Archive | April 2014

“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

imagesHello! How is everyone? How was your Easter/Passover? Did you feel especially closer to God during this time?  I think I feel the closest to God during this time because one really gets to reflect at great length what God did to bridge the gap between Himself and mankind by sending His own Son to die on a cross so that those who would choose Jesus would eternally live with Him.

I’m also sure that many are going through some variation of a trial as well and truly need to be grounded in their faith so they can withstand any or all opposition that would afflict them.  When we go through troubling times, it is important that we really are committed to the Lord. It is the Lord that carries us and holds us up as we GO THROUGH our circumstances. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Youare with me.” (Psalm 23:4)  Another version says it this way“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”

God is faithful to us even when we are not faithful to Him because He loves us and He does not take back His promises to those that belong to Him. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:9)When we commit ourselves to God through Jesus, we begin a lifelong change that becomes more and more into His likeness because His Spirit lives inside of us.  I’m not going to say that it is easy; or that we won’t struggle…because we will because the world we live in has so much opposition. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12) But the good news is that because of our commitment to Jesus, we do not have to feel bad when we fail. We can always go to Him even when we are weighed down by this life. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29) When we are weak, He makes us strong. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)

It is because of God’s eternal promises that I am able to commit to Him. I know I can’t soley commit by myself  to God because life (and my own self) always gets in the way.  “Do not conform any longer to the patter of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) I have to choose to stay committed to Him. “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)  

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I hope your commitment to God will grow strong and steady knowing that you are loved by God and entitled to all the promises He has for you so you can get closer to Him through Jesus. I leave you with this scripture as encouragement so you know how God’s love and  promises are with you always.

“May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [[full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence), And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love. For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (2Peter1:2-8-Amplified Bible)

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

 

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

ab0d9a859d53d46b43fc40a3e7479743 Hello! How is everyone? The weeks seem to be speeding up as the weather continues to confuse as to what season we are in.  As many of you are aware, Passover is celebrated this week and then followed by Good Friday and on Sunday-Easter; also referred to as Resurrection Sunday. For many people this is known as “Holy Week”.

The promise God gave the Jewish people  regarding this event was this: “The blood shall be for a token or sign to you upon [the doorposts of] the houses where you are, [that] when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:13) The blood of a lamb was slain and placed over their door posts and death would “pass over” those who were under the blood. Jewish people all over the globe recite the telling of the story of Passover. The story is told in response to four questions asked by the children: why is this night different from all other nights? The father proceeds to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt, reading from a book called “The Haggadah” and using symbols and object lessons in order to keep the attention of the little children. It is a yearly reminder to them that God delivered them out of the bondage of slavery and into freedom.

Tomorrow is Good Friday, the day we observe when Jesus willingly gave up His life and went to the cross in order to be the gap between sinful mankind and a Holy God. The cost required of repentance is bloodshed . “That the Son of Man must be given over into the hands of sinful men (men whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God) and be crucified and on the third day rise [from death]. (Luke 24:7 Amplified Bible) “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28) We have an a guarantee to be forgiven from our sins and spend eternity with God; but, we must believe that the promises God and the Word of God is true because He does not lie. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were notso, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

God has been letting us know who He is and all of His promises since Genesis. He even made sure that His promises were written down so anyone throughout the ages can read about Him so that we would believe in Him.  “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (John 5:46-47) So, the questions comes down to “Do you believe in Jesus and all that He says He is? If not, why? “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!” (James 2:19)

You know, Jesus did not have to fight His way out of the grave after His crucifixion. He walked out after the angel rolled back the rock from the tomb.”But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6)  It was God’s love for us that kept Him on the cross and it was the same love that brought Him out of grave so He could be with us forever. Jesus is our Risen savior! His resurrection is now our inheritance. There is a saying among Christians around Easter, they say to one another “He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!”

As you walk Every Day With Grace, I pray that you believe in the promises that God has for your life and that you know that one day you too, can share in eternal life with Jesus. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

I wish you a Blessed Resurrection Sunday because He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! 

