5 avsnitt

Bibically based words of encouragement to help us live each day with the knowledge that we are fully and unconditionally loved

Saved by Grace Kelly Kirby

    • Kristendom

Bibically based words of encouragement to help us live each day with the knowledge that we are fully and unconditionally loved

    Life is calm when we trust in the Prince of Peace

    Life is calm when we trust in the Prince of Peace

    Life is rarely free of strife, but amidst the chaos, peace is possible with Christ.  Although I know this to be true, when life becomes hectic it’s hard to keep my mind at peace.
    During November and December, there is little breathing room in my schedule.  In addition to working a full-time job, pursuing my craft and calling to become a writer, and serving on the ministry team of Life in Sweet Abandon Ministries, I create and sell handmade jewelry.  The chaos becomes a bit more than I can handle when I am surviving on an average of four to five hours of sleep per night.
    It is during this busy holiday season that I find myself feeling out of sync with the Lord.  My ability to experience the peace of God in my mind and my daily life is lacking.   Even though I never skip my morning routine, Breakfast with God, I realize I am not allowing myself to rest and revel in His presence.  It is an ever-present struggle to keep my mind from rushing ahead to the many things I have to do throughout my day.
    I am willing to bet that I am not the only person who finds themselves in this tug of war between anxiety and peace during the holidays.  It’s easy to lose our sense of peace when the addition of holiday activities require time in our already overbooked daily schedules.  For this reason, it is more important than ever that we make spending quality time alone with the Lord our top priority.
    In the book of Isaiah, the messianic prophet foretells of God’s plan and promise to bring light into a world of darkness.
    A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” “Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6 GNT
    By way of the birth of a child, a son, we would receive our Messiah.  Not just any son, but the one and only Son of God.  Don’t you love God’s creativity in choosing to deliver the Savior of the World to us in the form of a baby?
    The predictive illustration made by Isaiah long ago highlights the most fundamental truth of Christianity: Like a newborn baby, we are helpless and dependent on God.  It is solely through a relationship with Jesus, that we can experience the peace of God.  A level of peace that is not contingent on our circumstances but rather, rooted in our confidence in God and the knowledge and acceptance of His love for us.
    When I find myself short on peace and tranquility in my life, I pause, take a breath and call to mind one of my favorite scriptures found in the book of Isaiah:
    You will keep her (him) in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because she (he) trusts in You.  Isaiah 26:3
    In saying this, I am not attempting to use scripture as a magical incantation, but rather taking control of my thoughts instead of allowing them to take control of me.  Through the repetition of God’s Word coupled with belief, the fears and doubts that consume my mind and cause me to feel anxious get replaced with Truth.  Truth from the Word of God that reminds me of His goodness and faithfulness.
    It’s a scientific fact, our thoughts dictate our feelings and our actions so why don’t you give this method of experiencing peace a try?  The next time you begin to feel anxious or overwhelmed pick one of your favorite scriptures and say it aloud if you can.  If that’s not possible, close your eyes and repeat the verse in your mind as many times as it takes for it to take root.  If you do this consistently, eventually you will discover that nothing else can compare to the sense of peace and tranquility we can obtain through the Word of God.
    Sending peace, love, and happiness to all!

     
     
    Fun facts about the book of Isaiah:

    Isaiah is the most quoted prophet in the New Testament
    the Book of Isaiah is second only to Psalms in the number of verse quotations from Hebrew Scripture found in the New Testament.

