Sunday, October 15, 2017

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Jesus is the Son of God.

The very first verse in the Bible tells us that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. In order to create time, heavens and the earth, God had to stand outside of it. To me, this tells me God is very powerful. At the same time, no detail is missed by the Creator, including the hemline of the priest's robes (Exodus 39) and the very hairs on my head. This tells me God is amazing.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head
are all numbered. Don't be afraid;
you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:7
God, the Creator, spoke and it was, and He has given us His Son. Born of the virgin Mary, Jesus Christ is the Son of God. God gave Jesus all authority. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. By belief in Christ, we have access to God. Jesus is God incarnate.
He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation. 
For by him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth,
visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things were created by him and for him.
Colossians 1:15-16
For God was pleased to have 
all his fullness dwell in him,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
whether things on earth
or things in heaven,
by making peace through his blood,
shed on the cross.
Colossians 1: 19-20
Have you read the Parable of the Tenants lately? Jesus tells us in Matthew 21:33-45 a story about a landowner who planted a vineyard. Tenants rented from the landowner. When harvest came, the nasty tenants beat the landowner's servants who had come to collect the fruit. Then, the landowner sent his son, thinking the tenants would respect his son.  
"But when the tenants saw the son,
they said to each other,
'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him
and take his inheritance.'
Matthew 21:38
Don't kill your opportunity. People become children of God because of their belief in Jesus Christ. If we were all born children of God, there would be no need for redemption. (With babies, I trust God's judgment.) Trust God. Pray believing. Pray praising. Present your petitions to God in Jesus' name. I'd rather believe only to find out it never was than to not believe and find out it really is. 

Catch the Orange Leaf that the Maple Tree freely gives. By grace, we are saved and wait with hope. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

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Autumn arrives in arrays of color. The Fall season reminds us of God's faithfulness. Promises sealed in His Word have been realized, are being realized and will be realized. 

Have you read Isaiah chapter 55 lately? I encourage you to do so. It's worth your time. Being encouraged is like that—it's so good, you want to share it with YOU! 

When I read Isaiah chapter 55, I am encouraged and reminded of God's sovereignty. It's a chapter about invitation, endowment of splendor, of free pardon and God's power and majesty. It's about God's control. And it's about His promises to us who believe.

"So is my word that goes out of my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
Isaiah 55:11

God's got this. So, keep praying.

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Praise God, in prayer, for His love to us in sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Our debts have been paid. There is forgiveness of sin. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus.
Thank God, in prayer, for freedom in our country to worship and honor Him freely and publicly. 
Thank God, in prayer, for fellow believers who gather Sunday mornings and at other times with ministries on their hearts—ministries from helping babies, to feeding others, to music outreach, to visits in prisons, to encouraging the sick and to praying fervently.
Praise God for the wisdom He gives to understand the Bible.
Pray for God to encourage your loved ones and friends...and your own heart. We deal with trials and tribulations. If you're a parent of a teenager, its tough!
Ask God to place believers in the church pews. He can do that.
Remember people who were brought to your attention for prayer and those who have not. Keep a prayer book. Be diligent. Be earnest, like Elijah. Be persistent, like the widow.
Ask God to help you understand His Word, the Bible.
Ask God to raise up more prayer warriors and prayer groups in your church and across our land.
Pray for great leadership, locally and federally, where Christ is put first.
Ask God to cause public schools to hire Christ-loving teachers.
Pray for businesses that honor Christ. Pray that more would.
Pray for respect of authority. There seems to be a loss of it in many places.

Therefore confess your sins to each other
and pray for each other
so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous man is
powerful and effective.
James 5:16

God's listening. Your voice is not too small for Him. 
Thank you for reading. THANK YOU for joining in prayer and remaining faithful.
Enjoy Autumn's colors. Be a colorful tree planted by living waters!
Enjoy God's reminders to keep the hope.

Friday, September 15, 2017

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Fragrant Fruit

What fragrance do you love?
What smells are wonderful to you?

The Fall season is underway around here in my neck of the woods. I can smell the leaves. Fall has its distinct fragrances—apples, rain, cool mornings, more frequent cups of coffee and tea and candles burning inside. 

I think of Mary who anointed Jesus. She opened the alabaster jar and the whole house in Bethany was filled with a pleasing aroma. God, in the Old and New Testaments, was pleased with the aroma of sacrifice. He sent His Son to die for our sins. Jesus made purification for our sins, His blood covering our sins. That is the Good News!

We love the aroma of love and forgiveness. The Holy Spirit produces fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. In other words, they're always correct.

Pray, then, for:

F   antastic love.
R   idiculous joy.
A   bundant peace.
G   reat patience.
R   eal kindness.
A   bove-all goodness.
N   ever-without faithfulness.
C   ompassionate gentleness.
E   ven-keel self-control.

Pray the nine fruits of the Spirit for yourself and your family. Ask that you would have these fruits abundantly, indeed, over-flowing!  

You anoint my head with oil,
my cup overflows.
Psalm 23:5b
If we ask for much, our hearts might overflow. Pray that God would give your distraught friend ridiculous joy. Ask God to give abundant peace to your friend who is heartsick over his lost family. Pray that God would soften the heart of your daughter with real kindness. Ask God to give your short-tempered spouse great patience. Pray that your teenage son living in today's days maintains steady self-control.

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 
Romans 8:26-27 
Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit,
but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Matthew 7:17 
What fragrance do you leave behind? What lingers? 
May it be a fragrant, wonderful aroma pleasing to God!  (It will probably be pleasing to others, too.)
Raise hope.

Friday, September 1, 2017