heart and he responded. Now Zacchaeus was a thief, a liar, and a cheat. Nobody liked him, and we see this in verse seven. The crowd could not understand how someone like Jesus would want to be around a cheat like Zacchaeus.

Let me ask you something. Have you ever told a lie in your life? Have you ever taken something that did not belong to you at any point in your life? Have you ever bent the rules just a bit to allow something to go your way ever in your life? If you answer honestly you will most likely hit 2 out of 3 on these questions. So what is the difference between Zacchaeus and us?

There is no difference, except that the whole town knew what Zacchaeus had done. Yet, Jesus Christ wants to be a guest in his home. This is grace. This is the love God showers on us. We don’t deserve it. It is grace that called out to Zacchaeus to come down from that tree, and it is grace that saved Zacchaeus soul that night as Jesus stayed as a guest in his house. It is grace that touched the heart of Zacchaeus that led him to give back what he had wrongfully taken. It is grace that saves the lost, and that saves sinners like you and me. Praise Jesus!

Father I pray today that we would see ourselves for the sinners we are. I pray that we are humble enough to realize that in no way do we deserve Your love or Your blessings. It is only by the gift You have given us in Jesus Christ that we are able to come into Your presence. Let us praise you and thank you for the grace You shower on us. You don’t keep track of our wrongs and our sins. On how You love us even when we are Your enemy! You gave us Jesus to save us. Thank you Jesus, Hallelujah, we praise Your name Lord! Amen.

Question: Do you understand the grace of God’s Love?

By Daniel Forster
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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

Prayer: Lord, we love to be in control, and we like to think we know how best to serve you. Help us not to fight against paths that you would have us take. Amen

Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem. But Paul and Barnabas traveled inland to Antioch of Pisidia. On the Sabbath they went to the synagogue for the services.” Acts 13:13-14 (NLT)

When I first became a born again Christian, the opportunity of a lifetime to serve came about. I leapt to the occasion without a second thought. Then, just a week prior to the start of the project, God’s Spirit rose up within me and clearly told me to walk away. No reasons were given – just a clear command from God.

In some ways, this is similar to the untold story of Mark. Mark was on a journey that was the opportunity of a lifetime — serving alongside Paul and Barnabas while they were literally changing the world. Then, out of nowhere, Mark announces he will return to Jerusalem and not continue on with the mission.

Many have speculated as to why Mark left, but several facts remain clear:

  • Luke left out a description as to why Mark left.
  • Some supported Mark (such as Barnabas), while others were angry and disappointed (such as Paul).
  • Mark would later go on another mission with Barnabas and become a respected leader in the Church.
  • Mark would later write the Gospel of Mark.

God clearly had a plan for Mark, as He does for all of us. To be Spirit-led, we are to follow His lead. This can sometimes cause dissension, as it did with Mark, and as it did when I decided not to go ahead with what seemed like a wonderful ministry opportunity. However, we must have faith in God’s guidance. Only God knows the roads we must go on to truly be His hands and feet in the world.

Lord, we love to be in control, and we like to think we know how best to serve you. Help us not to fight against paths that you would have us take. Give us the strength to have faith that you will never forsake us or lead us astray. Help us to truly be Spirit-led. Amen.

By Daniel Forster
Used by Permission

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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

John 14:27 I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.”  John 14:27-29 (NLT)

Peace of mind and heart, is something we as humans seek every day of our lives. We have many different names for it, like happiness, or love, and even financial success. These things though, will not give us the peace we truly seek. It is temporary or fleeting. They fill a small hole or gap in what we call our heart and for a short time we are content. Yet, as time goes by the restlessness returns, and we are off again looking fo the next thing to give us some peace.

Jesus says two very important things here, first that His peace of mind and heart is a gift; and second, it is a peace the world can not give you. What do you do with a gift? You accept it and open it. The peace that some of us spend our entire lives looking for, is a free gift laying right on our door step. Go get it! Open it up and receive true peace of mind and heart. Jesus clearly states it is not the peace the world gives us. Please brothers and sisters, stop looking for this peace in success, money, relationships, and things of this world. The peace we seek is in Jesus Christ! Look what Jesus tells Thomas just a few verses before this one:

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NLT)

What we seek is in Jesus Christ, in Him is our peace of mind and heart. In Him is forgiveness, love, grace, mercy, truth, strength, hope, and rest.

Father, I pray today we seek your greatest gift to us, the gift of your one and only son, that today we me find our peace in you. Lord, let us rebuke the false teachings of the world, let us not fall for the traps and snares for the false peace of mind the world offers us today, instead let us turn towards you, seek refuge in you Father God, Lord I pray that we rest in your loving arms today, surrendering our lives unto you, receiving our gift of peace of mind and heart, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

by Daniel Forster
Used by Permission


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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

father son dad boy child parent

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:19)

Somehow upon receiving the freedom that comes when we accept Christ into our lives, we come up with a false notion that following Jesus is going to be easy. Because of this false notion, many folks who decide to give their lives to Christ end up returning to the life they were saved from. The enemy plants lies in their heads – that God is not with them or that the freedom they briefly experienced was not meant for them.