    • 4 min
    Love is the greatest gift you can give

    Love is the greatest gift you can give

    It’s the hap-happiest season of all!
    .
    While this may be true for some, it isn’t true for all.  For this reason, we need to make sure we are paying attention to the needs of those around us. Mindful of the fact that the holidays can be a painful reminder for the lost, the lonely and the broken.
    The greatest commandment of all
    As believers, we are called to value the lives and needs of others. To reflect the character of Christ by demonstrating humility, love, compassion, and generosity. Jesus Himself states that love is the greatest commandment of all:
    Mark 12:28-31 NIV
    [28] One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” [29] “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. [30] Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [31] The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.
    How do we resist our natural inclination to be self-focused?
    At our core, we are imperfect people with an inherent desire for self-gratification. Furthermore, we live in a society that celebrates self-sufficiency, and material wealth yet often turns a blind eye to the less fortunate. As a result, humility and generosity are attributes we have to cultivate intentionally.
    What would Jesus do?
    To successfully and consistently obey God’s command to love others we, it is vital that we look to Christ, and not the world as our model for demonstrating the act of loving others. When the way to love another is unclear, take a moment to ponder, “what would Jesus do in this situation?”
    “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
    ― Teresa of Avila
    Choosing to be the hands and feet of Jesus
    As believers, we are to be the hands and feet of Christ by making love our highest rule. Our love and commitment to Christ should move us toward personal sacrifice, discipline, and responsibility – rarities in today’s self-centered world.
    In Matthew 25:40, Jesus stresses the importance of serving others: Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me – you did it to me.’  (MSG) We are to love and serve anyone and everyone we can because love for others glorifies God by reflecting our love for Him.
    Christ followers have a higher calling than to “blend in” with the world around us. Unless we make every effort to affect others positively, we are useless in growing God’s kingdom and spreading the Good News to the rest of the world. Just as seasoning brings out the best flavor in food, we are to be the salt of the earth. We are to shed light on a dark and lonely world by allowing the light of God’s love to shine through us as we show kindness and love to others. (Matthew 5:13-16)
    Where can you shine the light of God’s love today?
    Sending peace, love, and happiness to all!

    • 3 min
    What is the reason behind your joy this holiday season?

    What is the reason behind your joy this holiday season?

    Yes, it is Christmas time, and as the song says, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.  While it is true, all of us seem to find ourselves in more joyful spirits this time of year, do we truly understand why?
    More than exterior décor
    As I peruse the Christmas aisle of my favorite craft store, I can’t help but notice the impatience of a nearby shopper.  She is a beautiful woman with two adorable kids in tow and a cart full of festive holiday décor and wrapping paper.  I watch as her little boy maneuvers to his mother’s side and lovingly reaches out for her hand.  The expression on his face when she quickly dismisses him without a glance in his direction is heart-wrenching.  This woman and her family celebrate Christmas, but I wonder, does she understand the reason for the season?
     [21] She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” [22] All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: [23] “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).  Matthew 1:21-23 NIV
    Jesus is the reason for the season
    With all that we must do during the busy holiday season, it is crucial that we don’t forget why we celebrate Christmas.  The infinite, unlimited God took on the limitations of humanity, so he could live and die for the salvation of all who would believe in him.  Jesus means “the Lord saves.” Jesus came to earth to save us because we can’t save ourselves from sin and its consequences. No matter how good we are, we can’t eliminate the sinful nature present in all of us. Only Jesus can do that. Jesus didn’t come to help us save ourselves but to be our Savior from the power and penalty of sin.
    Immanuel, God is with us
    Jesus would fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah, for he would be Immanuel (“God is with us,” see Isaiah 7:14). Jesus was God in the flesh; thus, God was literally among us, “with us.” Through the Holy Spirit, Christ is present today in the life of every believer.
    We steer where we stare
    This Christmas let’s choose to focus our celebrations around God’s presence rather than presents.  Let’s look to Him for our fulfillment and joy in life, never forgetting the reason we celebrate the Christmas season:
    Our perfect and pure Savior allowed Himself to be broken so that a world of broken people like us could receive forgiveness and eternal life. 
    Sending peace, love, and happiness to all!

