Category: thoughts by Muriel Larson

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“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light…and find out what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:8,10)

It is not easy for us as Christians to keep ourselves pure as we live for Christ. We are bombarded from every side with temptations to sin and compromise. Today, more than ever, we are assaulted by temptation and sin in TV, music, movies, and even games.

What a blessing then, that God gives us such excellent principles to live by that will protect our minds and hearts so that we can live as children of light.

We can Love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, and minds to keep our minds pure (Matthew 22:37-38).

We can enjoy good relationships with others as well as harmony in our lives by loving our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:38).

We can renew our minds by ridding them of junk – anger, resentment, bitterness and grudges that grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30-31).

Jesus said if we truly love Him, we will keep His words, and He and the Father will make their abode with us (John 14:12).

What would it look like if you lived as achild of the light’? How do you guard your heart against temptation and sin?

Lord God, help me to follow Your principles by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Keep me humble and walking as a joyful testimony to the exciting truth that You make children of light out of those who truly trust You as Savior. Amen

Meditate on these scripture verses and ask God to show you how to live in the Light of Christ.

by Muriel Larson
Used by Permission

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thoughts by Muriel Larson Thoughts by Women

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Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

We lived on a high ridge in a scenic area. One day I headed to town and the beautiful day lifted my spirit. Looking ahead I saw clouds blanketing the land below.

It was pea-soup fog all the way down. Later, returning home, I broke through the cloud-bank into the golden rays of the sun again as I neared the top.

That’s just the way it is in life! Life seems to be going quite smoothly–and then we hit the fog. As I went toward that cloud bank, I shifted gears and put on the lights. So when we see trouble coming we can switch to “prayer mode,” and really start talking to our Lord who is the Light! And He can bring us through.

If we face the fact that we will go through trials, we can trust God’s promise that He will work everything for our good. But if we become angry, bitter, and resentful, we’ll be miserable. Keep looking to our Lord and depending on Him, above the clouds the sun is shining–and this trial will pass.

Dear Lord, help me to keep on trusting You, no matter how thick the fog! Amen.

by Muriel Larson
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thoughts by Muriel Larson Thoughts by Women

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When my husband was pastoring a small country church, I took a part-time job in a bank to help make ends meet.  I liked my work and my co-workers.  But one young woman frequently made remarks or did things to hurt me.

I found myself resenting Paula (not her real name), and feeling sorry for myself because I had to put up with her cutting remarks.  Such things are known as abuse, and can quite ruin one’s day!

Lord, how can I handle this?” I asked.  “I want to live peacefully with everyone but it’s hard not to answer back. And when I don’t, it sort of lays on me like a rock!” It was hard also not to harbor resentment and anger toward Paula. But, I knew if I did that, it would rob me of peace and perhaps cause me to respond in kind.

Light from God’s Word

As I talked to the Lord, this verse came to my mind:

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (NIV).

Then I remembered Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount about how to deal with those who hurt us. I decided to pray for Paula and seek God’s help in being especially friendly and thoughtful toward her.

It worked! Before long she and I became good friends, and what a difference it made in my work day! When my husband took another church and I left my job at the bank, Paula threw a wonderful going-away party for me!

Thus I found that love is God’s answer to hostility. What?  Me love that unpleasant person who hurts me? Yes. The Lord Jesus gave this recipe in Matthew 5:44.

First, he told us to love our enemies and bless them.  This sure runs against our earthly grain, doesn’t it? But the Lord can help us do that. And here’s how: Jesus also tells us to pray for our enemies.

As I have prayed for Paula and others who have hurt me, the Lord has helped me realize that something in their background has probably contributed to the way they speak and act. Often they are miserable people. This gives me a feeling of compassion for them and makes it easier to forgive and pray for them.

The Lord also told us to return good for evil. As we do this we will see God at work.

Heavenly Father, You know the places where I find it hard to respond with Your love and kindness. Please fill me with Your Spirit today so that I might have gentle words on my lips and prayers for those who are a challenge to love. Amen.

Is there someone in your life that is hurting you but who needs your love and your blessing? How will you begin returning good for evil?

By Muriel Larson
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For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light…and find out what pleases the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8,10

It is not easy for us as Christians to keep ourselves pure as we live for Christ. We are bombarded from every side with temptations to sin and compromise. Today, more than ever, we are assaulted by temptation and sin in TV, music, movies, and even games.

What a blessing then, that God gives us such excellent principles to live by that will protect our minds and hearts so that we can live as children of light.

We can Love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, and minds to keep our minds pure Matthew 22:37-38.

We can enjoy good relationships with others as well as harmony in our lives by loving our neighbors as ourselves Matthew 22:38.

We can renew our minds by ridding them of junk – anger, resentment, bitterness and grudges that grieve the Holy Spirit Ephesians 4:30-31.