All we have to do is look at what Jesus faced and come to terms with the fact that we will face these things too. It is not that God is not with us, nor is His grace unobtainable. These lies are tools used by the enemy to deceive us. There are four things I want to share with you today, that Jesus experienced and we will too.

1. We will be tempted. (Matthew 4:1-11) Jesus was tempted and so will we be. In fact if you notice, immediately following the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus after His baptism He was led by the Spirit, to be tempted. We will face temptations every day of our lives. We need to call on Jesus when we face these temptations, for He knows all too well what we are going through. We will walk away from these temptations deeper in His word, stronger in Him. His word is our protector and our shield.

2. People will try to trick us. (Matthew 22:15, Luke 20:20-26, Matthew 15:1-9) Has someone ever told you a lie or manipulated you? Have they ever walked you down a path so that they may get you to stumble and look foolish? Has someone ever spoken behind your back to get you to slip up publicly? This is called gossip and deceit, and we face it every day. The question is…will you hate the people or the sin?

3. Spiritual forces will attack us. (Ephesians 6:12) All throughout the Gospel we see demons being cast out of people. If the people then were attacked, why would we not be attacked? The good news is that spiritual forces have no power over Jesus. Put the whole armor of God, and be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18a) Pray for the people, hate the sin. Pray against the evil forces that manipulate those around you. Seek refuge in His temple from the enemies that come at you. Read Psalm 27, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

4. The world will not like us, and will try to silence us. (John 15:18-20)This is the kicker of all kickers. This is the game changer the enemy uses to the best of his abilities to get you to walk away from God. This sadly, is where many of us fall as Christians.

Let’s look at verse 19. “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” When we follow Christ we cease to be of the world anymore. The world will not love and accept us as it used to. Many will try to bring you down or hurt you. This is why fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ is so important. We need support from each other so we can love those who hate us. We need to show the same grace that God shows us so the world may truly see God in us. Read James 1:2-4.

Is our walk with our Lord and Savior an easy one? No. Is it worth it? YES! Folks, through all of these things I listed that we will experience as followers of Christ, we must remember that this world is only a temporary home. Let our minds be mindful of the eternity we have been promised by our God to spend with Him. I can’t speak for any of you, but for me, I will gladly face any of these things above to spend eternity with my Father, my God, my Savior. The coolest part is that through all of these things that we experience, we grow closer to God, and our relationship grows deeper and stronger.

God in Heaven, When it feels like the whole world is against me, remind me that You are for me. I have the great privilege on being on Your side. Help me to never discount the miracle of my salvation. When things get hard help me to be quick to run to You. In your name I pray, Amen

Questions: Do any of these things, or something not mentioned, keep you from following Christ; or keep you at a safe distance from God?

By Rev. Daniel Forster
Used by Permission

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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

When Suffering Strikes we Have a Choice

As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?” Hebrews 12:7 (NLT)

When suffering strikes we have a choice ? to give in to the suffering or to endure. To suffer seems unfair and unjust. But it can have purpose. In some cases, the suffering is there because God is trying to change our perspective and increase our trust in Him.

Discipline is a hard concept for an adult to comprehend. Children are supposed to be disciplined and the adults are to be the ones to do the disciplining. God doesn’t see it that way because He sees all of the redeemed as His children, no matter their age. If we weren’t His children, He wouldn’t bother to discipline us.

We are prone to walk down a wrong path, whether it is in ignorance, self-deception, or due to the influence of others. There are times we may walk down the wrong path on purpose. Yet in every instance, God wants to protect and teach us through the discipline of endurance.

Peter’s denial of Christ, while he waited outside as Jesus was interrogated, is an excellent example of this (Matthew 26:34-35,69-75). For Peter, in the moment of being questioned, the choice was an obvious one ? survive and deny. Once that rooster crowed though, Peter knew he had taken a path that God would never want him to take again. The time between the rooster crow and the breakfast on the beach when Jesus reinstates him to be a leader for the faithful was a time of reflection and maturity for Peter (John 21).

Discipline is hard to receive, especially when we believe we are in the right. Take a step back from your circumstances and listen for the “crow of the rooster.” When we come to terms with our broken humanity, we become stronger as children of God.

Lord, help me get past myself so I may understand your ways. I don’t want to sulk in the corner and justify my actions. I want to learn, and I want to grow. Love and teach me as my rightful father today and for the rest of my life. Amen.

By Daniel Forster
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