    • 3 min
    God’s love offers hope to the hardened heart

    God’s love offers hope to the hardened heart

    I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:26-27
    There is hope for every story
    God’s audacious love has the power to turn our worst failures into glory. He alone can bring extraordinary hope and joy to every story. These are not just pretty words you read in the Bible; they are truths, miraculous events that will take place in your life when you allow God into your heart. Of these things, I am confident because He is working miracles in my heart and soul every day.
    I remember asking Jesus into my heart while attending children’s church more than 40 years ago. However, I now understand that becoming a “Christian” and living a Christ-like life are two entirely different things. Unless we allow God’s love to heal unresolved hurts from the past, our lives will bear little resemblance to a God-designed life of a Jesus follower. The protective walls we build around our hearts will block our ability to hear God’s voice and experience the fullness of His love. When we are unable to discern the leading of God’s voice in our lives, our perception of right and wrong becomes skewed.
    Hurt people, hurt people
    Without a sensitive and receptive heart, a person may not be aware of the pain they are causing others. They live with cloudy vision and are unable to see beyond their selfish desires. They foolishly rely on their strength, and not God’s, to make the right choices in life.
    A faithful follower of Christ will have a heart of compassion for others. Because we understand how much God loves us, we respond by loving others the way He loves us. Thankfully, we do not have to do this on our own. Jesus promises to give us the ability to live a God-centered life of love through the gifting of His Holy Spirit. With this gifting comes nine visible attributes of a person living in harmony with God’s Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
    “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” Ezekiel 18:23
    God created all humanity with the purpose and design that He is the Father of all. It grieves His heart to see His children turn away from Him and chose to live a self-centered life instead of Christ-centered life. God’s love causes Him to show mercy to us, even when we have decided to do life without Him. He yearns for us to lift our faces above the guilt and shame of our past and ask Him to forgive us and empower us to live life His way. He loves us so much that He is intentionally delaying Christ’s return. (2 Peter 3:9)
    “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
    In the waiting, there is an opportunity for more people to come to know, love and accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. No matter how far we fall, we will never fall too far into the pit that Jesus cannot redeem us. If there was hope for Saul, who became Paul, there is certainly hope for all!
    Sending peace, love, and happiness to all!

     
     
    The content topic for November is thankfulness and gratitude. If you missed any of the previous posts you may read them by clicking the links below:

    November Post 1: How God reveals His love and mercy in the winds of change
    November Post 2: How to live a blessed life unhindered by the ghost of your past
    November Post 3: God’s forgiveness is the greatest gift you will ever receive

    • 3 min
    God’s forgiveness is the greatest gift you will ever receive

    God’s forgiveness is the greatest gift you will ever receive

    “Do you see this woman?”
    “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”
    Jesus turned the thought around on Simon, saying, “Do you see this woman? Simon, do you see her love, her repentance, her devotion? That’s what I see.”
    Whether you are a Christian or not, it is likely that you are familiar with this story told in the book of Luke. (Luke 47:36-50.)   A Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus to his home for dinner.  Luke tells us a notoriously sinful woman from the city knelt behind Jesus, at his feet, weeping.  Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair.  Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.  Because Jesus did not shun the woman and send her away, Simon began to doubt that Jesus was a prophet.  From Simon’s viewpoint, if Jesus were, in fact, a prophet, He would be able to see the unworthiness of this sinful woman.
    Because Jesus is a merciful and forgiving Savior, He chooses to focus on the condition of our hearts and not on the sins of our past.  It took enormous courage for a woman with a licentious reputation to come into the house of a Pharisee.  The woman served Jesus in complete humility, with the attitude that she was not worthy to even be in His presence.  She was willing to do anything to express her love and devotion to Jesus
    Simon thought that Jesus was the one who could not see her. His thought was, “Jesus, don’t you see this shameful woman associating so closely to You?” Jesus responded by exposing Simon’s prideful attitude and unclean heart by telling him the following story that wraps up with one of my favorite verses in the Bible:
    Luke 7:40-47 NIV
    Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. [41] “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. [42] Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” [43] Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. [44] Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. [45] You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. [46] You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. [47] Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” (Emphasis added)
    This woman’s great love for Jesus demonstrates the natural response to forgiveness and the effect of genuine faith. It can be difficult for us to believe others forgive us for our wrongdoings and even harder to forgive ourselves. But, once we allow the truth to sink into our hearts, the truth about God’s love for us and the power of the cross, something powerful takes place. In the same way a dead car battery springs to life with the use of powered jumper cables, new life is sparked inside us when we grasp the overflowing love of Jesus. Jesus’ forgiveness was not a result of the woman’s love for Him. Instead, her immense love for Jesus was evidence that she accepted His forgiveness. Overflowing love is the result of believing we have received forgiveness. The key to walking in forgiveness is faith.
    God’s forgiveness is the greatest gift you will ever receive. Don’t neglect his gracious offer.
    Sending peace, love, and happiness to all!

     
     
    The content topic for November is thankfulness and gratitude.  If you missed any of the previous posts you may read them by clicking the links below:
    November Post 1: How God reveals

    • 3 min

Mest populära podcaster inom Kristendom