Jesus said if we truly love Him, we will keep His words, and He and the Father will make their abode with us John 14:12.

What would it look like if you lived as a ‘child of the light’? How do you guard your heart against temptation and sin?

Lord God, help me to follow Your principles by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Keep me humble and walking as a joyful testimony to the exciting truth that You make children of light out of those who truly trust You as Savior. Amen

Action Step: Meditate on these scripture verses and ask God to show you how to live in the Light of Christ.

by Muriel Larson
Used by Permission

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Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/m-larson_living-in-the-light/

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Give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Carol’s parents were divorced and she never knew her father. The hurt festered in her heart.

As a teacher she enjoyed a particular gifted boy in her class. One day Mark said, “I won’t be in school tomorrow. I have to go to my grandmother’s. My parents are getting a divorce,” he started to cry.

Carol touched his arm. “Mark, I know how much this hurts you. My parents were divorced and I never even knew my father. You have had yours with you for 11 years, and I’m sure he loves you and will keep in touch with you. This doesn’t mean you won’t have a happy life. God has a purpose for you and even though this has happened with your parents, you can someday have a happy marriage, just as I now have.”

Suddenly, Carol realized she was thankful she could use her experience to comfort Mark. As she bowed her head and thanked God for the blessing He could bring from this unhappy dimension of her childhood, the resentment and pain she had carried for years began to dissolve and relinquish their hold. Tears of joy ran down her face. God truly redeems our lives.

Thank you, Father God, that You redeem our lives from the pit and crown us with love and compassion. (Psalm 103:4) Amen.

Action Step: Start a conversation with someone today who is in a difficult experience. Share your story of how God has worked in your life.

by  Dr. Muriel Larson

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keyboard
by Muriel Larson

As church pianist I started to play the introduction for the choir during the morning service. After several measures, I glanced at the keyboard and was so startled that I almost missed a beat. There, on middle D, lay a stunned cockroach flailing its legs. Obviously it had run into the path of my flying fingers.

What could I do? Gritting my teeth, I went on, gingerly trying to avoid middle D, but not always able to do so. (The choir number would be in the Key of D!) Finally, halfway through the first verse I was able to flick the now-deceased roach onto the floor. (Well, that’s one way to kill a roach!)

Some problems we may face are not so easily resolved as a cockroach on a keyboard. They might not be brushed off during the first phase of the situation. We may have to live with them longer than the first verse. But I have learned that if I just keep looking to the Lord for grace and trusting Him with a problem, He takes care of it one way or another.

Sometimes as we pray, He shows us ways to make the situation easier, as I did by avoiding the “middle” D while I played. Sometimes He shows us how to deal with the situation, as I did by flicking that roach to the floor during a whole note in the melody. (Thank heavens for piano “hold” foot pedals!)

Then during or after the resolving of the problem, there’s the cleanup. After church I went to the rest room and washed my hands off using liquid soap. But in dealing with life’s problems, we may often need a more comprehensive spiritual cleanup.

It may be necessary to ask the Lord to forgive us if we have sinned.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We may discover a need to forgive any who have hurt us. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

And let’s never forget the One Who guided and helped us! Let’s thank and praise Him for His help and deliverance.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever” (Psalms 107:1)

Question: Are there problems you’re facing that you haven’t yet brought to the Lord in prayer?

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2014/03/18/ml_cockroach-on-the-keyboard/

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devotional onlineIf you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:10-11, (emphasis mine)

The perfect formula for JOY is “Jesus, Others, You.” When you put Jesus first in your life, you stay with Him and have the joy He promised His followers. When you are concerned about others and helping and encouraging them, you have no time to wallow in self-pity or self-concern. You see the needs of others, and your heart goes out to them. As we help them spiritually, emotionally, or materially, we can experience a joy unknown to self-centered people.

Sometimes the Lord lays someone on my heart whom I should phone. Often that person has exclaimed, “Oh, I’m so glad you called! I needed someone to talk to, someone who would pray with me!” After talking over their problems and praying, they often reach a state of rest in the Lord and I receive the wonderful blessing and joy of knowing God used me to help.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39)

Put Jesus and Others first and YOU will have joy!

Who or what are you putting first in your life? Are you experiencing JOY? Is there someone you could be a blessing to today?

Father God, Thank you that You have given us the formula for joy. We know it is in putting You and others first in our lives. Forgive me for my self-centered ways and for the times when my self focus clouds You and others out. Guide me today to someone I can be a blessing to and fill me with Your Spirit as I go. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

by Muriel Larson

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Faith can be expressed through prayer…

How to Pray in Faith to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

We are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith alone. However, true prayer is one way of expressing your faith. The following is a suggested prayer:

“Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, bow in prayer and trust God to fill you with the Holy Spirit right now.


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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You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2013/08/17/ml_jesus-others-you/

Thoughts by All thoughts by Muriel Larson Thoughts by Women