So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
-'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NIV)
- Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer
Romans 12: 12 ( NIV )
-The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.'
Exodus 14: 13 ( NIV )
-For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this World, against spiritual
wickedness in the high places.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4: 13 ( NIV )
-This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that
God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
1 John: 5
-What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
Matthew 16:26 (NIV)
1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.
3. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.
4. Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.
5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
~2 Timothy 3 - 5 - King James Version (KJV) ~
- HOW TO KNOW JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOR -
A salvation prayer, known by many Christians as a 'Sinners Prayer,' is a prayer one would say to repent from sin, ask God for forgiveness, confess belief in Jesus Christ, and accept him as Lord and Savior. Saying a salvation prayer is the first step in your personal relationship with God.
If you believe the Bible offers truth about the way of salvation, but you have not taken the step to become a Christian, it's as simple as praying this prayer. You can pray by yourself, using your own words. There is no special formula. Just pray from your heart to God, and he will save you. If you feel lost and donít know what to pray, hereís a salvation prayer that you can follow:
I admit that I am a sinner. I have done many things that donít please you. I have lived my life for myself only. I am sorry, and I repent. I ask You to forgive me.
I believe that You died on the cross for me to save me. You did what I could not do for myself. I come to You now and ask you to take control of my life; I give it to You. From this day forward, help me to live every day for You and in a way that pleases You.
I love you, Lord, and I thank You that I will spend all eternity with You.
If you have just prayed this prayer, congratulations!
You have received Christ as your Savior and have made the best decision you will ever makeóone that will change your life forever!
Have you ever noticed that some people are more naturally compassionate than others? Maybe itís their personality or upbringing. Nevertheless, in the church, every believer is told to 'put on a heart of compassion' (Col. 3:12). When empathy doesnít come naturally, some Christians may wonder if something is wrong with them. So, what can we do to develop a greater sense of caring?
While emotions cannot be manufactured on demand, we can change our thoughts, which in turn affect our emotions. Compassion, like all the other qualities listed in todayís passage, is possible only when we think of others before ourselves. Self-centeredness keeps us from seeing the needs and hurts of those around us and acting on their behalf. What we need is a renewed mind.
We are all born with a selfish, sinful nature, referred to as the 'old self.' But when a person puts his trust in Jesus, he receives a 'new self' created in righteousness by God. (See Eph. 4:22-24.) As our minds are renewed with His Word and we grow in obedience, Christís love and compassion begin to flow through us. Instead of our being oblivious to the pain and suffering around us, God will open our eyes and use us to comfort those in need.
A heart of compassion is achieved not through self-effort but through a God-focused life. As we draw near to Him through His Word and His Son, He transforms our focus, thoughts, and feelings. What a relief to know that God has provided everything we need to follow Jesusí example of caring. He always equips us to obey His every command.
At some point, youíve probably been asked why a loving God would allow suffering in the world. Though He is able to stop it, He often doesnít. And while we can acknowledge seeing Him at work during certain difficult situations, at other times it looks as if nothing is happening despite our many prayers.
For believers in Jesus Christ, the condition of lost humanity ought to be both sobering and motivating. Ephesians 2:12 says we were 'separate from Christ ... having no hope and without God in the world.' Is there anything worse than this? But apart from a relationship with God through His Son, there is no eternal hope.
Jesus Christ came into the world to take the punishment for sin and die the death that we deserved. In so doing, He satisfied Godís demands for justice, thereby removing the guilt and condemnation of everyone who believes in Him as Savior and Lord. The result is that those who were formerly 'far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ' (Eph. 2:13).
Now we who have received this hope are called to share it with others. But people cannot know that Jesus is the only hope unless they learn about Him from us. As Peter points out, this assignment may not always be easy because some people are hostile to our message. Yet we are called to 'give an account for the hope' that is in us 'with gentleness and reverence' (1 Pet. 3:15).
Our witness for Jesus Christ should be evident in both our words and actions. As the Holy Spirit begins the work of renewing our mind with the Word of God, our attitudes and behavior become increasingly Christlike. And that is a powerful witness to a world without hope. Christ offers a transformed life now and the promise of eternal life for all who will come to Him in repentance and faith. So letís share our hope!
Jealousy is a treacherous emotion. Itís poison to the believer because it opens the heart to a host of other sinful emotions and attitudes. Consequently, envy must be dealt with quicklyóbefore it has the opportunity to take root.
King Saulís jealousy so warped his thinking that he eventually became an embittered fool and destroyed his relationship with David. The problem began when the people praised David more highly than the king, saying, 'Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands' (1 Samuel 18:7). The king became suspicious and began watching for signs that David might be trying to undermine his royal position. Though Saul never found any actual evidence, his clouded thinking mistook any success in the young soldierís life as reason for resentment.
Bitterness and fear festered until he was willing to take Davidís life just to put his mind at ease. We could never go as far as Saul did, right? Donít be so sure. Jealousy is a powerful emotion, and one cannot say what he or she might do if given free rein. Thatís why itís important to deal with jealousy as soon as weíre aware of it. First, we each need to examine our heart and determine if thereís anyone who elicits feelings of suspicion, bitterness, hostility, or resentment. Then, we must prayerfully submit those feelings to the heavenly Father.
Jealousy and resentment are poisonous emotions that simply do not fit who we are as children of God. Even a little venom can be dangerous, and harboring such attitudes for any period of time is too long.
By Dr. Charles F. Stanley
-Reflect & Pray -
There's no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to
do with punishment.The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
-1 John 4: 18
When do you find yourself feeling pressured to believe fear is greater than love? How might your relationships with others change if you believed you donít need to be afraid?
Loving God, thank You for Your love. Help us to trust in and follow Your light and love even when the way gets dark.