In His Love,

Melody

Jesus said: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

 

 

 

 

“The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24-Amplified)

hugsHello! How are you? How has your week been?  Are you beginning to enjoy the warmer weather with friends and/or family? Lately I have been thinking of friends/friendships and having a “support system” in life when life throws a curve ball and there is nothing you can do…except just “go threw” the circumstances.”Two are better than one, because they have a good return 
 for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls down and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11)

Life definitely has its ups and downs…and it is usually during those times that we find out who are  friends really are. Some people are fortunate and have what  I would call “reliable back-up”. “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” (Proverbs 14:10) But, I also know that there are many people who don’t have any form of “back up.”  So the only one they can truly rely on is Jesus. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15) Jesus has made Himself continually and eternally available to us.“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)

Once we accept Him as LORD and Savior, He not only connects with us, He abides within us and promises to never leave us nor forsake us. As our friend, He can forgive our sins when we ask to be forgiven. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 5:20)  You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:14)  As many of us already know, friendship comes with responsibility and sacrifice on both parts. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  (John 15:13) “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3;16)

I want you to know we are never alone with God and His Son, Jesus. That is the promise of His relationship with usSince we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1) “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (2 Peter 3:14) God is faithful to us because He loves us. Jesus is always a friend to us and because of that we will never again walk alone or be alone. His love transcends boundaries, cultures, and generations. His love and friendship is forever and He will not not rescind it.  We may not want God as our friend; but, we always have a friend in Jesus.

As you walk Every Day With Grace, know that “ A friend loves at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17) and that when in doubt, we always have a friend in Jesus.

In His Love,

Melody 

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Text: Joseph M. Scriven, 1820-1886
Music: Charles C. Converse, 1832-1918
Tune: CONVERSE, Meter: 87.87 D


 

1.	What a friend we have in Jesus, 
	all our sins and griefs to bear! 
	What a privilege to carry 
	everything to God in prayer! 
	O what peace we often forfeit,
	O what needless pain we bear, 
	all because we do not carry 
	everything to God in prayer. 

2.	Have we trials and temptations? 
	Is there trouble anywhere? 
	We should never be discouraged; 
	take it to the Lord in prayer. 
	Can we find a friend so faithful 
	who will all our sorrows share? 
	Jesus knows our every weakness; 
	take it to the Lord in prayer. 

3.	Are we weak and heavy laden, 
	cumbered with a load of care? 
	Precious Savior, still our refuge; 
	take it to the Lord in prayer. 
	Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? 
	Take it to the Lord in prayer! 
	In his arms he'll take and shield thee; 
	thou wilt find a solace there.

 

“Do two walk together except they make an appointment and have agreed?” (Amos 3:3-Amplified Bible)

image001Hello! How was your week going?  There has bee a lot of stress in the air and it filters down into our lives-sometimes subtly and sometime s abruptly. Something happened within the week that effected my family. It got me thinking about mutual agreement and support and being on the same page-hence agreement. I realized there are various forms of support; but that does not mean everyone is in agreement regarding how to be supportive-even though everyone thought they wanted to achieve the same goal, coming to agreement as to execution was very different.

So then I started to think about other relationships-my relationship with God, friendships, and family. I thought about what it really means to “walk together”. I know my friend, Amy and I walk together, as sisters in the Lord. We both know and agree that only God can change one’s heart, mind, and even direction of one’s life.  When the toxicity of this life becomes unbearable, we know we can reach out to each other and come together with the Lord to pray. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Mat 18:20) More importantly, even if we can’t come together, we know that God is there with us, because His Spirit lives inside of us. How, you may ask? It was the day we accepted His Son, Jesus into our lives through a divine appointment and we agreed by saying yes to Jesus, as our Lord and Savior. Now, we can walk together with God anytime, any day, anywhere; with the new life God freely gave.

But, what about those that I with and are not in agreement with? What does the Bible say about that?” This is what the Bible says about that topic: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters says the Lord Almighty.”(2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

When a person walks with someone not in agreement in the core of their faith, they are basically considered “unequally yoked together.” I have a couple of friends that I have known for years, but when it comes to the core of what we believe, it is very different. Mostly because my core responses continues to God centered (“What does God say about this? What would Jesus do? Is there error on my part? Have I offended someone? Do I need to seek forgiveness?”, etc…) A non-believer’s core response is usually a self-centered response (“Who cares what they think! “It doesn’t apply to me.” “So what, if someone gets hurt (physically, emotionally, psychologically, financially) “Blame God, parents, siblings, environment, government, society, etc…just don’t take the responsibility.  Do you see the difference in responses? One is in agreement with God and mankind; while the other is all about themselves-no room for God or their fellow man. “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.”(1 Corinthians 15:33) You see there is respect within an agreement and that agreement turns into fellowship-with God and His children. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.”  (Acts 4:32-NIV)

As you continue to Walk Every Day with Grace, know that you can walk in agreement with God at anytime once you call out to Him. “But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,you will be saved.For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

In His Love,

Melody